Jump to content





Dearest Friends and Visitors of the Fountain Pen Network,
We have started implementing the changes we promised here: Upcoming Changes To FPN
Please do read the linked message above.









Photo

"m By Staples" A5 Spiralbound Notebook


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 EKE

EKE

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 423 posts
  • Location:los Angeles, California, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:54

I didn't have much hope that I would find any paper at my local Staples that would be of value to FP lovers, but there actually is a line that has decent performing paper, and good value. It's the "M by Staples" line of notebooks, which are available at Staples in the USA. My Staples carried these in A4 and A5 sizes, in both spiral bound and stitched book-bound versions.

I tend to be a bit of a paper snob, and I just can't seem to find very many papers that live up to my standards for performance with fountain pens. When I write in notebooks, I personally just can't have bleedthrough or excessive echo, since I always want to be able to write on both sides. A bit of feathering with some inks is ok with me, but excessive feathering is a deal breaker. I'm a big Clairefontaine fan, and I personally like very smooth paper. I have never found any inexpensive notebooks available retail locally that can perform the way I need them to. Until now.

Here is the "M by Staples" A5 spiralbound:

Posted Image

here's the label:

Posted Image

And the cover with the label band removed. The cover has this weird fake alligator skin band on the left side. Probably could have done without that detail. But the cover and binding is solid and appears durable.

Posted Image

But the star here is the paper. The label doesn't list the weight, but I'd say it's about 75g. It is a pale grey color that is very easy on the eyes. The pages are micro perforated, and they tear out very cleanly and easily. The paper is lined, with no margins, and there's a little line at the top for what I imagine most folks would use for a date or a page number. The paper is very smooth in texture, and nibs glide over it nicely. Not Clairefontaine smooth, but close. The only annoying detail is the little "M" logo on the bottom of every sheet. Why they felt compelled to remind us on each and every sheet of their brand is beyond me. Well, I do understand WHY, but it's annoying nonetheless. :angry:

Posted Image

This irritates me:

Posted Image

The paper is nice quality, and performs well. I tested it out with whatever pens I happened to have inked, and I was pleasantly surprised. There was no significant bleedthrough, although the Dark Matter came close with my very wet Levenger medium. But the echo was very faint, very tolerable, and I wouldn't hesitate to use both sides of the paper. Almost no feather to speak of, except a couple of my juicy dots and periods. Again, totally acceptable.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Here's the back of the same sheet. A bit of minor bleedthrough on the Dark Matter, none at all with the other inks/pens:

Posted Image

So, bottom line is that this was a very nice find at my local Staples. I'd call this a quality, genuinely FP friendly notebook. It isn't Clairefontaine, but for $8, I think it's a good value. If they got rid of the cheesy alligator trim on the cover, and the logo on the paper, I'd be able to recommend this line without reservations. The book-bound journals also looked nice, and had bookmark ribbons in them. Good stuff. :thumbup:

Edited by EKE, 13 November 2012 - 01:56.

Learning from the past does not mean living in the past.

#2 cellmatrix

cellmatrix

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 994 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:53

It isn't Clairefontaine, but for $8, I think it's a good value.

Clairefontaine 90 sheet spiral bound lined A5 notebooks also run around $8.

#3 rodrigaj

rodrigaj

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • Location:Madison, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:29

I tried the m brand last summer and found the bleed through unacceptable. Like you I am a Clairefontaine fan and since the UW bookstore carries CF, I saw no reason to pursue ink/pen combinations. Perhaps as you found, some do work with this notebook paper.

#4 EKE

EKE

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 423 posts
  • Location:los Angeles, California, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2012 - 14:40

cellmatrix- of course you are right about the Clairefontaine pricing - not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps not as good a deal as I thought. But I do think it's pretty good paper, and available at the neighborhood Staples off-the-shelf.

I'd say that if you can buy the Clairefontaine locall, do so. But if it's not available, this is a reasonable alternative.
Learning from the past does not mean living in the past.

#5 TMac

TMac

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,094 posts
  • Location:Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 20 November 2012 - 15:59

Very good and thorough review. I think Staples is really trying to compete with products such as this and their Arc line.


I did see the reviewed notebook in my local Staples but hesitated because of the show thru examples posted, especially when using Noodlers.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Clairefontaine notebooks are sold at the local university near my home. Checking prices on line, I got a good deal. I paid $8.99 for the Basics Wirebound, 6 x 8". I never thought to check there before but went to the Clairfontaine web site based on this review and found the listing of retailers!

#6 Gcouch

Gcouch

    What can't Ducktape fix?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Flag:

Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:55

I was surprised at the quality, especially being made by staples. They were on sale a few weeks back, and I loaded up on them for school. It's OK quality paper, and works well for papers and the like. After all, why would I waste my great Clairfontane paper on an assignment that will be graded and tossed?
...................__
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
.........\.................'...../ BROFIST
..........''...\.......... _.·´
............\..............(

#7 een brouwer

een brouwer

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 44 posts

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:06

I am a huge fan of their M series paper and the Arc notebook line. It's good stuff!

#8 Linsolv

Linsolv

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 December 2012 - 18:33

I am a huge fan of their M series paper and the Arc notebook line. It's good stuff!


Just got myself an Arc Letter sized. Wherever will I spend my notebook budget now that I've found something so ideal!?

#9 TSherbs

TSherbs

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 991 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 00:35

Nice review. Thanks for doing it.

#10 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,578 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah
  • Flag:

Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:58

I'll keep this in mind when I go looking again. I found a great deal on a clothbound black n' red today (90 gsm) @ Office Depot - especially with the discount card I nearly forgot I had.

Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

LetterExchange_sm.png


#11 WirsPlm

WirsPlm

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,336 posts

Posted 14 August 2013 - 13:23

I just picked up one of these (hardbound, not spiral) last night out of curiousity, and so far it's pretty impressive. Very little show through and no bleed through (using a PIlot Medium).  The thing is that the paper isn't acid-free / archival, and the coating tends to delay the ink drying just a bit.  So it doesn't meet my requirements for a journal, but could easily meet someone else's. I wouldn't want to use it when I want to take notes very, very quickly, but for regular meetings, etc, I think it would work fine. I think it's a very nice notebook for most situations, and available easily where more expensive brands aren't always.  



#12 jccjr

jccjr

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:29

Nice review. Worth checking out as I have some credit from a return at Staples. That aside, I agree about the annoying "M" mark. Too bad all of our last names don't start with that initial. ;-)

 

Cheers!

John


Edited by jccjr, 03 September 2013 - 04:35.