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Has Anyone Ever Tried Kinbor Notebooks?

kinbor notebook paper china chinese stationary inexpensive asia sewn journal

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#1 TruthPil

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 13:23

Hello again to all my FPN friends,

 

After acquiring too many inks and far too many pens, I thought it was time to turn this obsession toward papers in order to round out the experience.

I just received a blank notebook in the mail from a Chinese stationary company called Kinbor (www.kinbor.net/).

They seem like a Chinese version of Midori and offer very similar products (at much lower prices, of course). 

Here's an article about the company that has nice photos of their products.

 

I'm thoroughly impressed with the paper in this A5 notebook. Although this paper is 80gsm and quite sturdy, it's also very supple and floppy like Tomoe River paper. The sewn binding is better than most I've seen; the journal will lie open completely flat regardless of what page you open to. The paper texture is much smoother than Midori paper but not slick like Rhodia and Clairfontaine, again reminiscent of Tomoe River. I've only tested a couple inks with really wet pens so far but there has not been any bleed through or even show through, although a little feathering in same cases. It is advertised to be fountain pen friendly (see picture below).

 

TB2mMSHnhPI8KJjSspoXXX6MFXa_!!2780232547

 

These journals are currently offered in A6 and A5 with the options of blank, dot grid, graph, a blank/dot grid/graph combination, 7mm lined, lined with red side rule, thick sketchbook paper, and a calendar/planner combination. They come with either white or brown covers.

 

TB26ftvngvD8KJjSsplXXaIEFXa_!!2780232547

TB2J1pUXdLO8KJjSZFxXXaGEVXa_!!2780232547

 

 

I'm in no way affiliated with the company, but I thought I'd ask about these journals because this is the first Chinese paper I've ever tried that has actually blown me away. That's saying a lot because I live in China and have tried lots of papers over the past few years, most of them being quite unfriendly to fountain pens and often unbearable toothy as well.

 

I'll try to post a review once I spend more time with this journal and run in through some tests.

 

 

 

 


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#2 TruthPil

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:42

These journals are excellent, I just ordered four more.

 

Pictures of writing samples are forthcoming...


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#3 FountainPenBibliophile

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 15:02

These journals are excellent, I just ordered four more.

 

Pictures of writing samples are forthcoming...

 

I am very intrigued!  I look forward to your review!



#4 EDC

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:01

Thanks for this. I've been thinking about CN sources for FP-friendly paper. I had good luck with traveler's notebook-style inserts and the like but have yet to try notebooks.



#5 TruthPil

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:39

 

I am very intrigued!  I look forward to your review!

 

 

Thanks for this. I've been thinking about CN sources for FP-friendly paper. I had good luck with traveler's notebook-style inserts and the like but have yet to try notebooks.

 

Some writing samples are ready....I just need my free time to match with sunny weather so I can get some good pictures in natural light.

I'm really impressed with the quality of the paper and even the binding.


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#6 amberleadavis

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 16:40

OOOOOO  I look forward to it.


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#7 TruthPil

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:05

At last! Here are some scans. All these were taken in natural sunlight on a slightly cloudy day.

fpn_1529503068__00_kinbor_01_compressed.

 

fpn_1529503104__00_kinbor_02_compressed.

 

A close-up of Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black from a very wet Pelikan P20 (not​ P30) OBB:

fpn_1529503145__00_kinbor_03_pelikan_bla

 

Close-ups of other inks:

fpn_1529503238__00_kinbor_04_compressed.

 

fpn_1529503305__00_kinbor_05_compressed.

 

Here is a standard Midori journal for comparison:

fpn_1529503355__00_midori_01_compressed.

 

fpn_1529503433__00_midori_02_compressed.

 

 

Here is a 52gsm Tomoe River journal for comparison:

fpn_1529503487__00_tr_52gms_01_compresse

 

fpn_1529503515__00_tr_52gms_02_compresse


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#8 FountainPenBibliophile

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:12

Thanks so much for this!!! Did you notice any bleed through? 



#9 TruthPil

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:21

Here are scans of the back of the sheet above.

 

The following two scans are with a thick white sheet behind the page to show only the show through from the other side:

 

fpn_1529503609__kinbor_06_back_compresse

 

fpn_1529503733__kinbor_07_back_compresse

 

Here are some more extensive writing samples:

 

fpn_1529503775__kinbor_08_compressed.jpg

 

Noodler's Black from a firehose Dollar 717q:

fpn_1529503803__kinbor_09_noodlers_black

 

fpn_1529503846__kinbor_10_noodlers_black

 

 

Herbin Lie de The from a JoWo #6 1.1mm Oblique Cursive Italic nib with average wetness:

fpn_1529503908__kinbor_11_herbin_compres

 

fpn_1529503966__kinbor_12_herbin_compres

 

 

And scans of the back of this sheet:

 

fpn_1529504025__kinbor_13_back_compresse

 

 

This is what show through looks like without a thick white sheet behind the page to block out the writing of underlying pages:

 

fpn_1529504058__kinbor_14_back_compresse

 

 

Back of the Noodler's Black sample:

fpn_1529504126__kinbor_15_back_noodlers_

 

 

Back of the Herbin Lie de The sample:

fpn_1529504198__kinbor_16_back_herbin_co

 

Back of a standard Midori journal for comparison:

fpn_1529504248__midori_03_compressed.jpg

 

 

Back of a 52gsm Tomoe River journal for comparison:

fpn_1529504299__tr_52gms_03_compressed.j

 

 

And now I'm totally exhausted.....feel free to ask any questions. I think the Kinbor paper stands out as quite excellent!


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#10 TruthPil

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:25

Thanks so much for this!!! Did you notice any bleed through? 

 

On the back of writing sample with several inks above, you might be able to see just a couple pin dots of bleed through from 1 or 2 of the inks. They are virtually impossible to see. The most noticeable was Kung Te-Chung, but even then it's very slight and not distracting.


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#11 mhguda

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:26

Congratulations on your excellent find. I am sooooo jealous. That looks like almost as perfect as TR 52gsm in my book... and I'd expect a fraction of its price. Enjoy to the hilt!


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#12 Karmachanic

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:44

A5 144 pages $20 on Aliexpress.


Edited by Karmachanic, 20 June 2018 - 14:45.

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#13 FountainPenBibliophile

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 14:53

This is great! Thank you so much again!

#14 EDC

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 00:15

That's very impressive. Thank you. Fingers crossed I can track some down locally. The Taobao vendor I found won't ship out of CN for whatever reason.



#15 TruthPil

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 01:36

Congratulations on your excellent find. I am sooooo jealous. That looks like almost as perfect as TR 52gsm in my book... and I'd expect a fraction of its price. Enjoy to the hilt!

 

What I like about this paper is that it feels like TR but is 80gsm so not nearly as transparent. I've now got one blank journal (used in the photos) and four lined journals waiting to get to work.  :) 

 

A5 144 pages $20 on Aliexpress.

 

Yikes, that's quite expensive. In China one A5 journal goes for 25~28RMB ($4~4.50) at normal price, but often cheaper if you buy more than one. I got my batch of four for 16RMB ($2.50) each! 

 

That's very impressive. Thank you. Fingers crossed I can track some down locally. The Taobao vendor I found won't ship out of CN for whatever reason.

 

Yeah, for now Taobao seems like the only way to go. There are LOTS of Taobao sellers with these journals, so hopefully one of them will ship abroad.

 

This is great! Thank you so much again!

 

Glad to help! I just hope others can try these.


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#16 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 10:57

Could anyone give feedback on the surface of the paper? Is it smooth like the Tomoe River or is more Rhodia like?



#17 TruthPil

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 14:17

Could anyone give feedback on the surface of the paper? Is it smooth like the Tomoe River or is more Rhodia like?

 

It's much more like Tomoe River. Not ultra slippery like Rhodia at all, but still delightfully smooth.


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#18 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 22:58

Thanks for the answer!

 

I already ordered one to test out, will be interesting to compare it to my Taroko notebooks.



#19 TruthPil

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:12

Thanks for the answer!
 
I already ordered one to test out, will be interesting to compare it to my Taroko notebooks.


That's great! I look forward to your impressions and how these journals compare to others.

What got me excited about these journals is that the paper is very similar to TR but at a fifth of the price in China.

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#20 FountainPenBibliophile

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:55

I wish they were that cheap to get in the US...the only American source I've found for the Kinbor notes is on Amazon.  But this is the hardcover version...

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I wonder if the paper is the same....







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: kinbor, notebook, paper, china, chinese, stationary, inexpensive, asia, sewn, journal



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