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Found 18 results

  1. A Smug Dill

    Logical Swing notebook 7mm•B5•40 sheets

    From the album: Paper products

    I bought this from the Daiso store in Regent Place (in Sydney CBD) for A$3.10 recently. Few products there are not expressly Daiso-branded, although I have seen the occasional Maruman or Kokuyo paper product, and now this one from Nakabayashi.

    © A Smug Dill

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  2. From the album: Odds and ends

    These standard-priced, Japanese-made Daiso stackable clear carry cases with handles are pretty neat for storing up to eight 50ml bottle SKUs (i.e. inclusive of retail packaging) of Jacques Herbin ink or four 75ml bottle SKUs of Graf von Faber-Castell ink.

    © A Smug Dill

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  3. In spite of the pen's flimsy construction and a plethora of shortcomings, and the nib on my light grey one came twisted off kilter to boot, inexplicably it's a pleasure to write with this pen. I love the look of the tiny wrap-around nib, which makes this look more like a "technical pen" than a regular fountain pen, and the feel and precision it delivers is superb. It's a standard-priced Daiso item, it's awfully cheap — in price as well as overall product quality — and the converter you fit on it (if you choose to do so) will probably cost you more than the pen itself. I have no idea how effective the cap is at preventing ink evaporation over two or three months, but I haven't encountered any hard starts yet when I uncap for the first time on any given day. The clip is junk, and the plastic cap and body probably won't last, but the nib has stood up well to two hours of "abuse" by two little girls, as well as my very grown-up and ham-fisted sister-in-law, none of whom has any idea about how to handle a fountain pen properly. If you post the cap on the barrel, it's not going to fail off, even though I don't know whether it posts "deeply" (and, for that matter, don't care). The lightweight plastic won't change the balance of the pen drastically, especially if you install a converter full of ink (adding about 3g in weight) to the body of the pen. There is an audible and kinaesthetically satisfying snap when capping the pen.
  4. A Smug Dill

    Daiso Preppy-wannabe pens colour range

    From the album: Chinese pens

    These fountain pens are Daiso's answer to the Platinum Preppy, with the clear, lightly coloured pen bodies and spring-loaded inner caps. Unlike the Chinese-made Platinum Riviere PTR-200, which Daiso also sells, they are not co-branded. These pens started appearing, here in Sydney, late in August 2020. I've only ever seen them in one store in the four months since, even though there are three Daiso stores within walking distance of each other. My first impressions are that these pens are of much better product quality than the PTR-200. The nib width grade is not stated anywhere, either on the pen itself or its retail packaging; the nib on the unit I've used writes like a Fine, I'd say.

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  5. From the album: Odds and ends

    Back in September 2020, I was shopping in Daiso (and looked in Miniso, too, but it never seems to have anything suitable, and its prices are not as cheap) for some ink storage solution components, and came across this product — as well the 4 Cube Case, which is sized slightly differently. I measured both products, and this one seemed to be a good fit for 60ml bottles of Platinum ink, if I decide to discard their cardboard retail boxes but still want to stack them high in storage. At the time, the store had ample stock of both products, so I figured I wasn't in a hurry to decide or buy; and my focus was on other things on the day. A month later, when I revisited the store for the third or maybe fourth time, it looked to me this product may have been discontinued, even though there was still plenty of units of the 4 Cube Case; the shelf space originally allocated to this has already been repurposed with other plasticky bits and pieces of display stands. Given that there are two other Daiso stores within walking distance, I wasn't too worried; and when I visited another store (slightly further away than the one in Sydney CBD), it had ten or so units of these, which was relatively many. Phew! This could wait. On my next visit, the two shown were the last units on the shelf, and seemed to have been left behind only because they were displaced and obscured by some other products of the sort; so, not that I have any immediate use for these right now, but I pulled the trigger on the spot.

    © A Smug Dill

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  6. From the album: Odds and ends

    Originally posted in:

    © A Smug Dill

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  7. From the album: Paper products

    A page from (still) my favourite A7 notepad product, originally reviewed here: I prefer this to the Maruman m.memo DMP-A7 notepad (which I also bought from Daiso, in spite of it not being a Daiso-branded product) and the Bloc Rhodia No.11 notepad (which Daiso doesn't sell, but is otherwise more widely available, at least here in Australia).

    © A Smug Dill

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  8. bokchoy

    Daiso Riviere Ptr-200

    The Riviere PTR-200 is a cheap pen. That should set the tone for this review. I got it at Daiso some 2 years ago. It was 2 CAD (+ tax ). Others at the time said it was 1.50 USD. Visually, it's a slender plastic pen with a snap cap. The cream plastic is stainable and the body lettering doesn't line up with the nib. But these are minor cosmetic quibbles and this is a cheap pen. More importantly, I have no ergonomic complaints. It's not slippery, it's not unbalanced (since it's so light), it has no sharp edges and it's a good length for most hands. The best part is clearly the nib. It's stamped with Platinum's logo and shaped more traditionally than a Preppy's. Out of the self-adhesive plastic sleeve, my nib was functional but dry. It never skipped and it was great on absorbent paper. They say feedback is one of Platinum's characteristics. I personally liked the tactile feel and felt it improved my handwriting. It would've paired well with a lubricated ink. As I have some dry inks, I adjusted my nib for more flow. Width-wise, well... People said my Lamy EF is too fine and my Pilot M too broad. My Riviere PTR-200's M is somewhere in between. That is all I can say. This is from my ink log. Please draw your own conclusions: In addition to the Platinum nib, this pen accepts Platinum cartridges. A converter is worth several of these pens so I've been refilling the cartridge. Originally, this was going to be something I could lend out or give away. It only got sporadic use. The cap seal is surprisingly decent and prevents hard starts for a week or two. It may last longer but I wouldn't know. Anyway, a spring is visible after removing the clip. Could this pen have one of Platinum's slip & seal inner caps? Although I like the cap seal, I have two complaints. Firstly, the clip is easy to slide off. Secondly, the inner cap is very strong. So strong, it eventually cracks the section! The pen is cheap and I don't expect it to last forever, but a Google search suggests I'm not alone. I was wondering why I had inky fingers. Then I noticed a barely-visible hairline crack: Time for this one to retire. I'm going to sum up this review with 4 words: good innards, cheap exterior.
  9. Buying from Daiso these days is trickier than it used to be. Some items are no longer sold at the headline (and baseline) price that serves as the primary drawcard to get prospective customers browsing, and I'd hazard a guess that most of the items in the store are not made in Japan. Nevertheless, when I have some time to kill, I pop in and look for products that are made in Japan and offered at the brand's baseline price. I picked up one of the B7-sized, 7mm-ruled memo pad in the D-98 series — which, if I'm not mistaken, covers different sizes of the same make — the other day to give it a whirl. This product series has the sort of styling that is seen in numerous Japanese notebooks, including some of the Apica ones; but, unlike the Apica notebooks I have, the colour of the paper in Daiso's D-98 series is cream instead of white. These memo pads are offered with blank pages (and a white top cover) and 5mm line grid paper (with a crimson top cover) as well. The paper weight is not specified, but at a rough guess it's no less than 80g/m². The pad contains 100 sheets and is about 12mm thick including the covers. Binding is by glue at the top edge in portrait orientation, so the entire surface area of each sheet is available on which to be written; that's a plus, with the caveat that the pages can come loose if you tug on it the 'wrong' way, stick a thick-enough backing sheet between pages, or bend a sheet backwards across the spine. The lines are only printed on the recto side, and they are narrow enough and light enough (in a bluish grey colour) so as not to be obtrusive. The verso side of each page is blank; that's another feature I personally like in smaller notepads such as this. Size-wise, it's far more usable than A7 notepads I've tried recently, and at 100 pages per pad I'd argue this product offers better practical value (for the same price) than, say, the 'Smart Working' A7 dot grid notepad which is another Daiso-branded product. But what about performance when used with fountain pen and inks? Sheen: You can get sheen from some inks on the paper in this memo pad, but nowhere near the monster sheen from the 'Smart Working' notepad; and, Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor souboku pigment inks do not exhibit sheen on the Daiso D-98 series as far as I've observed. That might be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences, especially when it comes to the use of 'sombre' (and waterproof!) black and blue-black inks. (Check out the difference in performance of Diamine Iridescink Robert on those two products, though.) Bleed-through: In spite of having thicker paper than in the Daiso 'Smart Working' notepad or Maruman m.memo notepad, I observed more bleed-through with the paper in the D-98 series. However, I'm really talking about a few tiny spots, and only with Platinum Carbon Black (from a Fine nib) and Sailor Shikiori yodaki (from a Stub nib, which I don't imagine would be the common choice of pen/nib to use on a small A7- or B7-sized notepad). Ghosting or show-through: This paper is more resistant to show-through of writing on the other side of the page than either the 'Smart Working' or m.memo pads, by virtue of being significantly thicker in each sheet. Feathering: There is a tiny bit of feathering observed with some inks, when I look closely enough, but I haven't tested this thoroughly enough to conclude whether that's the result of the coating being compromised by skin oils and such in certain spots on the page. On the whole, there is little or no feathering with a variety of fountain pen inks. The coating on this paper seems to pick up (and be observably affected by) oils and grease rather readily. Even though my eyes couldn't pick up the spots of grease on the paper while I was looking at it, my camera had no problem capturing them in photos that weren't specifically focused on doing so. Overall, I'd say the paper quality and coating resilience is best in the Maruman m.memo notepad, then the Daiso 'Smart Working' notepad, and only then this Daiso D-98 series memo pad. However, for the thickness of paper and larger surface area that the latter offers, it is arguably better value than the first two, especially if you prefer cream-coloured paper to bright white or a coolish 'off-white' grey. Would I buy more of these? Probably, but only because the 'Smart Working' notepad is not available in B7 or A6 size (with few pages if need be), as far as I'm aware.
  10. Here it is... a somewhat short review, with rather a lot of pics to tell the story. Rushing round Daiso, on the way out, noticed something somewhat familiar on the way to the checkout, snagged it for leisurely consideration later... Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the Rosso Bianco! Nice sturdy matte black cardboard box. It says 'RB' for Rosso Bianco on the clip, see! And Rosso Bianco on the band! But wait... here's one I prepared earlier...! Twins! Comes with a slim cartridge, black, not b-b as it says on the box, of a variety I've never seen before. Might I guess it bears a passing resemblance to... a Jinhao cartridge? But does it do what it says on the tin (box)?
  11. N.B. This is neither intended nor written as a review of the paper product. I remember reading somewhere that Daiso's 'Complete' range of notebooks made in Indonesia is sufficiently fountain pen friendly. From what I've seen, my conclusion is no, it isn't — in spite of exhibiting good resistance to feathering — and thus a proper review (by me anyway) is not warranted.
  12. Recently I've suckered myself into buying a bunch of different A7 sized notepads that attracted my attention simply by being made in Japan, France or Germany, and offered at 'reasonable' prices in retail stores here. Personally I find A7 to be an awkward and almost useless size, because I have trouble writing decently and with a light hand close to (say, within a margin of 8mm to 10mm from) the right-hand and bottom edges of any notepad, and of course the margin-to-useful-writing-area ratio on an A7 notepad is quite significant. However, it's probably not a bad way to test out certain papers. Anyway, I bought this one from Daiso, for the price at which most of Daiso's products are priced locally. At 11mm, the pad is slightly thicker than the Maruman m.memo DMP-A7 line grid notepad, but offers 20% more pages than the latter. The paper weight is not specified, but I expect it to be on par with if not lighter than the Maruman's, which uses 60g/m² paper. The paper is coated on both sides and not quite bright white, but looks very slightly greyish. The dots on the recto side of each sheet are small and subtle, and the verso side is blank like on the m.memo. Unlike the Bloc Rhodia No.11 notepad and the Maruman m.memo, the sheets are bound by glue along the top edge. The advantage is that the entire page area is available for writing, instead of losing a whopping 13% of it to the staple and the 'stub' of the perforations; and the disadvantage is that the pages could come loose more easily before you're ready to tear them out, or if you're using the notepad as a reporter-style notebook and folding used sheets around the top edge but wanting them to stand attached. Personally, the binding of this notepad is an overall plus for me. On where the stub of the perforations would be at the top of each page, instead of dots there's an area set out for writing the title and the date of the content, and that could be convenient depending on one's note-taking habits. The paper is quite resistant to feathering thanks to the coating, whether writing on the recto or the verso side, but with such lightweight paper ghosting is inevitable. There are a couple of spots of bleed-through where I've allowed the nib to linger while I tried to get my Pilot Elabo inked with Diamine Iridescink Robert to flex. In that regard, the Maruman's paper performed better. The coating on this Daiso paper seems to be a bit more hardy than that on the Bloc Rhodia No.11, but less so than that on the Maruman m.memo. There was one sheet (not shown here in the photos) where I had a feathering problem with one line of writing in KWZI Azure #2 ink; and, sure enough, when I dunked that page in the sink, I can see that the coating over that line/spot has been 'compromised' by something which has the shape of a fingerprint. (Note: After my experience with the Bloc Rhodia, I now cover the rest of the page as best I could with a thick, clean paper napkin as I write on these A7 notepads, and so that fingerprint was probably not mine.) Most inks that are apt to exhibit sheen did so on the paper in this notepad. On the whole, given I'm unlikely to write on both sides of a page on an A7 notepad, I think this is a better buy (for my purposes!) than the Maruman m.memo in that the printed guide markings (as in the dot grid, line grid, etc.) are great and well thought out, the paper performs well enough, and effectively this notepad offers >35% more usuable writing surface per page/notepad than the Maruman m.memo DMP-A7, but I must concede that the Maruman's paper quality is superior.
  13. I picked up a Daiso Rakugaki A5 Sketch Pad while I was in the store yesterday. I'd strongly advise not writing on the pages of one with a fountain pen.
  14. Before Thanksgiving, I googled Daiso paper and Fountain Pen reviews - there are no Daisos in Portland, and I was going to the land of the many Daisos (4 within easy driving distance of relatives). This led me to an unexpected hobby, thanks to TMLee's very detailed review and a lurking bombshell of a link that led me to his "355 Mini" journals. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/314318-the-355-mini An hour later, I emerged from the rabbit hole, hooked! I hauled as many notebooks home as I could (note: there were witnesses, some restraint was displayed). Combined with an old Thomas Guide (detailed map of Portland) and various found items in the house - off I went! Youtube was my friend for single coptic stitch demos. There were (and still are) lots of mistakes, but you learn by doing, and these are perfect for rapid prototyping! There's uneven tension, missed stitches, but I ADORE them! (you can probably guess which one was book #1) I'm now adding flyleaves (limited success - need better paper and to not yank thread in directions that tear the fragile paper). I want to experiment with a pocket, elastic... those are coming soon. I have pockets cut out, elastic purchased. More pix later, but I want to get this posted before I accidentally zap this again (first official thread! first photos! Note to self, find out where things are autosaved). (fingers crossed, gonna hit post now)
  15. Hello all! So I ran across this pen at Daiso in Korea for 3,000 won. (about $2.50) It looked interesting, and came with cartridges, two nibs (f open & ef covered) and a converter. It looked pretty interesting, like a Lamy Safari knockoff, so I picked it up. The nib seems really nice, but I can't for the life of me figure out what brand it is. The only markings are imprints that say "point&line" on the clip and the nib. I've never heard of a fountain pen brand with that name. I'm not an expert, though, just a casual user. Direct comparison with Lamy Safari. The Safari lid is a lot heavier, and the body of the Daiso pen feels cheaper even though it's the same weight with the cap off. But that's expected, considering. Not pictured, but the converter is almost exactly the same as the Lamy converter. The nib Lines 1 & 3 are the Daiso pen F nib with the native ink cartrige (which I hated) and then with Waterman ink. Line 2 is Preppy w/ cartrige Line 4 is Lamy Safari with Waterman ink in F Line 5 is Hero 170a gold nib in EF This nib is crazy smooth -- smoother than my Lamy or my Preppy. And with a decent ink, it laid down a nice fine line. I really like the pen, considering the price, but I'm really curious as to who made it. Anyone have any ideas?
  16. Daiso stationery products are all designed in Japan, but aren't all make there. The very best of their paper products, like the Kraft-bound notebooks, are made in Japan, and that paper is truly delightful. This note, however, is about the A4 loose-leaf binder refills. They come in a pack of 70 sheets, lined and unlined. The lined version is spaced at 60 mm, suitable for those, like me, with small handwriting and fine nibs. Others may wish to use the unlined version and either print their own lines or use a guide sheet. The paper seems to be about 70gsm, and is well-behaved with most inks. Some inks that are more heavily-laden with surfactants (Liberty's Elysium, I'm looking at you) spread just a little, but most others behave just fine. Other than that, I don't see any feathering or bleeding with any of the inks I have used. The paper has a slight matt feel to it. Not quite rough, but not smooth like Maruman, Kokuyo or the Japanese-made Daiso notebooks. Because of this surface, I found that most nibs gave me a bit of feedback. Not very much, but enough for you to feel it. As mentioned above, the paper comes in 70 sheet packs and sell for whatever the basic Daiso price is in your country (AU$2.80 in Australia). That price is not quite as good as Muji, which sells larger packs for a bit more, but is very close. Which is better? I feel that Muji paper is better, but for me, the Daiso shop is more convenient. Also my Daiso shop only has A4 and my Muji shop only has B5. However, both are much cheaper than Kokuyo Campus or Maruman refills at Kinokuniya. The front of my draft of this note. I used a number of inks, including Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher, Monteverde Horizon Blue and Parker Penman Sapphire, in a number of pens with differing nib widths and wetness. There was no feathering or spreading with any of these inks. The back of the paper, showing some show-through, but only a few dots of bleeding.
  17. Heya FPN! At Daiso (a Japanese $1.50 store), I came across this beautiful red fountain pen for $5 and immediately sprung for it. In fact, my hand shot forward on its own. It has "Rosso Bianco" stamped on the cap ring and nib. I searched online and found a Reddit page posted about five days ago and found out that this is a rebranded Jinhao x750, hence why I posted this in the Chinese forum subsection. Here's the link: https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/6aaqs3/i_cant_find_a_review_on_the_rosso_bianco_pen_so/ I've done a small modification to the pen before even trying the cartridge it came with. I stuck a Lamy Z24 converter (seen in one of the photos) and it seems to work! You'll see a lot of feathering in the inky portions of the upper right of the photos, and I'm not used to an M nib. We'll see if it leaks in the future through transport or other means. I don't think it needs a thorough review, but correct me if I'm wrong. Off to continue my novel!

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