JetPens Blog

JetPens Blog

August 11, 2011 - Posted by Elizabeth to Pencils

Have you ever noticed that some pencils write with really light lines and some pencils come out smudgy and dark? This can be explained by what type of lead the pencil has. Leads range from hard, light-marking leads to soft, dark-marking leads in both wooden bodies and mechanical pencils.

Leads are usually classified by a 2 digit number + letter system. H stands for "Hardness" and B stands for "Blackness". The more H's you have, the harder the lead and the lighter the lines. The more B's you have, the softer the lead and the darker the lines. In the middle, you'll find the most common lead grade HB, which is equivalent to a #2 pencil and what is usually the included default lead in most mechanical pencils.

In order, the leads are (from hardest to softest):
9H | 8H | 7H | 6H | 5H | 4H | 3H | 2H | H | F | HB | B | 2B | 3B | 4B | 5B | 6B | 7B | 8B | 9B
Typically, leads ranging from 4H to 4B are easily available on the market.

JetPens carries a variety of lead grades in both mechanical pencil lead and wooden pencil format. Mechanical pencil leads, like the hugely-popular Pentel Stein Enhanced Silica lead line or the Uni-ball NanoDia leads , are generally available in grades ranging between 4H and 4B. Sturdier wooden pencils like the Uni-ball Hi-Uni line, have a significantly larger range of 10H-10B lead types available!

How do you pick which lead is right for you? If you want sharp, crisp lines and you write with a light hand, then a higher H value lead is good for you. If you write with a heavy hand, then you want a lead that won't break under pressure and so a higher B value is good for you. Higher H's can be brittle and are typically better for drafting purposes, and higher B's are good for shading. Keep in mind that softer or higher B leads leave more lead on the paper, and so are used up more quickly than higher H leads.

Do you have a favorite grade of lead to use?
August 8, 2011 - Posted by Lucy to Felt / Porous Tip Markers

The ink of the Pilot FriXion pen is thermosensitive - it becomes clear when it is exposed to heat. This special video submitted by customer Gentian shows how the ink becomes transparent when exposed to heat from a tea kettle and reappears when exposed to cold air from a freezer. The Pilot FriXion line is available at JetPens available in a variety of different gel ink pens, markers and even highlighters! Read about our other erasable gel pens here.
August 5, 2011 - Posted by Elizabeth to Mechanical Pencils

Here at JetPens we have a wide variety of different drafting pencils. In particular, we carry some of the best lead holder available! Lead holders (also known as clutch pencils) use thicker leads, usually between 2 mm - 4 mm and generally only hold one piece of lead at a time. The thickness of the lead however, makes these instruments perfect for larger area shading when sketching or drafting.

The newest addition to our line of lead holders are the E+M Workman Long and Pocket Clutch Lead Holders. These are made from natural wood and have a unique 5.5 mm thick lead. Sharpeners and refill lead are also available.

(Long version pictured first, Pocket version second.)

The Rotring Rapid Pro Lead Holder - 2 mm - Silver Body is a beautifully constructed lead holder, perfect for the professional. The all metal body has a sleek silver finish and a traditional knurled grip. As a bonus feature, the cap has blades inside to sharpen your 2.0 mm lead point!

The Lamy Scribble Drafting Pencil - 3.15 mm - Aluminum Clip has a unique chunky look, which a lot of people find more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. The clip is detachable, allowing you to choose a more streamline look. Lead refills are available.

Lastly, the Staedtler Silver Series 2 mm Lead Holder is another full metal bodied lead holder, with the added convenient feature of a lead grade indicator. Lead refills are available in different grades, as well as colors.

You can view all of our lead holders here.
August 4, 2011 - Posted by Elizabeth to Pen Pics

Here's a belated post showing our favorite customer images selected from our Facebook for the month of July!

Picture 1 from Nada: This well-rounded order includes some of our favorite items, like the Midori Animal Shape D-Clips, a couple Nomadic Pencil Cases and the Pilot Petit pens!
Picture 2 from Carlos: All the way from Mexico, Carlos shows off the JetPens products he uses along with his other art supplies.
Picture 3 from Kami: This adorable photo shows a young pen enthusiast in training, surrounded by Sakura Gelly Roll pens, Micron drawing pens and a bunch of other neat items. Who knew that JetPens products were so tasty?
Picture 4 from Gentian: This beautiful calligraphy was done with the Kaweco Calligraphy Pen Set. You're so talented Gentian!

Thanks for sharing these pictures with us!

You too can be a JetPics Favorite and win prizes! Just join our Facebook and/or Flickr groups and upload a photo of your work. Make sure to let us know which JetPens products you used, and bonus points for featuring our mascots, logo or name!
August 2, 2011 - Posted by Elizabeth to Gel Ink Pens

Oftentimes you need to use ink pens when writing on documents or when taking notes. But alas, what if you make a mistake? Fortunately, JetPens carries a few different brands of erasable pens so that you can correct any errors made with these special ink pens.

There are three main types of erasable ink pens:

1. Thermo-sensitive Erasable Ink Pens
The ink becomes transparent when exposed to heat such as that from friction. The heat makes the ink completely transparent, for a true erased effect.

The Pilot FriXion line is an excellent example of this technology, and is available in a variety of different gel ink pens, markers and even highlighters!

The Uni-ball Fanthom gel ink pens also have a thermo-sensitive ink, and will erase cleanly by using the rubber sides of the cap.

**Please note that because of the nature of these ink formulas, we strongly advise against storage in any high temperature areas (don't leave these pens in a hot car), and we recommend to avoid high friction situations where your papers may be rubbing together (shuffling a stack of papers written on with these pens etc).

2. Erasable Ink Pens + Ink Erasing Marker

The other type of erasable pen is the one that comes with a partner, the "eraser" pen. These pens erase when a separate erasing ink is applied.

The Stabilo Point 88 Colorkilla Erasable Fineliner Marker Pens we carry do not erase by heat, nor do they need a rubber eraser to remove ink. Instead, this pen set contains a special eraser pen that makes the ink vanish when applied!

The white "Colorkilla" pens in this set will make the ink of the specially marked "erasable" pens disappear completely. Since any areas covered with the Colorkilla ink will not take the erasable pens any longer, Stabilo conveniently includes matching colors of their standard Point 88 Fineliner pens, so that you can write over these erased areas with ease.

3. Traditional Erasable Ink Pens

Lastly, we have the erasable ink pens that rub away with an ink eraser such as the Uni-ball Signo gel ink pens.

Like pencils, these erasable gel ink pens need the rubber eraser on their cap end to erase. This traditional method is used not only in pens but also in highlighters, such as with the Uni-ball Propus Erasable Highlighters.

With some many different styles of erasable pens available, it may be hard to choose! Do you have a favorite erasable pen from JetPens?