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Kickstart the Airfoil Click Pen by Masterstroke

I'm glad that I saw this pen on someone's Instagram, and I'm really glad that Grant (the man behind Masterstroke)  happened to see my comment about how rad the pen looked. He was kind enough to send me a prototype pen to play with and review.

There are fingerprints in the photo above. Please don't use futuristic tech to reproduce my fingerprints and rob banks, leaving my prints behind instead of yours. That'd be rude.
The new Airfoil Click is an improvement on the original Airfoil, I think. The original pen was much more obviously air-frame inspired, and the fins seem like they would have been uncomfortable to use for very long. In contrast, the new Airfoil Click sports only three ribs, and they're broader and smoother than the original design. The ribs that you'll see below are broad, and they have a rounded edge. Pretty comfortable, I think. 

Also gone is the twist mechanism. Apparently people were clamoring for a click-version of the pen that would accommodate a gel or rollerball refill. Grant sent me a Schmidt rollerball, but I've been using a G2 refill in it, and it works really well. There's no tip-rattle on this pen, and I really appreciate that. 

This picture is from the Kickstarter page for this pen. 

The knock used is the same as the one found in the Retrakt and some other pens you might have seen on Kickstarter. It's a good knock with a smooth, quiet action. For some, that action is going to lack the satisfaction of a solid click. The picture below shows that knock in the depressed-stage. It's a handsome bit of hardware, I think. 

The version that I have is the matte black anodized model with an aluminium clip, sliver knock, and a brass-colored tube in the center. You can see a raw aluminum one here, and here, a glossy black here. My matte black is really nicely finished. Everytime I've used this one in public someone comments on the pen. They're surprised by the weight of the pen, and almost everyone has found it to be comfortable to use. Most of the weight is down near the tip, so your hand doesn't actually have to bear that weight when you write with it. That's the proper balance, if you ask me. 

The only problem with this pen is that the clip is aluminum. It's a little to soft and likely to bend, for me. for an extra dollar, you can get a stainless steel version, and that one will be way better.  A bomb-proof pen like this one needs a bomb-proof clip, I think. 

Here's all the parts of the pen, taken apart. 

A close-up of the clip with the "Airfoil" and brand lasered into the metal.

Long story short, I like this aerospace-inspired pen. It's got a great design that will appeal to lots of folks who want a technical or tactical look to their hardware, and it's likely to please those who want some weight to their writing instruments. It's also manufactured really well, without any gaps or loose parts. Check out the kickstarter (for the next 8 days) at this link

Want to watch a video about this pen? Check this one out. I made it. (I don't know why it's vertical. I assume something in the new OS on my phone needs to be adjusted.)

Monk Paper Lokta Notebooks

This is my first review for the Pen Boutique, so thanks to them for providing the notebooks reviewed here. I'd never seen this kind of paper, and it's not something that you're going to find in your neighborhood paper shop (at least, I don't think so).

According to the internet, lokta paper is hand-made from bushes that grow in the Himalayan forests of Nepal. That's pretty neat. It's also billed as eco-friendly and durable. Its' a really thick paper, and it does feel pretty sturdy.

Interestingly, the paper is really light. The notebook below (mine is a different color than the current offerings) is listed at a mere 9.7oz. That's really light for a 6x9 notebook of paper with that thickness.

This notebook would be really interesting for a journal or something of that nature. The strip of bamboo across the top of the page isn't tied to anything, it just seems to be glued to the first page. It does look neat, but I wish it had something to do with the binding. Could also be very cool to pull out when you become a reporter for the Daily Planet.

This paper is smooth on one side, and rougher on the other. The rough side might be good for some brush-work or an art notebook. Pencil, maybe? The other side is smooth, and that's going to be the side that you'll use for pens. I'll have more on the kinds of pens that are best on this paper later in the post.

The hand-made nature of this paper is going to be a big part of its draw. The paper is textured, and there are, occasionally, irregular areas and inclusions like the one below that make it feel pastoral. It's also eco-friendly (non-polluting and renewable), and acid-free. There are all sorts of reasons to check this paper out.

Pen Performance

Like lots of other papers, it really matters what you write with. This paper isn't particularly FP friendly, but it works well with gels and ballpoints. I think, due to the texture of the paper, that a wider point is going to be your friend on this paper. Very fine points are going to hit a ripple and dig-in while a wider point is going to roll right over them. It's also rough enough that pens with a ball-tip are going to be preferable to a fountain pen. I kept getting fibers in the tines of my Sheaffer desk pen (a fine-ish nib).

Another reason not to use a FP on this paper is revealed on the reverse side of the paper. Don't use a porous point pen (Stabilo Point 88, Pilot V-Razor, and the like) on this paper, either. Even a Sharpie Pen (which hardly ever bleeds through) went through this paper.

Gels and ballpoints, on the other hand, were just fine. A fine point rollerball might also be okay, but the fine point didn't feel nice on the paper. That digging-in thing, again.

 The binding in the book-format is a nice, sturdy string binding. It doesn't lay flat, but the light paper is easy enough to hold down while you write. It's probably not going to bug many people.

Some neat Lokta paper facts:

Germ-resistant paper! How about that? I kinda want to test that, but I don't really know what it's supposed to mean. Paper hardly ever gets ill. It does get mouldy, though, so that's probably what it means. According to the internet, this is the paper that political and religious documents were printed on because it tends to last a long time.

There's a lot of ink on the back of this information sheet, but it's not bleed-through. I'm curious about what sort of inks they used when they printed this card. The ink on the back is transfer from the sheet printed immediately before this one, I'd wager.

So, go to Pen Boutique and check out some Lokta paper. It comes in singles and in pads of various sorts, and they seem to be in the $15 range.

Thanks, again, to the Pen Boutique for sending out these notebooks. While these materials were provided at no charge, the review above is entirely based upon my impressions and expressions.

If you'd like to lend your support to, please check me out on

Caran d'Ache Magnetic Blue

Looking a little more blue on my screen than it appears in real life.

This is the other ink in the Caran d'Ache collection that I wasn't sure I would like. It's a dark blue, and I just didn't think that it was very interesting from the swatch. It turns out, though, that it's a pretty good ink. The color is sort of a blue-black, but it also has a sort of dusty look to it. Like an older blackboard that has seen a lot of chalk, but someone cared enough about it to wash it a bit and spruce it up. In fact, the more I used it, the more I liked it.

The behavior of this ink is a real winner. It didn't feather or spread even from the big Christoph nib. That's a lot of ink hitting the page, but this ink maintained tight lines and didn't bleed through significantly. 

Close Ups


 The chromatography betrays the grey that will stick around, and the violet/blue that will wash away. Interesting color combination with these.

Copy Paper Test

 See? Good work, Caran d'Ache.

The price of this ink keeps me from issuing a strong "BUY!" recommendation, but you should get a sample or some cartridges to see if you like it.

Check this ink out at Anderson Pens and other fine retailers.

Water Test and Video Review

This ink sticks around on the page, but it doesn't stick around as a blue. It remains in a grey form that doesn't really look bad at all. Maybe a great ink for ink-wash folks?

If you like what you see here, then please head on over to Patreon to see how you can help support

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

Inkdependence is on Patreon

Hi folks,
I've been running this blog for a few years without any ads at all. I've never had any advertising on the site, and I want to keep it that way. I want to control the content of the blog, and I don't want to worry about an ad service placing ads that I wouldn't want on my blog. Add to that the suspect behavior of some ad services. That left me with a bit of a dilemma. How can I monetize the blog without giving away control over my content?

It would be awesome if this blog were to be self-sustaining, and Patreon seems like a good way to try and do that. Patreon allows people to become patrons of content creators who make things that they love. Sign up at the link above (or in the side bar), and you will be allowed to contribute as much or as little to the blog as you desire.

Don't worry. This blog will always be free. No content will depend upon your becoming a patron. If you don't want to contribute, that's okay. You'll continue to get the same great content that you've come to expect from Inkdependence.

If, on the other hand, you love Inkdependence, and you appreciate my work, you've got the opportunity to contribute to the blog. Any kind of donation will help me to continue to bring awesome content to this blog. I'd love to upgrade my camera equipment, add more video (with a real video camera, even), and grab the newest/coolest things to hit the market as they hit. That'd be awesome.

So, please, consider heading over to Patreon and setting up a monthly donation. Any little bit would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks folks, and I'll see you on the blog.


Caran d'Ache Ultra Violet

Next up, here's an ink that I didn't think I was going to like. It was actually one of the last of these inks that I put in a pen. I don't like purples. As I was using this one, though, I was won-over. It's a solid ink. The performance is super. No bleeding, feathering, or spread on my copy paper. The flow is great, even in the italic nib on this Lamy which tends to be dry.

The color, though, is not as purple as some people might prefer. It's a dark purple, and it could probably pass in a more formal situation. If you're looking for a lighter purple, then you'll want to look else where. This is no shrinking violet.

Check this ink out at Anderson Pens and other fine retailers where it sells for $36 per 50ml bottle.


Copy Paper Tests

 Excellent performance on this common paper. 

 This is a solid purple. There's nothing but purple in this ink, and a bunch of it stays at the bottom of the strip (at the right side of these pictures).


So, I didn't have anything purple inked up, but this Cosmic Cobalt. that's a very blue purple, and nothing like the slightly wine-colored Ultra Violet. Ignore the Aurora Black on the bottom. That had been sitting in that Esterbrook for far too long, and it wasn't working right. I just don't use that pen enough.

Water Drop Test and Video Review

Far more resistance than I would have thought I'd see from a purple, but it does bear out what we saw on the chromatography.

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

Caran d'Ache Organic Brown


The next installment in the Caran d'Ache series is this chocolaty brown. It's also sort of a rich, loamy brown, I think. Maybe I've been digging in the garden too much, though.

The first nib I had this in was the Franklin-Christoph music nib, and it worked pretty well. I actually wrote the top portion of the review, got distracted, and didn't finish it until the next day. The first line next to "Thoughts" is sorta weird. I think the ink got a little dried up in one side of that three-prong nib, and it just wasn't flowing well. I blame the TWSBI 700's feed. It just wasn't meant to feed this nib. I also had the choke closed on the pen, so that'll do it.

Anyway, the shade of this ink is great in that huge nib. It's rich and it's solid.

And...I totally forgot to fill out a couple of the spaces in the review. There's no real problem with the flow. It got going again, even in the music nib, and it worked out fine. There's a little bit of feather and bleed on the copy paper (you'll see it below), but nothing major.


Not pictured, below, is the Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown. I'd already taken it out of my pen by this point. I think I like Hazelnut a little more, but you can decide for yourself.


Copy Paper Test

It behaves pretty well, but not as well as the Hazelnut I reference above. It's not a huge difference, but it's there.

Check this ink out at Anderson Pens and other fine retailers.

Water Test and Review Video

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.