Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fountain Pen Friendly Steno Pads

As many folks who use fountain pens also search for just the right notebook to use I have done the same.  Finding paper that is fountain pen friendly locally and at a reasonable price can be challenging.

I do not like the prices (and shipping costs) of Moleskines, Clairefontaine, Rhodia and some of the others.  I can get Moleskine notebooks locally at Target and I appreciate that Target has decided to carry a premium notebook.  I do carry and use the pocket notebooks.  I find Moleskine to be of good quality, but lacking when it comes to paper that does not prevent fountain pen ink feathering or bleed-through any better than the cheaper off-the-shelf pads at the local office supply store.

I have used Staple's own brand of steno pads with some good results with some inks and only with one or 2 of my pens.

I had an old Universal steno pad and it worked fine with most inks and pens I use.

I also had an old Ampad 25-274 steno pad that worked with most pens and inks and had bleed-through enough to be seen from the back of the written page, but not enough to leave the little tell-tale dots and such on the next blank page.

The local store was out of new ones so I purchased a Tops Docket.  This pad is about twice the price of a normal run-of-the-mill steno pad.  The paper is heavy, construction is good, the back is strong so it can be hand-held for use, and the paper does not feather or bleed through.

These are the scans of my tests.
The next set of scans is of my tests with the Ampad 25-274

And Moleskine:
So price-wise the 25-274 beats them all.  The reverse side of the written page of the Moleskine is no better or worse than the 25-274 pad using Quink or Scrip inks.  The advantage of the Moleskine is the size; it fits my pocket.

Ampad 25-274 $3.85, 80 pages made in U.S.A.
Docket Gold $6.59, 100 pages, made in U.S.A.
Moleskines 3.5 inch by 5.5 inch, $12.00, 192 pages, made in China

Paper and writing quality of the Docket is smooth and effortless.
The same can be said of the Ampad.
The Moleskine is a bit scratchy with my fine nib pens.

Everyone has their favorite.  For everyday note taking I prefer the Ampad.

I have many other notebooks and hope to post some reviews when I use them.  Maybe I will have more pens and some different inks when I do those.  Perhaps I will even find one that will not scribble.

ooops I am the cause of the scribbles.

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled acros your blog, sir. Nice! I have to say that I too have found Moleskine paper to be pretty disappointing considering the price. Too much bleed-through and every second page had a waxy feel which prevented the nibs from getting any grip, thus causing no ink flow.
    I've had better luck with Rhodia, but the best of all has been a cheap recycled paper by O'Bon. Thick, great quality with no bleed-through.