Into the Book


They say a good tradesman doesn’t blame his tools. But it has also been said that such a tradesman is only as good as his tools. Although this in no way implies a writer with a crayon cannot write a good story, it is safe to say that inspiration does flow a sight better with the rolling of a good ballpoint pen, or the scratch of a sharpened pencil. Thus, knowing about such tools and the qualities that add to them being worth their salt makes for a good beginning, and that is exactly what I hope to achieve here.


There are a hundred ways to skin a cat, and probably a whole lot more ways to review a writing utensil, but I am a very candid, no-nonsense sort of person, so I will be striking at the key points that I have found to make the tools of the writing trade a help or a hindrance to the craft. So – with that brief introduction, my first item up for review is an old faithful of mine: Artline 200, Fine 0.4.

Artline’s 0.4 has been my main tool for journalling during the past five years. It is light, simple to grip, and has great ink flow that rarely ever smudges (as a left-hander, this is a huge plus for me). It has an impressive lifespan, proven by the fact I only used two of these to fill a year-long journal. It is a great allrounder, and a pleasure to use.

fineline-3Having said all that, though a favourite, it does have its flaws. Whilst it has a great ink lifespan, the nib shows considerable wear after a short period of time. When brand new, the rounded tip makes contact with the paper on all angles. However after wearing in, the nib flattens out so that you need to have the pen almost perfectly upright before it writes smoothly. Otherwise, the edge leave sharp scratches on the paper.

When brand new, the Fine Artline lives up to its name, but given time and use, that fine line becomes more uneven, and intermittent in quality. As you can see, it is still usable and the ink still flows well at the right angle, but it does take more of a knack (and a little frustration) to get it to work nearly as good as it once did.


Even so, the reliability of the ink has always been an asset, and this pen’s strongest point. There have been very few Fineliners have I lived long enough to see run completely dry, and I have done plenty of inking in my hand-lettering to test this. So whilst the nib can be a bit of a let down, this pen is a handy one to have along; whether that be for taking notes, inking, designing, or novelling.

(inked primarily by this pen)


fineline1Buy the Artline Fineliner and support ItB

Published on 5 November, 2015. Last updated on

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