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Thread: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

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    Default Pen Reviewers, Handwriting, Artistry, and Noteworthy Websites

    I know that there are many people out there who could benefit from reviewers. There's a lot of them - some good, some bad, some sing (imagine karoke night at the American Legion), some shout. But where do you start?

    Here are some who are Top Tier Youtube reviewers. This is not to say I agree with their reviews in total, BUT all have aspects of pen reviews I think are worthwhile, particularly to the new person. Some review high-dollar pens, others review less expensive pens, but all offer something - credibility, presence, and subjective objectivity.

    Start with these guys. If you never go beyond them, you're way ahead in the pen game.

    SBRE Brown - as good as it gets in so many ways. Smart, dry humor, fast.
    Figboot on Pens - tends to review high dollar pens, but he's very knowledgeable and dependable. Doesn't waste your time.
    Gourmet Pens - She's smart, knows her pens, and hits things others don't.
    Brian Sizemore - Vintage pens. We need more vintage pens.
    Quick Fountain Pen Reviews Outstanding. Best I've seen lately.


    Though I prefer those reviewers who have substance over style with a get-to-the-point and less meandering, I still included the now-defunct 'The Pen Habit' and a couple of others who aren't active reviewers.

    My pet peeves are excessive and useless verbiage, personal life meanderings, general silliness, little to no forethought of what needs to be said and how to say it, trite expressions such as 'like, you know, that's how I roll,' etc. Add to that those who are totally unprepared and constantly scrounging around for pens, supplies, writing pads.


    "Live Chats" are a living hell for me and are as interesting as hearing Aunt Gladys talk about her bunions to a room full of cats. (Pen Addict, Mike Matteson). You may like the slow and exceedingly dull pace as does Aunt Gladys.

    Hell is also 95% of pen show videos (Mike Matteson and almost everyone else). If you're going to do a Pen Show video for God's sake stop moving the camera around like a drunken sailor. Find something interesting, focus on it, pan slowly if you must, and stop roaming around thinking you're giving the flavor of the show as you're not unless the flavor is vertigo. Stop thinking you're funny If and giving a running commentary like a late-night television comedy monologue. If you want your video to be like old home movies that's great, but I don't really cares about your home movies.

    Most important to you Youtube reviewers - EDIT-EDIT-then EDIT some more. There might be 10 minutes at most in each hour that's interesting. The rest is boring and vomit-inducing.

    If you're going to cover a pen show, watch how Inky Rocks does it. She's the best.

    There are others you'll find on this list who start their shows by shouting about Patreon (Mike Matteson) that I find obnoxious to listen to and watch as time-wasters. I'll confess to my prejudices but I've included them because other FPGs have mentioned them and you can form your own opinions.

    I've deliberately left out retailers like Goulet, Goldspot, Jet Pens, etc., and manufacturers. While they have some good information on Youtube, they're not anywhere close to objective about the pens and merchandise they sell.

    After a while, you'll see the 500th review of a TWSBY, Lamy Safari, Metropolitan, and many of the same pens over, and over, and over again. Nothing new, no great insights, just the same repeated review by a new reviewer. Boring.

    It won't take you long to discover who is adding to your pen life and who is Aunt Gladys talking to her cats.

    All of my opinions and comments are subjective - what else could they be? That's why I'll tell you to watch them all.

    Some I like, you might hate. Some I dislike, you may love. There's few on this list that at first I liked but as time went on I got bored and found they weren't very knowledgeable, and others I didn't care for, but slowly came to trust. This doesn't mean they're not good people; in some cases just means they're not good reviewers.


    Rather than add a lot of URLs, just go to Youtube and do a search.


    In addition to my top tier, this next batch are great to watch.


    Inkluminati Vintage and modern. Excellent writing samples. Hector is a sharp guy and witty. A+.
    jk_pens - Knowledgeable, succinct, solid.
    The Pen Collector - European slant with pens and brands you rarely see in the US. Thoughtful, informative, knows his pens. Lots of older Montblanc pens.
    waski squirrel - Highly entertaining. You'll see pens here that no one else covers. Unlike many, he doesn't take himself seriously. Honestly refreshing.
    Grandmia Pens - knows his pens, solid reviews. Great repair videos. Lots of vintage pens.
    Scrively - Good reviews, great accent, knowledgeable
    Gentleman of the Pen - Beautifully photographed, great voice, smart guy. In a class by himself. A thinking person's reviewer.
    What I Ink - Solid reviews, gets to the point. One of the better reviewers. Good Esterbrook repair videos.
    A.ZY.LEE - Silent reviews well done. Other reviewers could learn from watching to demonstrate more and talk less.
    InkNeedLastForeverNathan Tardif of Noodler Ink. Some love him - some hate him. I like him.


    In this bunch you'll find some good review information and time-wasters. It's up to you to decide which is which.

    The Pen Habit - now defunct. Great production values, spent a boatload of money, but money didn't buy pen credibility.
    chrisrap52 - never met a garish Chinese or strikingly ugly expensive pen he didn't love. Has inconsistent ratings that make you say, 'WTF'. I'm sure he's a nice guy but slow to get the pen unboxed and get on with the show. Still, he's better than most.
    Troy LePlante - a variety of pens new and old - Down to earth, good repair tips..
    OdE- I believe this guy is Portuguese, interesting take on things. Creative.
    Fountain Pen Journey - Buys lots of pens. Spends hours on unboxing, takes three times longer than necessary, and is often lost while wandering on his journey. If he'd condense it down by 2/3s it would improve.
    Penultimate Dave - boring. Another Pen Show video vertigo professional.
    JG3 - Likes inexpensive metal pens with down-to-earth reviews from a nice guy.
    PenBoyRoy - Imagine an attitude from someone in a bar who thinks he's a badass but makes you giggle instead.
    Pens and Tea - Too much tea, not enough pens.
    Aarons pen videos - sometimes the background noise drowns out what he's saying. SPEAK UP! Wordy and repetitive.
    Mick L- A nice Australian reviewer who gets better with experience. A freelance opera singer.
    Pier Gustafson
    JPL - Interesting guy from Australia, but often slow to get on with it. Wordy.
    Pen Addict - I'll admit I can't get past the first five minutes without feeling depressed from the noise to signal ratio. Still looking for the signal.
    Chris Saenz - Showing 30 TWSBI pens in different colors does not make one a reviewer nor entertaining.
    Douglas Rathbun - Please stop singing and playing the guitar.These are reviews you've seen elsewhere with nothing new. The last review I tried to watch he spent the first 3:45 minutes singing and unboxing a frigging Amazon Basic pen.
    Mike Matteson - Hard for me to listen to after 10 seconds, takes forever to get to the point, but others like him. Needs to learn how to shoot Pen Show videos and edit for content.
    Fountain Pen Insanity - lots of nice pens, but that's about it.
    Joshua Danley - obsessed with Pelikans if you like Pelikans.
    Inquisitive Quill
    Kpurpose10 !
    nswecronos - Interesting pen videos, likes to frankenpen at times but makes it work, has good ideas.
    Seele2015au - not your average Lamy, TWSBI, typical ad nauseum reviews. Interesting pens, wish he was current.
    ziptrickhead - Good stuff. Wish he was still making vids.
    shari zeck
    Liz McGuire


    Vintage Pens

    Brian Sizemore (vintage)
    Inkluminati


    Handwriting, Calligraphy, and Drawing with Fountain Pens

    CJ's Creative Studio
    John Neal
    Barbara Nichols
    Inkluminati
    iampeth
    David Nichols
    Teoh Yi Chie
    Peter Draws


    There are a few YouTubers that go beyond simple pen and ink reviews. Some of them express more without a spoken word than many can do speaking volumes. Often their photography, thoughts, and passion result in exceptional examples of artistry. We need more of these people who go beyond reviews into the realm of transcendence and beauty.

    It's difficult to classify them so I'll just call it -

    Pen Artistry

    Liz Butcher
    The Hardcore Dilettante
    Inky Rocks
    Leigh Reyes
    Gentleman of the Pen
    Arvid Al Chalabi
    Masters of the Fountain Pen - Michael T. Shue Studios


    Websites of interest
    http://www.nibgrinder.com/
    https://inkyfountainpens.wordpress.com
    http://inkophile.wordpress.com/
    https://www.fpnibs.com
    http://www.mainstreetpens.com/index.htm
    https://goodwriterspens.com/
    https://vintagepens.com/
    https://antiquedigger.com/collections/pens
    https://www.lbepen.com
    http://www.penhero.com/
    https://www.sbrebrown.com/
    https://nickstewart.ink/

    Looking for new reviewers and informative websites particularly in vintage pens and artistry.
    Cheers.
    Sg
    Last edited by sgphoto; Yesterday at 08:01 PM. Reason: update

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Have fun. Pen videos drive me absolutely nuts.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    If I'm looking for a pen, I don't really care who made the video review, photo review or any kind of review (including Amazon). I just want to see the dimensions, how it looks like vs other standard pens, and pro vs cons. Then I will draw myself a conclusion if I will get or not that pen.

    It is difficult to be objective when review a pen, that is the reason to read and see as many reviews as I can find.

    Also I think some of Youtube pen reviews are annoying, different folks getting their own style...


    Grandmia Pens has a lot of English Vintage pens: https://www.youtube.com/user/penkino1/videos
    Unsharpen has a lot of reviews about ballpoint, gel and pencils, but sometimes he get confused or misinformed.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Have fun. Pen videos drive me absolutely nuts.
    Likewise.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Have fun. Pen videos drive me absolutely nuts.
    Likewise.
    Was it really worth you two responding to this thread then ? He wants to make a list not have people say why they do not watch any of them...

    The ones I watch are a subset of the OPs plus
    Penultimate Dave

    Key thing with any is to get used to what they like as their own tastes will reflect their views. Stephen Brown is rather vocal on the fact his reviews will always be biased by his own preferences and that is only natural.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by dapprman View Post
    Was it really worth you two responding to this thread then ? He wants to make a list not have people say why they do not watch any of them...
    Speaking only for myself, I've gotten to know SG a little bit and just gave him my perspective, along with wishing him a good time. I trust Matt's (PenHabit) vids above most, but I simply don't have 20-30 minutes to spare to get info that could be read in a couple minutes. Everyone has different takes on this, I just value my time in a different way. I hope SG wasn't bothered by my comment.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dapprman View Post
    Was it really worth you two responding to this thread then ? He wants to make a list not have people say why they do not watch any of them...
    Speaking only for myself, I've gotten to know SG a little bit and just gave him my perspective, along with wishing him a good time. I trust Matt's (PenHabit) vids above most, but I simply don't have 20-30 minutes to spare to get info that could be read in a couple minutes. Everyone has different takes on this, I just value my time in a different way. I hope SG wasn't bothered by my comment.
    Not bothered at all. Sometimes I beg the reviewers to "get on with it" and less talk about their personal life. SBRE Brown moves quickly, even when his videos are over 10 minutes and gives me real world information. Brown has the reviewing style I prefer.

    Matt Armstrong had great production values, but often not enough time spent on the pens plus I grew tired of listening to his life stories and problems. He comes across as needy and obsessive/compulsive, but there is good information to be found if you keep your finger on the fast-forward button. I hope that he's doing well since he retired from reviews a couple years ago.

    The benefit of Youtube is that the viewer can see lots of pens, hear different viewpoints, see various inks, see different nibs in action, and a host of other things that would otherwise take years of pen show, books, and research.

    One can describe a pen, talk about it, and tell you how it writes, but watching a demo and seeing the pen makes a bigger impression and gives me more information faster that I could get otherwise. What's interesting is when several reviewers review the same pen and all hit certain points that are relevant to them.

    To say reviews have saved me money is true. I'm less thrilled about the high-end Visconti, Sailor, and Pelikan pens now than when I started out seeing the various problems some of these very expensive pens exhibit. YMMV.

    I've also discovered Chinese and Indian-made pens where a good writer can be had for about a 1/5 of the price of the latest acrylic garish Pen du Jour. Without Youtube reviewers I wouldn't have discovered this as it's not in the major retailer's financial interest to so advise me.

    I've also seen why many vintage pens are so much better than modern-day pens, both in nibs and style. Again, all the reading in the world can't replace seeing an old vintage nib easily flex.

    Of course, everyone has their opinion of what matters to them. I don't expect or want agreement as I might be wrong and am willing to entertain different opinions.

    But I am thankful there are Youtube pen reviewers.

    Cheers Jon, and best regards.
    Sg

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    But I am thankful there are Youtube pen reviewers.
    And therein lies the delight of the infinite variety of the world. To each their own, and we're all better off for it!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Oh, I also noticed that SG didn't list two of the most popular reviewers I've seen pop up recently:



    Last edited by Jon Szanto; March 3rd, 2020 at 06:09 PM.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Pens and Tea

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    I donít have any more reviewers to add. I enjoy watching sbrebrown, figboot, penhabit, and gourmet. I know they have a particular preferences in their own right but I do still like their review styles and energy.


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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Penboyroy
    Pelahale
    Aarons pen videos
    Mick L
    Gadgetstop123

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    Last edited by TSherbs; March 3rd, 2020 at 06:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Pelahale
    Sadly, he has removed all his videos, including the excellent ones on the PFM and P51.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Most pen reviews have become waaaay too long of late.

    Nevertheless, in the interests of greater completeness:

    Pier Gustafson
    JPL
    Chris Saenz
    Nick Shabazz
    Adventure Denali
    Douglas Rathbun
    Mike Matteson
    Fountain Pen Insanity
    Inky Rocks
    Joshua Danley
    Scrively
    Gentleman of the Pen
    Last edited by catbert; March 3rd, 2020 at 06:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Pelahale
    Sadly, he has removed all his videos, including the excellent ones on the PFM and P51.
    Oh no! His Aurora 88 video was great too. Interesting musings on consumption, collecting/hoarding as well.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Pelahale
    Sadly, he has removed all his videos, including the excellent ones on the PFM and P51.
    Oh no! His Aurora 88 video was great too. Interesting musings on consumption, collecting/hoarding as well.
    Sorry I missed him.

    Speaking of collecting/hoarding, I found it interesting that within a couple of years of getting involved with pens, Matt Armstrong of "The Pen Habit" said he had spent over $20,000.00 on pens. He said it was money he didn't have to spend.

    I think for some people that type of behavior is very common and is personality driven. If it wasn't pens, it would be something else. Spending a few bucks out of your budget is one thing - spending $20,000.00 you don't have is another.

    We all obsess, but most of us manage to pull back from self-destruction. Matt didn't and I think he did himself both immediate and lasting harm personally and professionally.

    Pens are a hobby. It's fun and I manage to spend several dollars each month on them and related paraphernalia. But please don't go into debt buying pens or anything else. It's not life or death - it's pens.

    Sg

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by dapprman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Have fun. Pen videos drive me absolutely nuts.
    Likewise.
    Was it really worth you two responding to this thread then ? He wants to make a list not have people say why they do not watch any of them...
    Sorry to cause you such evident offence! It's a point of view. They happen in groups like this.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Have fun. Pen videos drive me absolutely nuts.
    Couldnt agree more.

    There is one reviewer called Penultimate Dave who could just as easily be reviewing packaging design and plastics.

    If thats the reason why you buy a modern pen then you will like his vids, I find them to be exceptionally boring and their tedium is only matched by their frequency.

    His slow dull voice doesnt help, I watch You Tube vids on the TV, when this reviewer comes up on the recommended listing, my OH shouts 'Switch Mogodon Man off'.

    She uses a certain verb in her request.

    The only pen reviewer that I enjoy is Stef on Grandmia Pens, he is a character and gives a bit of insight into his restoration techniques.
    Last edited by Fermata; March 4th, 2020 at 03:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Stef (Grandmia Pens) is quite the laugh. Restoration, interesting pens, and what an accent! Love it.
    "Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?"
    ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
    .

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    Default Re: Pen Reviewers on Youtube

    Stopped watching YouTube reviews a while back. They become a bit samey after a while, with several that mimicked Brown's structure (I'll tell what I like about the pen, what I don't like, and then do a writing sample) too closely.


    Like Jon, I prefer to read something for now. I used to enjoy Laura's stuff on Fountain Pen Follies, but that blog looks defunct with no entries for 5 months.

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