Policy - ink between the teeth

Policy

Sponsors

I started working for JetPens in September 2018. As an employee, I can purchase discounted products. However, these items are purchased with my own funds, and I'm never expected to write reviews about them. I just do this for fun!

As of fall 2017, I am sponsored in part by the Massdrop writing community. I can request samples of products, or I am sent them free of charge, and write reviews. These will be posted in the writing community, and linked to on this site. You can get involved in the community by going to Massdrop and signing up, or by visiting my referral link.

If you are a distributor looking for someone to review a product, or would also like to be a sponsor of Ink Sharks, you can send me an e-mail at gpharaonis (at) gmail.com or by using the contact form.

I will not take compensation for a review, whether to give a positive one or to expedite the process. However, I will work to ensure that a product is reviewed in a timely manner (within two weeks if it's an ink, a month if it's a pen). I think that's only fair!

I want to be as open as I possibly can about how I get the products that are featured on this site. 90% of the time, I purchase it with my own money. I will disclose immediately and clearly if the item was provided to me for free.

Review Standards

Reviews are scanned using a Canon CanoScan, and I take photos with a Canon EOS Rebel T3. I color correct to the best of my ability, but I can't guarantee my screen will match yours. My reviews can only be approximations. I hope that you take what you read here and combine it with other reviews if possible to get the best idea of how something would look to and work for you.

Ink: I use Pilot Penmanship fitted with a stock feed and medium nib. I also fill one of my "regular carry" pens with the ink and use it for at least a week.

I split reviews across two fountain pen friendly papers: Kokuyo Campus High Grade, and Tomoe River. Kokuyo Campus High Grade is Kokuyo's high-end paper. It's a soft white color and on par with Rhodia. Tomoe River paper is a soft white color and very smooth.

This is the information that I include in every review:
  • Swab: I swab a sample of the ink using a q-tip.
  • Dry time: I draw a plus sign, count, then rub a dry finger across the mark.
  • Waterproofness: I use the medium nib to write out sample text, then drip water onto the text. This water is then immediately soaked off with a paper towel.
  • Shading and sheen: I will write five lines of text using a medium nib, then a filled fountain pen. This is, to me, the best way to show off any shading and sheen that may be present in the ink. I will also write out text on Tomoe River paper.
  • Comparison: I swab ink on Strathmore 400 drawing paper, then compare the reviewed ink to others in my collection.
Fountain pens: I will test fountain pens on Kokuyo Campus High Grade paper using an ink that is both "safe" and that I have experience with, usually Pilot Iroshizuku.

I try to use fountain pens for at least two weeks before I write a review. This way I can have a firmer handle on what the pen feels like in hand for long and short writing sessions.

Paper: I will test all pens I have inked and available on paper. I own and use about twelve fountain pens, which vary in nib sizes (but skew to the broader side). I also have a variety of inks, all of which have their own properties with regards to dry time, wetness, sheen, etc.