Monday, December 12, 2011

Comparing Rapidograph Pens

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Rapidograph technical pens are pricey little buggers that can be intimidating for the uninitiated.  I'm not claiming I'm not intimidated or uninitiated, but I've got a couple of Rapidograph pens in my growing overpriced pen collection, and I thought I'd share the little I know.

1. I am AWARE of two brands currently producing Rapidograph tech pens- Koh-I-Noor and Rotring.  There may be more brands, I just haven't encountered them.  Within these two brands, I know that Koh-I-Noor Rapido-Sketch pens are different from their Rapidograph tech pens.  I bought the Rapido-Sketch pen a couple years ago because it was on super sale and I wanted to test it out (having heard good things about Rapido-Graphs), but I've never been able to get it to work.

Pure class at MY house.
From top to bottom:  Koh-i-noor Rapido-Sketch filled with Koh-i-noor drawing ink (not the ink at left, that was included with my Rapido-Sketch) in a ridiculously small size (.03, I believe), a Koh-I-Noor Rapido-Graph technical pen in size .8 (which I use for ruling out borders) filled with that same ink, and a Rotring Rapidograph in a .7.  I have yet to use the Rotring, so I can't talk about performance.

The Rotring comes with a prefilled cart, but the nib is not assembled (its in the plastic casing to the right of the Rotring cart), so there probably isn't much ink choice.  The Koh-I-Noor is filled by the user, and the ink container is fairly small.  Depending on where you buy your Rapidographs, you can pay anywhere from 14$ to 29$, and some of the Koh-i-Noor sizes are on backorder.