Product Review: Brustro Technical Pens Assorted Pack of 6

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Rating: 4 out of 5

When it comes to cooking, I am all about using local produce and trying to eat foods that are typically indigenous to the area I'm living in. Moral of the story: while in India, gorge myself on mangoes, of course. #C'estLaVie

 For some reason, when it comes to art supplies, it's all about the Japanese pigments, or German pens, or French brushes, or Indian Ink, and the like. See what I did there? [grin]

Several years ago, I realized that we seem to be underestimating the art supplies available in India when it comes doing anything more serious than a child's drawing. Keeping that in mind, I have been buying and using art supplies from Indian brands that are made in India and have found that most of the time, they are on par or even better than some of the more popular, more expensive, international brands.

One such Indian brand is Creative Hands. As far as I can tell, their only homegrown product is 'Brustro' that includes a wide range of pens, markers, paper, canvas rolls, and other art equipment. Surprisingly, the one item that seemed obvious (because of the name) doesn't seem to feature in their product list on its own. Maybe they were being ironic?

Anyhoo, we are reviewing Brustro's Technical Pen set of 6!  Ta da! {trumpet sounds}


I have had this assorted pack of technical pens for over a year now and use it fairly regularly. So far, I am really happy with it and satisfied about what it does for the price it's available at.

The above drawing was done completely using the pen set and you can see that I don't just use it, I abuse it. Probably why hardiness of a technical pen has had a lot of bearing in my rating of this product set.


Tip:

This set has 6 nib sizes; starting from 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.8mm. Unsurprisingly, the one I use most often is the 0.05mm because I usually use it to lay down the first draft of an illustration. And, I absolutely love it!

I wish the set included a nib size that was higher than 0.8mm though. Most of the time, when I am drawing human figures, I use my Brustro 0.05mm needlepoint and then move to some other brand's technical pen that is either 1.0mm or 1.5 even. Having said that, you can always make your lines thicker, it's harder to have a good steady, small nib sized pen. And, these deliver on that promise!

Creative Hands also claims these are Japanese nibs but I have no test for that. #butofcourse

BUT, they do definitely have metal tubes to hold onto the nibs and are quite hardy. You'll know why I say that so often as you keep reading.


Toughness:

One of the tests of hardiness I do for technical pens is use it in an acute angle for a while (aigu a-cute accent, anyone?). Most technical pens are designed to be used at a 90-degree angle to the page but can tolerate some degree of acuteness of how its held. But, since holding a pen like that for long periods of time is not our natural style of writing, it can get tiring very quickly and if you abuse the resilience of your technical pens, you could damage them forever.

I was incredibly surprised and happy to find these Brustro pens seemed to survive my worst scratchy efforts to ruin them. I didn't have to try to ruin them really. Knowing my penchant for idly doodling on paper with my head laid down on the table - with a technical pen, no less (I can hear the horror in your gasp!), it was easy.

I have also dropped these pens...countless times! Each time my heart quakes (a lot more than if I had dropped my phone) but breathe a sigh of relief that the pens are fine. It's not that they are expensive, it's just the loss of a pen, you know? It hits ya hard! [holler at me if you get what I mean]


Ink:

The ink is archival quality and fast drying. The fast-drying part is true for all the nib sizes except the 0.8mm one, I feel. But I am not sure if I should attribute that to the kind of papers I have used it on or the pen, so you could dismiss this point until you have tried it on your own. The ink doesn't smear or soak-through (or is the term bleed-through?) and produces clean line strokes on most drawing papers. In an attempt to test its toughness, I have tried it on watercolor paper, canvas (!), and even cardboard (!!!). It survived!!!!

Since the small nib sizes are super fast drying, I love using these pens for my watercolor work because I can paint over them without worrying. They are also waterproof. Again, sold as advertised.

The thing that worried me at first was that the higher nib sizes took a lot longer than expected to dry on the paper, sometimes more than ten minutes.

However, while you wait for it to dry, if you managed to smudge it with your hand, you can sometimes recover your work by erasing it with an erasing rubber. Yup! That's right! It actually works! I've tried it and though it's an odd discovery, it works for me every single time. I'll take it! There's not enough 'undo' buttons in life for me to pass up on that opportuni-tay.



Ink Flow:

The ink flow is consistent and produces very stable lines that is an absolute delight and sometimes can be a deal-breaker for me. In the 0.05mm and the 0.1mm pens though, the ink seems to run out or dry out much quicker than expected. It does revive itself if you let it sit with the cap on for some time but it is the one thing that made this product rating a 4 instead of a 5.


Price:

One of the main points of satisfaction with these pens is the pricing for the quality you get. Compared to other...ahem...international brands, these prices are very competitive and affordable. You know how people say you get what you paid for? This is NOT that product. Which is why I rate this product so highly. There are some other Brustro products that I feel were overly marked up to compete with the pricing of imported brands and give the sheen of exclusivity but not this product.


Overall, I am happy with my purchase. It's been over a year of regular use and it still works really well for a set of disposable technical pens. And so, kudos to Creative Hands for proving that Indian brands can be truly be at par with the quality that usually international brands boast of.


...o0o...

Ray out! Peace!

Photo credit: me :)

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