An Alternative Pen Holder!

If you’re like me, you’ve been searching for a way to utilize your Silhouette Cameo, Portrait or Curio to do writing and sketching.  There are several options, but they all have some minor drawbacks.  Depending on how much you ‘sketch’ will decide what option will be the most economical for you with the best outcome.

The most widely known option are the Sketch Pens from Silhouette.  The pens work for an occasional project, but were famous for drying out quickly, skipping during use and running out of ink too soon.  There are the newly designed Silhouette Sketch pens with supposedly 2x more ink, but I have not used them personally.  I have seen others say they are much better, but not very often have I seen them mentioned.

Next option, and the best to date, would be the holders from Chomas Creations.  They have the marker holder, the pen holder  and other products like etching tools.  I like both products, but the adjustable screw to to tighten the marker/pen will throw it off center. While this isn’t usually an issue in most cases when I attempted to draw ‘stitching’ around a shape’s edge, the dashed line was not equally drawn from the edges.  If fact, part of the stitching was off the shape.

Another option is the pen holder by Silhouette.  While this solves a lot of the above mentioned issues, it needs upgrading as the portion of the pen holder where the collette is tightened is thin at the point and cracks easily.  I have purchased 4 sets of them and all but one is unusable today.  Until the design is changed, I would not recommend purchasing this holder for more than occasional use.

I didn’t shop on Etsy until recently when I was in search of that mint green heat transfer material in a previous blog on my laptop sleeve.  I am truly a devotee of Amazon, but since my first shopping trip on Etsy was very pleasant I thought I’d give it a go again.  Not sure how, but I stumbled upon this Silhouette Cameo Master Pack – Get All 6 Writing Holders.  I was intrigued, but skeptical.  I contacted the seller “Steven from FlywheelIT” to question how these pen holders work.  He told me that they secure just as the cap from that particular pen secures.  Well, that made sense!  As a possible solution for just under $50 (includes shipping), I was in for a trial.  I placed my order on July 24 and they arrived the 29th.

I played with them a little bit when they arrived and, unfortunately, was starting to think I had made a poor decision.  Optimistically I thought, with 6 different sizes and even though I didn’t own several brands listed, I should be able to get just about every different pen I owned to work.  I own A LOT of pens/markers, but I actually only owned three of the specific brand named.  New day, new test.  I was going to actually sit down and try the ones that matched, then try the ones that might work even though they weren’t named brands.

The card included a clear list of which color pen holder was made to go with which brand of pen.  I only owned the Sharpies (Fine & Ultra Fine) and the {Sakura} Gelly Roll pens.  When I tried them out before, I either was too forceful seating the pens or loading them in my Cameo 3, as most of my tests were not positive.  Today I was able to get some nice results which gave me some hope that other pens would work beside those listed.

As you can see, the Sharpies worked great, even on the smaller sized font for the ‘Black: Fine Sharpies’.  The Uni-Ball wasn’t quite as good, so I ever so slightly lifted the pen a smidge while still locked into the carriage, and the smaller test next to the large text was beautiful.  Please note I used the same font for each test, just sized down where necessary.  The strip of white is sticker paper I applied hoping that the neon green Gelly Roll pen could be seen better.  Only two of my various other pens fit and worked acceptably in the pens holders:  Extra Fine Pilot Precise V5 in Clear and the neon Write Dudes in the Grey.

I am waiting on an order (yes, from Amazon) for some Zig Writers and Pentel RSVP pens, because there was an “New! Free! Blue” holder designated for the Zig Writer included in my shipment.  I don’t know if all recent orders included this Blue holder or if it was because I said I was going to do a post on my blog about this product. I also didn’t have the brand listed for the Grey holder either, buy the Write Dudes worked fine for now.  I don’t own any of the Crystal Ball Points for the Green holder, but I can’t justify another set of ballpoint pens on top of the rest of my stash.  As pens run out of ink, I’ll purchase the corresponding ones for that particular holder.

I am now happy that I purchased these pen holders.  They work great and are very sturdy, so I don’t see a need to be replacing broken ones any time soon, if ever.  I would recommend these for anyone who does a lot of sketching/writing and who have a variety of pens as I do.  I would, as always, doing a test to make sure they are seated correctly before using on your final project, but it’s pretty much a set and go process.

If you found this post helpful, please like and share.  As always, any questions are welcome.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission.  All items reviewed were paid for and used by me so that I can give you my unbiased opinion.

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