I feel it’s most appropriate to start this post with a confession: I’m a Nock Co. fanboy. I use and enjoy their products every day. I think everything about the company is awesome. I’ve been with them since their Kickstarter beginning, and it has been fantastic to see the company grow and evolve.
Nock Co. makes incredible cases for your analog tools, and more recently they’ve developed some wonderful paper products. This will be my third post about a Nock Co. product. I’ve written posts about two of their super cases: the Lookout Three-Pen Holster and Fodderstack XL.
I was surprised and excited the Nock Co. gang sent me a two-pack of their latest paper product to review — the Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad. They sent them without any request for a review, but I’m more than happy to give you my thoughts.
From Cases To Paper Goods
Nock Co. of Georgia, USA started as a pen case designer and manufacturer, but it didn’t take long for them to make their first paper product— the 3″ x 5″ DotDash Note Cards with their trademark DotDash format. They followed up their note cards with two pocket notebooks (yellow and fountain pen-friendly black), and their latest paper product is the DotDash Spiral Pad with it’s killer bright red cover and outstanding paper.
I’m a pocket notebook guy, and my preference is the now famous 3.5” x 5.5” format available in so many wonderful editions. The iconic pocket notebook fills pretty much all of my paper needs with a couple of exceptions: long-form writing and my day job. For long-form writing, I use a variety of journals and pads. However, for my day job, I’ve been using an old standby— the store-brand canary yellow legal pad1. I take all sorts of writing tools to work, but I still rely on the good ol’ work office supplies closet for my paper needs on the job.
Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad To The Rescue
They’re more expensive than a cheap spiral pad with crappy paper, but if you want to exponentially enhance your writing experience, they may be worth it to you.
The upgrade in paper from my inexpensive legal pad is along the lines of going from a store-brand #2 pencil to a Palomino Blackwing 602.
For you fountain pen people, it’s like using a Pilot Metropolitan or Lamy Safari after experiencing a Visionnaire2 (or other mass-produced cheap fountain pen).
For you non-fountain pen pen people, it’s like writing with a Uni-Ball Signo DX (UM-151) or Uni-Ball Jetstream after using a generic gel ink or ballpoint pen.
For you mechanical pencil folks, it’s like using a Pentel Graph Gear 1000 after using the plastic ones that come in a multi-pack.
Ok, enough already. . . you get the idea. The cheaper alternatives work, but they don’t offer the greatest experience.
I’m really looking forward to using the DotDash Spiral Pads for some long form writing and at the day job. Especially the day job.
DotDash Spiral Pad Specifications
From the Nock Co. product page:
- 84 pages
- A5 size (148 mm x 210 mm; 5.8 inches x 8.3 inches)
- DotDash page format (4.25 mm)
- DotDash color: Vibrant Blue (Pantone 2985)
- Cover: 100# (Bright Red)
- Back cover: 24 pt
- Interior paper: 60# / 90 gsm
- Price: 2 for $18
DotDash – Only at Nock Co.
Nock Co. has used the DotDash format on all their paper products. It’s unique to Nock Co., and I love that they created something different in a niche that honestly can get a bit stagnant. Like Doane Paper and their “grid + lines” layout, Nock Co. has fully embraced their paper format and offer no other options. My personal preference is a traditional ruled page format, but I think the DotDash design is fantastic.
For me, it’s the blue ink they use to print the DotDash pattern. It’s just the right shade that it allows it to be functional without being intrusive. It’s a fine line, but if it were darker, it would be way too busy.
It’s clear much thought and deliberation went into creating the DotDash pattern, and I think they’ve differentiated themselves with a winner.
Write With Anything
In all honesty, pencils have been my writing instruments for the past many weeks. To be more specific, and much to my surprise, I’ve become quite fond of mechanical pencils. My collection of mechanized graphite propellers is growing at a rapid rate. I found my new rabbit hole.
That being said, I pulled out an assortment of writing tools to give the paper in the Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad a thorough workout.
It handled everything I threw at it. Everything. From fountain pens to woodcased pencils. . . They all work. No feathering. No bleed through. The only thing I was lacking in my writing test was a fountain pen with a broader nib than medium. Based on my observations, I would predict positive results, but I can’t be certain.
The Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad, like many other Nock Co. products I have personal experience with, is a best-in-class contender.
My only hesitation when recommending this stellar pad of paper is the price. If you’re used to buying quality paper goods, there won’t be any sticker shock. However, if you’re coming from the world of big box store paper stuff, you may be wonder if it’s worth the relatively higher cost.
They come in a two-pack for $18, and that may be a little steep for some. Keep in mind this is a high-quality paper product in the same league with other fine paper goods. For comparison, another excellent USA-made product, the Field Notes Brand Steno Book (6” x 9” spiral bound, 80 pages, 70# paper) with similar specs to the DotDash Spiral Pad has a price of $9.95 each. Another outstanding paper pad with a similar format is the Doane Paper Large Flap Jotter (5.5” x 8.5” spiral bound, 80 pages, 70# paper, also made in the USA), and they cost $9 each. Nock Co. is right in line with their peers.
I think they are worth the cost, but it would be a nice option for Nock Co. to offer them as singles. It’s worth noting the paper is such high quality that in most cases bleed through won’t be an issue, so a vast majority of users could use both sides of the page.
If the specs of the Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad fit your needs, and especially if you’re a fountain pen user, they get my highest recommendation.
I received this product for free, and I’ve tried my darnedest to not let that affect my opinion. I really don’t think it did.