Review: Maruman Word Cards

Maruman Word Cards

It took me almost a year to fill up my first Word Cards ring with ink swatches. It was a Kyokuto brand Word Cards ring I purchased in San Francisco from Maido for about $3. I liked the Kyokuto cards well enough that I wanted to buy a new ring but could not find them available online anywhere. As a result, I decided to try out the Maruman Word Cards. The Maruman cards are a little larger than 4″x2″ so they are visibly larger in size than the Kyokuto cards and a bit pricier ($4.45) for 100 cards. They do have pleasing rounded corners and a toothier stock so the increase in price does not seem wholly unreasonable.

Word Cards

Maruman Word Cards

At first, I was worried that the Maruman cards were not going to be white enough to give a clear representation of the ink colors but it turned out not to be the case. The Maruman cards are a touch softer white than the Kyokuto cards but not so much as to alter the ink colors.

Maruman Word Cards comparison

The tooth of the paper definitely gives the ink someplace to settle into and potentially show off any tonal variations in the inks which I quite like. The larger sized cards give me more room for both swabs and potentially a little writing sample when the inks get filled into pens.

And the biggest plus for the Maruman Word Cards is that they have continued to be available on JetPens for several years so I should not have to change or upgrade my ink cataloging system again anytime soon.

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Having just gotten seriously back into fountain pens, you’ve given me Maruman Word deck a purpose! Hadn’t used it yet, mulling over what to do with it…and this is perfect. What do you use to swab the main swatch with? Q-tip or, daringly, your finger tip?

    1. I usually use either a cotton swab or a soft watercolor paintbrush. Cotton swabs work well but I feel wasteful using dozens of them at a time.

  2. Over at An Inkophile’s Blog, she just talked about using the Maruman cards for ink swatches as well. I found them just a week ago on Jet pens and fell in love. Must get them. I think they would be great for all kinds of things… Though I have thought of just purchasing some index cards and having my father punch a hole in them and run a ring… But these are so nice.
    I don’t collect inks… yet, but oh, I can see how these would be perfect for cataloging the colors. Another nice review.

  3. Kate, think of it as a long-term effort: I don’t collect inks either per se, but do get new ones about 7-8 times a year. If I kept up with this, the long-term benefits of having a record of inks I’ve used or like would be great!

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