Sketchbook Review: BUKE A5 Size Hardcover Sketchbook Journal – 180Gsm Ultra Bamboo Paper

The BUKE A5 Size Hardcover Sketchbook Journal (currently selling for $13.34) is kind of an amazing little sketchbook. First, the price! I think when I ordered it, it was about $15.50 which is still incredibly inexpensive.

The sketchbook came in a matte, white box with an iridescent foil feather on the box. Inside, the sketchbook was wrapped in a waxed paper and included a bookmark and some stickers. This is a very deluxe package for a sketchbook that sells for less than $20.

The sketchbook includes 160 bright white pages between two matte PU covers with an iridescent foil feather quill on the cover. The sketchbook includes lots of the popular attribute like three ribbon bookmarks, a gusseted pocket in the back cover for loose ephemera and a vertical elastic to keep the book closed.

The paper is 180gsm “Ultra Bamboo Paper” — THIS is the main reason I ordered it in the first place. Bamboo is the key ingredient in Tomoe River Paper but its very thin. So the idea of THICK bamboo paper was very appealing.

Just for reference, the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Book is only 160gsm paper so the paper in the Bamboo Sketchbook really is THICK. If you like mixed media, craft, collage and using a wide array of creative materials, this is a great sketchbook option.

Watercolor tests on the right — water did cause the paper to waffle a little bit but there was no bleed through.

I started my pen testing with brush pens, markers, colored pencils and other art supplies. I drizzled fountain pen ink and even tried some watercolors. The paper is very smooth and reminds me of Bristol Board from art school in terms of weight and smoothness, but its all bound into a handy A5 notebook.

Right, gusseted pocket and elastic.

When I flipped the pages over to see if there was any show through or bleed through.

The irori ink was applied after the backside of the page was used and there is heavy sheen/shimmer on the other side so I think there is a bt too much liquid in the paper that is causing the dark stain.

The only time there were issues with bleed through was with the alcohol-based Copic markers and a couple places with drizzled fountain pen ink on the page.

All fountain pens in writing tests performed beautifully. The ink did not spread at all in the tests —  so a fine nib stays fine and so forth. Some papers can causes ink to spread and appear wider but this 180gsm bamboo paper kept all nibs true to size.

The fountain pen inks I tried included several sheening inks and all the sheen showed beautifully.

The only downside I discovered with this notebook is that the matte covers pick up dust and fingerprints very easily.

This is probably one of the best value sketchbooks currently on the market. If you are looking for a sketchbook or notebook that can handle a wide range of writing tools and materials, then this will be a book you’ll love.

Get creative and play with this great little value-priced bamboo sketchbook!

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That looks wonderful — thanks for the review! One question — does the sketchbook lay flat during use, or tend to want to close itself?

  2. Hi, Ana!

    Great review. I put one of those sketchbooks in my cart. Your test pages are art in themselves.


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