Scout Books Brand Notebooks- Part 2

Now that I have had the chance to play to play with my Scout Books notebooks, I think it would be a good time to finish my review. The notebooks themselves seem very well made. The paper is thick and smooth. I was finally able to get all the information I was looking for after poking around on their website. Here are the stats straight from the Scout Books website:

Dimensions- 3.5in x 5in (8.9cm x 12.7cm)

Page Count- 32 Pages

Paper- Cover: 100% Recycled Chipboard, 18pt. Kraft, Interior: 100% Recycled Text, 70# White

Printing & Ink- High Quality Offset Printing with Vegetable-Based Inks

Binding- Saddle Stitched (two wire stitches)

Corner Rounding- Two Rounded Corners: .25in Radius

 So, naturally, I broke out the tools I am most comfortable sketching with and went to work. From the top down we have a Sharpie fine point, a Pilot Fineliner, a Pilot Razor Point, and a Papermate medium ballpoint. These are all black and have a good range of size and saturation. I am using the phrase "saturation" to refer how quickly the ink or color can leave the pen and on/into the paper. I would call this a squiggle test. I start out drawing two parallel lines and then filling the space with a graduated squiggly line, heavy overlap on the left to none on the right. The paper took all of the pens well, with no smudging or bleed out. Even the Sharpie looks pretty crisp. The Papermate smudged a little, but this is the fault of the ink and not the notebook. On the backside of the page, some spotting can be seen from start/stop points. Mostly from the Sharpie, but that kind of saturation is typical. I was most pleased with how well the paper took ballpoint pen. Cheaper paper can indent and curl with heavy ballpoint use, but the heavy, 70# paper used in the Scout Books held up like a pro.

So, the next obvious test for me was to draw something in it and see how it performs. This was a quick 10 minute sketch (or less, I didn't time it) like something I would do while waiting around. I started with a quick ballpoint outline and eventually used the Razor Point to thicken linework and add other details. Some people tend to move more quickly while drawing, as I do, while some are more deliberate, very slowly and carefully moving the pen over the page. I tend to be pretty light with my pen pressure while using felt tip pens so as to not over saturate the paper or damage the delicate tips on the pens. Why am I telling you this?
This is why. Even though my initial tests showed very little saturation or bleed through, when I actually sat down to draw, I got a different result. Only a couple of these spots actually made it through to the next page, but it did happen. I figure it was when I was thinking about what to do next with the sketch and paused with the tip of the Razor on the page. This may be a very short pause, but enough to let the ink saturate through the page. Not a big deal for me, but some may not care for it.

These small notebooks are very well made and are a very good value (3 for $10 with free shipping!). Heavy, bright paper takes ink well and resists curling.
Plain overall appearance makes customizing easy.

Doesn't play well with felt tips or Sharpies if you are heavy handed.
Small size isn't ideal for sketching anything but a doodle.

UPDATE- Apparently, I am blind because I didn't notice the Mega DIY notebooks on the Scout Books website. They are a much larger 5x7 inch and have 48 pages each. I will have to pick up some of these for a future review. They look great!


  1. Man, I could look at your drawings for hours bro. So cool!

  2. Thanks for this review. It's impossible to find information on sketching in most of these notebooks online.

    People have mentioned that these Scout Books fit in the Passport sized Midori Traveler's Notebook which I own, so I was very curious about how thich the paper was. Midori doesn't make the thicker sketchbook paper in the passport size, so I was getting bummed that I might not have a valid little notebook/sketchbook hybrid after all.

    I've ordered some of these anyway though. They already look thicker than the blank paper that came with the Midori.

  3. But the best part of Scout Books is that you can design your own covers. I have done about a half dozen, as promo gifts, and they are awesome.

  4. And the best part of Scout Books (besides the great staff) is that you can design your own covers. I've done a half dozen, as promo gifts, and they are awesome.