Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen’

The Tinieist Fountain Pen

tiny fountain pen necklace

Inside this miniature 1.25″ fountain pen charm is a real working nib. It can be dipped and will write. Comes with a tiny ink bottle charm that can hold ink to ink the pen nib. Pretty charming.

Pen comes on a 18″ silver plated chain.

($34.99 from YougNeek on Etsy, tip o’ the hat to Dan at Karas Kustoms for the link)

Review: Jinhao X750 “Shimmering Sands” + Goulet Pens Nibs

Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands

The Jinhao X750 “Shimminering Sands” ($9.90) is a sturdy, solid pen. Looking at it, I never would have guessed it’s a budget fountain pen. The celestial sparkles embedded in the black body are truly amazing. I had to take it outside into the sunlight just to watch it catch the light. It reminded me of black nail polish with multicolored sparkles embedded in it. That sounds really girly. How about black auto paint with metal flake? Are you getting the idea?

Jinhao X750 outside

The hardware is chrome and the clip is super sturdy. The branding is subtle and unobtrusive. Its pleasingly weighty — 36 gms posted and 23 gms filled with cap removed. Without the cap, its about the same weight as a capped Lamy Al-Star, with the cap posted, its heavier than a Lamy Studio. So, its substantial. The clip is stiff and unlikely to fail.

The pen had no packaging at all but that’s not a make-or-break for me, especially not at this price point. I’d rather the money I’m paying go towards the pen and not the box its packaged in. It did come with a cartridge converter though.

The cap is a snap cap and it snaps really tightly. I don’t know if it will loosen up over time but it takes a bit of effort for me to pull the cap off. At least, I know it won’t fall off accidentally.

Goulet Pens EF Nib close-up

I tend to find medium nibs way too wet for me so I swapped out the medium nib that comes stock on the X750 with a Goulet Pens #6 EF nib ($15). The nib is super smooth but pretty stiff. Its good for day-to-day notetaking but its not as expressive on the paper as a softer nib. If you have a pen with a #6 sized nib then I definitely think that the Goulet Nibs are a perfect way to plus up a fountain pen.

Jinhao X750 + Goulet Pens F Nib writing sample

So, for less than $25, I was able to build an awesome fountain pen. The sparkles give it a very unique look but its subtle enough not to look like a raver at the next board meeting.

Jinhao X750 + Goulet Pens EF Nib

Overall, I am very pleased with this combination.This is a fun, reasonably-priced fountain pen option. It feels durable and classy. No one has to know it cost less than dinner for two at Chili’s.

I also have a Goulet Pens 1.1mm stub italic nib to try out with this pen and I’ll post that in detail soon.

The nib was tested on Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank pad with J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe. The ink is very wet but set up nicely on the Rhodia paper. It seemed like a good ink to combine with the EF nib. I’m looking forward to trying other inks in this pen.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Review: Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm Stub Fountain Pen

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

You may be asking yourself “Why didn’t she own this pen already?” Trust me, I’ve been asking myself the same question since it arrived. The Monteverde Intima ($52) is a stunningly swirly mix of lime and kelly green colors with a white opalescent sheen embedded in the resin. All the hardware is black including the nib. I just hold it in my hand and admire the swirls.

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

The pen arrived in a cardboard slip case (which I sort of destroyed trying to get it open) which protected this epic presentation box. Its a deep forest green shimmery clamshell box with silver metallic edging and logo. Its a box that one would expect to find a much more expensive pen inside. And probably a little more dignified than my Willy Wonka green swirl, St. Patty’s Day-is-everyday pen. But that’s beside the point. The box looks impressive.

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

Inside is a white faux velvet lining. The bottom section with the band lifts out to reveal the box of cartridges (only two were in the box) and instructions for using the included converter which was in the pen. The box could definitely get a second life as a storage box for pens and accessories. Its durable.

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

This is only the second Monteverde pen I’ve used and with each experience, I’m becoming more impressed with the quality and diversity of the Monteverde product line. I was initially skeptical  of the black anodized nib but as I used the Intima, I grew to appreciate the understated-ness of the nib and hardware next to the brilliant showiness of the neon green swirls. Its a really beautiful combination.

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

The weight of the pen is heavier than I initially anticipated. Somehow I thought the pen would be light like a plastic Kaweco but the resin is weightier than plastic. It feels good in the hand. The nib is astoundingly smooth. I am thrilled with how well this wrote right out of the box.

The cap can be posted which makes the pen a sizeable 6.375″ long but I found the weight of the pen unposted to be most comfortable in my hand and plenty long enough (4.675″). The length of the pen capped is 5.25″.

This has immediately become my go-to pen. It writes beautifully, its perfectly weighted for my hand and its the PERFECT color.

My biggest gripes with Monteverde is a dislike for their logo. The branding on the Intima is so subtle that it is barely noticable. The black anodized nib disguises the cheeseball “architect” logotype and the pen name is silkscreened in white in a miniscule font on the reverse side from the clip on the black edge of the cap. Its completely ignorable which is a delight to a design snob like me.

Monteverde Intima Neon Green 1.1mm stub italic

The Intima comes with a converter but will accept standard European cartridges. I immediately inked mine up with a coordinating green ink, Caran D’ache Chromatics INKredible Colors Delicate Green ($32) and it is the perfect combination. Both are bright and vibrant and make me insanely happy. (A review of the Delicate Green ink will be posted soon.)

I tested this on the Rhodia Uni Blank No. 16. Its the smaller version of the Rhodia Uni Blank No. 18.

The Monteverde Intima fountain pen in neon green is a thing to behold, at least for someone like me with an uncompromising love of the color green. But don’t be frightened away, the Intima is also available in more dignified colors like Glacier Blue and Volcano Grey, both of which I like too.

The Intima is available in a variety of nib sizes and other colors if green is not your thing for $52 each at Goulet Pens. The Intima takes a #6 nib and replacement nibs are also available for $24 each in black anodized or silver. Or try out one of Goulet Pens signature nibs with the Intima. The Goulet branded nibs are available in six different nib widths for $15 each in silver or gold toned.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Review: Lamy Logo F Fountain Pen in Brushed Aluminum

Lamy Logo capped

I recently spotted the Lamy Logo fountain pen in brushed aluminum and clicked on the Buy It Now button before I knew what I was doing. I love the Lamy nibs for their smoothness and easy interchange-ability but I don’t like the molded grip featured in the Safari/AL-Star lines so the Logo series was a perfect upgrade. The Logo features a brushed aluminum body and a ridged grip area more conducive to overhanded (hooked) lefthanders. The cap, end, clip and grip are accented with polished chrome.

Lamy Logo Brushed Aluminum

The Lamy Logo is also a little narrower shaft overall compared to a Safari or Al-Star. If you’ve found the Safari/Al-Star to be a bit bulky in your hand, than the Logo may be a good option for you. I’d compare it to the width of a round pencil maybe a little bit wider but considerably more slender than the Safari.

Lamy nib fine

The cap is a snap cap like other Lamy pens. Its a tight snap but I suspect it will loosen over time. As it is, it will be some time before it loosens, if ever.

The Lamy Logo accepts standard Lamy ink cartridges or the Lamy comverter for even more ink options.

I purchased the fine nib version which to my writing style feels more like a medium, even in comparison to the Kaweco fine nib fountain pen. The fine Lamy nib writes smoothly so the broadness is not really a downside. Just different.

Lamy Logo writing sample

Fountain Pen Weights

The Lamy Logo weighs 17 gms, filled with a cartridge and capped so its a bit lighter than the Lamy Al-Star and unposted it weighs in at 13 gms — as light as a capped Kaweco Sport Classic.

Its a bit of an upsell at $45 from a Safari which is under $30 and the Al-Star which is under $40. But its still a good deal less expensive than the Lamy Studio or Lamy 2000. If the look of the TWSBI is not your taste, the Lamy Logo is a good alternative at a similar price point.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Hands On: Kaweco Skyline in Mint

kaweco sport line up

Its a well-established fact that I love Kaweco pens. As fountain pens go, the Kaweco Sport line ticks all my boxes:

  • great nib
  • not too big/heavy
  • reasonably priced
  • pocket-able
  • classic looking
  • clip is optional
  • interchangeable nib system

The only downside with Kaweco was the lack of appealing body colors. Beyond black, white and aluminum, I wasn’t all that keen. I currently own two out of three of the colors mentioned, so I was starting to run out reasons to add any more Kaweco Sports to my stash. Until now.

kaweco skyline mint

When I saw the new Skyline series in Mint, I knew immediately I had to have it.  The Grey model was a very-close second. The silver hardware and nib just add to the appeal for me. I’ve enjoyed my gold-toned hardware but I’m so glad to finally have the option for silver.

The color is the softest mint turquoise color. It looks luminous even though its a simple, opaque plastic body. A ghostly almost supernatural color. I love the color. I mean LOVE it!

kaweco skyline nib

The writing experience is consistent with all my previous Kaweco Sport pens – it writes smoothly, is comfortable in the hand (when posted) and generally makes me happy to use it. I prefer to use my Kaweco Sports posted with the clip which adds just enough weight to make the pen feel more substantial. I either use cartridges or reuse an old cartridge using a syringe to fill it with bottled ink. The Skyline is no different.

Despite the likelihood that the Skyline series may be limited edition, the price point makes it a pen I’m comfortable carrying around with me on a daily basis.

kaweco skyline comparison

The Kaweco Skyline series is currently available for pre-order at Fontonplumo in the Netherlands. The Skyline is available in Mint, Grey and Black for €16.95 (about $23 US). Frank kindly sent me the first one he could get his hands on so that I could share it with you. Estimated delivery is early July.

Also, Fontoplumo is offering all Well-Appointed Desk readers a 10% discount if you enter the code WAD2014 on anything you order. This offer is good until the end of 2014. Thanks, Frank!

Link Love: Four P’s and some I’s

Link Love Link Mascot

Inks:

Pens:

Paper & Notebooks:

Pencils:

Penmanship:

Esterbrook 9314F: Fine Stub

Esterbrook 9314F writing sample

Do you ever come across a pen or a nib you think “this is my signature pen?” The one that makes your handwriting look better without doing anything but using it? That’s how I feel about the Esterbrook 9314F Relief Fine Stub. Its from the “higher end” line of nibs from Esterbrook, the Master series and I was lucky enough to borrow a NOS version from Harvey  from the blog, My Antique Pens.

Esterbrook 9314F nib

The 9314F  has a nib that is flat at the tip like a stub but its angled slightly down to the left. I had previously fallen in love with the 2442 Falcon nibs which also have the angled nibs but this was my first opportunity to compare Durachrome (the 2000-series) to Master Points (the 9000-series) Renew nibs in a head-to-head. I guess its almost a head-to-head since there is also a 2314F nib that is labelled a “Fine Stub”. I am not sure what the difference is between the 2442 fine stub and the 2314F fine stub so I guess this is as close as I’ll get at the moment.

Esterbrook 9314F writing and comparison

It became obvious when comparing the three nibs that my original, well-worn 2442 is definitely lost its crispness but it writes very smoothly and consistently. The NOS 2442 writes similarly to the 9314F but I noticed that the finest cross strokes were not quite as fine in the 2442.

Esterbrook nib drawing

I still feel like I’m learning about falcon nibs, this sub-category of nibs. Some say the Falcon (also called Relief) nib is designed for people who write with a backwards slant. Others say it was meant for left-handed writers. For a bit more information about Relief/Falcon-style Esterbrook nibs, this thread on FPN is quite enlightening.

What I discovered with all three of these nibs is that I can easily write with them and get a broader stroke with some pleasing thins without altering my left-handed, overhanded writing position. I often have difficulties with broad nibs entirely and wider stub nibs are a challenge as I can’t always get the nibs to make even contact with the paper. Ah, the challenges of lefties!

Esterbrook 9314F writing close-up

(A huge thank you to Harvey at My Antique Pens for letting me take this little rarity out for a spin)

(UPDATE: Corrected post title and link to Harvey’s blog. Sometimes, I swear I should not be allowed near a keyboard before 10am and a WHOLE pot of coffee!)

Top Five Best (and Worst) Round-Up

@mrmikedudek the groove came to work. Contains an assortment of pens and my Wacom pen which would only fit upside down.

There’s been several new Top Five pen lists pop-up on the web in the past few weeks so I thought I’d share them here.

Alt.Haven’s Top 5 Pens. The list is fountain pens but its a great assortment. Brad’s collected Top 5 Pens list includes his top five fountain pens, micro gels, plastic-tipped, inks and more. These lists will keep you busy for awhile. The Pen Habit made a video of his favorite pens for his first year of using fountain pens. While we’re talking about videos, Goulet Pens did a Top Five Graduation Pens video.

And of course, Mr. Dowdy’s Worst Pens list. I was surprised by some of the pens that made his list. I got an Ohto Dude and did not have any problems with it. I found it to be a decent low-priced fountain pen but, in general, I think fountain pens in the $25 range tend to be hit-or-miss in terms of quality control. I concur with Brad’s opinions about the TUL ballpoint but I have also had major issues with the dry time on the TUL gel and rollerball pens. If you’re left-handed or prefer quick-drying inks, I’d give the whole TUL line a miss. As for the Sliccie Multi-pens, I haven’t had any of the issues that Brad had. I’ve used the Pilot Hi-Tec C, the Pentel Sliccie, the Uni Style Fit and the Zebra Prefill and all have worked well for me. They all orbit my desk at work and get used on-and-off for meetings. I’ve not had any issues with any of them. I have even had to replace cartridges in all of them. (I did notice that I have not written a review for the Sliccie singles or multi-pen so I’ll remedy that soon.) The other pens Brad mentioned, the Bic A1 Gel and the Caran D’Ache ballpoint I have not tried because I just can’t use 0.7mm or wider gel pens without making a smeary mess and ballpoints and I do not get along.

Should I do a Top Five list? Do you have a Top Five list of your own?

Happy Ester(brook) Sunday!

esterbrook-sunday

Spring is the perfect time to pull out the Esterbrooks, dust them off and see which ones need a little spring cleaning. This is my whole Esterbrook collection and I can see a gaping absence of a brown or rootbeer model as well as a need for several more pastel pocket pens to fill out my collection. And I don’t have even one mechanical pencil.

Happy Ester(brook) Sunday!

Of the eight shown, five are in full working order with nibs installed. Two have my favorite stub nib, the Falcon Fine Stub 2442, the gray on the left has the legendary 9128 flex nib, the pastel pink has the 9788, the blue has the 9550.

Of course, while I had the pens out, I felt it necessary to do a little record keeping so I created a little spreadsheet inventory of the nibs I currently have and which pen they are residing in.

nib #

description

box?

in pen?

1550

Firm extra-fine, Bookkeeping

no

2284

Firm Stub, Signature Stub

yes

2442

Fine Stub, Falcon

yes

grey pearl

2442

Fine Stub, Falcon

no

red pearl

2556

Firm fine, Fine Writing

no

2556

Firm fine, Fine Writing

no

2668

Firm medium, General Writing

no

2668

Firm medium, General Writing

no

9128

Flexible Extra Fine, Fine penmanship (Pitman shorthand) 

yes

grey pearl

9550

Firm Extra Fine, Bookkeeping

no

blue pearl

9555

Firm Fine, Shorthand

yes

9555

Firm Fine, Shorthand

no

pink pastel

9556

Firm Fine, Fine Writing, Records and charts

no

9668

Firm medium, General Writing

no

Clearly, I have more nibs than pens but not nearly all the possible nib options that are available:

(image via Rick Binder)

(image via Richard Binder)

I would really like to try the 9314F Master Point version of the Fine Stub, the 2048 or 9048 “Shaded Writing” and several others. Like jelly beans, with Esterbrooks, you can’t have just one!

Happy Ester(brook) Sunday!

Link Love: Official Mascot and more catch-up

Link Love Link MascotFirst, I’d like you to all admire my new and fully customized Link mascot thanks to my pal and co-worker Adan who, clearly, is a fabulous illustrator. I think I need Link on a t-shirt!

Now, on to the links:

Paper:

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Misc:

 

Kaweco Skyline in Mint

kaweco-sport-skyline-fountain-pen-mint

Have you seen the Kaweco Skyline series? Look at this gorgeous color? Its listed as mint and despite the fact that I need another pocket-sized Kaweco like I need a hole in my head, I’m thinking I might have to order one.

So far, the only place I’ve found them is the Fontoplumo site out of the Netherlands and the pen is listed for €16.95 (about $23US) so its in the range of the standard Sport models, price-wise. Its listed on the Kaweco site in gray and black as well — all with silver accents rather than the gold on the standard Sport models.

Ask The Desk: Dilli Flex vs. Noodler’s Creaper

Dilli Flex Nib Fountain Pen vs. Noodler's Creaper

M asks:

I’m new to flex pens and am looking to get an inexpensive one. I know this is a common question but was wondering what your thoughts might be on Noodler’s vs FPR? I’m looking to get either the Konrad/Creaper or Dilli/Guru. So far the consensus seems to be that the Noodler’s pens need quite a bit of tweaking and that quality control is variable, while the FPR pens feel cheaper but generally work better out of the box. Some also say that the FPR flex pens are dryer and have less give.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this!

What I discovered upon receiving this question is that I’ve never actually written up a review of the Noodler’s Creaper. I did a review of the Dilli flex though so I thought I’d use this opportunity to dive deeper and share my opinions about both of these pens.

Dilli Flex Nib Fountain Pen vs. Noodler's Creaper

Both pens use a split nib to create flex. The Dilli nib is a brushed finish while the Noodler’s nib is a shiny silver. The Dilli nib is slightly larger nib. Both pens use a twist piston fill mechanism which need to be filled with bottled ink. Neither pen can be fitted with cartridges or converters.

Both pens are lightweight plastic bodied pens. The Creaper has some chrome metal detailing on the pen that  makes it look like a bit higher end and a bit more durable. The Dilli just feels plasticky to me.

The Dilli nib is in a set spot, it seats into the feed in a specific location.

Alternately, there is a lot of play in how low into the pen barrel you can move the Creaper feed, thus allowing for more or less flex. The further into the pen you move the feed though, the more likely the pen is to write dry or not apply ink to the paper. As I cleaned and re-inked it, I could tell that finding the “sweet spot” for the placement of the nib and feed might be a series of trial and error experiments. I did my best to place the nib and feed in a “normal position” comparable to my non-flex nib pens and it worked well.

With both pens, I had no issues getting ink on the paper. Goulet Pens has some detailed information and videos about working with the Creaper pens and notes that they need to be completely flushed upon purchase to remove any traces of machine oil from the manufacturing process.

Dilli Flex Nib Fountain Pen vs. Noodler's Creaper

When writing, the Dilli had less resistance on the paper but I didn’t get as much thick-and-thin line variation on the paper. The lightest line width seemed a little wider than the lightest line with the Creaper. The Creaper had a little more resistance on the paper and a bit more spring but I liked the line variation a lot more.

I prefer the Creaper to the Dilli for a lot of reasons. Part of the joy of fountain pens is a pleasant visual experience and, to me, the Dilli looks and feels cheap. At some point, when filling it, some ink got inside the body of the Dilli pen, between the piston screw and the ink reservoir, and I cannot get it out. It now has dried ink inside a demonstrator body so it looks gross (you can see it in the top photo at the beginning of the post).

There are a few other options fro Noodler’s for the flex nib as well. The slightly larger Noodler’s Konrad can be fitted with one of the Goulet Pens #6 nibs, if your adventures in flexible nibs takes a turn for the worst, so you’ll still have a usable pen.The Ahab was specifically designed to allow for a larger ink reservoir. The Creaper, the Ahab and the Konrad are all available in a wide array of colors and finishes that will create a pleasing visual experience as well.

FPR also offers a few other pen models that feature their flex nib and that might be more visually appealing. The Triveni line look more upscale with prices in the $38-$45 range and available with a flex nib. The Guru is a bit less expensive than the Dilli and looks like it can be completely disassembled which might eliminate my crusty ink issues.

A flex nib Dilli is $18 and the Creaper is only $14.

Review: Nock Co Lookout 3-Pen Holster

Nock Co Lookout Pen Holster

I’ve always been a bit hesitant to invest in a holster-style pen case. Most of my pens retail for less than $50 so it seemed like overkill to invest in an expensive carrying case for my hacked Metropolitan or my TWSBI Mini. But thankfully, the Nock Co Kickstarter campaign put the Lookout Pen Holster in just the right price point for my assortment of loved-but-reasonably-priced pens. I selected the navy blue case with gray lining. Most of my pens are clear, silver, grey or black so the simple, classic color scheme seemed like the right choice. Besides, the initial offering from Nock Co did not include ANY green cases (hint, hint, Mr. Dowdy!).

Nock Co Lookout Pen Holster

The case feels slightly padded which makes me feel like my pens are getting even more protection and the flap tucks easily under the strap. There’s no snap or velcro to make opening and closing the case distracting in a classroom or meeting which is a big plus for me. Even with the padded feel and the three divided slots, this is still a svelte, compact case. Just enough room for your three “daily carry” pens/pencils — nothing more, nothing less.

Nock Co Lookout Pen Holster

My longest pen is the Lamy Studio but I think the clip placement has more to do with how high it sits in the case than the actual pen length. I think the green Karas Kustoms Render K looks especially nice against the grey and blue. I even tested the ginormous INK! fountain pen in the case and there’s plenty of room to spare both in height and in the width of the stitched pockets. The only pens that don’t fit quite so well are my tiny pocket pens like the Kaweco Sports and Monteverde Poquito. Maybe there will be a Little Lookout in the future?

I’m not sure what the pricing will be on the Lookout when the Nock Co store opens but I’d venture to say that $20 seems like a reasonable price for a well-made, made-in-USA pen holster case.

Review: Pilot Plumix 1.1mm

Pilot Plumix 1.1mm writing sample

I confess that I quite specifically got the Pilot Plumix Medium Flat Italic (comparable to a 1.1mm) fountain pen ($7.25) to cannibalize the nib for the Pilot Metropolitan ($14.50) pen I have. I had the chance to try out the Plumix thanks to a local pen geek (Thanks, Geoff!) and immediately went home and ordered one. While the shape and overall outside aesthetics leave me wanting, the nib was silky smooth. I had heard other folks mention what a great nib it is for the price point and after trying it, I was sold. It is really as good as everyone says it is. Silky, silky smooth.

Pilot Metropolitan and Plumix

My first order of business was to disassemble both pens in order to swap out the nibs. While I think the medium nib on the Metropolitan is a fine nib, it doesn’t make my heart sing so I was ready to swap it out. I like the metal body of the Metropolitan line over the plastic of the Plumix and its weird, stumpy, wingnut cap even if my Metropolitan is a bit blingy in metallic gold.

Pilot Plumix disassembled

I couldn’t be bothered to clean the pens before disassembly so I used a shop rag to grasped the nib and feed and gentle shimmy it out. Its basically help in the grip section by friction so it didn’t take much force or effort to remove it.

There is a notch inside the grip section that keeps the nib and feed in a specific spot but otherwise it was just a matter of shimmying it back into the other pen body to make the swap. I’d have diagrammed it more if there was anything else to it but really its: grasp, pull and then grasp and push. Also, we are talking about a combined retail value of $22 so I wasn’t too concerned about potential damage if I didn’t do it correctly.

New Improved Pilot Metropolitan

Voila! The completed and fully customized Pilot Metropolitan italic! Total cost: $22.  This same surgery can be done if you want an extra fine nib on a Metropolitan by purchasing the Pilot Penmanship pen ($8.25).

Pilot PLumix 1.1mm writing comparison

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

(Tested on Rhodia Pad No. 18 Uni-Blank)

Link Love of Epic Proportions!

Clampersand (via Domesticated Desk)

Clampersand (via Domesticated Desk)

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Ink:

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Writing & Letter-Writing:

Paper & Notebooks:

Review: Ohto DUDE Fountain Pen

Ohto Dude    Ohto Dude

The Ohto Dude Fountain Pen is pretty notable simply because its a metal body fountain pen for a mere $24.50. Its got a pleasing hexagonal shape, aluminum body and the cap easily posts to make it a nice sized, well-weighted pen. It takes standard European short cartridges or a converter. I used the Kaweco converter I had laying around and it worked just fine. I got the silver finish which looks like a polished aluminum. Its not as shiny as a chrome finish but is bright and definitely shiny. The Ohto Dude is also available in a lacquer black, metallic royal blue and a metallic purple finish.

Ohto Dude posted

Ohto Dude finish comparison

The Ohto Dude metallic finish compared to the Monteverde Poquito in Chrome on the left and the Lamy Studio in brushed aluminum on the right. The Dude in the middle had the look of an unpolished aluminum.

What’s odd about the Ohto Dude, other than the name, is that it is described as a medium nib and it is NOT at all comparable to other Japanese medium nib pens. Its more like a European bold nib. It is a very broad medium and stretches the definition of a medium nib quite a bit. The nib has a little spring to it, though, which makes for some nice line variation and makes it light on the page. Its not at all scratchy and wrote easily, even when I’d left it uncapped for several minutes. Only after sitting uncapped for awhile did it need to be primed (scribbled on a piece of scratch paper to get it flowing again) and then, only just a little bit.

Ohto Dude nib

The smooth, molded plastic grip is quite comfortable to hold.

Ohto Dude grip

Ohto Dude Writing sample

Ohto Dude Writing sample

If you’re looking for a nice looking pen with a wide nib and a nice aluminum body, the Ohto Dude is a good option. Like vanity-sized clothing that does not run to proper sizing, the Ohto Dude should come with the caveat “runs large.” Then again, what would you expect from a pen called “Dude”?

Ohto Dude writing sample

Ink used: De Atramentis Pigeon Blue. Paper used: Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank Pad.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Review: Monteverde Poquito Fountain Pen

Monteverde Poquito fountain pen

The fine folks over at Pen Chalet gave me the opportunity to try the new Monteverde Poquito fountain pen (Retail price $30; from Pen Chalet, $27). Its a classic looking, teeny tiny pocket pen for sure. This is the first Monteverde pen I’ve tried so I was quite excited for the chance to take my first foray into the Monteverde pen world.

Monteverde Poquito fountain pen

The details:

The packaging was on the budget side, just a cardboard box with the pen in a plastic sleeve with an instruction sheet and a single refill cartridge. For the price point, I don’t expect presentation quality packaging but if this is a make or break for you or you were hoping to give this as a gift, I recommend creating your own presentation packaging for this pen.

The branding on this pen is quite subtle. In black on the opposite side of the cap from the clip, in small type, is the Monteverde brand name and below it in smaller text “Poquito”. I know a lot of folks are not fond on the Monteverde logo type and this is some of the most subtle application I’ve seen. Truly unobtrusive. On the top of the clip is a small emboss stamp of the Monteverde crest.

I received the chrome finish version with a “Iridium Point Germany” medium stainless steel nib. The pen has a smooth, tapered shape that made me think, “If a Fisher Space Pen and a Kaweco Sport ever merged…” then this would be the result. Good looks, totally pocketable with some steely-eyed missile man good looks.

Monteverde Poquito fountain pen Size Comparison

As the comparison to the Kaweco Sport and Liliput was inevitable, here’s a quick run down of the comparison specs:

Poquito

Kaweco Sport

Kaweco Liliput

length: closed

4.5”

4.0625”

3.75″

length: uncapped

3.75”

4”

3.5”

length: posted

5”

5.125”

5”

weight: filled & capped

17gms

12 gms

10 gms

weight: filled, no cap

11 gms

6 gms

7 gms

Monteverde Poquito fountain pensize comparison

Overall, the physical size is quite comparable. For determining the width of the pens, the Poquito feels more like the size of a Uni-Ball Signo capped pen while the Kaweco Sport barrel has the width equivalent of a Sharpie marker. The Liliput is ever-so-slightly narrower than the Poquito and is the same diameter from end-to-end while the Poquito tapers on each end. Does that make sense?

I let my husband try the Poquito to get a “man’s perspective”. He found the pen too small overall but normally he prefers ACME pens. He couldn’t find his Fisher Space Pen so we couldn’t do a side-by-side comparison but he’s pretty confident that, when posted, the Space Pen is about a 0.5″ longer than the Poquito.

Monteverde Poquito fountain pen writing sample

The writing experience:

The cap posts easily and does not affect the pen’s weight. The cap actually helps to weight the pen creating a pleasing writing experience. The narrower overall width of the Poquito made it comfortable in my small hands. Its wider than the Kaweco Liliput but obviously narrower than the Kaweco Sport.

The grip section is tiny with a slight ridge where the body and cap snap together. The ridges are smooth so they are not distracting but I imagine this might not be comfortable for extended writing sessions. The cap snaps on with a satisfying click.

The nib was silky smooth out of the box. I seldom use a medium nib fountain pen but this wrote so smoothly and consistently as soon as I put the accompanying cartridge in it. Not one skip or stutter. The line weight was on the finer side of medium for a European/American nib. No lefty issues with getting the ink to flow and on the paper.

The nib is stiff with no flex but I needed only the lightest touch to write and got some nice line variation and even some shading from the black ink. I would probably prefer a fine nib but I like the look and feel of the medium and is not a make-or-break aspect for me with this pen.

If the nib is any indication of Monteverde’s other fountain pens, you’ll definitely be seeing more Monteverde reviews here soon. This pen is “full of awesome” for $30 or less.

Monteverde Poquito fountain pen

Options:

The Poquito fountain pen is new for 2014 and is also available in a dark Stone Gray, a bright metallic Turquoise and a metallic Pink finish with silver tone clip (see the colors over at FPGeeks). The Poquito line offers a stylus/ballpoint model in a similar size and an XL version.

Pen Chalet would like to offer a special discount for readers of The Well-Appointed Desk. Receive 10% off any item on their site using the coupon code wellappointeddesk, including the Poquito. Offer is good through March 31, 2014.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Chalet for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Instagrammatical & TWSBIs (made-up words!)

Image credits (clockwise from top left: Noyolajose, Mary Kate McDevitt, Tuesday Next [that's me!],  FPGeeks, Rad And Hungry, MyCoffeePot, Rad And Hungry,  Elltbr, and GouletPens)

Image credits (clockwise from top left: Noyolajose, Mary Kate McDevitt, Tuesday Next [that's me!], FPGeeks, Rad And Hungry, MyCoffeePot, Rad And Hungry, Elltbr, and GouletPens)

Yeah for awesome Instagram friends! If you’re not following the folks in the photo collage above, I highly recommend them for wonderful office accoutrement photo yummies.

In other news:

Paper and Notebooks:

Pens and Ink:

Pencils:

For Valentine’s Day:

(via Creatively Curated)

Download the hi-rez file at  Creatively Curated

Link Love: The Good, The Bad & The Postal Rate Increase

Shades of Lime (via A Penchant For Paper)

Shades of Lime (via A Penchant For Paper)

Pens & Ink:

Pencils:

Paper:

US Postal Rate Increases (illustration by Donovan Beeson via Letter Writers Alliance)

US Postal Rate Increases (illustration by Donovan Beeson via Letter Writers Alliance)

Misc:

Kaweco Art Sport Amber Fine Nib

Kaweco Art Sport

You may recognize this pen from Brad’s review posted a couple months ago. It might look almost identical because it is the same pen. Brad kindly sent it over to me after I whined mercilessly about not getting any love from Kaweco. Then he sent me a replacement nib for it so that I could have what in my head is the PERFECT pen.

Kaweco Art Sport

I love Kaweco Sports with a retriever-like loyalty and the addition of the pattern mixed acrylic bodies take this pen to a new level of class and good looks.

Kaweco Art Sport

I originally attempted to use it with the B broad nib that Brad had used but I found it too juicy for me. He sent me a fine nib in silver and I’m now in the process of ordering a silver clip to coordinate with it. While I think the gold nib on the amber body is gorgeous, I’m happy to let the Art Sport live its own life with its bright shiny new silver nib and clip.

Kaweco Art Sport

Both nibs write as smoothly as I’ve come to expect from Kaweco nibs. Really, the luxury of this pen is the one-of-a-kind look of the acrylic bodies. Its a considerable upcharge from the standard Kaweco Sport pens. For me, its the right kind of upgrade. I would love an option to upgrade to a 14K gold nib on an Art Sport. That would be a holy grail pen for me.

kaweco art sport

I’ve included a little writing sample though its the same nibs as any of the other Sport line, it is not the same unit though so swapping nibs between a Sport and an Art Sport is not recommended since you’d have to remove just the nib, not the whole nib unit.

kaweco art sport

While the end cap has the gold logo and the nib is silver, I think its an acceptable arrangement. And oh, that amber acrylic is fabulous!

For reviews of other Kaweco products, see my Kaweco Student Review, Kaweco Guilloch 1930 EF, Kaweco Liliput EF, Kaweco Highlighter Pen and Kaweco Sports F reviews.

Stylus Fine Pens sells the Art Sports, in all the color varieties for $125 each. I really like the Alabaster and Akeshir versions as well.

Link Love: Puns and Paper

Link Love

(Ironic artwork)

Paper:

Pens and Ink:

Pencils:

Misc:

Review: Pilot Kakuno Fine Nib

pilot kakuno

I finally got a hold of a Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen. Its an introductory fountain pen, originally targeted to school kids, with its plastic body and low price ($16.50).

The cap has no clip and is the part of the pen available in a variety of colors.  I, of course, bought the lime green cap version with a fine nib. There are other color caps available: red, blue, pink, gray and orange. The cap snaps into place and the divot on the cap is the grip area for grabbing and removing the cap. The body on all the Kakuno pens is an opaque, slate grey. The grip area is a translucent grey-black.

Its a very lightweight pen but the cap can be posted on the pen to give it a little bit more weight and makes it a comfortable length for just about any hand size.

pilot kakuno

One of the most endearing features of the Kakuno is the etched smiley face on the nib. This is a nib that should make you smile on a Monday morning.

pilot kakuno writing sample

The nib is as smooth and silky as the nib I have in my Prera. The grip has a faceted grip area like a hexagonal pencil but has soft, rounded edges that does not dig into my hands the way the Lamy Safari does. But the grip area will help people using fountain pens for the first time find the right hand placement.

I used a standard Pilot blue-black cartridge ($4) for my writing sample though the pen does ship with one black cartridge. I also purchased a CON-50 converter ($8.25) to use with bottled inks. The total cost is $24.75 for the pen and the converter which is a very competitive price for a first fountain pen.

Overall, I love the nib and the grip area is a lovely compromise between the rigid grip area of a Lamy Safari. The green cap is a perfect lime but, I find the look of the pen plastic to be a little kid-like for me. With the exception of the cap, the pen is very unassuming. Though I think it will definitely be a pen I use and keep in my office. The Kakuno is a great value.

EDIT: The grip area is actually a rounded triangular shape.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: The Deja Vu Edition

A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…

Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:

Paper:

Pencils, Pens & Ink:

Misc:

Ask The Desk: Clogged Fountain Pens

Ask The Desk Header

Tom asks:

Several of my fountain pens seem to be clogged.  Certainly the ink does not flow as freely as it did when they were new.

The tried and true cures – such as soaking in a bowl of warm water with two drops of ammonia – do not seem to work.

What is the approved 21st Century approach?

Many thanks,
Tom

I have not had a lot of clogging issues myself. I have purchased several old pens that needed cleaning and I just let them soak in warm water for several days, changing the water every day and then flushing the pen completely with good success.

Since it sound like you have more serious issues, I put a call out to some of the folks out on Twitter and here are there responses:

  1. Azizah from Gourmet Pens: Can you disassemble it? Soak it in 10% ammonia and 90% water (section and nib) and flush it out with water.. Should clear it.
  2. Inktronics says: Time for a total tear down and getting the toothbrush out.
  3. FPGeeks says: After Azizah’s advice, next step would be to use ultrasonic cleaner.
  4. Anderson Pens says: How long did they let it soak? Overnight at least if no ultrasonic or use a bulb to force water through the feed.

I would also wonder about the ink that you are using if you are continuing to have clogging issues. You may want to try a new, different ink once you get your pen cleaned out to see if the issue was a result of gritty ink.

I hope these tips help. Let us all know if you have any luck.

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