I have been waiting to do this review for WAY TOO long. Hinze Pens are such a unique and under-recognized pen maker on the scene right now. Jim Hinze is creating oversized acrylic/resin pens in amazing colors, some even include diamond dust for a stunning effect. The larger pens are made to be comfortable for writers who may have hand issues like arthritis or other gripping issues as well as people who just prefer larger pens. I tested the American Graffiti Fountain Pen with a custom brass clip (a similar model is listed here). Even though the pen is large, the acrylic/resin material makes it light enough to be be used by someone like me with smaller hands.
Hinze Pens ship in a metal tin with cut foam lining. The cases are simple but protective and worthy of the craftsmanship of the pens. The Hinze logo is printed on the lid of the box. As discussed in the past, I don’t want a lot of packaging on my pens because I don’t want ostentatious, wasteful materials that I have to figure out how to store or recycle. However, I also want the packaging to be worthy of the product in both presentation and protection. If the packaging has potential secondary use, that’s great too. The Hinze box, being a metal tin, appears to fall into the category of secondary use potential by removing the foam liner. It’s also low profile so I can keep it without requiring a separate wing on my house (Aurora, I’m looking at you!).
The pens take either JOWO or Bock nibs and with custom orders, you can select which nib type you prefer –#5 or #6 size. Though I think a larger #6 nib will probably look more proportional on Hinze’s larger pens. If you prefer a beret on a yeti, that’s your choice. I’m not going to judge. Chuckle maybe.
Most of the Hinze nibs are etched with the Hinze logo. I got mine late in the pen show weekend and the pickings were slim so I ended up with a plain steel EF nib.
Since Hinze pens use mostly JOWO nibs (or you can request JOWO nibs), this makes them compatible with Franklin-Christoph nibs. If you had a Franklin-Christoph custom ground #5 nib (maybe a Masuyama or something that was ground especially for you at a show), then this would be a legitimate reason for requesting a Hinze pen with a #5 nib. Go, you beret-wearing Yeti! You look fabulous and write like a dream. Alternately, you can order JOWO nibs from Peyton Street or Franklin-Christoph in #6.
For size comparison, pictured above left to right, Kaweco Sport, Pelikan M200, Bob’s Hinze Fountain Pen, the Hinze American Graffiti, Sailor ProGear Slim, Lamy AL-Star and Pilot Metropolitan Pop. Clearly, the Hinze pens are larger than most of my other pens by leaps and bounds.
The Hinze pen I tested was larger than the one my husband owns and, with the brass clip, it was heavier too. However, when uncapped, it was actually lighter. Bob’s pen (which, for the record is the only fountain pen he uses on a regular basis) is 5.75″ long capped and 5.5″ long uncapped. Bob’s pen weighs 24gms capped and filled and 18gms uncapped. The design of his pen is straighter and does not allow for the cap to be posted. The American Graffiti that I tested was 6″ long capped and 5-9/16″ uncapped. The American Graffiti weighs a whopping 32gms capped and 16gms uncapped. It can be posted making it a baton at a length 7-5/16″.
The same pens as pictured previously, this time posted with the exception of Bob’s Hinze which cannot be posted. The Hinze American Graffiti is way ahead of the pack in length.
Despite being a considerably larger pen, writing with the Hinze pens is actually a comfortable affair. The barrel of the pen is not so wide that I cannot grip it comfortably. The only other truly large pen I’ve used that was just too wide for me was the Wancher Dream Pen. While it was very lightweight it was too wide for me to use comfortably. I’d compare the writing width of the Hinze pens to be consistent to writing with a kid-sized crayon or wide width pencil. This completely explains why my husband loves this pen so much. I always tease him that he writes as if he’s using a crayon and his Hinze pen is fitted with a 1.1mm stub nib and red ink so it really is just a grown up crayon.
I think that pretty much sums up the joy of Hinze Pens. The colors of the materials are beautiful from diamondcast sparkles to swirly, funky colors mixed with anodized nibs and a comfortable feel like a jumbo crayon, Hinze Pens delight adults like a new box of crayons delight a child.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Hinze American Graffiti Fountain Pen (approx. $159.99)
- Ink: Straits Pens Accident Lilac (currently unavailable)
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