Moonman Capped Green Swirl “Glass Nib” Dip Pen
The Moonman Capped Green Swirl Dip Pen ($16) is an acrylic barrel “glass nib” dip pen with a cap. I have a couple other pens of similar design that I’ve purchased on Ebay over the years. The Moonman version has a removable nib unit that will accommodate a Moonman fountain pen nib unit as well just like their N6 model.
The Moonman Dip Pen uses an acrylic nib. It’s not glass. There are some advantages to the acrylic nib dip pens — the tips always seem smoother on paper than glass nibs, they can often survive a tumble unscathed and are often much less expensive than true glass.
All that said, acrylic nib “glass pens” have a fatal flaw. The material is ever-so-slightly soft and is therefore prone to getting deformed due to heat, hand pressure or just manufacturing issues. This particular pen has some serious issue with flow and consistent flow. It would continually hard start, even in the middle of a sentence. If rotated, it would not write. It had ONE sweet spot. I cannot say that this issue would happen with every pen but it happened with this one. So as much as I’d like to praise this pen and talk about how wonderful it was — it wasn’t. It was frustrating, irritating and generally disappointing. I’ll probably pop a Moonman fountain pen nib unit into it and use it for ink testing that way but this “glass nib” is going in the trash.
Kemmy’s Labo Petal Corset EF Glass Dip Pen
For starters, as much as I fuss about overly fussy pen packaging, the Kemmy’s Labo Corset EF Glass Dip Pen ($48) is on the opposite end of the spectrum. This plain paper board box with grey foam inside is the saddest looking packaging I’ve seen. Particularly with glass pens which are often stored in their boxes for protection, this is the one case where I think slightly more aesthetic and durable materials should have been used in the packaging.
The pen comes with a glass dot pen rest. It’s not super useful as it is tiny and I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to best place the pen securely but its a nice add-on.
The model I purchased is not the most aesthetic looking pen, IMHO. It looks like a snake that just ate his meal, if I’m honest. It feel fine in the hand, particularly if you prefer larger pens in general. I wanted to see if this bulbous design would change my writing experience at all. Mostly, I don’t find myself reaching for it often because I think it’s kind of ugly.
On the upside Kemmy’s Labo offers their REAL GLASS dip pens in a variety of nib widths (EF, F, M, and B). Since i tend to prefer EF and F fountain pens, I thought the Kemmy’s Labo EF glass pen would give me the most similar results to my usual tools.
Of course, I didn’t consider the fact that EF nibs, particularly in a glass pen would be particularly scratchy, even on Rhodia paper. While if wrote at all angles and pretty consistently as long as their was still ink in the grooves, the writing experience was not particularly pleasant. Scratchy on Rhodia means the Kemmy’s Labo on more textured paper like Col-o-ring feels like I’m off-roading with a city bike. The tool is not accommodating the paper terrain.
I would not recommend the Moonman Capped Dip Nib Pen. I don’t know why these do not perform as well as other acrylic “glass nibs” but two-out-of-two disappointing results makes me very hesitant to recommend it, even for experimental purposes. With Kemmy’s Labo, I would recommend trying the F or broader in hopes of a slightly smoother writing experience. I like extra fine nibs and even I find the EF too sharp.
Jaclyn did a more in-depth review of several glass dip pens awhile back if you are looking for other options and opinions. Laura also reviewed the Moonman N6 and had a disappointing experience with the dip nib as well, though for slightly different reasons.
So, my bottom line, is that two dip pens enter and they both leave. I might occasionally use the Kemmy’s Labo but the Moonman nib is not staying at all.