i n k l o d e

fountain pens, inks, paper and more

Posts in the fountain pen category

Morning_Glory_CalliCally_03

Anyone who is familiar with Korean stationery supplies will be probably know the name Morning Glory. Having been one of the nation’s top stationery supply manufacturers since its inception in 1987, when it first entered the market, Morning Glory has expanded its operations to over 20 different countries. Though they are best known for manufacturing notebooks and office supplies with cute cartoon characters on them, they have also seen fit to produce an affordable (in the $2 USD range), entry-level fountain pen for the budding enthusiast—the Morning Glory CalliCally.

Appearance and Design

Morning_Glory_CalliCally_06

 

There is no doubt that this is a cheap pen. The soft blue-green color scheme and obvious branding stamped onto the side of the pen ensure that it fits in perfectly on a shelf between the ballpoint pens and the Platinum Preppy fountain pens. Though the plastic material of the barrel feels light, it does not seem too weak to withstand daily wear and tear. On the other hand, the grip section feels like plastic borrowed from a toy with its funny little grip pattern imprinted into it. Despite all of this, holding the pen isn’t too uncomfortable. There is a significant step down from the barrel to the grip which some might find troublesome. The cap posts deeply and securely so there is no concern of it falling off while writing, and it clicks on to the front end with an equal amount of security. The nib is tiny and features no decorations or branding of any kind (not that there is much space for any of that). Overall, the size of the pen is adequate, but the heft of the pen leaves me wanting. The cap contains enough plastic to actually make the pen somewhat back-heavy when posted. Not enough to cause any issues, of course. The pen is accompanied by six mini-cartridges filled with Morning Glory’s proprietary black ink.

Writing Experience

Morning_Glory_CalliCally_09

 

Initially, the nib would not lay down a consistent line and the feed could not channel ink properly. After tweaking the nib a bit, the pen finally started to write. The nib is surprisingly smooth and I could see how the pen might be a great beginning tool for a young student. My only concern would be the slightly fragile nature of the construction versus something more solidly built like a Platinum Preppy. There is no flex in the nib. If you even attempt to flex the nib, it will become bent beyond recognition and will cease to function. Following the initial adjustments, the feed kept up perfectly and there was no skipping of any kind. It provided a perfectly acceptable writing experience that actually became rather pleasant after a while. The only issue I had was that the lightweight nature of the pen did not suit me for longer writing sessions. As a side note, the ink in the cartridges that come with the pen is surprisingly water resistant and a very deep shade of black. I might have to acquire more and do some tests with it.

Conclusion

This is a cheap pen, and you get what you pay for. And for (essentially) $2 USD, you get a pen that can write well, comes with several permanent black ink cartridges, and is a bit different from your average ultra entry-level fountain pen. Obviously it is nothing close to a must-have, but if you can get your hands on one, it could be a fun option for someone who appreciates the “quainter” side of life who you are introducing to the wide world of fountain pens.

 

Parker Urban

Parker Urban

 

Throughout fountain pen history, the Parker pen brand has been associated with some amazingly beautiful fine writing instruments. Today, Parker pens have found a much more humble following of fans and enthusiasts. Part of the reason for this shift may be due to the fact that Parker have downplayed their role in making entry-level fountain pens and have been focusing on their higher-end luxury lines. However, that isn’t to say that they have completely abandoned the more affordable price ranges. The Parker Urban is a perfect example of a fountain pen that is both sleek and reliable.

Appearance and Design

Parker_Urban_003

The Parker Urban features a sleek, elongated pear-shape where the undulated contour of the barrel and cap make the pen seem like the body was given a slight squeeze towards the back. I find this design to be very appealing and the pen feels really nice to hold. Gripping the pen is easy and, while some may find the step down from the grip to the barrel to be too steep, the grip does not feel slippery or uncomfortable to write with. While Parker saw fit to make the pen in a variety of colors, I still found myself drawn to the matte black with silver trim. The snap-on cap features Parker’s iconic arrow clip and the bottom cap band is engraved with the word “Parker” accompanied by their logo. The back of the pen is balanced out with silver trim to balance out the trim on the cap. Most of the pen is constructed of steel which gives the pen a good amount of heft. The pen itself is well constructed and I found no flaws or blemishes from the manufacturing process. The nib is incredibly small and seems like it was given the appearance of a hooded nib without actually being one. The feed is simple in appearance and is equally small to match the nib. Nib decoration is a few simple markings with the word Parker engraved across it. Posting is easy and the cap feels somewhat secure, but a good jostling could certainly convince the cap to go flying off into the ether. The pen is accompanied by a plunger-style converter and also accepts cartridges.

Writing Experience

Parker Urban writing

Despite the nature of the construction material, the Parker Urban does not feel too hefty to write with. While posting the pen does make it feel a bit too back-heavy, it is not nearly as uncomfortable as posting some other all-metal pens I have used previously. The nib, though small, puts down a very smooth and wet line. While you may be able to coax a tiny bit of flex out of it, the nib is certainly not designed for it and I do not recommend flexing it. That being said, the pen can be comfortable to write with for extended writing sessions and will put down a consistent amount of ink. The feed seems to have no trouble keeping up and I have never had any experiences where the pen skipped or ran dry.

Conclusion

The Parker Urban may not be as fancy as a Parker Vacumatic of old, but it is a smooth writing pen that comes in a sleek and stylish design. Although the price may seem a bit high, I still think I can give this pen my recommendation. It is a fun, yet classy, looking pen that could certainly become a sturdy every-day-carry. So if you already have a few pens in your arsenal and are looking to try out an affordable, modern Parker pen, the Urban is worth a look.

Stipula Splash

Stipula Splash

The Stipula Splash hit the market in late 2014 with the marketing materials focused on the fact that it was a piston-filled demonstrator pen with a mini “V-flex” nib with an MSRP of $79 USD from the Italian pen manufacturer.

Packaging

Stipula Splash packaging

The box it arrived in was a sturdy, red-colored cardboard box with a magnetic flap to keep it closed. Inside was a faux-velvet pad with a strap to secure the pen in place. The space beneath the pad housed the manual which detailed how to care for and fill the pen in both English and Italian. The packaging was nothing particularly special, but it was perfectly adequate for keeping the pen safe on its journey. Though, I do feel the box may have been a tad larger than necessary and the strap securing the pen does not do the best job at preventing it from sliding around.

Appearance and Design

Stipula Splash v-flex nib

The pen is lighter than I had anticipated. The plastic material out of which it is constructed feels very light-weight and potentially fragile. While the body might be able to take some hits, the cap feels particularly vulnerable to cracking if mishandled. I ordered the Stipula Splash in the lovely Bordeaux color scheme. The cap and grip section are the only colored parts of the pen as the barrel is clear, the piston is transparent, and the piston knob is polished metal. Personally, I wish the piston knob was a matching shade of Bordeaux to balance out the appearance of the pen. The Stipula leaf logo sits in relief on the flattened top of the cap which gives way to a simple, but sturdy, clip. There is one single metal band wrapped around the cap near the base and looks to be made of a cheaper material than the rest of the metal on the pen. Once posted, I find the pen looks much more appealing with the beautifully clear barrel sandwiched between the colors of the cap and grip section. Although the piston knob is solid metal, the relatively short length of the pen helps prevent it from feeling back heavy when it isn’t posted. However, posting the pen adds a comfortable length but also tips the scale towards making the pen uncomfortably back-heavy. The nib is very small and is split down the center to allow for flexing of the steel tines and is adorned with a simple repetition of the Stipula leaf logo that is subtle and elegant. One thing that could double as a pro or a con is the lack of long threads for the screw-on pen cap. It only takes 1/2 a turn of the cap to remove it. While this does raise some concerns about the pen uncapping itself if one were to carry it in a pocket, I can appreciate this design as it does make uncapping and re-capping the pen effortless and allows me to start writing quickly when I need to. Though I have heard complaints about leaking, I have not seen any such issues with my version of the pen. It can hold a good amount of ink, but due to the way it is constructed, I was unable to completely fill the reservoir with ink normally.

Writing Experience

Writing

Although this pen has been touted as housing a mini-flex nib, the small size of the pen and nib means any significant flexing requires a lot of pressure when writing. This becomes somewhat of an issue due to the fact that the nib itself is rather scratchy. Attempting to flex the nib makes me feel like I am going to tear into the paper at times. That being said, the amount of flex possible seems to be similar to that of the Noodler’s Ahab steel flex (even though the Noodler’s flex nib is much larger). I ran into a lot of railroading while attempting to flex this nib even after some minor adjustments, but the feed and nib keep up wonderfully with normal writing. As the ink reservoir gets low, the pen starts dropping more ink while writing. This may become a nuisance if the ink you are writing with is already quite wet or if it has longer dry times. After spending some time with the pen, I found that I became used to the (incredibly) narrow sweet spot where the nib doesn’t feel so scratchy and I have had a rather pleasant experience writing with the pen normally (as in not flexing the nib). The grip section is tiny, so if you have larger hands or prefer larger pens, this is definitely not for you. The good news is, the threads do not get in the way or feel uncomfortable.

Stipula Splash writing sample

Please pardon the sloppy flex writing.

As you can see, the nib lays down a nice wet “fine” line with normal writing. As I attempt to flex the pen, I occasionally run into difficulties where the feed becomes rather inconsistent in how much ink it is laying out (sometimes too much, sometimes to little). That being said, the amount of flex possible is rather nice but it simply requires too much pressure for it to be a comfortable experience.

Conclusion

The Stipula Splash seems to accomplish a multitude of things with the mini-flex nib, the “demonstrator” style ink reservoir, the piston filling mechanism, and the small compact size. They manage to fit a lot into a small package, but for the price I would expect this pen to feel a little more solid in the hand. I think this is a case of “jack of all trades, master of none” where the Stipula Splash comes with lots features, but none of them really stand out as exceptional (and some of them are just plain disappointing). That being said, I honestly don’t think it is a terrible pen, but I do think that Stipula is asking for a lot of money for what you get.

 

Nib material: Steel (v-flex)

Cap: Screw

Filling mechanism: Piston

Overall Length: 126 mm

 

Special thanks to Pen Chalet for sending me this Stipula Splash! Although this pen was provided at no cost, this review contains my 100% honest and unfettered opinion.

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Pilot Petit 1

 

When the hunt begins for affordable and compact fountain pen options, people eventually find themselves staring down a Pilot Petit 1. This pen is both affordable and tiny enough to slip into the tight pockets of a pair of skinny jeans. There are a handful of features that make this quite a fun little pen to have in your pocket. They come in a wide variety of colors—each with their own entertaining name. Unfortunately, several of the colors have been discontinued as the years wore on (and they were very difficult for me to get my hands on!)

Originally the pens came in 12 different colors (named below from left to right):

Correction: It appears that I am actually missing at least two colors from the very first generation. The hunt continues!

Pilot Petit fountain pens

Black
Blue-Black
Blue
Clear Blue
Turquoise (discontinued)
Apple Green
Violet (discontinued)
Baby Pink
Cherry Pink (discontinued)
Red
Mandarin Orange (discontinued)
Apricot Orange

 

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the colors of the actual inks were rather close to the colors of the pen bodies. The inks are all very nice—not too wet, not too dry, they go down on the paper smoothly and have no bleeding or feathering that I observed. (More in-depth ink reviews to come later!)Pilot Petit Colors

Due to its small size, the pen cap does not post deeply onto the body, but there are little bumps on the back of the pen that allow the cap to securely click into place. Even though the cartridges that it takes are diminutive, they are not terribly expensive and can be refilled with a syringe. For the more adventurous writer, there has been some reported success in turning these pens into eyedroppers, but not every story has been a successful one so proceed at your own risk. However, one of my favorite features of the Pilot Petit 1 is the clear feed. Upon closer inspection, the feed channel appears to be filled with a fibrous material that soaks up the ink (perhaps an effort to prevent drying). The first time you click a cartridge into the pen, you are treated with a view of the ink traveling down the length of the feed and saturating the nib (see video).

Visible fibrous material embedded in feed channel

Visible fibrous material embedded in feed channel

The current generation of Pilot Petit 1 pens were not the first. The previous iteration of the pen was shorter, had an opaque feed that was the same color as the pen body, and lacked the posting nubs on the back of the pen. However, they still take the same cartridges, and none of the construction materials appear to have been changed. The discontinued pens were discontinued after the previous iteration and therefore the discontinued colors do not exist with the current generation features.

Pilot Petit comparison

Previous generation (top) compared with current generation (bottom)

 

Below you can see the difference between the previous opaque feed and the current transparent feed. Aside from the actual transparency and color difference, the feed does not appear to have been changed in design or functionality. I always enjoy seeing transparent feeds implemented on pens where it is a good fit, and the playfulness of the Pilot Petit makes great use of it.

Pilot Petit opaque feedPilot Petit transparent feed

Of course, the real heart of the pen is how it writes, and the Pilot Petit is a fairly standard pen in that regard. Many people reported that their earlier generation pens were scratchy and unpleasant, but I have had no issues with either the previous or current generation as such. The pens are not super smooth, but they aren’t toothy. The feed has no trouble keeping up with any writing I threw at it, and the flow was decent. While the pen is definitely a bit short to write with comfortably, I found that posting it brought it up to a perfectly acceptable length to get some good mileage out of this pen.

Pilot Petit writing

 

Personally, I think they are perfect little pens to bring along when you need to add a little color to your life in a small package. It is really unfortunate that some of the colors had been discontinued because they were among my favorite ones of the bunch. Regardless, for the price, these petite pens are a wonderfully colorful addition to my collection and I am happy to have them on-hand for the occasional excursion.

Sidenote: The Pilot Petit 1 also comes in a 2 (felt-tip marker) and 3 (brush pen) variety.

 

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Nemosine Singularity

Nemosine is known for producing a few affordable fountain pens in a wide array of colors. The Nemosine Singularity is one of their more popular pen choices. The construction is in keeping with its price range, and while the pen itself feels really lightweight, the plastic feels solid enough to endure every day wear and tear. I chose to purchase the demonstrator version of this pen, and it looks great. There is a single visible seam running along the side of the body and pen cap, but it doesn’t take away from the overall look. The cap screws on easily enough and finds a snug fit so you can be sure it will not uncap itself. In keeping with the affordable nature of the pen, the packaging is kept simple. A small white box adorned with the name of the pen and the Nemosine logo comes filled with the pen itself, a converter, and 6 mini-cartridges.

Nemosine Singularity nib

I find that the pen has a very utilitarian feel to it. Due to the low-price of the pen, I feel very comfortable tossing it into a bag and taking it with me on trips. Although the pen is a bit too light for my liking, it is comfortable in the hand and easy to write with. The cap posts nice and deep so there is no risk of it coming loose and, while the added weight is nice, it does become a little back-heavy. The nib is moderately smooth, but one thing that prevents this from becoming a daily-carry for me is the flow. While the pen can put down a consistent line, I found that it is a fairly dry-writing pen. But many people consider purchasing this pen in order to convert it to an eyedropper. There is a distinct lack of holes in the pen body, so it is ideal for conversion. I would have thought that the screw threads were a bit too far apart, but I have read numerous success stories online, so it’s definitely worth a try. It may not be a must-have but, for the price, this is a great pen for someone looking for a simple, no-frills fountain pen to take to class or jot down notes at work (or convert into an eyedropper!)

 

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Screw

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter

Overall Length: ~136 mm

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モリタ万年筆店

On an unassuming street in the heart of Osaka, Japan is a small fountain pen shop owned and operated by Seiji Morita (森田 誠ニ). Despite its size, Mr. Morita’s shop has gained popularity within the international fountain pen community for his fair pricing, excellent service, and special exclusive inks and pens made specifically for his shop. During my latest visit to Osaka, I decided to dedicate some time to speak with Mr. Morita about his store and about fountain pens in general. It was a warm summer’s day, heavy with humidity and the sound of cicadas filling the air. In his small air conditioned shop, I inquired about the history of the store as he quietly went about his business of adjusting displays and delicately cleaning pens.

The Morita Fountain Pen Shop was originally opened by Mr. Morita’s father in 1946 during the period of post-WWII reconstruction. Although a large portion of the country was based in agriculture, a shift towards heavy industry and technology was just over the horizon. At the time, many Japanese businessmen needed fountain pens in order to sign contracts and other business related materials—items like fountain pens and lighters were even more prominent status symbols in the business world than they are today. Parker fountain pens, in particular, were highly sought after. Therefore, opening a store that catered to these up-and-coming professionals seemed like a lucrative business prospect. Although the exact location has changed slightly over the years, the shop has never strayed far from Kitahama Station.

 

The shop has a wide assortment of pens on display

 

Over the decades, technology has transformed fountain pens from a ubiquitous tool used almost daily, into a niche hobby by a sizable community of collectors and writers. Undeterred by the overwhelming digitization of communication, Mr. Morita remains resolved in his thought that the unique experience of writing with fountain pens will continue to draw in new members to the ranks. He explained that his shop is visited by both the young and old alike, and he believes that since young people usually communicate with cellphones and the internet, they become interested in fountain pens because it is something different and unusual. Even though the world of communication has become inexorably digitized, new faces always seem to find their way into the world of pens and inks.

 

 

Even in the face of online shopping eclipsing physical stores in popularity, he reasserts the importance of trying out fountain pens before you purchase them. Each pen has a different weight and feel, and each nib has its own properties that may be better suited to one person’s tastes over another’s. And, like any good shop owner, he enjoys his work for the satisfaction and smiles of his customers when they find the right pen. It is difficult to say if running a physical shop will be sustainable into the distant future, but for now Mr. Morita seems more than happy to dedicate his time and efforts into bringing something personal and unique to the fountain pen world.

If you ever find yourself in Osaka, I highly recommend paying Mr. Morita a visit. He is very kind and accommodating, and his shop has two exclusive ink colors made by Sailor (Shade Green and Wine) as well as an exclusive color Sailor Professional Gear and Professional Gear Slim. The colors for the inks and pens were personally chosen by Mr. Morita and certainly add to the experience of visiting his shop.

 

The two Sailor ink colors made exclusively for the Morita Pen Shop

The two Sailor ink colors made exclusively for the Morita Pen Shop

 

I asked Mr. Morita if he’d be willing to pose for a photo but he politely declined. Regardless, I want to thank him for taking the time to speak to me, and for allowing me to take some photos of his shop!

And a special thank you to my interpreter, Takashi Komatsu! 

 

 

 

Website: http://morita.ne.jp/

E-mail: pen@morita.ne.jp

Directions: The Morita Fountain Pen Shop (モリタ万年筆店) is located in the Chūō-ku ward (中央区) of Osaka (大阪) just out of Kitahama Station (北浜駅). Come out of exit 6 and turn left. Walk to the first corner and take another left and you will see the shop on the left side of the road. It’s really easy to get to, but I took some photos just in case. Kitahama Station is located on the Osaka Municipal Subway lines, not the JR lines. If you are coming from Osaka Station, you will have to make a transfer. If you prefer physical activity, you may consider walking as there are a few interesting things to see along the way.

Come out of exit 6 at Kitahama Station and turn left

Go to the first corner and turn left

You will see the shop on the left side of the street.

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Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen

 

Muji is a popular retail company that has spread across the globe with their policies of simple design, use of recycled materials, and the omission of branding on their goods. They carry a wide variety of items from bookshelves and bed sheets, to t-shirts and travel bags. Within their vast assortment of items is the Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen. True to their word, this pen has no branding and takes on a simple form out of lightweight aluminum. My first impression, upon holding the pen, was that it felt cheaper than I had expected. Although the pen is made of metal, it feels quite light. The body is actually rather thin in some places, but that is not to say that it isn’t sturdy. It feels well constructed and can probably stand up to a good amount of daily wear, but perhaps not as much as a pen machined from stainless steel, of course.

The pen is well balanced and the cap has been machined in a way that the metal circle along the bottom of the cap slides into a mirrored circular gap along the back of the pen. Along with the fact that the cap weighs very little, this means that the pen posts perfectly and is actually one of the few pens that I prefer to write with posted (it feels a tiny bit too light without the cap). The knurled metal grip section has been a point of contention for some, but I have found it pleasant to hold and rather comfortable, in the grand scheme of things. The only issue I had was the fact that the body is actually quite thin and I generally prefer larger pens, but that is a personal preference.

Despite the low-price of the pen (under $20 USD), the nib is actually incredibly smooth. It is adorned with some generic scroll work and reads, “Iridium Point.” Regardless of its place of origin, the writing experience says it all. The nib glides across the paper with ease and the feed keeps up perfectly. I have had no issues with flow or skipping.

 

 

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Pelikan Twist

Pelikan Twist

 

The Pelikan Twist is an entry level fountain pen offering that is relatively affordable and quite functional. Initially, the color schemes and aesthetics didn’t seem very appealing, but I eventually came to appreciate the uniqueness of the design for a starter pen. I chose the 2014 limited edition “Petrol and Apricot” color with a fine nib (also comes in medium). Constructed entirely of plastic, the Twist feels sturdy but lightweight. The plastic itself seems like it could handle daily wear and tear rather well, but perhaps won’t stand the test of time after many years of heavy use. When squeezed, the body does not flex, but the cap will. The cap slips on with a satisfying click and I think it’s kind of fun how you need to follow the twist of the pen while uncapping. However, I could understand why this might be slightly worrisome to others as the rubber of the grip section could become worn down if you let the grip rub against the inside of the cap constantly.

Pelikan Twist

Generally speaking, I find no appeal in grip sections that have predetermined locations for you to place your fingers, but the Twist is surprisingly comfortable to hold in spite of this. The rubber has a sort of soft-touch, smooth, plasticky feel to it. Depending on where you purchase the pen, it may or may not come with a converter. The pen is well balanced and actually looks about as heavy as I was expecting it to be. While the cap will sit on the back of the pen, it does not post securely by any means. The steel nib is a wonderfully wet writer and was smoother than I was expecting for an entry level pen. This may not be an essential pen for your collection, but I am all for more affordable options being available and the Pelikan Twist holds its own rather well. If you’re searching for an affordable pen, this is certainly worth a look!

 

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Snap

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter

Overall Length: 139 mm

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TWSBI_Micarta_01

 

The TWSBI Micarta Version 2 is a beautiful fountain pen constructed out of a sturdy layered material known as Micarta. This material is used in a wide variety of roles from industrial applications to knife handles. The insulating properties of Micarta gives this pen a very unique feel and look to it that I find completely enthralling. The pen comes in both clipped and non-clipped versions, of which I chose the latter. Although it is lightweight, the pen does not feel cheap or “plasticky.” Rather, the Micarta gives the pen an incredibly sturdy feel beyond that of the typical plastic/resin pen. The texture is smooth and it seems to even absorb moisture to a degree, so if you have sweaty hands you need not worry about your grip slipping at all. The cap screws off in two and a half revolutions with a fibrous sound and feel that is a bit difficult to describe, but I find it incredibly satisfying. The threads themselves have little fibers sticking out every which way when the pen is brand new, but they will wear off with use. I find this to be part of the charm of the pen– being able to see it evolve as you use it.

TWSBI Micarta cap threads

Detail of cap threads. Note the tiny fibers from the Micarta.

The nib is gold colored steel and is an incredibly smooth writer right out of the box. I had zero issues with start up or flow. The cap can be posted, but I find it feels a bit too long and heavy on the back-end if I do so. Version 2 of this pen has slight changes to the material as well as the updated nib and inner cap to prevent the nib from drying out.  The pen uses a cartridge/converter fill system which has given me no problems. However, I have noted that some inks may cause staining to the grip section if you dip your pen to fill from an inkwell. Some people have complained about the smell of the material, but I found the scent to be rather faint and it continues to fade as I continue to use the pen. Even so, the initial smell of the Micarta was nowhere near as powerful as the initial smell of the Noodler’s Ahab when I first got it.

Included with the pen is one of TWSBI’s notebooks with a storage slot for the pen within the book itself. I will not be discussing the notebook in this review, but I have included pictures to give you an idea of how it looks below.

TWSBI Micarta posted

TWSBI Micarta with cap posted

I find this pen to be a joy to write with.  The Micarta material gives this pen a very unique look and feel that I have not experienced with any other fountain pen so far. The size and weight of this pen has ensured that I can write for long periods of time with no discomfort. I adore the Micarta material so much I may consider purchasing a second one.

Unfortunately, due to poor sales and high-manufacturing costs, TWSBI discontinued this pen at the end of 2013. Any remaining stock from TWSBI is the last of them before it is gone forever. I know that I will continue to cherish mine well into the future. Highly recommended if you like unique pens!

 

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Screw

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter

Overall Length: 136 mm

Weight: ~24 g

 

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Sheaffer 100

Sheaffer100_01

Even after all of the pens I’ve acquired, I still find myself drawn to affordable pens that give great performances. I had heard many good things about the Sheaffer 100, and a sale at my local pen shop finally convinced me to pick it up.

The pen comes in a variety of colors, including versions featuring design patterns printed on the barrel. You can also get the pen in either gloss finish or matte finish, depending on your tastes. While the matte finish really appeals to me, I decided to go with the classic, glossy black & gold version of this pen. I was not disappointed. The pen is striking and has an air of class to it that I think is lost on a lot of other pens in its price range. The construction is solid. There are no loose or wobbly parts that I could find. The cap eases onto the body with a soft, satisfying click. Even though the barrel is made of stainless steel, the pen does not feel too heavy. The grip section on the black & gold version is a polished gold, but I did not have any problems with my fingers slipping. It performs its duties as a grip section just fine. My only complaint is that it obviously attracts fingerprints like a glass mirror, but that is to be expected. Included with this pen is Sheaffer’s converter. It holds a decent amount of ink and works reasonably well. The only potential issue I could see is that it slips out of the pen rather easily, so just be careful that you don’t accidentally pull the converter out of the pen while you’re filling from the bottle or trying to flood the feed with a bit of ink.

One of the shining features of this pen is, of course, the nib. The nib is very wet and very smooth. Flow is excellent and can keep up with fast writing very nicely. Considering the cost of the pen, I think the nib is spectacular. The only other feature that might outshine the nib, in my opinion, is the weight and balance of the pen. I love my resin pens, and I have to admit that switching between metal barreled pens and lighter weight resin pens after long periods of time can feel awkward and ungainly. However, there is something about the heft and balance of this pen that really appeals to me. Un-posted, the pen feels extremely comfortable in my hand. The balance feels almost perfect, to me. Since the cap is also made of metal, posting the pen makes it feel a bit too back heavy for my taste, but the cap posts quite deeply so it isn’t as bad as some other metal pens I’ve used. One thing I did notice is that the clip is incredibly tight and I had trouble slipping it over some pockets, but your experience may vary.

Overall, I am really pleased with this pen. It is well constructed, writes wonderfully, and is very affordable. The durability and price could make this a great every-day-carry pen for anyone’s arsenal. Definitely recommended!

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Snap

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter

Overall Length: 138 mm

Weight: ~31 g

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