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Faber-Castell Loom & Basic Review


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#1 Fabienne

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 15:56

 

After much trouble, I did manage to get a F-C Loom and a Basic. I have to say that both are exceptionally good pens for the price. The nib is smooth as silk right out of the box and (wonder of wonders) the pens write and don't skip, stop, stutter, blob, or do anything other than write flawlessly from the first. But, there is more. Take a look at the video and find out what the differences are. Many thanks to Renee Lamb from Faber-Castell, she went through no end of trouble to make sure that I got a Loom despite the best efforts of their official shopping cart to thwart me in my quest. Renee deserved a huge round of applause.

 

When I got the Basic and then the Loom, I was struck by the modern design and the heft of the Basic. The latter was almost too heavy for me, but then again I have small hands and prefer a lighter pen. If your hands are larger and you prefer a heavier pen, this one may be for you. The Loom is great for us smaller folk. 

 

The pens came in amazingly high quality paper boxes, with a ribbon to pull out the pens from their outer shells. They had an instruction booklet. The presentation is equal to much more expensive writing instruments. 

 

I tried both of mine without scrubbing and flushing and flushing and scrubbing first. I just *gasp* plopped in the international cartridges which came with the pens and started to write. No skips, stops, or other annoying mishaps on either one! I am not used to that and you aren't either. 

 

I had heard the nibs were smooth, they are. Amazingly enough they are very plush. You don't feel much road feel with them. They have no spring at all to them but with smoothness like this, that is a very small point. 

 

Minus points? Just a few and they are minor. First, it was hard to buy the Loom in broad. The website did not work and I had to contact the company via e-mail a couple of times and call them before I could give them my money. The Basic is not exactly the same as the Loom and it's back end is heavier by far so it could tire your hand (plus side is that it sits in the web of your hand and for such a heavy pen is pretty easy to take for long periods of time. The Loom's grip was really slippery and I had to swipe it a couple of times with micro mesh to keep my fingers from slipping. Finally, the  measly little international ink cartridges are a disappointment but I will get over that. I usually fill that sort of thing with a syringe and ink bottle. 

 

In short, I would have to say that the Faber-Castell Basic and Loom pens were excellent to very good. They met or exceeded my expectations. They are wonderful for the daily pen or a present to someone whom you really like. Well made and well thought out! 


Edited by Fabienne, 28 June 2013 - 00:07.


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#2 rwilsonedn

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 19:19

Applause to you too for your perseverance. Congratulations!

ron



#3 Ecriveur

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:55

I also have a Faber Castell Basic and am quite impressed by how well it writes, especially given it's a very affordable pen in the Lamy Safari price range. The Faber Castell Basic is a very underrated pen, IMO. The pen is quite heavy, but I like heavy pens so that's not a problem for me. But I'd also point out that you have the metal one, and there's a carbon fiber version of the Basic that isn't as heavy.

 

Re the website problem it's part of a larger problem with Faber Castell's marketing. It's like they don't have any market research or marketing people. I'm not expecting Amazon-level website capability but you should at least be able to order stuff without having to telephone them. They also released a fantastic looking all-black "stealth" e-motion fountain pen recently, but you'd never know it from looking at their web page - it's not mentioned there. They also inexplicably released it in medium point only. If they had any market research people at all, they'd know they could sell a lot more with a fine point version.

 

I wish Faber Castell would take a look at their fountain pen neighbor/competitor Lamy for some marketing tips. They could really make the Basic a Safari-level best seller, the pen is that good, if they'd just put some marketing muscle behind it.



#4 Blazing

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:08

I could get the Basic for £15 ($20) or the Loom for £25 (about $33). Is the £10 ($13) difference worth it for the Loom?


EDC Pens (in a Visconti Dreamtouch 3 Pen Case):

Pelikan M600 (Stresemann Blue, 14k gold EF nib) inked with J. Herbin Perle Noire

Sailor 1911 Standard (black, 21k gold MF nib) inked with Sailor Kiwa-Guro


#5 Ecriveur

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 20:14

I can't really express any opinion about the Loom. Until I read this thread, I didn't realize that Faber Castell made a pen by that name, and I've never used or seen one.



#6 Fabienne

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 20:51

The difference depends on what you like. If you are someone who really likes a heavy pen, then the Basic is your model. The Loom is lighter but not a featherweight pen, I think its grip is kind of slippery as well (but that is easily fixed with a bit of micromesh).



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#7 onepuff

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:40

I recently bought a Loom as a gift for a non FP user to give them an introduction to fountain pens and on trying it out I was amazed by the quality of the pen for the price I paid (GBP 26). The finish is exemplary for the money and the nib is as smooth as pens I've used that are in the many hundreds of pounds price bracket. The one I bough even looks very stylish with the gloss black cap and certainly looks worth a lot more than the purchase price. Compared with other pens at this price point, I can't think of anything that offers such a nice writing experience. True, there is no flex at all to the nib but the smoothness compensates for that. The section grip, as noted by Fabienne, is a little slick but when I tried the pen in my grip my fingers did not slip down appreciably and the pen has a nice balance overall.  I am now seriously considering buying one as a pen to carry in my pocket while out and about that I don't need to worry about having stolen or losing. I'm not normally a fan of cartridge / converter fillers but for the price and performance I could live with it. I haven't tried the basic but it sounds a little back-heavy for my liking. Here in the UK there only seem to be a few outlets stocking these pens and they aren't well publicised - I only happened across it by accident when looking around the web. Faber Castell could have a real winner here if they could get them into as many stores as the Lamys are and advertise them properly.



#8 betsypreston

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:14

I have a new-ish Loom and had EXACTLY the same experience: lovely smooth reliable nib out of the box, but slippery section.  I will be putting some micromesh in my next order from Goulet so I can add some gription to my section (credit for Mick M for coining "gription"). 

 

I am so excited, because it broke my heart that such a lovely writer was too awkward to hold.  Thanks so much for your video!



#9 ExplosiveHippo

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 23:21

I was going to order a Faber-Castell Loom and I was wondering if anyone knew if a standard international cartridge would work with it? One review mentioned that they couldn't fit one in there but everything I can find says the it takes international cartridge. Is there some other reason that an international cc wouldn't fit in this pen? If so, are there any other options? I know I could refill cartridges but I would really prefer to use some sort of filling mechanism.



#10 Bigeddie

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 00:08

I can can confirm that they will take a standard international converter; I have only had a basic but the information I have seen suggests that they will both take the FC converter (standard international fit). Consider getting the FC branded one, it seems to hold more ink than the generic versions.

 

I had the Basic in a different finish, purchased for £28 in the UK (where a TWSBI 580 would be £42), and ended up giving it away. My findings were like Fabienne's in that it was very heavy and long in my quite large hands, I think longer and heavier than necessary nails it. The nibs are superb (mine was a fine), they are the same as the eMotion (priced at about £70) and I would imagine the Ambition (£45) too, the complete nib-feed assembly just screws in and out like a Pelikan. 

 

Good points for the nib, value, and construction; negatives for the shear weight of the basic! 

 

Nice video review, thank you. 


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#11 Moxoftritonytes

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 08:55

The steel nibs of the Basic, Loom, E-Motion and Ondoro pens are made by the Bock company in Heidelberg and are some of the very best steel nibs around IMHO.
Today I bought a Loom with a redbrown cap and I must say that I absolutely love it.
It has the right weight and section size to prevent a cramping of the writing-hand.
Yet it is sturdy enough to survive as an EDC pen.

#12 Edwaroth

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 21:41

Thanks for the review Fabienne. Had eyes on a Loom and a Graf Guilloche. Now I am utterly convinced and have pulled the trigger for a Loom! Has anyone tried Int'l long carts? Do they fit?

Edited by Edwaroth, 17 August 2013 - 11:57.


#13 Blazing

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 16:43

Thanks, ordered the Loom yesterday.


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Pelikan M600 (Stresemann Blue, 14k gold EF nib) inked with J. Herbin Perle Noire

Sailor 1911 Standard (black, 21k gold MF nib) inked with Sailor Kiwa-Guro


#14 PAKMAN

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 21:02

Best price I've found new was around $40-45 US.


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#15 Eclectica

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 22:07

I can concur with all the good things said here about the Loom.

 

I bought a Violet Loom for my wife for her 40th Birthday.

 

She absolutely loves it :wub:  - sweet, smooth, and wet, straight out of the box. - and also she loves it because it is her favourite colour. :rolleyes:

 

Awesome!! Happy wife = happy hubby :D.

 

(Fighting the urge to get one for myself - but I really don't need any more pens :P; having 20-ish pens is more than enough trouble !!)

 

Cheers,

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#16 lovemy51

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:47

I think my Basic with the leather barrel is quite nice and well balanced -maybe a little awkward if posted (awkward might be the wrong word), I mean it's way too long, but not heavy at all.

 

I can't say it's the most attractive thing I've ever seen, but I find myself reaching for it more than any other pen on my desk.

 

I've never seen the Loom before. thx for the review, Fab!



#17 erpe

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:09

The difference depends on what you like. If you are someone who really likes a heavy pen, then the Basic is your model. The Loom is lighter but not a featherweight pen, I think its grip is kind of slippery as well (but that is easily fixed with a bit of micromesh).

 

 I have exactly the same problem and I was planning to sell it but the nib is so nice ;-)

How would I go about micromeshing the section without scratching it too much? What grade?



#18 zdeveric

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:17

I have Basic Carbon. It is not heavy at all.



#19 Gloucesterman

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 17:04

Just received a Loom that I bought from someone on Craigslist. It's an extra fine nib. I'll use it foir a while and then I plan to post a review.

 

I bought it because of the Stephen Brown video a while ago. I lucked out because I got it for $40.00 including shipping and it included a converter which usually costs extra. Because the person I bought it from lives about 50 miles away, it was in my mail box the day after it was posted! First class mail w/ tracking.

 

Looking forward to some fun writing...


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#20 The Blue Knight

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 15:56

Good review I'd like to try one but just not fan of slippery sections so I may not get along with it.








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