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Butterfly 311Tg

indian pen eyedropper low cost

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#1 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 10:04

So, this is it, my first review. I have not been a member of the forum for long and really don’t have much experience writing reviews. I hope this will be useful and any criticism is welcome so that I can improve future reviews.
 
Butterfly 311TG:
 
I was recently randomly going to shops looking for fountain pens and found this one (with several others) at an old shop near my house. I had never used a pen of this make before and so I picked one up. It is certainly not an award winning pen in looks or build quality but it is certainly worth a review just because it is a nice pen to write and that too when it is probably one of the cheapest pens in the world.
 

1.      Appearance and Design: 7/10
As I mentioned in the introduction, it is not an award winning pen in this segment. It is a very sober looking pen and looks pleasing in the first look. This was only available in blue so I don’t know if there are other options available. The cap has a good design with all its gold elements. The barrel has a cigar shaped tapered body and the cap screws on the barrel.
The design of the pen is actually very good. The pen has a very convenient clear ink window and it does the job very well. The ergonomics of the pen are really nice. It is comfortable to hold and the section is not slippery at all. The threads do not irritate no matter where you hold the pen. Un-posted the pen is fairly decent size and posted the pen becomes very convenient to use, even for people with large hands.
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2.      Construction and quality: 5/10
While the tolerances of the pen are decent, the overall quality is rather poor. The pen looks plastic and the materials actually feels like recycled plastic. The make and model is screen printed on the barrel but is legible. The clip is of useless as it bends every time I put it in my pocket. Also the clip is permanently bent towards one side and it looks like a manufacturing flaw because I cannot straighten it just by hand. The gold paint on the cab band and the clip has already started coming off and the plastic of the pen is also very prone to scratches.
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3.      Weights and Dimensions: 6/10
Length: Capped – 134mm
                Uncapped – 122mm
                Posted – 148mm
I do not have callipers to measure the dia but the pen is actually on the slim side so that might be a downside to people who like thick pens. I personally like the pen as it is comfortable to hold.
As far as the weight go, well the pen is light, very light. Actually, it is so light that it becomes annoying to use it without posting it because you just don’t feel you are holding something. After posting it becomes usable but still a very light pen in my opinion.
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4.      Nib and Performance: 7/10
Now here it has both pros and cons. The pen has a gold coloured steel nib, which is as hard as a nail and I only realised after coming home that there is no tipping material on the nib whatsoever even though the nib says – “Platinum Power Point” which is just hilarious. The tines were completely misaligned and it took me about an hour to fix the nib and get it in writing condition. Then again the nib feels smooth although it has a lot of feedback. The feedback is somehow not scratchy and annoying. I mean even on very poor paper it did not dig into the paper or pull out fibre.
The feed on the other hand is a beauty. The pen has an ebonite flat feed which keeps up the flow no matter how fast you write. Overall, the performance of the pen is nice. It is awesomely wet (the way I like it) and although the nib is a western fine, the pen writes so wet that it writes like a medium. I somehow enjoy writing with the pen even with its feedback.
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5.      Filling system and maintenance: 8/10
It is an eyedropper filler pen. One either loves it or hates it. I personally like eyedropper pens, so I would not complain, but if you do not like the hassles of the ED pens then this pen is not for you. Compared to other ED pens I have it does not hold a lot of ink but still holds a decent amount (a little less than 2ml)
The nib and feed are friction fit and come out for easy cleaning which is really convenient when cleaning the pen.

6.      Cost and Value: 9/10
The pen set me back around 20INR which is roughly 31 US cents (as of 14-11-13) so to get a pen for that price which writes well and one that I like writing with, I would say it is pure value for money.

7.      Conclusion: 7/10
I would say a very decent everyday writing pen for students and other people who have a tendency to lose their pens. That said it is not a pen for everyone given its feedback and light weight. Plus it is not pretty. But as a pen I would say it deserves that 7/10 because it is a reliable writer, has no startup issues, holds a decent amount of ink and is ergonomic to use. I would say it does what the pen was designed for “write” and it does that rather well.

 
And finally a writing sample and size comparision (with a parker Beta and Schneider Base)
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IMG_7740.jpg

 

Thank you for reading.
Ankit Chauhan



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#2 Aramchek

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:07

Interesting, I have one that is very similar, but branded "Armour" on the barrel and the clip - the only differences is that it is a few mm shorter (from the photos I think the ink window is shorter on mine) and there is a symbol on the cap top.

Oh, the ink window is also yellowish on mine but I don't think it was like that when I got it :-)


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#3 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:13

Interesting, I have one that is very similar, but branded "Armour" on the barrel and the clip - the only differences is that it is a few mm shorter (from the photos I think the ink window is shorter on mine) and there is a symbol on the cap top.

Oh, the ink window is also yellowish on mine but I don't think it was like that when I got it :-)

That sounds interesting. Could you post a few pictures of the pen. And yes this pen is new, maybe the window will turn yellow with time, maybe not. :)



#4 Mesu

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:16

Nice review Ankit. The pictures make the pen look very pretty.

I am very partial to ED with ink windows. This looks like a nice pen for that price. Will add to my buy list.

Please post a review of your Bril pen too.

#5 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:28

Nice review Ankit. The pictures make the pen look very pretty.

I am very partial to ED with ink windows. This looks like a nice pen for that price. Will add to my buy list.

Please post a review of your Bril pen too.

Thank you :)

Same here, I just love ED with ink windows, but yes i love demonstrators more. :D

The brill pen has issues, the nib it came with is unusable. Extremely scratchy. I am not really good with nibs, but will see what can be done.


Edited by akstorm, 15 November 2013 - 11:29.


#6 mhguda

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:38

That is a nice first review akstorm, and your pen is interesting to me precisely because of the nib and the experience you describe.

It seems to me that the nib has possibilities, when tuned, to give you some line variation through orientation, but from your writing sample, it also seems you get a little flex out of it (very subtle, but it may increase when you use it more).

All in all, good job, and thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work!


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#7 hari317

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:49

Well done Ankit. Butterfly was a common beginner pen in the late 70s mid 80s in Pune where I grew up...


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#8 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:56

That is a nice first review akstorm, and your pen is interesting to me precisely because of the nib and the experience you describe.

It seems to me that the nib has possibilities, when tuned, to give you some line variation through orientation, but from your writing sample, it also seems you get a little flex out of it (very subtle, but it may increase when you use it more).

All in all, good job, and thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work!

Thank you, 

the nib does give a slight flex but only very little and i am not at all good at nib tuning so i guess i will have to find someone who can. :)



#9 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:57

Well done Ankit. Butterfly was a common beginner pen in the late 70s mid 80s in Pune where I grew up...

Thank you Hari.... and that explains why i had never heard of it, i was not even born in the 70s and 80s plus i was brought up in the north where we had montex and camllin. 



#10 hari317

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:00

Thank you Hari.... and that explains why i had never heard of it, i was not even born in the 70s and 80s plus i was brought up in the north where we had montex and camllin. 

:lol: ya i am a late 70s era model....

 

we did not have montex but yes camlin was available, afterall it is a mumbai product.

 

if you go back to the shop you bought the butterfly, maybe you can have a look at the box the pens come in, it will give you a lot of more info. I think it is a mumbai product too.

 

Best

Hari


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#11 Aramchek

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:02

That sounds interesting. Could you post a few pictures of the pen. And yes this pen is new, maybe the window will turn yellow with time, maybe not. :)

My camera is old and cranky (it fascinates me that a camera made in 1920 would still be usable in 1990, but a decade old fancy digital SLR camera? Nope!), but the seller has photos of it on his website. The symbol on top isn't visible on those photos, but is a white circle with four rectangular chunks missing. It is molded rather than painted.


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#12 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:02

:lol: ya i am a late 70s era model....

 

we did not have montex but yes camlin was available, afterall it is a mumbai product.

 

if you go back to the shop you bought the butterfly, maybe you can have a look at the box the pens come in, it will give you a lot of more info. I think it is a mumbai product too.

 

Best

Hari

Sure i think i need go visit the store again, but i don't think he had the box these were all in a plastic bag. He said it was his last stalk of Indian pens as he doesn't get them anymore cause there is no sale. Sad but true.



#13 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:05

My camera is old and cranky (it fascinates me that a camera made in 1920 would still be usable in 1990, but a decade old fancy digital SLR camera? Nope!), but the seller has photos of it on his website. The symbol on top isn't visible on those photos, but is a white circle with four rectangular chunks missing. It is molded rather than painted.

I agree they do look very similar. where are these pens made? 



#14 Aramchek

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 13:10

I agree they do look very similar. where are these pens made? 

I'm afraid I don't know. The only text on the pen is the brand and there was no box.

(I deleted my first attempt at reply when I realised there was a slight possibility of misinterpreting it as rudeness rather than an attempt at humour, and that this is the internet)


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#15 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 13:26

I'm afraid I don't know. The only text on the pen is the brand and there was no box.

(I deleted my first attempt at reply when I realised there was a slight possibility of misinterpreting it as rudeness rather than an attempt at humour, and that this is the internet)

Hmmmm.... well i was asking that because for all you know those might be made in India only by some local manufacturer and marketed/re branded in your country by a dealer. I am sure some of our more experienced members from India might have a better idea. :)



#16 Aramchek

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 13:54

Well, the seller shipped them from India (but I can't recall where) so I'd say they're probably made in India - the design certainly looks far more Indian than Chinese, and it is an eyedropper. That said, most of the other pens he sold are Chinese.

 

I just noticed that there is some text or logo on the nib below "Armour Germany tipped" but I can't see it and I don't think I can get the nib out without damaging it or the feed. I don't have a feed knockout block.


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#17 VillersCotterets

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 14:48

I loved reading your review. Well written, informative and very good photographs.

 

:notworthy1: 31 cents!

 

I am jealous of Indian pen market. I wish I could buy pens at such low price here.



#18 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 14:56

Well, the seller shipped them from India (but I can't recall where) so I'd say they're probably made in India - the design certainly looks far more Indian than Chinese, and it is an eyedropper. That said, most of the other pens he sold are Chinese.

 

I just noticed that there is some text or logo on the nib below "Armour Germany tipped" but I can't see it and I don't think I can get the nib out without damaging it or the feed. I don't have a feed knockout block.

Well thats why i asked, you never know they are made by the same manufacturer. And yes the nib and feed on mine are friction fit, easiily pulled out. Try gripping wit something rubbery or grippy and pull, but you might have tried that already.



#19 doggonecarl

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 15:03

Well done first review! Great pictures and, as an added bonus, a mini review of Bril ink.

 

Thirty-one cents USD. I'm stunned. And with an ebonite feed.



#20 akstorm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 15:07

I loved reading your review. Well written, informative and very good photographs.

 

:notworthy1: 31 cents!

 

I am jealous of Indian pen market. I wish I could buy pens at such low price here.

Thank you :)

Ha ha ha..... true we are lucky. Come to India on a vacation and take all the pens you can. :P

 

Well done first review! Great pictures and, as an added bonus, a mini review of Bril ink.

 

Thirty-one cents USD. I'm stunned. And with an ebonite feed.

Thank you doggonecarl, Yes we have the luxury of cheep pens, not all of them are great but some are just brilliant. and yes will do a review of the ink in detail someday. and yes that is also the same price for 60ml ink. :P


Edited by akstorm, 15 November 2013 - 15:08.






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