Jump to content


Photo

The JML Classic Fountain Pen


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Lozzic

Lozzic

    Archaic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 267 posts

Posted 29 December 2007 - 17:17

Hello
Before I begin I would like to say that this is my first fountain-pen review. My experience of 'pens' is not narrow but my experience of fountain pens is. I have only recently decided that in 2008 I want to explore fountain pens, my past experience of pens is mostly from Calligraphy which I do as a hobby. Also I have refrained from ranking different criteria, what I mean is you wont see me say that this pen gets 4 out of 5 or whatever since I feel this is inappropriate and totally subjective. Anyway I hope you find this review informative.

1. First Impressions – When I first removed the Christmas wrapping paper I was confronted with a not too large, not unattractive, flat cardboard box which is pictured below.



When I opened the box there was a tray containing the various writing implements and refills and an information sheet on maintenance and refilling. The tray contained the following:

Micro pen
Propelling pencil
Two colour ball point
Ball Point Pen
Roller Ball Pen
Fountain Pen
15 fountain pen refills divided between 3 colours, blue, black and red.
10 Micro Pen refills
8 Two colour pen refills divided between the two colours blue and red.
1 Roller ball refill
2 Ball point refills
A generous amount of HB refill leads for the pencil.

Then I thought to myself 15+10+8+1+2+1=37 not 66 piece refill set as mentioned on the box, then I saw on the spare lead box that there were 30 pieces so this 66 piece refill set is 15+10+8+1+2+30=66, maybe it’s just me but this annoys me a little when every single lead is accounted for in the claim that it is a 66 piece refill set. Anyway I tested each implement one by one, from left to right along the tray and they all worked fine, then I reached the piece de la resistance, the fountain pen!

*Note that in this picture 2 blue cartridges are missing, they are in the pen.



2. Appearance & Finish – I am now going to evaluate the fountain pen exclusively independent of everything else contained in the set. From what I can gather all pens in all sets have a brushed steel finish with what seem to be brass trimmings. You cannot buy different finishes, though I suppose for a pen that cost £9.99 (cheaper from some retailers) this is pretty much irrelevant. Looking closely I can see small blemishes on the steel but only very minor ones. The brass trimmings and brass clip are well attached and look ok, though the clip does look a little plain and boring and being the focal point of a capped pen it does bring the appearance down (I have seen photos of this pen with a different design of clip that is square and angular in appearance). There seems to be a few spots here and there of what seems to be tarnishing on the brass but this comes off with a rub. As well as this there are a few minor scratches but all in all the appearance of the pen when capped is good for such an inexpensive pen. When the cap is removed there is a glossy black plastic section block with a well fixed brass end in to which the nib and feed is attached. Overall I am pleased with the appearance of this pen but the main let down is definitely the clip which looks bland, cheap and seems stiff when attached to clothes.







3. Design/ Size/Weight- As mentioned above the pen is made of steel, brass and has a black plastic section block. When the pen is capped and contains two ink cartridges (one spare) it weighs 19grams. When the cap is posted it feels too heavy and in my opinion massively unbalanced when writing, this will be due to the fact that the cap weights 10grams which is the same as the pen when it contains two cartridges. When uncapped however it feels about right, not too heavy or too light, well balanced and ok to hold. The pen is cylindrical in shape, tapers slightly towards the rear end and has flat brass ends to both the cap and pen. When capped the pen measures about 13.7cm in length, the diameter of the widest section of the pen is 9mm. The diameter of the plastic section block, which tapers ever so slightly, is about 7mm. When uncapped the pen (not including the nib) is about 10.4cm long. Overall I would say the pen is a medium weight when uncapped and containing two international size cartridges, but too unbalanced to use with the cap posted.

4. Nib Design & Performance- The nib is a two tone nib, the upper half being gold coloured and the lower portion steel coloured. I am not sure of the size, I would say it was fine but there seems to be no choice when buying this set for nib size, on the feed it says the number 4 which I assume is the size. The width of a down stroke appears to be a tiny bit more than 0.5mm in width. The box and advertising campaign claims that it is iridium tipped and the nib is stamped ‘IRIDIUM POINT GERMANY’ though I know of no way to test this other than breaking it ha-ha. As for the size of nib I am not sure, it seems an average size to me at about 1.7cm in length when attached to the pen and 7mm in width at the shoulders. There is a tiny amount of flex but it isn’t that noticeable and seems to make very little impact of the style of writing it produces. The ink flow seems fair, maybe a little drier than most but not too dry, the feed is made of black plastic. On the paper is seems toothy but not scratchy, however I can imagine that it writes quite a bit different to a really nice smooth writer, all in all I don’t really mind the way it writes.

5. The Filling System- The pen takes international size cartridges and there is room for a spare inside the pen. I have attempted to fit an international size converter made by the Manuscript Calligraphy company but have had trouble getting it to fit in to the plastic section block, though I have successfully narrowed it to fit now. I have not tried any other international size converters from other companies, but it seems on pictures the end of them is narrower than a Manuscript one which seems wide at the shoulders, so maybe they will it out of the box I don’t know. I think if I could change this pen I would make it ever so slightly wider so I could know an international size converter would definitely fit without any hassle. I think the inside of the section block where the cartridge or converter is inserted has a diameter of about 6.5mm and is about 9mm deep.

*The converter I tried looks like this



6. Cost/Value- I am pretty sure the MSRP is £9.99, which I think mine was bought for though I know for a fact slightly higher and lower prices have been asked for. The pen was bought new but I do not know where from (as it was a present). I think for what it is (all other stuff included in the set, but even if the fountain pen was on its own) it is great value for money.

7. Overall Opinion/Conclusion- Although the advertising campaign was probably a little extreme and exaggerating in the fact that it has an iridium point (so they say) I think this pen is good value for money and is good for any beginner where fountain pens are concerned. At this price there is really nothing to lose in buying it but there are definite potential gains.



Thank you for reading this review on the JML Classic Fountain Pen from the JML Classic Pen Set.

Edited by Lozzic, 30 December 2007 - 12:26.


#2 greencobra

greencobra

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,623 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 29 December 2007 - 17:30

This was a most interesting review, and maybe a first. I don't think this set has been reviewed here before. Thanks for putting it up, nice job. And a good selelction of photos so we can see what this is all about. Interesting pen design, not bad. I don't mind the clip so much as I do the double set of decoritive rings that adorn the pen and cap. Check back in when you've had some more time with it.
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#3 AndyHayes

AndyHayes

    Too Many Pens

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,530 posts
  • Location:Shetland UK
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2007 - 17:41

A very good review for the first one. Well done. Plenty of information in there.

I was given a similar set to this a while back, but with about twice as many pens in it. Mine was matte black with gold though and it made a nice set to stick in a pot on my desk so that people could help themselves. Too thin for me too write with, but yours looks thicker.
Skype: andyhayes

#4 I am not a number

I am not a number

    Missing believed somewhere else.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,973 posts
  • Location:Airstrip One

Posted 29 December 2007 - 21:29

You have put a lot of effort into this and it is highly informative.

Well done indeed on a cracking first review!
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#5 Titivillus

Titivillus

    Museum Piece

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,881 posts

Posted 30 December 2007 - 01:16

QUOTE(Lozzic @ Dec 29 2007, 05:17 PM)  
Hello
Before I begin I would like to say that this is my first fountain-pen review. My experience of 'pens' is not narrow but my experience of fountain pens is. I have only recently decided that in 2008 I want to explore fountain pens, my past experience of pens is mostly from Calligraphy which I do as a hobby. Also I have refrained from ranking different criteria, what I mean is you wont see me say that this pen gets 4 out of 5 or whatever since I feel this is inappropriate and totally subjective. Anyway I hope you find this review informative.
....

Thank you for reading this review on the JML Classic Fountain Pen from the JML Classic Pen Set.


Thanks for the review- there are two stores around here that have scads of these pens left over from xmas for $19.99 so now I will wait till they go 90% off and get a few as I was wondering if they would be a good starter pen or not.

thanks again,

Kurt

#6 andyk

andyk

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,570 posts
  • Location:South East England
  • Flag:

Posted 30 December 2007 - 22:39

Nice review, I had a similar set some years ago (recent TV advert shows someone puncturing a soft drink can with it and then carrying on writing, not something I would want to try with one of my more expensive pens).

They are a nice starter pen, I agree with you that the individual leads counting a a piece is a bit of a con (but quite legal).

Andy

#7 Lozzic

Lozzic

    Archaic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 267 posts

Posted 31 December 2007 - 11:43

Thank you for the comments everyone, I am getting a Waterman Phileas very soon so I should be able to compare how they write which will make my review a little more precise and objective. Though I don't know how I am going to edit it when the edit button on this topic seems to have vanished, I suppose I will just have to do a continuing reply to this thread.

QUOTE(AndyHayes @ Dec 29 2007, 05:41 PM)  
A very good review for the first one. Well done. Plenty of information in there.

I was given a similar set to this a while back, but with about twice as many pens in it. Mine was matte black with gold though and it made a nice set to stick in a pot on my desk so that people could help themselves. Too thin for me too write with, but yours looks thicker.


AndyHayes I think I have seen the set you refer to. Was it called the 'Forever Pen' or something like that, and it was in a darker more brown box? I have seen it on ebay I think and it said it contained somewhere between 70-80 refills. This is the only one I have seen however so I guess the company that produced it is out of business or sold it to JML.


QUOTE(andyk @ Dec 30 2007, 10:39 PM)  
Nice review, I had a similar set some years ago (recent TV advert shows someone puncturing a soft drink can with it and then carrying on writing, not something I would want to try with one of my more expensive pens).


Yes I saw those adverts, the images that spring to mind of that being done to an expensive fountain pen....... wacko.gif , that would do wonders to a gold nib ohmy.gif






#8 polarpaul

polarpaul

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Gold

  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 10 March 2008 - 16:46

I didn't see this review earlier as I looked for it under "Chia". Here's my take on the fountain pen from the set.
Left to right and top to bottom doesn't work out for everybody.

#9 Decrire

Decrire

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Gold

  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 10 March 2008 - 20:28

Merci Lozzic for your excellent pen review. I can obtain it now with full knowledge of it's characteristics.

#10 WRob

WRob

    Scribo ergo sum

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 292 posts
  • Location:Nottingham, UK

Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:09

Good review, but I would by no means recommend buying it. My Grandmother bought me this exact set as part of my Christmas present this year, probably due to the fountain pen, and the thought was lovely. The product, however, I think, is awful. It's really thin, the nib is scratchy, the cap doesn't post, and it has an overall feeling of cheapness about it. When you can buy a Lamy Safari for not much more than this costs, it is really a pointless and not value-for-money product. Just my input ...
"We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

Posted Image

#11 WalkAmongWolves

WalkAmongWolves

    Art Student

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 93 posts

Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:55

Good review, but I would by no means recommend buying it. My Grandmother bought me this exact set as part of my Christmas present this year, probably due to the fountain pen, and the thought was lovely. The product, however, I think, is awful. It's really thin, the nib is scratchy, the cap doesn't post, and it has an overall feeling of cheapness about it. When you can buy a Lamy Safari for not much more than this costs, it is really a pointless and not value-for-money product. Just my input ...


Entirely agree. I came across this set not too long ago... I got it for free and it STILL wasn't worth it. I have since thrown out the whole set due to the pieces literally falling apart in my hand. I can't really say how well any of it performs as none of them ever really performed at all.... The small ballpoint actually broke before I could use it.... the fountain pen broke when I was loading the cartridge... and the various other pens took 15 minutes to even get ink out of them. I knew this set was a joke from the get-go but I figured they would at least work.... I was wrong.
"I dip my pen in the blackest ink, for I am not afraid of falling in my ink-pot." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

#12 ANDY101

ANDY101

    "I'm writing with a feather...brilliant!"

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 January 2010 - 18:20

Hi
I have to add yet another negative response to this thread....
My Uncle was a sales rep for many years and somewhere along the line he was given a fountain pen style product. This was subsequently passed to me (along with a '51 - what a contrast) and I tried hard to love this miserable excuse for a fountain pen. It is exactly the same design as the JML model and refused to reveal any redeeming qualities whatsoever. The JML set is a fine example of YGWYPF - a common theme in these hallowed cyber halls.
Best wishes for 2010
Andy

Edited by ANDY101, 03 January 2010 - 18:20.


#13 ballboy

ballboy

    A pen-intent man shall pass

  • Member - Gold & Supporter

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts
  • Location:Edge of The Peak District
  • Flag:

Posted 06 January 2010 - 00:01

I think your effort in making this review is worth more than the set itself. :thumbup:
Roger


Magnanimity & Pragmatism

#14 drunken spider

drunken spider

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 08 January 2010 - 20:52

Yup, I bought one of these sets a couple of years ago (pre-education :P ) and I can confirm the fountain pen is a dog. The dual colour ballpoint mech broke within a couple of days and despite how much you get in the box, it is not worth the £9.99.

I see they are now advertising a new set, with a different design on Brit TV.
It it this sort of fountain pen that will put people off using FPs for life. It's a shame, as I find that quite a lot of JML products are pretty decent for what they are. Just not the pen set :bonk:

#15 buffalowings

buffalowings

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,128 posts
  • Location:belmont

Posted 08 January 2010 - 23:26

I saw it at CVS and I felt disgusted, they advertise the nib as "invincible" or some other (Potty Mouth) like that, fountain pen nibs aren't meant to be invincible, they are for mature people that can take care of their prized possessions
I'm a little hot potato right meow
"no they are not making littler ponies, they are EMBRACING"
I opened a box of cheerios and planted them. I thought they were doughnut seeds. They didn't sprout :( (joke of the week)

#16 rachelcarpenter

rachelcarpenter

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 96 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 20 February 2010 - 18:15

great and thoughtful review. my mom gave me a similar set a while back, and while the fountain pen was fair to decent, depending on my mood and my need for "give," i'm now wondering if i flushed the nib (soaked it in soapy water), if it might not feel less "dry".... i'm going to try it. but yeah - i'd have to say, if you were trying to turn someone on to fountain pens, a better bet would be the good old disposable varsity. or, even better, the platinum preppy or the petitpoint.
Esterbrooks

Montblanc... meisterstuck 146 from the early 80s. A gift from a friend who got many pens for his Bar Mitzvah.

Conklin parts, in a ziplock.

1990s Shaeffers - one slender matte mauve, one marbled shiny blue, both lovely to write with. Love those nibs.

Stypen. Smoother flow now that I've flushed it.

"Treasure" combined pen and pencil. Old, tiny, works.

PetitPoint

Platinum Preppy

#17 79spitfire

79spitfire

    No the car is NOT painted with Bay State Blue..

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,113 posts
  • Location:Wherever I'm at..
  • Flag:

Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:01

Thanks for reviewing this pen, I myself have one of these, a gift from my parents for Christmas. I can tell you that I would not recommend it to anyone. Mine is slightly different in that the nib only has the JML logo, and the inside of the cap has a plastic liner, presumably to keep the nib from drying out, it doesn't help. I tried a couple of the cartridges that came with the set only to have the pen stop working as soon as it was put down, so I used a "universal" international converter on it as an experiment with Noodler's black ink. It worked somewhat longer, only failing after sitting over night. After writing some short notes with it I have cleaned it out and put in a Waterman's long cartridge in it, only to have the threaded portion of the nib section split. It does not (at the time of writing this) seem to have affected the pen adversely. I would like to be able to use this at work as a "tossaway" pen, but if it won't write..... The other pens that came with it do seem to work, but overall the set (I have) has a "cheap" feel to it and far better values can be easily found elsewhere.

Increase your IQ, use Linux AND a Fountain pen!!Neko_animated.gif
Fedorabutton-iusefedora.png


#18 lovemy51

lovemy51

    legal? of course... and with all my papers. FP-friendly, mostly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,482 posts
  • Location:near my pens and inks

Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:13

since this got revived, might as well add: one of my chinese pens nib (dancheron brand i got from Todd at isellpens a while back) was writing very poorly (skippig, drying, etc), so i got the nib that came in this set (which i got as a gift from a friend) and swapped it. it's working great. what a nice IPG!!!!!!!

... still wouldn't recommend the set to anyone... if someone happens to give it to you as a present, don't forget... save that nib!!
Lovemy51 Posted Image




pleese, forgeeve my bad espelling!! Posted Image

#19 Easy Writer

Easy Writer

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Northern Rockies, USA

Posted 24 April 2010 - 22:05

I have one of these sets and have been using the JML fountain pen regularly since I bought the set and it has functioned flawlessly thus far with both cartridges and a modified converter. I modified a converter from one of my Jinhao fountain pens and it has worked great in the JML pen. I have been using Noodlers ink in it. The nib is definitely a fine nib, but it writes real smooth. I have read some negative comments about this set so I can only surmise that the quality control is not real consistent so it's like the flip of a coin whether you get a decent set or not? Some of the commentary does puzzle me though, especially one I read on another website where the commenter somehow said the pens broke in half? Even if they didn't write decent or something I don't see how that would happen without abuse or a tantrum or something? Anyway the set I have is pretty decent and as I said the fountain pen has worked quite well, as advertised, but I won't be using it for a "dart" or stabbing it through any pop cans anytime soon. :thumbup:

#20 tmcneil82

tmcneil82

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 610 posts

Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:21

I have this set too. Its perfect for when people stumble into my office, see the fp im using, and say "Hey, can i use that fancy pen?"
To which i take this one out of my cup and say, "Try this one, look at that two tone gold nib!"

Works every time.


BTW, the pen is terrible. All of them are. Also, i think the cartridges use solids for coloring, so be wary of putting them in other pens.

#21 79spitfire

79spitfire

    No the car is NOT painted with Bay State Blue..

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,113 posts
  • Location:Wherever I'm at..
  • Flag:

Posted 25 April 2010 - 03:03

Interesting that this came up again! Mine would dry out sitting for a few moments, Noodler's black in a waterman's long cartridge fixed that, but it would still dry out over night. So I disassembled it and cleaned out the nib and feed and pulled the liner out of the cap, and found it had a large "window" type hole near the end where it screwed to the cap. I sealed the end, and the window with a bit of silicone tub sealer. Now it works ok, it doesn't dry up. It writes with a fairly "M" or even a smallish "B" (little b?). At any rate it's usable!

Increase your IQ, use Linux AND a Fountain pen!!Neko_animated.gif
Fedorabutton-iusefedora.png