First Impressions—I bought this pen on a lark after a 40+ year period since I had last used a fountain pen, and thought this would be an inexpensive experiment. The pen came in a box and included a converter and one ink cartridge
Appearance and Finish—The True Writer has a colorful and very attractive finish in plastic resin, especially so for the price. My original purchase was in blue; a second one was purchased in red. The pen is adorned with silver trim rings and shiny black rounded end caps. The silver-colored pocket clip is formed by bending a single piece of stamped metal but is quite sturdy.
Design/Size/Weight—This is a very sturdy plastic resin pen, about 1 oz. and although lightweight, not among the lightest of pens. It is long enough to be used unposted (about 5”) with moderately large hands, and certainly adequate when posted (about 6 ¼”) for any size hands. The cap posts securely and is reinforced with a substantial cap ring. It is a little top-heavy when posted (the cap has more metal trim than the body) but this is not terribly objectionable since it is a light pen overall. I prefer using it without posting. The grip section is nicely contoured, and there is not a large step at the section between the barrel and the grip. The cap is threaded. The cap is difficult to keep fastened securely. Unlike other pens I own, where there is some resistance to tightening the cap when the nib seals to the inner, flexible cap gasket, the cap threads simply bottom out against the barrel section.
Nib Design and Performance—I selected a medium nib. Nib construction is stainless steel, and has a slit but no breather hole. The medium nib writes fairly narrow (similar to a Sailor medium nib) and is quite rigid, but not as rigid as a Lamy Safari. (The True Writer is not quite stiff enough to write through multi-part forms.) The nib is fairly smooth and is not too fussy about writing angle. The first of these that I purchased has been a very dependable writer, and lays down a reasonably wet line with a variety of inks. It has never clogged, and it writes at the first touch even after sitting idle for weeks. It writes like a champ. The second pen I purchased has been nothing but a headache in this regard. It skips, clogs, and refuses to start if it has been sitting for any length of time. It has been flushed with soapy water, zapped in the ultrasound bath, given many different inks to like, and sworn at profusely. This particular nib has always been on the dry side, and no amount of flushing and nib flossing has improved its performance. I think this one is just a lemon.
Filling System—The True Writer has a cartridge/converter fill. I use the supplied converter, which is a sealed unit that does not appear to disassemble. It appears to work reasonably well, and the nib and grip are reasonably easy to clean after filling.
Cost/Value—This writer costs about $50 new directly from Levenger, and if you get a sample that writes like a champ, is a reasonable value.
Overall Opinion/Conclusion—The True Writer is a very attractive pen for this price range, and a good sample writes well enough. However, the sample variation in my two pens gives me cause for concern that quality control may not be stringent. I’m happy with one of mine, but would probably not buy another.
Edited by chemgeek, 21 May 2006 - 03:29.