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Levenger True Writer

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7 replies to this topic

#1 chemgeek


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Posted 12 May 2006 - 22:14

Levenger True Writer

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.

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#2 mike1



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Posted 13 May 2006 - 15:28

Thanks for the excellent review. I was concidering purchasing this pen, but now I will probably won't.
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." Satchel Paige, Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher

#3 acfrery



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Posted 13 May 2006 - 21:00

I also have a Levenger True Writer. Mine is in this fantastic yellow. It writes as a dream, and I have also used it as eyedropper since I see no metal parts in it.

Posted Image

I paid U$ 35 for it (shipping included), and it is one of my favorite writers.


#4 neffk


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Posted 09 April 2007 - 19:41

I purchased a True Writer as my second fountain pen. I have found it fun to use, reliable, and easy to maintain.

I chose the fine point and am very happy with the results. My hand-writing is between 10 and 12 points, so any broader of a tip would be a disaster.

The converter is a bit spotty; occasionally air bubbles require a little shake or tap. Other pens have a small ball in the converter to solve this problem. This is a minor point, though.

Poor behavior in this pen has always been due to my own errors. For example, if you fill the converter first, then attach it to the pen, you'll have trouble starting, etc. But when filled properly, everything works just fine.

The pen body is a bit thick for my taste. The cap is very heavy and it's strange to write without it on the back of the body. But to avoid losing the cap and to ensure that the pen never falls on its nib, I always put the cap securely on the back of the pen.

For those who want to make their own pen body, the nib and associated structures, right up to the point where the refill or converter attaches, can be screwed out of the pen body.

#5 john.reiss


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Posted 09 April 2007 - 20:45

QUOTE (acfrery @ May 13 2006, 09:00 PM)
I also have a Levenger True Writer. Mine is in this fantastic yellow. It writes as a dream, and I have also used it as eyedropper since I see no metal parts in it.

user posted image

I paid U$ 35 for it (shipping included), and it is one of my favorite writers.


Is there anything special that you had to do in order to make it an eyedropper? Just curious to convert mine over since I hate the converter that came with it. Thanks.

#6 Friend of Pens

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:19

I just received mine in the mail from their most recent sale (periwinkle, very macho) and agree with the review. The heaviness of the cap compared to the rest of the pen is odd, as if the pen is not supposed to be posted... probably good training for those of us still kicking our bad ballpoint habits.

I will say that the fine point nib seems more like a medium to me. Just using the (tiny!) cartridge that shipped with the pen and trying a few scrawls shows a bit more width in the line than I would have liked or expected. Maybe this is Levenger's way of selling more ink?

It writes exceptionally smooth, though, and unposted is a very light pen which seems ideal for long stretches of writing.

#7 vermillionpart4


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Posted 12 April 2007 - 19:07

the (tiny!) cartridge

Odd, My pen came with one of the long international cartridges. Maybe they changed that for the sale pens.

#8 Friend of Pens

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 19:28

Could be. The supplied cart has an international end, but I think two would fit into the barrel. This isn't really a complaint, since I want to put something colorful into the pen anyway. Now I have an excuse to pick up a bottle or two of ink that much sooner. eureka.gif

Edited for grammar and general incomprehensible writing.

Edited by Friend of Pens, 12 April 2007 - 19:30.

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