FULIWEN B207 Stainless "Diamond"
Be easy on me fellow pen lovers this is a first attempt review.
As a new fountain pen user I set off on a quest to find out what FP lovers are looking for in a quality pen. The first pen I purchased was scratchy with a stiff nib. This couldn't possibly be the reason FP users select this style of pen, could it? Reading about the different styles of old hat fountain nibs over at IAMPETH I learned that many different types of nibs existed from the extremely flexible to quite stiff. My curiosity lead me to this forum, which pointed to the fact that indeed fountain pens could be slippery smooth.
The options for pens available, even in this fairly large city, were only those offered by the major office supply stores: Cross, Monte Verde, and Yafa. Due to the lack of major selections my search wound up on the Internet. What a vast offering for different selections of FPs. The question popped into my mind, "how much does one have to spend to find a nice pen?" One thing led to another and my purchase ended up on eBay. There is a plethora of inexpensive pens mixed in with apparently prized jewels of time. My selection: the Fuliwen B207 Stainless. With a "Buy it" now price of $9.99 and free shipping, what could possibly go wrong?
Model: B207 Stainless "Diamond"
Material: Stainless Steel\Brass
Nib: Narrow Spear - Medium two toned chrome and gold (the nib says its 18k gold plated hard to believe for $9.99)
Reservoir: Squeeze type converter or International universal cartridge
OAL: 5.5" (140mm) closed 6.25" (160mm) posted
Length: 5" (127mm)
When the pen arrived it was pack in a nice little black box with a burlap textured finish. Nothing too fancy, but better than a poke in the eye. The pen itself is surprisingly elegant. The barrel is made of stainless steel! My expectations were a sort of plastic with the "Stainless Steel Look". The barrel and cap are nicely turned pieces of stainless steel with a brushed finish, while (I'm assuming for and inexpensive simulation of gold) the color ring and tip of the cap are made of brass. The section is also steel but with a matte finish. This pen has a very sleek and contemporary look. The shape and design is very clean. The barrel has a slight bulge which tapers towards each end, whether capped or posted the shape has a very sophisticated, blended look.
The cap has some engraving filled with black enamel. The engraving is obviously cast and not carved, but for $9.99 what can one expect? The engraving is pleasant. Not too "over-the-top". It appears to be some kind of tribal pattern or maybe an asian styled pattern. Around the mouth of the cap "SHANGHAISHANGHAIFULIWEN" is engraved. I'm not sure if this was laser engraved or stamped. If it was stamped the pen is well finished as I don't see markings on the inside or feel the raised lettering on the outside. I can't tell you if this is a genuine "Fuliwen" or just a clone, but for now I'm impressed with the quality vs price point.
The cap snaps securely onto the barrel via plastic liner in the cap. I'm not too sure how long this will last. Only time will tell. I am not too crazy about the plastic rhinestone diamond that is in the cap. I will probably pick this out and fill the hole with black enamel. The pocket clip is definitely cheap. It's stamped and press fit into the cap. I'm certain that regular use of it will eventually cause it to loosen and fall off. I plan to avoid it's use.
The pen writes well. The nib is much smoother than my first pen. Unfortunately, I can't compare the performance to many other pens until they arrive. But for what it's worth this pen writes very smoothly. The ink is somewhat wet but quickly dries. This could be a function of the ink. In this case I used the inexpensive Chinese ink offered by the vendor. When this one runs out I will give it a run with the "Foray" ink offered by Office depot, which I believe is packaged by Yafa.
I did noticed that the feed channel doesn't line up with the groove in the nib, but in this case it doesn't seem to have any negative effect. I did notice that the fitment of the nib into the feed isn't as tight as a Rolex, but heck, for $9.99 I'll deal with it. The nib is moderately flexible which I believe is attributable to the wet lines it creates. I don't mind too much as the blacks have a nice deep dark black shade. This pen isn't overly wet as it doesn't bleed through to the other side, but feathering is evident when using "pulpy" or "starchy" papers. It does, however, create fairly clean lines on standard notebook paper.
So far my experience with this FP is terrific for the amount of money I have invested. I'll have to make an addendum to this review once I've tried other ink's in it. But for now I'm satisfied with my results.
Edited by Mr_Dirt, 26 March 2010 - 16:59.