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Edison Extended Mina


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#1 nightwing

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 02:23

This is primarily a review of the Edison Extended Mina – at least it started out that way. At some points I will be comparing it with the Edison Hudson, perhaps to better give you an idea of some of differences between ordering a pen that is custom-made and one that is from a retailer.

I first heard about the Edison Pen Company on Brian Goulet’s blog, Ink Nouveau, where it was briefly mentioned. But it wasn’t until after I joined the Fountain Pen Network a few months ago that I began to seriously consider purchasing an Edison pen. After reading numerous reviews, I decided to take the plunge. It was difficult to choose exactly what I wanted, but I somehow managed to narrow it down to a few options and emailed Brian Gray, the creator of Edison Pen Co.

As everyone else has said, Brian is communicative and is very willing to work with you to come up with a pen that you have in mind. He will make suggestions, but ultimately he leaves the decision up to you. I finally decided on an Edison Extended Mina in grey/black swirl ebonite with a fine two-tone steel nib. A couple of months later, I ordered the Edison Hudson from a retailer, the Goulet Pen Company, in glossy black acrylic with a medium steel nib, and it arrived four days before the Mina.

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The finished Extended Mina arrived in the mail after about nine weeks after placing my order. It is nothing like the pictures Brian had sent me – it really is a beautiful pen. Actually, when Brian sent me the pictures of the finished product, I was surprised that the grey/black swirl ebonite looked nothing like the other pictures of the same material on his website. I emailed him to inquire about this and he promptly responded, explaining that the material was a prototype and that its ‘recipe’ may have been changed, thus altering the look of it. Brian also said that if I wasn’t happy with the look of the pen, we could start over. I decided I wanted to see the pen in person first, so he sent it my way after reiterating that we could start over if I wasn’t happy with it. I was really quite pleased with the end result.

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(The Mina is now engraved with the Edison logo)

I chose the Extended Mina because the design is simplistic, classy and unique all at once. I chose the Extended version because I wanted something different, something longer than most of my pens (in fact, it turns out that it is approximately the same length as a Lamy Safari [and Studio] when unposted – the Extended Mina is longer by about 1mm. The Hudson is shorter than the Extended Mina by about 2-3mm, but of course this might vary with each pen). The ebonite has a glossy finish, but it feels more like a matte finish. The texture quite nice, and I love holding it. The smell of the ebonite wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it to be. It faded after a couple of days, and I have grown to like the smell. On the other hand, the Hudson had a smell of burnt plastic, which was neither pleasant nor unpleasant. The smell faded after a few hours, though. The feel of the Hudson is quite similar to a glossy Lamy Safari, although it feels sturdier than the Safari.

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(From left to right: Edison Hudson, Edison Extended Mina, Lamy Safari)

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The Mina’s cap doesn’t post, while the Hudson’s cap does, but I write with my pens unposted, so this isn’t an issue for me. Both pens feel light in my hand. The construction is solid, so I don’t worry about breaking the pens if I drop them (I take very good care of my pens, so I do my best to not drop them!).

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Now, the nib! Wow. All the other reviews weren’t kidding. The Mina is by far the smoothest pen I have – it’s smooth as butter. There’s barely any feedback, and the ink flow is great – on the wet side (7 out of 10 flow). It really is a joy to write with. I ordered a fine nib, but this one writes more like a medium, as you can see from my writing sample (pictured below). It’s pretty similar to the Hudson’s medium nib, but the Hudson’s line is imperceptibly finer than the Mina’s. I’m not bothered by this at all, however.

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(J. Herbin Bleu Nuit and Private Reserve Plum – please note that the colours are not accurate in this picture)

The Hudson’s ink flow is just as good as the Mina’s (I believe it is also a 7 out of 10 flow), but the nib does not write nearly as smooth. It is a touch scratchy, which is kind of a disappointment, as I was hoping that the Hudson would write as smoothly as the Mina. The Hudson also sometimes starts hard. I suspect that’s another difference between getting an Edison from a retailer and getting a custom-made one – Brian tests and adjusts the nib of the custom-made pens himself. That’s not to say all other Edison pens from retailers are a touch scratchy like mine – others have said their Hudson nibs are smooth, so I hope mine’s the only odd one out! Brian has informed me that I can send it in to him for adjustment, but I currently do not have the funds to ship it (I’m a full-time student). I hope to send it in for adjustment this summer.

Both these pens can be used with a cartridge or converter. I use a converter in both, and that works fine for me. I may try converting one of the pens into an eyedropper later down the road, just for the experience.

The value for both pens is great. These pens are hand-made, so you really can’t beat that. In my opinion, it’s worth getting a custom-made pen. You get to decide what material you want, what nib and ink flow you want, and you can get your nib fine-tuned to your liking. And you’re in touch with Brian every step of the way – his service is phenomenal. With the ready-made pen, you would have to order it through a retailer, and your choices are limited to: three different acrylic materials; two nib types (gold or steel); and three sizes (fine, medium, broad). If you’re on a tight budget, the Hudson may be for you.

Overall, I’m thrilled with both purchases. The Mina is now my favourite pen. Who knows, maybe after I get the nib tuned, the Hudson will rival the Mina. I highly recommend the Edison Pen Company. I already am thinking of my next purchase: the Edison Pearl! Now to save up for that...

Note: No affiliation with either the Edison Pen Company or the Goulet Pen Company - just a satisfied customer! :)

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 14:11

Nice pens, thanks for sharing.

#3 jde

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 14:59

(The Mina is now engraved with the Edison logo)



That gray/black ebonite is so cool! Congratulations on your Mina. I love mine too. Posted Image

Also glad to see Brian is trying to figure out how to show the Mina's Edison-ness. Certainly subtle. Dunno....hmmmm... how do you like that engraving in the top of the cap? Looks very rough in the photo. Ultimately I hope he will be able to afford to put the logo on the Mina nibs.

P.S. appreciate your showing the Mina next to both the Hudson (wondered how big that sucker was) and a Lamy. Size comparisons always help.

Edited by jde, 06 May 2011 - 15:00.

 
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#4 xuan87

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 17:05

Is the gray/black ebonite matt instead of glossy? all of my edison pens are glossy and i suppose a matt will be nice change.
Please check out my blogshop for fountain pens and inks at http://inkoholicanonymous.blogspot.com/ Reviews of my pens can be found there too!

#5 nightwing

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 19:08

Thanks for your comments, everyone! :)

Also glad to see Brian is trying to figure out how to show the Mina's Edison-ness. Certainly subtle. Dunno....hmmmm... how do you like that engraving in the top of the cap? Looks very rough in the photo. Ultimately I hope he will be able to afford to put the logo on the Mina nibs.

P.S. appreciate your showing the Mina next to both the Hudson (wondered how big that sucker was) and a Lamy. Size comparisons always help.


The logo is now standard on all Mina pens, at the top of the cap. The engraving is rough, yes, and it's kinda difficult to see it unless you shine some light on it. The engraving could be a little bolder and smoother, but I still like it. Not sure if Brian will have the Mina nibs engraved - they're pretty darn tiny.


Is the gray/black ebonite matt instead of glossy? all of my edison pens are glossy and i suppose a matt will be nice change.


It's glossy. Just feels matte compared to my Hudson, for example. I know that Brian has done a satin finish (the same thing as matte, I suppose?) for black ebonite and black acrylic. There are photos in his gallery somewhere.

I do wonder how a satin finish would look on a colourful acrylic pen...

#6 jde

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 19:51

The logo is now standard on all Mina pens, at the top of the cap. The engraving is rough, yes, and it's kinda difficult to see it unless you shine some light on it. The engraving could be a little bolder and smoother, but I still like it. Not sure if Brian will have the Mina nibs engraved - they're pretty darn tiny.


There was a time Brian said he could not do his logo on steel nibs and now he is able to do that. (Your Hudson for example.) I speculate it's largely economics. I'm sure it also depends on how well the smaller nibbed pens sell for him. He'll chime in eventually about this, no doubt.

Hope you enjoy your Mina for a long, long time!

*another Edison pen fan*


 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#7 bgray

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 20:54


The logo is now standard on all Mina pens, at the top of the cap. The engraving is rough, yes, and it's kinda difficult to see it unless you shine some light on it. The engraving could be a little bolder and smoother, but I still like it. Not sure if Brian will have the Mina nibs engraved - they're pretty darn tiny.


There was a time Brian said he could not do his logo on steel nibs and now he is able to do that. (Your Hudson for example.) I speculate it's largely economics. I'm sure it also depends on how well the smaller nibbed pens sell for him. He'll chime in eventually about this, no doubt.

Hope you enjoy your Mina for a long, long time!

*another Edison pen fan*


You got it. Engraved smaller nibs will probably happen someday, but they make up a small percentage of my sales, since they only go on the Mina. The minimum order for an engraved nib is pretty large, so give it time.

#8 nightwing

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 15:21


There was a time Brian said he could not do his logo on steel nibs and now he is able to do that. (Your Hudson for example.) I speculate it's largely economics. I'm sure it also depends on how well the smaller nibbed pens sell for him. He'll chime in eventually about this, no doubt.

Hope you enjoy your Mina for a long, long time!

*another Edison pen fan*


You got it. Engraved smaller nibs will probably happen someday, but they make up a small percentage of my sales, since they only go on the Mina. The minimum order for an engraved nib is pretty large, so give it time.


That makes sense; thanks for clarifying.

Brian, has anyone ever requested a colourful acrylic pen in satin finish? Would you happen to have pictures? I'm curious about how it would look.

#9 bgray

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 22:24


There was a time Brian said he could not do his logo on steel nibs and now he is able to do that. (Your Hudson for example.) I speculate it's largely economics. I'm sure it also depends on how well the smaller nibbed pens sell for him. He'll chime in eventually about this, no doubt.

Hope you enjoy your Mina for a long, long time!

*another Edison pen fan*


You got it. Engraved smaller nibs will probably happen someday, but they make up a small percentage of my sales, since they only go on the Mina. The minimum order for an engraved nib is pretty large, so give it time.


That makes sense; thanks for clarifying.

Brian, has anyone ever requested a colourful acrylic pen in satin finish? Would you happen to have pictures? I'm curious about how it would look.


I can't think of any. Usually, I advise people away from satin finishes with lots of grain, or lots of visual appeal to the material.

My opinion is that solid colors look best with satin finishes.

But I've been proven wrong on my recommendations more than a couple of times....

#10 Penquin

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 23:29

What a nice pen and what a good review! Congratulations and best wishes. Some day I will get around to ordering a custom pen from Brian.

Edited by Penquin, 07 May 2011 - 23:30.


#11 J_Rock

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 02:30

I have to get an Edison pen soon. These reviews only make it worse. Brian makes amazing pens!

Very nice pen. Your review was a pleasure to read.

#12 nightwing

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 00:57

Thanks! I am enjoying my custom pen so far. I try to find every excuse I can to write with it.

J_Rock, I know what you mean re: the interviews making it worse. It's why I got my custom pen a few months earlier than planned. :P

#13 mathguy

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 04:10

Interesting to read about your experience with the two models. My wife and I have two Extended Minas from Brian, and they are terrific. Mine has a 0.9 mm stub that is a joy to write with. Have to write a review to complement yours soon.

#14 nightwing

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 23:41

Thought I’d do an update, now that I’ve had the Mina for a few months now.

I find that the Mina works great on copier paper. I also quite like having the option to flip the pen and write a finer line.

Having written with the Mina some more, I find that the nib isn't nearly as smooth as my Lamy Studio (14k nib). It must be due to the "touch of feedback" that is standard with all Edison nibs. I think I prefer smoother nibs, so I now know to ask for a buttery smooth nib next time.

I find the section to be too small for my taste, and because of this, the Hudson has edged out the Mina as the most comfortable pen to hold, with a wider girth. If I could go back and change anything about the Mina, I would change the section and have it not taper so much.

Having said all this, I still enjoy writing with the Mina. It has constantly been in rotation since I got it, which is saying something because all my other pens have gotten a break - this one hasn't.

#15 Dalimar

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 14:48

OH I want one of these - I wonder if it can be made in French Ivory Celluloid like a Hudson I found a picture of on the internet.


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#16 Rubicon

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 14:50

I've been eying the Mina for a while now... But given I just had a large purchase it will have to wait a while. But still... Maybe next time. Great review! Really make me want to have it again.








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