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Tesco Cartridge Pen


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Sirvinya

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 14:38

I thought I'd join in with the fountain pen reviews. If there's anything you think I need to add then please just let me know and I'll add them to my next reviews.

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Price: £1.00 ($1.50).
Packaging: Blister pack which includes the pen and 4 blue cartridges.

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Appearance: It looks like a £1.00 pen! The barrel of the pen is finished to a matte black plastic with a slightly rubberised finish. This shows fingerprints and scratches and I suspect the finish will wear off before too long. The barrel has a large hole in the end so it's not suitable for conversion to an eye dropper. The lid snaps tightly onto the pen and has a clip made of the same plastic as the barrel. I'm worried about snapping it. The clear plastic of the cap is very cheap looking (hey, it's a £1 pen!) and doesn't quite fit at the top where it joins the black plastic at the top of the cap. I suspect the clear plastic will begin the fracture around where it snaps onto the pen. I feel the cap is slightly too bulky for the pen but I think this is due to the over-large clip.


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Nib: The nib is plain and I suspect made of stainless steel (or something similar). Probably a medium nib, it writes with a similar width to my other medium nibs. It's pretty smooth if you catch the nib just right as the tines aren't quite aligned so it can scratch if you're writing at the wrong angle.

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It's a wet writer and I got quite nice shading from even the cheap ink cartridges supplied with the pen. I suspect this will cause inks to feather on more absorbant paper. The nib, while it can be smooth, is dull to write with. It's not a nail (like my Lamy) but it doesn't have the delicious softness and smoothness of a TWSBI. It's no more exciting than writing with a gel-pen.

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Writing: There are grooves cut into the grip section to guide the placement of your fingers, quite a surprising addition to a £1 pen. They're not as pronounced as a Lamy and you could ignore them if you wish. They do fall pretty much where I hold a pen anyway. Due to the grooves, it can get a little uncomfortable after an extended writing session. The pen is very lightweight to write with, even lighter than a Pilot 78G! The cap is too heavy to post for me. It feels like it unbalances the pen when it's posted.
Filling: Standard international cartridges. You can tuck a spare into the barrel which adds a little useful weight to the pen. My Baoer converters fit this.
Overall: If you can get past the cheap design and finish on the pen, it does have a fairly nice nib. It could be useful for those who are starting to tweak nibs, you've got something here you can adjust for only £1. It might also be good for school-age children who are starting to show intrest in a fountain pen but you can find nicer pens for not a lot more money. For example, the Pilot 78G works out to just over £6 including shipping and is a much nicer pen than this. It's not as bad as I expected it to be for £1, but there's nothing that makes this pen worth going out of your way to find.

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Currently using:
-TWSBI 530 Diamond Pink (F nib) - Diamine Teal

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#2 uzkntuocmw

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 14:52

You forgot to mention that after a month there will be rust on the base of the nib :wacko:

#3 View from the Loft

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 15:22

You forgot to mention that after a month there will be rust on the base of the nib :wacko:


Not on the one that my son has been using at school since Easter. Also, the nib on his is very smooth, no complaints from him.

#4 Beechwood

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 15:27

Very nice review.

Remarkable that a pen can be made for £1.

10 minutes work at minimum hourly working rate.

One minute you are driving down the road, every window open, singing along to 'I dont want to miss a thing' at top volume, the next you are driving and turning down the volume on the radio to help you see better.


#5 ghazali

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 15:56

Not surprising that it's wet writer as i can see the gap in between the tines. However, the tines do look a little misaligned which would make them slightly toothy IMO. You'd probably notice it on slightly rougher paper and fibres may get caught in them easily because of that. Not sure how easy it is to readjust the tines, but i think well worth the try. For the price though, it looks good value for money certainly.

Edited by ghazali, 24 July 2011 - 15:56.


#6 uzkntuocmw

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:27

You forgot to mention that after a month there will be rust on the base of the nib :wacko:

Not on the one that my son has been using at school since Easter. Also, the nib on his is very smooth, no complaints from him.

Ah, maybe it's down to the ink. I bought a bunch of these to test out freebie Diamine cartridges to see which colours I liked, and half of them corroded pretty badly. I've not seen that with Diamine inks in other pens.

#7 View from the Loft

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:44

You forgot to mention that after a month there will be rust on the base of the nib :wacko:

Not on the one that my son has been using at school since Easter. Also, the nib on his is very smooth, no complaints from him.

Ah, maybe it's down to the ink. I bought a bunch of these to test out freebie Diamine cartridges to see which colours I liked, and half of them corroded pretty badly. I've not seen that with Diamine inks in other pens.


He's been using Diamine Midnight (with me refilling the cartridge for him), Diamine Onyx, Diamine Turquoise and Diamine Grey in the pen (he writes out a cartridge most days). Err, can you tell that I like Diamine's range?

For £1, I can cope with the odd QC issue. It's way cheaper than replacing Lamy and Pilot pens that have been stolen from him. This pen looks so cheap in comparison, that they have left him alone.

#8 Yuki Onitsura

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 10:45

Sounds like a good pen for the price, especially if you luck out and get one without any QC issues.

Yuki
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#9 Opel

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 16:09

...10 minutes work at minimum hourly working rate.



Do they have those in China?

#10 Beechwood

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 16:17


...10 minutes work at minimum hourly working rate.



Do they have those in China?



Point well made.

I was actually thinking about the length of time that you had to work in order to be able to buy the pen.

One minute you are driving down the road, every window open, singing along to 'I dont want to miss a thing' at top volume, the next you are driving and turning down the volume on the radio to help you see better.


#11 UltraMagnus

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 17:45


...10 minutes work at minimum hourly working rate.



Do they have those in China?

yes
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#12 basterma

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:32

This pen is a repackaged Beifa. I have an almost identical blue one I picked up while working in Syria three years ago. Rust is not an issue...

#13 lamder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 18:09

This pen is a repackaged Beifa. I have an almost identical blue one I picked up while working in Syria three years ago. Rust is not an issue...


They must rebrand this a lot (at this price I am not surprised). The pen looks identical to ones I bought from the Japanese Daiso store (for US $1.50). Quality is very uneven. Biggest issue was that some of the nibs had big gaps between the tines. I bought a couple with tines in better condition and practiced turning them into passable cursive italics. They write fine after some tweaking. Nib and feed are friction fitted which is nice for cleaning.

Sam

#14 petrusprimus

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 13:26

I bought one of these at Tesco when I was in England in 2012. I bought an identical one at the stationers "W.H. Smith" with their brand on the clip. I believe these pens to be one and the same as BEIFA pens, which I am able to access via JustWrite pens in Brisbane, Australia. I find them very good writers with certain inks - for example, the TOUCAN range from JustWrite.



#15 Jamerelbe

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 14:30

I bought one of these at Tesco when I was in England in 2012. I bought an identical one at the stationers "W.H. Smith" with their brand on the clip. I believe these pens to be one and the same as BEIFA pens, which I am able to access via JustWrite pens in Brisbane, Australia. I find them very good writers with certain inks - for example, the TOUCAN range from JustWrite.

 

Certainly looks a lot like the BEIFA pens I have in my collection.  For the price, they write pretty well - similar to, if not slightly better than, the all-plastic Faber-Castell fountain pens I've bought from JustWrite (which are just a bit more expensive!).



#16 View from the Loft

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 16:47

And the one my son has is still going strong, and still providing daily service at college.

Not bad for a 99p purchase.

I have bought a few of these, checked/smoothed nibs and handed them out as starter packs with a few cartridges (or rather, my daughter has). There have been some converts as a result :-)






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