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Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen Review


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59 replies to this topic

#1 TommyPlume

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 23:30

I love this pen so much that I felt compelled to give it a good write-up! (This is my first review, so I apologize in advance for anything incongruous or out of place.)


INTRODUCTION: I bought this fountain pen at the flagship Muji store in New York city a few months ago. I was browsing through the writing instruments and it immediately caught my eye. It was the only one left so I bought it immediately. This pen did not disappoint me one bit. I would recommend this product to anyone who loves metallic, minimalistic and heavy pens. It is currently my favorite low-end fountain pen.

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Appearance & Design (10/10) – The design is in keeping with Muji's theme of minimalism and simplicity. The pen is very slim, and its cylindrical barrel is made of aluminum with a matte finish. The knurled grip prevents slippage when loosely held. I happen to love the design, although YMMV (since one man's meat is another man's poison). The snap on cap can be easily removed and placed on the other opposite end of the barrel.

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Construction & Quality (10/10) – The pen feels sturdy and its quality is definitely on par with much pricier pens.

Weight & Dimensions (8/10) – The pen is slim and falls a bit on the heavy side. Its weight can be double-edged since on the one hand, it can produce smooth lines with hardly any pressure, but on the other hand, it can cause some people hand strain (although I haven't personally experienced it so far).

Nib & Performance (8/10) – I don't know much about the nib except that the words "Iridium Point" are inscribed on it. The nib is very smooth even without any pressure, and writes like a western medium point. It is very firm and produces a moderate to wet line. It usually starts right away even after being put away for a few days, although I did have a bit of difficulty getting the ink flowing on cheaper quality paper on a few occasions.

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Here is a sample of writing with the nib. The second "little" was written with the nib upside-down:
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Filling System & Maintenance (10/10) - This pen came with two separate black international cartridges hidden inside the barrel. I suppose that using an international converter instead would not be out of the question. I haven't experienced any leakage so far.

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Cost & Value (10/10) – I paid 15 USD for this pen at Muji, and I think it is worth every penny.

Conclusion (Final score, 6/6) - I am thrilled to pieces with this pen and I wouldn't mind purchasing a backup in a heartbeat. For 15$, it's definitely worth its weight in gold.

Edited by TommyPlume, 19 August 2011 - 23:35.


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#2 ExcaliburZ

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 00:32

Yeah, I had one and these are solid all around pens.
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#3 rockydoggy

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 00:58

I bought one of these back in the 90s (?) and I got another off ebay last year as a backup. I'm glad you were able to find one--I've not seen them in Muji stores in quite a while; I thought they might have been discontinued. I really like the aluminum finish and the textured section, and the nib on mine was smooth right from the start. Also, the cap fits securely enough that I can leave the pen unused for days and it rarely dries out. My only complaint is that the plating has worn off a bit at the nib end of the section, perhaps from contact with the clasp inside the cap, but that's after a great deal of use. Overall, I agree that it's a fine bargain at the price. In fact, it's turned out to be among my favorite pens (it's inked right now--yes, it can take an international-size converter). Thanks for the excellent review.

#4 joelchan

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 01:38

This same pen has served me many years...

thanks for the review
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#5 ethernautrix

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:00

Wow! What a cool-looking pen! Only two factors dissuade me: the weight of the pen (which... I have no idea if it would be too heavy for me) and the nib size. Does the pen come in only one nib size? I like your writing with it anyway. Was it comfortable or smooth writing with the nib upside down?

Anyway, why am I asking? I don't want any more pens! Ha ha ha! I mean, you know, I WANT more pens, but I don't want more pens.

*Activates Nakaya Shield*


That is a cool-looking pen, though. I like it. Nice review!

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#6 TommyPlume

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:06

Wow! What a cool-looking pen! Only two factors dissuade me: the weight of the pen (which... I have no idea if it would be too heavy for me) and the nib size. Does the pen come in only one nib size? I like your writing with it anyway. Was it comfortable or smooth writing with the nib upside down?

Anyway, why am I asking? I don't want any more pens! Ha ha ha! I mean, you know, I WANT more pens, but I don't want more pens.

*Activates Nakaya Shield*


That is a cool-looking pen, though. I like it. Nice review!


I don't have a kitchen scale so I can't really weigh it, sorry.

As for the nib, I don't think there are other sizes. When I bought it, the size was not specified. Their website (muji.us) doesn't seem to offer an alternative size either. As for writing with the nib upside down, yes the writing experience is comfortable and fairly smooth. Although, if you have oversensitive hands you might feel a tinge of scratchiness.

#7 ethernautrix

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:14

Even if you told me the weight, I'd still be... "I need to try it." That's how I roll -- by experience. Heh.

I have a Reclife rollerball (don't know the model name) that looks similar, only plastic and a whimsical green. If I can control my distractions, I'll take a picture of it, for kicks.

I like nibs with a touch of feedback, so it sounds like that Muji -- if it came in an urushi model -- would be irresistible to me. I understand that it would cost much more than $15 if it were urushi. (I'm kindv fixated on Nakaya fps.)

I really like the look of that pen, that's what I'm saying.

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#8 genls

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 00:39

Great review. Thanks.

I have one of these, but am not a fan and haven't used it much. I don't like the feel of the pen in my hand - it compares similarly to a Lamy 3 in that it has a rough, dry, metallic feel to it, not the smooth, slick feel of most other pen sections. It sure gives a good grip though....

The nib is another downside, as it writes too wide for me.

Great minimalist design and agree that it's a good value for the money.

Edited by genls, 23 August 2011 - 00:40.


#9 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:53

I like it. Reminds me, in a way, of vintage Rotring.
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#10 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:01

Wow! What a cool-looking pen! Only two factors dissuade me: the weight of the pen (which... I have no idea if it would be too heavy for me)...


It's light. LIGHT. A good deal lighter than the hobby knife I'm sure it's reminding us all of. Light like a vintage pen. Light as a pen ought to be.

By which, I mean to say: not heavy.

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#11 genls

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:18

Wow! What a cool-looking pen! Only two factors dissuade me: the weight of the pen (which... I have no idea if it would be too heavy for me)...


It's light. LIGHT. A good deal lighter than the hobby knife I'm sure it's reminding us all of. Light like a vintage pen. Light as a pen ought to be.

By which, I mean to say: not heavy.




yeah, agree completely

Edited by genls, 23 August 2011 - 21:18.


#12 rockydoggy

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:26

Here's a very rough weight comparison (I have the pens at hand but there's no scale in sight):
The Muji's definitely heavier than my Reform 1745 & maybe just a tad heavier than my s/s Vector & my Parker 45 (metal cap/plastic body/metal converter).
It seems a bit lighter than my s/s Tombow Object and it's nowhere near the weight of my Rotring 600.

#13 lsmith42

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:31

Even if you told me the weight, I'd still be... "I need to try it." That's how I roll -- by experience. Heh.

I have a Reclife rollerball (don't know the model name) that looks similar, only plastic and a whimsical green. If I can control my distractions, I'll take a picture of it, for kicks.

I like nibs with a touch of feedback, so it sounds like that Muji -- if it came in an urushi model -- would be irresistible to me. I understand that it would cost much more than $15 if it were urushi. (I'm kindv fixated on Nakaya fps.)

I really like the look of that pen, that's what I'm saying.

Lisa... next time we're in Manhattan... a trip to Muji, then on to Gotham for dinner...
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#14 TommyPlume

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:51

Yea, this is a nice lookin' pen all right!

I found a kitchen scale in my kitchen fortuitously! So anyways I weighed the pen (with a cartridge inside):
20 grams with the cap, and 14 grams without the cap!

Edited by TommyPlume, 23 August 2011 - 21:53.


#15 lsmith42

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:52

I found a kitchen scale in my kitchen fortuitously! So anyways I weighed the pen (with a cartridge inside):
20 grams with the cap, and 14 grams without the cap!

Cool... as compared to? (for those of us sans kitchen scale...)
MB JFK BB; 100th Anniversary M; Dumas M FP/BP/MP set; Fitzgerald M FP/BP/MP set; Jules Verne BB; Bernstein F; Shaw B; Schiller M; yellow gold/pearl Bohème Pirouette Lilas (custom MB-fitted EF); gold 744-N flexy OBB; 136 flexy OB; 236 flexy OBB; silver pinstripe Le Grand B; 149 F x2; 149 M; 147 F; 146 OB; 146 M; 146 F; 145P M; 162 RB

#16 ethernautrix

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 22:23

Wow! What a cool-looking pen! Only two factors dissuade me: the weight of the pen (which... I have no idea if it would be too heavy for me)...


It's light. LIGHT. A good deal lighter than the hobby knife I'm sure it's reminding us all of. Light like a vintage pen. Light as a pen ought to be.

By which, I mean to say: not heavy.



So, ah, Ernst, would you describe the Muji as more or less lacking in heaviness?












Hee.

Thanks for the information!

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#17 ethernautrix

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 22:25

Lisa... next time we're in Manhattan... a trip to Muji, then on to Gotham for dinner...

Gotham Grill? I think that's where I ate wasabi mashed potatoes!

No. That was Union Square Grill.

Oh, I loved Gotham Grill....

I think Pen Posse needs to do a Photography field trip to New Orleans with Sonia. Photography, Pens, and Gastronomy. (I told Sonia I'd spell it "Phood," but... I just couldn't do it, not in public like this.)

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#18 SHK

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 15:31

It's a Schmidt Technology nib and it's a new Modell as well.
Last week I got some nib examples from Schmidt Technology.
Sascha

Edited by SHK, 10 September 2011 - 15:35.


#19 KarloT

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:30

A friend has one of these and is all praises for it. He had me try it during one our regular pen meets, and it is a smooth writing pen. I didn't think anything with IPG stamped on the nib could be a decent writer. Am glad he proved me wrong!

Karlo

#20 mehandiratta

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 21:01

I blv it hs Schmidt nib

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