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Faber-Castell " Basic Black" Carbon Fiber - Fine Nib


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#1 PenStand

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 17:50

I had been looking for a cheap pen that had some weight to it for a while now - for some reason, extremely lightweight pens just don't feel natural in my hand.

So, naturally, when this pen caught my eye in the store for its price, and I tried it in hand, I just had to bring it home with me. From what I understand at the store, this is a newly released pen from Faber-Castell~

Bear with me please, as this is my first attempt at a review :thumbup:

First impressions: 7/10

The pen comes in a nice little green box, feels like it is made of cardboard. The store also wrapped it up quite nicely with a ribbon (unfortunately not in the pictures), that made it feel very nice. More than I was expecting for the price, really.






Appearance and Design: 8/10

This is the first bit (other than the price of course, which I will get to later), that caught my eye in the store. My pens all have a black with white metal theme, and I felt that this matched reasonably well. It also surprised me to see carbon fiber on a pen of this price, something usually reserved for higher-end pens. I think it has a very modern yet durable look, with the cap being a soft, matte plastic, and the barrel being more solid and glossy. Contrasting and unique, but still subtle about it. The nib looks unique to boot. The cap however, has quite a big/bizarre shape to it, as with all Faber-Castells - I would prefer it to be a little smaller.





Construction and Quality: 9/10

This pen feels surprisingly well put together. The cap clicks firmly into place (not a screw cap), and the pen has a weight to it, which is in my experience, uncommon with cheaper pens. The pen however, while weighty, is not as balanced with its weight as a more expensive pen would be (it is back heavy, even when unposted. Another surprising bit - the material around the carbon fiber almost feels like glass. I could be wrong about this, but it would account for the back-heavy weight of the pen.

In general, I bought this pen as a workhorse, and it feels like it will definitely remain solid through anything I throw at it - including drops. Only time will tell, however.

Weight and dimensions: 7/10

As mentioned, this pen is hefty. I personally like heavy pens, but this would be rated higher if the weight was more evenly balanced. As it is though, I much prefer it to lightweight pens.

Points also removed for dimensions - I would like to rate it highly in this regard, since it is has a nice diameter, and is a good length when writing unposted (I rarely post my pens. But... again, I have to take points off, as although this pen technically can post, and solidly, it becomes *way* too long. Almost comically long, here's a picture:






Nib and Performance: 8/10

This nib is really quite nice. I feel like it has character when I write even though I don't get the impression that it is meant to be flexed. Inkflow is smooth and consistent, and has a decently large "sweet spot" in which one can tilt the nib sideways away from tine contact, and still write. There is a bit more feedback when writing than I am used to (then again, I am comparing that with a pen about 15 times its cost), but there is no tooth. I feel like this feedback is what adds a bit of character to the nib, and it is a nice change of pace.

The nib did take about 30 seconds to get going initially, in my first inking (with the supplied cartridge), but since then it has started immediately each and every time.

Aesthetically, I liked the design on this nib, as most in this price range are plain (would look nicer with a breather hole though). Only minor annoyance in this area, is that the bottom of the feed becomes inky.



Filler System and Maintenance: 7/10

Perfectly average filler system here - C/C Cartridge and Converter. I personally have no quarrel with them, and have more expensive pens that use this system. The pen unscrews in the middle like most C/C pens, but I don't know how to, or care to, disassemble further than this. Took off points, however, because the converter could probably be higher quality. I suppose the best way to sum this up is just: Average.

Cost and Value: 10/10

From Faber-Castell directly, this pen is $40. I ended up paying a mark up to 60,000 Won (50 something USD) after tax, import, and whatnot. In my opinion, this is a steal for a pen that has weight, visuals, presence, durability, and is a good writer. Also come on, carbon fiber! It may only have a steel nib, but in my opinion, you can't go wrong at this price. I am still surprised it was so cheap.

Conclusion and Final Score: 8/10

For what it is, this pen is great. There are a few minor annoyances (ridiculously long when posted, inky feed, could do with a smaller cap), but apart from that this pen just hits everything right on the mark. You really feel like you have something unique and durable, even though it's a low-end model.

I think this is going to be my go-to pen for the classroom, and other situations where I would worry about scuffing a more expensive pen. Definitely will be a daily writer, and I would recommend this pen to anyone who likes their pen to have a little bit of weight to it.

Hope this review wasn't too long!

Edited by seoulseeker, 05 January 2012 - 18:32.


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#2 SHK

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 18:32

This is a good written review and the images are very clear as well.
I never saw this pen here in Germany.
For this price you can't go wrong and maybe it's a good working horse.
Congratulations :thumbup:

Sascha

Edited by SHK, 05 January 2012 - 18:32.


#3 Scribero ergo sum

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 18:40

Nice work.

Agreed about the odd length that happens when posting. I had a Basic in the rb for a short time and I nearly always post whether using an fp or rb. But with the Basic, it was indeed comically long. I half expect to poke myself in the ribs at some point whenever I was writing with it. I eventually got rid of it in a collection thinning last year. But it does bear mentioning that even the user-grade F-C's are always nice pens that are so sound and solid it makes then fun to use (unless they're jabbing you in the ribs... haha).

Cheers.

#4 Toolattack

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 18:42

Good first review with some good pictures. I hope you enjoy the pen.

#5 mhphoto

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:39

Excellent review! I'll have to add this to my list. I happen to know I'll be getting a carbon fiber Sheaffer for my birthday soon, so I might just have to start collecting some other carbon fiber pens…

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#6 mhphoto

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:16

Quick question. That is real carbon fiber, isn't it? I should hope so for over $40. I don't think I'd buy it if it were fake CF.

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#7 PenStand

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:37

Quick question. That is real carbon fiber, isn't it? I should hope so for over $40. I don't think I'd buy it if it were fake CF.


Sure is! You can see the individual threads if you look closely, and how the material plays in the light is just fantastic.

There's a tube of the stuff inside of the glass (plastic?) frame, it seems sealed in pretty well, and unlikely to move.

Edited by seoulseeker, 08 January 2012 - 04:38.


#8 Phormula

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 14:04

Thanks for the review. The Basic is the entry level FP in the Faber Castell lineup, the chrome and matt versions can be found for 25-30 Euros here. It took quite a lot for FC to add the FP to the Basic range, but it seems it was worth waiting. From a quick look I guess the feeding section and the nib are the same of the e-motion/ambition/ondoro range, then the rest of the pen is simpler to account for the lower selling price.
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#9 PenStand

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 15:06

Thanks for the review. The Basic is the entry level FP in the Faber Castell lineup, the chrome and matt versions can be found for 25-30 Euros here. It took quite a lot for FC to add the FP to the Basic range, but it seems it was worth waiting. From a quick look I guess the feeding section and the nib are the same of the e-motion/ambition/ondoro range, then the rest of the pen is simpler to account for the lower selling price.


That is my understanding as well - to my surprise though, the basic black models were about ~$10 more than the chrome/matte versions in store!

There are a lot of styles among the basic models - I got suckered by the carbon fiber :lol:

#10 Phormula

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 15:29

I am a satisfied user of the Ambition and Ondoro, although I don't 100% like the Basic design (because of the "fat" cap, I am considering getting one for use at the office, the F nib (supplied by Bock, as I understand) in itself is a pleasure to write with. Given the fact that the pen will sit in a desk cup, I'd go for the cheapest option.
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#11 beluga

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 13:22

Thanks for the review. The Basic is the entry level FP in the Faber Castell lineup, the chrome and matt versions can be found for 25-30 Euros here. It took quite a lot for FC to add the FP to the Basic range, but it seems it was worth waiting. From a quick look I guess the feeding section and the nib are the same of the e-motion/ambition/ondoro range, then the rest of the pen is simpler to account for the lower selling price.


That is my understanding as well - to my surprise though, the basic black models were about ~$10 more than the chrome/matte versions in store!

There are a lot of styles among the basic models - I got suckered by the carbon fiber :lol:



Thank you for your excellent review, I was not even aware that Faber-Castell offered fountain pens in the Basic range.
Their German website doesn't seem to show them yet and the US website shows only the polished and matte metal fountain pens.

I own various Basic ballpoints, pencils and rollerballs, but the new fountain pen addition looks interesting and I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a carbon version, as I found that the surface of the matte Basic pens can be scratched easily.

#12 PenStand

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 13:59

Thank you for your excellent review, I was not even aware that Faber-Castell offered fountain pens in the Basic range.
Their German website doesn't seem to show them yet and the US website shows only the polished and matte metal fountain pens.

I own various Basic ballpoints, pencils and rollerballs, but the new fountain pen addition looks interesting and I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a carbon version, as I found that the surface of the matte Basic pens can be scratched easily.


Yes, from my understanding, the fountain pens are a relatively new addition to the Basic line - certainly a welcomed one, though. The brilliant bit, is that the basic fountain pens offer the same nib as some of the more expensive faber-castells (emotion and ambition series), for a fraction of the cost.

The cap and "grip" sections are made of a black rubber matte material - it feels very durable, and will not likely scratch easily like a matte metal surface would. I am indifferent to it on the cap to be honest, but I actually quite like it on the grip, it makes the pen very easy to hold.

A note on the durability as well - I accidentally stabbed this pens nib into a wall whilst removing the converter, to the point where it was sticking out on its own accord. Not only did it not break or deform in any way, the nib actually writes smoother now, with slightly less feedback than before.

This pen's a trooper, and quickly became one of my daily writers :thumbup:

Edited by seoulseeker, 16 January 2012 - 14:03.


#13 Sagar_C

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:01

Weight and dimensions: 7/10

As mentioned, this pen is hefty.


While I like a heavy pen, I do not like a pen which is heavy but most of the weight is carried by the cap (usually metal/brass). I would like to know if such is the case with this pen.

#14 Mephisto

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 17:12

The body is heavy.
I got the silver one. When I saw it the first time I thought that I could use it for self-defense. ;)

Edited by Mephisto, 15 February 2012 - 17:18.


#15 lewis

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 18:17

What an interesting looking pen. Seems they couldn't decide what look they were going for so amalgamated a few! I hope you enjoy it.
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#16 lovemy51

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 22:03

excellent review! OMG what an ugly pen :embarrassed_smile:!!! sorry. the only thing attractive is the nib!

#17 beluga

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:10

excellent review! OMG what an ugly pen :embarrassed_smile:!!! sorry. the only thing attractive is the nib!



I beg to differ, but I don't mean to argue with taste as your view is as valid as mine.

I prefer to write uncapped - has been my preference for as long as I can remember - and uncapped the Basic Carbon pen looks IMO quite attractive.
Faber-Castells seem to write better with the cap removed anyway, but this is strictly my own preference and YMMV.

My Basic Black Carbon Fibre (B nib) got here only two days ago and - as usual with this brand - I find the nib excellent.
Someone else wrote that Faber-Castell shows how well a humble steel nib can write and my pen again proves this statement.


I had forgotten that the less expensive Faber-Castells are sold without converters though and will need to get one at the next opportunity.

Edited by beluga, 18 February 2012 - 08:13.


#18 Yuki Onitsura

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:32

Good review with nice pictures to boot! I quite like the nib without a breather hole. Just seems to fit better into the whole streamlined modern look. And heck, carbon fibre is just a cool thing to make anything out of.

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#19 PenStand

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 15:39



Weight and dimensions: 7/10

As mentioned, this pen is hefty.


While I like a heavy pen, I do not like a pen which is heavy but most of the weight is carried by the cap (usually metal/brass). I would like to know if such is the case with this pen.


Most of the weight is in the very back of this pen - the cap is very lightweight.

This pen also came with a free converter - must have just been a quirk at my dealership, apparently they don't usually come with the pen.

#20 phrenzy

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 23:55

Do you know if this pen shares the same type of nib as the ambition series? It's a nice looking pen, infect the whole range is nice, even the basic wooden ones. Every week I find something new. Like abut Faber-castell.
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