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Airmail 80

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5 replies to this topic

#1 diensthunds



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Posted 21 June 2012 - 18:14

Here's my review of the Airmail 80 Eyedropper fountain pen.

Posted Image Picture from fountainpenrevolution's web site

Airmail 80 Blue Fountain Pen Review
Filled with Camel Royal Blue Fountain Pen Ink

Pen Appearance- Nice dark blue body bordering on a purple color both dark and light blue swirls along with just a tad bit of white in the pattern. Fit and finish of pen body is very nice, there were two small indentations on the cap of the pen possibly made from manufacturing.
There is a black plastic pointed piece on the end of the pen body, it looks to be screwed into the pen body but I was not able to remove it and did not try to force it out. There are four tiny pieces extending out that looks like they were part of the manufacturing process. Only one was large enough to catch my eye without close examination, the other four had to be found by using a magnification glass.
Airmail Reg is stamped in silver onto the pen body itself. This is legible and very clear with a textured feel to it if you run your finger across it.
The inkwell slits in the finish are thin enough individually but together they provide a very nice view of the ink level inside the pen.
The threads for the cap are fine and cleanly cut. It takes approximately two and one quarter turns to either remove or secure the cap.
The tip of the pen where the feed and nib fit in has a very fine flair outwards. This does not interfere with the function or form of the pen and keeps your fingers from slipping around and touching the bottom of the feed. The nib and feed collar screws in securely to the pen body itself. The collar and swirl pattern is consistent throughout the collar.
The nib itself is a yellow gold color with some design stamped into it along with the words special Airmail Tipped on it. The nib lays down a fine dry line with no skipping. It is not a buttery smooth nib and there is definately a noticable scratch of resistance that can be felt when writing. No adjustments were needed to get the nib to function out of the box. I did not have to flush the nib or otherwise clean it before first using it. When writing the cap can be left off and pauses in the writing does not seem to cause the nib to dry out.
Very little pressure is needed to get the pen to write and applying to much pressure may damage the nib. The nib is not what I would call a flex nib but at the same time I wouldn't call it a nail nib either.
The feed sits approximately one eight of an inch from the end of the nib. There are six horizontal notches on each side of the bottom of the feed that extend toward the center only approximately a slight bit. After 2 weeks of using the pen I had to make an adjustment with both the feed and the nib. I attempted to move the nib while still in the collar and the nib snapped in half. Very little presure was being used when this occured and I can say that it was most likely from a cheap material that was used. I was able to replace the nib with one from a Serwex pen and the pen still writes.
The pens cap has a black plastic tip similar to the one on the end of the pen body. There is a single small air hole in the middle of the cap approximately the same size as the tip of a push pin. This will allow the nib to dry if the pen is left over night unused and could probably be sealed with a thin coat of clear coating material. The pen will start up with only a couple of dry short lines if it's left overnight unused.
The clip is silver in color and matches the band on the pen body and the decorative band on the bottom of the cap near the opening where the pen inserts. The clip is rounded on the bottom and has enough spring to hold but does not snag fabric or allow the pen to slip off accidentally to what ever it is clipped onto. The end where the clip folds over is flat and the clip itself has only a small raised line approximately one half inch in height.
The decorative band sports a pattern of six hashes in alternating sets of direction.
The very end of the cap tappers ever so slightly and has raised textured marks on it.
There is a very slight odor to the pen that is common of celluloid manufactured pens. It is not offensive or over bearing but is noticeable. This should fade over time. At first the smell was not noticeable and it was only when I held the pen directly under my nose that I could detect the smell.
The pen is surprisingly light weight not only empty but when filled with ink as well. The pen is not so light that you don't have a feel of a pen in your hand but at the same time it is light enough that it won't fatigue your hand if you use it for a long period of time.
The length of the pen is long enough to write with out posting the cap while posting the cap will help some if you have large hands. The weight is more or less unchanged either way and I have not noticed any difference with or without the pen cap posted.
Initially there were only two instances of burping after a few days of use. The first when I first filled it. I didn't prime the feed and when I started writing the pen burped until the feed and nib were saturated with ink. After I filled the pen again and screwed the nib collar half way into the pen body, inverted the pen nib down and held it over the ink bottle then screwed the nib collar the rest of the way in the feed and nib were fully primed and ready to write with. This did use approximately one quarter to one half of a milliliter of ink. After a several weeks use I can say that the pen will burp and dribble ink when the level becomes low.
The pen will hold approximately two and one half milliliters of ink unprimed. Depending on the amount of writing being done this should last for a substantial length of time given how fine the pen writes. The body of the pen is not thick but not overly thin either, it would be one that could be used by bother individuals with large and small hands.
For an inexpensive pen I am so far surprised at how nice of an item it is. While not a high dollar item the low cost is in no way an indication of low value. Although because of the lower quality of the feed and the issue of the nib not being very friendly I don't think I will purchase another Airmail 80.

Edited by diensthunds, 21 June 2012 - 18:24.

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#2 myn



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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:27

Great review. Thanks very much for doing it. I had been wondering about the AirMail - it
looks like a cool pen but it seems there are a few issues that I would not want to deal with.
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open." James Dewar
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#3 diensthunds



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Posted 23 June 2012 - 02:11

I really do like the pen itself, if the manufacture could improve just a few things I'd definitely invest in another one. Glad you enjoyed the review. Neither Kevin from fountainpenrevolution, nor myself knew of one being done on this pen yet.

#4 diensthunds



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Posted 21 July 2012 - 20:55

I've actually managed to fix the two main issues with this pen. The scratch that I had noticed from the nib is gone, I had to examine the nib under a loupe and found the tines where not lined up, with those back in place I took a piece of dental floss and inserted one end into the breather hole and pulled out toward the tip. Did this two or three times and put it back into the pen and the tines are not only lined up but give a slightly thicker ink line now. Much smoother then before. The broken feed was replaced by a shorter Serwex feed from a pen I had laying around. The Airmail now works fine and I'm using it to take notes for a class. I have noticed that it is using alot more ink now but not draining the reservoir or anything.

#5 moldero


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Posted 22 July 2012 - 16:58

Good review. I was impressed with the quality of the details about the pens.

By the way, I am concerned about this issue of the ink leak when the tank is nearly empty. I believe, although it is common in the eyedropper, is very uncomfortable.

Usually when you reload in the middle. Did not understand how done to fix the leak first, because I have some of these problems in the new pen and I can not fix.

So, congratulations for review.



#6 robofkent



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Posted 13 November 2012 - 19:47

I've used the nib flossing technique on my Airmail 58SL and it has improved the feel of the fine nib no end.

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