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Padrino Tech


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9 replies to this topic

#1 PHDT

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 18:07

Introduction:
First impressions are sometimes deceiving. Not a good way to start a review when a reviewer says that, aye? I was shopping in the Galleria with my partner one day and I had the urge to add a pen to my collection. Since we have a Paradise Pen in our mall, I went there and shopped around for a lower cost fountain pen. I looked for something fun and something new. I wanted something that I didn't have. The Padrino Tech fit the bill nicely: it is full metal construction, silver, a cartridge/converter fill, and has a hooded nib.

First impressions were good... but that's the only good that seems to come out of it.

Appearance & Design (8):
The appearance and design give me the impression that Padrino tried to make a Lamy 2000 knock off. As with all knock offs, the Padrino takes the designs of the original but places it at a lower price point to make the concept of the design more readily available for the masses. A typical consumer won't buy a Lamy 2000 (Stainless) since its list price is nearly $400– nearly 7 times that of the Padrino Tech.

The design is pleasant to the eye and I honestly rather enjoy it. The lines are smooth and I enjoy how the metal isn't just polished smooth or is a stereotypical matte or satin finish but instead it has an edgy look to it. The metal is between a matte and a satin but what makes the pen pleasing to the eye are the lines within the metal. It all leads the eye to the nib. It makes the pen look more slender than it really is.

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Construction & Quality (6):
Construction is actually rather good. It's solidly built and the threads sit tightly. In terms of construction, I think this pen probably has one of the best in its price class. I characterize it as a 'positive' fit. It's one of the few things that makes me smile about this pen.

The metal they chose, however, is a bit aggravating. It seems to have a degree of porousness. When filling the pen with ink, the nib unit is submerged within the ink. When withdrawn and wiped clean, the nib unit is stained with the ink. It requires a more thorough wipe using a wet wipe to pull off the ink. If the ink is left on the metal, it stains more thoroughly. Another side effect of the metal they chose is that is becomes slick if you've got oily hands. This makes gripping the pen difficult and can lead to cramps due to having to hold it too tightly.

While the construction and the quality of the construction is amazing, the quality of the materials is a bit below par.

Weight & Dimensions (8):
The weight in the hand on first impression is that it's a pretty hefty pen. Uncapped and not posted, it actually feels too light which leads me to believe this pen was designed with the poster in mind. Not posted, it feels every so slightly nib heavy. What is strange about when it's posted is that one would think it would end up being back heavy. It isn't. The way the cap is designed and how far it sits down on the barrel actually makes the pen more balanced. When it is posted, it's pleasant to hold.

In terms of dimensions, it feels good in the hand – at least in mine. What isn't so good is the grip section. The way it is designed provokes cramps during long periods of writing. That alone makes it unsuitable for the journalist.

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Nib & Performance (4):
Okay. The nib of a fountain pen is its heart and soul. I think we all can agree on that. This nib... This nib just bugs me. Besides the fixed width (they only come in medium), the nib is simply far too stiff. When I write with it, it feels like I'm going to rip through the page in order to keep the ink flowing. In comparison to a Pelikan or a Parker, you've got to have a very heavy hand.

Now, the nib itself is smooth. I like it in that respect. But it does have a unique feel to it. It doesn't scratch but there is a degree of friction to it when written with. This nib doesn't glide, which is a bit disappointing for me. Add the fact that you have to have quite a bit of pressure for the ink to flow without breaking, that friction makes things difficult.

When taking into consideration the above, it's performance is pretty handicapped. However, if the above is ignored, then it's a fairly wet writer that isn't that bad. The tines do not flex all that much so it remains consistently true to the medium width assignment – if used on good paper.

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Filling System & Maintenance (2):
I've never been a fan of cartridge/converter fillers. Call me snooty, call me what you will but give me a piston filler or something that uses a sac any day. This pen, for better or worse (mostly worse), is a cartridge/converter filler. There is an advantage to that in that you can test inks with it more readily, but this is completely pointless for the following reason: this is the worst pen in terms of cleaning I have ever encountered. Period. While the converter filler may be convenient in some cases, this is completely overridden by the fact that it takes a good while to get the pen clean.

In terms of maintenance, there really isn't any... as long as you don't use it. The moment you fill it, be prepared to do a lot of cleaning if you switch inks. I've tried several inks in this pen and they've all given the same result. This pen simply absorbs and retains ink as if it were some kind of metal sponge. And if you leave ink in it by accident for a long period of time? Forget about it. I learned my lesson the hard way. It took me over an hour to get it cleaned completely. I even had to go as far as to disassemble the converter. (As a side note, the converter isn't the best the world...) I'm glad I had JB's Pen Flush on hand because I thought I had got it clean at one point. Then I used the flush and it turned the color of the ink as though I hadn't done any cleaning.

Cost & Value (5):
When I purchased the pen, I believe it cost $59.54.

Value... that's a complex question for this pen. Overall, for the price I would expect it to be better. However my base comparison is the fact I can get several Noodler's Ink pens to this one which are better value, quality, and much lower cost. In terms of cheap, high quality pens Noodler's Ink pens are my bar. So when I look at this one and all the problems it has, the cost of nearly $60 doesn't make a lick of sense. What you're paying for is the brand name that which is Padrino... which I'm not sure is worth all that much.

Now, the reason why I say it's a complex question is this: it's not that bad of a pen for a collection. The value is there in terms of looks. It has the same sleek lines of the Lamy 2000 for much less, the same modernistic styling, hooded nib, everything. The cap locking mechanisms are different and the clips are different. So if one is into metal, hooded nib pens then I would be fairly certain this should be on the list to get even if it's not written with.

Conclusion (5.5):
Through all the negatives I've laid out before you, I actually do not regret buying this pen. What saves it is the value of looks. It is one of the few pens that I will own that is there just to be there. I don't plan on using it because of the aggravation I've experienced with it, but I don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon – if ever.

(Reviewer's note: Sorry for the photos. I plan on getting a macro lens, pen holders, and a box to shoot in but those purchases haven't been made. These are off my cell phone since my DSLR couldn't handle getting that close.)
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#2 mbradley

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 18:45

I think your review is well written and comprehensive. I certainly wouldn't argue your experience. I have a Padrino Contour which I quite like. I replaced the nib with a # 5 German steel nib, it writes well and is properly balanced. Have you tried nib smoothing to improve the feel? I paid the same for the Contour, the original nib was also quite good.


Michael

#3 DanF

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 20:12

Your cleaning woes should cease if you remove the converter, flush it out with a syringe, then use some sort of bulb device and flush out the nib/section. Will take about 2 minutes.

Your pen is probably not adjusted properly if it takes so much pressure to get it to write, or may have some baby bottom to the tipping. Since you bought it at a brick and mortar. I'd take it back and have them fiddle with it until it writes consistently.

Dan
"Life is like an analogy" -Anon-

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#4 KrazyIvan

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 20:32

I see this pen goes by different names. My review of the Wancher 807. Same pen: http://www.fountainp..._1#entry2545040

#5 PHDT

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:06

I think your review is well written and comprehensive. I certainly wouldn't argue your experience. I have a Padrino Contour which I quite like. I replaced the nib with a # 5 German steel nib, it writes well and is properly balanced. Have you tried nib smoothing to improve the feel? I paid the same for the Contour, the original nib was also quite good.


Michael


Thank you for the compliments. It's my first posted review so that's very encouraging. At least I know where I should head with the review writing. I haven't tried nib smoothing yet, but I might give it a go because I'm not horribly attached to it, just in case I screw up since I've never done it before. I feel as though the nib does have potential but it's not all there... Maybe this'll be the pen that I get nib tweaking lessons on! Haha!

Your cleaning woes should cease if you remove the converter, flush it out with a syringe, then use some sort of bulb device and flush out the nib/section. Will take about 2 minutes.

Your pen is probably not adjusted properly if it takes so much pressure to get it to write, or may have some baby bottom to the tipping. Since you bought it at a brick and mortar. I'd take it back and have them fiddle with it until it writes consistently.

Dan


Actually, that's exactly what I did. I used a bulb to flush the nib out and no matter how many times I did it, more ink kept coming out. Because the converter could be disassembled, I took it apart and cleaned each piece individually, dried it, then threw it all together again. (Don't have silicone grease on hand... Will be getting some soon though.) In regards to taking it back, I think I got this pen a few years ago. This isn't a very recent purchase in the least. This review came about because I felt like using a different pen for writing in my journal, haha!

Thank you for the advice though. :-)


I see this pen goes by different names. My review of the Wancher 807. Same pen: http://www.fountainp..._1#entry2545040


That's... that's very interesting and rather bizarre at the same time. Paradise Pen claims this as an exclusive for them... maybe it's the Padrino name they're claiming and not the pen itself? That'd be some interesting research to see if there's something odd going on... Might actually do that tonight.
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#6 KrazyIvan

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 16:19

I see this pen goes by different names. My review of the Wancher 807. Same pen: http://www.fountainp..._1#entry2545040


That's... that's very interesting and rather bizarre at the same time. Paradise Pen claims this as an exclusive for them... maybe it's the Padrino name they're claiming and not the pen itself? That'd be some interesting research to see if there's something odd going on... Might actually do that tonight.


Someone posted the manufacturer/wholesale link in my thread. I do think it is the Padrino name only. The pen is obviously sold under different names. It also may be that Paradise Pen had it exclusively for a while and that exclusivity has expired.

#7 kjelderg

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 14:58

 I replaced the nib with a # 5 German steel nib, it writes well and is properly balanced. 

 

So I accidentally damaged the nib on my padrino tech.  Is this also replaceable with a #5 nib?  It does not seem to want to slide out the front though I have not used a lot of muscle on it.  Is this more than just a friction fit?



#8 mbradley

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 16:44

 

So I accidentally damaged the nib on my padrino tech.  Is this also replaceable with a #5 nib?  It does not seem to want to slide out the front though I have not used a lot of muscle on it.  Is this more than just a friction fit?

The #5 nib works great and is a friction fit.

 

Michael



#9 mbradley

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 16:45

My comment about the #5 being viable applies to the Contour, I have not used the Tech.

 

Michael



#10 mbradley

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 16:46

My comment about the #5 being viable applies to the Contour, I have not used the Tech.

 

Michael








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