Pen being reviewed: Manuscript Clear Calligraphy Set w/ five nibs
This is a clear demonstrator that is neither ugly nor pretty, it just kinda exists without being spectacularly bad or good. The cap is the same diameter throughout with 12 facets and an enormous clip that looks well enough to not be a problem. The body has the same 12 facets but is thinner than the cap and then thins further, ending in a dome shape. The pen is/looks small, and the nib is even smaller. The nib looks nondescript and vintagey if anything, with "MANUSCIPT" in an arc and "ENGLAND" and the nib size underneath and inside the arc.
Construction And Design Quality: 3.5/10
The plastic is a clear and very cheap. a big rectangular piece of plastic at the domed end with a continuous thin rectangular piece of plastic going down the cap with barely any tension serves as a clip. While tightening the barrel onto the pen a little too much it cracked and from there got worse. I see the cap cracking as well with further use, the barrel is also cracked pretty badly (more on that later). The section is very thin, and the grip is a pyramid design that is moderately comfortable, more so than if they had chosen a smooth grip because the section is so slim. The threads are also very hard to use, they slip out of alignment very easily and it is hard to get them into alignment in the first place. Couple this with the fact that the plastic cracks easy you get a little nervous.
Weight and dimensions: 4.5/10
This category is very subjective, and this pen does not gain any advantage like most cheap pens. It is light as a feather because the plastic is even lighter than most plastic, coupled with its small size. This pen is very slim, and I like slim pens and am not bothered by the thinnest of pens, but others may feel differently.
Nib Performance: 7/10
The pen came with five nibs/sections (five times as much as most pens and as many section colors), but I have only tried one. It was neither wet nor dry but was smoother than most cheap pens without adjustment. It was stub rather than an italic, but this is not a problem and it was not labelled as so, just "calligraphy". There is no extra tipping, just a squared off end.
Filling System and Maintenance: 3.5/10
This pen apparently has it's own cartridges and converters and does not fit other systems. I tried to make it an eyedropper by filling the body up with ink and sealing the section with silicone grease, but the ink leaked through the nib and filled the cap after putting it down and walking away for less than 4 minutes. I then tried to put a converter in the pen but it is apparently too big and after i had tried to screw the section back in the barrel cracked when it was almost in and got stuck (I did not even notice the converter was to big because there did not appear to be a problem screwing it in). I tried to take it out with pliers but it barely came out after scratching the end all up and possibly ruining it. The cartridges are also shaped differently at the tip, leading me to suspect that other cartridges do not work.
Cost and Value 4.5/10
This pen is made up of cheap, easily cracked plastic. It restricts the user to in-house c/c's that are not well made and this pen does not come with a converter. It also is very leaky. The nib I tried was good, and it comes with extra nibs and differently colored sections. I think this pen was not a very good use of my money, especially compared to similar calligraphy sets, but it is not too bad if you do not expect much.
This pen did not pass the "Is this a good pen" test. I am also disappointed to learn that a pretty mush wasted my money and am mow missing money that could have been used to buy a better pen, even in the same price range and purpose.
Do you know of any better calligraphy sets in the same price range? I would prefer if it could be made into an eyedropper for the extra ink or if it is completely clear, as it kinda looks dumb to see a c/c in a clear pen as you are not really showing anything, but c/c is fine otherwise I can also post pictures later, but they will be taken with a smartphone so will not be very high quality.(the numbers in the title were from when I was calculating the final score, I forgot to take them out and now cannot change them)
Edited by ThegreatandpowerfullR, 06 January 2015 - 23:08.