I bought my first 'Guru' from Fountain Pen Revolution soon after it was released, but never got around to writing a review - basically because a few other people beat me to it, and I agreed with their assessments of the pen. A cheap pen, a great buy for the money - but what was with that clip? It looked like it had been gnawed at by rats on the slow boat from India - if such a thing were possible!
I'm putting up this post now, though, because of a few developments with the pen, that I think (if possible) make it an even better deal - and because I recently received 3 new ones, bringing my total to 6, four purchased outright, and 2 that came free with the new pen pouches I purchased (more on those another time, maybe).
DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for putting up this post, and paid for all these pens myself (except the two that were part of the pen pouch promotion, available to all customers).
My first 2 Gurus were clear demonstrator models - you'll see in the picture below, one of them became badly discoloured by an experimental ink I filled it with (oops!), but otherwise it's fine. I purchased a blue model about 3 months ago (with a B nib), and a black model about two weeks ago - but as I mentioned, a couple of free Gurus (one blue, one black) came with the order.
So, what do I like about these pens?
First, the fact that they're cheap - dirt cheap - and yet they look reasonable and write really well. If I remember correctly, these pens were commissioned from Serwex, based on an existing design (the Serwex 162? or the 1362?? I can't remember!), but with some minor modifications and improvements. At present they're only available in these three colour options - that may possibly change in future, but (I suspect) only if there's sufficient demand.
Second, they're piston-fillers - the mechanism works well and can be completely disassembled for cleaning and/or trouble-shooting:
Thirdly, I like the fact that these pens use an ebonite feed, which can be heat set and/or tweaked to improve performance, far more easily than the plastic feeds that come on the more expensive FPR pens.
Fourthly, I like the nibs - the original #5 FPR nibs in Extra Fine, Fine, Fine Stub ($3 extra), Medium, Broad ($3 extra) and flex ($3 extra). These nibs have changed their appearance over the past couple of years, from a plain matte finish (see the above photo) to a more adorned nib which (often but not always) has a nib designation inscribed on it (EF, F, M etc). If you look closely, you'll notice that the black pen above has a different nib - order one of these pens with a flex nib, and the newer #5.5 version (in stainless steel) now comes standard on the pen. The feed is also custom-set to enhance ink flow, if you order with a flex nib.
Finally, I'll mention the improvements / updates that make this pen an even better buy. The clip has been replaced with a newer version - a larger, sturdier, less mangled-looking clip, that improves dramatically the appearance of the pen (see below). It's also less likely to bend out of shape and/or snap. Also, you can now buy loose nibs AND FEEDS for these pens, to allow even more tinkering. Ruined your feed trying to improve flow? No worries - for $3 (I think) plus postage, you can order a replacement...
The Indus pen that I reviewed the other day is a much classier looking pen, probably made of more durable materials, certainly more attractive plastic / acrylic - but I've grown really fond of my Gurus in the time that I've been using (and collecting) them. They're inexpensive, reliable, fun to play with (I've swapped the clips around so that in each colour I have one pen with an older clip, one with the new)... And at $9 (plus $3 for a nib upgrade) you won't weep too many bitter tears if you break or lose them.