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Faber-Castell Loom - Simple And Classy

faber castell loom

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#1 faltasian

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 16:14

Hi everyone, this is actually my first ever fountain pen review. I must admit that I won't have a point of reference since I only recently got my first (and only so far) pen - but I guess my first impression was a good one, and I thought I'd try my hand at reviewing it. I've read through the guidelines and I'll be following the template as close as I can. 

 

So, a reasonably priced entry level fountain pen - the Faber-Castell Loom.

 

loom2.jpg
The Faber-Castell Loom Piano White

  1. Appearance & Design (9) - Simple, modern and classy
    The Loom comes in two variants, the metallic finish and the piano finish. I got the piano finish. The first impression I got when I received the pen was that it looked slightly smudged with fingerprints. I had to give it a quick wipe before it looked all shiny and perfect. Smudging is a bit of a problem for the piano finish in this regard. It has a grip section with ring designs, and it is pleasing to the eye. It does not, however, really contribute to improved gripping. Apart from that, the reason I picked this pen for my first was that I liked its minimalist and modern design - it clearly does not have the intricate styling of the higher end pens, but is classy enough to stand out among the company of similarly priced pens.
    ...
  2. Construction & Quality (8) - Solid
    Most of the parts detach and attach conveniently, and the build quality is good. The cap comes with a clip that has a small spring that makes it a little flexible. Speaking of the cap, I find that it's capped on too tightly on the pen, thus requiring some effort to yank it out. Perhaps this will smooth out over time. Apart from that, it's a sturdy pen that can probably take a beating.
  3. Weight & Dimensions (7) - short and heavy
    It is actually a slightly heavy pen, compared to the other pens in the same range. This is due to its steel parts. This has both a pro and a con. I like the weight as it lends a little bit of control to the writing, but it gets tiring quite fast. Also, it doesn't sit well in a shirt pocket. I imagine it'll be fine in a jacket, but for everyday uses, it kinda yanks your shirt a little. Thought I'd throw this little practical bit in. 
  4. Nib & Performance (7) - Nice nib, lousy ink
    The pen comes with a steel nib. I got mine in F. There were no skips, and the flow is smooth even when I sped up the writing. My biggest complaint about this pen though, is the stock cartridge. The Loom that I got came with a cartridge of blue ink, and the ink made a terrible first impression. It appeared faded, and was too light. Even my cheap ballpoint pen could come out with a more readable color. (On this note, I also have the Faber Castell black ink - in short, stay away from FC inks. They're too diluted for some reason. I've since bought a Waterman Serenity Blue ink and I think that's a safe ink for a newbie like me. I love it so far).
    ...

    loom1.jpg
    You can see the simple patterns on the nib, as well as the grip section
     

  5. Filling System & Maintenance (6) - Cartridge only
    The pen does not come with a converter. I purchased the FC standard converter and it fits nicely in the pen. I understand that many pens in this class come with a converter, so it's a shame that the Loom does not. The cleaning and refilling mechanisms are smooth and I've done it with zero complaints so far. 
  6. Cost & Value (8) - Great entry-level price
    Overall, this is a decent entry level pen. I got it at around $40. It's slightly more expensive than the Lamy Safari (might be my next one - been reading too many good things about it), but in my opinion it carries an aesthetic look that looks like it should be priced higher. I do wish it comes with a converter for that price, but I'm ranting here...
  7. Conclusion (7.5) - I'm loving it
    Overall, I'm really satisfied writing with this new pen. I find myself coming up with all sorts of excuses to write more, take notes manually, and more. It doesn't come off as too elitist in my workplace, and I think it's a great pen to have around for everyday writing. Looking forward to my next one already!

Edited by faltasian, 02 April 2015 - 14:09.


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#2 RitchieMac

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 07:00

Good review. I have a Faber Castell Loom with metallic finish, and it is too slippery for me to write for long periods. This is because when I write a bit longer, the pen tends to slip and rotate in my hand, which makes me try to grab it tighter, and which in turn causes more pain for longer writing sessions. Which is a shame, because it is otherwise a great pen.

I am wondering whether the piano finish allows for a better grip?

#3 faltasian

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 07:24

Good review. I have a Faber Castell Loom with metallic finish, and it is too slippery for me to write for long periods. This is because when I write a bit longer, the pen tends to slip and rotate in my hand, which makes me try to grab it tighter, and which in turn causes more pain for longer writing sessions. Which is a shame, because it is otherwise a great pen.

I am wondering whether the piano finish allows for a better grip?

 

I agree that it handles less than ideally over a long period of time, although so far I'm more irritated by the weight than the grip. I think both metallic and piano finishes have the same grip section - so I don't think there's a difference. I also find that it's easier with the cap posted - somehow... 

 

Thanks for the feedback!



#4 OakIris

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 20:03

At the end of February, I purchased a Loom in Metallic Orange with a broad nib and proprietary Faber-Castell converter.   I agree that the inclusion of the converter would have been a nice touch, but I guess the company agrees with Lamy and their marketing of the Safari/Al-Star - let's sell them a relatively inexpensive pen and then make more money selling the converter separately.  :P  I also purchased a box of the Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown ink but haven't tried it as yet.  I hope I don't have the same experience you had with their blue and black inks, faltasian - faded, watery looking ink is not my preference. 

 

I haven't written with the pen long enough to find out for myself, but I can see (feel!) where the section could get rather slippery during long writing sessions.  This is one of the reasons I usually avoid pens with a metal section, but I liked the way the pen looked and read some positive reviews of it, so I bought one.  I should think that the judicious use of some fine sandpaper or something similar to rough up the finish on the section a bit might correct the problem and it think it would look just fine with the section having a matte/frosted look while the rest of the barrel is of smooth metal.  I will probably give that a try if the section does get uncomfortably slippery.

 

It seems to be very well made, a sturdy pen with presence, and I like the weight of it, too, though, again, I can understand that the weight might not make it a good candidate for prolonged writing sessions.  It would make an excellent workhorse pen, just the same - if the section slipperiness can be tamed!  The broad nib on my Loom makes the pen a very wet writer.  I normally like wet writers, but the first ink I tried in it, De Atramentis Atlantic Blue, was way too wet and made it quite the gusher, so I am now using Private Reserve Orange Crush in it.  The Orange Crush is certainly a drier ink but I can't love it - it has little shading and is kind of a boring - so I am still searching for the "ideal" ink.  I will probably try the Hazelnut Brown next.  Speaking of boring, the broad nib is very smooth, has great flow, but somehow the writing experience is...uninteresting; I may have send it to Art of Art's nibs to have it made into a stub.

 

All in all, though, I like the pen and I am glad I bought it; $45 (with converter) well-spent, IMHO.  Thank you very much for the review, faltasian.  :)

 

Holly



#5 pyramidValley

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 00:07

Good review. I have a Faber Castell Loom with metallic finish, and it is too slippery for me to write for long periods. This is because when I write a bit longer, the pen tends to slip and rotate in my hand, which makes me try to grab it tighter, and which in turn causes more pain for longer writing sessions. Which is a shame, because it is otherwise a great pen.

I am wondering whether the piano finish allows for a better grip?

 

FWIW the Lam Nexx has a similar type of body to the Loom, Except that it has a rubberized grip. Great for people like me which have hands that cause the pen to slip on metal grips.



#6 j.a.j.

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 10:08

You can make Looms section less slippery with micromesh. Does not really affect the visual outlook of the pen.

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#7 77kath

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 13:01

My Loom also has a very tight cap. It is ideal for every day carry, as I can trust it not to leak, but I look like a fool wrestling the cap off. It does very well with the Akkermann purple ink.

#8 Jackson

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 23:03

Not long ago, Cultpens had a special offer whereby along with a slightly more expensive F-C fp purchase, they threw in a medium nib Loom free. So, with my Ondoro and Ambition, I got two Looms gratis...same nibs, same performance, sweet deal. (But I may have to try that micro mesh on the section idea--a wee bit slippery, to be sure!)

#9 iam7head

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:15

I see a lot of folks complaint about the weight and finish of the barrel but for me it's actually working great. 

 

Most of the weight in the mass of the barrel which sits/rests nicely into between my thumb and the index finger, the mirror polish is a tad slippery when you try to pull off the cap but I never have any traction problem when i am using the pen.  

 

Just a word of caution, the pen is just a tad longer than 12.1cm,  it's just the shortest I am comfortable without posting.

 

Cheers



#10 faltasian

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 04:30

I see a lot of folks complaint about the weight and finish of the barrel but for me it's actually working great. 

 

Most of the weight in the mass of the barrel which sits/rests nicely into between my thumb and the index finger, the mirror polish is a tad slippery when you try to pull off the cap but I never have any traction problem when i am using the pen.  

 

Just a word of caution, the pen is just a tad longer than 12.1cm,  it's just the shortest I am comfortable without posting.

 

Cheers

 

The weight is one of the more notable features of the pen, and for me - it feels great to write in for short bursts, but not for long sessions. But like you, I find it slightly short ;)

 

About to go get my second pen. Shortlisted my choices already!



#11 migo984

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:48

I love the Plum colourway, but that darn section is just far too slippery for me. Tried it; gave up on it I'm afraid. Excellent quality though.

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#12 ink-syringe

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 09:27

Comfort: 2.5

 

That pen is short, and wicked hard to hang on to. I had to return mine. A shame an otherwise fantastic pen but that slippery section was a bear. 

 

Great nib. Great build and finish. Even a decent Schmidt converter included in mine. Excellent bang for buck but I just couldn't hold on to the thing.

 

Not a hater as I have an Ondoro. 


Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 

#13 RR4U

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 18:08

Last Xmas I bought me a Loom in Piano Plum with an F nib. for €23,86 / $25.82 (!), no converter included though. Been using short Pelikan cartriges filled with rOtring Brillant Violet, a perfect match IMHO. It's also my first Faber-Castell FP. By that time, the store where I bought it had all the Basic versions and a few pens from the Ambition series, I liked the Loom better. I really wanted an E-Motion, I have a couple of the original pencils and love their design and ergonomics.

I have no complains on the Loom section, I don't find it slippery. I think it's a great pen, the nib is excellent, a true F. The pen always stars with no issues even when left unused for a couple of weeks or even more. I think the cap tightness may have something to do with that, It's kind of an airlock!  ;)

 

BTW, here's a picture of the ink I've been using ... Unfortunately a rare sight these days.

 

fpn_1428515553__127292298676216420075_03

 

R.

 

 


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#14 vonManstein

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 13:52

I like the nib on this pen. I had a metallic version. Unfortunately the slipperiness of the grip section made this pen practically unusable so I gave it away. Shame, because it is otherwise a well built pen with a good steel nib.


Inked: Sailor King Pro Gear, Sailor Reglus, Pilot Volex, Aurora 88 Unica Nera, Parker Sonnet Chiselled Carbon.

#15 5Cavaliers

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 21:15

Great review!  I too have a Loom - mine is the metallic plum.  I really like the pen.  The diameter of the barrel is just right for my hand.  My loom has ridges around where I hold the pen, so I don't experience the slippage that others' have commented about.  The cap is a bit difficult to get off sometimes, but I've learned to work with it. 

 

I found the fine nib just a bit too "toothy" when I first got the pen. Also, it seemed very dry.  About a month ago, after I had cleaned the pen, I ran a piece of very thin brass through the tines.  This increased the ink flow substantially, and now it writes very nicely. 

 

Overall, this is a great "work" pen.


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#16 sannidh

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 09:54

Thanks for the nice review. I love their steel nibs too, butter-smooth performers :D

Btw, the new FC inks esp Moss Green have a good review :)


Edited by soniknitr, 06 July 2015 - 09:54.

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#17 Nibbler

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 14:16

I got one of these for Christmas! I received a 'Piano' chrome version (which I probably would not have chosen, but now rather like). The nib is to die for, but it is a slippery pen to hold. I've taken to mine with some 1500 micro mesh and it's a lot better, and I rather like the look - especially contrasted with the chrome. 



#18 lovemy51

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 08:01

nice nibs on these FC's! i don't know why i didn't buy a Loom when i had a chance about a year ago??? oh, i remember why... i was was completely broke!!

 

also, i found it to small for my liking... if i remember correctly... I have a Basic, and that is big enough.



#19 JayInNJ

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 18:55

I've got a Loom in orange with a fine nib and it's not glassy-smooth, but it's pleasant enough to write with. I don't feel like the metal section is too slippery for me, but I can see where others have that experience.



#20 pararis

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 20:03

As good as any pen I have.

 

Last year I bought a Loom with a broad nib. It was perhaps the smoothest nib I ever used, but I'd classify it more as a triple broad in line width, also very, very wet.

 

I sent it to the Faber-Castell headquarters in Ohio and requested they change the nib to fine. They offer that service (and recommend they do it) for a fee. I was willing to pay the fee. In short order they returned the pen with a fine nib, no charge. They included a few interesting pieces of Faber-Castell literature, a personal note and one of their pencils. That is customer service above and beyond.

 

The pen now has Aurora Black ink in it, and it's still as good as any pen I have. Perfectly smooth, but not too smooth nib, and it writes anytime, anywhere and on just about any paper.







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