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Faber Castell Basic, Carbon Fibre

fountain pen faber castell review

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12 replies to this topic

#1 thepenhaul

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 16:54

This review is going to be a bit unorthodox compared to others I have seen on here, but I still hope my style of writing will be useful for all of you. This is just copy and pasted from my blog so I hope you can check it out as well.

 

Today I am going to talk about the carbon fibre Faber Castell Basic. It is fairly well know in the fountain pen community, but not as widely recognized as the popular Lamy Safari, which is in a similar price range. This particular version is a sexy pen, I will say that right now. The carbon fibre body matched with the matte black cap has a very sleek feel to it, even if the cap is a little on the large side.

 

Cap.jpg?resize=640%2C853

 

However, I have had some issues with this pen that you will need to seriously consider if you are thinking about purchasing this pen. I will start with something that is more of a feature than an issue depending on your preference. It is a very heavy pen (34 grams according to Goulet Pens), which I don’t mind, but due to the pen and grip section being so round, it tends to roll in my hand as I write. It might just be how I hold the pen, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.

 

Barrel.jpg?resize=640%2C853

 

For those of you who like to post your pens, start looking elsewhere now. Even though the cap is light enough and actually stays posted quite solidly, it makes the pen waaaay too long to the point where it just looks goofy and becomes impractical.

Here are a few pictures to see how the size of the Faber Castell Basic sizes up against a few of the other popular pens out there:

 

Basic-Comparison-Capped.jpg?resize=640%2

The Basic between a Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy Safari, and Noodler’s Neponset capped.

Basic-Comparison-Uncapped.jpg?resize=640

Uncapped

Basic-Comparison-Posted1.jpg?resize=640%

Posted

 

For those of you who don’t know, the Noodler’s Neponset is a huge pen! Now look at how short it looks when compared to the Basic when both are posted. Imagine writing with that in a meeting or at school, your colleagues will think you are a nuts!

 

Writing Experience

Lets talk about the nib for a minute.

I opted for the fine nib because it was only option available at my local pen store, The Paper Umbrella. I have read quite a few reviews on this pen before I purchased it (a few of those are linked below), and the common theme seems to be that Faber Castell has the smoothest steel nibs out there. This has not been my experience.

Grip-Section.jpg?resize=640%2C853

 

 

The writing experience has been average at best, and frustrating at it’s worst. I currently have it inked with Private Reserve Avacado and while there is definitely feedback, it provides as decent writing experience. It is hard to explain the smoothness of a nib, but it is by no means “buttery smooth.”

You might be thinking that a bit of feedback doesn’t sound so bad, but when I previously had it inked with Diamine Eclipse, which is a fairly dry ink in my experience, it was almost unusable. Hard starts nearly every time I went to write with the occasional skipping plagued my writing experience.

It is possible that I just got a dud, so don’t discount everyone else’s experiences since mine seems to be an outlier. You can also use this as a learning opportunity that not every ink will work well with every pen. A wet ink with a dry pen, or a dry ink with a gusher may help you find that customized writing experience that you have been looking for.

 

Here is quick comparison of the fine nib on the Faber Castell compared to a few other pens I had lying around:

 

Writing-Comparison-Printing.jpg?resize=6

  The Section

Now here is where the real problem with this pen lies. The rubber grip section with little grooves going through it may look pretty cool, but it causes more of a headache than it’s worth. First of all, if you want to fill the pen from a bottle, you will want to dip the converter directly into the bottle rather than with it attached to the nib and section. This is because ink will get in those little grooves and can be a pain to clean out.

The biggest issue, however, is the fact that this rubber grip section cracks! Before you go jumping to the conclusion that I just over tightened the barrel or that I have super human strength, I consciously did not over tighten the barrel having read reports of cracking before buying the pen. I first noticed a crack after about 2 months, but over the next month or so, it progressively got worse before I eventually delegated it to storage.

 

Cracked-Section.jpg?resize=640%2C853

 

Recently I was looking though my pens to decide what to ink up next and I seen my poor Faber Castell Basic and thought there has to be a way to fix this. I did what I should have done when first noticed the crack, and emailed both the store and the Canadian Faber Castell distributer about the issue. The service I received was top notch and I had a replacement section coming in the mail within days! Why didn’t I do this earlier!!?

Let me show you quick how to change the section if you ever come across the same problem. First, remove the barrel and converter from the nib and section:

 

Dissasembled.jpg?resize=640%2C853

Next, pinch the nib and feed in one hand and the cracked nib section in the other. Once you have a good grip, just twist the nib unit counter clockwise to remove it from the section:

Screwing-in-the-nib.jpg?resize=640%2C853

Finally, just screw in the nib unit into the brand new (soon to be cracked?) rubber grip section, reassemble the pen and you are good to go.

Conclusion

With this new grip section, I now have a functional pen that I can use everyday. The new grip section may or may not crack again in the future, but I am definitely going to be very delicate when handling this pen in the future. Based on my experiences, I do not recommend this pen to anyone looking for a problem free pen. However, if you really like the look and price of this pen and can deal with the risk of getting a subpar nib out of the box and the potential for the rubber grip section cracking, go right ahead!


Edited by thepenhaul, 03 May 2015 - 17:03.

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#2 Gloucesterman

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 19:45

Thank you for a good review. I have the FC Loom which I think has similar construction. My experience with the nib (EF) has been excellent - smooth, right out of the box with minimal feedback. BTW, we are in agreement regarding posting the pen - (quite) a bit too long when posted.

 

So, to restate your own question, why did you not contact the store/distributor when the problem was first noticed?

 

Finally, could it have been possible that the nib was tightened too much when the section/nib was originally assembled?

 

Thank you again for your review.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#3 thepenhaul

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 19:54

Thank you!

That is a question I have asked myself many times since contacting them (the service was great!)

It is very possible it could have been overtightened by the manufacturer, but I don't recall seeing any stress fractures during the first few months of use. I think the material used just isn't as strong as what most pens use in their sections.

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#4 zdeveric

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 20:11

I think I bought this pen last year and it does not take long cartridges and C-F converter because tha barrel is too narrow on the top.



#5 thepenhaul

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 23:41

I think I bought this pen last year and it does not take long cartridges and C-F converter because tha barrel is too narrow on the top.


Mine came with a Faber Castell converter (standard international) so I haven't tried it with any other yet. The barrel actually had a little spring in it for some reason so that may be making it seem shorter than it is.

Check out my new blog, thepenhaul.com


#6 Gloucesterman

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 21:32

I just got one of the carbon fiber F-C w/ and ef nib from a friend in Europe. I noticed there was a crack in the section close to the nib. I also noticed that the nib section extends out from the grip section, perhaps 2mm. In the images you posted above, your pen nib appears very similar to mine. I also have a F-C Loom where the nib is flush against the grip section. Are they supposed to be different like that or is the separated/extended nib section? The images of the carbon fiber "Basic" on the Goulet site show the "extended" nib.

 

Would you share the contact information for customer service with Faber Castell. Evidently the local pen places don't carry the lower end model F-C pens.

Thank you for any additional information.


Edited by brgmarketing, 04 May 2015 - 21:32.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#7 thepenhaul

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 22:56

@brgmarketing The crack on my section was actually at the end closest to the barrel oddly enough. I didn't know they could also crack at the end near the nib. The very last picture posted (with the paper towel background) is of the nib unit only half screwed in, but the rest of them is how the extended nib section is supposed to look to the best of my knowledge.

 

Here is the link to the Canadian distributor's website who helped me out, and her is a link to the customer service for their US Customer's

 

I hope this helps!


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#8 RyanM

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 00:04

I can see you like your matte black pens.... I have looked at this Faber Castell mentioned many times, but have always been turned away by the simplicity of the nib... It seems maybe that was a good idea. 



#9 thepenhaul

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 05:14

I do love my matte black pens.. You should see the pen I just won and is in the mail (Platinum 3776 King of Tiger). I agree that the nib is definitely plain vanilla!

Check out my new blog, thepenhaul.com


#10 Gloucesterman

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 19:17

@brgmarketing The crack on my section was actually at the end closest to the barrel oddly enough. I didn't know they could also crack at the end near the nib. The very last picture posted (with the paper towel background) is of the nib unit only half screwed in, but the rest of them is how the extended nib section is supposed to look to the best of my knowledge.

 

Here is the link to the Canadian distributor's website who helped me out, and her is a link to the customer service for their US Customer's

 

I hope this helps!

 

First of all thank you for the link to their site. I ended up looking for the information in an old issue of Pen World and left a message for a "call back" on thier answering machine.

 

I guess it can crack at the other end too. I'll be interested to learn how long it takes for them to get back to me. Funny thing is, although there are at least 4 dealers relatively local, none carry the lower end of the Faber Castell line. In my mind that is a real shame as their Loom and Basic models are great introductory pens with the exception that you have to buy the converter separately! I really don't understand why manufacturers don't charge $2-3 more and include the converter. One manufacturer (who shall not be named) has a $70.00 pen with converter not included! Now there is a pen that I would not even consider buying (well, maybe if it was full flex - ;) !

 

Thank you again for the information.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#11 thepenhaul

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 20:02

with the exception that you have to buy the converter separately! I really don't understand why manufacturers don't charge $2-3 more and include the converter.

 

Surprisingly enough, mine came with a converter already in the pen! 

 

Not a problem at all!


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#12 714

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 23:43

Thank you for the review, I had this on my list as one of the next pens to try out, but don't think I will after reading your post. :) I hope the pen is useful to you, after all. :)



#13 thepenhaul

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 16:51

Thank you for the review, I had this on my list as one of the next pens to try out, but don't think I will after reading your post. :) I hope the pen is useful to you, after all. :)

 

Thanks! I have gone through one convertor full so far and it has written decent so far!


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