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Domain Lion Fountain Pen

domain lion pen fountain pen cheap china vanishing point steel steal fine

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#1 phillieskjk

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 01:24

This is a review of a new pen I got recently, it was a complete impulse purchase but I was pleasantly surprised. 

First Impressions (6/10)

This pen isn’t exactly a looker, but I wasn’t expecting that for $1.25.  It came in a packaged envelope, and the pen was directly inside.  (No box)  It is made entirely of plastic (except the nib, obviously), and feels light in the hand.  It did, however, come with a convertor, which helped my first impression of it. 

 

fp1.jpg

 

Appearance (4/10)

Like I said before, the pen doesn’t look all that great (In my opinion).  It is beige colored, and the cap has little golf ball-esque dimples on it.  The cap and nib are steel colored, although the clip is made of plastic.  The clip also has a small plastic red “gemstone” on it. The section of the pen is black, and has a subtle triangle grip.  (Not as intense as a Lamy Safari, but it’s there).

 

Design/Size/Weight (7/10)

The pen is very light, being made out of plastic, and is fairly small.  It is closest in size and weight to a Pilot 78g, but that is not to say that it’s design is remotely similar.  Instead of the 78g’s simple elegance, the pen somehow manages to seem bland and gaudy at the same time, with a boring and flat beige section and a dimpled cap and fake gemstone bedazzled clip.  The nib and section are plain black and silver, respectively, with “Domain Lion” printed on the steel nib.

 

Nib (9/10)

Looking at the past categories, I did not have high hopes for this nib.  I was wrong.  This is where the pen shines.  The nib smoothly lays a fine line, and on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very dry, 10 being one of those nibs that is so wet can get your fingers inky just by writing a sentence with it), it is a 6-7 in terms of wetness.  Unlike many of its Chinese brethren, it is not a complete nail, either.  Although I did not fully push it to its limits, the nib gives a fair amount of spring to play around with.  To be entirely honest, the pen I own which most accurately matches it’s writing characteristics is my 18k M Pilot Vanishing Point.  Disclaimer on the nib portion of this review: On a lot of Cheap Chinese pens (I’m looking at you Hero 616), nib quality is inconsistent, so I may have just gotten really lucky with an awesome nib.

 

fp2.jpg

 

Filling System (8/10)

Not much to say here.  It’s  a simple cartridge convertor system.  The pen came with a convertor.  I inked it up with 1670 Emerald de Chivor, and have had no problems thus far.

 

Cost and Value (10/10)

I got this pen for $1.25 shipped, but they can be had now for $0.99 on Ebay.  For a pen with a nib that feels like my vanishing point (At a dollar who cares if it retracts) it’s a complete steal, even if it is ugly.

 

Conclusion (8/10)

Yes, this is an ugly pen.  But the nib is incredible, and it’s a dollar!  I’ve used this pen daily for a week in prep for this review, and I have to say it’s really starting to grow on me.  I never had a single issue with it, it always started up right away, and after a weekend of not being used I uncapped it and it started right back up again, even with Emerald de Chivor (which has given me trouble with those things in the past).  Overall this is probably one of the best $1.25’s I’ve ever spent on a pen, and I would highly recommend it.

 

 


Check out more of my reviews at my website


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#2 OCArt

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 01:58

Thank you for the review.  It's really a strange color; somewhere between flesh and ivory.



#3 Dickkooty2

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 02:52

I am very happy that someone who actually knows something about pens has written a responsible review of the the Domain.Lion. My squib was based entirely on my own visceral reactions ... http://www.fountainp...he-domain-lion/

 

I have that sick orange and the punching you in the teeth fuscia each filled with a different ink. They are a part of my rotation for the NYT crossword.

 

Thank you, phillieskjk!  Robin Roberts Lives!

 

58053-NL11Fr_zpsqqr1t51y.jpg



#4 bob_hayden

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 22:32

I have two of these -- a tan that looks less yellow to me than do the photos above on my monitor, and a pale pink (not loud fuschia) one.  Both were sold as "medium" but I would call the pink fine and the tan extra fine.  Both nibs are excellent!  A great source of nibs for makers of custom pens!-)

 

I got mine from China via eBay. There are other Lion King models.  This apears to be a "Senior".  (So the Junior is 50 cents?)  The listing gave the impression they were German pens but all the sellers are in China.  I know there's a Poland, Maine, but... Possibly the nibs are German.  On mine it says "18KGP" which I very much doubt given the price and fact that it looks like stainless steel to me.  Mine have in them Chinese cartridges that look like some Jinhao international ones I have seen.  They are about midway in length between short and long international cartridges.  In any case, international cartridges work.  One nice touch under the fake "jewel" is a smooth hemispherical section of the clip that touches your pocket to avoid tearing it as some cheap pens are wont to do.

 

I had two minor points of disagreement with the review.  The clips on mine appear to be very sturdy steel. And though the pen looks modest, it is actually longer than most of the pens in my collection. 

 

If you want to write with a fountain pen, this is an incredible steal!  But if you want to impress clients...



#5 bob_hayden

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 22:26

Just here to add that the body on one of mine split out right where the section screws in after very little use.  I've had that problem with Parker Vectors but only after years of use.  Price is now $1.20 or $1.40 on eBay.  I still think the nibs are great.  Might be a good choice for someone who keeps losing their pens;-)  I plan to enjoy mine while they last.



#6 rockydoggy

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 01:48

I've been playing around with several of these over the past month or two. 

Some misc. observations:

++ I've not yet gotten a nib that wasn't smooth right from the get-go--they tend to be wet, yet precise writers. 

++ The plastic bodies seem relatively fragile.  I'm seeing small cracks around the cap lips on a couple of the pens and I've not abused them at all.  I don't generally use the clips on my pens, so I can't speak to how secure those are.

++ There's a serious air-leak where the clip seats into the cap.  As a result, the pens tend to dry out, with the hooded nibs slightly more resistant to that problem.  As a solution, I've been painting a couple of layers of clear nail polish around the base of the cap--that seems to help a lot with the drying out.

 

Overall, I'd rank the Domain Lion below the Preppy and the piston-fill Dollar on the inexpensive-pen scale, but it's not bad if you don't knock it about much.  The Domain Lion nib strikes me as of a way better quality than the rest of the pen, and I can see keeping a few of these at work filled with different colored inks to use in editing.

 

Meanwhile, the Daiso fountain pen may have taken over the top spot as my outrageously cheap, go-to pen of choice right now.  Metal-bodied, Chinese-made, it can be found in the US in the Daiso Japanese chain stores.  Just recently got a couple, so I'll know more later; but so far, so good.



#7 bob_hayden

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 00:36

I eventually got one of each color of the model with the non-hooded nib.  Sad to say, most of them have now split out in the body right where the section screws in.  I think this is caused by the force of screwing in the section.  You can see the crack open up as you do so. I have only applied enough force to keep it from loosening spontaneously.  Since you have to screw the section into the body every time you run out of ink, I would have to modify my recommendation to say that this is a disposable pen with an excellent nib.  And perhaps my earlier suggestion that they represent a cheap source of good nibs should be taken more seriously;-)  (Another option is to wrap the body with some kind of tape.  Duct tape would be traditional but perhaps a bit too thick and rough-textured for a writing instrument.)

 

I used to work in engineering and I see more and more products that were not engineered -- maybe "designed" by an art type to look like a useful product, but not engineered to do the job that product normally does.  Some plastic pens have a metal band around the open end of the body to prevent this sort of thing.  Others just use more or better plastic.  I have Sheaffer Dollar Pens from the 1960s that still work.  And $5-10 A&Ws from the last century that have even better nibs than the Lion Kings, though those are not as rugged as the Sheaffers. 



#8 bob_hayden

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 20:13

Back again.  I ended up with half a dozen of the unhooded ones.  Most of the bodies have split out where the section screws in.  Recently I dug them out to test a batch of cartridges I received that came in 12 different colors.  Now I see that the caps on three of these are developing similar cracks where the cap meets the body.  One has four such cracks and it looks like a chunk of plastic will soon be breaking off.  I still like the nibs but the pens are not worth $1.  I will be trying to salvage the nibs and see if I can use them in pens with sturdy bodies and iffy nibs.



#9 Fountainer

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 06:14

After hearing all the hype about the nibs here, i thought i could use some spare nibs and feeds so i bought 3 of these pale green ones: one to leave on table at work, one to random use at home and one for spare parts or giveaway.
 
I'd need more experience to tell for sure, but so far i'm less excited about these than what i expected, but after the settings are done, these pens are ok. One important setting is to glue the gap in the clip base so the nib inside won't dry so easily. This is not recommended in every pen you see but i did it with these all.
 
I find the size and weight comfortable. They are not too small, i have a few smaller pens. I like the clip shape, it's tension and the gem. The cap posts very well, which is uncommon in chinese pens. You can blow air through the barrel so these are not suitable for eyedroppering, unless you somehow plug the end of the barrel.
 
I don't yet have cracks in the barrels, but find some small ones in the cap lip. So yes, there is probably something wrong with the material or maybe i just posted too hard.

There are other ways than the easiest one too.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: domain, lion, pen, fountain pen, cheap, china, vanishing point, steel, steal, fine



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