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The Rampant Inaccuracy Of Fountain Pen Reviews


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#1 Betweenthelines

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:05

This topic is spurned by a discussion on /r/fountainpens. Something I've seen across the board whether they are reviews on this website or from the most popular YouTube reviewers is an overall inaccuracy and at times even blatant dishonesty in regards to reviewing pens. Primarily this issue manifests as pens being reviewed too soon after they are bought. This is why 99% of the reviews in our review Forum are at or close to 10 out of 10. We often get rose-tinted glasses from the newness of the pen and thus our reviews are not completely accurate. I say we because I have done it a few times myself. It can go the other way as well, where a pen will grow on the reviewer over time and features that previously annoyed him or her will now be appreciated.

Even with the most popular YouTube reviewers I hear time and time again how a pen that was supposedly perfect has now been sold off or how a pen that was mediocre before is now loved. As an example I was just watching reviews of the Homosapiens and Matt from the pen habit in his original review stated explicitly how much he didn't like the feel of the material and then goes on to say how much he loves the feel of the material in his more recent top pens review. Conversely Mr Brown raved about the pen in his initial review and in a later comment admitted that he sold it because the pen was having issues and he didn't like it anymore. Very few reviews are done of pens that the reviewer has truly sat with for a good period of time.

Another big issue I have seen across the board is the rather absurd case of a pen being raved about and being given perfect scores meanwhile there is the ' minor detail' that the reviewer had to take micromesh to the nib and/or realign the tines to make it write well. I'm sorry but a pen's single purpose is to write. If a pen is unable to write well out of the box then it is a bad pen. Period. There is this ridiculous notion that it should be standard practice to have to adjust a pen out of the box. But just because it is commonly needed doesn't make it any more excusable. It just means we have enabled companies to consistently give us bad products. I remember recently I reviewed a pelikan for the second time to try to be more honest about it and docked a number of points for it arriving with misaligned tines. Right on cue the fanboys and girls came out of the woodwork to complain and blame me or the vendor for the problem, a problem I should mention I have experienced on several pelikan nibs.

What is the point of reviewing pens if they are not honest or accurate?

I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts on this.

Edited by Betweenthelines, 01 December 2016 - 19:17.


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#2 jar

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:24

I'm amazed to hear that people have to align tines or take micromesh to a nib of a new pen. So far that simply has not been my experience in the hundreds of new pens I've acquired over the decades. I'm sorry if you have been singled out by the makers and vendors to consistently give you bad products and understand you are rightly upset at have been so single out.

 

Yet I'm not sure how you determined any review was not honest?  Are you objecting to the fact that the reviewer did not follow those procedures you believe are required? Are you objecting to the fact that peoples tastes and personal preferences change as they gain experience and over time?  Are upset that people change their minds about a given subject over time?


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#3 watch_art

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:24

The point is so that people who can't handle these pens get some sort of an idea of what the pen is like.  When I read a review (or watch a video) I don't care one little bit if the person loves or hates the pen.  As far as I'm concerned the good or bad scores are meaningless.  I'm not buying a pen for the guy/gal who made the review.  I'm buying it for me.  So if the review mentions a texture or weight, I ignore their judgement and think about if I would like that texture or weight.  I'm looking at the pen for what I think I would like or dislike about it.  Not everybody is going to love/hate the same things for the same reasons for any amount of time.  I used to love this or that, but now I don't so much, and vice-versa.  :)  So I don't think it's that the reviews are dishonest, it's that our tastes and opinions change over time, which I think is a good thing.  I still don't like the Pilot Metropolitan though.  :)

 

Now, if a retailer paid somebody to put up reviews of pens saying how awesome they all are, and didn't disclose that fact, then THAT would be dishonest.  :)  


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#4 gryphon1911

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:24

IMHO....

 

Any review is as accurate and honest as it can be at the time in which it is given.   99% of the ones I've seen have been new unboxings.  Given that, and after one has had any experience in fountain pens (mine being just a year) they understand that there are no perfect pens.  Almost every brand would need some adjustments.  what one reviewer may deem an acceptable nib, writing experience, ink flow may not be at all by others.

 

We are judging a very subjective set of things against, human beings who are by nature, flawed, biased and slanted to their own subjectivity.

 

I've been a professional photographer for many years and we get the same thing there on gear.   

 

Unless someone is willing to make a business out of the fountain pen review process and create a method in which every pen can be tested the exact same way with no subjectivity and no variation in variables.

 

So to come right out and state that they are inaccurate and dishonest is implying to me that someone out there is purposefully trying to deceive.  

 

I don't believe that to be the case.  I believe that we have people that are sharing something they love with the world, expressing their opinion (however flawed, but not being intentionally flawed) and giving their opinion on the experience.

 

As with camera gear, one would be foolish to purchase something on the lone recommendation of someone thousands of miles away and without actually using the product.

 

Before I make any major gear purchased (cameras, lenses or pens) I go to the store and try them out.  If that is not an option, then I make sure that I purchase from some place that has a good returns policy.



#5 usk15

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:28

I never relay on a singular review. I'm reading as much as possible before I'm making an opinion. Then I'm comparing photos that I can measure my own pens against the one reviewed. As well viewing videos when they exist. After that I'm still not convinced that I will like the pen, I will go away for a while to see if I'll find interesting couple of months later.

 

But that's me.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:28

Having to align the tines is not a fault, minor or otherwise...to many pens are so. There have been too many posters complaining about that, on all levels of pens; what is 'normal' can not be a fault.

Can be to a real 'noobie' who never had to align his ball point.

 

I can agree with you that the nib should be aligned. I only had some three or four new pens...and never had a problem. 85-90% of the old used pens I've bought were ok too.

 

It is easy to give a pen a slight jar and end up with a tine out of alignment...in it takes all of 10 seconds to cure...if one knows how. It's no big deal.

 

That took more time to get up the nerve to try that the first time, than the doing.

 

Reality is.....what should be ain't or it would be.  At least enough to bother us.

 

One can only grade one's prejudices. :happyberet:

 

I admit not to giving a pen review on pens that are ancient. Never was first in line with a 'new' pen; nor did I think I knew enough to add to the old pen review.

 

And I bought the pens...all of them with out reading a review...per say. Just folks talking about filling this pen with that nib with such and such ink. Writing on rough/smooth...good or expensive papers.

 

During the time I was in the Pen of the Week in the Mail Club...I had no time to look up pens....the mail man was due.

Besides which I never had the money to aim at one particular old pen I read about. It was enough it was from the same company. What was there that I could luck out for Cheap.

 

 

Over time, I got enough, and formed an opinion. Like Osmia is a good pen, with great nibs...steel or gold...that you might have to re-cork.

 

One does give more weight to a 5,000 + poster than happy as hell 83 post poster.

Folks do change their minds. Folks learn things....maxi-semi-flex definition, took away vagueness of some guy with a semi-flex and a maxi-semi-flex thinking both were the same flex...but one was flexier.

 

I have learned to like the springy 'true' regular flex....that was from much of my life one of the regular issue nib flexes. I had become very enthused with semi-flex....still am, but now like regular flex. It can be a better nib for shading ink; in semi-flex is normally a wetter writer.

 

Still don't like nail, semi-nail....and some folks won't have anything but.

 

Some 'Springy' nibs like Falcon, MB are ok...or the new Lamy Imporium :thumbup:  :notworthy1: . Sharp looking a whole bunch of them....very nice tine bend...very very nice...but still only 2X tine spread. There are three different colored nibs...don't know if there is three variations of that  pen. 

Someone new....could :drool: ......... :rolleyes: would be more my rating...in they were so, so close and no cigar.

 

My grain of salt is....95% of the semi-flex are better due to tine spread of 3X.

 

My balance is different...in I grew up in an era of finely balanced Standard, or Medium-Long pens. In a time when an unbalanced pen was not bought.

 

Folks that grew up later with Large Clunky pens seldom if ever mention balance. Some have hives if they post a standard or medium large pen. With out posting, the standard and medium-long pen lack balance, that someone use to large clunky pens wouldn't know about in the first place.

 

Most folks want to trade their car in after 3 years...so someone liking a new pen so much is normal. Any good made car is still just as good after 3 years. Who knows someone might have learned about cornering...or non-nail nibs.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 01 December 2016 - 19:59.

Wisdom of the Founders, and their check and balances system is more a wonder than I thought. 

 

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I try not use the term Easy Full Flex, but fail...sigh.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens and inks only; not the users or inks of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#7 Betweenthelines

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:30

I'm amazed to hear that people have to align tines or take micromesh to a nib of a new pen. So far that simply has not been my experience in the hundreds of new pens I've acquired over the decades. I'm sorry if you have been singled out by the makers and vendors to consistently give you bad products and understand you are rightly upset at have been so single out.
 
Yet I'm not sure how you determined any review was not honest?  Are you objecting to the fact that the reviewer did not follow those procedures you believe are required? Are you objecting to the fact that peoples tastes and personal preferences change as they gain experience and over time?  Are upset that people change their minds about a given subject over time?


You've completely missed my point. Please re-read my post and perhaps read and watch more reviews to understand what I'm talking about. I am not in any way implying I have been 'singled out' with bad pens. I am merely commenting on trends in FP reviews.

#8 phillieskjk

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:38

I think that giving a pen high scores for nib while saying it had to be adjusted is fine, because you explicitly say it had to be adjusted. If you didn't mention the adjustment and just said the nib was amazing out of the box when it wasn't, that's one thing, but as long as you mention that you had to make the adjustment and what it was like before, then the scores are by no means dishonest.

Edited by phillieskjk, 01 December 2016 - 19:39.

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#9 Betweenthelines

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:44

The point is so that people who can't handle these pens get some sort of an idea of what the pen is like.  When I read a review (or watch a video) I don't care one little bit if the person loves or hates the pen.  As far as I'm concerned the good or bad scores are meaningless.  I'm not buying a pen for the guy/gal who made the review.  I'm buying it for me.  So if the review mentions a texture or weight, I ignore their judgement and think about if I would like that texture or weight.  I'm looking at the pen for what I think I would like or dislike about it.  Not everybody is going to love/hate the same things for the same reasons for any amount of time.  I used to love this or that, but now I don't so much, and vice-versa.  :)  So I don't think it's that the reviews are dishonest, it's that our tastes and opinions change over time, which I think is a good thing.  I still don't like the Pilot Metropolitan though.  :)
 
Now, if a retailer paid somebody to put up reviews of pens saying how awesome they all are, and didn't disclose that fact, then THAT would be dishonest.  :)


Good points Watch_Art. I actually do the same myself when reading reviews. And I agree that personal preference is the beauty of this hobby. But perhaps it would be better if these were called 'previews' instead of 'reviews'.

  

IMHO....
 
Any review is as accurate and honest as it can be at the time in which it is given.   99% of the ones I've seen have been new unboxings.  Given that, and after one has had any experience in fountain pens (mine being just a year) they understand that there are no perfect pens.  Almost every brand would need some adjustments.  what one reviewer may deem an acceptable nib, writing experience, ink flow may not be at all by others.
 
We are judging a very subjective set of things against, human beings who are by nature, flawed, biased and slanted to their own subjectivity.
 
I've been a professional photographer for many years and we get the same thing there on gear.   
 
Unless someone is willing to make a business out of the fountain pen review process and create a method in which every pen can be tested the exact same way with no subjectivity and no variation in variables.
 
So to come right out and state that they are inaccurate and dishonest is implying to me that someone out there is purposefully trying to deceive.  
 
I don't believe that to be the case.  I believe that we have people that are sharing something they love with the world, expressing their opinion (however flawed, but not being intentionally flawed) and giving their opinion on the experience.
 
As with camera gear, one would be foolish to purchase something on the lone recommendation of someone thousands of miles away and without actually using the product.
 
Before I make any major gear purchased (cameras, lenses or pens) I go to the store and try them out.  If that is not an option, then I make sure that I purchase from some place that has a good returns policy.

  


Fair enough. But then the reviews lose their purpose of judging a pen's quality, some of which is objective.

I never relay on a singular review. I'm reading as much as possible before I'm making an opinion. Then I'm comparing photos that I can measure my own pens against the one reviewed. As well viewing videos when they exist. After that I'm still not convinced that I will like the pen, I will go away for a while to see if I'll find interesting couple of months later.
 
But that's me.


Again I do agree to an extent, but again these are then rendered 'previews' instead of 'reviews' and lose some of their intended purpose. Pehaps objectivity is too difficult to garner in this rich hobby.

  

Having to align the tines is not a fault, minor or otherwise...to many pens are so. There have been too many posters complaining about that, on all levels of pens; what is 'normal' can not be a fault.
Can be to a real 'noobie' who never had to align his ball point.
 
I can agree with you that the nib should be aligned. I only had some three or four new pens...and never had a problem. 85-90% of the old used pens I've bought were ok too.
 
It is easy to give a pen a slight jar and end up with a tine out of alignment...in it takes all of 10 seconds to cure...if one knows how. It's no big deal.
 
That took more time to get up the nerve to try that the first time, than the doing.
 
Reality is.....what should be ain't or it would be.  At least enough to bother us.
 
I admit not to giving a pen review on pens that are ancient. Never was first in line with a 'new' pen.
And I bought the pens...all of them with out reading a review...per say. Just folks talking about filling this pen with that nib with such and such ink. Writing on rough/smooth...good or expensive papers.
 
During the time I was in the Pen of the Week in the Mail Club...I had no time to look up pens....the mail man was due.
Besides which I never had the money to aim at one particular old pen I read about. It was enough it was from the same company.
 
Over time, I got enough, and formed an opinion. Like Osmia is a good pen, with great nibs...steel or gold...that you might have to re-cork.


While I myself have no problem doing minor adjustments, I respectfully disagree that it isn't a big deal when judging the pen in a review.

#10 Shaggy

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:47

I only watch reviews to hear specs, like the weight and girth of a pen. E.g. I know the approximate size of SBRE Brown's hands, so seeing him hold a pen tells me a lot about the size of the pen.

 

I never particularly care if the reviewer "likes" the pen or not...I know both SBRE Brown and Matt Armstrong like huge heavy pens, so any pen they like the feel of isn't a good pen for me.

 

I wouldn't go so far as to call it dishonest. Most purchasers, whether they review the pen or not, have a honeymoon period with new pens.



#11 phillieskjk

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:48

  
While I myself have no problem doing minor adjustments, I respectfully disagree that it isn't a big deal when judging the pen in a review.


But what's the problem if you mention that the adjustments had to be made? If anything, doesn't it make the review more genuine by saying "yes there were these problems but here's the easy fix and now it's wonderful"? It's enough to turn away people who don't want to do such things while showing people who don't mind making adjustments that the pen can be great with a couple small tweaks.

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#12 jar

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:55

You've completely missed my point. Please re-read my post and perhaps read and watch more reviews to understand what I'm talking about. I am not in any way implying I have been 'singled out' with bad pens. I am merely commenting on trends in FP reviews.

Did you not say

There is this ridiculous notion that it should be standard practice to have to adjust a pen out of the box. But just because it is commonly needed doesn't make it any more excusable. It just means we have enabled companies to consistently give us bad products.

 

 

So are you asserting that really is the case?  If not based on your personal experience of receiving pens where you felt some need to align tines or use micromesh what is that based on?

 

You definitely seem to have made a claim that reviews are dishonest, not that they are inaccurate but rather dishonest.  Is that not your claim?

 

You go on in a later post to claim

While I myself have no problem doing minor adjustments, I respectfully disagree that it isn't a big deal when judging the pen in a review.

 

 

Again, if it was not disclosed in the review how could you know it happened?  If it was disclosed in the review then where is the dishonesty?  As I pointed out and asked (and you even quoted) I'm not sure how you determined any review was not honest?  Are you objecting to the fact that the reviewer did not follow those procedures you believe are required? Are you objecting to the fact that peoples tastes and personal preferences change as they gain experience and over time?  Are upset that people change their minds about a given subject over time?

 

Where is the inaccuracy, much less dishonesty?


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#13 LuckyKate

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:04

I've bought most of my favorite pens  in person directly from a store. But I still think it's fun to read the reviews, fun to see what the reviewers say and think, fun to hear their enthusiasm, and fun to look on their sales pages and see what they've sold. The reviews let me know what's out there, but I don't see them as sales pitches. More as entertainment as is this hobby. And Lord knows I can use entertainment these days.


Edited by LuckyKate, 01 December 2016 - 20:05.


#14 rwilsonedn

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:05

I think the OP makes some useful observations, although maybe they are stated in an unnecessarily combative way. First, yes, there's a big difference between first impressions and lasting relationships in the pen world (as most everywhere else.) But both convey useful information. Personally, I particularly value the retrospective reviews (after a year of living with the XXX, or now I really miss my XXX ...) partly because they are so rare, but also because I can compare those experiences to my experiences with pens I've lived with a long time. Yet I still find it fun when someone obviously loves a pen right out of the box.

Second, as in anything else, it's important to get to know a reviewer. Are they engineers or romantics? Are they subject to puppy love and infidelity, or do they form long attachments? Do they overlook details (the pen doesn't actually write, but ...) in favor of impressions? Or are they hardened pragmatists?

Which brings up a third point: does the reviewer have a vested interest? If someone gave me a pen to review, I would probably return it, because I know the act of kindness (or expectation of quid pro quo) would color my review. Some people have unshakable prejudices about particular brands, either negative ones because they feel wronged, or positive ones because they feel they are defending their choice. Video reviews are a whole different thing. You don't really know if the reviewer is actually promoting the pen, or is trying to build up traffic, or is simply in love with seeing his image on YouTube. In any case, the findings of the review may be more about pleasing an audience than informing potential buyers.

Bottom line: you need to put as much energy into evaluating the reviewer as into evaluating the pen.

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#15 pseudo88

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:09

This topic is spurned by a discussion on /r/fountainpens. Something I've seen across the board whether they are reviews on this website or from the most popular YouTube reviewers is an overall inaccuracy and at times even blatant dishonesty in regards to reviewing pens. Primarily this issue manifests as pens being reviewed too soon after they are bought. This is why 99% of the reviews in our review Forum are at or close to 10 out of 10. We often get rose-tinted glasses from the newness of the pen and thus our reviews are not completely accurate. I say we because I have done it a few times myself. It can go the other way as well, where a pen will grow on the reviewer over time and features that previously annoyed him or her will now be appreciated.

Even with the most popular YouTube reviewers I hear time and time again how a pen that was supposedly perfect has now been sold off or how a pen that was mediocre before is now loved. As an example I was just watching reviews of the Homosapiens and Matt from the pen habit in his original review stated explicitly how much he didn't like the feel of the material and then goes on to say how much he loves the feel of the material in his more recent top pens review. Conversely Mr Brown raved about the pen in his initial review and in a later comment admitted that he sold it because the pen was having issues and he didn't like it anymore. Very few reviews are done of pens that the reviewer has truly sat with for a good period of time.

Another big issue I have seen across the board is the rather absurd case of a pen being raved about and being given perfect scores meanwhile there is the ' minor detail' that the reviewer had to take micromesh to the nib and/or realign the tines to make it write well. I'm sorry but a pen's single purpose is to write. If a pen is unable to write well out of the box then it is a bad pen. Period. There is this ridiculous notion that it should be standard practice to have to adjust a pen out of the box. But just because it is commonly needed doesn't make it any more excusable. It just means we have enabled companies to consistently give us bad products. I remember recently I reviewed a pelikan for the second time to try to be more honest about it and docked a number of points for it arriving with misaligned tines. Right on cue the fanboys and girls came out of the woodwork to complain and blame me or the vendor for the problem, a problem I should mention I have experienced on several pelikan nibs.

What is the point of reviewing pens if they are not honest or accurate?

I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts on this.

 

Inaccurate, sure, dishonest, not so sure, unless we are talking about being dishonest with oneself. Then again this enthusiasm is what keeps many people doing reviews, which happen to be very valuable to others; compare that info with no info forthcoming from brands.

 

Things are changing as we leave the Internet's age of innocence, and many reviews or simple opinions prove to be fake, manipulated or appeal to the lowest instincts - witness the recent US election; but as consumers we simply need to be aware of these biases, like taking amazon reviews with a hefty pinch of salt; my favourite is the iPhone case which changed the reviewer's life! The price for bad or skewed reviews is (lack of) trust, but they can nevertheless be very valuable, particularly with brands stuck in "marketing speak" babble and interruptive ads no one pays any attention to, or has learned to block. We will probably enter the world of trusted, verified sources, probably with the hep of AI but most likely still with the input from other consumers.


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#16 Pickwick

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:17

You've completely missed my point. Please re-read my post and perhaps read and watch more reviews to understand what I'm talking about. I am not in any way implying I have been 'singled out' with bad pens. I am merely commenting on trends in FP reviews.

 

From experience reading these forums from the initial poster starting a topic, is the tendency in some cases to misinterpret  what is exactly being implied. This is the problem with this electronic era in not allowing ourselves enough time to analyze what the content of a topic is actually saying before formulating a reply. In this case there does appear to be an overreaction on the subject raised.

 

From what I'm getting  from Betweenthelines is enough time should be allowed before a review is given, to be able to give a more objective viewpoint of the pens functioning qualities. In any manufacturing industry a period of time is allowed for "Breaking in" and for testing in order to make adjustments. This is also the case for new writing instruments.


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#17 pajaro

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:37

People reviewing a pen recently received are likely to evaluate the pen optimistically.  They might have had the fever for the pen before getting it, and there is a new pen glow, like a new car glow.  It would be better if reviews were given after a little while of ownership.  The pen can be judged by the light of day and not in the light of new pen glow.  I myself have had great feeling for some pens when I first got them.  After getting a dozen or more of them in different finishes, nibs, etc., the pros and cons of the pen have become more apparent.  Using the pen for a few months brought each pen's working characteristics into clarity.  I think this is what the OP was getting at.


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#18 Out0Mind

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 20:38

But what's the problem if you mention that the adjustments had to be made? If anything, doesn't it make the review more genuine by saying "yes there were these problems but here's the easy fix and now it's wonderful"? It's enough to turn away people who don't want to do such things while showing people who don't mind making adjustments that the pen can be great with a couple small tweaks.

 

I agree and disagree with you on this one.  As someone who loves pens, goes to club meetings, hunts for specific examples, etc... learning to make small adjustments is no big deal and, honestly, something I quite enjoy doing.  I imagine that most people in this forum become a bit of a sounding board, assuming that they're things that are expected, not occasionally experienced.

 

That said, for someone who doesn't necessarily enjoy that process and who might prefer to unpack a $500 piece, ink it, and write consistently all the time and who doesn't understand that this may come with the territory, that may be another story.  I, for example, would be severely disappointed if I opened a $500 wallet, found it scratched, and had to buff it to make it look as it should have day one.

 

I think the perspective of the OP is leaning more toward the angle of, "the most average individual should be able to pick it up and have it work out of the box," and honestly?  I understand that.  Certain QA expectations have dropped away from many brands (*ahem*Visconti*ahem*), and we just accept that.  That said, I understand that given how sensitive pens can be, a simple bump, jostle, or slight lack of attention in factory can undo that.

 

I, for one, don't really care about a small hiccough like that.  That said, I understand why the consistent 10/10 rating can be obnoxious; especially if you're trying to really figure out how it will operate out of the box, without any modification.



#19 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 21:06

Reviews are opinions, nothing more. One should consider the reviewer's expertise and what else read by him/her.
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#20 Empty_of_Clouds

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 21:13

Although I am not a major reviewer I do try to be honest in the ones I have done. Sometimes brutally so.  There have been pens that had a honeymoon period, and there have been those that have gone straight into the mother-in-law zone.   And of course there have been some where the passage of time has altered my opinion.  However, in none of these cases have I been dishonest, deliberately or otherwise. 

 

Having said that,  I would like to add:

 

At first blush the majority of pen reviews seem to be of the  "I've bought a new pen and it's great" variety.  This, of course, tells us nothing about the research (if any) done before the purchase, and does suggest, even if unfairly, that the reviewer is justifying the purchase. This interpretation is bolstered - again without any degree of fairness - by the fact that such reviews append more to expensive pens, or so it seems: criticizing a Pilot Metropolitan, for example, is likely less personally humiliating.

 

The other side that has been touched upon is how negative opinion is taken by others on the forum. I've criticised pens and been roundly accused of everything from simple whining all the way to cultural prejudice.  There is a very blurred line, in my opinion, between the tastes of the reviewer and any objective criteria by which a pen may receive a negative point.

 

 

I will look at a number of reviews simply to ascertain what may or may not interest me aesthetically. I know, now, that I will not really know if a pen is going to suit me until I've had it in my hand and have used it for quite some time.


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