Note: I will be reviewing as if I paid the full price of $160, which, in proper Dymocks tradition, is $40 more than normal.
I know, I know, you dont buy a pen for its packaging. But a cardboard box to the style of Jinhao really doesnt cut it at this price. No instructions, no cartridge, no warranty, no converter, just the pen. I dont think Staedtler would do this. *Dymocks effect again? I highly suspect it.
I personally like the sleek and ultra understated design. The pen looks fairly normal and isnt the kind to gather comments. For this price, it is a relief to finally find something that isnt even a tiny bit showy.
Fell describes how the pen feels in your hand, its weight, length, and width. The Staedtler is proportionately fine, but its a bit light for its size even though its mostly made of resin. It doesnt feel ultra high quality, but all resin (aka expensive plastic) feels like regular plastic, just a bit more scratch resistant. The Staedtler is not different. However, the pen has a steel section which is surprisingly grippy, and I sweat quite a bit. Things soon became very weird. Starting with the injection mounding lines on the Handcrafted Resin(as the Dymocks salesperson said), but fine. I dont really care. Then, the cap screwed with a sound suspiciously similar to plastic on plastic. Upon further inspection, it was. The metal
band on the end of the barrel was not metal at all. It had an injection mounding mark, and sounded like plastic when I flicked ir and felt the insides. The lever clip feels sturdy and hopefully wont randomly become misaligned like my Lamy 2000s (see Lamy 2000s are overrated).
I have not and will not abuse my own pens, but my friends Staedtler gets abused quite a bit even though time and time again I tell him not to. His has held up well. The Fine nib is not misaligned even though he presses down quite a bit. Thats good. This pen matches its high quality feel (it feels high quality but that doesnt mean it is *cough injection moulding at $160 cough*) with outstanding durability.
The Fine nib on mine is in the levels of Diplomat. It glides across the paper better than my 149 and is rather bouncy, almost flexy to an extent. I am impressed, but the nib is a bit small considering the size of the pen. Still, not much bad to say about the nib.
This pen didnt come with instructions (but I dont really need them anyway) OR a converter (*Dymocks effect anyone?) I put a Parker converter caniballised from a nibless Vector I found on the ground, and it fits fine and works fine, execept sometimes the ball is stuck in the bottom of the converter and I cant do anything until I invert the pen. (Please see end of post!)
In conclusion, the Staedtler Initium is a great workhorse, and will not disappoint you. It combines perfect proportions with an amazingly smooth nib and longevity to match anything from Montblanc. It might be $160, but a steel nib Diplomat Aero is $240, and they write just as well as each other. Although certain parts of the pen are of questionable quality, I have no doubt it will stand the test of time and continue to write many years from now.
Wont fatigue you during writing
Has some bounce to the nib
Understated (might be a con too)
No converter or instructions or warranty* (*might just be the Dymocks effect)
Nib slightly small
Expensive for what it is
Here are some photos
Hope I helped!
I did a bit of YouTube watching and found that it was indeed the Dymocks effect at play here, a normal initium was packaged well with a Lamy 2000 style box, a bottle of ink, a converter, warranty and the all-important (not really)instructions manual. Normal packaging would be a 4/5, practicality a 5/5, and the total would be 25/30.
Edited by Eric_H, 27 December 2017 - 21:25.