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Moonman 80S - Continuing The Streak

moonman budget pen

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#1 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 13:27

To FP Enthusiasts,

 

Before I begin in reviewing this piece of writing instrument. I would like to apologize beforehand for anyone offended since this review is covering a product which is a straight knock-off of the Parker 45 pen. 

 

Although I really wish this pen was sent for free for me to review, sadly it wasn't to be. I bought this pen with my own money, yes , my money from my hard work not stealing, trust me. Perhaps on another day.

 

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Background Story:

 

So to begin with, Moonman is actually a brand that is quite new to me especially earlier this year / end of last year. The M2 was their "lift-off" product that propels their brand name to higher grounds and ever since then people are always on the lookout for their product releases including the M3, M5 ,80 and recently the 80S along with the Mini. This pen I see is an effort from Moonman in continuing their streak, there have been many positive reviews of their past pens.

 

I bought this pen from a quite well known Chinese pen seller in Feebay for under $10 without shipping and I thought this was a damn good price. For a while I was hoping that some Chinese company could take inspiration from the Parker 45 without the silver cap and Voila! Suddenly the Moonman 80S came out with the same cap-barrel color and material. I had no hesitation on buying it at the time and flies away it goes, the money on my wallet.

 

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The Review :

 

For the packaging, I am quite impressed for a pen under $10, solid black box with silver font and a rubber band to keep the pen inside, Jinhaos usually does not come with a box for the similar price point

 

Here are some thoughts which is basically a summary of the pen :

The Objective Points:

- Comes with a box

- Snap cap and can be posted

- Basically, a knock off of Parker 45

- C/C type of pen

- Hooded nib, seller listed it as Fine

- Three color options : Black, Lake Blue, Dark Blue

- Slightly smaller than a Pilot Metropolitan when capped, but slightly longer when uncapped than the Pilot Metropolitan

 

The Subjective Points

+ Cheap! Especially for a Parker inspired design

+ Quite well built, I have a WS that is pricier than this but seems like the parts would crumble if I did not treat it with care. This pen doesn't, it feels quite hefty

- The clip material looks very cheap though

+ No sharp edges on the pen I received, very acceptable finishing. The reason I put this on the subjective point is that others may have poor finishing quality.

+ Very sleek design and understated due to not using a silver cap

+ Love the design on this type of hooded nib rather than the Parker 51 (and other pen inspired by it), reveals more than the nib on the WS 601/618 or Parker 51

+ I have medium hands and I could say that this pen is in the comfortable length and size for me

- There is a little bit of alignment required when you want to post the pen, if it is not aligned then you'll feel like it is not able to post

- The writing experience was underwhelming, very dry. I put R&K Leipziger Schwarz initially and did not like them and proceed in putting the Noodler's Black. Somehow the lines written became like a thin brownish color? I feel this is due to the dryness of the pen that it restricts the flow of the ink

- Those pesky sweet spot!

+ I would say the Fine in this nib writes more to a Japanese Fine rather than a Western Fine, and that is a plus for me

 

All in all, until I did a writing sample on this pen, I was very excited. It checks a lot of requirements I need, stylish and sleek, available in black, writes in Japanese fine lines, snap cap and a cool nib design. However the writing experience hits me so hard, I tried flushing it with water to no luck so I guess it's just the character of the pen.

 

I will try other inks though since I really want to carry this pen as an EDC and hopefully one of my inks can work better with this pen.

Hope this review is helpful in even the smallest of ways and below is a little bit of writing sample as a parting image of this review

 

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#2 Honeybadgers

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 22:01

I gave my 80s away. I find the 601 to just be superior in every way apart from the nib aesthetic.

 

I did order an 80 mini since they're almost free.


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#3 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 08:46

I am still giving it a chance, we'll see.

For the 80 mini, since it is only cartridge compatible then it isn't in my wishlist for now

#4 Mech-for-i

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:26

well, first off people always think a Chinese pen that's looking like a Parker is certainly a knockoff but in the case of Moonman 80 series which date its design to the Hero 800 .. well its not, since Parker actually was in this ( dated to a technical and business deal between Parker and Hero in the 80's ) and the Hero 800 .. and all its variant including the Moonman 80 is more a local version of the pen ( with usually slight but sometime can be major differences ) ... instead of inspired, think produced in China version without the brand name would be more to the fact.

 

And typical of Chinese pen, they are tuned to write Chinese, not cursive Latin based language, which account ( usually ) for the dry feeling ; but that would change with the nib running in ( typically a fill or two ), its a thing about fountain pen made in China , as that language demand a very personal style on writing and each and everyone write different so Mfr tend to not to over do the flow and leaning more towards the conservative.

 

And as far as flushing goes .. use some dish soap may be ... 

 

I have a couple 80, and down the road I think I would get the 80S and 80 Mini .. I am thinking about swapping in one of my 12K Hero nib in there  



#5 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:45

I actually have read about the Parker - Hero stuff on FrankUnderWater blog and understood that Hero was unofficially the OEM manufacturers of Parker in China.

I was not sure with the Moonman brand though, do they share a some kind of relations with the Hero brand?

 

Also understood on the dryness of the pen, this case is the same in many Japanese pens but with the Moonman 80s feels too dry though.

Going to try some dish soap method then and see what happens



#6 Mech-for-i

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 12:55

AFAIK, Moonman OEM the tech / molding / engineering drawing from Hero and tweak a bit ( say the cap ), and since Hero no longer made any of these 45 variant, Hero oblige to the deal. Hero, actually made a lot of pen parts for others. The nib though is new, Monman's own .. my 80 also start writing dry but improve after a fill and continuous improving after the 2nd and third, not exactly really much wetter but slightly wetter and more consistent. OK for me I do not do calligraphy and I usually am not really speedy writer either. Personally I find the 80 writing better than my Parker 45 ( steel nib , both Fine ). Now if Moonman could give us some more lively colors. OK those retro hue is not bad but sometime one just need a cheerful color to had 



#7 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 13:01

So there is indeed a link between Moonman and Hero, very interesting.

 

I assume when you said Moonman's own nibs, you mean that they manufactured it themselves instead of outsourcing it. Since I think the 45 has the same nib so it is basically takes the 45 design as its core design.

 

If the Moonman 80S becomes the next hit like the M2, I don't see any reason Moonman will not release the 80 / 80S in new colors



#8 TruthPil

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 14:26

Thanks for this excellent review, Penzel! 

These last two days spent with my 80mini confirm all of your observations.

 

Since the nib mine came with is just horridly dry and unusable, I think I may try to widen the ink channels in the feed with a brass shim or razor and also spread the tines on the nib a little. We'll see how it goes!

 

 

Now if Moonman could give us some more lively colors. OK those retro hue is not bad but sometime one just need a cheerful color to had 

 

If the Moonman 80S becomes the next hit like the M2, I don't see any reason Moonman will not release the 80 / 80S in new colors

 

I sure hope so! It would be nice to see some bright in-your-face colors on these...I'm partial to yellows and reds haha.


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#9 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 14:56

Thanks for this excellent review, Penzel! 

These last two days spent with my 80mini confirm all of your observations.

 

Since the nib mine came with is just horridly dry and unusable, I think I may try to widen the ink channels in the feed with a brass shim or razor and also spread the tines on the nib a little. We'll see how it goes!

 

 

I sure hope so! It would be nice to see some bright in-your-face colors on these...I'm partial to yellows and reds haha.

 

Please do share once you've done it. I think I might do some tinkering myself

 

A red Moonman would be on my cart straightaway :lol:



#10 TruthPil

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:11

 

Please do share once you've done it. I think I might do some tinkering myself

 

A red Moonman would be on my cart straightaway :lol:

 

This morning I used a brass shim to floss all the channels in the feed, as well as the nib. I tried to spread the tines a little, but it just wasn't possible without applying more force than I was willing to use. I also sanded off the extra pieces of plastic left on the feed from the injection molding process.

 

The end result was only a slight change in flow, but still it has improved. Using the same super dry Moonman IG cartridge ink, I can write at any speed without skipping. The line is just as narrow as before (since I couldn't get the tines to spread), but the line is also a little darker thanks to slightly improved flow.

 

Next I need to try out a wetter ink in this pen, perhaps Noodler's Black might work well. The Moonman ink is really, really dry, like a registrar's IG ink even.


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#11 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 12:13

Hey, at least it bears some fruits of labor right?

 

My Moonman 80s did not come with an ink, should be exclusive to the Mini only



#12 TruthPil

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 13:39

Hey, at least it bears some fruits of labor right?

 

My Moonman 80s did not come with an ink, should be exclusive to the Mini only

 

I don't think it usually does, but Moonman sells cartridges separately. 

I think the only reason I got a free box of cartridges is because I bought the pen from Moonman's Taobao store.

One of the perks of living in China.


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#13 DasKaltblut

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 17:55

I tried to spread the tines a little, but it just wasn't possible without applying more force than I was willing to use. I also sanded off the extra pieces of plastic left on the feed from the injection molding process.

 

 

I applied all the force (ok, really just pressed down on thumbnail fairly hard) and the tines spread easily. Now mine is quite wet. Although it is probably fairly easy to spring them, it would be pretty easy to bend them back too I think. But yes, better to not be in that position.



#14 TruthPil

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:16

 

I applied all the force (ok, really just pressed down on thumbnail fairly hard) and the tines spread easily. Now mine is quite wet. Although it is probably fairly easy to spring them, it would be pretty easy to bend them back too I think. But yes, better to not be in that position.

 

You inspired me so I went all out and applied much more pressure. Now it writes a decently wet Western EF line!

There is still a really annoying sweet spot though. Any rotation of the pen and no ink comes out at all. I think I'll stick with using real Parker 45 nibs in this pen.


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#15 DasKaltblut

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 00:41

You inspired me so I went all out and applied much more pressure. Now it writes a decently wet Western EF line!
There is still a really annoying sweet spot though. Any rotation of the pen and no ink comes out at all. I think I'll stick with using real Parker 45 nibs in this pen.


Glad to be an inspiration. Mine does not seem to have a small sweet spot, which is good because I am a massive pen rotater. So much so that I can't use triangle grips and prefer obliques. No matter what I do, I can't seem to stop the rotation.

#16 TruthPil

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 00:55

Glad to be an inspiration. Mine does not seem to have a small sweet spot, which is good because I am a massive pen rotater. So much so that I can't use triangle grips and prefer obliques. No matter what I do, I can't seem to stop the rotation.


I know how it feels. Oblique stubs are my bread and butter but that means few offerings among modern pens.

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#17 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 13:11

The last time I tried thumbnail method is to make my Pilot wetter.

Might work this time with this pen hopefully



#18 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 15:02

Just giving a quick update.

 

Thankfully, didn't spread the tines wider than a western fine (probably in between western EF and F) and now I can start to have some fun with this pen



#19 DasKaltblut

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 15:36

I just put a Parker gold nib in mine today :) That's a reason to keep the body around if nothing else.


Edited by DasKaltblut, 18 September 2018 - 15:37.


#20 TruthPil

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 15:58

I just put a Parker gold nib in mine today :) That's a reason to keep the body around if nothing else.


Absolutely! I'm still on my second fill with a gold Parker oblique italic in mine.

I'm also finding that, though the pen is a good shape for pocket carry, the middle is a little too wide to fit well in my passport size fauxdori traveler. Whenever I pulled it out of my bag the pen snags and falls out, something a Kaweco Sport has never done to me.

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