A couple of months ago now (in early October), I had to take one of my children (the youngest, and the only one who *really* likes fountain pens) for a specialist’s appointment in Sydney. We decided to make a day of it, to lessen the angst of being poked and prodded and hooked up to a bunch of machines, so… we just happened to wander past Dymocks in Sydney, which now has a fairly extensive pen and stationery section.
In addition to the inks we chose together – and the 8-pack of colourful Ooly fountain pens my daughter asked to buy – I spotted a few Super 5 fountain pens going for half price. I didn’t need another fountain pen, I *really* didn’t, and yet… within a few minutes I’d picked out the yellow version with the B nib, and headed out the door.
I’d seen these pens advertised in various online stores, though not recently, and hadn’t been tempted – but this has turned out to be a surprisingly good pen.
Appearance & Design
The Super 5 pens on sale were brightly coloured – I had a choice between a bright red and a cheery yellowy-orange, and decided to go for the latter. The plastic is probably similar in quality to a Lamy Safari – sturdy, shiny, and fairly durable. You don’t feel like it’s going to fall apart in your fingers, or crack the first time you drop it. If you look closely, you’ll find the word “SUPER”, and a sideways “5” embossed on the barrel – but it’s not very visible. The snap cap comes off to reveal a surprisingly weighty metal grip section (coated in some kind of black ceramic?), and a proprietary steel “Super 5”-stamped nib. In shape it’s not too dissimilar from my Jinhao 992, though the grip section is somewhat longer and girthier.
Very impressive packaging...
The back end of the pen can be screwed off, to reveal the bottom of the cartridge or converter. I struggle to see the purpose of this – it’s just a weird / interesting feature. The black-coated metal clip stands out from the yellow body – I like the overall appearance, though it’s nothing “special”, just a lovely bright inexpensive pen.
Construction & Quality
The pen is quite sturdy, fit and finish is great, the snap cap snaps on and off without issue – everything looks pretty good. I don’t know what kind of black coating has been used to coat the metal clip and grip section, but it’s not unduly slippery, and so far shows no signs of scratching or flaking away. My only complaint is that the clip is quite stiff – it could be a challenge to clip it onto a thicker-fabric shirt pocket.
Weight & Dimensions
The Super 5 sits nicely in my ‘sweet spot’ for a standard pen – 139mm capped, 125mm uncapped, or 153mm posted. The grip section of the pen ranges in diameter from 9mm (closer to the nib) to 10.55 mm, with a ‘step up’ where the cap clips on, to 12mm.
The pens weighs 24.8g capped, and 19.6g uncapped. The one big surprise is the weight of the grip section – being metal, it weights the pen significantly towards the front of the pen. This might be off-putting for some people, but I took it in my stride – I actually liked the substantial feel this gave to an otherwise insubstantial pen (at least in terms of weight!).
Nib & Performance
The B nib is definitely a B nib – it lays down a fairly wide line. It’s fairly wet and very smooth – a pleasure to write with.
This is not my hand.
But this is my handwriting...
A close up of the nib.
Filling System & Maintenance
The Super 5 pens come with a single cartridge of their permanent blue ink – I haven’t yet tried this. I stuck a Kaweco standard international converter into the pen, and it worked just fine. I own a piston filler and vacuum filler pens with much larger capacities, but for most of my writing (especially with non-blue-or-black inks) I’m happy with the 0.5-0.8mm capacity of a cartridge converter.
Cost & Value
I think I paid AU$15-20 for this pen (it was half-price) – a better than fair price for the quality. Would I pay full price for a Super 5 pen? Not sure – though they’re cheery and functional – but I’m *very* happy with the pen, given the price I paid.
The Super 5 pens (and their accompanying inks) don’t seem to have done particularly well, at least in the American and Australian markets – but this is actually a pretty nice pen. Worth keeping an eye out for!
Edited by Jamerelbe, 09 December 2019 - 06:20.