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Woolworths 'Worth It' Pen


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34 replies to this topic

#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 13:23

This review is of a Woolworths 'Worth It' budget fountain pen available in the Woolworths chain store in the UK. The pen is a no-name pen - literally - there is no writing of any sort anywhere on the pen. The pen comes in a blister pack with a single ISO cartridge. The pen is available in two colours, transparent blue and transparent pink. The section is black, with a chrome plated steel nib. The cap is a two part injection moulding with the pocket clip being integral with the top of the cap.

The section is profiled for right handed writing, and may be uncomfortable for left handed writers.

The pen size is:-
144mm (5.65") capped.
122mm (4.8") uncapped.
164mm (6.45") posted.
11mm (0.43") barrel diameter.

Construction
Mostly injection moulded polystyrene. There may be as many as 8 parts to the pen, but 6 is more likely.

Price 5/5
The pen costs 48 pence (approx US$ 0.98). Quite how it's possible to make & sell a fountain pen for this, I have no idea.

Durability 2/5
Due to the plastic pocket clip, I'd say the durability is poor. Within hours of getting my pen, the barrel started to show signs of micro-cracking. These have not grown in the 2 weeks since, so I presume the cracks were due to relieving manufacturing stresses. Not a good sign for a long lasting pen though.

Writing 3/5
For a right hander, the pen is fairly comfortable. It is a light pen, and the cap needs to be posted to give it some heft. The nib is a bit scratchy, but it doesn't blob or run dry. It is possible to flex the nib with a fair bit of force.

Value for money 5/5
A fountain pen for this price deserves 5/5 if it can make any mark on the paper!

Overall 2/5
For the price, it's a great pen. On any other scale, I'd say you get what you pay for. It's certainly worth the cost of 4 disposable ball point pens, but not a lot more. As a school pen, it's adequate, though after a few weeks you may be looking for something more durable.
If you want to experiment with learning how to be a nib meister and/or create flexible nibs, then this is the best starting place I can think of.


Regards

Richard.

Edited for a typo.

Attached Images

  • WorthIt.jpg

Edited by richardandtracy, 02 January 2008 - 13:24.


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#2 twdpens

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 14:03

Excellent review!

Gosh, that's even cheaper than the Tesco FP. Perhaps you could do a review of this one as well? Could be part of a series...

Martin
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#3 Shangas

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 14:12

Perhaps it's just me, but that pen SCREAMS - 'cheap and disposable and no-thought-put-into-it-whatsoever'.
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#4 PenTieRun

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 14:23

It's nice to see a review of a pen like this that's floating around. Definitely a starter pen, and it's really not all that bad looking, especially when one considers some of the crappy looking pens that people use and pay a US dollar for.

#5 greencobra

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 15:02

The cartridge is probably 1/3 or maybe half of the cost. Hey, thanks for the review. Interesting to see what's out there.
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#6 donwinn

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 16:30

That pen strongly resembles a pen which is included in a Fountain Pen plus 40 ink cartridges sold by eBay seller ink4pens (not affiliated) whom I have not used, but am tempted to, because, hey -- a free fountain pen, because the total cost for the pen plus 40 international cartridges is still $10.64 including shipping on a buy it now.

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#7 Maja

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 16:39

QUOTE(Shangas @ Jan 2 2008, 06:12 AM) View Post
Perhaps it's just me, but that pen SCREAMS - 'cheap and disposable and no-thought-put-into-it-whatsoever'.

Perhaps....but as Richard says, these type of pens are *great* candidates for nib grinding, if that's something a person wants to try... wink.gif

Thanks for the excellent review, Richard !
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#8 richardandtracy

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 17:13

QUOTE(Shangas @ Jan 2 2008, 02:12 PM) View Post
Perhaps it's just me, but that pen SCREAMS - 'cheap and disposable and no-thought-put-into-it-whatsoever'.

I agree about the cheap & disposable, but a great deal of thought has been put into the production engineering behind the pen. The economics of making a profit on a 48 pence pen require outstanding production engineering, cheap labour and a superbly efficient distribution chain.

Regards

Richard.


#9 BklynWriter

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 18:04

It is a cute school pen.

I'm more amazed by the fact that there's a Woolworth in the UK. I think Woolworth's has been out of business here in the States for several years.

deb

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#10 slimnib

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 19:08

Woolworths. We had a Woolsworth chain in the US for many years. It went out of business a while back. I wonder if the stores where related.

Harv

#11 Garageboy

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 22:54

They're related with the same spelling

#12 Rincewind

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 17:25

The English branch of the originally Pennsylvania-founded Woolworths stores, F W Woolworth & Co, Ltd was founded by Frank Woolworth in Liverpool, England in 1909 primarily due to Frank Woolworth's ancestry linking to Wooley, Cambridgeshire - Frank himself claiming he had traced his ancestry through the Founding Fathers of the district to a small farm in middle-England.

When Frank eventually travelled to England in 1890, he docked in Liverpool and travelled by train to Stoke on Trent for the purchase of China and glassware for Woolworths ranges, but also noted his love of England in his diary and his aspirations for bringing the Woolworths name to England;

“ I believe that a good penny and sixpence store, run by a live Yankee, would be a sensation here. ”

Can't get much for a penny or sixpence in "Woolies" these days roflmho.gif

See Wikipedia for the rest of the story...

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#13 Grog

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 20:55

Very similar pens are to be found at dollar stores in Canada for... well, a dollar.

They're usually black instead of blue, with some sparkles...

#14 Combat Marmot

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 22:53

I once had an very cheap fountain pen from WH Smith (not sure quite why I got this because I had other FPs at the time). Anyway, the real problem with the pen was that it took 5 minutes from putting the cartridge in for the ink to reach the nib! I think the barrel later broke and it was chucked. In my opinion it's much better to buy something like a Parker Vector which won't put you off the whole idea.


EDIT: I had typed jotter when I meant vector

Edited by Combat Marmot, 10 January 2008 - 23:12.


#15 garyc

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 14:34

QUOTE(twdpens @ Jan 2 2008, 02:03 PM) View Post
Excellent review!

Gosh, that's even cheaper than the Tesco FP. Perhaps you could do a review of this one as well? Could be part of a series...

Martin

Well I did buy the Tesco 99p pen a few months ago - it was a PoS to be honest (just one of those pinched steel, non tipped nibs). Now if you really want to go upmarket, get the Asda (Walmart) £1.99 pen which comes in a tin box with 2 cartridges. I did buy a second one with a view to experimenting with nib grinding, as Maja/Richard suggested, which I have yet to do, though I did practice smoothing on the first one. I'll dig them out and do a quick review over the weekend.

Some of the intermediately priced (around 5-7 quid) pens - eg some funky pink and 'cow patterned' pens in WHS are by Inoxcrom, a Spanish brand which make some pretty reasonable pens. Look out for the brand on ebay. For a little bit more I got an Inoxcrom Zeppelin which was reviewed here on FPN

As regards the Vector, also consider the Frontier or Kultur, they are also very good value.

#16 FrankB

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 14:02

This is a very interesting review. Thank you.

I will always at least try a cheapy pen (that is how I discovered Pilot's Varsity), and this looks like a good candidate. I am just amazed that Woolworth stores still exist!

#17 Walter's daughter

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 14:21

Diamine inks recently sent me a free box of different coloured cartridges with my bottled ink order.
As most of my pens are lever-fillers or have a converter in residence, I bought the pink option of this pen to try out the lovely pink ink I was sent.
They are a perfect match and I find the nib surprisingly smooth.
I'm going to splash out on a blue one now!
Angela
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#18 richardandtracy

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:50

I have had this pen for over a month now, and every couple of days I write 20 odd pages with it. The nib has smoothed off a great deal and it's shaping itself nicely to the way I write. This indicates to me that the nib isn't very hard, and will wear out more quickly than an iridium point. However, it feels nicer now than it did when new, and I'm not going to complain.

Regards

Richard.


#19 LouisA

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 17:56

All you have to do now is add a Hello Kitty sticker and you have a Grail Pen! cloud9.gif
I use a fountain pen because one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to write a few reasonable words with a fountain pen.

#20 garyc

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 14:45

Visitors to UK Woolworths may find they have some better quality pens on sale 50% off for £2.49. They are just in a shrink wrap cardboard/plastic pack, any colour as long as its black with silver clip (and section). I have a feeling they may be from the same (most likely Chinese) source as the Asda pen I have reviewed (clips are similar contour; the nib feeds have a similar pattern and distinctive number 6 in a circle - Asda has a number 2). However its a nicer looking glossy black pen with a bit more weight to it.

I'll post some pics and a review later this week, but its not bad for the price at all.







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