The pen size is:-
111mm (4.3") capped.
99mm (3.85") uncapped.
155mm (6.1") posted.
11.5mm (0.46") barrel diameter.
43mm (1.7") section length.
9mm (0.36") section diameter.
Mostly injection moulded polystyrene, but with some metal and rubber parts.
The pen costs 99 pence (approx US$ 2). Quite how it's possible to make & sell a fountain pen for this, I have no idea. The pen is not sensibly production engineered, as there are far too many parts (16 at the very least), making the price an absolute miracle. Generally, the more parts, the higher the cost - if I remember correctly a Parker 51 has 17 parts, so 16 parts in a budget pen shows a certain lack of production engineering.
The pen, when capped, is intriguing. It has a rather fancy black & silver look, but the whole gestalt is a bitty one, almost as if separate people have designed each component with no though of the complete pen. The point I have most complaint with is the cap mouth ring. It is larger in diameter than either the barrel or the rest of the cap, and looks like a real afterthought.
Feels moderately rugged, and should last a school child until it's lost. The clip is metal, though not all the silver coloured bits are. The thread between the section and the barrel screws inside the section, and has an external diameter of only 8mm. This is the middle of the pen when posted, so it feels vulnerable to breakage if you try to bend the pen. Otherwise the curved plastic end to the cap and the metal barrel end plate are sturdy against drops when the pen is capped.
The nib is dull, dull, dull. However the pen is well balanced when posted, a nice weight and will smooth off into quite a good writer. The nib is a firm medium. It's neither dry nor wet - just right on photocopier paper. The section is quite long, and may be gripped either high or low without running out of room for your fingers. The weight is slightly on the heavy side to my mind, but is still in the range that is OK for all day use - however it's just so boring to use that I'd never use it for a lot of writing. If stored in a shirt pocket for a while before being used, the pen can dry out and it takes a while for the nib to get wet again. Storage on its side is best.
Value for money 5/5
A fountain pen for this price deserves 5/5 if it can make any mark on the paper!
For the price, it's a great pen. On any other scale, I'd say you get what you pay for. It is, without question, better than the extreme budget Woolworths 'Worth It' pen I reviewed ( http://www.fountainp...showtopic=48892 ). However, there is no 'Ahh' factor when using it, or in owning it. You may want one for leaving next to the phone, but I really can't see this as an every day use pen for someone who does a lot of writing.
If you want a small handbag/pocket pen, this is OK.
Edited by richardandtracy, 28 August 2008 - 08:00.