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ASDA Budget Pen


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:28

This review is of an ASDA budget fountain pen available in the ASDA supermarket chain 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 tin with a single ISO cartridge. The tin is a smaller version of the tin shown in garyc's review of another ASDA budget pen (see http://www.fountainp...showtopic=50481 ). The pen appears somewhat unusual in that half of it seems to be missing. The cap needs to be posted to make a full size pen. This is a nice, space saving feature, but does look odd when capped and is unusable when not posted. Due to its short length, it will only take a single short international cartridge, with no room for a spare. There is no room for a convertor. The cap clicks onto the section when capping, and is gripped by a rubber sleeve when posted - making posting quite secure.

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.

Weight 24g

Construction
Mostly injection moulded polystyrene, but with some metal and rubber parts.

Price 5/5
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.

Looks 3/5
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.

Durability 3/5
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.

Writing 3/5
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!

Overall 3/5
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.


Regards

Richard.

Attached Images

  • ASDA_Budget_1.jpg
  • ASDA_Budget_2.jpg
  • ASDA_Budget_3.jpg

Edited by richardandtracy, 28 August 2008 - 08:00.


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#2 Maja

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:43

This is what I love about FPN....We get reviews of pens that cost several hundred dollars and some that cost (the equivalent of) several hundred pennies ...and both types are equally fun to read smile.gif

Thanks for taking the time to write about the ASDA budget pen, Richard, and for taking some pics so we can all see what this 99-pence-wonder looks like! It's an intriguing pen, to be sure, and (as you said) the fact that it writes (dully, but decently) is a wonder...
I'm glad that there are a few such budget pens available for so little money in the UK; I wish the same could be said for Canada....
Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)

#3 Beechwood

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:06

I have one of these pens too, agree 100% with the comments made.

Hard to beleive that a useable pen can retail for £1.00, be perfectly servicable and still have a unique design feature.

 


#4 donwinn

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:11

The closest we can come in the US is a low-end Stypen for around $3-$4 plus shipping, or a Platinum Preppy or Pilot Petit for $3-$5 plus shipping. I wish pens like the ASDA Budget Pen were available here. They would make great gifts to give to children.

Donnie

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
 


#5 Beechwood

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:16

QUOTE (donwinn @ Aug 28 2008, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The closest we can come in the US is a low-end Stypen for around $3-$4 plus shipping, or a Platinum Preppy or Pilot Petit for $3-$5 plus shipping. I wish pens like the ASDA Budget Pen were available here. They would make great gifts to give to children.

Donnie



Point taken, particularly as Walmart owns Asda!

If anyone would like one of these pens let me know.

 


#6 Have Fun

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 15:25

Thanks for the review Richard

Well worth the effort to look at cheaper pens

I too am astounded how a pen can be sold at this price & it seems like this one is well below what it should be sold for ... I mean 3.5 of these for the price of a Lamy nib is ridiculous ... if only it had a better nib ...

#7 richardandtracy

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 15:51

QUOTE (Have Fun @ Aug 28 2008, 04:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...I too am astounded how a pen can be sold at this price & it seems like this one is well below what it should be sold for ... I mean 3.5 of these for the price of a Lamy nib is ridiculous ... if only it had a better nib ...

It's difficult to accept, but it is an amazing price. Given the usage of fp's in the UK, I cannot believe it's being sold as a loss leader either. Fp's just don't attract customers...
The nib is OK. Just dull. It gives some feedback, but it's heavily damped. It's not rough, and not brilliantly smooth either. Oh I dunno. The feel of the pen isn't exciting. There's no spark. I wish I could quantify it, but I can't.

Regards

Richard.


#8 dayonfire

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 14:55

Donnie,

I would, indeed, like one! PM me! Thanks!

Michael


QUOTE (Arthur @ Aug 28 2008, 06:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (donwinn @ Aug 28 2008, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The closest we can come in the US is a low-end Stypen for around $3-$4 plus shipping, or a Platinum Preppy or Pilot Petit for $3-$5 plus shipping. I wish pens like the ASDA Budget Pen were available here. They would make great gifts to give to children.

Donnie



Point taken, particularly as Walmart owns Asda!

If anyone would like one of these pens let me know.



#9 CiEvents

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 15:55

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on a BOX of these fountain pens? Preferably before Christmas!!! ASDA no longer stock them and are refusing to tell me who their suppliers were!

Thanks everyone!

#10 richardandtracy

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 17:12

Sorry, I've never seen them anywhere else.

ASDA currently do a pen in a tin, but it doesn'r fold away in quite the same way. ( http://www.fountainp...showtopic=50481 )

Regards,

Richard.






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