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Who knows something about Levenger True Writers?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 wtisaac

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:03

Hello all!
I just have a curiosity question. I have a couple of Levenger True Writers and I've owned a couple of others in the past. In some respects (I think) a great pen, although considering the 4 I've owned at one point or another, I think they've suffered from quality control problems. My question is - Does anyone know (or suspect.... ;-) how makes these pens for Levenger?

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#2 mzjohansen

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:08

I'll be interested in the answers on this one since I have wondered the same thing.
I love my Levenger Golden Tortoise though - it writes beautifully and never clogs or sputters. I have been hesitant to try some of the others though because I have heard that not all of their pens are as good

#3 wrath186

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:28

I've owned two Levenger True Writers, one blue and one red. Both suffered from cracking in the feed mechanism and in the plastic barrel portion that holds it. I had purchased the red one first about four years ago and after a week I had to send it back for a replacement. At first they gave me kind of a hard time telling me that I must have over tightened something or did something to the pen to have it react this way. I let them I had not done anything with the pen except write with it and asked them to either repair or replace it. After a bit of hemming and hawing the person I spoke with agreed to take care of it, after being told that they don't usually do this. I received a new red pen a few days later. I then purchased a blue one. After a month of regular use the red pen started to fall apart. The plastic feed began to fall away in chunks leaving the nib to freely slip out. A few weeks later the blue pen started to do the same thing. I tossed both pens and haven't purchased another pen from Levenger since.

I do still purchase their ink. Levenger Fireball is generally all I write with, but I won't buy another pen from them.

Hope this helps.
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#4 wtisaac

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:54

QUOTE (wrath186 @ Dec 10 2008, 10:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've owned two Levenger True Writers, one blue and one red. Both suffered from cracking in the feed mechanism and in the plastic barrel portion that holds it. I had purchased the red one first about four years ago and after a week I had to send it back for a replacement. At first they gave me kind of a hard time telling me that I must have over tightened something or did something to the pen to have it react this way. I let them I had not done anything with the pen except write with it and asked them to either repair or replace it. After a bit of hemming and hawing the person I spoke with agreed to take care of it, after being told that they don't usually do this. I received a new red pen a few days later. I then purchased a blue one. After a month of regular use the red pen started to fall apart. The plastic feed began to fall away in chunks leaving the nib to freely slip out. A few weeks later the blue pen started to do the same thing. I tossed both pens and haven't purchased another pen from Levenger since.

I do still purchase their ink. Levenger Fireball is generally all I write with, but I won't buy another pen from them.

Hope this helps.



The nib problem is EXACTLY what happened to my two older pens. There must be (or have been) a problem there. My first 2 (that I eventually pitched as well) were bought in the first year or two they first came out. My current two are also older pens ( a blue of their original blue color and a white color that's now discontinued) but my white one has a new nib insert I bought from Levenger about a year ago. When I bought it, I asked if this was a common problem with these pens and she responded that no, she'd never heard of it before.

Bunk.

#5 wrath186

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 16:20

I don't know if you noticed this as well, but over the last several years they have been phasing out their own pen line. At one time they had several pens offered under the Levenger banner. I have three or four, but only one which is still in regular rotation as it's the only one still functioning properly. It's a Newton Pen, based on the man's walking stick. Very hefty pen and it writes like glass. It's stamped Levenger, but the other hallmark is Germany. The other three were gifts, which is why I keep them around, but they don't write any more.

Nowadays you generally only find models that they have picked up in closeouts or their True Writers which, since my experiences, are insanely overpriced. Just my opinion though, YMMV.
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#6 rroossinck

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 19:02

Based on a bit of homework that I've done in comparing new and old TrueWriters, the early models were a friction-set nib and feed, and oftentimes they were a VERY tight fit in the collar (which I think was pretty brittle, based on the handful of examples that I've seen). I think that's what's caused the early ones to have troubles. The newer designs with the screw-in nib units seem to perform much better - for me, anyway (I believe I've owned five or six of them). I know that several of the models/color waves that have been on the market in the past few years have had some quality control issues (there was a light blue one that seemed to have a bad batch of adhesive for the trim ring on the cap), but from what I've seen, I think that their quality control has gotten better.

As far as their other pens are concerned, I've got a Plumpster, a Decathlon, and the L-Tech and they all write very well. I'm quite partial to the Decathlon, actually.

As far as the discontinued pens that people have mentioned, I believe that those were from an age when Levenger outsourced their pens to companies like Stipula, Conway Stewart, and others. New models (and the TrueWriter) are all sourced from some un-named company (or perhaps done in-house).

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#7 AJP

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 19:08

Darn, you beat me to it!!

I saw the header and I was going to start screaming "WHERE IS RYAN WHEN YOU NEED 'EM??!!" then BAM! There you are! Cool how that works isnt it?


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#8 aymr

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 21:43

I'm a reasonably recent and big fan of Levenger's True Writers. As far as I can tell they must have done a major overhaul on their QA somewhere in the past few years. Also - they are still coming out with both new True Writers and now other pen models - often a new one a month.

I now own 36 - most of the colors - with more on the way, and I carry multiples and use them almost every day (there are a few other brands in my rotation), and have had no problems AT ALL with the recent ones I've gotten. I've also not had to deal with their Customer Service over a broken pen, but I've had a few causes to deal with them lately for other issues and have had nothing but fantastic experiences with them. Suppose when you buy as much as I have you run into a couple things - um, a computer glitch not honoring a sale, a nib that didn't match the outside of the box, and a refurbished pen that seems to have missed the cleaning department - they're handling them all immediately and better than I'd expected (they don't want the incorrect nib returned, and I won't be surprised if I get the same answer on the dirty pen).

I did have the plastic around the nib fall apart in a used pen I'd bought on eBay that was from like 6 years ago - I'd thought I'd been too rough in trying to clean a desperately gucked up pen, but it sounds like that was perhaps that manufacturing flaw you all were seeing. I've got extra nibs, so no skin off my nose.

That said, there are a few discontinued colors I still want to own that I haven't been able to find. Check my post in the WTB area, and feel free to dump off your non-working TWs or ones with broken nib units on me (or in good shape - that works too!!).

Somehow I feel like a hick on this board for liking True Writers - like I'm uneducated or something - but I love them every bit as much as my Pelikans and other good pens.
Aym

#9 Bill_D

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 22:13

QUOTE (aymr @ Dec 11 2008, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Somehow I feel like a hick on this board for liking True Writers - like I'm uneducated or something - but I love them every bit as much as my Pelikans and other good pens.
Aym


I'm wit' ya, mah fellow hick. I have six or seven (us hicks ain't so good wit' math, so ah cain't be sure zactly) True Writers and love them, especially my Kyoto which has the smoothest nib that I own.

Edited by Bill_D, 11 December 2008 - 22:14.

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#10 Maja

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 07:14

QUOTE (Bill_D @ Dec 11 2008, 02:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (aymr @ Dec 11 2008, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Somehow I feel like a hick on this board for liking True Writers - like I'm uneducated or something - but I love them every bit as much as my Pelikans and other good pens.
Aym


I'm wit' ya, mah fellow hick. I have six or seven (us hicks ain't so good wit' math, so ah cain't be sure zactly) True Writers and love them, especially my Kyoto which has the smoothest nib that I own.


.....and I agree with both of you. I have a soft spot for my four TWs embarrassed_smile.gif
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#11 Glenn-SC

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 13:44

I have several.
All over 5-years.
Love the colors.
Hated the performance.
Never use them.


#12 tdcackler

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 13:52

QUOTE (AJP @ Dec 10 2008, 01:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I saw the header and I was going to start screaming "WHERE IS RYAN WHEN YOU NEED 'EM??!!" then BAM! There you are! Cool how that works isnt it?


He's kinda like the Shadow. He shows up exactly when you need 'im. thumbup.gif

I just purchased a Metalist and I really like it. The nib is just a little too broad for me (it's a medium, and a western medium), and I will look to trade it at some point, but it's a nice pen thus far.
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#13 Glenn-SC

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 15:45

Did I mention that True Writers have a nasty habit of the cap bands falling off?

I actually bought a Purple one off of eBay that is a "bandless", and IMHO looks better that way.

#14 glamourdoll

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 15:47

I also am curious to see the answers to this particular post. The first fountain pen I bought was a Rotring 600 medium nib--which I purchased on sale from Levenger. It was all I needed to get hooked! I have since bought 3 more pens: a Monteverde Invincia, a Parker Facet, and a Waterford Claria. After dropping my precious Rot on the floor, I started looking around for a similar pen. Levenger's Tri Tech fountain pen caught my eye, because its metal construction, hexagonal barrel, and knurled grip all reminded me of my Rottie. I toyed with the idea of buying it, but after looking at the reviews for the True Writer posted on the Levenger website, I reconsidered. One review says that it's a true skipper, sputterer but not a true writer.

I happen to think that the Starry Night TW is gorgeous, but I'm afraid that if I do get it, I will have trouble with it.

I suppose it is because I do not think of Levenger as a maker of fountain pens. I think they make terrific reading tools---like the Clippies, for example.

xoxo
Lily

#15 rroossinck

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 15:56

I had coffee with @JediGamer yesterday morning and got the chance to play with that Metalist that he recently bought and man alive...that's a pretty color. One shade lighter and it would remind me of Nassau Blue from the late-60s Corvettes. Really gorgeous!

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#16 Pippin60

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 16:02

QUOTE (Glenn-SC @ Dec 13 2008, 08:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have several.
All over 5-years.
Love the colors.
Hated the performance.
Never use them.


I agree, I have 2 one of which has the stub nib and its the scratchiest nip I have which for a stub is pretty poor. The other has an ordinary nib. My problem is for the price I can get a much better pen elsewhere. At almost half the price I can get a m200.

Someone else mentioned Fireball red, it is my red, but I think their inks are PR. If you wait for a good sale some of their desk and leather goods aren't bad.

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#17 Dr.Grace

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 16:21

But nobody knows who makes them?
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#18 mzjohansen

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 16:48

That's really what I was hoping to understand form all of these posts - is who makes the pens for Levenger? Surely they don;t manufacturer their own?
I did get luck with my perfect Golden Tortoise though!
I eish that everyone who has noted a bad experience on this list would write to the President of of Levenger - they really need to know about the issue people are having with their pens!


QUOTE (Dr.Grace @ Dec 13 2008, 08:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But nobody knows who makes them?








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