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Genius budget pen

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16 replies to this topic

#1 petra


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Posted 03 April 2006 - 22:26

Posted Image photo borrowed from Isellpens.com

I was looking for inexpensive pens for my two nieces and decided to try the Genius pens currently on sale for $2.99 at isellpens.com. I've been testing them, since fussy, problematic pens are not going to convince a couple of 10 & 12-year olds that pens are totally cool B) ...

I got the pens in Flamingo Pink (shown above), Blue Sky and Lavender. They're very light-weight plastic "jadeite finish" pens with silver colored trim and they each come in a velour slipcase. The clips look like elephant trunks and the Genius name is engraved on the cap band. Each one came with a short international cartridge, but I believe converters are also available.

The colors are on the candy side, but I think they'll appeal to preteen girls. I put a tanzanite cartridge in the lavender pen, and hey, even I think it looks kinda cute!

I wasn't expecting great quality in this price range. The pen seems to be reasonably well made, considering it's thin plastic. The section is black plastic with a matte-finish linear pattern to improve grip, and it looks cheap. Otherwise, the appearance is not bad.

The pen is slender at 3/8"; 4.75" uncapped, 5.5" capped and 6' posted (snap cap). A good fit for slightly smaller hands.

The surprise in this pen is the nib -- a fine point steel "iridium point Germany." For $2.99, I expected a mediocre and scratchy writer. Nope! The nib produces a consistent line, not too dry or wet. And while I'd never describe it as "butter smooth," I really am surprised by how nicely the nib moves across paper. I'm generally not a steel nib fan, either.

Performance: I inserted the cartridge and wrote. No problems. No skipping. No hesitation. Another nice surprise! I've been writing a sentence or two daily, and so far the ink has started right up each time (I have pens costing 50x this much, that don't start as easily as this budget model!)

Verdict: If they keep writing this well without a lot of fuss, I think my nieces will enjoy the pens :) (Of course the youngest one picked my Sailor with the zoom nib as her favorite -- but she'll just have to grow into her own pen obsession :P ).

No great loss if they're misplaced or broken, and hopefully a lot of fun as long as they last. I may even leave a couple in the communal office pen cup...

Not bad at all for the price!


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#2 Lucinda



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Posted 03 April 2006 - 23:58

What serendipity to find this review! I was just getting ready to order a couple of these for our daughters. They're the perfect "Easter egg" colors to show up in a basket Easter morning. Hmmm...with a review like this, I might hide one in my own basket, too... B)


#3 jthole


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Posted 05 April 2006 - 05:33

Very nice to add to their birthday presents :)
(pink and pastel blue ... perfect for 8 years olds :D )

#4 M4R1N4


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Posted 05 April 2006 - 05:42

These are great pens for the price!! I bought one for my Mom (the sky-blue swirly one) and it is (she swears!) her favorite fountain pen - over her Levenger TrueWriter, Waterman, and MontBlanc (please no comments from the peanut gallery!) .. So I bought myself one too and it was great - until I lost it. Now I am thinking of getting another one. Thanks petra! Troublemaker :D
"By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. "
- Socrates

#5 Fafnir



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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:16

I ordered one last week and it arrived yesterday.

The Genius is very nice, writes with quite a fine line - and as you say good quality for the price. I bought it because one of the girls in the office is a pink freak and I thought this might take her interest, particularly if I put a pink cartridge in.

#6 NeoTiger


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 08:03

I bought the Lavender colour one for my girlfriend, from isellpens.com as well.

I found that the nib is extremely fine, finer than a vintage Pilot fine nib, and is a very scratchy nib. The tines were misaligned when I first recieved it, but I adjusted it until they were close to aligned. However, still writes with a scratch-scratch sound, in every direction.

Cheap pen, I was unlucky with mine, but I guess some people got satisfactory examples.

#7 wimg


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 13:42

Hi Petra,

Great review! These look like just the things my little nieces would go for.

Thank you for sharing!

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

#8 Velma


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 16:03

I bought the Lavender colour one for my girlfriend, from isellpens.com as well.

I found that the nib is extremely fine, finer than a vintage Pilot fine nib, and is a very scratchy nib. The tines were misaligned when I first recieved it, but I adjusted it until they were close to aligned. However, still writes with a scratch-scratch sound, in every direction.

Cheap pen, I was unlucky with mine, but I guess some people got satisfactory examples.

I bought three of these pens, and have been absently scribbling loops and lines on a brown paper bag (thanks to the suggestions here) for thirty seconds at a time. I can hear a difference in the way the nib sounds across paper already, so I intend to keep it up for another day or two, and see if that makes it smooth enough to eliminate the scratchiness (which annoys me).

#9 Kelly



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Posted 11 April 2006 - 16:11

Thanks for the review, Petra! I've been looking at these as well (actually for myself! possible purse pen!) and have been wondering what the quality is like - too cool :)
A hot wind was blowing around my head, the strands of my hair lifting and swirling in it, like ink spilled in water. ~ Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

#10 Onion


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 17:15

I ordered these for my daughters and they arrived yesterday. Nice pen for that price. They have been asking for new fountain pens (Pretty ones) I was looking on Isellpens and they saw me looking at them. My youngest daughter has really been working me hard for a new fountain pen, and when she saw the pink one she just went OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH I like that pen.
They will get them in their Easter baskets. I love that they have a fondness for pens. they are 9 and 7. They have been using my old Sheaffers that I bought as a kid, 30 plus years ago... not real pretty so now they will have pretty pens and I will be nurturing the next generation of fountain pen users.

#11 Blackhill



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Posted 11 April 2006 - 18:20

I also have one of these fountain pens and like it very much. I have the rollerballs, too in all four colors. The fountain pen and rollerball bodies are interchangeable so I can use the fountain pen in any of the four colors as the whim hits me (including the green color that sold out long ago).

#12 southpaw


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 02:55

Very nice review - thanks for sharing. Great pen for introducing folks to FPs.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#13 RLTodd


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:28

Pretty pen. I would gift one myself if I didn't have such a strong aversion to metal trim rings ( I call them rust rings ) next to the nib.

#14 JRodriguez


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 06:49

Isellpens does have convertors for these - I bought two of these pens - a pink and a lavender with an order of PR ink. I figured I would just try them out and then give them to friends, which I did - both of the ones I bought were quite impressive for $3 pens.

#15 rakin


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Posted 14 April 2006 - 12:48

After reading this review I was able to purchase a Lady Lavender from e-bay for $2.98 and can't wait to get it! I have found that many of the "cheap" pens in my collection have the smoothest write! I used to think that by using my cheapies daily I wouldn't get bent out of shape if they grew legs and walked off - but was I wrong! It is awful! I have found, though, that FP usually do not vanish like ballpoints do - so many people do not know how to write with them!

When I purchased this pen I also got a German Reform Transparent pen set - pencil, FP, and ballpoint - for $1 each. Cheap, cheap, cheap. My S&H is more than my purchase! <_<

#16 sonnenblume


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Posted 01 May 2006 - 02:52

I recently bought this pen myself, and the pen is scratchy out of the "box". I mean it'll literally cut the paper if you put a little pressure.

But after trying to smooth it out with a few unconventional methods, I think it is usuable now. But I definitely wouldn't buy it again.

A much better pen for the same price is the Reform, sold on isellpens as well.
That pen is absolutely smooth!

#17 GrantC



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Posted 15 May 2006 - 16:04

Thanks to everyone for the discussion; I wouldn't have thought of the following had I not seen this thread.

My niece recently turned 11, and I decided to see if a FP was for her. She likes to write - a lot - so this wasn't a totally crazy idea.

I bought her a little Mead journal at OfficeMax, and one of the pink Genius pens from isellpens.com.

Todd Nussbam was gracious enough to expedite the shipping, along with a pack of PR Plum cartridges (her favorite colors are pink & purple, and I thought this would be right in the middle.) Naturally, I tested the pen beforehand and found that it wrote a fairly smooth EF line.

My niece was ecstatic! She couldn't believe that she could write without pressure, and she loved the color of both the ink and pen.

We may have a convert on our hands!
-=[ Grant ]=-

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