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Found 6 results

  1. Eoghan2009

    The Fp Pledge

    I have for some time now been thinking of writing a "Fountain Pen Pledge" in which the virtues of fountain pens are extolled and the single use, plastic, disposable biro is denounced. I would start by targetting banks that chain down their biros and suggest that they embrace the rejection of single use, plastic, disposable biros and put a lovely fountain pen on the end of their chain. Still working on the pledge but I am sure there are others more skilled in initiating a campaign to restore fountain pens to their rightful place in society! So let me see what you can write!
  2. Hello people of FPN! It’s been over a year since I’ve last posted here, I’ve been busy with my first year and a half of college. In the last month or so, though, I’ve started lurking around reading the forums again, and I’ve been wanting to write another review. I just needed to find a pen that was the right balance of inexpensive and interesting, and luckily I found just the thing. As I was browsing the shelves of my college’s bookstore, procrastinating studying for my final exams, the blister pack these pens came in caught my eye. Zebra fountain pens. “An easier fountain pen” the box proudly states. I wasn’t aware that writing with pens was difficult, but that’s neither here nor there. I bought them (obviously, who wouldn’t buy a pack of 4 fountain pens you’ve never seen before for $8), and rushed them home to see what was in store. The single most important and obvious thing about these pens is that they were clearly designed to be a direct competitor to the pilot varsity. They’re made of the same materials with even the same shaped nib. They come in the same colors, and they’re sold on adjacent shelves. Zebra wanted to have a product in the disposable fountain pen market, so they emulated the most popular example of that market. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the varsity, so I’ll always be happy to see more Varsity-style pens enter the market as simple starter pens to help people make the switch and understand what fountain pens are all about. Because these pens were clearly designed to emulate the varsity, and most people have used a Varsity at some point, I’ll be comparing the pens to Varsities for the majority of this review. First off, in terms of appearance these pens aren’t terrible, but they fall short of the Varsity’s design in my opinion. There’s certainly nothing hideously ugly about them, and beauty is subjective so you’ll be able to see the pictures and make your own conclusions about the appearance, but for me the design on the Zebra’s just seems cheap. They are cheap, so that’s fine, but it would have been nice to have a design that’s a bit more clean and polished. The pen compared to a sailor procolor as a reference for size. The pens come in at least four colors (they were only offered in a four pack of purple, pink, blue, and black where I bought them, I’m not sure if more colors exist). The black is a fairly standard black, reminiscent of Parker Quink in shade. It’s not particularly dark, but it is definitely a black. The blue ink is very reminiscent of the typical blue ink you’d find in the average blue ballpoint pen. At first glance of writing with the blue pen, you might expect that it came from a ballpoint. I’m not familiar enough with pink inks to make a good comparison, but it’s what I would call a fairly standard, not too bright but not too pastel pink. As someone who doesn’t usually like pink things, I actually really like this ink color, and I plan on using it in the future. The fourth color, purple, is a pretty dark purple. It’s not so dark that it could be considered a purple-black, but it is definitely a very deep color, and in poor light conditions it can even look black. By now, you may have noticed that I’ve used a lot of words and still haven’t mentioned the most important part of any pen: how it writes. It’s complicated. Pilot Varsities are, in my experience, remarkably consistent. Especially within a particular color, every pen is exactly the same in how it writes and feels. Throughout my freshman year of college, I worked through a box of 12 Varsities, and all 12 felt exactly identical. These pens are not that. Don’t get me wrong, they all write well, and none of them are bad pens by any means, but the nibs on the four pens from the same blister pack offer vastly different writing experiences. Here is a writing sample with the four pens. Please excuse my horrific handwriting and cursive. The black and pink pens are the most similar to each other, and I have the least to say about them. They are pretty much a drier version of a Varsity. Slightly less smooth (probably because they’re more dry) but around the same width and writing behavior. The width is marked on the box as 0.6mm, and I’d call it around a Western Fine / Japanese Medium. The purple pen is wildly different from the black and pink pens. It is a very wet nib, more than a pilot varsity, and the thickness is equivalent to a western medium. Additionally, the purple pen came out of the box with ink on the inside of the cap and some ink on the grip, which may be due to a mix of the pens wetness and being moved around during shipping, but none of the other pens had that happen. There is some texture to the way it writes, it is not perfectly smooth, but the wetness makes up for any scratchiness in the nib itself and offers an enjoyable writing experience. The purple pen arrived with ink on the inside of the cap, the nib, and the grip. The blue pen is again, wildly different. This time, though, it is absolutely exceptional. The width of the pen is what pretty much every manufacturer would call an Extra Fine, and it’s incredibly smooth. I own a number of pilots with 14k fine nibs, and a number of western pens with extra fines of around the same width. This is unequivocally the best writing pen I’ve ever seen at this width. The problem is, these pens are so inconsistent that I don’t think I’d ever find another pen like it from them, no matter how many packs I opened. Still, I plan on using this pen for as long as I can (which I think will be a while with how thin the nib is and how large the ink reservoir is), and then hoping I can find another nib like it sometime in the years to come. All in all, I would recommend these pens. I would have paid the full $8 (and then some) for just the blue pen, but even without that likely fluke, these pens are a solid disposable pen. I plan on buying another pack at some point, and if the blue is like the blue in this pack then I would recommend these pens 100 times out of ten over the Varsity. That being said, if the blue I got really was a fluke, and you have a choice between these and some Varsities for around the same price, I’d probably take the Pilots.
  3. Background: I travel a lot, and write professionally. (When the local stationery store sees me walk in, they start stacking bottles of ink on the counter.) My go-to instrument has therefore been the Pilot V-Pen, a brilliantly smooth-writing disposable fountain pen that holds enough ink to last even me for a while. However, it has one flaw: refilling it is a pain in the derriere. You need two syringes, which always makes me feel like the pen addiction has crossed some kind of line. (When a girl sees empty syringes on your nightstand, pen refilling isn't what comes to mind.) Therefore, my quest for a replacement. What I'm looking for: A pen that's... Cheap, so I can buy a couple and knock 'em around.Widely available, or at least can be easily mail-ordered in Asia.Writes astonishingly smoothly. Trust me, when you're putting industrial quantities of ink to paper, you want it to be easy.Has an ink capacity measured in liters, or at least feels that way. This almost certainly means no converters... since they take up space that could be used for holding ink!
  4. As usual, when travelling I always look for the smaller older stationery stores as they usually have some old stock that are always interesting. This time, I found some old drawing pens, the disposable plastic-tipped type. Not really a collectible stuff, but I bought they anyway since they're very cheap and still works anyway. What i'm interested in knowing, is the approximate age of these pens. For me, this is one is the most interesting one. The Sailor B-1 Color Drawing. I never knew Sailor products were sold here in my country (Indonesia) and if they were at some time, it was quite some time ago. On top of that, this is the first time I've known that Sailor makes this type of pen. I tried researching a bit online, and can find very few references about it. One said that they were discontinued. So, my question is why a large manufacturer like Sailor not have a fair amount of share in this type of market. To the point that their drawing pens are barely even mentioned anywhere, and if they really did stop producing them, when did that happen? I also got these old Sakura Pigma pens. The Pigma Graphic is labeled "Nouvel" so I'm guessing this was a new product back then. So that might be a clue to their age. 2 interesting things I noticed was that these older Microns have the micro symbol (μ) on them and that the sleek "new" design of the blue bodied micron pens (like the Micron ESDK005) is actually reminiscent of these older designs. Since these pens were invented in the 80's, I think it would be very nice to assemble a collection of the evolution of their design. But I'm unable to find any pictures of any of the older models.
  5. This review and others can also be found at my website: www.pensinksandpaper.com At first glance, the Deli S677 might appear to be a cheap marker, a plasticky bit of mass-produced unpleasantness that has no place in the hand of a fountain pen user. One would be surprised, then, when removing the cap to find not a ballpoint tip or a marker’s felt but a nib. Appearance & Design (3/10) – I’m not entirely sure what the creators of this pen were trying to do in terms of visual appeal. They look rather unusual. The caps are a solid pastel color, with a white clip that says “deli” on it. The body of the pen is the same pastel color as the cap, but with small white hearts dotting the area. In the center of the bodies of the pens are cartoon animals, under which there is text that reads “Here is a More Lush Forest.” Your guess as to what they mean is as good as mine. Just before the section on the top of the body there is a white ring with an “inspirational” quote on it. The pink pen reads “I am to grow strong and tall”. The green pen reads “My skin is the most beautiful of all”. The most inspiring of all, though, is the blue pen, which gives us the truly beautiful line of “The squirrel is a typical arboreal mammal”. Running alongside the body of the pen is the model number of the pen and a barcode that my barcode scanning app did not recognize as a product available here in the states. Construction & Quality (6/10) – Compared to other pens of the same price level/target audience, the S677 isn’t terribly built. The plastic feels solid enough, and after some time using the pen and carrying it around in a messy backpack I have not experienced any paint chipping or scuffing. The cap posts very securely, and snaps back onto the body securely and satisfyingly. It actually feels excellent in the hand, if a bit light, as long as you don’t look down at it. The pen is about the length of a Lamy Safari, but a bit lighter and thinner, and if you removed the silly paint it looks and feels remarkably similar to a Pilot Varsity. Nib & Performance (6/10) – The nib us also suspiciously similar to that of a Pilot Varsity. Apart from the S677’s being stamped “Deli” rather than “Pilot”, the nibs are virtually indistinguishable in terms of design, size, and performance. It is smooth and reliable, but don’t expect anything except a nail. The pen writes a tad bit dry, but not dry enough to impede the smoothness or cause any skipping problems. The feed also differs from the Pilot Varsity, as I believe the S677 has a traditional plastic feed rather than a wick one like the Pilot. Filling System & Maintenance – There isn’t all too much to say here, the pen is a Cartridge/Convertor filler. The pen comes with some blue ink cartridges, which work nicely. One point of interest here: the pen does not accept international sized cartridges or convertors, but works perfectly Lamy’s alternatives. Cost & Value (8/10) – The pen was purchased from China for a mere dollar and eighty cents for a pack of three. At that price point, I think that these are a far better buy than Pilot Varsity’s if you can stand their design choices. I wouldn’t use these on a regular basis, because I have much more interesting and good-looking pens that I use and rely on. As pens to give away to people, or to lend as first fountain pens, though, they’re just about perfect. (Again, if the person receiving them can stand the design) Their nail of a nib is smooth and can withstand the pressure of a ballpoint user, and they accept cartridges, putting them a notch above the Pilot Varsity in my book. Conclusion (Final score, 5.75/10) – To be brutally honest, I will not be using these pens again for a while. I have, however, already given two of them away to first-time fountain pen users, both of whom love them dearly and are already looking at more expensive, better pens. As tools for someone who has many fountain pens already, I’d steer clear of these guys. But for a first fountain pen, or giveaway pens, at $1.80 for three these make a pretty great alternative to Pilot Varsity’s, Platinum Preppy’s, and the other cheap “disposables” on the market.
  6. I just send a new to FPN pen user some black ink samples and a pilot varsity in black. I told him how to do the refill, and drew this little instruction set. These instructions work great for your Montblanc fineliner (I've done it), or rollerball (done it too). I can't take credit for the bright idea, to quote Microsoft, I "embraced and enhanced" this little time saver. http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/2014-Inklings/slides/2014-Ink_270b.jpg





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