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penzel_washinkton posted a topic in Fountain & Dip Pens - First StopJust want to get up to speed on one matter that I found rather interesting. Recently, the blog Gentleman Stationer has updated their top 5 recommended list including the fountain pens section. While skimming through the top 5 recommendation of entry level fountain pens, I was surprised that the Metropolitan (which took 1st place last year at the same list) was swatted straight out of the top 5 list while noting that the Metros the price increase as the main factor. Please note that this is not applicable generally on other blogs, I still see the Metropolitan being the number 1 recommended beginners pen in other lists. Personally I would still put the Metropolitan in my beginner recommendation list if I were to compile one, due to the robust material, heft, above average nib performance and pen design that seems destined to be classics BUT just barely. In the 20-30 USD price range, competitors are springing up from all directions, TWSBI with their GOs, Diplomat with their new Magnums, Chinese pens which I can not mention one by one. This in turn makes it difficult to recommend the Metropolitan as a default recommendation for a beginner fountain pen. So, over to you fellow member of the community. Do you still find the Metropolitan a no brainer to recommend as a fountain pen to beginners? If not, then what are the "default" pens you recommend to beginners?
After scanning Fountain Pen Network’s reviews sections, I discovered that the Nemosine Singularity didn’t have a review. The Singularity is one of my favorite pens and my everyday carry so I took it upon myself to write one. This is my first review but I hope it adds some value for anyone looking to purchase this pen. I personally think the Singularity is the best entry level pen available. Appearance and design: 8 The Nemosine Singularity comes in a number of colors and options. Some are demonstrators like mine, but many are non-demonstrators in a lot of color options. There are even new designs like the blue marble version Nemosine released about a month ago which I may buy too. The ends of the pen are mostly flat but have a slight conical shape. The clear plastic with the chrome colored metal looks really sharp and modern. In particular, the design on the nib is really nice. There is a butterfly shaped scroll pattern on it. I decided to give it an 8 out of 10 simply because it’s not as flashy as other more expensive pens. But I think it is a very attractive design for an entry level pen. Construction and quality: 7 The pen feels very solid and high quality. Nemosine even provides a 3 year warranty which is an extraordinary value for a pen at this price point. I have had this pen for five months and have not had any issues with it. The one problem other reviews note is about the barrel. On the Singularity, both the cap and the barrel screw onto the section of the pen. This means that it’s possible the barrel will screw off the pen instead of the cap. This has never happened to me accidentally, but I can make it happen intentionally if I screw the cap onto the pen too tight. It’s easy to correct if it does happen to you though. That’s the only reason why I gave the pen a 7 of out 10 on quality. Weight and Dimensions: 10 I personally find this pen to be a great weight and size. From the picture above, you can see that it’s roughly the same size as the Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan. The Singularity is a nice 17g posted and 10g unposted. I usually post the pen. The nib is roughly a #6 size Jowo nib which is larger than the Safari and Metropolitan nibs so if you like a larger nib, this could be a good inexpensive pen for you. I gave this pen a 10 out of 10 for its light weight and large nib. Nib and performance: 8 Of entry level pens, this is my favorite nib. Even the other people at the pen meetups I go to are surprised how well this inexpensive pen writes. It is much smoother than my many Pilot Metropolitans and my Lamy Safari. Even though it is smoother than other entry level nibs, it does have a hint of unpleasant feedback when I write an upstroke. The nib also dries out if I leave the pen uncapped for a few minutes during a meeting, but it starts writing again after 2-3 downstrokes. Still, I find this pen much more enjoyable to use compared to my Metropolitan and Safari in meetings. The nib feels like writing with a TWSBI nib except in a larger size. I find it to be the best writing experience of all of my steel nib pens. The Singularity is available in EF, F, M, B, 0.6mm stub, and 0.8mm stub. All are steel nibs. I purchased a M nib which writes about equivalent in line width to my Lamy Safari B nib. There is also no line variation, but I don’t expect that from this pen. I am giving the Singularity an 8 out of 10 because of the slight toothiness and dryness. But otherwise it’s one of my favorite nibs in my collection. Certainly more of a favorite than my other entry level pens. Filling system and maintenance: 10 The Singularity is one of my easiest to maintain pens. It is a cartridge/converter pen that uses short standard international converters. It is also possible to eyedropper this pen if you want a massive ink capacity. Cleaning is easy since it’s cartridge/converter. Just flush water through the nib and convert. Since my pen is a demonstrator, I can easily get ink out of the cap with a Qtip. Absolutely easy to maintain and fill so 10 out of 10! Cost and value: 10 This is where the Nemosine Singularity excels! I would give it 15 points here if I could. The pen retails for roughly $20. I got mine from Goulet Pens for $19.99 and couldn’t be happier. I have many other pens that are in the < $150 price point that I don’t like as much as the Singularity. All other pens in our collection fall behind the Singularity, including my TWSBI Mini AL ($60), Platinum PTL-5000a ($64), Monteverde Invincia Deluxe ($108), Pilot Prera ($56), Pilot Metropolitan ($18.50), and Lamy Safari ($29.60). Once I get to the $150+ price on pens, that is where I start to see better writing experiences compared to the Singularity. For example, my fiancee’s Pilot Vanishing Point and my Pilot Custom 823 are preferred to this pen. Otherwise, I think the Nemosine Singularity is the best cost per dollar under $100. 10 out of 10! Overall and conclusion: 53/60 A 53 out of 60 seems like a low score, but I am trying to keep my score in the context of all pens I’ve used, including Lamy 2000s and Pelikan M800s (which would get 57+ points). Those pens are very expensive. The Nemosine Singularity is not. I think a 53 point score for a $20 pen is outstanding value. The Singularity is my everyday carry at work. At this price point, I’m not worried if I lose it, a coworker “borrows” it and destroys the nib, or if it gets dropped. But I still love writing with it.
The Reaktor Line of Writing Instruments, our entry level, fully machined writing instrument line, is now available for purchase. The Starliner XL fountain pen is part of the Stage 1 Launch of the Reaktor Line, retailing for $55 USD with a standard Bock polished steel nib and free shipping in the United States. See more details below The style and elegance of a fine writing instrument without sacrificing durability or function in the new Starliner XL fountain pen. Inspired by classic fountain pen designs, built with modern machining techniques; it’s truly a marriage of history and technology. With an all new slip-cap retention system and comfort-contour grip to ensure the cap stays in place with a solid “click”. The absence of threads provides a smooth transition from the grip to the body, making the pen perfect for any writing grip. Designed to be comfortable when not posted, the Starliner XL also features a deep posting cap for added balance if needed. CNC Machined from 6061-T "space age" aluminum, which provides extreme durability, performance, and comfort. Featuring the Bock 076 (#5) nib units available in various tip sizes and materials, capable of using either standard international cartridges or a standard international cartridge/converter, it’s a writer’s dream. Ships standard with a Polished Steel nib in sizes EF-B, 1.1mm stub, 1.5mm stub, or 1.9mm stub, a Schmidt K5 Converter, and two Monteverde black cartridges. Upgrades to Titanium and 14k Gold available. Rugged enough for an outback excursion, dignified enough for the board room; let the Starliner XL from Karas Pen Co fulfill all of your writing needs. Reaktor: Create.Explore.Record. PRDUCT REVIEWS Figboot on Pens Gourmet Pens Pens!Paper!Pencils! The Gentleman Stationer The Clicky Post UK Fountain Pens The Finer Point BYOB Pen Club The Well Appointed Desk