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Fountain Pen Revolution Guru Flex Review



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I finally received my FPR Guru Flex today in the mail and it is a very interesting pen. Interesting in the sense that I can't make up my mind about it. Here are my thoughts from the first time using it.

http://i.imgur.com/kWKuieKl.jpg

Aesthetics: 5/10
I don't think this is an ugly pen, however, it isn't pretty. I like demonstrators, especially when they are well done. This, unfortunately, isn't the most refined of demonstrators. The points where the plastic is joined looks very sloppy and the threads suffer from the same problem. The pocket clip works well, but looks very very cheap. This pen comes in at about 5 inches, pretty similar in length to the Noodler's Ahab, but much thinner. I would have preferred if it were a bit thicker, both for aesthetics and ergonomics.

http://i.imgur.com/FBUAUAgl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/k8HZHTvl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ePawEAll.jpg

Ergonomics: 7/10
Despite being a bit thin for my taste, it is actually very comfortable to use. The grip section appears smooth, but it is not slippery. The cap threads aren't sharp and don't interfere with writing.

Filling System: 7/10
Piston filler. The piston knob is a little stubborn at first but it works smoothly and it fills up with ease. Hold a good amount of ink, I haven't measured this but it is pretty close to the Ahab.

Nib and feed: 7/10
Here is where the pen gets interesting. I took out of the box and I was underwhelmed. I handled it, and it felt cheap. I filled it and the piston mechanism left something to be desired. And then I wrote with it. This nib is smooth. Very smooth. The feed keeps up with fast writing and this thing flexes with ease. No railroading whatsoever, and I can get it to flex just as much as my Ahab. Granted, I have no tinkered with my Ahab much at all, but as far as out of the box performance goes, I have to say the Guru impressed.

http://i.imgur.com/9hJ8wlZl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/TeTki0ol.jpg

Value: 7/10
This pen costs $12 from fountainpenrevolution.com. With shipping it is $15 and you get a free Serwex pen with it (at least I did, not sure if this is still the case).

http://i.imgur.com/qJxSGGgl.jpg

Overall: 33/50
I won't compare this to a Hero type pen because the Chinese companies don't offer a flex version. In terms of value I would compare it to the Noodler's Nib Creaper and Ahab. The Nib Creaper costs $14 without shipping and the Ahab costs about $20. If you can get a Nib Creaper for ~$15, I think that would be the best option. The Ahab is more ergonomic and better built, but more expensive. Overall I would say that I like the Guru. It is an interesting pen with a very nice flex nib. The shipping is a little long (I waited 11 days iirc) but it is a pen that not many people have and which writes very well for the price.

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Having been suitably impressed with previous FPR offerings (the Dilli and the Triveni) I had no hesitation ordering one of these in a clear Demonstrator - no, I lie, I ordered two, one with a Medium nib and one with the Flex nib. Plus 3 of the new EF nibs to swap into existing pens.

 

What can I say about them? Aesthetically I agree with the reviewer - the fit and finish is not perfect, and especially in a clear Demonstrator pen the blemishes are visible (not to mention the metal clip, which just looks a little 'rough' - though that's typical also of the Serwex pens around this price point). On the other hand, for a $9 pen ($12 with the flex nib) what exactly do you expect? At $35+ the Triveni is a much more impressive pen all around - though it's cartridge, cartridge converter, or Eyedropper only. But I have to say I really like this pen. Haven't tried out the flex pen yet (it's still sitting un-inked); while the Medium nib I swapped out for one of the EF's. Writes smoothly, less feedback than the EF nibs on my TWSBI pens (though it writes marginally wetter and wider, too) - a very pleasant experience overall!

 

My main gripe with the Noodler's pens (ALL of them, as far as I can tell) is that they tend to dry out fairly quickly - after a week or two, if you haven't used up the ink in the reservoir, it's beginning to darken up as the water slowly evaporates away. Great pens, wonderful writers (if somewhat fiddly to get the nib and feed 'just right'), but you can't leave them inked up for too too long. My experience thus far, especially with the FPR Dilli, is that the ink lasts much, much longer (a month or two?) without significant water loss - will be interested to see if the Guru is similar.

 

All in all, in case it's not clear, this is a GREAT pen for the price - cosmetic blemishes aside, it writes really nicely. Superficially perhaps a little less 'pretty' than the Dilli, but its removable piston mechanism will make it much easier to clean.

 

I also received the free Serwex 362s - two of them - and I have to say, they're AMAZING-looking pens, especially as 'giveaways'. Unfortunately that deal is now over - but thanks to Kevin from Fountain Pen Revolution for the generous extras!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

To all those interested I just received my demonstrator FPR Guru pen with flex nib and all I can say is WOW.

 

The nib is amazing and has put my vintage Montblanc 342 and 221 semi-flex pens to shame. The nib on the Guru is smooth and responsive with hardly any railroading; It is as if I have stepped into a new world with a reasonably priced nib and pen! It reminds me of the days in Devon when some mad country friends dropped Porsche 911 turbo engines inside VW beetles!

 

On a more enlightening note I had written off the following ink: Caran d'Ache Chromatics - Delicate Green. In all the pens I own the ink looks terribly boring and was considered a rather expensive disappointment until... I put it in the FPR Guru with flex nib :yikes: . I am now quite embarrassed by how well the ink performs and shades with a flex nib. :lticaptd:

With regards to flex writing - I advise you to consider one of the many reasonably priced pens that can support a flex nib from FPR.

 

Finally - Does anyone own one of these FPR pen/flex nibs and a vintage flex fountain pen as I feel a comparison is required?

 

Garrowp...

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can one of you guys provide the flex range by mm? that would be very helpful.

Looking at what is in front of me with: Caran d'Ache Chromatics - Delicate Green - I have a range measure of 0.3-2.1mm without railroading... When I go beyond 2.1 railroading can occur...

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Are the nibs on the FPR Dili and the FPR Guru the same? Has anyone tested which one does better with flex?

 

I'd also be really curious to know how people compare these to vintage flex.

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They are the same nib in the current climate. I cannot confirm whether that was the case previously

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All FPR pens have the same nib options. The aesthetics have changed a little over time, but as far as I can tell not the basic performance - but in any case, if you buy a flex pen NOW from FPR, it'll be their standard flex nib. What DOES vary from pen to pen is the feed - the Dilli, I believe, has a plastic feed, as does the Triveni; the Guru pen (their latest AND their cheapest) has a fairly basic looking ebonite feed. I don't flex these pens a whole lot - but when I do, I find they're all pretty good at keeping up in terms of ink flow, despite the different feed configurations. Hope that helps!

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Looking at what is in front of me with: Caran d'Ache Chromatics - Delicate Green - I have a range measure of 0.3-2.1mm without railroading... When I go beyond 2.1 railroading can occur...

thank you. that sounds pretty good.

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  • 1 year later...

Greetings

 

I am curious about the "clutchless design" mentioned in the web page. I assume this means that the nib is friction fitted, without any thread? My experience with some pens built like that is that they can leak.

 

Any comments from any FRP pen users? Thanks!

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb238/lmederos/logos/luissignatureicon.gif

 

-- Luis

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I believe the "clutchless design" refers to the piston filling mechanism, rather than the nib and feed - it can be wound out and fully removed for cleaning purposes (no idea what a clutched design would be!).

 

The nib and feed *are* friction fitted, that much is true - but so are the nibs on quite a few higher end pens! I've had no problems with leaking: you just need to make sure they're inserted snugly.

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