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Penbbs 487: Come For The Magnets, Stay For The Pen


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Straight outta Shanghai, crossing vast oceans and lands, comes the latest from PENBBS, the model 487 magnetic filler eyedropper.


By now, you've all read about the revival in magnetism in fountain pen filling with the likes of Piedmonte Pen Design and the PENBBS Year of the Rat 492

Well this here's the one for the masses. Same set up as the 492 but a bit more accessible to purchase and just as competent on the magnetic cap pulls magnetic piston.



My first fill brings out the delightful novelty, look ma, no rods! Neato, speedo! :bunny01:

The mechanism is very easy with the clear instruction card provided. Initially the push/pull of the piston was stiff and ChrisRap52, Douglas Rathbun, What I Ink, Inky.Rocks YouTube reviews are good for unstuckth tips by turning the piston.

  • This thing holds a lotta ink sans rod and the magnet is plenty strong, heck you can even turn it into a deskpen


  • Fit and finish are superb. This is my first PenBBS pen and I am very pleased beyond the mechanism, if replaced or broken, this would serve as a superlative eyedropper regardless and that is a very good thing.
  • It posts securely but makes the pen over long and I don't post even though I'm a serial poster.


  • Purdy - Chatoyance, pearly pearls all the way from cap to barrel. Described as brume, mist or fog in French and I had to look that up; there went the college French.
  • Balance - this pen has "it" unposted which very few pens do for me. I love the taper and grip section, very well balanced like another fav balance, the FPR Himalaya v2 or Sheaffer ... Balance!
  • Smoother writer - the RM, round medium has no skips and no leaks. The flow gushes with Monteverde Blue Black. Very surprised for my first PenBBS pen. Waay waay better than the (bleep) Moonman M8 dry junky nibs coming out recently :angry:




This pen is long, like Cross Peerless, Pilot 743 length. But not an issue for me unposted




Hard to say for only a week in of usage. There is so much good!!

  • Well this pen does have magnets so I steer away from mechanical watches and maybe some electronics unless data scrambles from poor to nil gauss shielding. It does not stick to the titanium Conid though. B)
  • Design flaw alert: Unlike the 492, the back end cap does not appear to unscrew meaning the end is not user accessible :o to poke a chopstick on the magnetic piston if it gets stuck. And oh boy, it done stick, stuck, stooky.
  • I'm still on my first fill despite using it onstop daily journalling, scribbling, todoing. For fun, I tried moving the piston to dispel the empty void but no go. Argh!!! I had to syringe out the ink as my theory was the magnet is not strong enough to dispense against the feed. It did start moving again thankfully once the barrel is emptied with ink, but it shows a fatal design flaw where if the magnetic piston does get stuck at the end cap on full fill there is no way to release the piston short of a more powerful electromagnet. :roller1: What I surmise is that the piston attaches to only one side and may displace at an angle if a weak push/pull attempt is made. If the piston gasket is askew from perpendicular from the inner barrel, stuck city.
  • When I made another attempt on a full pen, the piston finally moved and jerkily burped ink successfully out the feed and onto my hand. :headsmack: This is definitely in need of some user practice or I'll settle for long serial fills at a time.
  • That said, if the piston is irrevocably stuck, one still has a very competent eyedropper pen :thumbup:


Despite the non-end cap user accessibility, PenBBS 487 is a wonderful pen on its own write/right. Pretty, functional and balanced aside from its nifty novelty of filling mech. :happyberet:

Edited by peroride
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  • Honeybadgers


  • peroride


  • Cyclohexene


Really like it - Might get one just because I like my year of the rat, but don't love the big section.


I have had mine get stuck - it seems to stick if it sits without the piston being used for month or so, so kind of a big issue - but I like the novelty, and I just use a very, very powerful neodymium magnet which breaks it loose smoothly (to break it loose without making it burp - use the magnet to "twist" the magnet in the barrel instead of moving it up/down. This will break it loose.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Thanks @Honeybadgers for the tip on the twist-to-loosen. The ink is still going and the piston is seized for lack of use but the pen is still a joy to write with on it's own even if it were just a plain eyedropper.

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Just get a cheap, really strong magnet and keep it around the house. You'd be surprised how often it comes in handy for a variety of tasks!

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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According to its Taobao listing, in its Chinese description it says that the metal end piece can be twisted off to access the magnet if it's stuck. I guess yours is maybe extra tight so it doesn't appear to unscrew.


Also never knew about the Piedmonte; though I think that PenBBS executed the idea in a more streamlined fashion.

Edited by Cyclohexene
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FP PSA - more reviews rolling in ...

with my notes added


@Cyclohexene - Thanks for the tip, i cannot get my puny mitts to unwrangle the end cap even using silicone backing,probably permastuck :mellow: I'll silicone the piston on the next fill just in case

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