January 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
For the last 6 months I have been on a quest to purchase a new fountain pen. I wanted to purchase something different to the Lamy Safari which I have been using for sometime. While on a holiday in Birmingham with my wife I stumbled upon “The Pen Shop”. This is where I was introduced to the brand called “Waterman”. The staff member was really helpful and presented the “Waterman Hemisphere” for me to try out. After doing a few writing samples with this pen I had to buy it. Fast forward to the present and I still think I have found my favorite fountain pen!
What I really like about the Waterman Hemisphere is the look of it. The black coating that covers the cap and barrel has a reflective finish and factor in the silver trims that is used, this looks an expensive fountain pen. While feeling a well made pen it doesn’t feel heavy in the hand which makes it a very comfortable pen to write with over long periods. Another plus is that it can take a converter which means you can use bottled ink. I have my converter filled with Pelikan Brillant Black. The nib hasn’t felt scratchy at any point and the ink flow has been good so far. One thing I have noticed is that the nib does flex a little depending on how much pressure you exert on the pen while writing.
A few minor niggles I have with the Waterman Hemisphere is that I find the Medium nib a tad to thick for my taste and there always seems to be small spots of ink on the actual nib itself. I haven’t really looked in to this to see if it is a common issue with the Waterman nibs. I might also look into swapping the nib out for a finer one later.
Overall I love the Waterman Hemisphere and I can’t see me buying a replacement Fountain Pen for a long time.
December 30, 2012 § 3 Comments
I have been using the TWSBI Diamond Mini for a few weeks now and for the most part it has been a very enjoyable experience. This is the first pen I have purchased from the TWSBI range. One aspect of this company that surprised me the most was that they aren’t the easiest of pen to find and purchase if you live in the UK. They seem easy enough to find via American websites but I have only found one website in the UK that sells TWSBI.
The reason I chose the Diamond Mini was that I have a wonderful full size fountain pen (Waterman) so I wanted a slightly more portable fountain pen. I went for the Diamond Mini in black and on first receiving it I was immediately impressed with the build quality. It seems to be made of a plastic material but feels very sturdy. A unique feature of the TWSBI range is that they don’t take cartridges or use a converter. They use a piston built into the design of the pen. All you have to do is place the nib of the pen in to your ink of choice and twist the bottom of the pen and this sucks ink into the barrel. I went for the Diamine Sapphire Blue. The quality of the Nib is really impressive. I think the nibs are manufactured in Germany and this explains a lot as the EF Nib in the TWSBI lays down a line the same as an EF nib in a Lamy. Another feature of the design that has really impressed me is that the cap screws on to the top of the pen and also on the bottom while the pen is in use. The weight of the pen doesn’t suffer from this and I find the pen to have a good weight balance. It never feels top heavy with the cap screwed on.
As much as I have had a great experience with the TWSBI, there have been a few things that have been less enjoyable. On the silver rim that is on the bottom of the pen cap, they have stamped the TWSBI brand name on it. The problem with this is that for me it stands out like a sore thumb, it doesn’t suit the flow of the design. Another potentially bigger issue is that there is a silver rim that sticks slightly out just above the nib. This can be uncomfortable while writing for long periods of time.
Overall I have really enjoyed the TWSBI and I am really glad that I bit the bullet and bought one. The best compliment I can give this pen is that it is part of my daily carry. A good rule of thumb if you are thinking of buying one and your not to sure what nib size to go for, if you have ever used a Lamy fountain pen before and enjoyed that nib size. The TWSBI and Lamy nib sizes are very similar in the line width they produce.
December 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
I got this from The Writing Desk and it costed me £41.99.
December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Haven’t been this excited about a new pen in a long time! Review to come soon.
November 29, 2012 § 1 Comment
I have decided to mix it up a little for this review. I believe my review setup is fine but I haven’t been keen on the pictures I have been using. The above writing test is the bio of Max Miedinger who helped create Helvetica. By writing less, this will allow me to take a more detailed/closer picture of the ink that each pen will produce. It also means I can take a more detailed picture of the pen.
The Schneider Slider Edge XB can be purchase for around £1.51 and comes in a wide range of colours – Black, Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Violet, Pink, Light blue and Light Green (I wasn’t joking about the wide range of colours!) The Schneider Slider Edge also comes in F, M and XB line sizes.
The design of this pen is unique as it has a triangle shaped barrel. This makes it comfortable to hold and reminds me of a pen I used in school when I was learning to write. The barrel is covered in a soft plastic material that acts as the grip for the pen. While using this pen, I found this grip material did not work at all for the way I gripped a pen, I constantly had to re-align my hand to grip the pen again whilst writing.
I found the ink follow and quality of the colours to be really impressive. While searching via cultpens website, I found that the Schneider Slider Edge uses ink that is similar to the Jetstream 101 which means you get all the wonderful ink properties.
Overall I am unsure how I feel about the Schneider Slider Edge as I think the way I grip it means we don’t fit together well. On the other hand my wife loves this pen and uses it a lot, she hasn’t had the same grip issues I have had. Good all round pen.
I would like to take this time to thank the wonderful people over at cultpens for sponsoring me for the month of November. It has been a pleasure to review all the pens this month and if you are looking for something new, why not head on over!
November 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
The Uniball Jetstream 101 comes in at a healthy £1.34 (CultPens) and comes in Black, Blue and Red. The pen design is made up from a plastic barrel that has a grip towards the writing area of the pen. I found the grip area to be a tad smooth which gave me a lack of grip, which meant my fingers would slide down the pen while I was writing. The design of the pen also provides a nice surprise. The cap clicks over the tip on the pen really well and produces a strangely satisfying click sound!
The ink in the Jetstream is made up of what is called “Uni Super Ink” which means that it is a hybrid ink. It takes the best aspects of a traditional ballpoint and gel ink. This creates an ink that is dense, bright in colour, smooth flowing, fast drying and waterproof. I have experienced all of the above except for the waterproof test yet.
This is a good budget pen that will give you another option if you aren’t a fan of gel ink pens.
November 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
This is a plastic barreled/capped pen with a design twist. Roughly 3/4 of the way down the pen towards the area you would grip to write the pen actually gets thinner in width. This plus a nice rubber grip area makes the Jimnie a really nice pen to hold during long periods of writing. The plastic design adds further to the writing experience as it makes the Jemnie light in weight. There is a good ink flow even though it lays a tad too wet on the page for my own personal taste. There seems to be a drying time for the ink that you have to be aware of to avoid smudging, especially with left handed users.
After extended use of the Jemnie I did become aware of feed back that the ink refill was producing. The only way I can describe it is to imagine that the ink refill is just slightly smaller that the pen barrel. It’s a very small issue but one that my “OCD” keeps noticing all the time now!
Over all this is a very good budget pen that would serve you well for everyday use.