Month: August 2015

Lamy Vista Fountain Pen Review

lamy vistaThe Lamy Vista Fountain pen is one of the demonstrator range of pens which means that the body of the pen is clear allowing you to see inside it and giving it a sort of futuristic look. It is available in colours as well. The clear body allows one to see through the pen and judge the ink levels. When purchased in colors, the see through option is compromised, but there is a small elliptical perforation that can allow one to judge the ink levels, really useful for knowing when you will need to change.

There is no old fashioned and ‘fancy’ design as they’ve gone with more of a modern look, and neither is the pen very pricey. The pen’s plastic body makes it lightweight which is perfect for everyday writing. But it’s not that sturdy and as you would expect cannot handle rough treatment. At first the pen is shiny but after wear and tear, the lustre may well end up gone and scratches appear. Since it is made of plastic, this is inevitable, but it is great value and this certainly doesn’t make it a negative choice.

The cap features a pull-off mechanism and the clip is shaped like a huge paper clip. The name ‘Lamy’ is engraved on the pen on one side of the bottom.

The nib is a steel design with a polished appearance. It is available in multiple sizes as well as in a Left-Handed version.

The top of the pen’s body has a kind of curved groove which enhances the grip on the pen and makes it easier to write with. This is a great feature because it ensures the pen won’t slip while writing fast.

When purchased, Lamy Vista comes with a disposable ink cartridge. Lamy Vista has an option to use either a larger pen cartridge, or if you would rather, you can use a piston convertor to use another cartridge.

Now the writing part, this pen is very good for writing as well as drawing. The pen writes smooth and doesn’t scratch even using the extra fine sized nib. The ink doesn’t bleed or leak on the paper or in general.

If you are drawing with this pen, keep in mind that the nib is not flexible which will lead to hard lines with feathering. This doesn’t make it a bad option for drawing at all but it is worth remembering that this will definitely provide a certain look to your drawing.

This pen is suitable for someone who uses fountain pens a lot and can become your first choice, this pen is also a truly great entry level fountain pen. It is ideal for someone just starting out who has never used one before as it grips well and is simple enough to start using. The price is low as is the weight of the pen. Some might consider the pen cheap to use because of the weight. For everyday-beginner-use, this pen is durable and feels functional.

Pilot Vanishing Point Collection Retractable Fountain Pen Review

pilot vanishing pointThis Pilot Vanishing Point Retractable Fountain pen doesn’t really look like a fountain pen but more like a ball point pen due to its retractable nib function. It’s made in Japan and is available in many colours including matte black which looks cool. The other colours have a shiny lacquer finish unlike the matte look. We have a full Pilot retractable fountain pen review for you here on the site.

The Vanishing Point pen doesn’t have a traditional cap but there are rings designed to make it look like it does. At the blind cap there is the button that can be pushed to bring out the nib. The top cap has a small opening on its head from where the nib comes out.

The design of the pen is sleek and has an executive feel, very minimalist and classy with an understated feel. Indeed it is more the feel of this pen, which writes excellently, which makes this one of the very best fountain pens. The clip on the ‘cap’ is springy and helps to keep the pen in place.

The nib or the feed doesn’t draw out when the pen is not in use due to its sophisticated ramp-like mechanism that shields the nib. So when a person pushes the button, the ramp slides down and the nib emerges.

Talking more about nibs, you can unscrew the bottom of the pen and you can remove the ink convertor attached to the nib. The entire pen disassembles and you must be careful. The nib is made of 18 carat solid gold. Ink refilling can be done by dipping the entire nib unit into a bottle and turning the convertor piston. Alternatively, the convertor can be separated from the nib handle. It’s advised not to dip the nib into the ink while it’s still attached to the ‘cap’ as it’s not easy to clean the stray ink.

When you come to the writing part, you’ll notice that the medium nib actually gives you fine nib like experience. For many people, the nib is not a great one. It scratches, it is dry and it also skips. To fix this, it’s highly suggested to take the pen to a nib miester to fix it. Once the nib is fixed, it writes smooth and doesn’t have any issues. It also writes a bit darker regardless of the ink type on a normal paper. Another hindrance while writing is the placement of the clip. It is on top of the pen and makes it difficult to hold the pen while writing. Not a great thing for fast writers as it causes a lot of discomfort.

This Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain pen is only a fountain pen in disguise. It is okay to use it on a regular basis but it’s not recommended to spend much on it as it has quite a few flaws. The good part about this pen though, is that it’s very practical to use. The ink also doesn’t bleed onto the paper or even leak in general. It’s not much on the design aspect not is it great on the writing aspect. Once the nib is fixed, then it’s a good writer but otherwise, it’s an average fountain pen in disguising itself as a ball point pen.

Best Waterman Fountain Pens

waterman expertWaterman Fountain pens come in many different designs, they’re undoubtedly one of the best manufacturers of fountain pens in the world. We’ve put together some information on the best waterman models of fountain pen to help your decision when it comes to purchasing a pen as a gift or for yourself.

To begin with, the design is what sets the pens apart with the functionality being the same. Waterman pens are a bit pricey – hence it helps to know which one would suit your needs and style before you purchase. The Waterman pens are a statement and we’ll review the designs of all of them.

Edson: This pen is available in two colours – Blue Sapphire and Black Diamond. It’s a great pen to have if you use it to everyday writing as its frame is sturdy and the ink flows really well even at an altitude. The nib is set into the barrel which furthers its sleek design. The risk of ink leakage is greatly minimized because of the complex construction of the pen.

Elegance: This pen gently merges the line with jewellery. Intricate designs on its exterior and engravings on the 18 carat gold nib make it nothing short of a sophisticated investment. This is perfect for someone wanting to make a luxurious statement while signing a contract.

Exception: Unlike many fountain pens, Exception employs a square figure (hence the name). This ensures a stronger grip while writing and its gold plated exterior makes it a fine statement. It also comes in a silver design.

Carene: The figure of this pen employs geometrical design that is trendy and elegant. The 18 carat gold nib is integrated into the body giving the look of a silhouette.

Charleston: This one is a combination of the look of vintage fountain pens with a modern twist. Charleston is one of the oldest productions of the Waterman. It has a curvy exterior and is influenced by the Hundred Year Pen.

Perspective: This pen is for the modern and trendy. The design includes a thinner overall look with parallel lines running across its entire shape. Its silver nib too has these parallel lines engraved on it. Using architecture as inspiration for the design, the parallel lines give off the image of an infinite loop.

Expert: This pen is beautifully shaped like a cigar. This pen features Parisan styling combining retro and modern look. This one is sturdy and perfect for someone on the go.

Hemisphere: This pen is much slimmer than all of the above discussed pens. It has a clean minimalistic design with a silver nib that is fashioned with engravings. The body of the pen gives a polished silk look.

All of the Waterman Fountain pens come with the choice of using an ink cartridge or a convertor. Waterman pens write really smooth without scratching the page. Being a product of France, Waterman pens require an investment to be made, but one that is always worth it.

Having discussed a little about all the pens, the best one is Edson because only that ensures uninterrupted ink flow no matter the angle, after all the main purpose of writing with a fountain pen is to ensure good writing and free flowing ink.

Waterman Expert Fountain Pen Review

waterman expertThis wonderful Waterman Expert pen is beautifully shaped like a cigar. This pen features Parisian styling combining retro and modern look. This one is sturdy and perfect for someone on the go. Waterman describes this pen as ‘Business Chic’. Waterman Expert is a great addition to the professional life and adds a personal flair to all things classy, we have a full review here for you on the site.

The cap of this pen is chrome made and is available either in silver trim or gold trim. On the cap, there are rings engraved which lends a very classy look to the pen.  The clip of the pen is shaped like a neck tie and has a perforation that runs along its length. The clip also has a ‘W’ on top of it which makes a statement. The top of the cap doesn’t have any designs or engravings. The cap band contains the words ‘Waterman’ on one side and ‘France’ on the other. The cap is a little heavy though with all the designs.

The body of the pen is round and about average size, i.e. not too thick and not too slim. It has a black shiny lacquer finish. There is a ring that separates the bottom cap with the rest of the body.  It’s really great to hold and doesn’t slip.

This pen employs a standard steel nib which has engravings on it, like most of the Waterman Fountain Pens do. The nib is available only in two sizes that are fine and medium. The fine nib is the one that is used more commonly and many people prefer it for the ease of writing.

This pen is best used with a giant ink cartridge. But a convertor works great as well to use a different cartridge. Bear in mind that the cartridges or the convertors should also be from Waterman. This ensures the absolute best in compatibility as well as quality.

This pen needs to be held at the correct angle for the ink to flow smoothly. And once the writing is started, the ink doesn’t skip no matter how hard one writes or how fast. It’s very smooth and feels great in writing and doesn’t have any ink leakage. The ink flow is consistent and reliable. The fine nib doesn’t starve or skip or choke while writing.

The only drawback of this pen would be the pull-off cap. The cap is heavy and over a long period of time the cap has been known to become a little loose and slip off. Also, when you post the cap on the back of the pen, due to its weight, it throws off the writing balance. It can be jarring for some. For some fountain pen users, the steel nib will also be a drawback, because a gold nib is much smoother than a steel nib. Most of the pen’s design is concentrated on the cap.

The Waterman fountain pens are a bit pricey but they are a long term investment and will last indefinitely if used properly. The Expert pen costs anywhere between $120 and $150 (the prices may not be same depending on the region).

Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Review

parker sonnetThe Parker fountain pen is perhaps the most commonly used fountain pens from one of the biggest brands out there. Aesthetically it is very pleasing and easy on the eye, and it is easy to use and elegantly produced. This pen is hard to critique because it is one of the finest and the most practical fountain pens ever made. We have a full parker sonnet review for you here.

First let’s discuss the design, Parker’s website describes Sonnet as ‘timeless and elegant’ and it couldn’t be more right. The pen cap and the body features geometrical designs and is available in many types. There are different shades of colour and metal types available for this beautiful fountain pen. And of course the pricing varies depending on the metal type.

Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen has the classic pull-off cap with the clip as the trademark of Parker—the iconic and dynamic arrow. It is hard to miss the arrow shaped clip. On the cap band, you’ll find the arrow and the ‘Parker’ name along with ‘France’ where it was manufactured. The cap fits perfectly when you post in on the back and doesn’t add any extra weight while writing. It also doesn’t get loose or slip.

The nib of this fountain pen also flashes the name ‘Parker’ along with engravings. The nib comes in an 18 carat gold plate and offers impressive rhodium highlights. Available, as you might expect, in medium or fine nib, so there is a choice of size based on what you prefer. You also have the option to choose either gold-plating or nickel plating for a different looking finish, either a gold or silver sort of look. The price will slightly vary according to the choice.

The best part about the nib width is that it is exactly what it says it would be. Fine gives the line-width of fine and medium of medium. While using the gold-plated fine or medium nib, there is no ink bleed, no scratchiness and no skipping, it writes as perfectly as it claimed it would. The nibs are also available in stainless steel that gives almost the same quality writing as the gold nib.

The ink is very easy to load into the convertor and there is no mess. The cleaning and disassembly of this pen is fairly easy. It comes apart easily and any novice can put it back together.

Coming to the writing part, like I said earlier that the ink doesn’t bleed and there is absolutely no scratchiness. The ink flows smoothly onto the paper and doesn’t change if writing fast or hard. This Sonnet Fountain pen is perfect for everyday writing. The pen is rugged and will withstand the test of time.

It writes just as well on ultra-thin paper as it does on thick paper. For these reasons, Sonnet is one of the most practical fountain pens ever made. It’s ideal for someone who uses fountain pens for everyday writing. Since the style is not the prime focus of this pen, it’s not ideal for someone looking to make a statement and use it only once or twice.

This Sonnet pen is truly the best to have for Fountain pen writing fanatics. It delivers on its promise and holds the Parker name up high. It’s not pricey and is for everyone to use.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review

lamy safariWith its sleek and funky design, Lamy Safari Fountain Pen comes in many shades of colour. Be it black, glossy black, blue, white, you name it. Even though Lamy Safari has a modern look, it doesn’t compromise on its quality. It’s made of a polymer, which means that it’s sturdy and will last a good amount of time. It is not fragile like many fountain pens are. The name ‘Lamy’ is engraved on one side of the pen.

Since it’s a Safari edition, the pen cap is big and some people might not like it. The clip of this pen is shaped in a groovy fashion and is made of shiny chrome – also huge, but it’s part of its Safari look. There is a small plus sign on the top of the cap that doesn’t really serve any purpose.

There is a see-through section present on both sides of the pen which makes it easier to judge the level of ink remaining in the pen. The pen has a steel nib, with a polished appearance.

Talking about nibs, it’s available in many sizes – Extra fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and Left-Handed. The one aspect of nib sizes to keep in mind is that it’s not exactly what the size is. For example, a Fine sized nib will be Medium sized in actuality. Extra Fine will be Fine; Medium will be Broad and Broad will be huge. This is something the manufacturers should’ve paid attention to because nib sizes are crucial when selecting a fountain pen. If the nib is bent or not working properly for whatever the reason, you can easily replace the nib yourself. Just place the metal cap on the nib and gently pull the pen’s body away from the nib.

Next we come to the ink. Lamy Safari has an option to use either a giant cartridge, or a piston operated convertor. You can unscrew the bottom of the pen and either have a convertor or use a cartridge. Refilling the ink is easy whichever option you use.

Now we come to writing bit. The grip on the pen is good – it doesn’t slip. The writing part is largely dependent on the nib size. The Extra Fine nib scratches on the paper a little and works slower than the Fine nib. The Fine nib is smooth and writes better, but it’s the thickness of the letters is something that you’d get out of a Medium pen. So if you use a Medium nib, you’ll get really thick letters akin to writing with a marker. And Broad will give you even thicker.

One very important pointer when it comes to writing after you’ve just got a refill is to run Lamy Safari pen a little. Doodle on a rough page on the side and you’ll see that the doodles are thick. Basically, the ink runs on the page when you have got a refill.
Once you’ve worked out all the kinks, this pen is a damn good writing tool.