A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review

The A.G. Spalding & Bros
BRFT220 Fountain Pen

- Handwritten Review -

Specs:

  • Description: A unique looking wood and aluminum fountain pen from Japan
  • Nib: M Steel Nib
  • Filling Mechanism: International Cartridge / Converter – includes one cartridge
  • Weight: ~11 grams
  • Measurements: 5.4″ closed, 6″ posted, 4.8″ uncapped
  • Color Options: Maple or Silver (Check them out here!)

Handwritten Review Scans:


Intro/About:
A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
The A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 fountain pen is definitely a unique writing instrument. It has a small aluminum grip, a natural maple body and a nice sturdy clip. Huge thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending the pen over for review. I’m still a bit torn over some design aspects of the pen, but it’s medium nib writes very well. It’s a unique pen that I’ve looked at on JetPens for a long time now, and I’m glad it’s now a part of my collection.

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I would just like to thank JetPens for sending over the pen to review, check them out for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!

Appearance & Packaging:

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
The BRFT220 (catchy name, right?) has some pretty cool packaging. The pen is in a clear plastic case with a woodgrain textured sleeve over it. There’s a window in the sleeve that nicely shows off the pen. Overall, it’s a nice presentation that would make a good gift.

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
The pen itself is quite interesting. The tailcap and the grip are exactly the same piece of metal, except in place of the nib on the tailcap, theres a small rounded cover. This design allows the cap to post just as securely as when the pen is capped. There’s a really satisfying click when closing or posting the pen. I really like how the wood barrel and matte silver aluminum contrast each other.
A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
There’s some subtle silkscreened branding on the cap, but it’s done tastefully. A weird design note about the pen is that the nib itself is longer than the grip section. The nib is simply stamped with the A.G. Spalding branding and an “M” denoting the nib size. It’s a classy looking pen and it’s presented as such. It’s outside of my normal preference of industrially designed pens, but overall I really like how the pen looks.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
The medium nib on the BRFT220 is nice and smooth. It’s stiff steel, so no line variation, but it does it’s job really well. It’s definitely one of the smoother steel nibs I’ve written with. The flow is right around the middle of the road – right where I like it. The pen accepts an international standard cartridge or converter. The pen only includes a cartridge, but standard international C/Cs can be found easily. I personally like the cartridge/converter filling system, and for a pen at this price point, it’s what’s expected. The steel medium was smooth and reliable, with no hard starts. The A.G. Spalding BRFT220 is a solid performer.

Feel:

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
Here’s where I’m a bit torn. The pen is solidly constructed, but the way you grip the pen when writing is a bit odd. The grip section is very short, and to comfortably use it, you have to hold the pen very close to the nib. If you’re not comfortable with gripping there, you have to choke up on the pen and grab it where the body starts. Neither grip is uncomfortable, but ideally I’d like to grip the pen right where the grip meets the body.

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
Unfortunately this isn’t possible to do comfortably. I had no issues while writing out the handwritten portion of the review, but it’s definitely worth noting. The pen is nicely balanced when posted or uncapped. A few other reviews I’ve read mentioned that posting the cap throws off the balance, but I didn’t have an issue. The wood barrel is nicely finished and smooth to the touch, it warms up nicely in hand. Balance and size are great, but I wish the grip was slightly different. It’s by no means bad, but it’s definitely a different experience from most other fountain pens.

Pros:

  • Unique looks
  • Great smooth nib
  • Good flow
  • International standard cartridge/converter
  • Cap posts very securely
  • Good weight/balance

Cons:

  • The grip is odd

Conclusion:

A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review
At $37, the A.G. Spalding BRFT220 is not an impulse buy, but it’s definitely a nice pen for the money. Classic looks and great writing performance make the BRFT220 a great addition to any collection. The pen certainly doesn’t disappoint. One thing to be wary of is the design of the grip section. It may not be comfortable for everyone, but it’s definitely not uncomfortable.

Thanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Gallery:

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

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8 thoughts on “A.G. Spalding & Bros BRFT220 Fountain Pen Review”

  1. I’ve had the orange of these for a little over a year, and I love it, but have a few notes about things you wouldn’t have experienced so soon:
    1. international converters don’t typically fit. I don’t know why, but I can’t get mine to fit properly. I’ve resigned to syringe-filling empty cartridges.
    2. The wood and metal components are attached with glue. Eventually, the glue will break and the metal parts will separate from the wood body of the pen. If I try to remove the cap from the pen (either to reveal the nib or because I posted it), unless I’m careful, I will remove the entire thing. I need to find a glue to put it back together – I don’t want something that will ruin the orange wood or the metal.

    But I love writing with the pen and since I do prefer smaller nibs, the size with the short section work really well for me for long writing sessions. I have an odd way of holding writing instruments, though!

    And the style of the pen is amazing. It is rather unique but still somehow classic. It would be a top favorite of mine if it weren’t for the glue issue or not accepting the spare converters I have.

  2. I really do love the pen, so I always feel like I need to mention those two things as a caveat! “Please don’t distrust my recommendations in the future…” you know? :)

    But I was surprised that the wood body is attached to the metal using friction and glue. I expected there to be something sturdier securing them together, though I suppose at less than $40, that might be a bit much to ask. Also, it’s still perfectly usable even now that the glue has failed – I just have to take care when removing the cap or unscrewing the section to replace the ink or clean the nib.

  3. An interesting look, reminiscent of the old bullet pencils I tend to be drawn to clear demonstrators, but the wood and aluminum combo is appealing. .A short section is a feature for me since I tend to grip an inch or so from the nip tip. I’ve put this on my JetPens wishlist. Thanks.

    1. Nice!

      It’s really a cool looking pen. I’m sure you’ll like the grip if that’s how you hold the pen. It’s short, but comfortable.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. I just looked on JetPens.com and there is a message on the product page for the orange bodied pen: “This item is no longer available for sale on JetPens.com.” That’s no fun! And their stock on the silver and maple bodies is low, as well. Have you heard if this pen is being discontinued?

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