Fountain Pen Reviews – Comprehensive reviews of fountain pens from beginner class to high-end. Each review includes sections for Appearance and Packaging, Nib and Performance, the Feel, Pros and Cons, and a Wrap-up. Each image is clickable, and you are able to enlarge it to see all the small details.
The Ti Scribe Fountain / Ballpoint Pen was designed with EDC use in mind. This little pen is meant to live in your pocket and be used as needed. It’s short in length, but not uncomfortable to use when writing. The design and construction are both quality – including features like invisible seams and a fully machined body/cap.
The pen is built around a Bock nib unit, and includes a small international cartridge of black ink. The nib writes buttery smooth and has good ink flow right out of the box. These nibs may look familiar – as Kaweco uses them. There’s some nice scroll work and Bock’s logo stamped into the nib.
This pen is QUITE small. It reminds me a bit of the Kaweco Liliput, but a bit wider. This extra diameter makes for a more comfortable writing experience. The grip section of the pen has grooves machined into it for improved grip and control. I do have a few issues with the pen. It’s just a little bit too short for extended writing periods. I feel like the end of the pen hits an awkward spot in my hand, I wish it was just a bit longer (TiScribe is now offering an extended length version of the pen as a stretch goal). I also wish that the cap posted. Although Kelvin, the designer, stated that threads on the back of the pen are ugly, it’s very easy to misplace this small cap. I think an EDC pen, especially one meant to be used on the go, would benefit from a cap retention system. Speaking of the cap, each cap comes with a titanium pocket clip. The clip is held in place by a single screw. I’ve found that the pen stays put in my pocket and the cap hasn’t fallen off while walking. The shorter length of the pen ensures that it doesn’t jab you in the leg while carrying.
The pen is a bit longer than a Kaweco Sport when capped, and slightly shorter when posted.
Overall, I think that the Scribe makes a good pen for EDC. It’s more substantial than the Kaweco Liliput, but not as comfortable to use as the Sport. I’d definitely say that it’s a happy medium. I’m intrigued by the longer version, as I like the design and feel of the pen. It’s obvious that there was a high level of detail involved in designing and manufacturing the pen.
Description: A brass version of everyone’s favorite pocket pen
Refills:International short cartridges / Kaweco Converter
Measurements: 5.270″ long, 0.360″ diameter
Color Options:Raw Brass
Handwritten Review Scans:
Upon seeing the announcement of an all-brass Sport, my excitement started to build. Usually they hit Europe first and then make their way over here. The day it became available on JetPens, I jumped at it. I already have several Sports in my collection in various colors and materials, but none with a broad nib. I added the pen to my shopping cart, and a few days later it was at my door. Read on to see how this weighty version of my favorite pocket pen holds up!
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Appearance and Packaging:
The Brass Sport comes in the standard Kaweco gift tin. It’s nicely decorated and has a cool vintage look. It’s small in size, simple, and gets the job done. It’s definitely in line with how a $100 pen should be packaged. Upon first picking it up, the weight and build quality immediately stood out (in a good way). The pen is precisely machined and has no visual flaws. I have always held Kaweco’s build quality in high regard. The raw brass will age and patina as the pen is used, as there is no finish to protect the surface. Since getting the pen, it has dulled down a bit and has taken on a wonderful vintage look. The steel nib is perfectly sized for the pen – not too big and not too small. It’s nicely decorated and stamped with the Kaweco logo.
Filling System / Nib Performance:
Kaweco Sports are most easily filled via international short cartridges. The pen includes a single blue cartridge to get you started writing immediately. While Kaweco does offer a converter, I’ve found it to perform poorly. It’s hard to get a good fill and it doesn’t hold so much ink – I’d rather refill an empty cartridge with a syringe than use the converter. Several ink manufacturers make international short cartridges, so it’s easy to find an ink brand and color that you like. Personally, I’m a big fan of Kaweco’s Summer Blue (used in the review).
I opted to get the Sport in a broad steel nib. The second I put pen to page, I knew the broad nib wasn’t for me. It’s smooth, but it’s more stubby than round – producing a slightly variable stroke. If you prefer a stubby broad nib, then definitely check it out. If not, take note. After a few pages with the broad, I swapped in a 14k gold medium nib. Kaweco’s nib units easily unscrew and swap out in seconds.
The brass Sport feels great in hand. It’s hefty, but not heavy (does that make sense?). The metal is precisely machined and the finishing on the pen is excellent. All of the surfaces are smooth, the grip is comfortable, and the cap threads are smooth. Kaweco has added a thin plastic sleeve to the inside of the cap that improves the feel of the threads when opening and closing the pen. This sleeve also protects the body from being scratched when posting the cap. The brass Sport is the ideal weight – it feels like a full-sized pen. I love the easy pocketability as well. In my opinion, brass is an excellent material for the Sport line.
Easy to use
A+ fit and finish
B nib was stubbier than I’d like
Not for those who like to keep things shiny
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Sport line. I have posted several reviews of this line of pens, enjoying all of them. Kaweco consistently puts out a solid pen – great fit/finish, looks, writing performance, and overall value. I think that the brass Sport does a great job of representing Kaweco’s heritage very well. It’s definitely worth the $100 (about $75 more than the plastic version). I have no doubt that this pen will last a lifetime. While the broad nib wasn’t my thing, some may appreciate the stubby nature of its writing.
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!
Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen
with Architect Grind Review
– Handwritten Review –
Review Ink:Sheaffer Peacock Blue
Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Pad
Description: Probably one of the best pens out there. No, seriously. It is.
Nib:Medium nib, ground to an architect point by Richard Binder
Filling Mechanism: Integrated vacuum plunger
Weight: ~29 grams
Measurements: 5.85″ closed, 6.37″ posted
Color Options:Amber, Smoke (Japan Market Only)
Handwritten Review Scans:
This Pilot Custom 823 with a 0.7mm architect grind was my big purchase of the 2014 Long Island Pen Show. It’s taken me a year to get around to reviewing this. Why? I don’t really know. What I do know is that it’s given me a really long time to get acquainted with the pen and provide you guys with a proper review. I knew going into the show that I wanted an architect grind, but I didn’t know what pen I wanted it on. After seeing and handling the 823 in person, it was an easy choice. I picked up the pen for $288 plus an additional $65 for the grind. The 823 is a classically cigar shaped fountain pen with a vacuum plunger filling system. The ink reservoir inside is huge and you can see the ink sloshing around thanks to the translucent demonstrator body. The main body section is clear, capped with dark brown opaque grip and section, separated by gold bands. It’s a great looking pen that is well outside of what I’d usually choose and I absolutely love it. It was great when I got it and it still remains one of my most-used pens one year later.
Appearance & Packaging:
The Custom 823 is an impressive looking pen with equally impressive packaging. The pen comes nicely displayed in a large gift box with a bottle of Namiki blue ink along side it. I would be quite happy to receive this as a gift – it really is that nice of a presentation. The pen looks really awesome too. What made me pick it out was the huge gold nib. Since I knew it was going to be a custom grind, I wanted something with a nib that I would look forward to using. The gold furnishing compliments the brown and amber resin perfectly. The cap is clear as well, but there’s a cap insert that hides the nib away. I’m on the fence about this detail – it would be nice to see the nib through the cap, but I suppose it makes taking the cap off that much more special. The gold ball-end clip is functional and the looks match the overall look of the pen well. The 823 is not something I would usually pick (all-black-everything, german design, etc.) but I really enjoy the way it looks.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
It’s not too often where both the nib and filling system on a pen are unique and special. First, let’s go through the nib. My Custom 823 started it’s life as a medium nib, but was quickly ground into a 0.7mm Architect/Hebrew Italic/Arabic Italic nib. Wow, so many names for the same thing. Richard Binder ground this nib for me at the Long Island Pen Show in 2013 (sorry, this review has taken over a year to do…) and it’s still one of the most fun to write with and unique pieces in my collection.
The architect grind is a nib grind almost like a stub, but flipped on the side. There’s a broad cross stroke and a narrow down stroke. It has a bit of feedback, but it’s still quite smooth for a fountain pen. I was told by Richard that the mild scratchiness is just the nature of the beast, but it is in no way unpleasant to write with. I think the grind suits my style of handwriting extremely well, it gives it a great look. The nib puts down a nice amount of ink, not too much, and not too little. It’s fun to see the ink level depleting in the clear reservoir. I really love this grind…
Pilot’s Custom 823 comes with an integrated plunger powered vacuum filling system. It’s very similar to TWSBI’s VAC700. To fill the pen, unscrew the tailcap, pull the plunger all the way out, submerge the nib fully, and press the plunger down. Once the internal vacuum seal behind the plunger is broken, the pen sucks ink through the feed and into the pen. It’s fun to use and extremely efficient. The pen holds a ton of ink, I find myself getting bored with the color before I run out of ink!
The pen is pretty large, there’s no getting around that. However, it is very well balanced and has a comfortable amount of heft. The grip section is comfortable and the step down and threads are barely noticeable. The cap posts pretty far down on the pen, making it usable, but it does throw the balance heavily towards the back of the pen. My preference is to write with the cap unposted, as it’s long enough and weighty enough to be comfortable. The fit and finish of the pen are top-notch. I’ve found Pilot to have some of the best quality control out there, especially in terms of fit an finish. You won’t be disappointed in how the pen looks and feels.
Awesome custom nib
Solid feel and build quality
Awesome filling system
None for me!
I love this pen, I really do. I’ve had it for a LONG time now, and it’s still great every time I pick it up. I thought the pen was too far outside of my comfort zone (never thought I would have bought an amber and gold pen) but it’s grown on me a lot. The solid feel, attention to detail, vintage feel, and excellent custom nib result in a pen that will always be in my collection!
Lamy has taken their iconic 2000 design and crafted a version made from stainless steel. It’s significantly heavier than the makrolon version, but much about the two versions are the same. I opted for the broad nib (what is going on with me, last two pens I bought were broad-nibbed!?) and so far so good. The original Lamy 2000 is my all time favorite pen, read on to see how the stainless steel version holds up!
Make sure to check out the gallery at the bottom of the review, featuring several full-sized photos of the Lamy 2000 Stainless!
Appearance & Packaging:
The 2000SS comes in a minimalistic cardboard box. It looks cool and suits the design of the pen quite well. The pen itself looks sleek, streamlined, and even more unified than the orginal two-tone makrolon version. The brushed stainless steel body really suits the shape of the 2000 well, resulting in a handsome writing instrument. The gentle curves of the pen are pleasing to both the eye and the hand. The clip on the SS version is high polish steel, unlike the brushed version on the makrolon.
The mirror finish nicely compliments the brushed surface of the pen, but watch out as it does tend to pick up scratches easily. Unlike the nearly invisible seams on the original, those on the stainless steel version are slightly more visible. It’s completely understandable, as stainless is notorious for it’s difficulty to be machined. The 2000 is one of my favorite designs out there, and not just for pens. I’m happy to have both the stainless and original version in my collection. I can’t say which one I prefer because they’re both great in their own ways.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
I absolutely love the broad nib in my Lamy 2000. It’s known that they tend to be finicky, but I have had no problems with this one. It has excellent ink flow and it is glassy smooth on paper. The pen does have a little bit of a sweet spot, but the broad size makes it easy to find. The smoothness and flow are almost like a marker. The pen writes wet and that definitely contributes to the smooth writing experience. I think this is my favorite broad nib, edging out even the Pelikan M805 Stresemann I reviewed a few weeks back.
The Lamy 2000 SS employs a piston filling mechanism like it’s counterpart. The piston knob is smooth and the pen easily draws up around 2ml of ink. This does tend to go a little fast in the broad nib. The fact that the nib is mostly hidden by the grip actually makes it easier to fill the pen fully and without mess. My one gripe with the pen is that there’s no ink window to see what you have in there. Should I have opted for a fine or extra fine nib, I wouldn’t worry, but the ink-thirsty broad nib drains the pen pretty quickly. In terms of overall aesthetic of the pen, and ink window would be out of place. I don’t mind that it’s not there, but maybe fill it up before you head out to an important meeting or long class.
The Lamy 2000 fits my hand like a glove. The contoured shape is comfortable and the tapered grip allows the writer to either choke up or grip further back depending on preference. I write with the makrolon version posted, but the stainless is WAY more comfortable to me when uncapped. The 54g weight is a bit much when you’re holding the body and cap, but is much more manageable unposted. The cap throws off the balance considerably.
I’ve also found the body to be a bit slippery, despite the fact that the grips are both stainless steel in both models. The makrolon body coupled with the lighter weight helps keep the pen in hand a bit better. I’ve also found myself gripping this pen a little bit harder than I may with others, perhaps because of the weight. Also worth noting is the presence of the seams between the grip section and body. They’re slightly more pronounced than I’d like. A small, yet still bothersome detail is the vertical play in the clip. The makrolon version has zero and this has a distinct wiggle. For a pen of this price I would definitely like to see the fit and finish taken up another notch.
– Best broad nib I’ve used
– Great flow
– Iconic design
– Large ink capacity
– Finishing could be better
– No ink window
The original Lamy 2000 is my favorite pen. At this point, I’m pretty sure I could sell off my entire collection, save the Lamy, and be completely content. The SS version is definitely a great compliment to the original, but it’s not a replacement. The SS 2000 is not without faults, but I’m still a huge fan of the pen. If you’re like me and love the makrolon version, the stainless would definitely make a great addition to your collection. The broad nib was great straight out of the box, putting down a ton of ink. I’ve been drooling over this pen for what feels like years, and it’s definitely not a let down.