Category Archives: Fountain Pens

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.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen
Black with Gold Trim

- Handwritten Review -

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Specs:

  • Description: A beginner fountain pen with classic styling and a great feel in hand
  • Nib: Steel Medium
  • Body: Lacquered Brass
  • Measurements: 5.4″ capped, 6″ posted, 0.5″ in diameter
  • Review ink: Noodler’s Cayenne
  • Color Options: Lacquered brass body (Check them all out at JetPens!)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:
Parker IM Fountain Pen Review
 This is my 3rd Paker. The IM has joined my modern Sonnet Cisele and a vintage Parker Vacumatic Major. The IM comes with a medium nib (that writes a bit dry) and boasts a metal construction and classic styling. The pen comes in at $28.50, making it a solid entry-level fountain pen that will appeal to a lot of people. The pen has a professional look and feel without the big price tag typically associated with both of those features. Huge thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending over the pen!

JetPens Banner
Check out JetPens 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:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The IM comes in a nice gift box. This is a nice touch, especially for a sub-$30 pen. It would definitely make a nice gift for a new fountain pen user. The pen has a classic black an gold color scheme and a modest, unassuming shape. The pen is at the upper end of the beginner fountain pen price range, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. I particularly like the brushed metal grip and the contrast it provides against the shiny metal rings on the pen above and below the brushed section. The cap has a nice weight and is adorned with the classic Parker arrow-shaped clip. It’s a great looking pen and feels great too.

 Nib Performance & Filling System:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The medium nib on the Parker IM is fueled by a proprietary cartridge / converter system. I used the converter from my Sonnet, and I’m glad that I did. The Parker converter is not included and is a $9.25 add-on (!!!). You’d be much better off saving yourself the money and refilling the included cartridge with a syringe. I think the price point of the pen is great, but adding almost $10 to be able to used bottled ink is a bit crazy. The Parker converters are very high quality and are well-made, but I think they simply cost too much.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

In my opinion, the medium nib writes more like a fine than a medium. This may be due in part to the flow being slightly on the dry side. I don’t mind the flow being a bit dry because it allows for easier use on cheaper paper. Being that this is an entry-level pen, the drier nib will help new fountain pen users cope with bleeding and feathering much more easily.

Feel:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The IM has a nice, premium feel to it. It’s nicely weighted and balanced, practically disappearing in hand. The black finish is smooth and without flaws. The pen is a bit shorter than I like when used unposted, but the cap posts securely onto the body. The metal grip may not take too kindly to very long writing sessions and/or death grips, but I like the overall shape and feel of it in hand. The Parker IM feels like it could be double its asking price. It’s a small detail, but I also noticed the awesome tacile “click” sound and feel when the capping the pen. It adds to the overall experience, and little things like that resonate with me enough to include them in the review. The pens clip is sturdy and should hold up to normal use.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Pros:

  • Solid build quality
  • Nice weight / balance
  • Smooth medium nib
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Proprietary cartridge costs way too much (in my opinion)
  • Flow may be a bit dry for some right out of the box

Conclusion:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The Parker IM is definitely a solid choice in the world of under-$30 fountain pens. Great build quality, nice weight, great writing performance and a nice presentation round out a well designed beginner pen from a classic brand. The only real downside is the $9.25 converter, it adds a rather large barrier to inky freedom. Would I recommend the pen? Absolutely, definitely to those who want to try fountain pens but don’t like the looks of the Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan.

Huge thanks to my pals over at JetPens for sending the pen 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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Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

Omas Arte Italiana Vintage Arco Celluloid Paragon Fountain Pen Review

Omas Arte Italiana Vintage
Arco Celluloid Paragon
Fountain Pen

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

- Handwritten Review -

  • Review Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo
  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18

Specs:

  • Description:  Quite possibly one of the nicest looking fountain pens I have ever seen, the Omas Paragon in Vintage Arco Celluloid is a perfectly balanced, great writing pen.
  • Nib: 18k gold, Soft-Fine Nib
  • Material: Arco Celluloid
  • Filling Mechanism: Piston filler
  • Ink Capactiy: ~1ml
  • Price: $800

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

Wow. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I see this pen. The Omas Arte Italiana Milord in Arco Celluloid is one of the most stunning pens I have ever seen. Huge thanks to my friends over at Kenro Industries (the US distributor of Omas, Aurora, Sheaffer and Montegrappa) for letting me borrow these beautiful pens for review. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I did spending time with these pens! This review is based on the gold finished model with a fine nib. This is also the first review shot with my new Canon 7D, make sure to click the images and supersize them for the full effect!

Appearance & Packaging:

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

Where to start… This pen is absolutely beautiful. Great vintage styling and an amazing, deep celluloid that looks almost as if it is on fire when in the right lighting. The pen has 12 flat sides that not only give it a great look, but prevent it from rolling off the table or desk. The gold accented model perfectly compliments the colors of the celluloid. Out of the three trims (gold, rose gold, and rhodium) the gold is my favorite. There are 3 thin cap bands that go well with the overall vintage design of the pen. The gold nib has a classic arrow style pattern, reminiscent of the old Parker nibs. It’s a great looking pen that just works on so many levels. Omas did a great job on this one…seriously.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Omas Arco Celluloid Milord 3

The nib on the Omas has a great nib. It’s actually more than great, it’s probably one of the best pens I have ever written with. The 18k nib has a bit of cushion with normal writing and it’s capable of some nice line variation if you push it just a little bit. The nib is buttery smooth and always starts up, even if left uncapped on my desk for a few minutes.

Omas Arco Celluloid Milord 2

This is the first Omas I’ve tried so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. While doing some research I found that most Omas pens do indeed write very wet out of the box. See the handwritten review pictures for an example of the line variation possible when pushing the nib. It’s a top-tier pen that has a price tag to match, but it definitely looks, writes and feels like one.

Feel:

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

The Omas is not too big and not too small, for me it’s just right. The pen is rather lightweight at 20g, weighing in just under a Lamy 2000. Posting the cap lengthens the pen quite a bit, but it still maintains its excellent balance. I prefer writing with this pen unposted though. There are several steps in the barrel, all of which are very small and transition nicely into each other. There are no sharp edges and the threads are practically unnoticeable – making for a very comfortable writing experience.

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

The light weight of the pen and the nibs ability to glide across the paper make for an excellent overall writing experience. The Arco celluloid is smooth to the touch and warms up in your hand as you write. The pen is the perfect size and weight for me and it practically disappears into my hand. Longer writing sessions are a breeze.

Pros:

  • Celluloid is so nice to look at
  • Soft 18k gold nib writes great
  • Perfect weight and balance
  • Nib is a wet writer straight out of the box

Cons:

  • Piston mechanism knob is celluloid on celluloid, and can be a little hard to turn

Conclusion:

Omas Milord Arco Celluloid Fountain Pen Review

The Omas Special Edition Arte Italiana Arco Celluloid Paragon is quite expensive, but I can totally understand why. It is a piece of functional art that shows off the history of the brand. It also doesn’t hurt that the nib is amazing, and it is one of the best pens I have ever written with. The Arco celluloid practically glows in your hand as the light catches it. It’s a beautiful looking pen that is not overdone in any way. Huge thanks to my friends at Kenro Industries for loaning me these pens to review, I’m going to have a hard time giving this one back!

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a loaner for review purposes by Kenro Industries. All opinions are my own.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

Wality Piston Filler Fountain Pen Review

The Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen
in Burgundy
- Handwritten Review -

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

 

Specs:

  • Description: A Made in India piston filler fountain pen
  • Nib: Medium Steel Nib
  • Filling Mechanism: Piston
  • Ink Capactiy: ~1.5ml
  • Price: $10

Handwritten Review Scans:

 

Intro/About:

Thank you to my friend Sanay for sending over these Indian fountain pens for review! This particular pen is a piston filler with a steel medium nib. THe pen was made in India, and hand smoothed by Sanay. The Wality has classic 1940s-era fountain pen styling, and is a decent writer, especially given the price.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

 

Appearance & Packaging:

The Wality is a nice looking pen. It’s got a decent size and feels great in hand. I particularly like the shape of the nib, it’s similar to the softer shouldered Pelikan nibs. There are clear ink windows in the body of the pen. The color scheme is nice, as burgundy is one of my favorite colors. The silver accents compliment the pen nicely as well. The finish on the pen is a bit rough, but for $9.00, it’s acceptable. The pen is made of what I believe is vegetal resin, and it’s a bit soft. This pen will get marred pretty easily if carelessly thrown in a bag, or put in your pocket with keys or some change. It’s not a bad looking pen, but the $9.00 price tag more than makes up for its shortcomings here.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Sanay smoothed the nib by hand, and it’s a nice writer. The ink flow is good and the steel nib writes nice and smooth. The pen is a piston filler, similar to the Noodler’s Konrad. The piston is nicely greased and does its job without fuss. The ink reservoir is large, and the piston action makes it easy to drink up a whole bunch of ink. The steel nib is not the best I’ve ever written with, but it’s certainly not the worst. The Wality falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, and it’s probably in the upper tier of its price range.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

Feel:

Size-wise, the Wality is a good fit for my hand. The grip is comfortable and a nice diameter. The finish of the pen is okay at best, and could benefit from a few minutes under a buffing wheel. The weight and balance of the pen are both good, even when posted – this is due in part to the light weight of the cap. The piston knob turns nicely, but be careful when posting the cap. The cap posts on the piston knob and if you are not careful while removing it, there can easily be an ink spill (see the handwritten review…). Also worth noting is the unique and distinctive smell of the vegetal resin. If you’ve ever had a Noodler’s pen, you’ll know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I’m happy to report that it does fade over time and wasn’t nearly as intense as Noodler’s offering.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

Pros:

  • Price
  • Value
  • Smooth writer

Cons:

  • Finish could be better
  • Cap posts onto piston knob

Conclusion:

The standout detail on this pen is the shape of the nib. Overall, for $9.00, it’s certainly not a bad deal. The nib performs well, and the piston filler system works great. Thank you to Sanay for sending the pen over for review! Be on the lookout for his website in the near future to get some hand-smoothed Indian pens for yourself!

Order via Email.

Wality Piston Fill Fountain Pen Review

 

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Sanay Shah. 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 Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Followup Review / Photo Post

Pilot Vanishing Point in Metallic Orange
Fountain Pen

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

- Followup Review -

For the original review, see here!

Notes:

I’m going to be doing a new series of follow up reviews here on the site that you will continue to see more and more of down the line. I think it’s really important to follow up on reviews, especially the popular ones. Often there’s a “Honeymoon Phase” where there’s excitement for a new pen, and it soon wears off. Please let me know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about how the pen is holding up, how much usage it gets, or anything else you may want to know! I have had two Vanishing Points before, and they’re a great versatile pen.

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

To promote the new range of metallic colors, Deborah over at Pilot graciously sent over a new Vanishing Point in Desert Orange. Thank you Deborah! Instead of simply reviewing the pen again and showing some pictures of the color, I’ve decided to also let you know how my old Vanishing Point is holding up, if any initial praise has worn off, and how much real use mine has gotten. Once again, huge thanks to my friends over at Pilot, and enjoy the update!

How It’s Holding Up:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

The VP is definitely a durable pen that is meant to be carried and used. I’ve owned the matte black version since June of 2012. The nib (ordered “Binderized” from Richard’s Pens) is still great and buttery smooth. I haven’t used the original fine nib that I purchased the pen with because I wasn’t thrilled with its performance. It was dry and scratchy and just not that pleasant to write with. I’m happy to report that the medium nib that Pilot sent with the orange VP is great. No scratchiness, great flow, and it starts up every time. The finish on the matte black version of the pen has started to show some wear.

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

There were complaints about the pens finish chipping away, exposing the brass underneath. Mine’s not thrashed, but I quite like the character that the pen has developed from being carried over time. The new Metallic VP has a clear coat that appears to be much more durable than the matte finish. I had a gun metal grey version of the pen (that I sold to fund my Nakaya) that I had carried for a bit with no issues at all. Overall, the VP is holding up very well, especially when considering the amount of usage it has gotten and the numerous amount of times I’ve carried it in-pocket, sans-case.

Honeymoon Phase?:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Getting a new pen is always fun. It’s hard to not love a new pen, and you may be more inclined to use it, take pictures of it, show it off, and love it to pieces – all because it’s new. I’m happy to report that my love for the Pilot Vanishing Point has not worn off. After my initial purchase two years ago, I had bought another one a year later at the LI Pen Show. I recently sold the gun metal version to fund my Nakaya, but it wasn’t easy to part with it. I’m glad that there are two Vanishing Points back in my collection with the addition of the Orange Metallic. I absolutely love the design and utility of the pen, coupled with the excellent performance of the black-plated 18k gold nib. Also, a retractable clicky fountain pen? Can’t really get much cooler or convenient than that…

Usage:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Have you ever gotten a nice new pen, inked it up, used it for a week straight, the shelved it for the foreseeable future? I have.  Several times. Once again, this isn’t the case with the Vanishing Point. The VP is a great pen for both quick notes and longer writing sessions. The pen was absolutely perfect for college lecture notes. Not having to worry about keeping track of a pen cap is more convenient than you may think. Especially so when moving between classes – there’s nothing to leave behind or drop on the floor. There’s a very good chance that I have a VP inked at all times, and when I don’t, I wish that I did. The pen definitely gets enough usage to justify the ~$140 price tag!

Conclusion:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

The Vanishing Point is a solid addition to any pen collection that I will continue to use and love. I have no doubts that my 2.5 year old VP will continue to serve me well for many more years to come. I’m also happy to report that the new stock medium nib is a much better performer than my old fine nib too. I’ve had 3 VPs in my collection, but only two remain. Like I said before, the only reason I parted with one was to fund a larger pen purchase, and it wasn’t easy parting ways. I would love to hear your feedback on these new follow up reviews as well! Thanks again to Deborah over at Pilot Pens for sending me over this awesome new VP!

Recommendation: Yes! The Vanishing Point has held up to years of heavy use, and continues to be one of my most reached for pens.

 

Disclaimer: I received this pen free of charge from Pilot for review purposes. However, it does not have any effect on my feelings and thoughts about the pen.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

The Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen
in Black
- Handwritten Review -

  • Review Ink: Kaweco Blue-Black
  • Review Paper: Kyokuto F.O.B COOP B5 Lined

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

Specs:

  • Description: The smallest fountain pen offering from Kaweco
  • Nib: Interchangeable Steel nib (EF-BB)
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge
  • Measurements: 3.8″ closed, 3.4″ open, 4.9″ posted, 5/16″ diameter
  • Ink Capactiy: Intl Short Cartridge, ~.75ml
  • Price: $55 USD
  • Color Options: Several colors of aluminum, check them out here!

Handwritten Review Scans:

 

Intro/About:

 

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

Oh man, this is a TINY little fountain pen. Yes, tiny and little. If you thought the Kaweco Sport was compact, you’re going to be blown away by how small the Liliput is. Made of aluminum and super thin, the Liliput is just barely long enough for me to comfortably write with and it easily goes unnoticed if left in a pocket or bag. If you want to see some more Kaweco goodness, check out my reviews of the Classic Sport and the AL Sport.

kaweco Logo

I would also like to thank Sebastian at Kaweco for sending over a huge box of goodies, this pen included. I’m really enjoying the Liliput and I’m happy to call it a part of my collection.

Appearance & Packaging:

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

 

Holy small everything…The Liliput is so, so small, light and thin. The aluminum pen is only 3.8″ capped, 4.9″ posted, and under .5″ in diameter. It’s just barely big enough to house the international short cartridges that provide the ink. The black finish is smooth and without flaws. Instead of the standard metal Kaweco cap jewel, there’s a silk-screened (or etched?) logo on the rounded top of the pen. The side of the cap also bears the Kaweco name, along with the model name “Liliput” and “Germany”. The pen comes in a metal gift tin which has an awesome vintage-inspired design. The pen looks great, and is presented quite nicely. Win and win.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

I felt it was appropriate to put the EF nib I have into the smallest Kaweco I have. The Liliput sports a #5 nib, one that you may recognize from the Sport, Allrounder, Dia2, and more. It’s easily interchangeable with all of these pens, as the feed and sleeve unscrew from the pen easily. It’s great having the nibs easily swappable, but aesthetically, a #5 nib doesn’t fit with the larger Kaweco pens.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

The EF nib is quite smooth, considering how fine it writes. It’s closer to a Japanese EF than a standard Western EF. It’s a bit dry, but I don’t mind it. I’ll probably do some tweaking to increase the flow a bit and have the nib put down a bit more ink. The Liliput takes International short cartridges, the Kaweco mini converter will not fit because the pen is too small – thanks for pointing this out Michael! Stick with the cartridges, or refill them with a syringe. It works much, much better. The Kaweco ink is surprisingly good, and comes in a nice range of colors. The ease of use of the cartridges are handy for a pocket pen, as it keeps the fuss down.

Feel:

Small, slippery, and narrow. That’s the Liliput in a nutshell. I like to think of the pen as my “emergency” fountain pen. It’s so small that it’s easy to keep in a back pocket, tucked next to a Field Notes without knowing it’s there. The durability of the aluminum and threaded cap ensure that there is no leakage, or cracking. It’s too thin for me to comfortably write with for a long period of time, but for quick notes it’s nice to have a fountain pen handy.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

All of Kaweco’s aluminum pens that I have tried are machined very very well. there are no flaws on the pen and the finish is nice and smooth. The cap threads on perfectly on both the nib end, and the back for the pen to post. There’s not discernible wiggle when the cap is posted, giving the pen a rigid feel in hand. The grip has a slight taper, and is comfortable, but it’s very thin. The Liliput is constructed well, but at the end of the day it’s too small for long writing sessions. In a pinch,  it’s the perfect pocket fountain pen.

 

Pros:

  • Virtually disappears in pocket
  • Novelty is fun
  • EF nib is very smooth

Cons:

  • Pricey for a pocket pen
  • Too small for long writing sessions

Conclusion:

At $55, the Liliput is a bit expensive for a pen that you cannot comfortably use for long periods of time. It’s definitely not an every day pen for me because of its size. It is however well constructed, a smooth writer, and a great backup pen. If you have smaller hands or prefer a thin writing instrument, then the Liliput may be right up your alley. It’s great to leave in a bag or in my pocket until I need it, but I think I prefer the bulked up Al-Sport. That pen is much more comfortable, and only a tiny bit larger. Had it not been sent to me, I don’t think I would have purchased the Liliput, but having spent some time with it, my mind may have been changed.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen Review

 

Thanks again to Kaweco for sending me this pen, make sure to check out the rest of the Kaweco line, my review of the Kaweco Sport, and a list of online retailers where you can pick up this pen.

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Kaweco, Germany. 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!