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Review Redux – Three Years with the Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

Review Redux
Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Lined Pad

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-14Specs:

  • Time Owned: 3 Years (since 12/25/2012)
  • Nib: 14k platinum-coated gold
  • Material: Makrolon and brushed stainless steel
  • Filling Mechanism: Piston with nearly invisible tail knob
  • Weight: 25 grams
  • Measurements: 5.5″ closed, 6.0″ posted
  • Ink Capactiy: ~2ml
  • Link to Original Review

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-1

Handwritten Review Scans:

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-19Intro/About:

I’ve mentioned throughout the site that the Lamy 2000 is my favorite pen…and well, three years later it still is. The initial excitement over getting the pen has long since worn off. The purpose of these Review Reduxs is to show how a pen has held up over time, if I still enjoy it, how much use it gets, and if I’ve gotten my moneys worth. This is the first entry in an ongoing series, so check back regularly for more extended-use pen reviews!

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-8Appearance:

The 2000 has held up quite well over the last three years. The brushed Makrolon body does a reasonably well job of keeping scratches at bay, but it does show some scuffs. The matte finish has smoothed out a bit, being polished by my hand after constant use. The finish is still very much matte, but if you look at a new pen and a used pen side-by-side, there’s a noticeable difference. Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-4The clip has held up well, still springy as the day I got it. I’m happy with how the 2000’s appearance has aged. It shows some wear, but by no means looks thrashed. I haven’t been overly gentle with the pen, so it’s good to see that something used so regularly can continue to do so for several years.

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-9Performance:

A common complaint about the Lamy 2000 is the nib. There’s a very apparently sweet spot, which can be easily confused for a scratchy nib. At first, the flow was a bit weak and the sweet spot was very small. I had the pen worked on by Richard Binder at the Long Island Pen Show, the pen is PERFECT. There are plenty of folks out there who work on nibs, so if you’re not happy with yours, it may be worth sending it out. The pen is easy to disassemble, making cleaning and maintenance easy. Every piece of the pen is either fitted with threads or friction-fit (feed/nib into the grip) and everything goes back into place easily. Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-20I’ve greased the piston barrel with a q-tip a few times, and it’s kept the knob turning smoothly with little to no effort. Worth noting, I’ve lost a piece of the pen during a cleaning in the past. There’s a small washer that has the two “ears” that keep the cap on, this piece is small and light, so it’s easily misplaced. A quick email to Lamy’s repair center, and a new one was on the way for $5. The pen is easy to maintain, parts are easily obtainable, and there really hasn’t been any consistent problems with it. The workhorse Lamy 2000 has really lived up to its nickname.

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-12Usage/Opinion:

The Lamy 2000 was on of the first pen over $100 I’ve added to my collection. It was a huge step into the hobby, and it’s never an easy purchase decision when making that jump. I was extremely excited when I got the pen, and I can honestly say that I still am. The understated and utilitarian design, solid performance, great reliability, and writing performance result in a daily-use pen that I’m still happy to pick up every time I to write. In the three years I’ve owned the pen, it’s barely gone un-inked. I’m still as excited to use it as I was when I first got it, which I’ve found to be rare in my collection. The Lamy 2000 has been in production since the 1960’s, and it’s gone relatively unchanged. There must be quite a few people out there who feel the same way I do to warrant this, and that’s a great sign.

Pros:

  • Still looks great
  • Ink Capacity
  • Reliability

Cons:

  • Nib needed some work
  • Some very small parts are easily lost

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-10Does It Hold Up?

Absolutely. The Lamy 2000 is a great value for a solid, dependable workhorse fountain pen. It never gets pushed aside, and for me, it’s almost always in use. Several years later, I’m still just as excited to write with it as when I opened up the package for the first time. I’ve since purchased an all original 1960’s Lamy 2000 and a new Stainless Steel model as well. This particular 2000 was my first, and I doubt it will be my last!

If you like what you’ve read, you can pick up your own Lamy 2000 through this affiliate link. Any purchases made through this link help support the site and they’re much appreciated!

Gallery:

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen / Kickstarter Launch *UPDATED w/ COMPARISON*

Tactile Turn
“Gist” Fountain PenTactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-10

 

  • Description: A machined fountain pen that POSTS!
  • Nib: Steel, Titanium, or Gold, EF, F, M, B.
  • Materials: Polycarbonate + MANY metals
  • Refillable: Yes, via converter
  • Measurements: 5.15″ closed, 4.64″ open, 6.10″ posted

Tactile Turn on Kickstarter

Intro/About:

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen Review Kickstarter-4I’m starting this review off with a big disclaimer, just so everyone knows where I stand before the review. Will, the man behind Tactile Turn, is not just a friend, but a photo client. I was hired to take the photos for his Kickstarter campaign, so yes, I was paid for my services. I’ve been speaking to Will about this fountain pen for the better part of a year, whether it was giving advice, input, or simply just being excited about it. I’ve had a prototype of the pen for about a month now, and I really, really enjoy it. I have backed the Kickstarter myself, with my own money, because yes – I really like the pen. I have no further financial motives, I don’t get anything else if the Kickstarter hits a million dollars. I just think that this pen is a breath of fresh air in a somewhat-stagnant world of fountain pens. My intent is not to steer people wrong because of the involvement I had in this project, but fill them in about a pen that provides something different than what’s out there. Please keep this in mind as you read the review, enjoy!

Construction/Appearance:

Tactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-4This pen is SOLID. I’ve been carrying around a polycarbonate/titanium grip model for about a month and there are no issues. The plastic feels robust, the pen walls are thick, and the Ti grip is exactly what it should be. This pen utilizes acme threads, which are a good but chunkier than what you may be used to seeing on a fountain pen. Not only does this add to the overall industrial aesthetic of the pen, but it provides a smooth, secure method of keeping the pen capped. What’s unique about this pen is the fact that it posts. Most Kickstarted pens do not have this ability, but Will included that as a must-have trait in these pens. The cap posts on nice and secure, maybe a bit more-so on the polycarbonate versions. To me, this pen looks like a cross between the Pilot M-90 and the Lamy 2000. This is definitely not a bad place to be in. It has that modern design that I love so much. While the all-metal versions are stunning, I personally prefer the mix of polycarbonate and metal. I’m stuck between the Poly & Ti Grip/Finial and Poly & Brass Grip/Finial as my favorite version…

Feel:

Tactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-14The Gist both looks and feels familiar. It’s similar to the Lamy 2000 in size, shape, and weight (the poly/Ti version at least). The one glaring difference is the ridged pattern seen on Will’s pens that adorn the entire length of the body. If you’ve used a Tactile Turn before, you’ll be familiar with the “bite” and control that this grip gives. The pen is nicely balanced, comfortable to write with, and I really like the fact that it has a #6 nib.

Tactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-11The grip section of these pens are mostly metal. Typically, metal grip sections can get slippery real quick. That’s not the case with the Gist. The ridges allow you to grip the pen without squeezing too hard, making them comfy for longer writing sessions as well as quick notes. The grip tapers into the nib section, so be careful about choking up too much on the pen. You may encounter inky fingers if you aren’t paying attention. I haven’t found this to be much of an issue, as it’s comfortable to grip the pen slightly above where the feel and grip meet.

Writing Performance: 

Tactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-18
The Gist pens feature a #6 Bock nib in either steel, titanium, or gold. I’ve been using the Ti version for the better part of the month, and I was surprised at how smooth it wrote. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the titanium nibs, but the extra fine one I have is smooth, has good flow, and the springy nature of titanium adds a nice amount of cushion to the writing. Once the entire batch of pens showed up, I swapped out the EF for a B just to see how it is. The B isn’t as great as the EF was, I experienced a few hard starts, but once you’re writing, it’s great. I couldn’t resist trying out the steel and gold nibs, both were smooth. The gold provided a little bit of additional cushion and had slightly better flow than the steel. These pens fill with an international size converter, the experience was standard, no complaints here.

Tactile Turn Gist Lifestyle-1Pros:

  • Excellent design
  • Solid construction
  • Unique features like ridged grip, acme threads
  • Cap posts for a comfy, balanced experience

Cons:

  • Body is a bit short if you don’t post
  • Metal versions require some extra force to post cap

Conclusion:

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen Review Kickstarter-3I’ve been looking forward to this pen for a long time, and I can honestly say it delivers. I’ve backed the project for a polycarbonate w/  brass grip/finial for myself. The pen is comfortable, well-balanced, robust, and looks great. There’s not much else to say other than it feels both fresh and familiar at the same time. I can see myself adding more of these to my collection as time goes on, there are so many great options and after handling each and every one, it’s honestly hard to pick. The Gist starts at a reasonable $59 and can be customized all the way up to $228 (full Ti pen w. 14k gold nib), so there really is something for everyone.

Head on over to the Tactile Turn Kickstarter to secure one for yourself!

Comparison:

DSC_3876
Capped, Left to Right: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI 580AL, Tactile Turn Gist, Lamy 2000, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Tactile Turn Shaker
DSC_3891
Uncapped, Left to Right: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI 580AL, Tactile Turn Gist, Lamy 2000, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Tactile Turn Shaker
DSC_3895
Posted, Left to Right: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI 580AL, Tactile Turn Gist, Lamy 2000, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Tactile Turn Shaker
DSC_3904
Most similar: Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Tactile Turn Gist, Lamy 2000
DSC_3922
Most similar: Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Tactile Turn Gist, Lamy 2000

Gallery:

Disclaimer: Did you not read the first paragraph? Because you should totally read the first paragraph…

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen

  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Lined Pad

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-13Specs:

  • Description: An updated version of the TWSBI 580 featuring an aluminum grip and piston mechanism, for added durability and a classier look
  • Refills: Internal piston mechanism
  • Body:  Plastic / Aluminum
  • Measurements: 5.6″ long closed, 7.0″ posted
  • Weight: 32g
  • Color Options: Clear with silver aluminum accents

Writing Samples:
TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-12

Intro/About:

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-1My past experiences with TWSBI have been hit or miss, mostly on the miss side. I was impressed by the price point of the ECO, but it just didn’t click with me. My old Diamond 540 was plagued with cracking pieces, I’ve given up emailing customer support. The Mini was cool, but once again, it just didn’t get used. My Vac700 was a very poor writer, and in my opinion, not very comfortable in hand. So I’ve had a good amount of experience with several of their pens. I figured the “AL” version with aluminum parts would be more durable, better looking, and overall more reliable. Read on to see how the 580AL has held up to over a year of ownership and use!

Appearance and Packaging:

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-7The TWSBI 580AL is a sharp-looking pen. I’ve always loved the way the Diamond series looks, and in my opinion, it’s even better with the blinged out updates. There’s an aluminum grip section that’s made of two pieces, and an aluminum piston rod and mechanism. It definitely looks more premium than the old 540 and 580s. The faceted barrel is crystal clear, allowing you to see whatever ink you have sloshing around inside. In the photos, it’s filled with J. Herbin’s Emerald of Chivor – an awesome ink to have in a demonstrator. TWSBI has won awards for their packaging, and this one is no exception. The box is made of plastic, with the pen sitting on a pedestal inside. It looks very Apple-esque and I like it. Overall, the pen looks great, and has an awesome presentation. It would make a great gift, and it looks great on my desk.

Filling System / Nib Performance:

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-5The filling system in the 580AL is an integration piston mechanism. It’s fully removable, whether it be for cleaning or tinkering. This updated aluminum piston replaces the plastic version seen on the standard 580, but I don’t believe it’s much of an improvement. I’ve had the piston get stuck (like REALLY stuck) a few times, and it’s definitely an annoyance. It’s nerve-racking to have to apply pressure to the piston knob, not knowing if it will give way and shoot out ink everywhere. It looks great in there, but I think the plastic version on my 540 was much smoother. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve had similar experiences with your TWSBI’s aluminum piston.

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-8I went for the medium nib on the pen. TWSBI uses western nibs, so the line width was right about where I’d expect it to be. The 580AL didn’t go un-modified for long. Straight out of the box, I found the pen to be a bit dry and I knew it could definitely have been smoother. While at the DC show in August of 2014, I had it adjusted by Mike Masuyama. I requested that the pen have increased flow, and be smoothed a bit. He informed me that the slit in the nib was not perfectly centered, which is what was causing the sub-par flow. After a few minutes on the grinding wheel, the TWSBI was writing perfectly. Given that the pen was a reasonable $65, investing another $30 in a perfectly smoothed nib wasn’t a bad decision. Steel nibs in this price range can be hit-or-miss, but luckily they’re easily fixed.

Feel:

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-11TWSBI’s 580AL weighs in at a comfortable 32g. It’s nicely balanced, and provides a good amount of heft. It weighs enough so you know it’s there, but not too much to the point where it will tire you out. The grip diameter is comfortable, and flares out just a bit before the nib. I have found the aluminum to be slippery though. There’s no texture to the grip and it tends to get slick. If you have sweaty hands or prefer to a tight grip, be wary of this one. I prefer to write with the pen unposted, but it is capable of posting. There’s a silver ring on the back of the pen that the cap securely posts onto without interfering with the piston. For me, it makes the pen very off-balanced and way too long. If you want a TWSBI that posts, definitely consider the Mini. The molding on the plastic pieces is nicely done, with no visible seams or blemishes. It’s polished to a high-shine and smooth to the touch. The materials appear to be quality, but time will tell if they start to get the signature TWSBI hairline cracks over time.

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-10Pros:

  • Price is reasonable
  • Nice weight
  • Comfortable in hand
  • Looks awesome when paired with interesting ink

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-4Cons:

  • M nib was dry and scratchy out of the box
  • Piston has stuck multiple times
  • Slippery grip section

Conclusion:

TWSBI 580AL Fountain Pen Review-14I’m very on the fence as to whether or not I like the TWSBI 580AL. There’s just about as many Pros as there are Cons, and my experience hasn’t been great with TWSBIs in the past. At $65, this pen is not terribly expensive, but it’s also not in the “impulse buy” range. I’d definitely say that I like the pen, but I don’t love it. Since getting the nib adjusted, it’s been much better. It doesn’t see a ton of use, but for some reason I’ve held onto it. There aren’t enough negative aspects as to not recommend the pen, but there aren’t enough positive aspects to suggest it either. Overall, this pen is really a true middle ground fountain pen for me. Not bad, not great, really just okay.

If you’d like to support the site, you can pick up a TWSBI 580AL through this Amazon Affiliate link.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the TWSBI 580AL in the comments below!

Gallery:

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review

Kaweco Brass Sport
Fountain Pen

  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Lined Pad

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-5Specs:

  • Description: A brass version of everyone’s favorite pocket pen
  • Refills: International short cartridges / Kaweco Converter
  • Body: Raw Brass
  • Measurements: 5.270″ long, 0.360″ diameter
  • Weight: 45g
  • Color Options: Raw Brass

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-11Upon 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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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. Stop by!

Appearance and Packaging:

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-3The 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 Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-12Kaweco 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).

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-10I 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.

Feel:

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-7The 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.

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-13Pros:

  • Great weight
  • Looks awesome
  • Patina!
  • Easy to use
  • A+ fit and finish

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-2Cons:

  • B nib was stubbier than I’d like
  • Not for those who like to keep things shiny

Conclusion:

Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review-6It’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.

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!

Sailor Jentle Miruai (Seaweed Indigo) Fountain Pen Ink Review

Sailor Jentle: Four Seasons
Miruai (Seaweed Indigo)
Fountain Pen Ink Review

– Handwritten Review –

 

Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-5Notes:
Sailor recently made some changes to their ink lineup, including the addition of this one, called Miruai. The full name (get ready for it…) is Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Miruai – Seaweed Indigo. Nomenclature aside, it’s a great dark teal that is accurately described in the name. There is a tiny bit of shading, showing off the nice blue color in shallower pools of ink. On point with the rest of the Sailor inks I’ve tried, the flow is great and it is nice and smooth. I really like Sailor’s ink bottle design, it has an internal cone that collects ink when you flip the bottle upside down. This ink catcher makes filling any pen easy, even when you are at the bottom of the bottle. The color is much different from the other green Sailor ink I have (Epinard) and it’s dark enough to be used everyday without getting stares. Thank you to JetPens for sending over the bottle for review!

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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. Stop by!

Pros:

  • Smooth
  • Saturated
  • Unique Color
  • Smells Good
  • Nice Bottle Design

Cons:

  • Nothing!

Photos (click to make huge):

Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-1 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-2 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-3 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-4 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-5 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-6 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-7 Sailor Miruai Green Fountain Pen Ink Review-8
Gallery:

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

 

Disclaimer: This ink 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 product. Thank you for reading!