The A.G. Spalding & Bros
BRFT220 Fountain Pen
– Handwritten Review –
- Review Ink: Included Cartridge
- Review Paper: Seven Seas Tomoe River Writing Pad
- 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
- Unique looks
- Great smooth nib
- Good flow
- International standard cartridge/converter
- Cap posts very securely
- Good weight/balance
- The grip is odd
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!
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!