Pen Review

April 17, 2010

I haven’t been collecting pens that long and I suppose with a self imposed limit of $30 per pen, I won’t be collecting that many high or even mid level pens.

One of the web pages I found helpful in getting my collection started was Mike’s Rollerball and Fountain Pen Review. It’s a good starting point.


Mont Blanc Mystery Masterpiece

April 3, 2010

This had the previous distinction of being the world’s most expensive pen.  It’s too gaudy for my taste.

Aurora Diamante

March 17, 2010

Whenever there’s mention of the “Worlds Most Expensive…”, there’s someone out there to out do it.  The Diamante holds a distinction of being one of  the worlds most expensive pens if not the most expensive at $1.4 Million.  It has a platinum barrel covered with 30 carats of diamonds.

Who it their right mind would buy this? Rich people sometimes buy big visible toys to flaunt their wealth.  This pen would pretty much go unnoticed.

Parker Jotter

March 13, 2010

For less than $10, the Jotter is great for someone who needs to channel nervous energy. Its clicker is the most solid, sure, strong, positive, and loud of any clicker I have encountered. It’s certain that if you were mindlessly clicking away on this pen in a group setting that you would either have amused or irritated people.

A salesman handed his Jotter to me to use.  I commented a number of times of how well the pen felt and how well it wrote.  The next day, he came by and presented me a new Jotter. The pen came with a standard ballpoint ink cartridge as well as a gel cartridge. The standard ink is quite good but the gel cartridge is the way in go. I haven’t used the Jotter for a long duration but it seems that it would be easy on the fingers in a marathon writing session.

The solid feel and all stainless steel construction makes it a better tactical pen than the ubiquitous disposal Bics. The Jotter’s small diameter tapered barrel does not provide for the firmest grip yet despite these seeming short comes, it actually grips more solidly than the Zebra F-701.  The Jotter also feels as it has more heft for its size than the F-701 but it gives up  a 1/4 in. in length to the F-701.  Given a choice between the two for protection, I would choose the Jotter.

Anyone feel any different?

Schrade Tactical Pen – Worth It

December 27, 2009

So despite what I said about tactical pens in an earlier posting not being worth it and that a person could go with the Zebra F701, I bought a true tactical pen. Here’s the logic of why I did it:

  • I like pens
  • I set a self imposed limit of $30 for a pen. This one was less than that.
  • I wanted to know what a true tactical pen was as opposed to a sturdy pen like the the Zebra.
  • It looks cool. In fact, it looks identical to the Mil-tac pen.

Impressions of the Schrade:

  • It is a quality pen. While I paid around $25 for fountain pens, the fountain pales pale in comparison to the quality of the Schrade.  In fact, the Schrade is now the best quality pen I have. The fountain pens are injection molded plastic. The Schrade sports major amounts of machining on the aluminum.
  • It feels indestructible. Compared to all the ordinary pens I have, this one will survive the toughest “combat” I could imagine. Other pens would break or bend.
  • It is heavy compared to standard pens. Nonetheless, it balances well in writing.
  • The finger grooves near the writing end tip are a tad sharp. I couldn’t imagine writing a lengthy essay with this pen.
  • The flutes/blood groves on the barrel have a slight edge. I first feared it may cut the palm in heavy use. It still might happen but I see the logic of it in that provides a better grip.
  • The finish reportedly is Type III anodizing. It feels sturdier than the anodizing on a Maglite. We’ll see how that holds up.
  • It uses a German Hauser cartridge.  I like the ink flow better than the Zebra.
  • Slight digression. Make a fist. Take the rounded end of a pen and firmly tap the middle finger bone on the back of your fist. Ouch. Shock waves of pain! Now imagine imagine doing that a 100 times harder with the pointed end of the Schrade, which has some real heft and no give.

I highly recommend the Schrade. It’s cheap everyday carry insurance hidden in plain sight that can be deployed instantly without fumbling to get at when clipped in a shirt pocket.  Can you do that with your gun or knife?

Waterman Phileas

December 20, 2009

The local Office Depot was closing down and had a few remaining on sale. It wasn’t exactly dirt cheap but cheaper than anything I’ve found on the net.

The barrel is plastic but what can you expect for $20? The point is fine and looks thick compared to the Lamy Safari with EF point.

I haven’t used it as I view it for collection purposes rather than use. Why do I this?

Lamy Safari

November 8, 2008

I remember having a few fountain pens as a kid. I thought they were cool and adult like but I couldn’t write anything without the writing appearing blotchy and smeared.

I’ve always liked pens but the nice ones seemed way out of line costwise.  As I was surfing the net, I ran across a review for Lamy Safari pens. The review was convincing enough and I picked one up with an extra fine EF tip.  It has a contemporary rather than classic look a fountain pen should have.  Adding to the contemporary look are the spring pocket clip and its plastic body. At $30 with cartridges, this was and is the most expensive pen I have in my collection.

The Safari is a light pen yet does not float when writing. It’s best to write with the cap off the pen as the cap makes it top heavy and less controllable. The two scalloped sides of the grip allows for an ergonomic positioning thumb and forefinger.

Some reviewers say the pen writes a bit scratchy and I understand what they mean however it is not bothersome to me.  It definitely does not have the smooth flow of a rollerball pen.

I enjoy the pen and it seems that every time I write with it, my penmanship is always better. Not having any other fountain pen to compare it against, I do highly recommend it as a first fountain pen for those interested.