Category: Pen Reviews

Pen Review: IWI Safari

The last of the IWI pens that I tried is the Safari which is nothing like the other famous Safari pen. 🙂 If the Essential and Handscript are all about being minimalist, having clean and straight lines and an industrial feel to them, the Safari is all about smooth curves.

It has a smooth, lacquered finish and a zebra print for the trim above the section. It’s not blingy or outrageously designed, but it is somewhat flashier than its more low-key siblings.

The body is also metal, but it tapers at the end and the cap. It has a solid feel to it, the weight is pleasant in the hand. Like the Essential and Handscript, though, it tends to feel top heavy when you post the cap while writing. The section is smooth metal, but also has a comfortable length for holding while writing. Since it’s smooth, people whose hands tend to be sweaty might find it a bit slippery.The nib is also a steel Bock, XF, but this is colored gold.

The photo below shows a writing sample of the nib. I wrote both pages in one sitting and the nib wrote consistently, without drying or thinning out towards the end. It also uses a short international sized cartridge, like the other IWI pen models. The ink I used below is Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium, which flows moderate to wet, depending on the pen. I haven’t tried using another ink on it yet.

This may be the flashier sibling of the Handscript and Essential but it’s still a simple design that works well. The snap-on cap is pretty secure, this time without o-rings at the end of the barrel. Like the other IWI pens, the steel nib also writes pretty decently. It’s not hard as a nail, it has a very slight bounce to it, and not an unpleasant feedback.

Check it out at Everything Calligraphy.

 

Pen Review: IWI Essential

The next pen that I tried from the brand IWI is called Essential. It immediately struck me as being very similar in form factor as the Handscript, except that the rubberized wrap is more of an accent rather than a barrel design. Like the Handscript, it has a Bock steel EF nib and they write practically the same.

I like the minimalist design of the pen. It’s just a long cylinder with thinner strips of rubberized material for accent. I personally think this is more eyecatching than the Handscript. I liked the faux wood design of these pens,  but I opted for the carbon fiber print instead because I find it easier to pick an ink when the pen is black.

Like the Handscript, the Essential has a comfortably long section with a little rounded bump at the end for the snap on cap.

It also has those two rubber o-rings at the end which grips against the cap when you post the pen. I’ve pulled the pens in and out of my leather slip and so far the o-rings haven’t come loose yet.

The carbon fiber accent feels smooth and isn’t too shiny. It makes the pen look very simple and understated. I love that the clip is a simple square-ish design, unlike the Handscript which has a curved end as you can see in the photo below. The clip slips through easier, though, than the Handscript’s clip. The grip is secure but not overly tight.

The pen comes with an international standard converter and a short cartridge. The converter, as you can see is pretty short and it’s plunger-type, not the type that you turn like a screw. It’s also pretty small. I tried it on a Kaweco Sport and it fits, though I didn’t try to ink it.

The page below is an example of a whole page written with the pen inked with Cross Black ink. The ink flows dry so the writing looks very thin, but it was consistent in flow throughout the page. It didn’t dry out towards the end.

I inked the pen with Platinum Carbon Black and it wrote very close to a Fine nib because the ink flows wetter. I used it to make a simple sketch of Count Olaf below:

When the nib is reversed, the lines are very fine but still quite consistent in flow. I think it will do nicely for sketching on smooth paper. Not sure how it will do with textured paper, though. Here is a size comparison between the Essential and Handscript.

The Essential is a little over 13.5 cms long when capped and 12 cms long uncapped. Here is a size comparison with a Kaweco Sport for reference:

Like the Handscript, this writes pretty well, especially for a steel XF nib. I enjoyed using it both for writing and for sketching. Here’s a video of a writing sample:

Overall, I really like the simple, clean, design of this pen. It’s thin, which makes up for the heaviness of the steel barrel. Using it posted makes it a bit top heavy for me, but since the body is sufficiently long, it’s really easy to use it unposted. This is a great pen entry-level pen, very affordable. Check out Everything Calligraphy for more details.

Pen Review: IWI Handscript

I was able to try out a few IWI Handscript pens through the lovely people from Everything Calligraphy recently. I had a tough time picking which color I wanted to purchase because, look at them, they’re all cute. I’ve actually never heard of the brand IWI before, but I got curious because the colors are happy and eye catching. I really wish I can buy all of the colors because they look so cute all together, but I settled on buying one Handscript and one Essential (review of that pen to come soon). These all have XF nibs, and I intended to use them more for sketching.

These pens have a wrap around the barrel that feels like textured rubber and they have two different kinds of textures: one feels like wood and the other is like a matte surface. Here’s an example of the two kinds of textures:

I really like the faux wood texture, it feels more grippy than the other one. The pen is a bit on the short side, about a half inch longer than a Kaweco Sport. Capped, it’s 12 cm long and 10.5 cm uncapped.

I find it comfortable to hold whether posted or unposted, but putting the cap on makes it a bit top heavy. The cap and barrel are both made of steel. I’m sensitive to the weight of pens I find that it’s not uncomfortably heavy to use.

For a small pen, it does have a long section of satin-textured steel. It’s comfortable enough on the fingers and the little thread at the end of the section is rounded and barely noticeable while you’re using it. The other end of the barrel where the cap is posted has two rubber o-rings to make the cap grip the end more securely. I’m not sure I like that there are removable parts on the pen, but I guess I can live with it. The pen is small but not overly light, I like the compact design, I like the long section. The cap and clip have a minimalist design, not gaudy like many entry level pens can be.

I think it’s a nice-looking pen that you can use for school, stuff in a bag and not worry too much about. You can put it in your pocket and not worry about the keys scratching them up. They’re cute and they work, and they won’t break the bank. The pen uses a small, plunger-type converter which holds a little amount of ink. It also comes with a small international standard converter which I would recommend if you want a bit more ink capacity.

The pens use XF Bock nibs. I think it’s my first time to try out a steel Bock nib. Surprisingly enjoyable.

Here is an example of a page that I wrote with the pen. The ink I used here is Montblanc Toffee Brown. The pen wrote consistently on the entire page without drying out. I compared it with the Lamy XF nib (the only other XF nib that I have) and this looks pretty much the same.

I tried a different ink, Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Guri and that flowed a lot wetter than Montblanc Toffee Brown. Here’s a video of the writing sample using that ink:

I think with this ink, it writes more like an F than an XF. It’s a fairly decent steel nib, not bad at all for an entry level pen. If you want it to write wetter, I would suggest that you floss it or use a wetter ink, but so far the ones I tried wrote pretty well and they’re great to use for drawing.

Here’s the color of the pen that I bought for myself. I think it’s adorbs. 🙂

Overall, I think it’s a nice affordable pen. It’s good for people who want a less expensive option, or as a gift for people you want to introduce to the joy of writing with fountain pens. I must say, I love it when affordable pens have good nibs. It encourages people to look at fountain pens as a possible alternative to disposable pens because fountain pens need not be crazy expensive. Of course, I cannot guarantee that you’ll stop at just one fountain pen once you try it. 😉

(Available at Everything Calligraphy)

Sailor Morita Progear Mini

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

The first Sailor pen that I bought was a clear candy, back in 2014 (if I recall correctly). I got another Sailor, a Sapporo Progear Slim last year, and I’m really happy about how the pens write perfectly out of the box. The nib wasn’t soft, but it wrote really smoothly. So I thought I’d get a Morita as well, because I love the color and I enjoy the Sailor pens that I bought so far.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I was going to get a progear slim again, but I thought I’d try a progear mini this time, and I’m glad I did. This pen is super cute. It’s a little pocket pen that is just a teeny bit longer than a Kaweco Sport.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

When uncapped and posted, they are almost the same size as well, although the end of Sailor’s barrel has threads on it where you can securely screw the cap on. I’m glad they did it this way because it’s not comfortable to hold unposted, and having a place to thread the cap on means that I don’t need to worry about the cap scratching the barrel when I post it. It’s also pretty secure, your hand won’t push the cap off while you write.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

It is about 1.5 cm shorter than a progear slim, and the girth is the same. When capped, the girth is like that of a medium-sized pen, so it’s easy to hold while writing. The length of the section is a bit short (like the progear slim), but it’s the right proportion to the body. Since I hold my pens near the edge of the section anyway, the threads don’t really bother me a lot.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I really like the color of this pen. It looks like Tiffany blue for me, but after reading about the pen online, it’s called robin’s egg blue. It was made especially for Mr. Morita, of the Morita Pen Shop in Osaka, Japan. The color is said to be based on the ceiling of a cathedral where Mozart performed. I like the combination of robin’s egg blue and rhodium trims.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

Because of the length of the pen, the proprietary Sailor converter doesn’t fit. It uses cartridges instead. I don’t mind it at all, though this might be a deal breaker for people who don’t have the time to refill empty cartridges using a syringe. Here’s a video of the writing sample:

Like I mentioned earlier, the pen just wrote perfectly out of the box. My Sapporo has a medium nib, though being a Japanese medium, it wrote more like a European fine. I chose a B nib this time because I like thicker lines. The Sailor Morita’s B nib writes like a European medium, which is perfect for me. I love it, it glides on paper and has the slightest feedback. It’s really a pleasure to use.

Here are a few more closeups of the different parts of the pen:  Continue reading “Sailor Morita Progear Mini”

Review: J. Herbin Tempest

The nice people at Everything Calligraphy sent over this pen for me to try out and review. It’s called the J. Herbin Tempête or Tempest. Nice name, don’t you think? You can at least say that you’re writing up a storm with Tempest in your hand. It came in a nice velvety-black box, some literature on how to use it, and a little dropper.

J. Herbin Tempest

I would suggest skipping the dropper completely and just using a syringe because the dropper only holds a bit of ink at a time. It looks kinda pretty, though. My first impression of the whole thing was that I liked the shape of the pen. It reminded me of desk pens because of the pointy end. It’s certainly a looker.

J. Herbin Tempest

It’s not a small pen, by any means. It’s a comfortably-sized pen. Uncapped and unposted, it’s about 5.25 inches more or less. Capped, it’s about six inches. It’s not super long, I can post it comfortably enough.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think it’s a pretty handsome pen, and it’s eyecatching because of the shape and because of that clear barrel with the frosted-looking interiors. It was clearly made to be an eyedropper, but I was initially concerned about inking it up and staining it. I’m a little OC about my clear-barreled pens and one of my biggest regrets is turning my Frankling Christoph into an eyedropper (and filling it with Emerald of Chivor). After that fiasco, I decided to only turn opaque-barreled pens to eyedroppers and spare myself the heartache of seeing all that pristine acrylic horribly stained by ink. Other people certainly don’t mind it, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference.

J. Herbin Tempest

Well, I had to ink up the pen so that I could test it. So I half-filled it up with Diamine Wagner. The end of the section threads has this little o-ring in it that I suppose helps with making sure the ink doesn’t leak out. Just be careful when cleaning out the pen that the o-ring doesn’t slip out. Surprisingly, the interior of the pen had this texture that made it resistant to staining.

J. Herbin Tempest

The ink just slides off the surface, making it really easy to wash off. When I cleaned the pen afterwards, I couldn’t see traces of the ink that I used. I guess it may still stain with frequent use and depending on the ink brand and color, but it’s nice to see that it is stain resistant. In any case, I would think that if you buy a pen designed to be an eyedropper, you shouldn’t mind some stains on the barrel.

J. Herbin Tempest

Overall, I did like the look and feel of the pen. It’s a bit too light for my taste, but some people will actually like that. It’s also shiny in all the right places. 🙂 The section is comfortable, but there’s a small gap where the o-ring is. I guess that can’t be helped. I especially liked the design on the nib.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think that’s just pretty. Here are a few more close up shots of other parts of the pen.

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

The ink that I used is a dry ink, but it looked really nice when I tried to write with the pen. I had primed it properly prior to use so it didn’t have a hard time starting. The pen had a pretty nice flow going, despite the fact that I used a dry ink.

J. Herbin Tempest

Here is a video of my writing sample.


I must say that I enjoyed writing with it. Because it’s really light, I wrote several pages without tiring out my hand. It’s a comfortable pen. The nib was smooth enough but could use a bit more tuning. Not something terribly off-putting, though.

Check out Everything Calligraphy for the Tempest.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.