Category: Pen Reviews

Review: Nemosine Singularity

Review: Nemosine Singularity

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The Nemosine Singularity is the first Nemosine pen that I heard about online. It seems to be quite popular  because it’s very affordable and there are choices of demonstrators, solid colors, and the fancier acrylic models. Everything Calligraphy sent these over for review and I must say I can understand the appeal these pens have.

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The body is made of plastic, and it’s really light. It may make the pen feel cheap, since we often equate weight with build quality, which isn’t always the case with fountain pens. Like the Neutrino and Fission, Singularity has a very simple design. It’s quite likable, really. The trims are simple and minimalist, and there aren’t too many details in the design. If the Neutrino and Fission are all about smooth lines, Singularity has some edges to it.

It’s a pretty neat design. The way I see it, it’s much cheaper than a Lamy Safari, and with a more classic look and feel. Since it has no metal parts in the interior of the barrel, I believe one can also use it as an eyedropper.

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I like the selection of their solid colors, especially these two (ivory and walnut). These are probably my favorite solid colors of Singularity.

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It has a nice boxy look to it, I think. The clip is alright, it’s usable. I like the faceted look and the fact that it’s a little wide or chunky. As simple as the pen’s design is, the clip is that one thing that catches the eye and gives it a solid look.

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The section is smooth and comfortable. The size is proportional to the pen’s length, which makes it relatively short because it is a pretty small pen, but the section is okay. It’s sensible.

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The demo colors of this pen are awfully cute. I don’t usually like colored demonstrators but the purple and aqua demos are pretty  nice.

IMG_4052It also comes with extra ink cartridges in the box, as well as a plastic converter.

Like the Fission model, this pen uses a #6 nib. I like the etchings on the nibs of these pens. They’re pretty intricate without being too gaudy. Like the other pens that I tried, the nib on this one worked right out of the box (don’t you just love it when that happens?) and is a smooth and wet writer.

For a budget pen, I noticed that the nib is very reliable. I actually enjoyed writing with it.

Here’s a video of the writing sample for this pen:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2lBbTAMqWQ]

I find that the broad nib on this pen is just a bit wider than the medium nib on a Lamy. It’s sufficiently wet and smooth, even without tuning. I suppose it can write better with a bit of adjustments.

Overall, it’s a pretty nice budget pen. It comes in plenty of pretty colors, it has an appealing minimalist design, it’s comfortable to use and the nib is pretty good out of the box. Some people may find it too light, some will like the weight just fine. It’s really a matter of preference. A pretty nice pen, overall.

The Nemosine Singularity is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Fission

Review: Nemosine Fission

Here’s another Nemosine pen that Everything Calligraphy sent for review–a Nemosine Fission. First impression, this pen is big.

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It doesn’t look like it’s big in photos, and of course it depends on the size of your hand, but when I held it in mine, it’s pretty big for me. The pen has a metallic finish, and both ends are smooth. Like the other two Nemosine pens, this pen looks pretty simple. I like that it’s not over the top or too much of an attention drawer.

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The section of this pen is pretty nice. It’s long and comfortable to hold. It’s metallic which makes it a tad slippery, though. Just to give you an idea how long it is when posted, here’s a size comparison with a Lamy Studio:

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I think that people with larger hands will appreciate this a lot because the pen feels substantially weighty, especially when posted.

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IMG_4057The end of the barrel has a chrome band with threads. You can screw in the cap when you want to post it. Being a non-poster, I found the band a bit of an unwelcome interruption in the simple design of the barrel.

I guess if you post your pen, this is a welcome feature. It secures the cap at the end of the pen while you write. It does also mean that you’ll need to twist it off when you want to unpost the pen and cap it. I guess it’ll all boil down to personal preference. I could certainly do without it.

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It fills with a cartridge/converter and, like the other two Nemosine models, comes with a few extra cartridges of in ink in the box. The clip on this pen is different from the other two (which are plain) because it has an N on it. The clips are okay, they’re functional and sufficiently springy. Here are a few close ups of the pen’s details.

I kinda love the details on the nibs of Nemosine pens. 🙂 They’re pretty intricate. Like the Neutrino, this one writes very well out of the box. These steel-nibbed pens are stiff and smooth. I like the broad nib that I tried. They’re wet without being overly gushing. It’s just a tiny bit wider than Lamy’s Medium. Here is a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7dRvkP1aKU]

Overall, I like the simplicity of the design, and the way that it writes. It’s a tad too heavy for me, since I really like my pens lighter. Still, I think it’s a nice pen for its price point.

The Nemosine Fission is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Neutrino

Review: Nemosine Neutrino

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I’ve heard a lot about Nemosine pens but I must admit they weren’t in my radar at all. I wasn’t very curious about them. Once in a while they would pop up in the forums and in posts on FPN-P’s Facebook group, but overall I didn’t really take notice of them. Everything Calligraphy sent me a few units to test out for this review, and I finally got to see what these pens look like in person.

My attention was immediately drawn to the Neutrinos. These torpedo-shaped pens are cute and tight in the hand. The form factor kinda reminds me of Pilot Metropolitans. Too bad I don’t have a unit anymore to compare it with, but I think they’re pretty close in size with each other. The pen also has a metallic body, which gives it some weight.

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(Top) Black, (Bottom) Gunmetal

I bought the gunmetal colored pen because it’s the most striking, for me, among the other colors that I saw in person. I like that the color is a bit hard to describe. I wouldn’t really call it gunmetal grey because it’s more brownish in color than greyish.

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The red one looks pretty nice too. I like that the pen is pretty hefty even if it is small. This little torpedo sits very nicely in my hand. Here’s a size comparison with a capped Lamy Studio below.

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It is much shorter when uncapped. People with large hands might find it too small. I find it just the right size for me, though.

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The section is smooth and metallic. Since it’s a small pen, the section is also proportionate to the size, but I like that they maximized the use of space. I think they made the section as long as they could, to make it more pleasant to hold while writing. It uses cartridges/converter, and comes with extra cartridges of ink. I’m glad that despite the size and the tapering ends, it still uses a standard converter. This pen has a simple profile, which is what I really love about it.

Here are a few details and close up shots of the writing sample:

Perhaps if I can change one thing about the design of this pen, I would make the chrome ring around the threads of the section much, much thinner. The design is already beautiful in its simplicity, the wide band kind of ruined it a little for me. Not exactly a deal breaker, though. The pen’s weight makes it comfortable in the hand without being too heavy that it’s tiring to use for long writing. The pen doesn’t post, though. If you’re particular about that, it’s something you might want to note. It doesn’t bother me, though, because I never post my pens.

The nib that I picked is a 1.1mm stub. I didn’t need to tune it, it wrote well right out of the box. I would put the flow at a moderate to wet. The nib of the Neutrino is much smaller than the Singularity and Fission. It’s really super cute. Here’s a video of a writing sample (sorry about the barking in the background, my dog’s an emotional wreck):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dG6yNFzW-s]

Here is a comparison of the different nib widths, and a writing sample of a Lamy medium nib for reference.

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Overall, I really like this pen. I think it’s really cute. I like the color, the comfortable section, the weight, and the nib writes okay (you can make it even better with a little tuning). The price is also very decent. I think that it’s great value for money.

Nemosine Neutrinos can be purchased online at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post. I DON’T do paid reviews. I am, however, a very happy customer. ^_^

Review: Parker Vacumatic Debutante

Review: Parker Vacumatic Debutante

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Before the crazy Monday shift starts, I decided to write a short review of this pen I acquired last week. It’s a Parker Vacumatic Debutante in azure blue and it’s been on my wishlist for as long as I’ve been collecting pens. I had a bit of hard time determining what kind of vacumatic this is because some parts of the pen don’t match the documentation available for it.

IMG_3830Based on the date code, this was made in the third quarter of 1941. This corresponds with the speedline plunger, double-jewel, and the blue diamond on the clip. However, the cap band was throwing me off. It was a little wider than the usual cap band for debutantes of its era, and it was also smooth, without the usual chevron design of Parker Debutantes. Luckily, there are people in the international FPN group that know way more about vintage Parker pens than I do. There are so many different variations of these pens, it can be so confusing sometimes. Apparently I got a debutante (not a sub-debutante, like I initially thought) that is off-catalog, which is uncommon. Azure blue is the more uncommon color of this small batch of debutantes for that year.

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L-R Parker Vacumatic Major, Junior, Debutante

Here’s a comparison of the clips. Isn’t the clip cute? It’s short and so adorable. I like these old Parker clips and how the arrow shows art deco inspiration. In person, they’re very detailed and elegant. Modern clips just don’t compare with these.

Below is a size comparison with my other Parker pens (debutante is at the rightmost). Considering that none of these are oversized pens, it is really pretty small. It’s even smaller than the Parker 51 special’s pencil, and that’s already small in my hand. I cannot get over the squee-ness of this pen.

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Here are a few close ups of the pen’s details. Look at that gorgeous blue diamond clip. As I mentioned in other Parker-related entries, this is the lifetime guarantee that Parker used to mark its products with until the regulations changed about these guarantees. The speedline filler was eventually replaced with plastic plungers because metals were used for the war effort.

My absolute favorite kind of Parker are the 51’s, but I love the celluloid rings of these vacs too. They are fascinating to look at. This is what I love about these kinds of pen. It’s virtually impossible to find two identical pens because each pen will have unique celluloid rings. I love the nib of Parker pens of this era. They are so sleek and the design really makes you feel like you’re writing with an arrow head. This pen writes so smooth. Like butter! Here’s a video of the writing sample.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs9JGhbyKjI]
The 14k gold nib is an absolute joy to write with. It’s like when I start writing, I don’t want to stop. It just glides on paper, and the ink it lays down is moderately wet. The nib is springy and wonderful.

Overall, I am so happy to add this to my collection. 🙂 Inner peace. For now.

Review: Jinhao 888 Dragon

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Today’s pen for review is the Jinhao 888 Dragon, which I got the chance to try out a few weeks ago thanks to Everything Calligraphy. These are less detailed than the Jinhao 999 Dragon pen, but it’s still pretty detailed. It is a lot less chunky than the larger 999 pen.

It’s still pretty much an eye-catching, attention grabbing pen because it looks decidedly oriental and like something a kung fu master would sign a check with. The dragon clip is pretty hard to miss.

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I like the color options for this pen, but these two are my favorites–black and pewter. The cap is pretty heavy. Again, I would advise against using it posted because it makes the pen top-heavy. The pen’s barrel is pretty thick, and it has some heft to it. Not an uncomfortable weight, in my opinion. Here’s a closer look at the cap.

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I think the finial’s cute. It reminds me of little gongs. The clip is stiff, I would advise against using it often because the cap might crack. I think it’s more decorative than functional.

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The section is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. It’s pretty comfortable to hold. Here are a few close up shots of the dragon details.

The nib is the standard Jinhao steel nib. It’s good enough for daily use, but of course, expect it to be hard as a nail and might need some tuning to write smoother/wetter. The one I tried wrote sufficiently wet, though with a little hint of tooth. Here’s a writing sample:

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This is how a typical medium Jinhao nib writes. It’s a bit on the wide side and quite a wet writer. It’s a pretty nice, fantasy-inspired pen that won’t break the bank.

Jinhao 888 Dragon is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 155

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Here’s another Jinhao pen review thanks to the people at Everything Calligraphy who let me try them out. It’s the Jinhao 155. These are very simple-looking pens, and it appeals to people who can’t really bring cobra pens to work. These are nice, budget-friendly, conservative-looking pens.

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I like the design of the clip. It’s boxy and straight, very industrial-looking. the section is smooth with a matte finish and made of hard plastic. It’s a nice contrast to the textured body of the chrome-finished pen. The metal parts of the pen give this some heft,  but it’s not an uncomfortable pen to use for long writing. It feels solid, but not overly heavy.

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I like the black one best, but the chrome and gold colored pens are also quite pretty in person. They remind me of vintage pens that have this barley corn finish on them. They’re different if you look closer, though. If I would change anything on it, I’d rather the barley corn-like finish be all over the barrel instead of alternating with a smooth finish. Here’s a couple of close up photos of the barrel.

The nib writes okay, virtually the same as the other steel Jinhao nibs. Here’s a writing sample below.

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It’s a pretty simple, understated pen that is great for everyday writing. The Jinhao 155 is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 500

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This is still part of the pens that Everything Calligraphy was so gracious to let me try a few weeks ago. It’s the Jinhao 500. It looks similar to a certain German brand of pen, doesn’t it? Anyway, this pen comes in a lot of designs.

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The size is slightly larger than a Pelikan M200, but the difference in weight is significant. For it’s size, it’s a weighty pen. The body is made of steel and resin. I like the material of the section, it’s like textured rubber. I wish they would use this section more in their future designs. It makes writing more comfortable and helps you grip the pen more securely while you write.

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The clip is a little stiff, but I like that the design is simple. My two favorite designs are above, the black and checkered pens.

It writes okay, like a standard Jinhao pen would write. The pen I tried wrote a bit broad and wet. The nib could use a bit of tuning to make it smoother.

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As far as budget pens go, this is also pretty nice. The design isn’t too juvenile-looking, so you can pick this if you want to use something that looks a bit conservative for work.

The Jinhao 500 and other Jinhao pens are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Baoer 8 Horses

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Of all the pens from Everything Calligraphy that I tried out last week, this model is my favorite. I bought one for my personal use because I liked it so much. This is the Baoer 8 Horses pen. I like how simple the design is, from the clip to the barrel. The cap pulls off the barrel with a soft “snap”. The pen is light and comfortable to hold, whether posted or unposted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like both colors a lot, it’s hard to pick which one I like better. I like the design of their barrel, I like that their trims are really simple and streamlined. Even the cap design is simple, though the clip is a bit stiff (I think it’s more decorative than functional). The body looks like it will make the pen heavy, but surprisingly enough, it doesn’t. It takes a firm tug to pull out the cap of the pewter-colored pen, but I won’t say that it’s hard to pull open. Overall, I think it looks pretty nice.

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I would prefer the section to be made of smooth plastic rather than have little lines running through it, though. Other than that, I wouldn’t really change anything else with the pen’s design.

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The pair looks pretty neat together. 🙂 Here are a few close up shots of the barrel:

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What I loved most about the pen was when I tried them out and wrote with them. The nib is actually not hard as a nail. It has some spring to it, and the flow is so nice. The gold one wrote perfectly out of the packaging. The pewter one wrote well but the flow could be increased a bit more so it writes better (or it could be the ink that I used with it, which was pretty dry to begin with, and largely unused since last year). Here is a writing sample:

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The flow is pretty generous, I am so happy with it. There really is a difference when the nib has a bit of springiness to it. Personally, it makes writing more pleasurable and comfortable. Here is a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xScS_C0IWLc]

Overall, I’d say this is such a good buy. At less than P500, the pen I picked didn’t need any tuning or smoothing, I just inked it and it wrote and I’ve been writing with it ever since I got it. I love the design and the weight is so comfortable in the hand. People like me who have an inner ear issue tend to be sensitive with holding heavy things for longer than a few seconds. It prevents me from using heavy pens for a long writing period, otherwise it would trigger a bad bout of vertigo. So yeah, I love pens that are light, but not so light that I can’t feel them well in my hand while I write. I’d say this pen is really, really comfortable to use for long writing periods. It also lays down ink consistently. I can write several pages and the feed just keeps up and makes the thickness of the ink quite uniform across pages.

Of course, the nib quality may be varied and, as always, I would advise people to learn how to fiddle with your own pen’s nib so that you can increase the flow or smooth it out and make it write how you want it to write.

It’s a great buy, I highly recommend it for people who are looking for a nice-looking budget pen that writes well.

Baoer 8 Horses is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 189

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Another Jinhao pen that I got to try out last week is the Jinhao 189. I must say that these recent Jinhao pens that I tried look pretty. I like the bodies that look like brass or pewter, and all the details that are in it. This reminds me of the Great Wall of China because of the trims on the barrel.

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The pen is medium-sized and with a domed finial. The end of the barrel is smooth and squarish. It’s moderately heavy, not uncomfortable to hold at all. Though again, I would not use this posted. Come to think of it, all the Jinhao pens I tried last week were better used unposted. Not a problem for me, though, because I usually write with the cap unposted. I write with my right hand and hold the cap in my left.

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The section is a little shorter than the last Jinhao pens that I reviewed, and it’s made of textured, hard plastic. Not the most comfortable choice for a section, but it’s not bad. It does give you a better grip on the pen while you write.

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Again, pretty nice color options. I like that the gold one is a more subdued tone of gold. It’s not shiny, shimmery, splendid gold. I paired this with Noodler’s burma road brown and the color matches very well. I think both colors are pretty. Here are a few close ups of the detail of the pens.

I don’t know how to read Chinese, I don’t know what the writing in the barrel says, unfortunately. It might be the numbers 189? I dunno. As far as the design goes, it’s right smack in the middle of being understated and eye-catching. Not as detailed as the last few pens that I posted, but it has its own appeal.

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Here’s a writing sample. The ink really matches the gold barrel, I think. The nib was pretty wet, though it could use a bit of tuning to make it write smoother and more consistently on all strokes. Not bad for its price, though. Not bad at all. 🙂

Jinhao pens are available for sale at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 8802

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Here’s another Jinhao pen that our friends from Everything Calligraphy sent for me to try out last week. Wood pens are my kryptonite (along with nice paper, green ink, cats, and cheese). So I really enjoyed trying this pen out. It’s slimmer than the last couple of Jinhao pens that I reviewed these past days. I like the design because it’s low-key and pretty to look at.

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I like wood pens because they just feel so organic. This even has a slightly rough texture to the barrel. I like the slim profile, the simple trims, and the long, comfortable section. Here are a few close ups of the details of this pen.

The 8802 has several designs. The wood pens have two colors, one is lighter than the other. I’m kinda leaning more towards the lighter one. The other has a reddish color to it, it looks more polished too.

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There’s also a carbon fiber and stained glass design. The stained glass has abalone shells, which is why some members of the FPN-P group call it the talaba pen, but it’s a lot smaller than the real talaba pen (Jinhao 650).

 

The details are pretty nice. I like it when Jinhao comes up with pens that have simple trims and a more streamlined look. That’s just my design preference. I like pens that look as simple as possible. Here’s a comparison of the 8802’s stained glass pen with the much larger Jinhao 650.

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The size difference is pretty significant. The 8802 sits nicely in the hand, and the weight is pretty comfortable. I still prefer it uncapped because the cap just throws the balance off, making it top heavy.

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The pen that I got had a pretty decent, wet flow, although the nib could use some smoothing out. As I mentioned before, the thing about Jinhao nibs is that you should be prepared to do a bit of tuning on them sometimes. The quality is a bit varied. I haven’t updated this resource for a while, but here’s a guide on how to improve ink flow on fountain pens. There are also tons of guides on the internet about the topic. With the price of Jinhao pens, though, you get a good bargain if you’re not afraid to tinker with it a bit.

Overall, a pretty nice pen. I like the wood ones a lot, looks and feels very natural. 🙂

Jinhao pens are available at Everything Calligraphy.