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)