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Fails from my Favorites

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

I’m not sure where it originated, but the other day I watched a video from Angelica Nyqvist about fails from her favorite makeup brands. Seeing as I had so much fun with adapting the makeup tag to pens, I figured I could do the same thing with this. So, without further ado, here are some fails (for me) from some of my favorite pen brands.

Disclaimer: I’m calling this “fails,” but that refers to failing to satisfy my pen wants & needs. These aren’t bad pens, I just don’t like them. Also, the alliteration is fun.


I adore my Pilot pens. The Rock Garden is exquisite. My Custom 74 is so good I’m going to get another one. But — and I’ve touched on this before — I don’t like the Vanishing Point. I change my ink everytime I fill my pens. This means pens need to be fully clean when I empty them. And that stupid trap door at the nib holds a TON of ink. So I would end up with mixed ink for several uses after filling the pen. As one who has some compulsive issues, it was a BIG problem.


I’ve mentioned multiple times how much I love the TWSBI 580 series. The Eco series (Eco and Eco-T), however, have not gifted me with good experiences. Both of the Ecos I’ve owned have had nib issues. Granted, I know many people who have loved theirs, but 2 for 2 with problems does not inspire me to try another.


OK, I know I’ve said my Sailor bubble has burst, but I do still enjoy the Sailors I own. But the Red Supernova was a major fail. It even made it to my pen regrets list. I don’t know how Sailor’s marketing department approved the photos. All marketing images showed a bright, solo-cup red. THe actual pen was a sad, faded-barn red. Maybe someday I’ll let my annoyance go. Not today, but someday.


I like my Lamys, 200 and Safaris alike. However, the Al-Star did not impress me. Despite being the “step up” from the Safari, it felt cheaper. I felt like I could break it if I wasn’t super careful. I only ever bought one, and sold it pretty quickly. The Lx — in my opinion — isn’t worth the extra money, either.

Wrap Up

So, what do you think? Are any of these pens fails for you as well? Or do our thoughts completely contradict? Let me know in the comments, and keep an eye out for my opposite post, Delights from my Dislikes.

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