Skip to content

Tag: Fountain Pen Reviews

Cypress Dandelion Construction

Posted in Fountain Pens

No, this isn’t a duplicate post. I find the construction of the Dandelion pen so unique and interesting that I want to give it its own post.

Previous pens I’ve purchased from Cypress (formerly Mr. Cypress) have had a standard cartridge-converter construction (cap, section, and barrel). This Dandelion pen, however, is very different.

Cypress Eggshell Series Dandelion

Pen Porn: Sailor Profit Maki-e Maiko

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with the best pen porn. 😉

On September 1st, Goulet Pen Co. sent out an email announcing their Sailor “Don’t Miss the Boat” sale. I’m assuming it has something to do with Sailor’s upcoming price increase, but I digress. I wasn’t looking for any Sailor pens, but I decided to take a look and see what was on offer.

To my surprise, I found a pen I wanted. I’ve really been enjoying urushi art pens, and the Maiko caught my eye, especially considering it was approximately half price. The sale price put it at just a bit higher than a standard Pro Gear pen, so I bought another pen that I shouldn’t have. I’m not doing well at all in my quest to buy less pens this year.

Sailor 1911S Maki-e Maiko

Big Dropper Skull Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

When Ben introduced his polycarbonate, laser-engraved pens, I knew I had to have one. While I adore the appearance of my metal Gravitas pen, there is just enough of the metal-on-metal scraping sound that, over time, I’ve decided to let it go. Now that I have the polycarbonate pen, I don’t feel as bad about that decision.

For the time being, the polycarbonate pens are only available in the “Member’s Area” — available to those who have already purchased from Gravitas Pens. Hopefully they will be available to everyone at some point in the future.

A Stanford Wood Studio Commission

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

When I failed to check Stanford Wood Studio (SWS) off my 2021 wish list, I vowed to ensure I ordered from them in 2022. To that end, as I mentioned in my 2022 wish list post, I reserved a commission right at the beginning of January. But, before I dive into that, allow me to say that SWS was fabulous to work with. I believe I mostly, if not only, communicated with Di — she’s lovely. I appreciated the updates on my commission and her suggestions for making it better. And, once my pens arrived, I could — and can — see what fantastic work they — Di and Dave — do.

Pen Mini Reviews – BWIPS ’22 Haul

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Well, I meant for this to go up on Tuesday, but I just didn’t get to it. You all seemed to enjoy my pen mini reviews of my DC Pen Show Haul, so I’m doing them again with my BWIPS 2022 haul. I hope you enjoy this one, too. FYI, I’m listing the pens in purchase order.

As usual, click on any image to view it larger.

all pens from my haul
A full rotation of pens in one haul.

Customized Custom 74 Review

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

As I mentioned in my Elabo review, I got two pens from Penwing Stationery. This time, I’m reviewing the second, the Custom 74.

Again, I’m not reviewing the pen itself. I already know I love that. I’m focusing on the aftermarket customization work done on the pen. As with my Elabo review, I’m judging the work based on the price difference. In this case, a Custom 74 sells for $200 MSRP ($160 retail). The Penwing Stationery customized version has a $205.99 list price, but seems to be on perpetual sale for $165. So, I’m judging the work on a $5 difference.

Customized Elabo Review

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Of course, just after telling you I was going to scale back on the blog posts, two pens arrived, so you’ll get 2 posts a week for a little longer so I can do my reviews. Plus I have two more pens on order, and there’s BWIPS in two weeks, so… yeah. Lots to write.

Anyway, a while back I came across a very interesting pen on Instagram from Penwing Stationery. At first, I thought it was a Japan or China exclusive. However, it turned out to be a customized Pilot Custom 74. I showed Jim, and we ended up ordering three different pens, including that first one I saw.

It took about a month to actually ship our order, but they they arrived in only 4 days. We eagerly unboxed our pens. Jim’s Pilot Custom 91 is good. Of my two (the Custom 74 and a Pilot Elabo — basically a Falcon) one was lovely, and one was a disappointment. I’ll be reviewing the latter today. Save the best for last, and all that.

Benu Talisman Wild Rose Review

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

When the Wild Rose was first announced, I didn’t plan to get it. I’m not big on pink, and, as I’m trying to limit my pen acquisitions this year, it seemed silly to get it “just because.”

However, when I found out the material includes rose petals and heart-shaped glitter, I decided to get it. I pre-ordered from Pen Chalet and requested either #19 or #69 if they got either one. I was lucky enough to get pen #69.

So, I have a holy grail of pens, a Valentine’s Day pen numbered 69. On top of that, it was, by sheer coincidence, my 214th pen. So I can’t get rid of it. Ever. Well, unless someone offers me an obscene amount of money for it. But, enough backstory, you’re here for a review.

Mr. Cypress – Pushing Boundaries

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Welcome to 2022! Once again, my first post of the year is about pens. And there are several more this month.

Early in 2021, I commissioned a Día de Muertos pen from Mr. Cypress. I wrote a 3-part series about that experience (part 1 | part 2 | part 3). At the end of the year, I purchased a second pen from Mr. Cypress, which also has a skull-based design. This puts me in the unique position to compare the two.

Loft Pens: Building a Rainbow

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

I first saw Loft Pens in May of this year. They posted a neat stacked ombre pen. I instantly knew I wanted one, but I needed to figure out the color scheme.

It didn’t take me too long to decide I wanted a rainbow. But, since I was trying to pay off some pens, I didn’t reach out to them right away. However, didn’t waste any time. They posted the rainbow pen they’d commissioned, and it was very pretty. Unfortunately, my contrary nature meant I no longer wanted one like that because it had already been done. I luv ya, PW, really, I do, and your collection! But I digress. I petulantly removed the rainbow pen from my wishlist and didn’t give it much thought.

ARTUS Four Elements Air

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

My last ARTUS post. If you didn’t see my previous posts about the Water, Fire , and Earth, you may want to go back and take a look at them. This is the Air, the true “sister” pen to the Water, done by the same artist. Since I covered how I came to own the Earth and Air yesterday, I’m not going over it again. You can read the story in the Earth post. Note: You can view any of the images below a little larger — much larger if you’re on mobile — by clicking on them.

Photo showing the full pen.

Enjoy all of the delicious pen porn contained within this post. I take no responsibility for purchases resulting from them.

ARTUS Four Elements Earth

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story about doing “something big” with relation to pens. Well, that something big was completing my ARTUS Four Elements set. I already shared the new pens there, and even took a week where my “rotation” was just the set. Like the Water and Fire, the two new ones, Earth and Air, are beautiful. Air will get its own post tomorrow. Today, I’m focusing on Earth. The leaves and swirls are beyond stunning. And the flowers are masterpieces in their own rights. Note: You can view the images a little larger — much larger if you’re on mobile — by clicking on them.

Photo showing the full pen.

Enjoy all of the delicious pen porn contained within this post. I take no responsibility for purchases resulting from them.

Den’s Pens: A Set of Crystals

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

As you know from my 2020 wish list post, I fell in love with Den’s PensBaetylus model the first time I saw it. I thought it would look amazing in the right colors to make it an “amethyst” crystal. I wasn’t wrong.

Dennis was kind enough to reach out to me after the wish list post to let me know that he can make custom blanks. So, I got to bypass the material search and jumped on his waitlist. He’s got a great order form that takes you through all the options, step-by-step.

Before I get very far into this post, I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate Dennis’s communicativeness. He kept me updated on the entire process and sent me photos along the way. I don’t mind if the process gets delayed or takes longer than expected, as long as I’m kept informed. So, major kudos there.

ARTUS Four Elements Fire

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Ah, another ARTUS pen. As I said in my 200th Pen post, I wanted my next pen purchase to be something special, and this certainly qualifies. Like its “brother pen,” it’s a magnificent work of art. The layers of paint give the flames a three-dimensional quality that tricks my eyes. Every time I look at it I find something new to look at. Note: You can view the images a little larger — much larger if you’re on mobile — by clicking on them.

ARTUS Four Elements Fire

Enjoy all of the delicious pen porn contained within this post. I take no responsibility for purchases resulting from them.

Dark Radiance

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Before I get started, let me say I take no responsibility from pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from this post. Pen porn abounds. You have been warned. Now, enjoy!

I fell in love with my Tamenuri Studio pen when Michal posted his close up images (see image 2).

I sent him a message ASAP, and, luckily it was still available. Michal was kind enough to send me some photos of the whole pen. It lost nothing in the further distanced photos. He posted them a little later, so you can see them, too.

Pen Mini Reviews

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

While I certainly think it’s worth reviewing some of these pens I picked up at the 2021 DC Pen Show, this post is really just an excuse for pen porn and penabling. You’re welcome. 🙂 I’m doing these in the order I bought them at the show.

As usual, click on any image to view it larger.

Five of my six 2021 DC Pen Show acquisitions

Only interested in certain pens? No worries, jump to specific reviews.

Ranking Large Pen Brands

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

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’ve seen this ranking system on YouTube a lot lately, and it seemed like a fun idea. I don’t know how well it will work in a blog post, but I’m giving it a try. Since I always want to jump to the end to see what the rankings are, I’ve started with that. You can continue reading after the ranking list if you want to find out why I placed a brand in any given ranking.

OK, so what am I ranking? Large/Mainstream pen brands. I’m not including Indie Brands because a) I don’t think that’s fair to them, given I have no idea how experienced any person is with pen making at this time and b) I think all Indie Brands that don’t have shady business practices should be shown more love, not shade. You can see the Indie Brand qualifications in my Indie Pen Makers Update post. For me, large/mainstream brands are those readily available in pen stores.

Let me know if I’ve missed any brands, I can write an update to include them. That said, I’m also not including defunct brands — sorry OMAS lovers. I’m also only considering modern experiences with vintage brands (e.g. Esterbrook, Sheaffer, etc.) not their vintage pens.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with my rankings. And if this looks fun, you can use my template to make your own ranking list.

A Surprising Joy

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

It’s not often I write a pen review — let’s be honest, it’s almost never — mostly because there are so many reviewers out there. However, in this particular case, I feel impelled to share my thoughts.

About a month ago, I realized that I no longer had an orange pen in my “Under $250” category. I can’t have a pen rainbow without orange. To try to fix that issue, I solicited some suggestions from my lovely local peeps in the DC Metro Pen Crew.

I received a lot of suggestions, and the Pilot Custom 74 is the one I ultimately decided on. By sheer coincidence, I had a birthday coupon for Pen Chalet, so that’s who I ordered from.