Fountain Pen

Inventery Pen Pocket Fountain Pen Review.

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Inventery Pen Company contacted me asking if I would like to review their pocket fountain pens here on the blog. All thoughts shared in todays post are my own.

Inventery Pen Company sent me a set of three fountain pens, all of the same design but in a range of different materials and finishes. One brass, one chrome and one a black onyx (which is a black oxide that is essentially some sort of finish applied to different metals giving it the final black colour finish). The Inventery pocket fountain pens are really interesting as they consist of a series of elements that allow you to tinker and play with your fountain pen.

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Impressive presentation.

The first thing that struck me when I received my Inventery pens was the packaging. The box is small for a fountain pen with a very simple design. Inside the elements of the fountain pen are well presented showing you all the different parts. Nothing is hidden, it’s all simply displayed showing you exactly what you’re working with.

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Tweaking and modifying the pocket fountain pen.

The big ‘thing’ with the Inventery pocket fountain pens is the ways it can be modified to the users preferences. You get all the parts when your order your pen, and you can modify it as much or as little as you want. Everything is based on a simple screw system, it’s just about finding what works for you.

All of the Inventery pocket fountain pen parts. 

All of the Inventery pocket fountain pen parts. 

On the cap there are a number of different options: clip, clip-less, stylus and keychain. In its pocket configuration you can use a standard size cartridge. There is then an extender which can be added to lengthen the pen to a longer format which allows you to use the longer Schmidt cartridge convertor.

Inventery describe their pocket fountain pen as a kit and that seems like a good description. For tinkerers I think this is a fab fountain pen.

Nib.

There are a number of different nib options on the Inventery pocket fountain pen. The pens use the Schmidt FH241 nib. There are gold and chrome options in a range of different sizes. I have a medium nib in all three fountain pens but both the chrome and gold nibs.

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The nibs have performed well and actually the lines are thinner than I was expecting from a Western nib. They are firm with very little flex, so great for writing with.

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Using the Inventery pocket fountain pens.

To really get a feel for the different configurations I have set the pens up differently. One with the extender, one pocket and then the different caps.

Using the extender made the pen feel really long, especially in proportion with the width. Everything just seemed a little out of balance. Posting the cap when writing made it feel a lot worse. I wasn’t really a fan of this set-up.

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The pocket configuration however was really nice. The barrel is just about long enough to write with unposted, but posting the cap felt much nicer. It didn’t mess with the weight or balance too much at all. The different cap options are good but personally I liked having the clip, simply because it meant my pen didn’t roll away. I liked the look of the clip-less cap but keeping the pen in one place proved tricky.

Brass - pocket posted, chrome - with extender and posted, onxy - unposted in its pocket format. 

Brass - pocket posted, chrome - with extender and posted, onxy - unposted in its pocket format. 

The one major consideration with this pen is the thin barrel. It almost feels like a pencil. This makes it a great pocket pen keeping everything small and light, but if you compare it to the Kaweco AL Sport, probably the most popular pocket fountain pen, there is a very big difference. The thinness could be an issue for some users.

Overall thoughts.

I have really enjoyed using these fountain pens for the past few weeks. The pocket version has definitely been my favourite set-up and much more comfortable to use. The Inventery pocket fountain pen is a really simple design but its made really well and by having the adaptable elements keeps it fun and exciting to use.

Thank you again to Inventery Pen Company for sending me their pocket fountain pens to test and review on the blog.

Karas Pen Co: Reaktor Starliner Review

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Karas Pen Co. sent me a selection of their Starliner fountain pens to review here on the blog. All thoughts expressed about these pens are entirely my own.

Last week I reviewed the Galaxie pen that makes up part of the Karas Pen Co upcoming launch of their Reaktor line of pens. This week I am looking at their partner, the Starliner fountain pen.

The Starliner comes with a lot of the same backstory as the Galaxie pens. There are two different sizes, the pocket and the XL. The colour options and materials are the same on both pens, however the Starliner has a few subtle differences that make these stand apart from the Galaxie.

The Starliner Design.

The Starliner follows the same simple aesthetic as the Galaxie pen in that familiar Karas Pen Co. style. There is less flourish on the cap of the Starliner, when you compare it against the Galaxie. The top of the pen cap has a small raised peak, but no cog. There are three machined rings at the very top of the pen cap, two at the bottom and one on the bottom barrel of the pen itself. These represent a countdown, such as you would see in a space launch. This is again different to the Galaxie pen and sets the two apart.

3-2-1 countdown on the Starliner pen.

3-2-1 countdown on the Starliner pen.

The pocket Starliner takes standard cartridges and ships with a Monteverde black cartridge. The XL version comes with a K5 Schmidt converter, which immediately makes this a more attractive pen for my personal use. They come with the 076 Bock nibs similar to other Karas Pen Co fountain pens. I have found these pens really nice to write with, all through the different nib sizes.

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The Starliner fountain pen follows the same pricing as the Galaxie hitting that entry level. The pocket will come in at $50 and $55 for the XL.

Using the Starliner.

Similar to the Galaxie I preferred using the XL version of the Starliner fountain pen. I like the fact that I can use any of the inks I had on hand. The additional length you get with the XL is far more comfortable to use and with the ink options makes this a lot more adaptable.

However personally I prefer the aesthetic of the pocket pen mainly due to the lack of the clip. The good news is the pocket Starliner is a tad longer than the pocket Galaxie, as you can see in the photo below. The additional length makes the pocket Starliner comfortable to use unposted, an issue I had with the Galaxie. As with the Galaxie range, the full black version of the Starliner is probably my favourite, it just looks so sharp and clean.

Galaxie on the left and the Starliner on the right

Galaxie on the left and the Starliner on the right

Overall thoughts.

I can’t quite help but compare the Reaktor pens to the other Karas pens I have used in the past, the Ink, the Decograph, the Render K and the Retrakt, and there is a distinct difference. Therefore if you’re familiar with or own any of those pens, the Reaktor range is different. But different doesn’t mean they’re worse. These pens are great, reasonably priced and do give you two good options of pen styles based on your preferred style.

All of the colour combinations. 

All of the colour combinations. 

I like what Karas Pen Co. have done with their new Reaktor range of pens. They are really nice to use and don’t compromise on that Karas feel. Creating a range of entry level pens is a good move.

Thank you again to the guys at Karas Pen Co. for sending me these pens to play with and review here on The Finer Point.

Lamy Aion Review

The Lamy Aion was sent to me to review here on the blog by Pen Heaven. All the thoughts on this fountain pen are entirely my own.

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The Lamy Aion was a welcome addition to the Lamy line of fountain pens and the mid-range fountain pen market as a whole. It’s priced at approx £50 and you get a lot of good pen for the money.

Pen specifics.

The Aion comes in two colour options black and silverolive similar to the colour options from the Lamy 2000 and Lamy Studio range. The design of the Aion positions this fountain pen with Lamys premium products and separates it from the playful entry level pens in Lamys line.

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I have the silver Aion which almost has a brushed aluminium finish. It gives the pen some grip and texture but also looks really nice. The grip section of the pen is smooth, there isn’t any knurling or the moulded grip you get on the entry level pens. In use its been fine but this smooth grip section isn’t something that’ll work for everyone.

The Aion grip section and nib close up

The Aion grip section and nib close up

The Aion also has its own nib, the Z53 again setting it apart from entry level pens. It’s a firm steel nib that takes my heavy hand well and writes really smoothly. Although it’s new I can’t say I noticed a huge difference from other Lamy nibs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I really enjoy my other Lamy pens.

Size comparison versus the LX and AL Star

Size comparison versus the LX and AL Star

Impressions.

The first thing I was struck by was the size of the Aion. It’s a hefty pen and feels pretty heavy. Most of this weight seems to come from the cap and once you remove that and begin writing the weight and length of the pen give you a nice balance especially if you are using the Aion for long periods of time.

Posted the Aion doesn’t look much bigger than Lamys other pens, however take the cap off and you really see how long that barrel is.

Posted the Aion doesn't look much bigger than other Lamy fountain pens

Posted the Aion doesn't look much bigger than other Lamy fountain pens

I have a medium nib which seems to be standard, at least here in the UK. If you want an extra-fine, fine or broad nib these are special order. I have come to really like a medium nib from Lamy because it means I get too appreciate the ink I am using a lot more. The ink flow has been excellent, I haven’t experienced any issues with skipping. Considering this is a different nib to the Lamy Safari/AL Star/LX ranges I didn’t notice too much difference. The progression from these entry fountain pens to the Aion felt seamless.

Overall thoughts.

The Aion is a really good fountain pen at a great price point. I had high hopes for this pen and there were a few elements, such as the size which threw me off initially. However after using it for a while and getting used to it, how it felt and how it wrote I am really impressed. More than anything a pen from Lamy at this price point is a very welcome and much needed addition into their range bridging the gap from the Lamy AL Star/Safari to the Lamy 2000.

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I would like to thank Pen Heaven for sending me the Lamy Aion to review.

Why I love Lamys entry level fountain pens.

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I have come to notice in recent months how much I use Lamy fountain pens and how much I am drawn to use them. The Safari, AL Star and LX are pens I reach for every day because of how well they write and how versatile they are meaning there is something for everyone. You can choose from a range of colours, you can add/change/swap out nibs to your hearts content and you can use cartridge, or convertors and really open up the world of ink. I’m an advocate for the Lamy entry level fountain pens and wanted to share with you how I use mine.

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I use my Lamy AL Star in Copper Orange as my sketching fountain pen which I have inked up with Noodlers Black ink. I love using this bright and vibrant pen for sketching. The size and weight is comfortable especially when sketching for long periods of time. The nib is sturdy and gives good line variation with different pressures.

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My Lamy LX in Rose Gold has become a daily use fountain pen. I have this inked up with the lovely Sailor Blue Black. I love this pairing, its simple and feels classy. The LX has an aluminium body like the AL Star and comes with a black steel nib.

I have several Safari fountain pens and usually have one inked up. The Safari is the plastic barrel fountain pen that comes in a whole host of colours that have a matte look finish. I tend to swap out my Safaris a lot more but I always have one in use.

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There are so many plus points for the entry series of Lamy fountain pens. Over the years I have acquired a small collection without realising it. I don’t have a preference between any of these ranges, I am driven by colour and finding something that works for me. Because of their materials and durability I always recommend and gift these pens to people.