Updated 12/15/15, 12/17/15, 12/19/15, 12/23/15, 12/27/15
This site is devoted to my renewed interest in collecting and reviewing fountain pens and related subjects. This is not a commercial site. I don’t sell anything, and I’m not associated with any of the companies or people in the fountain pen and related industries.
The information displayed in the posts are primarily for my own records. However, you may find some of it useful. It includes the exact wording of the ads that I responded to, the prices that I paid at the time of purchase, the order number, the vendor, and dates received. I’ve also tried to include a photo from the actual ad. These details are critical for accounting purposes, for providing feedback to dealers, for managing returns, refunds, or exchanges, and for conducting reviews.
The focus, at least for the time being, will be on good quality, inexpensive fountain pens made in China. My primary source has been AliExpress. However, there are many other sources, including Amazon and eBay. On 12 Dec. 2015, the day before I began this blog, I had ordered 28 pens from China. However, with the free but slow mail service, I’ve had to wait weeks before receiving them. As of Dec. 27, I’ve received only a handful.
I’ve already begun adding more pens to this collection and will continue to do so from time to time.
For a working list of posts on different pens, click the “Index” tab just below the header
Identifying the various makes and models is often difficult because there’s little consistency among vendors in describing their pens. Thus, the brief descriptions that I’m using to identify each pen may also be inconsistent or inaccurate.
The prices I’ve added are in U.S. dollars. These are the prices I paid at the time of purchase. Prices may vary depending on vendor and date of purchase. I found that prices also vary widely from vendor to vendor, so if you’re planning to purchase pens, it may pay to search for the best prices. The “FS” following the prices indicates “free shipping,” which is very slow from China, usually 3-4 weeks. However, my first pen arrived in 10 days and others are trickling in. As of 27 Dec. 2015, approximately two weeks after my large order, I’ve received approximately 7 pens. Thus, delivery time also varies among vendors.
If you find any errors or can add useful information, observations, or opinions on any of the posts, please add a comment.
I’ve decided, at least for now, to go with a 5-star rating system in my review of pens:
5 stars is reserved for the perfect pen. This means that I’m 100% happy with the pen. Since I don’t expect to find a perfect pen until I’ve tried the best in the world, I probably won’t be awarding 5 stars anytime soon.
4.5 stars is reserved for excellent pens, and it’s probably the highest rating I’ll be awarding and will go to only a handful of pens. This means that I’m between 95-99% happy with the pen.
4 stars is reserved for very good pens, and it’s probably the highest rating I’ll be awarding on a regular basis. This means that I’m between 90-94% happy with the pen.
3.5 stars is reserved for good pens, and it’ll probably be, along with 3 stars, the most common rating I’ll be giving. This means that I’m 80-89% happy with the pen.
3 stars is reserved for average pens, and along with 3.5 stars, it’ll probably be the most common rating. This means that I’m 70-79% happy with the pen.
2.5 stars is reserved for below average pens. This means that I’m 60-69% happy with the pen.
2 stars is reserved for poor pens. This means that I’m 50-59% happy with the pen.
1.5 stars is reserved for very poor pens. This means that I’m only 40-49% happy with the pen.
1 star is reserved for awful pens. These pens are basically useless unless they’re modified and improved.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that these ratings are subjective judgments, based on my interpretation of criteria that I consider important. In all cases, my judgments are based on the pen that I have in hand, and there is no guarantee that my pen is the norm or exactly like every other pen of the same make and model. Finally, I’m an independent pen hobbyist in the U.S. and am in no way associated with or related to any of the companies or vendors that deal in pens. If, in the future, there is a real or apparent conflict of interest, I will mention it in my review.
I’ve also started a sister site, Fountain Pen Earth, which is devoted to a wider range of topics related to fountain pens in general.