Posts filed under Faber-Castell

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball Pen Review

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Faber-Castell NEO Slim rollerball pen falls comfortably into the sleek gift category of pen, but it's also a solid performer that comes equipped with a great refill.

At face value, this is another pen that falls into a category that is already fairly cramped, so it has to show some sort of unique feature or style decision that sets it apart from the many other contenders. Priced from $35 to $55, it's already more expensive than other pens in the same class, making the comparison even more difficult. But, even with this uphill battle, the NEO Slim manages to (mostly) pull its own.

The model in this review is the Black Matte, which falls in the middle of the price range at $45. Here are the basics: this is a slim barrel click pen that's made mostly of metal. The included refill is a Parker-style medium ceramic rollerball in black. If you're looking for a different color from Faber Castell in this line, you're out of luck. There are plenty of ballpoint refills, but no rollerball. That might sound like a downside, but I wouldn't go that far because of the lack-luster performance of the rollerball refill.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball Pen

When most of us think of "rollerball" refills, visions of different Retro51 Tornados flash through our minds. They're popular, affordable, and perform well. When comparing the NEO Slim refill to the Schmidt rollerball refills that ship with the Tornado pens, there really is no contest. The NEO Slim refill acts exactly like a decent ballpoint refill. Even then, when comparing to something like a Schmidt EasyFlow refill, it still doesn't match up. The rollerball refill has certainly disappointed me, but the saving grace is the fact that it's a Parker-style refill, meaning you have a plethora of other options.

When writing, the included refill normally has a rough start with lots of skipping and some ink build-up around the nib area. Once it is going, it's a fairly smooth writing experience minus the occasional hiccup. The richness of the ink is lacking, as it just isn't bold enough to grab your attention. One the plus side, it does dry fairly quickly for a rollerball ink, and that probably has something to do with how thin the line is.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball

The pen barrel is slim, but still comfortable. It's very similar in length and diameter to the popular Rotring 600 ballpoint pen, but it has a much more minimal and sleek design.

The only branding on the pen is a small logo next to the clip. The clip is mushy and doesn't seem to stay very well when clipped to things. It doesn't have a pronounced jaw or tooth on the clip are, so it slips around easily. If you're clipping this pen to your shirt, pocket, or bag pocket, it will stay put. If you make any sudden movements or toss your bag around, it will probably come loose.

The click mechanism has a solid but pleasant feel. It doesn't take much pressure to operate, but it has a satisfying click sound. The only irritating part of the mechanism is that you can hear some metal-on-metal grating sounds when using the nock. To me, it sounds like the spring inside the click mechanism is too loose and rubs against the edges. It's not a deal-breaker, but worth mentioning on a pen of this price. On another note, the top of the click mechanism has a slight concave depression that feels great under your finger.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball

The only non-metal portion of this pen is the nose section where the nib comes out. It's a black plastic material that degrades the overall feel a tiny bit, but it feels good in the hand and does a good job.

Overall, I wanted to really love this pen and add it to the list of "great pens to buy as classy gifts," but the number of negative ticks is just too high to justify the price. It's great that it accepts the ubiquitous Parker-style refill, but I expect a $35-$55 rollerball pen to have a buttery smooth refill out of the box. It's hard to justify this pen over a Parker Jotter, Retro51 Tornado, or the Rotring 600, just to name a small handful.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Faber-Castell NEO Slim Rollerball Pen Writing
Posted on March 20, 2019 and filed under Faber-Castell, Pen Reviews.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Review

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Faber-Castell Essentio ballpoint pen is a classy pen with a stylish carbon fiber body that looks great with any outfit or carry.

There's a lot of pens available today that use the popular Parker style cartridge, which means that there are plenty of options in the way of third-party refills. This is always an interesting genre to me because I know that I can choose a pen based on aesthetics or feel and know that I can completely control most of the writing experience by replacing a refill.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen

The Essentio is a bit on the larger side of the ballpoint pen scale, but it's also incredibly comfortable to use. The rubber grip section has a soft feel and a matte finish, which make it both comfortable and resistant to fingerprints.

The body is made of a carbon fiber (or something similar) material that lends a classy aesthetic as well as a light weight. It's shiny without being overly so, and there's a small and classy Faber-Castell logo toward the top of the body.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Clip

The clip is fairly light compared to most other pens I've used. I wish it were a bit stronger, but given the overall light weight of the pen, it does a great job of keeping the pen secured to whatever you attach it to. The clip has a slight curve that adds a bit of visual interest to the pen.

The click mechanism is smooth, reliable, and fairly quiet. The top of the nock has a concave surface that feels great on your thumb. While it's not loud or overly clicky, using the nock on this pen is incredibly satisfying and tactile.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Refill

Like I mentioned at the beginning, the Essentio uses a Parker-style refill. The included refill is a Faber-Castell bold refill that is actually stupendous. It reminds me quite a bit of the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refill, which is high praise. It's incredibly smooth, dark, and dependable. When so many ballpoint refills can suffer from skipping or dryness, it's always a relief when the stock refill performs so well. Most of the time, I replace the refill with an EasyFlow, but that's not necessary in this case.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint

Writing with this pen is a great experience. The combination of the size, light weight, smooth refill, and comfortable grip section make for a great writer. At $35, the Faber-Castell Essentio a bit on the expensive side, but it still falls within the normal range for a well-performing ballpoint pen. There are lots of attractive options in this price range, and this one should be on your list for gifts and affordable ballpoints. It's a great value and excellent performer. And, if the included refill isn't your thing, you have so many options for replacement.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

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Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Writing
Posted on November 21, 2018 and filed under Faber-Castell, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Faber Castell Loom Fountain Pen Review

Faber Castell Loom Fountain Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

One of my favorite pens growing up was a non-branded rollerball with a twist mechanism and rubber grip section. I don't remember what kind of refill it took, but it was smooth and dark. The internals were brass, which gave the pen a nice weight. It's one of the pens that led me down this journey so many years ago. One of my favorite things about that pen was the color: gunmetal. I was delighted to pull out this Faber Castell Loom and take in the gunmetal goodness that makes up the entire body.

The Faber Castell Loom is a premium fountain pen with a steel nib and snap cap. The particular color/finish I have is a matte gunmetal, which I absolutely love. It's not as hefty as my old pen from my childhood, but it's also not made of brass.

Faber Castell Loom Fountain Pen

The pen looks a bit chunky when sitting on my desk, mostly due to the thick body and large cap. But when you pick this pen up, you're surprised by the lack of weight. It's much lighter than it looks, and that translates to comfortable writing.

The EF nib is stainless steel and has a surprising amount of flex. While this isn't a flex nib by design, it offers a pleasant amount of give which produces some nice line variation with gentle pressure. The nib writes reliably and with great flow, but it is a tad scratchy. This is something that can easily be corrected with some minor tuning, however.

The nib is also lightly decorated with the Faber Castell logo, the nib size, and some small dots that remind me of filigree.

Faber Castell Loom

The grip section is slightly tapered toward the end and also has a few embossed grip rings that provide a surprising amount of comfort and stability. I've used this pen for some longer writing sessions, and it's incredibly comfortable.

The cap is a snap design that feels very secure when in place. It takes moderate pressure to uncap, but not so much that I worry about losing my grip or sloshing ink. Capping the pen produces a nice click/clunk sound. You can also post the cap on the back of the pen, but I feel that the unposted length/balance is perfect for writing.

Faber Castell Loom Fountain Pen Barrel

The cap also has a debossed Faber Castell name and logo. While the name/logo is fairly large, I think it's still pleasing and classy due to the lack of paint. The plain deboss doesn't draw too much attention. The top of the cap also features the Faber Castell logo in a shiny finial that is also part of the clip.

The clip is spring-loaded, but nothing like that of the Lamy 2000. It's strong, but doesn't match up to the perfection of the 2000. Even so, it does a great job of attaching the pen to other objects, and it looks great while doing it. There's a nice arch at the tip of the clip that makes it easy to guide onto a pocket or pouch.

One of my favorite parts of this pen is the end of the body. Instead of a flat surface, the butt of this pen features a beautiful concave design that adds a bit of visual interest to an otherwise boring piece of the pen.

The color of the pen body is a matte gunmetal, and I absolutely love it. It does have a bit of shine, but it's very subdued. The cap is a matte black that compliments the gunmetal perfectly.

Overall, I've really enjoyed using the Loom. I wasn't sure I would like it due to the thick body, but I was proven wrong. The cap also threw me off at first because it's so long and chunky compared to the rest of the pen. At this point, I see it as a design element that I wouldn't change. At just shy of $60, this pen falls into an awkward price point. It has to compete with the likes of Lamy Al-Stars, Kaweco AL-Sports, and TWSBIs without offering any clear advantages to justify the minor bump in price. To me, this is an affordable luxury pen, and if you like the aesthetic, the pen won't let you down.

(Vanness Pens loaned this product to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Faber Castell Loom Review
Posted on September 12, 2018 and filed under Faber-Castell, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.