Posts filed under Pen Reviews

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Parker is one of those legacy brands that has the old-school, iconic look down while still doing a great job staying current and on-trend. They've always been good about keeping their products accessible for new enthusiasts and desirable for long-time collectors.

The IM line of fountain pens walks that line between old and new and does it with class. It has the sleek lines of a modern pen with all the character of its vintage ancestors.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Cap

The pen body is made from varnished brass, this one with a brushed purple finish. It has chrome accents on the top of the cap, bottom, and cap band. The grip is black plastic and is comfortable to hold. It has the classic Parker arrow clip. It's a good size--not overly small or too big. It's a bit weighted toward the nib end, but when the cap is posted, it feels well balanced. The cap has a plastic liner that prevents any scratching from posting.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Nib

The nib is a fairly plain, small steel nib. At first sight, it looks a bit odd--almost too small for the pen. It performs well, though. It writes smoothly with a good amount of wetness and just a bit of feedback. I did get some drying when I didn't use it for a few days, but with a bit of prompting, it started back up and wrote nicely again.

It takes either Parker cartridges or a converter, which is probably the main downside to this pen. Parker ink is great, but the colors are very limited. The converter is necessary, I think, but doesn't come with the pen. That boggles my mind with proprietary converters--I think they should always be included. To get one, you'll have to plunk down another $9.25, which seems high. So while the price of the pen is good at $41, it's really a $50 unless you like to write in only blue or black.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Cartridge

That price is still good for a good writer, though, and it's in the range for a nice gift, or for a step-up from an entry-level pen.

Apart from the lack of included converter, my only complaint about the pen is that the arrow on the clip is a bit too sharp. A bit too much like an actual arrow, perhaps. It has stabbed through my clothes a few times and those arrow barbs made it almost impossible to get back out without tearing the fabric. So be careful what you clip it to!

There are lots of attractive colors and designs available, and a premium design line for a bit more cost. I think these are great pens for graduation gifts, workaversaries, or for someone who has decided to take their interest in pens beyond the entry level.

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


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Parker IM Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on April 18, 2019 and filed under Parker, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Fountain Pen Review

Faber-Castell NEO Slim 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.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a sleek all-black ballpoint pen that featured a pretty solid refill — the Faber-Castell NEO Slim ballpoint pen. This week, I'm looking at the sibling pen — the NEO Slim fountain pen with a medium steel nib.

Like the ballpoint sibling, the fountain pen is a sleek and modern fountain pen with an understated design. While the pen is slim, it's still fairly comfortable to write with. If you're a fan of blacked-out accessories, this pen will definitely catch your eye. The matte black body, cap, and section look great together, and then shiny black nib is a great accent to the overall aesthetic. The only branding you'll find on the pen is a small Faber-Castell logo on the cap next to the clip.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Fountain Pen

Speaking of the clip, it's very similar to the ballpoint version, which isn't a great thing. The same problem ails this pen as well. The clip lacks the strength and teeth to really hold on to anything without the assistance from gravity. If this is in your bag being tossed around, it will likely fall out. It does fine for tucking into a shirt or pants pocket, and even a bag pocket as long as it's staying upright.

When it comes to writing, this pen does a great job. It may be slim, but that doesn't detract from the overall comfort. If you look closely, you'll see that the grip section is incredibly small, which normally translates to a cramped holding position. With the NEO Slim, this isn't true because the grip section is (mostly) the same diameter as the rest of the body. The pen body is long and slender and feels great in the hand. I've some fairly long writing sessions with this pen, and I've never had any cramping or discomfort.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Fountain Pen Nib

The tiny nib on this pen has been a point of contention for me. On one hand, it looks great and provides an excellent contrast to the matte black finish of the pen body. But on the other hand, it wasn't tuned correctly from the factory. It turned out to be a mild case of baby's bottom, but it still diminished the experience. This is bound to happen here and there with fountain pens, and it's (luckily) fairly easy to fix on your own. Still — at $50, it seems like a quality problem that shouldn't exist.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim

Once I smoothed out the nib on my trusty fingernail buffer, the nib started to sing. The ink flow was more normal and the stuttering and skipping problem was completely gone. I've loved writing with this pen ever since I took a few minutes to smooth the nib. It was a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place, but it sure feels satisfying to improve something on your own.

The NEO Slim takes international cartridges or any international converter. You can purchase the Faber-Castell converter, but any converter with the same port will work. The pen is also long enough to store an extra cartridge if you're using international short cartridges.

Faber-Castell NEO Slim Comparison

At $50, this isn't an instantly easy recommendation, but it does feel and perform well for the price range. I've really enjoyed using this pen and can think of several people that would appreciate this pen as a gift. The blacked-out aesthetic and slender design make this a desirable pen to carry with you. But, if all black isn't your thing, there are several other color options. The pens range from $40 to $60, and you can choose from black, polished steel, black and rose gold, or matte steel finishes along with a range of EF to B nib sizes.

(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 NEO Slim Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on April 10, 2019 and filed under Faber-Castell, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Old but New to Me: 1970s Montblanc 149

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Let me introduce you to Walter, my 1970s Montblanc 149. I looked long and hard for just the right 149. I knew I didn’t want a modern one. I wanted one that was lovingly used with a 14k nib with some bounce to it.

I chanced upon some desirable Montblancs on the Fountain Pen Geeks “For Sale” forum. But they were all sold before I could snag one. The seller, Barry Gabay, let me know that he had some others I might be interested in. Sure enough, he had a 1970s Montblanc 149 with a bouncy 14k nib. I bought it, completely unaware that I was purchasing it from the editor of Pen World Magazine!

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When the pen arrived, I immediately fell in love. When I fall in love with a pen, I usually give it a name. There was no question he would be named “Walter.” I am a rabid Breaking Bad fan, and this gorgeous black 149 made me think of Walter White in his Heisenberg Pork Pie hat.

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Of course, my Walter isn’t an evil meth maker, he’s just an innocent victim of my fountain pen addiction.

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Like Walter White, my Walter has a few bruises and scars. These do not bother me in the least--in fact, I love that Walter’s finish bears marks of use. It gives him character.

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The 149 is a large pen, measuring 5.8 inches/147mm capped, 5.2 inches/132mm uncapped, and 6.6 inches/168mm posted. It is perfectly balanced, and I adore large pens. My 149 has plastic piston threads, and the piston works flawlessly--as smooth as Heisenberg talking himself out of a tight situation.

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The cap has a simple clip, somewhat brassed, but that’s what a rough life will do to you. The cap ring is engraved with Montblanc Meisterstück No. 149. “Germany” appears in tiny letters on the clip band.

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The most stunning thing about any MB 149 is the enormous nib. This gorgeous hunk of 14k gold is tritone with beautiful scrollwork, the Montblanc logo, and the number 4810 (the height in meters of Mont Blanc).

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The nib is a medium and is juicy, smooth, and bouncy. The solid ebonite feed supplies plenty of Kobe Mikage Grey ink to the nib. Walter is a delightful writer. He and I have collaborated on some rather dark poetry and prose.

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I know some people think that Montblancs are overrated and ostentatious. I disagree. Even though the pen is large and can command attention, the simplicity of this black and gold cigar-shaped pen also allows it to be classic and stealthy--like black Ray-Bans over piercing green eyes. Yes. Go ahead and say it: “I am the danger.”


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!

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Posted on April 5, 2019 and filed under Montblanc, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.