PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen with Rollerball Adapter: A Review

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen

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

The PenBBS 350 is an aluminum fountain pen that comes in silver or matte black finish. It is supplied with a fine steel nib and a rollerball adapter that allows you to use fountain pen ink.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Components

Because it is made of aluminum, the pen is rather heavy, weighing in at 23.6 grams. Without the cap, it weighs 15.7 grams, so it still has quite a bit of heft. You can post the cap, if you dare, but it makes the pen very unbalanced.

PenBBS 350

This is a medium-sized pen in length, 5.12 inches/130mm capped, 4.84 inches/123mm uncapped, and 6.5 inches/166mm posted. The grip is a little over 10mm in diameter, which is rather small for my hand (see my discussion on how it writes below). But it does have a lip that keeps your fingers from slipping.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Cap

The clipless cap is octagonal with PenBBS engraved on one of the facets. The finial is also engraved with “PenBBS 350” and a tiny “F” or “P” (I’m not sure which) in the middle. The inside of the cap appears to be lined with plastic.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Finial

The body of the pen is smooth aluminum broken only by the cap threads. The threads are placed well away from where your fingers sit on the grip, so they do not interfere with writing at all.

You can fill the pen with the supplied converter or you can use cartridges.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Converter

The fine steel nib is adorned with scrollwork and “PenBBS Since 2005 China.”

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Nib

PenBBS nibs come only in fine and medium (and this model may be limited to fine). They are interesting nibs because their tips flip up just a tiny bit, almost like a mini-fude nib.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Nib Tip

The nib writes smoothly, but I noticed a good amount of skipping with KWZ Baltic Memories. I read other reviews of PenBBS pens that indicated these nibs can be a bit stingy with ink. So, I’ll try the pen with a wetter ink next time.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Writing

Because the pen is so heavy and the grip so small in diameter, I found my wrist and fingers cramping up even after only short periods of writing. I normally like hefty pens, but they need to have larger diameter grips that help balance the weight more evenly. Then again . . . maybe it’s not the grip. Maybe I’m just old and a bit arthritic.

I’ve never tried a fountain pen with a rollerball adapter, so I was pretty excited about this little extra.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Rollerball

To my amazement, I actually enjoyed writing with the rollerball more than I did with the fountain pen nib. The rollerball was smooth and the ink flowed perfectly. You can see a writing comparison between the nib and rollerball below. I love the idea of using fountain pen ink with a rollerball. I will say, however, that trying to clean ink out of the rollerball unit was next to impossible.

PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen vs Rollerball

This is my first PenBBS. I’m very impressed with the pen. It has a beautiful, simple design. All the components work well, especially the rollerball adapter. The nib seems a bit stingy with ink, but it’s usable, and I suspect it will write better with a wetter ink.

At only $22.00 I think this pen is a steal. You can purchase it from Vanness Pens in either silver or black. Other colors are available from the PenBBS Etsy site, but you have to wait quite awhile to receive your pen as it is shipped from China. I ordered two different models last week and plan to review them later this summer.

(This pen was purchased from Vanness Pens with a reviewer’s discount.)

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PenBBS 350 Fountain Pen Packaging
Posted on May 24, 2019 and filed under PenBBS, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 360 - Cancelling is Not an Option

Brienne Writing

Don’t do it Brienne! My feeds blew up when one of the biggest stationery mistakes possible was made in the series finale of Game of Thrones. I make Myke begrudgingly discuss that, plus my newfound Lamy Safari Ballpoint fandom, and a first look at assembly of the Spoke Pen.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

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Pen Chalet: Click the ‘podcast’ link at the top of the website and enter the password ‘penaddict’ for this week’s special offer, and to get your code for 10% off.

Posted on May 23, 2019 and filed under Podcast.

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag Review

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag 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!)

I love bags every bit as much as I love pens, but I'm way pickier when it comes to bags. I've mentioned before that one of my favorite hobbies is my quest for the perfect bag. And when this Nomadic NF-01 Tote arrived, I was immediately and genuinely worried. Was my quest over? The mixture of joy and dread was real.

Thank goodness--after a few months' use, I can say that it's not perfect. But it's close--close enough that it had me worried for a while. And certainly close enough that I can say that I love this bag.

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag

This is not the bag for a minimalist and that's obvious immediately by the way it proudly wears its pockets on the outside. In fact, I'd say that's the main downside to the bag: It's odd-looking. Okay, maybe even a little ugly. But for me, pockets > pretty, so I have no problem with the way this bag flaunts its practicality.

Pockets are definitely the theme here. If you like keeping your things organized and in place, this bag does the trick. All told, there are 14 compartments. Bliss. On the front, there's a zip pouch large enough to hold an A5 notebook or two, and it in turn contains two neoprene padded pockets and two mesh pockets. On the front of that is a voluminous snap pouch, zipper pouch, and tall padded phone pouch with another slip pouch on the front of that. On one side of the bag as a slim slip pocket, and on the other is a TARDIS-like zippered water bottle pocket. On the top of the bag, a double-zipper leads to the main compartment that includes a padded slip pocket. Next to the main zipper is a small, shallow zipper pouch perfect for keys or cards.

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag Inside

With this bag, you always know where everything is. There's no fishing through cavernous pits of debris. Everything just fits. And because the pockets are built onto the outside of the bag, they don't take away from the space inside. I can fill those exterior pouches to capacity and still have the same volume available in the main compartment.

This volume availability is wonderful, but also another downside for me. It's great to have that capacity when I need it, but it's dangerous when I don't. I'll use whatever space a bag has (often filling it with books), and with a shoulder bag this size, that's a short trip to backache city. Especially because there's no padding on this shoulder strap. I know, "that sounds like a you-problem, Sarah, not a bag problem" and yes--that's true. But it's a problem I can solve with the right bag, and this bag is a total enabler. That being said, it's perfect for those times when I do need a bigger bag, like traveling or long day trips. It's just a bit too much to be my everyday bag.

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag Front

However, if your everyday is a commute or day trip, this may be perfect. And it's certainly built to handle heavy use. The fabric is tough, water-resistant ripstop nylon with a reinforced bottom. Many of the pockets are padded. Everything is stitched well and the zippers are sturdy and smooth. The shoulder strap clips on and the fastening swivels to prevent twisting. I used this bag daily for over a month and took it on several trips. It's certainly looking a little rumpled, but it's otherwise unharmed.

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag Side

The bag costs $87 at JetPens, which is very reasonable for what you're getting. I've seen similar bags cost twice as much. I've even used some of them, and I think this one is better than most. If you're looking for a high-capacity, highly organized commuter bag, and practicality is your number one priority, this bag is a total winner.

(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.

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

Nomadic NF-01 Tote Shoulder Bag Back
Posted on May 23, 2019 and filed under Nomadic, Bag Review.