(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
Benu is a Russian pen company that produces fountain pens and ball point pens in various handmade resins. They currently offer pens in three collections: Classic, Ornate, and Sublime. The pen I’m reviewing is from the Classic Collection and is called “Purple Night Silver.” It features aventurescent (sparkly) resin with a rhodium plated brass ring.
The Benu pen comes in a black cardboard box with the Benu name on top. Inside, you’ll find the pen wrapped in Benu paper tied with twine and nestled in shredded brown paper. The paper wrap includes information about your pen.
The pen is torpedo shaped and the only complication in the design is the rhodium-plated ring with the name Benu inscribed. There is no clip.
When you unscrew the cap, you’ll notice a sharp stepdown from the barrel to the grip, but the grip area is long, and the thickest part of the barrel rests between your index finger and thumb. So, the pen is quite comfortable to hold, and the barrel threads are far enough back that your fingers won’t contact them.
The nib is a Schmidt stainless steel fine (medium and broad are also available). It has some scrollwork, and the nib size is engraved in the middle along with “Schmidt Iridium Point.”
This is a tiny nib because the Benu is a small pen weighing only 0.7 ounces. Capped, the pen is 4.9 inches. Uncapped it is 4.5 inches, and you cannot post the cap.
Currently all Benu pens are cartridge only, but a representative told me they are manufacturing a new pen that will take a converter. My review model came with a Schneider standard short international size cartridge with blue ink.
The Benu pen writes beautifully. The fine steel nib is smooth and demonstrates no hard starts or skipping. I find it a comfortable writer overall.
My main complaints about the pen are (1) the pen is so light that it feels cheap. The resin is unique and thick, but you can definitely tell this pen is plastic. And although it is handmade, it doesn’t have the feel of a Shawn Newton or Scriptorium pen, though, admittedly, those pens are much more expensive. (2) The threads on my pen are rough and sometimes it takes a few tries to get the cap to screw on correctly. (3) For a pen like this I would expect to pay around $40 or so, especially since it is cartridge only and lacks any complicated design elements. But it costs $90. That said, I have no idea how much it costs to make handmade resin and to manufacture pens for export from Russia.
I really like all the different resins Benu Pens offers. They have many beautiful, unique choices. You can purchase Benu pens from their website: BenuPen.com. Models range from $80-$120.
- The sparkly purple resin on my pen is quite striking, especially in sunlight.
- The pen is comfortable to write with.
- Because this pen is so small, it might work well as a pocket or a purse pen, though it does not come with a clip.
- The Schmidt fine nib on my review model writes beautifully.
- Benu offers a wide range of unique resin colors though all the pens have the same torpedo shape.
- Unfortunately, the pen does not have that special feel that you might expect of a homemade pen.
- The Benu is a good pen—one that I think many people would enjoy as a pocket or purse pen. However, as such, it seems overpriced.
- The threads on my pen are rough and the cap doesn’t screw on smoothly.
- The pen is cartridge only which limits your ink choices.
- This pen is very light, so if you prefer hefty pens, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
(Benu Pens provided this pen at no cost to Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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