Review: Conklin Duragraph

Manufacturer: Conklin | List Price: $55.00 | Buy from Amazon

Conklin is one of the oldest manufacturers of fountain pens in the United States, having started producing fountain pens in 1898. However, in 1955, when ballpoints had largely replaced fountain pens in widespread use, the company ceased operation. The Conklin name was revived in 2000, and in 2009 the brand and designs were purchased by Yafa Companies, who continue to make pens bearing the Conklin name.
Continue reading

Review: Pilot Metropolitan

Manufacturer: Pilot | List Price: $14.99 | Buy from Amazon

MetroAs you may have noticed, last week I did an ink review of a Pilot Namiki Black cartridge. Now I didn’t reveal exactly which pen the cartridge came with explicitly, but my powers of concealment are so horrible it’s almost sad. Nevertheless, I’m happy to announce the pen replacing my old Lamy Safari as Kantaloupe’s Chief Ink Reviewer: The Pilot Metropolitan!

I found out about this pen right after I lost my Safari about three weeks ago. I went to the Fountain Pen Network to ask whether I should buy a new Lamy or get a TWSBI 580, which had gotten rave reviews last time I checked the internet fountain-pen-o-sphere. The internet replied promptly, recommending a pen I’d never heard of before, going for a mere $15. I was intrigued, so I got one. Here’s what I thought about it.
Continue reading

Review: Pilot Namiki Black Ink

Manufacturer: Pilot | List Price: $13.99 | Buy from Amazon

Well, the replacement pen for the old Lamy Safari which I lost arrived, and with it came a cartridge of Pilot Namiki Black ink, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on it.

パイラツ黒色The notes section says: ‘A strong, robust black ink not unlike Parker Black Quink. Writes a rather wet line, but still does not feather much even on cheam paper. Altogether a solid choice for black ink, though it doesn’t have any special qualities in particular.’ The paper used is common-or-garden Staples 20lb copy paper, and the swab was done in three layers. The water test was three or four swabs this time, but as you can see, the text is still readable – even past the point where the paper was disintegrating! Also, it is worth noting that the ink smells a little chemical-ish, sort of like the stuff they put foetal pigs in for Biology class.

List Price: $13.99 | Buy from Amazon

I’m not going to officially state what my new pen is, but eagle-eyed readers will already have seen it by now, I didn’t do a very good job of hiding it! I shall do a full review on that once I get a better idea of how it writes.

Review: Pelikan Brilliant Green Ink

Manufacturer: Pelikan | List Price: $12.99 | Buy from Amazon

This is a review long overdue, since I actually got this ink way back in July 2012 in Singapore. For a mere S$4, it was a no-brainer, since here in Canada ink bottles are at least double that. It’s not a particularly outstanding colour, but works well enough for most purposes and holds up generally well even on the cheapest of paper.

Pelikan Brilliant GreenThe text, in case you can’t read it, says: ‘A simple, somewhat bluish green. Although I do not quite like the colour as much as Diamine Meadow, it works well in a Lamy Safari on cheap paper.’ As always, the paper used in standard 20lb Staples copy paper. Both swabs (water and ink) were done three times. As you can see, the ink is fairly watery and light, and does not hold up too well under the water smear.

List Price: $12.99 | Buy from Amazon

Hope you enjoyed the review! We definitely plan on trying out more inks in the future. As well, I unfortunately lost my Lamy Safari last week (my experience in review form is here). I’m currently waiting on a new pen in the post and will do a review on that once I experience it enough!

Review: Lamy Safari

Manufacturer: Lamy | List Price: $35.99 | Buy from Amazon

Lamy SafarisYou’ll notice that we haven’t done any fountain pen-related posts recently. But that’s not to say we haven’t been using our fountain pens like crazy. Last Tuesday, however, I dropped my Lamy Safari somewhere at school and haven’t been able to find it again. So, I thought now would be a good time to write a post in review of the experience I’ve had with one of the most popular modern fountain pens.

I got interested in fountain pens after using a cheap calligraphy set I got through the Scholastic book order at my elementary school. Later on, I expressed interest in getting a Lamy Safari, which I’d seen on the internet, and after I won the school spelling bee in Grade 8, my dad got me a Charcoal one with a M nib. In the three and a half years since then, I’ve used my pen nearly every day, and it has gone with me to places such as Seattle and Singapore. I even brought it once tenting! Although I haven’t had the chance to try many other fountain pens, I think I have used the Lamy Safari enough to be able to give it a fair review, which shall be a benchmark for any future pen reviews we do here. I should clarify that although I have lost my Safari, there are still two others in our house, one belonging to Coconut, the other to our mum, so Kantaloupe’s future ink reviews may still be done with one.
Continue reading