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Levenger's True Writer Select Fountain Pen

5/28/15
I contacted Levenger a little while ago, and I was really excited when they offered to send one of these pens out for review. I think their ink was one of the first that I'd ever used, but I've never gotten to use one of their pens  before. I've heard good things about the L-Tech, but I haven't really heard much about their other pens (aside from the L-Tech, which gets consistently positive reviews). After using this one, I'm thinking that I'll  try out another soon. 

Specs




Packaging

It starts with a cardboard sleeve. Then there's a classy cardboard box with "Levenger" pressed in silver on the lid. THEN the side of the cardboard box folds down and there's a fabric liner inside which reveals a black, solid-wood box with some blonde wood trim. The inside is the typical velvet affair. The only problem is that the little platform with the pen ribbon isn't suspended, so there's no place to store ink cartridges or anything underneath the platform. It's not necessary to have that in there, I guess,but it would have been nice.

I usually stick the box in a cabinet, but this is one that I'm going to keep out on my desk.









Appearance














Nib Performance

So good. It's awesome. I've got a lot of pens, and this one ranks in the top of the factory-nibs I've ever used. It's smooth, but it doesn't skate around the page or skip as too-smooth nibs sometimes do. It's got a perfect flow that needs no adjustment. It's honestly a joy to use. The medium line is on the finer side of the spectrum, but that's okay with me.








You can get other nibs on the Levenger site for $30 a pop.

How's it feel?

Expensive. Executive. Sturdy.

Some expensive pens end up feeling really cheap in the hand, but this isn't one of them. The resin is solid and thick enough that there's not even the hint of flex or rattle in the pen.



Comparisons to other Pens

The closest pen, in length, is the TWSBI Vac 700. It's just about exactly the same length.


I added in the Faber-Castell Basic to the bottom picture. It's the longest pen that I own, but I didn't think of it until I made the video for this review. The True Writer Select is a long pen (posted), but it has nothing on the Basic.



Wrap Up

I don't feel like I can give a recommendation about buying this pen. It's on the expensive end of the spectrum, and I didn't pay for it. Some won't like paying this much for a steel nib, but this pen is better than my Pilot Custom 74, and it's in the same price range. This nib came tuned better from the factory, and it's piston converter is less silly than the CON-70 that ships with the Pilots. It also feels more substantial in the hand.

I suppose what I'm saying is that if you have the choice between them, I'd go for the Levenger True Writer Select.




Find this pen in two other resin designs on Levenger's website.


Noodler's Park Red

5/22/15
Another Noodler's ink!

This is one that I saw around, and I knew that I had to have some. It's a bright red ink that is not at all like dried blood. Lots of the reds out there seem to be in that vein, and it's what was hot last year, but that's not always what I'm in to. In fact, when I want to grade a paper or write margin notes I often want a true red ink. My mother really likes Kaweco Red, but that's a pretty expensive ink, so I'm always looking for alternatives. Yeah. Sometimes I'm a little cheap.

This ink's wrapper has a political bent, as many of Nathan's do. This one is named for Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector who pushes for democratic reforms in that country. Check out Nathan's YouTube video for the whole story. It's a fun label in which a dictator shoots some kind of pom-pom gun (which fires fountain pens) at balloons.

Written Review



Close-Ups!



There's a little shading on this Rhodia paper, but you aren't likely to see it elsewhere. 



Copy Paper Test


I didn't see this ink feather or bleed so much when I was using it, but the results are what they are. It does some bleeding and whatnot on copy paper. Not a lot, but some. 



Ink Comparisons



Nikita is the ink that looks closest to this one, to me, but Park is much better. It doesn't bleed nearly as much as Nikita, and it dries in a reasonable amount of time.  Nikita looks cool, but it takes an AGE to dry.







Chromatography



Water Test and Review Video



This is a pretty excellent (though not flawless) red ink. Its propensity to bleed a little is its only real flaw. I think it's worth a look, anyway.

Find it at your favorite Noodler's vendor. I suggest AndersonPens where 3oz bottles are $12.50 (the standard for Noodler's) and samples are $1.25 for 3ml. I'm not an employee, and I don't get a kick-back, but they're a family business that I really like to support when I can.

Lamy Copper Orange

5/20/15

This is the first of a few reviews that were made possible by Appelboom Pens. They're located in the Netherlands, so if you're near Laren you should definitely check them out. They seem to have a great selection of pens, inks, and other such things.

Lamy's Copper Orange is an ink that has me on the fence. I love the color. It's a bright copper, and not a darkened copper like Ancient Copper is. It's like fresh copper, and that's a pretty rad color.

It also flows really well in this Lamy 1.1 stub that I was using it in. That stub tends to be a little on the dry side, but it worked really well with this ink. It felt smooth and consistent.

The issue that this ink has is that it does bleed and feather on copy paper. It's not the worst bleeding that I've seen, but it is present. The other side of this coin is that this probably won't be a problem for most of the people who would use this ink. It's a colorful ink, so it's more likely to be used for cards, notes, and journaling than it is for office work, and so we can use it on better papers. So, keep it on the good paper where it will play nice and look rad.

Written Review
 

Close-Ups!




Chromatography


That's an interesting blend of colors, isn't it? 


Copy Paper Test


 As I said above, this ink isn't awesome on copy paper. Keep it on the good stuff.


Ink Comparisons

I love ornange inks, but I didn't have any loaded up at the moment, so this motley crew of  hues will have to do. I hope you can glean the feel of this color from the comparisons here.


Review Video and Water Drop Test





The ink for this review as provided, free of charge, by Appelboom Pens. The review is 100% mine. No money has changed hands, and no guarantees were given.