Recently two things came to my attention; 1) there was a snob for anything, and 2) I am slowly becoming a ‘dandy.’ The latter is personal choice but the former is a strange and sultry subculture of snarky people (that I may or not be joining slowly). In short: I started writing with a fountain pen.
It was a gift from my boss for Christmas. At first I was flabbergasted (some of these run between $400 to $40,000) but he enlightened me to the fact that it was actually a cheaper ($15ish) pen from Pilot of Japan that he wanted to try out (he is a pen collector). I started using it just for journaling and now I can’t stop. I use it everywhere. Since then, I have been reading ink reviews, pricing nibs on Amazon, and looking through handwriting blogs online. I think I have a problem.
Looking for a beginner’s guide to fountain pens? Check out this page on Reddit here.
That said, it is a fun and practical hobby. However, I wanted to share what I had learned. As a writer that is a blessing and curse for all you readers but I had one problem: How do you write a fountain pen review?
Looking online, I found plenty of reviews, examples, and ideas but no certain guide. So, after much research, here is a beginner’s guide to writing a fountain pen review. If I miss anything please comment below!
When writing a review for something as specialized as fountain pens, you can safely assume that the reader has some idea about the topic. If they don’t then they would likely be on a different blog (or be looking at only specific information).
2) Write a Sample
Using the pen to actually show how it writes speaks for itself.
Take out a sheet of paper and jot down what you think of writing with it.
Feel free to say anything that comes to mind like how it feels in your hand, how easy it runs over the paper, and if it is uncomfortable.
3) Choose a Rating System
Many reviews commonly cover a range of thoughts to decide the worth of a pen.
Choose a system like the common three viable system (price, look, usability) and list how it ranks.
4) Remember the Parts of the Whole
Pen reviews are about more than just the overall product.
Mention the kind of ink you are using, nib size, and the way it was delivered
No detail is really out of place in a pen review
5) Time is Not of the Essence
Unlike reviews for a video game or movie where the audience wants to experience it for itself, pens are too expensive to buy just to try.
Some reviews and blogs have six to eight samples of writing, with different ink tests, and a 20 minute video sample just showing the handwriting.
6) Research, Research, Research
Before posting your own review, be sure to look at other reviews.
For example, I didn’t realize the nib on my Metropolitan Pilot pen was fixed and wasn’t supposed to come off where as other pens you can exchange them.
I would have looked a little silly to pen enthusiasts if I had not read that on another blog.
7) Lastly–HAVE FUN!
Yes, you are writing about writing devices.
Yes, that makes you a big nerd.
If you aren’t having fun doing it however then don’t do it.
All that said, here is my product review of the Pilot Metropolitan Flat Matte Black Pen with a Medium nib using Private Reserve Velvet Black Ink, enjoy and happy writing!
Are there any products you would say you are a snob for? Shaving? Hats? I am already snarky about eBooks! Comment below–I might even investigate that next!