Monday, January 23, 2023

Bad pens

A pen set, is a good and considerate gift, but can also be a bad gift if you do not buy a good one, especially the bad quality of a fountain pen is going to ruin the hole experience of such a gift. These sets (fountain pen +  boll point) are popular among people with not a lot of knowledge about fountain pens. Shoppers gravitate towards these kinds of sets because they usually come in a nice box, this fact alone makes it a nice gift, and also the set will offer the best of both worlds, a "sophisticated" fountain pen and a "high quality" ball point (when I say high quality I mean it is not the generic plastic disposable pen). Be aware and don't judge a pen by the box it came in.

In the previous post, I said that even unknown brands can have a decent offering with quality products, but this is not always the case. Many times, getting a brand name guarantees a certain level of quality.

I have to apologize about the quality of the photos, I only realized now that the white balance is everywhere, but I will consider my in existent photography skills the icing on the cake when it comes down to these pens.

I am starting the year with cleaning and decluttering, so without any further ado the first spot in bad pen sets gifts is going to Alfa branded set consisting of a fountain pen and a ball point. The pen and fountain pen come in an interesting looking case, made out of metal that opens to revile the pens inside.

The set is kind of old, but it hasn't been used. The metal bodies don't look that good. The finish that was supposed to protect the metal didn't do a good job, and the gray finish is now doted with dark spots of oxidation (I think).

The clip works great, and this is the only thing great about the fountain pen. The nib and feed didn't work properly, and after a few letters the nib was starved of ink, skipping every other line.

Don't pay attention to the current condition of the nib, it was mangled in frustration a long time ago. The cap is a screw cap with 2 and 1/2 turns to take it off. The grip section is metal, same as the rest of the pen.

Not much else to tell, except the ball point pen works as intended. But the body has the same problem as the fountain pen regarding the corrosion.

All I can say about this writing set is, case closed.

Moving on to the next gem, which comes in an impressive wood box. This writing set was a corporate set. The box is branded with the name of a company. I deleted the name from the photo, as the idea here is not to point fingers.

The box is padded on the inside with a foam covered in a green soft material. The contrast between the shade of the lacquered wood and the green velvet like material looks very nice. The set has a fountain pen, a ball point and a letter opener?!? It was intended for someone classier than me, that is a fact.

The fountain pen and ballpoint are made out of the same wood as the box, and have nice gold looking trims. I usually don't like gold color, but in this combination I am convinced that it looks better than silver would.

The cap is a snap cap that fits securely on the body. When you take it off, it will reveal the section which is on the thin size, made out of black plastic. At the end it has a gold collar and a golden nib. The wooden barrel has a metal threaded insert that screws on the nib section. The fountain pen takes standard cartridges.

Unfortunately, the fountain pen doesn't write, the nib has a severe baby's bottom.

The packaging is interesting and this is why this kind of products are gifted. It is obvious the money went in the packaging rather than in offering decent writing experience. Gifting a pen in a plastic bag might look underwhelming, but make sure when you choose a gift, the products actually works and is not just a decor piece.

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