Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Pen Review: JML Classic Pen Set (As Seen on TV!)

(Disclaimer: I'm still getting use to taking digital photos, so these are by no means great pictures.)

I was bored and needed to get out of the house yesterday, so while the rest of the fam went to see a movie that I didn’t care to, I went over to my local Walgreens. I was looking for a cheap sketchbook to use in my latest urge to “do something different.” When I get around office supplies or any sort of pens, paper, and whathaveyou, I don’t rush, I peruse. This drives anyone who is with me totally bonkers.

Stuck haphazardly in the junky looking clearance bin-ish thingy was this rectangular black box. I pulled it out from under the stuff that will eventually be written off and trashed. This is what I found:
“JML Classic Pen Set” (As Seen on TV!) (Virtually Indestructible Nib!) My eyes immediately stuck on the fountain pen picture. (Don’t you love the little one of it sticking out of a dartboard? How literary of them!) I read the label and then made my way over to a cashier for a price check: $19.99. While it was obviously one of those items that Walgreens gets only for clueless Christmas shoppers, it was not on sale. Since I have impulsive shopping tendencies, I purchased it with the thought that the fountain pen alone was worth $20!

A handsome presentation. (I think I can reuse the tray & box to store my other fountain pens.)

I tested all the pens out. (From left to right.) There was a micro ball pen (ballpoint for the normal person). Blue ink. Writes very nice. The propelling pencil (come on now, it’s a mechanical pencil, for pete’s sake) worked okay. The eraser, tinier than a Good & Plenty licorice piece, is under the plunger. The multi-pen doesn’t work. Only one tip comes out, but it writes very nice, too. I figure I can just use the one and when it runs out, switch the cartridges and keep on going. The ball pen (ballpoint) writes beautifully in blue ink. The roller pen writes with smooth black ink. And, finally on the right, the fountain pen.

I used a red ink cartridge for the test. It went in with a bit of difficulty. You have to push kind of hard on it to seat it and the instructions (yes, they provided instructions for all the pens) said to give the cartridge a squeeze to start the ink flow. Okay.
I used the fountain pen for my journal page today. I am using a Miquelrius notebook and so far, fine/Xfine-nibbed fountain pens do really well on the paper. This fountain pen has a medium nib and with the red ink it writes wet. The ink is a nice shade of red, I must say. The pen writes smoothly and feels fairly good in the hand but as you can see from the picture, medium nibs are not compatible with my handwriting.
There was significant show through on the back of the paper, as you can see. Being one of those weird people who hate to waste paper, I don’t care for that so much.

So, all in all, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “ick” and 5 being “bliss”, I give this pen a 2.5. It earns points just for being a fountain pen, writes well, looks good. It loses points for being too wet, medium nibbed, tiny cartridges (I used half of the ink for one page in my journal).

I think I may try to convert it to an eyedropper and use a drier ink. Does anyone have any suggestions on which ink would work here?