As mentioned in my previous review and give away, I've loved using fountain pens since school and I've always found it tricky as you don't know what a pen will be like until you give it a try. I'd like to thank Cult Pens for kindly providing the pens free for me to review and give away.
So, this time we have a 3-way shoot-out between some great low cost Japanese pens which all cost under £4.
First up is the Pilot Petit 1 fountain pen with clear blue ink.
After inserting the ink cartridge, it took only a little encouragement to get the ink flowing. If you're looking for a classic-looking pen to use in your serious corporate workplace this might not be the pen for you! However, I love it and it wouldn't have looked out of place in my school pencil case. It's a small pen at 110mm long, but becomes a decent 133mm when posted. I found it quite comfy to write with and it doesn't feel too small due to the barrel size of 13mm. I chose the clear blue ink, and the barrel and cap colour matches the cartridge colour chosen. It doesn't fit in my personal Malden filofax pen loop, but it clips quite well there due to its short length. The fine nib writes quite nicely and I like the turquoise ink. It doesn't use international standard short cartridges, but you can buy the specific cartridges here.
Next up is the Pilot V4 disposable fountain pen with black ink.
As no cartridge is required, it wrote straightaway on its first time. When capped this doesn't look like a fountain pen, but uncapped I found that I quite like the simple design in the silver-grey colour. At first I didn't really get the idea of a disposable fountain pen, but maybe it could useful if you didn't want to worry about losing it or other people borrowing it. Size-wise it's fairly similar to my Pilot V5 pens at 130mm long. With a little encouragement it will fit in my Malden pen loop and hopefully would help to stretch the loop with regular use. The nib writes a little less smoothly than the Pilot Petit, but it's still a nice medium steel nib. I think this would definitely be a good first FP for kids without the need for ink cartridges.
And finally we have the Platinum Preppy fountain pen 0.3 fine with purple ink.
The Preppy's ink took a bit longer to get going on its first try, but overall I would say it has better ink flow than the other two pens. It looks quite similar to the Petit 1 with a clear plastic body, and the nib, clip and cap top match the ink colour. It is similar in size to the VPen disposable at 135mm in length. Unfortunately it's too fat for the Malden pen loop. I love how well the stainless steel nib writes and it's purple in colour (added bonus!). It can use international standard short cartridges if you get one of the adapters. I found it comfortable to write with.
All three pens perform very well on Filofax paper with almost no feathering.
There is some bleed through onto the reverse, but I've found that always to be the case with any of my fountain pens.
My favourite is the Platinum Preppy soley due to the better ink flow, and I would definitely recommend any of these pens and think they're great value for money. I kinda wish I'd been introduced to them when I was at school, rather than wasting my pocket money on ones that were scratchy and disappointing to write with.
Thank you for your interest, but this give away is now closed and winners have been announced here.