Yes! Another review and giveaway! Giveaway has ended
Exaclair, Inc. has sent me a J. Herbin Fountain Pen for review, and is allowing me to host another giveaway. Ten winners will receive one of these fountain pens AND a tin of 6 Blue Pervench ink cartridges! To enter the giveaway, please visit my other blog here (sorry, the giveaway is U.S. only).
This is an entry level fountain pen with a clear plastic body and a medium point nib. The ink cartridges come in a cute round tin, and the ink is a beautiful periwinkle blue.
Thank you to Exaclair, Inc. They are so generous.
J. Herbin Fountain Pen
Body: Clear Plastic
Grip: 9.5 mm// 3.5 inches
Length: Capped-11.2 cm / 4.4 inches; Posted-14.9 cm / 5.9 inches; Uncapped-9.7 cm / 3.8 inches
Filling Mechanism: J. Herbin Cartridge, Standard International & some Converters
Nib Size: Medium
Blue Pervenche Ink Cartridge
Cartridge Size: Short International Standard
Diameter: 7 mm
Ink Color: Periwinkle Blue
Length: 3.8 cm / 1.5 inches
Water Resistant: No
Characteristics: Non-toxic, pH neutral, Lightfast, All-natural dyes
Look & feel
The J. Herbin fountain pen is an entry-level fountain running about $15. It’s made of clear plastic, which allows you to see how much ink you have in the pen. The clip, the nib, and cap point are metal. It’s extremely light, but small. I have small hands, and find it just right but do need to post the cap on the other end of the pen while writing.
If you are familiar with the J. Herbin roller ball pen, this is very similar. The main difference being the fountain pen nib.
The J. Herbin marketing calls the nib a medium point, but it seems more like a fine point to me. There is no standard on nib sizes so let’s say it’s a fine-sized medium. The nib is steel, but not stainless steel or anything fancy. About what you might expect at the price.
The pen takes the standard international cartridges, as well as the J. Herbin cartridges. If you wish to use it with bottled ink, there are converters that will fit.
The clear plastic body allows you to see how much ink you have in the pen, which is very handy. It’s light, but also fragile. This is not a pen to carry or store anywhere that it might encounter rough handling because that plastic will crack.
The pen has a fairly standard mechanism for adding ink cartridges. It does have a metal ring between the barrel and nib holding portion of the pen. It comes off when you unscrew the barrel, so you must take care not to lose it (if you do, the pen will still work.) To insert the cartridge, you take off the cap, unscrew the barrel …
… and insert the proper end of the cartridge into the pen, pressing gently until you hear a pop! Pretty simple even for me, and I confuse easily.
I love the little tins that the cartridges come in. They’re metal, and a nice size to store. After, you can use them for buttons, or paper clips, or other crafty things.
The ink is a periwinkle blue, one of my favorites. It leans toward the drier end of the scale.
Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the pen. At first, the pen was scratchy and the ink stopped after a few moments. I remembered having this problem with the roller ball pen at one point, and pulled the ink cartridge off (carefully, so I didn’t get ink on myself) and pushed it back on). After that the ink flowed just fine, until I was almost out of ink. I did have problems getting that last bit of ink to flow.
The nib seems fine point to me, which is fine with me, because I can get finer lines for drawing. For writing, it means it is best not to write large. It’s not a flex point or wide enough to get the variation of line needed for the swoops and swirls of calligraphy lettering, but it is a fountain pen, not a calligraphy pen.
That doesn’t mean you can’t ‘draw’ your fancy alphabets with it though.
I really like both the pen and this ink for drawing. I can get fine lines for detail, variations of darkness for shading, and an easy flow for coverage.
I’ll just let you look at the examples (I call them my Shy Ladies, because their eyes are hidden), as I think they make my point. I used three different papers in this order: one smooth, one just a little rougher, and one with a little tooth.
The pen is short, and those with large hands may find it uncomfortable. Even with small hands, you’ll probably need to post the cap (stick it on the other end of the pen) while writing.
This is an entry level pen, and you won’t get the Wow! factor that you might with more expensive pens. It works well for what it is.
While I did have some problem with ink flow, initially, I was able to fix the problem and the pen worked fine after that. The plastic body is a mixed blessing, as it’s very light and easy on the hand, but also fragile.
The ink cartridges are easily loaded into the pen, and the ink is a fairly dry one.