Review: Faber-Castell Basic leather edition

The Numbers:
Weight: 32g
Length (capped): 140.4mm
Length (uncapped): 135mm
Length of cap: 63.3mm
Price: USD$45 from Goulet Pens
Body Material: Leather and metal
Nib Material: Stainless steel
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and converter (sold seperately)
Colours: Various editions and colours

Intro:
I had my friend purchased a Faber-Castell Basic from Frankfurt, Germany for me. Faber-Castell Basic is one of the entry level fountain pens from Faber-Castell, with the Loom being the other.

Faber-Castell Basic comes in a number of editions. There are the regular versions with different coloured caps. There are also a black carbon edition as well as a leather edition. These two are slightly more expensive. I went with the leather edition because I thought it looked nice in the photos I found online.

This is my first experience with a Faber-Castell fountain pen. I must say it has not been a good one. Though this is an entry level fountain pen but it isn't all that affordable.

Performance:
The Faber-Castell Basic leather edition is an almost all black pen with silver accents. The rubberised snap on cap feels nice to the touch. The cap closes with a slight click but it doesn't take much to pop the cap out. The clip is pretty springy which makes it easy to lift it up from against the cap. Combining the springy clip and the cap, sometimes I find the cap popping out when I am trying to clip the pen to my pen case. This is really a slight nitpick overall.

The grip section is covered with a rubberished black grip. I didn't like the way the rubberished grip section looked. It reminds me of the cheap Pilot G2's grip. I wish Faber-Castell didn't choose to design the grip section this way. This isn't a $2 gel ink pen. However, the grip section works well to allow me to maintain my grip and maintain my grip I must.

The major flaw of the Faber-Castell Basic is the entire balance of the pen is totally wrong. The pen is way too back heavy. I really have no idea why Faber-Castell thought this was a good idea. The only reason I can think of is they wanted me to be able to stand my pen on it's end easily. Just joking. Maybe they thought having a heavier pen will add to the premium feel of the fountain pen. Thanks to this odd design writing with the Faber-Castell Basic fountain pen takes me a conscious effort to hold on to it. This isn't the way writing with a pen should be. Remember that I had purchased the leather edition of the Faber-Castell Basic fountain pen, the only part of the pen that has leather is the barrel. The barrel is wrapped with a leather sleeve. It looks cheap and slightly a little odd.

Now to the nib of the pen, I had purchased the pen with the EF nib. I had expected it to write like my Lamy Safari EF nib - smooth with a little feedback. However the nib was scratchy right out of the box. The tines were aligned but I really didn't like the way the nib scratched across the page. I had to smooth the nib out. Once I have done that the nib writes smoothly.

Conclusion:
Though the Faber-Castell Basic is an entry level pen but I had expected it to be designed and perform better. I have had plenty of entry level pens like the Pilot Metropolitan or Sailor ProColour 500 that have performed better and some for cheaper. If you want to try a Faber-Castell fountain pen I would suggest you skip this one.

Pros:
* Snap on cap
* Takes international converter and cartridges

Cons:
* Extremely back heavy
* Scratchy nib

Posted on November 13, 2015 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.