Today’s pen review is a jump ahead. I have so many things from Christmas and Birthday that I haven’t reviewed yet – then I picked up more stuff when I was at Spectrum when we hit not only The Pen Place but also Artist & Craftsman Supply. There was also a quick trip to the new (to me) location of Asel Art Supply in Arlington, TX. Today I’m looking at Pilot’s Varsity disposable fountain pens – one from Asel Art Supply and one from Artist & Craftsman Supply.
I’ve used the Varsity pens off and on for years, but I do like going back to them. Though they come in seven colors, this time we’re looking at the primary blue and red. These are called “everyday fountain pen” and it’s that true. These are no-frills plastic barrel, stainless steel medium nib pens. The nibs make a decently fine line that makes writing with them easy. They’re also completely sealed so leaking is less of an issue than it could be.
These pens have liquid fountain pen ink encased in a plastic barrel with clear sections to see the ink levels. In the truest sense of disposable, they’re not refillable. Being a liquid ink, there is drying time involved to the ink and some smearing, if you’re not careful. The no frills design of the pen is still fairly well balanced and comfortable. They’re about 5.5″ long, and the cap posts fairly well for molded plastic.
They run up to about $3-$4 a piece, but you can get them cheaper. They’re available in singles or the 7-color variety pack for anywhere from $11 – $15 dollars. They’re available online and in art supply stores – maybe even big box office supply stores. So they’re accessible as well as easy to write with.
1. How does it work? – 1 – It is what it is – a disposable fountain pen suitable for everyday carry. But the nib is narrow enough for every day writing, yet wide enough for some “fancy” work, and the ink flows smoothly.
2. Grip and feel – 0.5 – The grip is plain with no attempts at ergonomics. There’s a ledge between nib and barrel that can dig into your finger in long-term use.
3. Material – 1 – It’s plastic and stainless steel. It’s what it proclaims to be. A disposable fountain pen.
4. Overall Design – 0.5 – There could be some nods to comfort, but it’s not bad for what it is. The clip seems a bit weak, but it’s plastic, like the rest of it.
5. Price Point – 1 – The Varsity is available everywhere, and runs at affordable pricing, it’s a great way to try out fountain pens before investing in a much more expensive piece.
I give it 4 out of 5 Bronze Pencils