While I may hanker after specialty nibs and gorgeous fountain pens, I enjoy simple, economic beginner fountain pens just as much. They are great to carry around and my heart will not skip a beat if they are cosmetically marred. In my past experience, they are more reliable than luxury fountain pens at times because they are marketed for children and students, who probably have less patience for finicky pens.
While perusing at One over One Studio in Taipei, something bright caught the corner of my eyes, and when I approached, I saw these simple Schneider 670 fountain pens. Curious to how they write, I picked a pink one intended for the Little One (and yes, it shall remain as her first fountain pen, I am just performing “quality check” on her behalf 🙂 ).
- Length: 14.2cm (≈5.5inch; capped); 13cm (≈5.12inch uncapped); 16.3cm (≈6.42inch; posted)
- Weight: 9g (.32oz; with cap); 7g (.25oz; without cap)
- Filling system: international short or Kaweco converter
- Nib size: European fine
- Nib material: Stainless steel
- Body material: Lightweight plastic
The texture of the cap and the body are different; the matte cap, along with the dots, gives a bit more grip to remove the cap. The grip section, too, has tree ring-like pattern and matte surface so the pen won’t slip out of the hand. In addition, the patterned section is slightly tapered to make the section triangular to increase comfort and encourage good pen holding habits. The width of the barrel is just right. Even after a long writing session, the hand will not feel fatigued.
The humble stainless nib has proven to be a workhorse– writes smoothly and perfectly after first inked. It is definitely not as buttery as a gold nib that glides across the paper, but the nib has the right balance of smoothness and traction, where the users will have control while writing, without having to hold onto the barrel so tight. This nib also writes on the wetter side, that adds to the overall smoothness. Easy to use for both beginner and fountain pen elites alike.
The Schneider F nib writes a bit thicker when compare to other European F nib, but a bit smoother than a Lamy Safari F. In my opinion, it is a good nib width for everyday writing, not so bold where everything is a blur, and not so fine that it is hard to read.
Schneider 670 takes standard international short cartridges, as well as a Kaweco small piston converter. One over One Studio actually included both with the purchase of the pen (which I would like to see more often in American vendors). Even though being able to take both cartridges and converter is considered a kudos, there is a shortcoming when using the converter: the ink oozes out from the neck area, as see in the photos above. My speculation is perhaps the ink flow works too well with a converter and ink got into the cap; hence the inky grip. For the first couple times using it after inking, I got inky knuckles and fingers, but the oozing stopped after several usage. To confirm my suspicion, I switched to a cartridge to observe whether the same happens and the result is the opposite of a converter. The barrel is ink-free. Good news is that the plastic does not seem to be stained easily, so just wipe with a damp cloth/paper towel and the pen is pristine again.
I have not yet found this particular model sold in the U.S., but I have found other Schneider fountain pens of similar body sold in iPenStore, between $4-$7. In other corners of the world, I imagine these pens can be easily acquired. It is actually one of the recommended starter fountain pens in most specialty writing instrument stores in Taiwan.
This pen thoroughly impressed me and I would recommend it to beginners and experienced users. It is mostly no fuss, especially with a cartridge. No tweaking is required prior to first use and I can see that it can take a beating in anyone’s everyday carry.