As today is the first day of spring it seemed appropriate to post a review of a product that is environmentally positive, so here it is:
Just recently I saw an article about a recycling plastic bottles into fountain pens and this piqued my interest, so I decided to dig a little deeper and a quick trip to Amazon and I found what I was looking for, the Online 2nd Life fountain pen.
(For more information this is the link to the Amazon page; just scroll down and there is a detailed ‘from the manufacturer’ section which tells you all about the 2nd Life products.)
So, I decided to order one; for £6.67GBP it seemed like a bargain. There are quite a few fountain pens available for under £10.00GBP but none I’ve seen before that comes with serious eco credentials.
The pen comes with Online’s double ended cartridge (Universal/Lamy) but I decided to try out one of their converters (not part of the 2nd Life range) which are a universal fit and at £2.60GBP it was hardly going to break the bank if it didn’t.
I placed my order and Amazon navigated the complexities of Europe and delivered the pen and converter to me.
To begin with the cap is a snap cap and is a translucent blue with a pattern on the surface which to me reminded me of a water droplet effect. The clip and the finial are, as far as I can tell, a separate item from the body of the cap that is clicked into place during manufacturing; and the actual clip which I expected to be relatively brittle is, in fact, quite springy and should, I think, be quite durable in day-to-day use.
The barrel is also translucent blue but unlike the cap it does not have the ‘droplet’ patterning, however, it does get a darker blue as it nears the threads and there is a discreet diamond style patterning that has been printed onto the barrel along with the company name and the 2nd Life logo.
Towards the end of the barrel there is a step, and this allows the cap to be posted without any protrusion; I’ve tested this, and the fit is very smooth and as the pen is very light posting does help to balance the pen.
As sections go, the one on this pen is quite long; the exposed part is approximately 37mm long (not including nib) and 11mm at the widest going down to 8mm at the narrowest. The grip area is rubber coated and shaped to make the pen comfortable to use being rounded on the underside and the topside has two flattened sides and the section has a small lip at the nib end to stop your finger sliding on to the nib.
Now for the nib. The nib is polished stainless steel, Online branded, but it is small; at a guess I would say around Size 4, a quick visual check against a TWSBI Eco showed the nib to be a little smaller and shorter.
With it being so small I was glad I had ordered a Medium and to be honest I didn’t expect much from it, however, I was wrong. The nib is served by a good feed that keeps up a steady flow of ink (currently loaded with Diamine Red Dragon) to the nib and the nib has worked flawlessly; no skipping or hard starts it just works. However, I would say that it is on the Fine side of Medium; the line produced is slimmer than that of the Eco.
Instead of the free cartridge I decided to use the converter I had ordered to see how it would work and other than the converter requiring a bit more effort to install, I have been very impressed with the combination of pen and converter.
So, finally is this pen worth your pennies.
Yes, without a doubt, at this price it’s a steal. Not only do you get a great little pen that just works you also get a great little pen with solid eco credentials; my advice is buy a couple of them while you can, they are too good an opportunity to miss.
Disclaimer: The pen and converter were purchased at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.