The Dilli is available from their website with a variety of nibs. It’s also available on Amazon, at least in the US, with either a fine of flex nib in a variety of colors. The price is the same as on the website although you may qualify for free shipping from Amazon or the pen may go on salel on the website. If ordered from the website the pen ships from India.
Why I Got It
Curiosity. It’s a $15 piston filler. It was an easy purchase through Amazon with free shipping.
What I Got
As I mentioned, I ordered through Amazon. The pen arrived in a padded envelope but without other protection. I pen itself was in a plastic baggy type sleeve with the instruction sheet. The pen was undamaged but the packing seemed risky.
I ordered and received the green model with a fine nib, It’s see-through demonstrator green plastic.
The piston mechanism is white and takes up a considerable amount of space in the pen, but there’s still room for plenty of ink.
The build quality seems pretty good. It’s a plastic pen so I’m sure it can be cracked with enough pressure, but it does seem solidly built. There’s a bit of a step between the piston blind-cap and the pen body. But this may be by design since the blind-cap has some ridges I assume are to help gripping but seem unneeded. When grabbing the blind-cap it feels like the pen is roughly finished although I think it’s by design
The only thing I did upon receiving the pen was to flush it with water and a couple drops of dish soap to remove any residue. The build quality seemed good and the pen was ready to go.
It’s a screw on cap which is kind of cool for a pen at this price point.
As usual, some wiggle room to avoid scratching the pen.
- Length Capped: 5.444″ (138.29 mm)
- Length Uncapped: 4.702″ (119.45 mm)
- Section Length (incl. threads): 0.743″ (18.88 mm)
- Section Length (below threads): 0.491″ (12.48 mm)
- Section Diameter (near threads): 0.399″ (10.16 mm)
- Section Diameter (near nib): 0.359″ (9.13 mm)
- Barrel Diameter: 0.429″ (10.91 mm)
- Cap Diameter (at band): 0.513″ (13.04 mm)
Using The Pen
Getting a full pen was accomplished with one cycle of the piston.
I typically use my pens unposted and this one is long enough to use unposted. But remember I mentioned the step between the blind-cap and the pen? This rests against my hand and it’s sharp enough to be annoying. Not sharp as in cutting me so maybe rough is a better word. So I’ve been using the pen posted to avoid this.
The pen is light so it’s no surprise that it’s still well balanced when posted. The cap posts securely once it’s pushed down enough, I was timid at first, afraid I’d break it, and there was a noticeable snap as I pushed it in place. Either it’s loosened up or I’m less timid as it now snaps into place mush easier. There’s no signs of scratches or cracks (that first snap was disconcerting).
The nib is surprisingly smooth. There is some tooth to it, more noticeable on Doane paper than the smoother Rhodia. It doesn’t affect performance and the flow is consistent and problem free.
I’ve used two inks with the pen so far. Private Reserve Invincible Black, an ink I just reviewed, was a wet writer in this pen. Flow was consistent without any skipping or hard starts during about ten pages of writing.
Rohrer and Klingner Salix, an iron gall ink, was the second ink I used. Compared to the Invincible Black this is a drier ink. It was almost problem free during a couple days of regular use. One day it was extremely difficult to get the ink flowing in the morning. A little water, a little shaking, some more shaking. Once the flow started the pen was problem free. The pen/ink were fine on several other morning and even after 36 hours of non-use. I flushed this ink out after about a week to avoid the iron gall potentially corroding the steel nib.
Cleaning The Pen
Both inks were easy enough to clean from the pen. It was simply a matter of filling and emptying the pen until the water was clear. The nib and feed are removable if needed for a more thorough cleaning. The pen has been easy enough to clean so I haven’t had to remove the feed. The nib and feed are short and since I have large fingers it’s hard for me to grip, even with gripping material
The FPR Dilli is a nice little pen. At $15 (or $18 for the flex nib) it’s a solidly built pen with a nice nib. One pen is hardly a significant sampling, but the pen doesn’t need any adjustment to be a fine writer and the build quality is good.