Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 19, 2020

photo of the Benu Briolette

Benu Briolette Secret Garden

My fountain pen usage was up this week. Mainly because I changed the way I journal. Previously I wrote either in the morning or the evening. In the morning, I’m often rushed to get on to something else. In the evening I’m tired and unable to remember the details of my day. Now I do updates throughout the day rather than trying to remember it all at the end of the day. I’ve also worked on drafting a couple of posts.

I broke down and ordered a couple more fountain pens. I’m telling myself these are the last pens until December when I might get something to end the year. I signed up for an in-stock notification for the Benu Grand Scepter X at Goulet Pens, and it arrived this past week, which dropped my defenses and triggered the buying. So I ordered the pen, along with some stationery. Since I was already ordering a pen, I looked at the pens on my watch list. The Sailor 1911L Ringless drew me in. I ordered it from Anderson Pens since they had a couple of notebooks that I wanted to try. Now I have to pick a few more pens to sell-off.

The Sailor 1911 with a zoom nib is a risky choice for me, which is why it spent so much time being considered. I sold off all my 1911, except the Sterling, because I didn’t use them. Plus, I had a zoom nib years ago and never got the hang of it. I’m willing to try again with the zoom nib since I was a neophyte when I had it. I don’t expect it to be a daily writer, just fun to use on occasion.

After I ordered the pens, I received an email from Pen Chalet. Another Benu pen I hade my eye on is on sale this weekend, the Benu Supreme. I’ll pass on it, even though it’s the best price that I’ve seen for the pen. If you do shop at Pen Chalet, be sure to find a 10% off coupon. If needed, check the latest Pen Addict podcast for a coupon code.

After a concerted effort, using it for several days in a row, I finally wrote the Benu Scepter dry. Next up is the Benu Briolette. Although, the Briolette has a long international cartridge and an extra-fine nib so that it will have some staying power. I’ll mix in other pens every few days. I am using just one pen for 90% of my writing most days. Since I’m pretty much always home, and at my desk, the ystudio desk pen gets called on the other 10% of the time. I rather enjoy the challenge of writing a pen dry as quickly as possible.

I mentioned I need to pick some pens to sell-off. I have had the Platinum 3776 Ribbed with a UEF nib inked up. It’s a pen that doesn’t get much use despite the terrific nib. I wanted to compare it to the newly arrived Pilot PO nib. While the UEF is slightly thinner, my aging eyes don’t notice any difference. Plus, I also have a perfect Sailor XF nib in my Regency Stripe that’s nearly as thin. Both pens appeal to my aesthetic much more than the gold trim and nib on the Platinum. I’ll be putting it on my for sale page as soon as I can get photos and flush it out. Mention you’re a regular reader (getting this far in this post qualifies, even if this is your first visit), and I’ll take $10 off the listed price, which I haven’t decided on yet. The pen is six years old and has the expected micro-scratches, but is in otherwise excellent condition.

New Arrivals



  1. Benu Grand Scepter X with a fine nib.
  2. Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard



Written Dry

  1. Benu Scepter II went dry on Wednesday. Finally! I’ve been using it as my primary (but not exclusive) writer for almost a week. I inked up back on June 14. So it went for just over a month. I liked the R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink that was in it.

Newly Inked



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Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 12, 2020

Photo of the Benu Scepter II - my most used pen this past week.

Benu Scepter II – my most used pen this past week.

Earlier in the week, Tuesday I think, I decided to pick one fountain pen and use it as my primary writer until it was dry. I chose the Scepter II with an extra-fine nib and R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink. The pen still has ink today, which indicates how low my fountain recent pen usage has been. My rather feeble defense is that Saturday, I used my ystudio Desk Pen far more than the Scepter II. It was just more suitable for the short notes I was writing as I worked at my desk. Hopefully, I’ll be motivated to pick them up more often during the week ahead.

A bunch of new pens have been catching my eye and trying to empty my wallet. I have to admit, despite having several new pens that have barely been used, I’m itching to buy one. For example, Retro 51 will be releasing a new fountain pen this week. I marked it on my calendar. Although the pen looks beautiful (in photos), I know it won’t become a favorite. Past Retro 51 fountain pens have failed to pull me in. An early model was of poor quality, and later well-built pens were sold off after going unused for years. So I deleted that calendar entry. It’s been like that with other new fountain pen announcements. After some thought, and more research – such as size and weight, I dropped the pen from my want list.

One product that caught my attention is the Sailor Shikiori ink cartridges. I’ve done a 180 on my ink buying philosophy. I used to go with only bottles since they were the best price per ml. But I have drawers full of ink bottles, and most are nearly full. I could set the record as the longest living human and still not use all my ink. Bottles are a low price per milliliter received, but a high cost per millimeter used. So I’ve become more open to ink cartridges. (I’m not too fond of samples.) While undoubtedly expensive on a per milliliter basis, it’ll be less money leaving my wallet overall. I’m still not sold since I only have four Sailor pens that can use them. (I could use that as an excuse for another Sailor pen. There is one calling to me.) I also doubt will they provide something I can’t get from my current ink stash, other than convenience.

New Arrivals






Written Dry


Newly Inked



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Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 5, 2020

photo of the Kanilea Kona Cherry

My favorite fountain pen of the past week.

Another week of relatively low fountain pen usage. My favorite pen of the week was the Kanilea Kona Cherry with its extra fine nib and Montblanc Bordeaux ink. Despite it’s place as a favorite it didn’t keep me from picking up my other pens throughout the week.

New Arrivals / Incoming / Outgoing / Written Dry / Newly Inked

Nothing at all, an uneventful week.


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Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 28, 2020

Photo of the Benu Scepter II

This week’s favorite

My fountain pen usage remained relatively low this past week. While I used the pens daily, there weren’t any extended writing sessions. I’m hoping to change that this coming week. I’ve got several “This Just In Posts” to write, so those should jumpstart my usage.

My most used and favorite fountain pen of the week was the Benu Scepter II with an extra-fine nib and R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink.

New Arrivals

Penlux Masterpiece Grande Black & White Koi, with a steel fine in arrived this past Tuesday. It’s a nice large fountain pen.

photo of the newest arrival




The Benu Minima was sold and will be put in the mail on Monday. Arrived in May, out in June. As I mentioned last week, I did like the pen, but I didn’t foresee it getting used often enough. The longer I keep it, the harder it will be to sell.

Written Dry

The Newton Eastman with an Esterbrook #3556 Firm Fine nib wasn’t exactly written dry, but I flushed it out. It recently developed a habit of burping frequently. Maybe it’s the humid weather, or my hands are hotter than usual (no fever, I checked). The usual tricks of equalizing the pressure didn’t really work. It was annoying, so I flushed the pen. I could have toped off the ink to remove air, but it’s been over three months, so a good time for a change.

Newly Inked

The newly arrived Penlux Masterpiece Grande was filled with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink. Although it arrived on Tuesday, I didn’t get around to inking it up until Friday afternoon.


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Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 21, 2020

photo of my Kaweco Brass SportMy fountain pen usage continued to be low this past week. I missed a couple of days of journaling and didn’t do much other writing besides notes and lists. I did fill my current journal, which was a Field Notes Dime Novel edition. Once that was filled, I pulled out my Nanami Seven Seas Writer, which was already three-quarters used. The pocket notebook had ceased to be an incentive to get me started writing, so now I want to fill the last 25% of this A5 notebook.

The Kaweco Brass Sport has moved out of my pocket, to my desk so it got some use. It was easily the most used fountain pen over the last week. It’s a clear choice as the favorite of the week.

[Update: The Minima has been sold] I’ve decided to sell off my Benu Minima Mystical Green, and I’m mentioning it here first so regular readers the first crack at it. Also, say you’re a reader, and I’ll take $5 off the listed price. I’ve decided it doesn’t have a place in my rotation. It will never replace the Kaweco Brass Sport. I don’t trust the acrylic to play well with the keys in my pocket. Unlike the Kaweco, it won’t look better with scratches, dents, and dings. See the for sale page if you are interested.

I inked up a bunch of fountain pens as the week came to a close. Some were inked so I could decide if they were worth keeping. The Platinum 3776 Ribbed is one of these. It’s been just over a year since it was last inked up. It can go years between getting inked. I’ve used the ultra extra-fine nib as an excuse to keep the pen. It is a lovely nib. While it is my thinnest nib, the F-C Model 02 (needlepoint) and newly arrived Pilot 912 (posting nib) are very nice writers and fill the same function as the 3776 Ribbed does for me. They aren’t afflicted with gold trim, which puts me off the pen.

The Lamy 2000 is a classic design and one that I like a lot. But the pen hasn’t been inked in over two years, and that last time it took over six months for me to write the pen dry. The pen has two traits that afflict me. The nib is small and doesn’t stand out from the pen, which I count as one. And second, it has a small sweet spot. The first two traits combine to prevent me from rotating the pen as I use it. It’s not a lot, but combined with that small sweet spot, I get a lot of skipping. I’m going to give it another try. I’m in the mood to pass it on if it fails me again.

The two inked Benus have the same nib (EF) and have green as the base color. So they’re prime targets to keep one and pass the other along. While I’m far from decided, the Scepter immediately drew me to it, so it seems to be the one to beat. Of course, I haven’t seen the Grand Scepter in the flesh, make that acrylic, yet. So they both may be rentals.

New Arrivals



  1. Penlux Masterpiece Grande Black & White Koi (Fine) – this large pen has me intrigued, so I ordered one. I’m hoping this arrives early in the week. It’s already at the nearby USPS distribution center. But recent history proves it could be later in the week, and tease me over multiple days.



Written Dry

  1. Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo (left oblique): I flushed this one a little early. It needed help getting started on multiple occasions. While it had been sitting unused for a couple of days, this is very unusual behavior for this pen, and the frustration got to me. It probably had a page or two left when I picked it up and it failed to write earlier this week. So it got cleaned and put away. I have no patience for bothersome fountain pens. Although, since it’s one of the few oblique nibs that I have, it will be back soon enough.

Newly Inked

  1. Benu Briolette Secret Garden (EF) with the included long-international ink cartridge
  2. Benu Scepter II (EF) with R&K Alt-Bordeaux
  3. Pilot Custom 912 (PO) with the included Pilot Black in cartridge
  4. Sheaffer Ringtop Jade (F) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue (maroon box)
  5. Platinum 3776 Ribbed (UEF) with a Platinum Black cartridge
  6. Lamy 2000 (F) with R&K Leipziger Schwarz
  7. Kanilea Cherry Kona (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  8. Franklin-Christoph Model 20 (M. Stub) with a Diamine Oxblood cartridge

The first four in the list are all getting inked up for the first time since they arrived.


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Conway Stewart No 13 Safety Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog and John Brindle’s Mabie Todd Pens Lists – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // While I have no real desire to own either of these vintage brands, I love reading about them and history.

Failure is the best test | UK fountain pens // Disappointing to hear about a 100% rate of disappointment. While it could be argued that not every pen was an out-of-the-box failure, I would say nib inconsistencies within a brand, or pen line, is a failure.

Pens from My Past | dapprman // Fountain pens weren’t a thing for me when I was in school. I feel deprived.

A new pen deliberation. And a Safari gets a deep clean. | Fountain pen blog // While I often swap Safari nibs, I’ve never had the feed come out like this.

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