My everyday writer at home is a beautiful Pelikan M200, extra fine, that my wonderful wife gave me for my birthday. But what to use when away from home? I don't want to risk losing... view more it and, on extended trips, bottled ink isn't practical.
Thus the Faber Castell Grip 2011, extra fine. No, it doesn't have the fine craftsmanship feel of the M200, but then again it is 87.5% cheaper. It writes extremely well and is balanced in the hand. The extra fine is much, much finer than the M200, which now seems like a medium by contrast.
My wife, who also owns and loves a M200, likes the Grip well enough that she is going to buy one for herself! view less
Grip is the best starter fountain pen available right now. Yes, I know them’s fighting words in the fountain pen world, but consider the facts. The Grip has Faber Castell’s highly ... view moreregarded stainless steel nib, widely reviewed as the best in the sub $100 price segment. The Grip uses standard cartridges and converters, so lots more ink options than you get with proprietary cartridge pens that dominate the starter segment. The pen is well made out of ABS, so it’s going to last a long time. The Grip has an ergonomic grip section shaped for a standard hold and the section has a nice rubberized coating. FC nibs are in between normal European nibs and Japanese nibs in terms of line width, but they deliver plenty of ink at all sizes, so you get the best of both worlds. The barrel threads have a notch, so the section and barrel always align perfectly with the raised studs laying flat along the webbing of your hand to prevent grip creep. The pen even has a sprung pocket clip. In short, Faber Castell’s design engineers really put a great deal of thought into this pen. It writes extremely well, smooth, crisp, no nib issues at all. It’s lighter than the Metropolitan, more reliable than the Safari/Al-Star, delivers ink better than the entry level Platinums, and unlike all those other “starter” pens, uses standard cartridges. Priced towards the upper end of the starter segment, but you get what you pay for. This version, the all black, is very professional looking and can easily be used in an office environment right along side pens costing five times as much. As stated in the beginning of this review, Grip is the best starter fountain pen currently available. Very highly recommended. view less