Tag Archives: moonman

Review: Moonman T1 Fountain Pen

I’m revisiting my reviews of inexpensive pens from China. Now the Moonman T1 is much more expensive than some of the other inexpensive brands from China- namely Jinhao and Wing Sung, which have made some of my favorite cheapies. Moonman seems to up the design aesthetic and improve materials. This is my second Moonman and won’t be my last.

If you have ever wondered what would happen if you leave your Kaweco AL Sport and TWSBI Diamond in a drawer together for the night, well I have an answer for you, you’d get a T1. The cap is made of aluminum with plastic threading, the grip is aluminum and round, the body is clear plastic and smoothly round while the end cap and some of the insides are aluminum. The piston features a double rubber seal that is slicked with silicone grease. The nib is a larger size than I usually associate with Moonman. The nib is fixed to the body of the pen, while the grip forms a sleeve around it. Removing the grip and nib unit took some oomph. I think it had some glue to prevent this, but uh, not any more. It also had some silicone grease on the threads. After I cleaned it with warm water I regreased the threads and screwed it all together, snuggly, not too tight.

I’m out of practice reviewing fountain pens, but let’s just say this thing takes a great big gulp of ink. I filled mine with Iroshizuku TsukiYo, a favorite ink color that is a slightly muted tone of the same teal as the pen. The piston moves absolutely smoothly without catching anywhere. Like the TWSBI it doesn’t depress the whole way to the end of the section. I did not disassemble the piston mechanism, but it looks as though it uses a wrench much like the TWSBI.

Perhaps I should have tested the pen with a lesser ink but I have to say, this pen feels pretty good with a few little issues. The nib is stiff and with my heavy hand bounces a bit. I’ve been using it on some pretty rough composition book paper that is better with pencil than fountain pen and thought drags a bit, it feels pretty good. It doesn’t seem to have sharp or rough spots. It is a slightly dry writer, which is a surprise with this ink. If it continues past this fill I’ll modify the feed to be toward my preference of wetness.

On better papers this nib feels really nice. I’ve written a letter on Rhodia and used it in my work and home bullet journals. The results have all been really nice. On the Leuchtturm paper it glides and feels nice. Even in my no name home bullet journal it feels great.

The section is a nice size for my hand. It’s roughly the same size as a standard Sharpie. The slight flare at the base makes it feel grippy. I’ve discussed how I have dry hands so I tend to not find pens slippery, but it should be noted that the grip is made of metal and those of you with wet sweaty paws might find this slippery.

The body of the pen is nicely sized and fits my hand well. It can be posted but that makes it ridiculously long and top heavy, also, it posts to the end cap and we all know that can lead to dramatic errors. It arrived in a nice hard plastic box with a foam insert as far as packaging goes, this one is actually usable as a pencil or pen case. Once you slide that foam out, you have a nice hard bodied case to put your pen in to take to work or wherever you might go in their weird Covid Days.
My one issue with the pen is that it has some pretty sharp drops from the body of the pen to the grip section and end cap. It’s not a smooth drop. The edges feel a tad bit sharp. It doesn’t sit in a place that causes issues, but is worth a mention.

Overall I like this pen. I like the mash up of Kaweco Sport and TWSBI aesthetic with the addition of a piston fill. Mine was $29 on sale, they are currently going for $33. Most of the Moonman pens appear to be cartridge or eye droppers, so this piston fill seems a little different. I like it but I have to wonder if it is worth the price tag when you can get “better” brands for roughly the same price. The TWSBI Eco clocks in at roughly $30 and has a huge variety of colors and nib options and can be purchased through a number of totally legit sellers VS various resellers on eBay or Amazon. While I totally dig this pen, a TWSBI Eco is likely a better choice in terms of the company backing it up with a guarantee.

Review: Moonman Pocket Mini Fountain Pen

My Instagram feed has been full of pics of Moonman fountain pens for ages. I pushed down the FOMO for months, finally I found a version of the pocket mini on eBay for less than $13 and I pulled the trigger, and almost a month later it arrived.

The packaging is a simple white box with a glossy embossed image of the closed pen. Inside, the tiny pen is sheathed in a tight plastic sleeve and set into die cut foam. In the box are 2 pipettes and a package of 6 international short ink carts. The most difficult part of the packaging is getting the pen out of the snug plastic sleeve.

I always wash my new pens with some plain water to clean out any machining gunk left behind from the manufacturing process. I disassembled the pen to its bits and bobs- body, section, nib, feed and the screw in bit that holds the nib and feed into the section. Each of the parts that screws into the other has a small white o-ring for sealing. I added some silicone grease to further seal the pen as I intended to use it eyedropper.

Closed the pen is tiny. Smaller than a Kaweco Sport. It disappears into my pocket. Even filled with ink it is incredibly lightweight. The pen holds just over 2 ml  of ink when eyedroppered. Which is a ton of those short international short carts or 3 international long carts. The pen will only hold international short carts. I immediately inked my pen up with Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo.

Ink flow is good. It’s not wet nor is it dry. My nib out of the box was smooth, but not silky smooth. I ran it over a buffing stick to get it to the smoothness I prefer. I then manipulated it a bit to get some line variation, it’s not quite an architect grind but similar. The nib can be replaced with a (I think) number 5 nib from any of the standard sellers of nibs.

I really enjoy the seaglass green color with the slight frosted look inside the cap. It combines with blue inks to look really lovely. The overly thick body size is nice. I find that it feels pretty good when I write. The section is small enough that the pen doesn’t feel overly fat. The drop from body to section is steep and a tad sharp. Because it is a $13 pen I won’t feel bad if I file and sand this down to something that works better for my hand. As it is the step doesn’t sit on an awkward place in my hand.

This is not going to be a pen for everyone. If you have large hands you will probably not like this pen. If you don’t like the Kaweco Sport you probably will find this too small. It is a stubby tiny pen with a decent nib and feed.  We’ll see how it holds up over time I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks. I’ve certainly let it bang around in my pocket over these few weeks and it’s done okay. I’ve noticed a few small scratches in the plastic after keeping in a pocket with my work keys. Oops.