Due to constraints of time and a shift in my interests, as well as a rather low number of visitors lately, there will be no more postings for this wordpress blog.
I will, however, leave it online for reference purposes and hope this will be helpful.
“CALIBAN” June 2018
I must say that basically all Sanrenmu fixed knives have been impressive so far in terms of build quality and design. The 625 is no exception. My basic criticism is that the sheath system is a complete overkill here and that the knife should be half an inch longer in both handle and blade. As it is, people with small hands will be quite OK. Size comparison shot is with the very well made Ganzo 738 folder.
I was lucky to get one of these FPs as they seem to be already gone as you read this. Full brass construction makes it my heaviest writing instrument to date. The nib is identical to the other PenBBs models and writes like the one in my black plastic companion in the last post, i.e. quite smooth, a bit hard, skip-free, broader than a European fine. It can be unscrewed for flushing and replaced with a roller ball insert that I have not tried yet.
The 350 can still be had in aluminum and if you like the general design, you better act fast. The brass will, of course, leave a certain smell on your fingers after an extended writing session. The aluminum versions will be just as tough and could be well suited for banging around in your EDC backpack. The caps take a tad more than a full 360 degree turn to remove, a nice detail.
If PenBBs will offer more nib variations, this 350 will not be my last one.
Many people have noted that the quality of Chinese pens has been improving. The 308 from the PENBBS label ( also a Chinese pen forum ) is a good example of this trend. The steel nib is nicely decorated, inscribed as F, yet writes somewhere between a fine and a medium. It can be unscrewed for cleaning easily.
The plastic of the pen body, section and cap feels very solid, with smooth threads. There is an O-ring fitted so eyedropping this model seems to be a possibility. The converter seems of solid quality, it remains to be seen how it will hold up.
My sample of the 308 ( cap rings still say 266 on many, as parts are used up from this slightly different first model ) writes very nicely with no scratch or skipping whatsoever, but I would call it a somewhat hard nib.
The pen is quite a bit larger than a Lingmo Lorelei, with perfect ergonomic features, making my shiny black model look almost plain. There are many other colors available, quite a few of them being regularly sold out, which is no wonder as the pen can compete with western models for three times it´s price tag, easily.
Variations of the PENBBS models include fancy acrylic versions, several desk sytle pens and models that piston-fill. However, they all seem to use identical nib in F or EF. More variation is needed here.
Convinced by the quality of my 308, I have already ordered a 350 model in brass and can´t wait for it to arrive, though I later learned that it borrows quite a bit from the Namisu Ixion.
My latest folder is this 9cm bladed Cudeman. It is extremely well made for a price of around 30 Euros with that corsican design touch and a slim blade that always reminds me of the Al Mar Falcon series. The Mova stainless blade holds a decent edge.