Muji Fountain Pen review6 April 2014
I’d been after the Muji Fountain Pen for some time. I like the Muji aesthetic: simple, stylish, functional, unbranded. This fountain pen is very much in this vein.
It’s a simple aluminium tube with a nib at one end. The nib is scratchy and uninspiring. It’s a standard ‘iridium point’ nib, about a German fine in width. I don’t think they’re available in any other sizes.
The barrel is so light that it feels like it would buckle if you held it too tightly. I haven’t tested this out. If you put the pen down on your desk and a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the world, it will roll away.
The knurling is uncomfortable. (When people see knurling they tend to think: that must be jolly uncomfortable. When it’s done well, it isn’t at all. This isn’t done well.)
The cap closes and posts in a very clever way, by sliding inside the barrel. It’s neat. It means the metal at the end of the cap is incredibly thin and I can’t see it lasting very long before bending a little, making it impossible to put the cap on.
The pen takes standard international cartridges and some (but not all) converters will fit.
So, all in all, this is a pen that looks nice but is far too light and flimsy, uncomfortable to hold and has a poor nib. Spend your money on something else.
Wow. This was far more negative than I found the pen. I like both of mine. I dropped the first one nib first onto a wooden floor & that was the only way it became scratchy. The second one is smoother than any budget steel nib I own. I am used to drafting pencils and am fine with knurled grips. I don’t have super delicate fingers I guess.
I like the fact it’s a standard, no nonsense pen. It’s under $15 in the shop & isn’t precious. I don’t mind having it knock around my bag and as. c/c I can try out lots of inks in it easily.
It’s not a machined behemoth, but you don’t get those for $15, either.
Not sure what was expected. Granted it’s not to everyone’s taste, but the small details like the way it coordinates with the other aluminum Muji offerings & the way the cap fits into the end to post is all nicely done, IMO.
I also appreciate the slim form factor and lack of extra crap, but again, my opinion.
I wouldn’t be so quick to readers to not recommend it, but it’s isn’t a pen for everyone, clearly.
While I like my Muji, I appreciate a candid review. Good
I have one of this pen. I was using it everyday for a couple of years. I never had any problem. The nib is still very fine, the cap also. No “cap on” problem. I still have it, even i using mostly other brands lately. But i think it a really good, realible pen, for cheap.
I guess if my Muji pen was like yours, my review would not be glowing. But the pen I have is nothing like this. It writes beautifully and is not at all scratchy. It certainly is not a delicate pen that needs to be handled with care. It was my go-to pen for quite a long time.
The only issues I have with it are that it can’t really use long international cartridges (they come loose from the nib section), and it’s really too small for my gigantic hands. The size was the biggest issue for me. I’ve switched to a TWSBI 580 as my everyday pen. But I love the Muji design and usability. I wish you could give it a second chance. You’re missing out on a great value.
I have been using pelikan’s edelstine long cartridges and they fit perfectly. Although these are sold as standard international size, I have found the cartridge mouth cracking when on other standard international pens.
So I case you are looking for long cartridges, edelstein is a great option.
Thanks everyone for these alternative views. I really wanted to like this pen, honestly I did! I accept it’s not as flimsy as it seems as I couldn’t bear to use it long enough to find out if it really would break. I will ink it up this evening and use it for another week to see if I can change my mind and report back here next Wednesday!
Ian, I would be happy to send you mine as a comparison. I’m hoping that you just got a bad nib. i’m @imkpkelsey on twitter.
Thanks Kevin, I’ll be in touch & if we can work something out I’ll delay my retrial until it arrives!
Very upset and unfair review.
The pen is very light? Well no wonder – aluminium is used in cars and airplanes because it is hard and at the same time light enough. I also see no way of damaging the pen to the point that cap can’t be put back on. Unless you drive it over with a car.
I’m glad you enjoy using yours. I thought mine was absolute rubbish.
Hi! Have your tried any converter on it? I loking for one that fits.
I find that it’s a noisy pen and that the nib has too much friction, but what bothers me is that whenever I need to use the pen, I have to woo the nib to get it to write. A pen needs to be ready to go as soon as I need it. As far as cheap pens go, I have had great experience with Pilot’s Metropolitan pen. It’s the same price, but much better quality.
I should’ve found your review earlier sadl my non seems to be like yours – scratchy and basically unusable. I really wanted to like the own but with that bin that’s not possible
Hey can anyone say which converter fit this fountain pen
The negative views seem quite harsh. This pen is a design classic and en engineering masterpiece, currently retailing at £12 and a few pence. It’s light weight is not a negative, and it recommends the pen for travelling; the nib is wonderfully fine, and it was what moved me away from medium nibs. The way the cap posts is a total delight – the tolerances must be in the order of nanometers. I have a Lamy 2000, a Sailor 1911 with Naganiti-togi nib, a Mont Blanc 147 (traveller), and a Nakaya Urushi ebonite. I love these pens for different reasons. I do a lot of writing, taking down detailed verbatim notes of interviews, which can last up to a couple of hours, and I do a few interviews in a row, two or three days a week. I have to fill these pens before I start work, so I can just switch from one to the next, and I include the Muji among them. They are all a pleasure to write with. I can’t say the Muji is up there with the pleasure of using the Nakaya or the Sailor, and I couldn’t say its like writing on glass, but I am really happy with it, and it always starts if the cartridge is ok. For £12 you can’t go wrong.
I have one and I am delighted with it. Writes smoothly and we’ll.
I don’t think the review does it justice