Reviewed on this page:

True Writer

LeveTrueWriterBPbluS.jpg (5193 bytes)

Levenger True Writer - Reviewed by John

Near the time that it first came out, my mother purchased a blue Levenger True Writer. This pen caused so much trouble that it was eventually sent back to Levenger for a replacement. This review recounts the whole experience.


It is a good looking pen with nice depth to the pearlized finish and surprisingly tasteful and solid looking silver accents. The pen also has more heft than you would expect given its size (medium) and materials (all plastics). There are, however, a couple of flaws in the aesthetics of the pen. First, the top and bottom cap jewels are made of a cheap looking black plastic. Frankly, the pen would look better without them. Second, the cap posts quite awkwardly.The barrel is too wide for the cap to adhere very much below the end of the pen. In the first version of the True Writer she owned, the cap had the nasty habit of popping off the pen during use. The new one still seems precariously held in place, but at least does not pop off. Despite this, the exterior of the pen looks as though it costs more than the $50 list price.


The pen is fairly well balanced with or without the cap posted. It has an average sized steel nib with some modest decoration and the word "Levenger" inscribed on it. The medium nib writes with a stiff, but wet line and is surprisingly smooth. The first True Writer she had did, however, have problems with the feed. The pen would be writing smoothly and gloriously when, for no apparent reason, it would completely dry up and not write at all. No amount of tinkering could get it to overcome this problem; hence the need to return it. The new pen does not seem to have the problem.

The pen is a cartridge/converter type, but, much like the cap posting, the converter also seems to hang on precariously. I have had one ink-filling episode where the converter and the rest of the pen decided to part ways with predictably disastrous results.

Bottom Line:

The weirdness of the cap posting and various other quality control problems make the True Writer too risky to suggest as an introduction to fountain pens kind of pen. This is really too bad because the beauty of the pen combined with the low price point would otherwise make this pen an obvious choice in this category. On the other hand, for experienced Stylophiles, this pen beats out quite a number of other pens at or near this same price point.

Levenger True Writer - Reviewed by Vincent Panico

I really liked the look of the pen, especially for the price. I thought it would do just fine for my "every day" grading pen, filled with red ink (I am a professor). But when I received it, my first disappointment was with the (non) posting of the ridiculously heavy cap. It popped off the first tiime I tried it, and realized I'd have to press it on really tight to avoid the problem. But even worse, the cap is so heavy, with the overdone clip and band, that the balance of the pen is all wrong for me when the cap is on, anyway. I finally got frustrated enough that I took the band off (which is so much heavier than it should be), and that helped both the balance and posting problems.

I have used the bandless pen since the beginning of this semester, and I initially experienced the very same clogging problem you described -- suddenly, the ink just stops flowing. I have discovered that the problem seems to be with the converter -- it gets "vapor locked" or something. The ink in it just refuses to flow easily, and it says up around the plunger. Since I switched to using a cartridge, the clogging problem never returned.

But, just yesterday, a new and very serious problem arose -- the nib became loose and full of ink, and when I tried to wipe it off, the whole nib came our of the pen! It seems that the material in which the nib base sits has just deteriorated! I am not sure, but I think I will have to just throw the pen out.

All in all, I have to be amazed at the deficiencies of the True Writer, no matter the relatively low cost. They had to WORK at making the cap not be able to post on the body, and it just isn't reasonable to have the nib fall out! I'd warn people to STAY AWAY from this pen, unless all you want to do with it is mount it in a frame, or something.


For more on the True Writer, visit the Beginner's Guide section of the site.

Submit your own review -- email it to jmorgan@gmail.com