In my fountain pen journey, I've tossed exactly one pen: the Delike Alpha Brass pen.
It wound up in the recycling because the plastic threads inside the cap came unstuck. The pen wouldn't cap. The experience put me off metal pens with plastic thread inserts. I thought brass pens were supposed to be tough!
No plastic threads here. This pen is all brass.
Staking Out the Middle Ground
Compared to similar brass pens, the Delike Brass pen adopts a middle way. It's quite a bit bigger than the Kaweco Liliput but smaller than the Kaweco Supra or Blackstone Clipless Brass Fountain Pen. It's nice to see Delike charting their own course.
|Delike Brass||Kaweco Liliput¹||Kaweco Supra¹||BlackStone²|
|Barrel diameter||11mm||9.3 mm||11.6mm||12mm|
|Inked weight capped||42.81g||21g³||50g³||65g³|
|Inked weight uncapped||33.65g||13g³||40g³||45g³|
The Delike Brass pen is about as minimalist as you could want. The cap and barrel finials are simple and rounded. Adding a degree of sophistication, the cap and barrel are milled with a light threaded texture. The finish is attractive and works well to increase the grippiness of the pen.
The brass is uncoated so expect a natural patina.
To post the pen you screw the cap on the end of the barrel. Capping and posting both take quite a few turns: 3½ turns to cap the pen and 4½ turns to post the cap on the barrel. The threads are positive and well made, but it's still a lot of turns.
Posting and capping are both solid. The cap tightens nicely so it's not going to come off if the pen bounces around in your bag. Posting is equally firm.
The section is relatively short and slightly concave in an hourglass shape. The threads behind the section are noticeable but not overly sharp.
The pen uses a Delike #5 nib in a screw-in nib unit and comes in the three nib sizes: EF, F and a mini-fude art nib. I chose the F nib. My experience with Delike nibs in the past has overall been very positive.
The nib unit comes apart easily for cleaning or swapping in other nibs.
Like the Alpha, Delike designed the pen to be large enough to fit a converter. The supplied converter works as expected - except for a tendency to rattle against the barrel. Wrapping a bit of masking tape around the base of the converter solved that.
In the Hand
At 42 grams, the Delike Brass pen is certainly hefty. Unposted, the pen 9 grams lighter. It's possible to jot a few words with the pen unposted, but any extended writing needs to be done with the pen posted.
With the weight of the pen and how short the section is, this is not a pen to grip near the nib. Treating the pen almost like a brush with a relaxed grip further up the pen proved to be the most satisfying way to writing with this pen. Writing comfortably with this pen proved something of a learned experience.
The nib wrote perfectly out of the box. No tuning required.
Like other Delike nibs I've used, the nib in this pen writes smoothly and is nicely wet. Flow is generous and the pen requires no pressure at all to write. The line is on the broad side of fine. The performance of the nib is clearly one of the strengths of this pen.
The Delike Brass pen is solid and ready for the rough and tumble of everyday use. Just what you'd expect from a brass pen like this.
From that point of view it's perfect for travel, school or slipping in your pocket or bag when heading out into the world. The threaded texture is a brilliant touch.
Given it's weight, slightly awkward fit in the hand and somewhat tedious capping and posting routine, however, it may not be the best fit for folks new to fountain pens. I wouldn't choose it for a long writing session at my desk. The Wing Sung 699 works better for that.
But for the enthusiast looking for a quality brass pen to add to their collection, this is a hard pen to pass up. At under US$10, it's certainly a bargain. I hope this is not the last brass pen Delike has up their sleeve. Or maybe a stainless steel version? That would certainly be interesting.
More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.