Lately, I’ve become a student of the many different flex pen options out there. I have a few different ones in my collection, and I practice so much more calligraphy and handwriting, now that I’m not tied down to only using dip pens alone for nice line variation (thicks and thins.)
Today, I’m happy to share with you my review of my newest flex pen, the BlueDew flex fountain pen.
Do you love the feel and performance of a dip pen, but prefer the convenience of a fountain pen? Would you love to do pointed pen calligraphy with the portability of a fountain pen? Then read on for the pros and cons of this BlueDew flex fountain pen that was provided to me by BlueDew Pens, in return for my honest review.
This is the BlueDew flex fountain pen. The ink color (Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo) might be an unconventional color choice for this pen, but I love it. I had it originally inked up with Aurora Black, and that was a nice, classic ink for this pen.
When I received my BlueDew flex pen, it arrived in a slim, classic protective case which is a really nice touch. (There are 2 versions of the case on the site, and mine was the newer one that they are sending now, without the braided texture.)
The pen includes a converter to fill with ink, and the FAQs at the website state that it can take cartridges, as well. It feels very comfortable and balanced to write with.
I received the Tortoise Shell, and it’s pretty and elegant, with lovely coloring and shimmery flecks. It also comes in several other colors.
It looks much prettier in person than in the photos, because the color of the pen and the shimmery material don’t photograph well (at least for me!) The pen is less “orangey” and more “ambery” than my photos depict it. Also, the nameplate on the case is reflective, which doesn’t show up well here.
And, as I mentioned above, the photos of this pen don’t do it justice. The color is less intense than it shows up here.
The name of the company, BlueDew, is engraved on the side of the pen. It’s a nice detail, but not easy to see, because of the pen’s coloring and design. Maybe it would be seen more on the pen clip? Either way, it’s an extra touch. There is also engraving on the converter.
Let’s get right to the most unique aspect of this fountain pen – the nib.
If you’ve ever done pointed pen calligraphy with a dip pen, you will have some idea of how the nib on the BlueDew flex fountain pen looks and feels. Dip pen nibs aren’t tipped, so they feel less smooth than a typical fountain pen nib. This lack of tipping, though, is the reason that dip pens can achieve such extremely fine upstrokes, and this is true, too, of the BlueDew fountain pen’s propietary flex nib, which is also not tipped.
The nib is not a dip pen nib, though; it is a proprietary nib, specially designed to be used with this fountain pen. So, unlike a dip pen nib, the BlueDew nib isn’t prone to rust and will last longer.
If you’ve used a dip pen before, this lack of smoothness in the BlueDew flex fountain pen will feel normal to you, but if you have primarily been a fountain pen user, it will feel scratchy to you. This is by design.
The nib has a very springy feel and can achieve incredible flex. But, you absolutely shouldn’t apply too much pressure to this nib. It’s delicate and unable to take too much pressure.
You really don’t have to apply much pressure at all to get flex with this pen. Very slight pressure gives quite a bit of line variation with it. So, you definitely don’t want to put too much pressure on the nib or push the nib to its limit. As the BlueDew website states, “Never try to explore the limits of the flex.” If you apply too much pressure, you could damage the nib.
Also, you will want to write very slowly and methodically with the BlueDew pen when you are flexing, so that the ink can keep up and to avoid railroading, but you should be writing slowly and methodically if you are doing Copperplate, modern calligraphy, or for slow, beautiful handwriting, anyway. (And, for the traditional calligraphy purists out there, this is a straight pen, not like an oblique dip pen, so the slant will be similar to that with a straight dip pen.)
I experience occasional railroading when writing with it, but I find this especially true when I’m putting too much pressure on the nib or when I write too quickly. I discovered, too, that the angle that I hold the pen makes a huge difference. When I hold the pen at less of a steep angle and don’t tilt the nib to the side, the pen’s performance is much better, with very little railroading at all.
The ink that you use will affect these characteristics, also. A smooth flowing ink will make a difference. The Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink (a gorgeous purple-pink color) behaves well in this pen for me. Update: Aurora Black ink and Noodler’s Cactus Fruit Eel ink behave even better-smoother with less railroading.
This pen is suited more to a calligraphy lover than to the average fountain pen lover. To me, it feels like having a portable dip pen. The line variation is amazing with this nib, with such extremely thin lines that can be achieved.
I wouldn’t recommend it for note-taking or quick, everyday writing. It’s a flex pen, designed for flex writing.
If your primary goal is to emulate a dip pen’s performance in a fountain pen, I think you would enjoy this pen, as the BlueDew absolutely achieves that, in my opinion.
So, if you would like to do pointed pen calligraphy, without breaking out the dip pen and ink, this is a nice option, as long as you are patient and gentle with it. I’m delighted to have it in my collection, and I’ve been enjoying it daily.
Thanks again to BlueDew Pens providing the pen, in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and this post does not contain affiliate links.