Wooden wonder: Faber-Castell e-Motion

I received this pen at no cost from Executive Pens Direct. If this worries you at all, see my ethics page here.

I’ll cut to the chase: I wish I’d bought an e-Motion a couple of years ago. After a few weeks of use I can say with confidence that it’s a great pen, and at £78 an absolute bargain (you can save 20% on your own, or any other purchase, from Executive Pens Direct. Use the code UKFP20.)


Let me explain why.

Faber-Castell is the “budget” cousin to Graf von Faber-Castell. I’ve owned a few Grafs, and today I own and love a Classic in Pernambucco wood. The eMotion here shares a lot of the DNA from the Classic, but at about 15% of the price.

OK, OK, the e-Motion is down on specs. No gold nib, no fluted wood, the packaging is simpler, and the finishing lacks the panache of the Graf. But consider what they have in common.

Both are wooden-barrelled, metal capped, metal-ended, metal-sectioned, with hinged clips and screw caps and converters inside. Both feel like precision instruments, well put-together, in Germany.

So if your budget doesn’t stretch to a Graf, look no further.


The wood on my e-Motion is pearwood, which is smooth-grained and rather red. It contrasts really nicely against the shiny chromed metalwork.

Where the Graf Classic is skinny and straight, the e-Motion is more curvaceous. The barrel and section are stout in the middle.


The cap has a lot going on; it’s a statement feature in the pen, with little flutes and a detailed clip. It’s lined with plastic, so the threads are smooth on the section.


Faber-Castell is cleanly engraved into the side. Uncapping the pen, you feel the weight of the cap — I can’t help but equate that with quality.


The section is wide, tapering slightly towards the nib. It’s smooth, shiny metal and a complete fingerprint magnet. Although it’s fairly long as sections go, I found myself holding the pen quite high up, on the threads, which are completely unobtrusive.


Unscrew the section and you’ll see just how chunky the section is. I’ve seen thinner castle walls. A Faber-Castell-branded converter does the job — filled here with Robert Oster Fire & Ice.


The nib is steel, of course at this price point, and very distinctive: there’s no breather hole, and a dotted pattern covers the surface. This nib is familiar to me from the Ondoro I reviewed way back in the day, and I was happy to get reacquainted with it.


Mine is stamped medium, but I would call it a fine, even an extra fine. It certainly runs narrower than the fine on my Graf Classic. There’s definite feedback, of the pencil variety, which I enjoyed: I felt really in control of the writing experience.


In fact my only criticism of the nib is that it looks a little small against the chunky size of the pen.

On occasions where I left the pen unused for longer than a couple of days, I experienced a little hard-starting. After a shorter rest period of a few hours or a day, the ink starts out quite dark, indicating it’s concentrating on the nib. All this I attribute partly to the very fine nib, partly to a poorly sealed cap, and partly to the ink — I’ve used Fire & Ice in a few pens now and it’s not been the best-behaved of ink, although it’s a beautiful colour.

But that hasn’t dimmed my enjoyment of this pen. The e-Motion is pretty, distinctive, solid, a great writer, and under £100. What more could you ask?


8 thoughts on “Wooden wonder: Faber-Castell e-Motion

  1. I bought one of these some time ago. There were two major problems with it for me, but they may not bother others. First, the heavy cap does not post securely. When it stays on, it affects the balance of the pen. Usually, however, it comes off and falls on the floor. Second, the metal section is highly polished and slippery, making the pen hard to hold onto, unless you grip it up high. Mine ended up with a bent nib from being dropped, and I’m pretty careful with my pens. It’s an attractive design, but just didn’t work for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, see I never post my pens, and my default grip puts my fingers on the threads — I dodged two bullets there! Glad you shared your experiences for those with different habits 🙂


  2. I have the same model and so I was interested to read your views on it. Like you, I was very impressed by the build quality and the nib, which was a delight. The combination of materials, with warm wood and cold chrome is also special. For me though, ultimately I found that it was a bit too short unposted and that if the cap was posted, it was not secure and made the pen very heavy. I found that a solution, of sorts, was to post the cap of a different pen (perhaps a Safari, with a push) which gave added length without making the pen top heavy. Obviously this looks terrible (and I would like the pen’s designers to see it!) but it was better than not using the pen at all. Unfortunately I think the cap, stunning though it is, represents a victory of appearance over practicality.


  3. Pingback: Quick post: more for sale | UK fountain pens

  4. Pingback: A new buyer’s guide, part 2: pens £50-100 | UK fountain pens

  5. I have several e-motion fountain pens and I like them both from the design side and from writing with them. I’m in the non-poster camp, except for pens like the Pelikan M200 series. With the small Pelikans posting just feels right in the hand, and that improves the pleasure of writing with them because uncapped they’re very light.

    I do not have large hands but I prefer a wider, even chunky, barrel. That takes away for me an unnecessary concentration on the grip, and my writing becomes more fluid and pleasing. My only exception to a personal distaste of slender pens is, oddly enough, to some of Faber-Castell’s pricier cousins, from Graf von Faber-Castell. There I find the quality of the nibs so smooth that writing becomes almost effortless. I was initially surprised how much I liked the Grafs considering how slender many of them are.

    I do want to put in a good word for Faber-Castell’s steel nibs on the e-motion and the Ondoro. I have quite a few of each, and all wrote perfectly inked up right out of the box. They continue to be good writers today. I can’t say that for my experience with gold or steel nibs from two well-known Italian pen makers. Beautiful pens, bad – even non-writers.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s