After my original review of the Loft Pens bespoke pen a few weeks ago, Sam reached out and offered for me to test out the improvements he’d made to the design and manufacturing process. I am always happy to re-review products that have changed significantly since I tested them: it doesn’t help buyers like you, or makers like Sam, to have outdated information showing up in google searches.
I gave Sam a very different and detailed brief this time: using the Loft Pens web form I specified dimensions for a shape very similar to the Montegrappa Extra, and a custom resin composed of three grey shades. I asked for a standard fine nib.
The resulting pen doesn’t quite echo the Montegrappa Extra or my brief (eg I asked for a concave section) but it’s close, particularly when capped.
Most importantly, it’s a very comfortable size and shape for me.
The proportions are much more handsome than the v1 Loft pen too, with a longer cap.
The grey resin is really nice. It’s swirly, sparkly, and interesting, but also understated.
The polish is still not perfect.
But it’s noticeably better than on the v1 pen.
Inner surfaces, mating surfaces and edges like the cap lip are still not fully finished and there’s some roughness under the fingers.
The stock nib I’m afraid to say I still didn’t enjoy. Aesthetically, I didn’t think the gold colouring worked with the grey barrel and section; I would love it if Loft offered silver-toned nibs in future.
But the performance also let me down. I inked it with Edelstein Moonstone and while the nib was fairly smooth, it was dry — much drier than a typical Bock or JoWo unit that other makers use. And it burped on me. A flush didn’t improve things.
I swapped in another nib, friction fit, and with paper, ink, converter and feed unchanged, the difference was night and day.
The threads were my main complaint about the version 1 pen. Here they’re much better. It now takes about two turns to uncap, which is fine for me, and eight to remove the barrel from the section.
The threads still have some roughness and stiff patches, but not nearly as much as version 1, and they are breaking in well. The only real problem I still have with the threads is that they’re sharp under my fingers.
Sam has also changed the packaging. You now get a nice gift box, a pack of matching cartridges, and a colour-coordinated pen sleeve. It’s a nice setup for a custom pen that costs under £100.
I said in my last review that Loft Pens has a bright future. This version 2 pen shows that it’s a big step closer. Sam has made significant improvements to the design proportions, polish, and of course the threads, and now I have a second positive data point for Sam’s cool custom resins and easy online ordering experience. The only major part of the product I still have issues with is the nib. I would really love a wetter tune out of the box, and a different plating to match the resin. I’ve given this feedback directly to Sam, so who knows what version 3 might bring?
I received this pen for free to review. You can get yours direct for a shade under £99.