Levenger Black Cartridge
I have been using the Levenger L-Tech Stealth Plus Fountain Pen with Stylus and Medium nib for a couple of months now and have been enjoying the pen. It is not without some issues that are minor. The issues are nib related and maybe cap related. Let’s take a closer look.
The pen is a seven sided brass metal body. It posts but becomes a bit too large and unwieldy. As I prefer not to post my pens, this is not an issue for me. It seems like eventually the threads would end up scratching the butt end of the barrel after posting repeatedly. I really like the way the section is knurled. There is a large step down from the barrel to the section but the section is large enough that it is not an issue for me. If you hold your pen higher up on the barrel it may be more of an issue for you.
The whole body is covered in a matte black lacquer. It makes the pen look sleek and high-tech. It looks very attractive, when clean. After a few writing sessions, I started to notice fingerprints showing up as greasy, shiny spots on the body. A quick wipe with a microfiber cloth cleaned it right up, but it is worth mentioning.
The nib is very smooth with just a slight hint of feedback. I also noticed it is just a bit noisy on Rhodia paper which surprised me, considering how smooth it writes. It is a pleasing sound, at least to me but it is more noticeable than other pens in my collection. Performance of the nib was good but as I wrote for longer sessions, I started noticing some skipping issues. More notably on the first letter of a sentence. A pause between sentences of 10-15 seconds was enough to make it skip so it is a bit dry. A second pass and it starts writing again. Not a big deal for me since I tune my own nibs but it can be annoying. Upon further investigation, I discovered that it was possibly due to the ink. I was using the Levenger black cartridge that came with the pen. While on a business trip, I ran out of ink and popped in a Conway Stewart black cartridge that I received with another pen. Please note that I did not clean the pen before initial use, nor did I clean the pen before putting in the new cartridge. I wanted to simulate what someone new to fountain pens might do. The skipping stopped for the most part with just a couple of skips here and there. This leads me to believe that the skipping may have been in large part due to the ink, although it is still a dry writer.
How about the stylus? I have been using it mainly with my iPad mini and have not had any issues with it. I did notice while trying to tap on a smaller portion of the screen, it may not work straight away. I have had this issue with other styluses so this is not unique to this one. I feel it is more of a hardware or iOS issue recognizing the tap. I do find that I use the pen more for writing than I do as a stylus. Not a totally unexpected outcome for me. I do have to make one observation that I think may be due to the stylus. I live in the desert southwestern US where even now, our temperatures are getting in the mid 80 degrees F. Ink is drying very fast in this pen and I think it is due to the stylus. The stylus screws into the cap. I noticed that there is no inner cap and when you unscrew the stylus, the nib is immediately visible. It may be that the stylus does not create a tight seal and allows air in that dries out the ink. I had a 3/4 full cartridge a week ago and it was empty as of this writing. I have not used the pen often this past week.
People who do not like heavier metal than guitar riffs at a Black Sabbath concert, need not apply. If you like your pens to have some heft, you will like this. People who do not like metal sections might give this a chance as the knurled section really gives you some positive grip even after a lengthy writing session. The Medium nib may be a bit dry for some tastes and might be partially responsible for a skipping issue although changing inks mostly solved this. The nib is also smooth out of the box, a plus. The stylus works but is more of a novelty for me and may be the source of quick drying inks within the pen. The clip is springy but tight enough to hold the weight of the pen to a shirt pocket. The cap screws on and off in just over two turns. The matte finish is technically supposed to be low-key, but this black pen will stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention. The finish can attract fingerprints like a phone screen but it is easily cleaned. I enjoy using the pen overall.
Thank you for reading.
The Fountain Pen Sith Lord
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*Thank you to Levenger for providing this pen for review.