review: stipula splash

318IMG_8021I won a Goulet Pen Company Monday Matchup giveaway a few weeks ago, and received a Stipula Splash and a bottle of J. Herbin Stormy Grey. I was so surprised and excited when I found out I’d won–and I would like to thank the wonderful people over at the Goulet Pen Company for their generosity!

With the piston fully contracted, the Stipula Splash is about 5 inches capped (cm), Lamy Safari is about 5 1/2 inches (12.6 cm) capped, 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm) uncapped, and 5 5/8 inches (14.3 cm) posted. I don’t believe you can unscrew the grip section (although I’m too worried about damaging the pen to really yank at it) and the nib and feed also seem to be pretty much in there. This could be an issue if you like get into your pens for a good deep clean (like I tend to prefer), but I would like to stress that I haven’t put that much effort into dismantling. The pen is relatively lightweight but it is also pretty short. I can hold it comfortably, but I do have hands that are a little on the smaller side. Posted, the pen is a little back-heavy, but if you must post your pens, it seems comfortable enough while also posting all the way past the piston knob. The pen feels quite sturdy, but it’s not likely that I would just throw this pen around just for the price.

The cap twists on and the clip is tight, but the ball at the end helps you to get it clipped wherever you need it to go. I would like to mention that my cap shows signs of “rippling” in the plastic: there is a little bit of a darker color mixed in with the actual color of the cap. This is purely cosmetic, and is probably a remainder from the formation of the cap (probably injection molded?). There is also the Stipula logo–a leaf–on the end of the cap, but, uh. Mine fell… off? Like, it is gone now. It looks like it was glued in place. I have no idea where it went.

IMG_8022Of course, what you’re all waiting for is the nib. The Stipula Splash comes in one nib size: V-flex. The V-flex nib is steel and has no breather hole: just one slit that goes all the way up the nib into the section. The nib width starts at a fine with no pressure and goes up to around a broad with pressure. Because the nib is steel, it takes quite a bit of effort to flex as wide as it can go. It’s definitely not as easy to flex as a gold nib, but I also don’t think it will be easy to “spring” this nib. Maybe this is just me, but I have found that requiring a great deal of pressure to flex the nib actually decreases your overall control. I’m much more likely to get “sharp” curves in my cursive when I’m using this pen than, say, a very flexible dip pen nib. Furthermore, I have a rather light hand, so I do find that my arm gets tired if I flex this pen for too long. However, I am quite pleased with how well this pen performs, as long as you are relative when comparing this pen. So don’t go waving this pen around vintage flex pens! You’ll find yourself quite disappointed if you do.

IMG_8023All in all, I quite enjoyed this pen. The V-flex nib is fun to use, giving my words a little more character if I’m writing a letter. It’s also a piston filler at under $75, which you might enjoy. I don’t think I would’ve purchased this pen on its own (I tend to use dip nibs which are far more flexible than most modern flex pens) because of the price, but I’m very glad I was able to own this pen in the end.

IMG_8066And here’s a writing sample!

You can purchase this pen from Goulet Pens for $63.20.

I received this pen free of charge from the Goulet Pen Company as I won a giveaway. However, I am not affiliated by the Goulet Pen Company and they did not expect a review in return. I’m just a happy customer and fan!



Filed under pen, reviews

3 responses to “review: stipula splash

  1. Dan

    Glad to see yours isn’t horrid. I saw one, got excited, and ordered one before I read the reviews that are 80% negative. Ugh. I’m a slow learner with pretty things

    • I’ve read quite a few reviews of the Splash as well, many of them negative. I think some people tended to overestimate the nib, in my opinion. This nib isn’t going to give you the same amount of flex as, say, a vintage flex nib. At the same time, though, you can get a Noodler’s flex pen which flexes much more than this (I haven’t personally tried a Noodler’s nib, but I’ve noticed that people can get it to flex quite far!).

      I think in the end it was just a little disappointing for a lot of people. I personally think it’s enjoyable enough to use on a regular basis, but I also don’t really use it for its flex. So–a bit of a mixed bag, true!

      • Dan

        Thank you! I agree with you, I think. People see a video of a $700 contemporary flex pen or a vintage instrument of similar value and judge by that. I have 2 Ahab Flex pens. And while they don’t flex like my Ambassador (ca 1950), they are a ton of fun. I’ll try not to worry about the negative reviews until I use mine. Thanks again!

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