A review of sorts - Scribo Piuma

scheduleDecember 6, 2021

The Scribo Piuma is pretty much my perfect pen. Here’s why.

1) Minimalism.

A classic torpedo shape with no unnecessary decorations - just the SCRIBO name engraved on the side, a small feather logo finial, and a simple streamlined (but springy) clip. Capped it reminds me of the timeless and iconic Lamy 2000, but with the addition of interesting coloured resin options to stop it from being boring. Although it has a circular cross section the Piuma thoughtfully has two flat facets on both body and cap, which stop it from rolling away when you put it down - a really nice design element! (Also I should note here that while the Piuma is theoretically postable you can tell as soon as you try that it’s not really meant to be posted - so having the facets to prevent rolling of the loose cap is really useful.)

Uncapped the Piuma continues being minimalist, with just the cap threads, a narrow metal trim ring and the nib itself, which is engraved with text rather than anything fancy or swirly. Not everybody likes having a nib with “Feel the FLEX” on it and I can understand that tbh. It just doesn’t bother me as when I’m using the pen I’m more focused on the feel of the nib than the look of it.

2) Size and weight.

Here’s where it would be helpful to have some scales, but I’m writing this at work. Suffice it to say that I find the overall size and weight of the Piuma comparable to the Lamy Safari, and about what you’d expect for a resin pen with minimal metal components. Size-wise I think it’s probably also similar to a Montblanc 146 - so, pleasantly chunky but not what I’d consider oversized. I have a little arthritis in my hands so light weight is definitely my preference.

Although it is light the Piuma doesn’t feel at all flimsy - the body and cap are both thick-walled and not likely to crack at the drop of a hat (unlike some!)

3) Grip.

When you unscrew the cap it’s immediately apparent that there is quite a step down from the barrel to the grip section. The edge of the step has been rounded off, but it does still look like a potential source of discomfort when writing. However Scribo have had the good sense to make the grip section itself generous in both length and diameter. I have quite fat fingers that can struggle with short grip sections, but I find the Piuma very comfortable indeed, and there is room for adjusting your grip if need be. I don’t notice the step down at all when holding or using the pen.

4) Cartridge/converter.

A lot of people seem to feel that a very $$$ pen must be a piston filler or have some other arcane filling mechanism in order to justify the cost. But you know what? Piston fillers are a pain in the butt to clean. I guess that doesn’t matter if you use the same ink colour all the time, but if you’re a serial ink changer like me then it quickly becomes a real chore to flush out a piston filler pen. The cartridge/converter set-up is one of the main reasons why I chose the Piuma over the more expensive Feel model, which is a piston filler. Sure the latter mechanism will hold a lot more ink, but if you change colours a lot then ease of cleaning is MUCH more of a priority.

5) Nib.

Scribo nibs are made in-house on the machines that used to belong to Omas, and come in either a 14k “flex” or an 18k nib in sizes ranging from UEF to stubs, and with an ebonite feed (fairly essential for keeping up with the ink flow in very broad and/or flexible nibs.) This was a big draw card for me - so many pens now use Jowo, Schmidt or Bock nibs that it is really refreshing to find something different with a wider range of sizes. I’m usually a broad nib person, but I’d already heard that Scribo nibs were quite wet, so I went with a 14k flex medium.

So is it a true flex nib? Not really, by the standards of vintage pens, but I’d say yes by modern standards. I think it’s comparable to a Pilot Falcon inasmuch as it’s definitely a bouncy nib, and gentle pressure will spread the tines and put more ink on the page. However, the nib is VERY wet, so I found initially that I couldn’t really get any noticeable line variation with it. In fact it was so wet as to be impractical for normal use - more like a BB in terms of the sheer amount of ink it put down.

I was somewhat unhappy about this to start with, but as it turns out it sent me down rather a rabbit hole of looking at ink PROPERTIES as well as colours, and seeking out drier inks to use with my pen (a great reason to buy more ink!😁) Pelikan’s basic ink range is supposed to be one of the driest but has very limited availability here, so I instead investigated the more readily available (and beautiful) Kyo-iro/Kyo-no-oto ranges of Japanese inks. I ended up with 4 that I really like using in my pen (with Lamy blue-black and Herbin Vert Atlantide as backups.) The bonus is that dry inks don’t feather on the copy paper we use at work, so I can use my Piuma daily - and the nib is able to give me great shading even on this inferior paper.

In all honesty I don’t care overly much about producing a huge amount of line variation; but I do like a responsive nib, and the soft 14k ones certainly are (not to mention very smooth.) My next Piuma (currently winging its way to me!) will have the EF 14k nib though, so that I can use more inks with it.

Individual tastes in fountain pens vary enormously, and of course of the Scribo pens are very spendy. But if you like a nib that’s really responsive, a forgiving grip, uncluttered, classic good looks, top quality and an easy clean, and you have or can raise the $, then the Scribo Piuma is definitely worth close consideration (just maybe buy a finer nib size than your usual!)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to obsessively refreshing the tracking on my Piuma Impressione…