I’m extremely impressed by how much I’m unimpressed with this pen.
Schneider Glam Fountain Pen
Filling System: Standard International Cartridges (and apparently nothing else)
About the Pen:
The quick review: I’d rather jam it in my eye than write with it. The end.
If you’d like a little more detail, then feel free to read on. But don’t expect a different outcome in the long version.
I recently started to run across Schneider fountain pens on eBay. The most common model I saw was the Base, which is a funny-looking thing. It sort of resembles some Faber-Castell designs…but more of a cheesy, drunk-looking version. But then I found some listings for their Glam model, and I thought it looked a little more interesting. The Glam comes in a number of different screen-printed designs, and their “Cog Wheel” design was the one that caught my eye.
So I got to looking at the pen a little more in-depth. I noticed right away that the nib on it strongly resembled the nib on my Sheaffer Prelude 380, which is a freaking horrible pen. It made me nervous, so I said, “Screw that” and promptly forgot about Schneider. But, of course, I kept running into more eBay auctions for it, and those damn cog wheels caught my eye every stinkin’ time. With a price tag of “only” $15, I finally gave in to those sparkly sprockets and ordered one.
$15 puts the Glam in the same price bracket as the Pilot Metropolitan. Based on the pictures and the similarity to the Prelude 380, my expectations were low, but my hopes were high.
When the pen arrived from Germany, I noticed a few things:
- The nib resembles the nib on the Prelude 380 in real life. This sucks.
- The pen is way cheaper looking than I expected. This also sucks.
- No converter came with the pen. This really freaking sucks.
Before I even inked up the pen, I was convinced that owning this pen was destined to be one big exercise in sucking. Despite my dread and disappointment, I took a deep breath…and filled it with ink.
Cog wheels, watch faces, machinery parts…all cool design elements. Although I’m not a rabid fan, I do enjoy the aesthetic of Steampunk, so I did find the pen’s design very interesting (at least in the pictures). Once I saw it in person, I wasn’t so impressed. The screen-printing is very cheesy…and it has a ton of sparkles. Sparkles? Yes, sparkles. (I guess I’m lucky it wasn’t BeDazzled too.) It definitely looked better in the eBay pictures than it did in person.
The whole pen is plastic, but it does have a rubberized grip that’s pretty nice. The barrel and cap are perfectly cylindrical. The finial and end cap are these strange, angled pieces of plastic. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to represent anything specific or if the pen designer just smokes meth, but they look ridiculous.
I do like the clip. It’s a broad, sweeping arc of metal, broadest at the top where it connects to the finial, then tapers down to the end, where it curls up for easy pocket insertion. It’s not the strongest clip, but I think it will mostly do its job.
Similar to the Lamy Safari/AL Star/Vista pens, the rubberized section has three significant indentations for fingers to help you hold the pen properly and comfortably.
Build Quality (2/5):
The overall pen quality isn’t bad. It is made from cheap plastic, but the threads are all machined well and the cap’s snapping action is perfect: it snaps shut with a satisfying click and can be removed with a very reasonable amount of pressure. But there are two aspects of the pen that seriously piss me off.
First pisser: The nib is horrible. And I mean HORRIBLE. I’m looking at it under a loupe and the tines are perfectly aligned…but the nib is scratchy as hell, particularly on the downstrokes when writing fast. It’s a pretty gross feeling. And I’m 100% convinced that the drunken slob who made the Sheaffer Prelude nib also made this one. They look very similar, and both of them accumulate paper fibers faster than I collect fountain pens. I swear, I can’t even get through a full paragraph without having to floss the collected fiber-blob out from between the tines. It’s driving me flipping crazy.
Second pisser: The Schneider Glam doesn’t accept a converter. Nothing fits. It takes Standard International (short) cartridges, but not converters. I tried about a dozen different converters I had kicking around, and not one would fit in the pen. You know what that’s called? It’s called a bunch of crap, that’s what it’s called.
Dependability (2/5 … and that’s being pretty generous):
Well, I can honestly say there are certain things you can definitely depend on. You can depend on this pen to write. I haven’t seen a single skip or hard start, so that’s cool. You can also depend on this pen to scratch the crap out of your paper and collect scratched-up paper fibers between the tines. I can’t even begin to describe how much that sucks. There’s no point in taking this pen anywhere because you have to keep stopping to floss the nib.
What this pen lacks in…well…everything, it makes up for in comfort. Despite every other feature and attribute that stinks about this pen, it’s extremely comfortable to use. It’s super light and the section is soft and perfectly sized. I have experienced zero discomfort, pain, or cramping. If the nib was better, I could write with this pen all day long.
Writing Experience (1/5):
The Schneider Glam is comfortable and consistently puts down ink (except when the paper fibers turn the nib into a mushy paintbrush), but that’s where the niceties end. The nib just plain blows. I’ve about worn out my brass sheet from all this flossing. If I had to sum up the writing experience in one word, it would be “miserable.”
The nib might be salvageable. I may try smoothing it with some micro mesh and see if it makes a difference. If I can turn this into some semblance of a decent writer, it might be worth keeping. But as it stands right now in its out-of-box condition, it’s not worth owning.
For just a couple dollars more, you could buy a Pilot Metropolitan or a Nemosine Singularity. For just over half the cost of this pen, you can get get a Pilot Plumix or Penmanship. For a third of the cost of this pen, you can get a Platinum Preppy. All of those pens are a million times better than this thing.
The Nutshell: Overall Score: 11/25
|Best Qualities||Worst Qualities|
|Comfortable||Scratchy nib that collects paper fibers like they're going out of style|
|No skips or hard starts||No converter comes with it, and it doesn't look like you can use one at all|
|Design is unique and interesting||Materials used to make it aren't worth the price tag|
According to Cult Pens, Schneider is one of Germany’s largest pen manufacturers. I don’t know what their rollerball or ballpoint pens are like, but I’m thoroughly unimpressed with (and borderline disgusted by) this fountain pen. Considering Germany is full of pens by Pelikan, Montblanc, Faber-Castell, and Lamy, I can’t imaging anyone bothering with this brand.
Seriously, if you have $15 to spend and you have your heart set on a fountain pen, do yourself a favor and get a Metropolitan or a Singularity (or three Preppies). You’ll be much happier.