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My Conid Bulkfiller

Greetings all,

This is my first written pen review, so bear with me.


I will be reviewing a very unique pen, the Conid Bulkfiller (regular size).

I have had this pen for several months and decided it was time to share my thoughts and opinions.


First off, I am not a neophyte in the world of fountain pens, having my first one in elementary school (a 3-room country school, way out on the western Kansas farmlands) back in the very early ‘60’s. That’s 1960’s not 1860’s despite what some might think.

The teachers (all nuns) thought that a fountain pen was the way to properly teach penmanship. No ruler across the knuckle’s comments.

Looking at the modern education system, I think they may have been correct, but that’s fodder for another time.


Back to the subject, I have been using a fountain pens for many decades. I do not consider myself a collector, but a very enthusiastic user. What I want a pen to do is write, with the minimum of issues.


I currently have a selection very nice pens, all with a couple specific requirements; they must be comfortable in the hand and write perfectly.


The current favorites (pens will come and go, and I have a few others besides these), are as follows in the first picture;

A limited edition Taccia with a Richard Binder 18K EX-Fine,

Sheaffer PFM, gold broad stub,

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze sporting a Palladian stub,

Conid Bulkfiller Regular with two nibs, a Titanium EX-Fine and a Steel Broad stub,

Visconti Desert Spring, Palladian Fine,

Porsche Design with a gold fine nib,

And finally, an Ancora Special Edition with an 18k EX-fine.



The next picture has the pens with their hats removed to show their business end.



The Conid was the latest addition to the stable several months ago. One might ask, with that line up of first stringers, why add something else to the bench?


For some time, I have been reading about the elusive and exclusive Conid and the very special Bulkfill ink system. And had moved thru; interested to curious to intrigued. So, after several months of research, contemplation and intense reviews of the Conid website, I finally broke down and ordered one.


I won’t detail the “Bulkfill” system here, as one can go many other places to read about that. Other than to say, it holds buckets of ink. My regular holds 2.5 ml of ink, that is a lot. In comparison;

TWSBI ECO holds 1.7 ml,

A LAMY 2000 holds 1.35 ml,

An Aurora Optima holds 1.4ml, and a big fat Visconti HS holds 1.5 ml.


Note, the Kingsive version holds 3.5 ml, and the extended Regular (called the Giraffe), holds a whopping 6 ml.


For those who have never been to the Conid site, it is a pen user/engineers “Wish book” for those who remember the annual Sears Christmas catalog.


Starting off with the different sizes and shapes, followed by the make-up of the pen; all clear demonstrator, ½ Delrin or all Delrin. And in the case of the Kingsize, one can get shiny black Ebonite. With clip or without…

Then you hit the Nib configurator, 250 nib configurations. TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY!!!!, then you can get into the custom grinds.


One can also order additional nib units so you can switch when the mood arises. I ordered a Titanium EX-fine and a second unit in stainless stub.


Switching is a no brainer. Because the pen holds so much ink, you may rarely every write one dry. But that is not a problem, open the ink bottle and squirt it back from where it came from.


There are those who decline from doing that because the ink might be “contaminated”, fear not, the Conid has two ink chambers, one is used to feed the feed, the other is sealed off, and in an air tight area of the pen.

Once the ink is removed, place the nib in water and flush away, the sheer volume of liquid will allow one to flush the pen perfectly clear in just a few passes.

At this point, if one wanted, one could totally dis-assemble the pen to its core pieces in under a minute. While I have done that a couple times, I find it not necessary, other than to put a touch of silicone grease on one of the O-rings.


When I mentioned this is an engineer’s dream, the design has O-rings where they should be. There is nothing on this pen that should not be there for its true and basic function, to write and write and write. Maintenance should be minimal and if an O-ring wears out, the company ships an extra O-ring set with the pen.

We all remember the legendary Parker 51, that design team spent 11 years in designing that pen to do one thing… Write…every time. I believe the Conid team has taken that philosophy into the 21stcentury.



I won’t go into the scoring of all the features, as that is so very “Your mileage may vary”.

So, with that, for me…. The pen is everything I had hoped for and more. The Titanium nib is so soft, it just floats over every kind of paper I have tried it on, and I write a lot.

The steel stub is a nail, just as I wanted and expected, it does its job perfectly.


I do need to interject at this point, the nibs are made by the Boch company, but that is where it ends. Every nib it checked by the Conid nibmeister for adherence to very tight specifications and the nib and feed are tuned by that very same guy…. for every pen. He is also the person who performs all the custom grinding if one chose that option.


The pen fits my fingers perfectly, so in long writing sessions there is no tiring at all. As one can tell from the picture, I chose a demonstrator around the ink tank and a Delrin cap in a flat top configuration (more choices).




Ok, there are a couple things on perhaps the negative side. There are no retailers that carry the Conid line. The company position is that you make the design choices and they build the pen to fit YOU…period. Even to the point of swapping emails with them if you need to share detailed specifics.


Building a bunch of “average” pens is not what they want to do. To acquire a new pen, one has to order from the Conid web site and wait for a period of time before it is shipped from Belgium to your door via DHL. They will be in contact with you often, as to the status and the expected ship date. Mine took about a month.


Price, these are NOT inexpensive, but then anything of high quality is going to have an appropriate price tag. There is no defined out the door price as the options can make that change significantly. I have bought cars with fewer options.


But they are not in the thin air of price. The list price for a Visconti HS bronze was more than my Conid, and definitely my Visconti Desert Spring (due to the very limited availability), and I won’t even get into the prices on the Ancoras other than to say my first 3 cars together didn’t cost that much. OK, my first car, a 1946 Ford Coupe was only a hundred bucks.


Wrap up… after several months of steady work, is the pen worth it… Oh you bet!!

Comfortable, writes perfectly every time, did not have to have a nib smith tune it to get it to write, can’t say that for a lot of brands (my last MB went back 3 times before it was finally acceptable to use, note I chose that word carefully…acceptable not outstanding).


It holds a boat load of ink, and is really an engineering masterpiece, designed to do what one expects a pen to do….write perfectly every time.


So that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Oh and as a post note, I am selling several of my other pens, the Conid just writes that perfectly. It is THAT good.


Humbly

Al in Colorado
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Great review, Al. I've been intrigued with Fountainbel's stuff for years and this pen sounds as if it hit the mark. I'm more of a vintage Pelikan collector/user so I probably won't be getting one anytime soon.

By the way, I'm not seeing the pics and surely would like to.

P.S. Two room schoolhouse for me too in the early '60s (no nuns) and used a black Esterbrook J. Stictly my own choice -- I wasn't the only with with a fountain pen though.
 
Greetings all,

This is my first written pen review, so bear with me.


I will be reviewing a very unique pen, the Conid Bulkfiller (regular size).

I have had this pen for several months and decided it was time to share my thoughts and opinions.


First off, I am not a neophyte in the world of fountain pens, having my first one in elementary school (a 3-room country school, way out on the western Kansas farmlands) back in the very early ‘60’s. That’s 1960’s not 1860’s despite what some might think.

The teachers (all nuns) thought that a fountain pen was the way to properly teach penmanship. No ruler across the knuckle’s comments.

Looking at the modern education system, I think they may have been correct, but that’s fodder for another time.


Back to the subject, I have been using a fountain pens for many decades. I do not consider myself a collector, but a very enthusiastic user. What I want a pen to do is write, with the minimum of issues.


I currently have a selection very nice pens, all with a couple specific requirements; they must be comfortable in the hand and write perfectly.


The current favorites (pens will come and go, and I have a few others besides these), are as follows in the first picture;

A limited edition Taccia with a Richard Binder 18K EX-Fine,

Sheaffer PFM, gold broad stub,

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze sporting a Palladian stub,

Conid Bulkfiller Regular with two nibs, a Titanium EX-Fine and a Steel Broad stub,

Visconti Desert Spring, Palladian Fine,

Porsche Design with a gold fine nib,

And finally, an Ancora Special Edition with an 18k EX-fine.



The next picture has the pens with their hats removed to show their business end.



The Conid was the latest addition to the stable several months ago. One might ask, with that line up of first stringers, why add something else to the bench?


For some time, I have been reading about the elusive and exclusive Conid and the very special Bulkfill ink system. And had moved thru; interested to curious to intrigued. So, after several months of research, contemplation and intense reviews of the Conid website, I finally broke down and ordered one.


I won’t detail the “Bulkfill” system here, as one can go many other places to read about that. Other than to say, it holds buckets of ink. My regular holds 2.5 ml of ink, that is a lot. In comparison;

TWSBI ECO holds 1.7 ml,

A LAMY 2000 holds 1.35 ml,

An Aurora Optima holds 1.4ml, and a big fat Visconti HS holds 1.5 ml.


Note, the Kingsive version holds 3.5 ml, and the extended Regular (called the Giraffe), holds a whopping 6 ml.


For those who have never been to the Conid site, it is a pen user/engineers “Wish book” for those who remember the annual Sears Christmas catalog.


Starting off with the different sizes and shapes, followed by the make-up of the pen; all clear demonstrator, ½ Delrin or all Delrin. And in the case of the Kingsize, one can get shiny black Ebonite. With clip or without…

Then you hit the Nib configurator, 250 nib configurations. TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY!!!!, then you can get into the custom grinds.


One can also order additional nib units so you can switch when the mood arises. I ordered a Titanium EX-fine and a second unit in stainless stub.


Switching is a no brainer. Because the pen holds so much ink, you may rarely every write one dry. But that is not a problem, open the ink bottle and squirt it back from where it came from.


There are those who decline from doing that because the ink might be “contaminated”, fear not, the Conid has two ink chambers, one is used to feed the feed, the other is sealed off, and in an air tight area of the pen.

Once the ink is removed, place the nib in water and flush away, the sheer volume of liquid will allow one to flush the pen perfectly clear in just a few passes.

At this point, if one wanted, one could totally dis-assemble the pen to its core pieces in under a minute. While I have done that a couple times, I find it not necessary, other than to put a touch of silicone grease on one of the O-rings.


When I mentioned this is an engineer’s dream, the design has O-rings where they should be. There is nothing on this pen that should not be there for its true and basic function, to write and write and write. Maintenance should be minimal and if an O-ring wears out, the company ships an extra O-ring set with the pen.

We all remember the legendary Parker 51, that design team spent 11 years in designing that pen to do one thing… Write…every time. I believe the Conid team has taken that philosophy into the 21stcentury.



I won’t go into the scoring of all the features, as that is so very “Your mileage may vary”.

So, with that, for me…. The pen is everything I had hoped for and more. The Titanium nib is so soft, it just floats over every kind of paper I have tried it on, and I write a lot.

The steel stub is a nail, just as I wanted and expected, it does its job perfectly.


I do need to interject at this point, the nibs are made by the Boch company, but that is where it ends. Every nib it checked by the Conid nibmeister for adherence to very tight specifications and the nib and feed are tuned by that very same guy…. for every pen. He is also the person who performs all the custom grinding if one chose that option.


The pen fits my fingers perfectly, so in long writing sessions there is no tiring at all. As one can tell from the picture, I chose a demonstrator around the ink tank and a Delrin cap in a flat top configuration (more choices).




Ok, there are a couple things on perhaps the negative side. There are no retailers that carry the Conid line. The company position is that you make the design choices and they build the pen to fit YOU…period. Even to the point of swapping emails with them if you need to share detailed specifics.


Building a bunch of “average” pens is not what they want to do. To acquire a new pen, one has to order from the Conid web site and wait for a period of time before it is shipped from Belgium to your door via DHL. They will be in contact with you often, as to the status and the expected ship date. Mine took about a month.


Price, these are NOT inexpensive, but then anything of high quality is going to have an appropriate price tag. There is no defined out the door price as the options can make that change significantly. I have bought cars with fewer options.


But they are not in the thin air of price. The list price for a Visconti HS bronze was more than my Conid, and definitely my Visconti Desert Spring (due to the very limited availability), and I won’t even get into the prices on the Ancoras other than to say my first 3 cars together didn’t cost that much. OK, my first car, a 1946 Ford Coupe was only a hundred bucks.


Wrap up… after several months of steady work, is the pen worth it… Oh you bet!!

Comfortable, writes perfectly every time, did not have to have a nib smith tune it to get it to write, can’t say that for a lot of brands (my last MB went back 3 times before it was finally acceptable to use, note I chose that word carefully…acceptable not outstanding).


It holds a boat load of ink, and is really an engineering masterpiece, designed to do what one expects a pen to do….write perfectly every time.


So that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Oh and as a post note, I am selling several of my other pens, the Conid just writes that perfectly. It is THAT good.


Humbly

Al in Colorado
 

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Very impressive review.

I saw the Conid range at a pen show in 2016, the overiding impression was the quality of the design and engineering. As a result of the huge knowledge amassed by Francis every possible problem has been engineered out of the product.

Thanks again for the review, I could see the quality of the pen but your personal experience shows how good the pen is to use.
 
Thank you for the review you did a great job. These pens have always intrigued me but sit out of my price range so it's always nice to hear others experience with them
 
Great review. I have thought long and hard about getting one of these. I really do want one, but I think what has helped me not pull the trigger is the sheer number of options available...it is quite overwhelming.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
while there are a lot of options, remember that you are building YOUR pen, exactly the way you want it. Not some pre-determined "factory" pen.
 
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