Ranga 8B Ebonite Fountain Pen [miniREVIEW]

Ranga 8B Fountain Pen & Oliver Exam Fountain Pen
$89USD – mustard & red ripple colourway (https://rangapens.com/model-8b-3)
Currently Inked: Platinum Citrus Black $34.35 CAD
&
J.Herbin Perle Noir $15 CAD

We’re back with another mini review! Today is a holiday in Canada, so I had some time to just coop up inside and catch up on some pen writing! I was gifted this pen from a fellow pen friend, Charlie Rufus of the Indian Marmalade Company since he happened to have an extra. I was curious what a full ebonite pen might be like and it’s hard to resist a free pen from a fellow enthusiast!

The pen is by a company called ‘Ranga Pens’ which I have not heard of up till now. The Ranga 8B line appears to be a torpedo-shaped pen of a rather large size. They come in a variety of colour options, most of which are some kind of mix between two colours. All of them in ebonite. The one I have been gifted is a Mustard & Red ripple. Since yellow is my favourite colour, mustard didn’t seem too far off. It turned out to be mostly red with mustard accents, but overall it is still nothing like anything else in my arsenal at the moment.

The pen looks a bit on the chunkier side and with no pen clip, it’s bound to roll away unexpectedly on occasion. I have taken more of a liking to caps and barrels that are flush, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a different style now and then! I will say though, that the pen design is probably not in my top list of favourites.

Click to Enlarge

In terms of practical use and feel, the pen performs great. It’s as expected of a custom pen like this, using a standard #6 jowo, several cap turn release and converter ink fill. The grip is slender and long enough for my grip, and my only gripe with the overall feel is that it is a larger pen than I am used to. One benefit from enjoying a gift from someone is that I didn’t have much selection on the nib size, and was able to give an M sized jowo nib a try. I think any time I am given an option, I will somehow still default to EF or F. That being said, the medium writes wonderfully and I haven’t had any issues with it.

I found out that every Ranga pen comes with a free extra – an Oliver Exam demonstrator piston filler. So I thought I’d pair this mini pen review together. This is also a decent pen, and other than the relatively cheap feeling and looking metal accents, it was actually kind of enjoyable to try out. My only concern was that it tended to have some minor leaking. The weaker plastic material made me concerned about keeping this kind of pen in my pencil roll, so ultimately I decided to retire usage of it. The concept of a thin profile demonstrator piston really intrigued me though. I would love to see more pens like this! All the piston fillers I’ve seen and own are brilliant chonkers.

It’s hard to evaluate value with a pen that was gifted to me. I guess I would say that these aren’t pens I would pick up on my own without recommendation. The style and look of the Ranga 8B wouldn’t fit in my preferred design collection, however, I am still really happy that I got to try it out, and also for the generosity of a fellow penfriend for sending it over!

Of course, last but not least, a little bit about the ink. I last used this iron gall ink in my Ensso pen review, so I don’t have as much to say about it now. I picked it because it seemed to match the mustard theme the most. It’s a curious ink for me because I usually like to see the final colour of ink that I’m writing with but this is the one ink that completely changes colour after a few seconds. That delay of a few seconds always seems to throw me off!

Well I hope you enjoyed this mini-review of not one, but two pens! The next review will be more of a full one, but I’ve picked up so many goodies recently that I have yet to decide which one it will be 🙂 Thanks for reading and stay tuned as always!

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