Monday, August 30, 2010

Pen Review: Schneider iD Fountain Pen

I love Schneider pens. I have a huuuge stash of Schneider gel pens, fineliners, and rollerballs hoarded collected before I shifted to fountain pens. When I got my first Base pen, a black pen with smooth, wet medium nib, I was hooked. I found their simplicity charming and elegant. Through time, I have acquired more Schneider pens, mostly fountain pens: the colorful Zippis, the minimalist Base pens, and a Creativ calligraphy set. And last year, a new Schneider fountain pen caught my attention. I first saw the Schneider iD fountain pen at Cultpens, while ogling at the other Base models.

After reading about Schneider iD, I wanted one, being a Schneider fanatic and pen addict. But like so many pen and paper products, the pen isn't available in the Philippines. *Sigh.* So I did the expected, and months later, I received news that Schneider has kindly sent me an iD fountain pen to review. Hurray!

And here's my first fountain pen review: the Schneider iD fountain pen.

The Schneider iD came in two boxes, an outer box and an inner box. The outer box is made from black, thick, board paper. I like the simplicity of this box.

The inner box is made of transparent plastic with the Schneider logo on top, and the iD logo in the lower part of the box, near the bottom. Love the white artwork there. :)

A plastic pen holder keeps the iD in place inside the second box. A small brochure about the Schneider iD line of products is also included. The cover says "iD full of ideas". I like that. :)

The Schneider iD is a big pen, alright. It is huge, but not heavy. It is just right for my grip. It measures 5.75 inches when capped, and 5.25 inches uncapped. The cap does not allow posting the pen, which is just fine for me, because I rarely post my pens. It may be a problem for people who are used to posting their pens.

Here is the pen again, disassembled. On top is the cap, next line have section and barrel, bottom are feed and nib.

Did I say this pen is huge? I didn't? But it is! Look at that cap. It is huuuuuge! With a huuuuuge, oversized, wide shiny chrome clip and huuuuuge top cap.

This ring is on the top of the clip, near the top cap, and I assume this is meant for lanyards.

The Schneider logo is imprinted on the rubber material on the pen's cap. I am not so happy with this feature because the rubber is a monster lint and dirt magnet.

The iD logo is printed on the barrel, next to the wide metal ring. Because I got the chrome pen, the logo is imprinted in gray. The green and purple pens have matching logo color imprints.

Do you see the cartridge inside the barrel? The iD has a transluscent gray barrel, black plastic end cap, and the distinctive wide metal chrome ring. This photo gave me an idea about what I can do next with this pen. Read on, the surprise is at the end. :)

Like the cap, this pen's section comes with black, soft rubber that is ergonomically-designed to fit snugly to the pen user's fingers. This feature is excellent because it will help the user write comfortably even at longer periods of time.

Here is the Schneider iD's nib, which comes with a new feature: a breather hole. The breather hole is important as it promotes the exchange of air and ink in the pen's reservoir. The nibs of my Base pens do not have this feature, though.

The Schneider iD has a German (European) medium nib, which is bolder than other medium nibs. The day I got this pen, I was itching to ink it right away using the cartridge that came with it. But I waited until I got home because I wanted to use my current favorite ink: Diamine Majestic Blue. And the pen (and ink) did not disappoint. The iD wrote as soon as I inked it. The nib is softer than I thought it would be, writes smoothly, and Diamine Majestic Blue flows well on paper. (See photo of writing sample on Kokuyo paper below.)

The underside of the feed and nib shows the enormous iridium on the tip.

Schneider logo on the nib.

M is for medium. This is imprinted on the nib's left ear.

Feed and nib up close.

I have generously mentioned the Schneider Base pen in this post. I feel that I must write about it as well. But for now, I am happy to present the two pens here for comparison. Below are photos of the Schneider iD and Base nibs side by side, front and underside. Note that the Base nib does not have a breather hole and the ears (as I want to call them now - if there is a real name for these, kindly let me know) as seen on the right photo showing the feed's underside. The Base pen's feed's underside also appears to be flatter than that of the iD's.

I wrote my handwritten pen review on Kokuyo paper. The iD wrote so well on this paper, but also on a variety of papers as well, such as my Venzi journal and Rhodia Reverse notebook. If you read what I wrote below, you will know that I named this pen Kay. :)

For the large image, click here.

The Schneider iD fountain pen takes standard short or long international cartridges. In fact, my pen came with one short international cartridge. A converter may also be used, but it will have to be bought separately from independent pen sellers. Schneider surprisingly, does not make their own converters.

And here is the surprise. :)

The transluscent barrel of the Schneider iD gave me the idea that I could turn this c/c pen to an eyedropper (ED). I noticed, too, the long threaded part of the section where it joins the barrel. To test it, I filled both barrel and cap with water and observed it for a couple of hours, carefully watching it for leaks. And... no leaks! I then applied some silicone oil  to the section threads and my Schneider iD fountain pen is an instant ED-filled pen! Hurray!

Below are photos of the Schneider iD filled with J. Herbin Orange Indien.

For this writing test, I chose my Rhodia pad to match the orange ink. ;) The Orange Indien is a suggestion of my good friend and fellow blogger Tom Overfield.

For the large image, click here.

CultPens currently describes the Schneider iD products as weird and wonderful. I understand that not all fountain pen enthusiasts will like the form, but I am sure that many will agree with me that this pen's performance is more than excellent. It won't win 1st Prize in the 2009 ISPA and Innovation Award for nothing, right? I love it and I will definitely get another pen or two when it becomes available locally. In the Philippines, Schneider pens are available at all Office Warehouse branches.

The Schneider iD fountain pen in this review is from Germany, courtesy of Schneider. It is part of the series that include two more pens: a ballpoint and a rotary pencil. All three pens are available in green, purple, and black, which is my pen's color. Right now, it is filled with Orange Indien and writes like a dream. :)


  1. Great review! Neat pen too and I always love seeing your beautiful writing.

  2. Great review as usual. I love pens with some style and this one has it in bucket loads. For some reason I don't hear much about Schneider fountain pens in the U.S. but they seem as nice as low priced Lamys which are beloved here. Thanks for the mention too although my ink suggestion was no great feat. :D

  3. love the review- love your writing! the pen is absolutely gorgeous- but you were right pointing it out- seems huge! the cap!
    love Schneider too. gotta get some more...:-)

  4. Do you have to ask for Schneider FP's from the Office Warehouse staff? I never see any in the pen racks, although I do know that they have some stuff behind the counter. I had to ask for my calligraphy set. :)

  5. Bea - In most Office Warehouse stores I've been to, the Base fountain pens are not always on their display racks. They're usually kept near the cashier's counters, or inside their locked cabinets. The Zippis, however, are on their display racks, as their calligraphy sets. Just ask the store crew. :)

  6. Denise7:34 AM

    Juicy orange! :) I also love your writing sample.

    Haha, it reminds me of the first time I got into fountain pens--I saw a cute Zippi, but couldn't get it to write. I asked the store crew and they all had a little bit of trouble forcing ink out to the point that they just gave me another pen. xD

    I think that was the first time I ever got to talking to salespeople, too. I always had the feeling that they wouldn't talk to me unless I was buying something.

  7. Thanks for review, how much is the pen?

    and used the color orange is great

  8. Jorge, the pen is priced at £14.39 at CultPens. Thank you for reading my review. :) Didn't know someone from Mexico reads my blog. :)

  9. Anonymous6:49 AM

    ^^Unfortunately, the base models tend to break. I have been rough with mine though... 5 months of continuous use at university level which has given it a nice crack on the side, and the ink isn't flowing as well. Thankfully, I just ordered one of these new ID models... can't wait. I found my base model by accident, and now it seems they don't sell them anymore where I live. Too bad, because they are really awesome pens.

  10. Anonymous9:56 PM

    Dude some jerk stole your review:

    Most of the review is just translation of yours, other parts he kisses ass of schneider, and try to insult lamy. Just because he got the schneider for free.

    Then he says he tested the pen with an orange ink of "his" creation and put your pics.

    Worst of all: he also translates "Read on, the surprise is at the end. :)", but in the end he says "I worked so hard for this review, I will tell you the surprise in the next review."!

    Both pathetic and disgusting.

    Nevermind. I am using my green id with diamine umber, color matching ;)Nice fountain, good review.

  11. Thanks for the tip, Anonymous! That Blogger will be dealth with properly.

  12. Anonymous6:32 AM

    @Archer: I haven't seen the Schneider iD in the few Office Warehouse branches that I visited. Have you also spotted any Schneider Base Neons for sale in Metro Manila?

    @Anonymous: That plagiarist is too funny. I like both Lamy and Schneider, but I am more biased towards the former because the first fountain pen I bought was a Lamy.

  13. Freehold: The Scheneider iD fountain pen is not available in the Philippines. The pen on my review is a gift from Schneider Germany. The Base neons (?) are not available here, too. If you're talking about the apple green and boysenberry (purple) pens, they're not available for sale here, too. Some time ago, we placed a batch order through Office Warehouse. That's why some of the FPN-Philippines members have these pens.

  14. Anonymous1:16 PM

    The Scheneider iD fountain pen is not available in the Philippines.

    I found that out the hard way by calling every Office Warehouse branch I had the number to and after long waits I realised they never had it. Some of the staff don't even know what a fountain pen is and kept offering me ballpoints.

  15. Anonymous12:45 AM

    Thank's you Archer for this beatifull review. I got the tree models of Schneider ID fountain Pens. I want to know how do you has disassembled the nib. Sorry for my "student" english... Best regards from Buenos Aires.Write me:

  16. Jon B. Oakleaf9:00 AM

    Followed the eBay listing to your site and enjoyed the confirmation that this is a GREAT pen. In just the past few months I have returned to nib pens and have acquired a few for writing, not collecting. I came across this in a left hand version and ordered it immediately as, of course, I'm left handed! I haven't had this much fun with a pen since my Parker VP was stolen decades ago. I, too, love it, and plan to order a second as a backup. It's been a real pleasure to have a fine fountain pen I really enjoy once again. Wish I had your penmanship....

    1. Hi Jon! I didn't know there's an eBay listing pointed to my site. But I'm glad you read my review and liked it. ~Clem/The Archer

  17. I recently bought the Base Black which I like a lot and glad to read this review because I am thinking of buying an iD. Did you have any luck finding replacement nibs?

  18. Anonymous2:51 AM

    How about calling the sides of a nib cheeks instead of ears? I don't know if that is an official name, if there is any; it's just a suggestion.

  19. Anonymous7:04 PM

    I got one recently. And I am seeing this irritating ink breakage as I write with it. It works fine on rough paper but of smooth paper the ink flow breaks.
    On the same paper my simple Base Fountain pen writes flawlessly.

    Any pointers?
    I was thinking of doing a dis-assembly of the pen and cleaning it throughly.

    Can you put pics of the step by step dis-assembly and putting it back together?

    I use the Schneider Cartridges btw.

    Thanks in Advance.

  20. Anonymous8:10 PM

    I was in Germany last summer and got me a maroon colored Schneider fountain pen for Left-handers (under ten EU/May 2013), I am right-handed but could not resist it, just had to show all my lefty friends that there are products like this for them. Too bad they don't fancy fountain pens tho. I thought they sold these pens here but just as well, good thing I hoarded on the cartridges. Very good review! Thank you!

  21. I have 2 schneider ID and they are cool.
    I also have a lot of zippies and i write with them in dirffent colours.
    Great post!
    Keep going ro love schneider pens!

  22. I'm from India.. I've been gifted an ID pen with a nib labelled B(Bold,may be)..and is very uncomfortable to write..
    Can i get an M nib for schneider ID? I've searched online and couldn't finid any!!