Monday, March 27, 2023

Fountain Pen Review: f-inks F1 SS316 Fountain Pen

It's been a week since the 2023 Manila Pen Show. Fountain pen enthusiasts are still raving about the show, getting their "grails," and "posting their "hauls." But hey guys, you're in for a new and happy surprise in the coming weeks! Did you know? A new brand of really good fountain pens is launching in the Philippines! The new and upcoming series of fountain pens from f-inks made of titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel is coming very soon, and Rants of The Archer is honored to publish the first-ever full review of the F1 SS316 fountain pen from f-inks! It's another "fountain pen first" for this blog!

In early February, I came across fountain pens made of titanium in our local pen group. After some discussion with the creator and developer behind f-inks, I checked the pens and agreed to do a full fountain pen review of their stainless steel pen. I only have a few metal fountain pens, and the ones that I have are either made of aluminum or brass. When I received f-inks' F1 SS316 fountain pen, I used a fountain pen that is made from solid stainless steel for the first time. The SS316 surprised me; it was love at first sight and more love at first write!

f-inks fountain pens are presented in a wooden box with etched art and the stylized "F" and ink drop logo. I like this box because it's sturdy and ensures the safety of the pen inside. It can also be repurposed as a pen box for several pens. 
Here's the F1 SS316 fountain pen inside the presentation box.

I have reviewed many fountain pens and am amazed at the creativity of people who produce extraordinary pens. Francesco, the man behind f-inks, is one of them. He thinks out of the box, and his pens are unique and designed well. In one of our conversations, Francesco said that his fountain pen design is a synthesis of some of the elements of his favorite pens. He calls this design the "F" pen, derived from his name and the words he strives for in his products: friendly, fine, flawless, fantastic, fabulous, and fair. He should add functional, fascinating, fearless, and futuristic to the list!

f-inks F1 SS316 fountain pen, a sturdy, solid, and firm pen made of pure stainless steel. This pen is very smooth and glossy in person. The "markings" that you will see in some of the photos in this review are my reflection and some machine marks.

Francesco describes the F pen's design as a minimalistic female shape. It's a beautiful shape that is also comfortable to hold as you write. The gap between the cap and the barrel is meant to lessen the friction between the two pen parts and avoid scratches or markings from repeated movements when capping/uncapping the pen. 

The F pen is also available in a titanium version, and he is working on an aluminum pen and combination models of stainless steel + aluminum and titanium + aluminum. It's exciting to see these pen models in the coming months.

The F1 SS316 has a minimalistic female shape, a shape that is comfortable to hold while writing.

I'm sure you all want to know how long and heavy this stainless steel pen is. The F1 SS316 is a full-sized fountain pen, measuring 5.62 inches while capped. It weighs 128 grams, and while that weight is heavy for a pen, it's not uncomfortable nor does it make writing difficult. Here are some useful measurements and specifications of the F1 SS316:
  • Length, capped: 5.62 in | 14.27 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 5.3 in | 13.5 cm
  • Weight, whole pen: 128 g | 325 oz
  • Weight, pen uncapped: 91 g | 3.21 oz
  • Weight, cap: 37 g | 1.30 oz
  • Body material: Stainless steel
  • Cap: Stainless steel, screw on, does not post
  • Clip material: No clip
  • Nib: #6 JoWo available in F, M, B, or elastic EF or F
  • Filling mechanism: Standard international converter 

While the F1 SS316 weighs much more than the average fountain pen, other elements help make it comfortable to use. The length of its barrel provides balance while writing. If this pen's barrel were shorter, that would cause discomfort. The section's design and shape also contribute to an enjoyable writing experience. Notice that the section has no threads for the cap on the area where it joins the barrel. The threads for the cap are on the section's lips near the nib. 

The F1 SS316 fills with ink through a standard international converter. 
Engraved on the cap's top is f-inks logo of ink drop and stylized "F"
These are threading on the pen's section and barrel. Notice the thick stainless steel used on this pen. That means sturdy, solid, and (almost) unbreakable.
Francesco uses #6 JoWo nibs on his pens at the moment, but he is open to using other compatible brands in the future, including using flex and ultraflex nibs. I got an elastic EF nib in my pen.

The F1 SS316 fountain pen is a full-sized pen. Capped or uncapped, it shares almost the same length as a Lamy Al-star and TWSBI ECO. Uncapped, however, it's longer than a Laban 325. The SS316 fountain pen's size provides balance and helps in a comfortable writing experience.

From top: TWSI ECO Rosegold, Laban 325 Snow, F1 SS316, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, and Lamy Al-star. While the F1 SS316 shares almost the same length as the Al-star and ECO, it is shorter than the 325.
Uncapped, the F1 SS316 is longer than the 325.

To test how the F1 SS316 fountain pen writes, I filled it with one of my favorite wet blue inks, J. Herbin Ã‰clat de Saphir. The elastic EF nib wrote smoothly, and I had no problem writing this piece. I was very careful with the elastic nib because this is my first elastic nib, but it wrote very well, with the light spring adding to the lovely writing experience. The pen is heavy, but I did not notice the weight while I wrote. I'm happy that I can use this pen for regular writing and maybe for ink art, too! The F1 SS316 is such a unique and remarkable pen. 

The elastic EF nib wrote so smoothly! Instead of a simple one-sentence quote, I chose a longer text for this writing sample to check if I will have any discomfort. I'm glad to report that there was none, and it was an enjoyable writing experience.
The F1 SS316 can also transform! You can swap the pen's nib with a pencil tip and voila! You now have a stainless steel pencil! These pencil tips are inexpensive and are easily available in stationery shops.

I am happy (and still giddy) with the F1 SS316 fountain pen! I'm still amazed at how this pen was designed and made. Every day, I spend time just holding it and writing with it. It's a well-designed pen that's sturdy and not sensitive to compounds that are usually harmful to our pens, including rubbing alcohol. These pens are meant for long-term use and I definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to explore and know this brand. I'm excited to try the titanium F1 pen and see Francesco's new designs in the coming months! Get one for your collection!

Rants of The Archer thanks Francesco for providing the F1 SS316 fountain pen for review purposes. F1 SS316 and F1 Ti gr.5 fountain pens are available for purchase from Kailash Ramchandani's PenGrafik.

To learn more about these beautiful and well-crafted pens, follow f-inks on Instagram (


  1. Anonymous12:05 AM

    How much do these pens cost?

    1. Hi! Please send a message to PenGrafik on Facebook ( or f_inks.22 on Instagram ( to get the pricing for these pens. Thank you!