In this 4K video I review the Ferris Wheel Press Brush fountain pen. This fun brass-bodied pen is shaped like a paintbrush.
Ferris Wheel Press is a stationery brand that I’ve seen quite a bit on Instagram. Their attractive fountain pen ink bottles get a lot of attention. I don’t see quite as much content related to their pens.
I was sent two Brush fountain pens to review, one in Sandcastle Clay and another in Red Carpet with a 14kt gold plated nib. These are the first Ferris Wheel Press (abbreviated “FWP” going forward) products I’ve experienced in person. The pens are called “Brush” because they are designed to resemble a paintbrush.
I don’t normally care much about packaging but FWP definitely put an effort into theirs so it seems only right to start there. The Brush fountain pen comes in a rectangular sliding box made of a thick paper or cardboard. The boxes are color matched to the pens and feature gold foil lettering as well as whimsical images of a ferris wheel, hot air balloons and clouds.
Slide the box open and you will find the pen in a faux velvet pen sleeve with a gold maple leaf (FWP is Canadian) on the front side and “FERRIS WHEEL PRESS FALL IN LOVE WITH WRITING AGAIN” on the back side. The details are nice but the pen sleeve is not a quality item. In use, the sleeve sheds little black fibers.
The pens gave me a positive first impression. I liked the gloss lacquer finish and the unique paintbrush shape. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about was the brass nut that serves as a cap ring. It didn’t feel in harmony with the slim elegant shape. As I used these pens more, it grew on me and I like them now.
The pen is made from lacquered brass and has a nice weight to it. Being a skinnier pen, I didn’t find it to be the most comfortable for long writing sessions but it wasn’t so heavy that I couldn’t easily crank out a couple full size pages of writing.
Removing the cap reveals the best part of the pen, the CNC etched brass grip. The grip section features a design that is said to resemble the flywheel of a vintage letter press as well as components from an Underwood typewriter. It looks very cool and gives the pen a steampunk vibe which works well with the brass nut on the cap. I noticed that the brass nut has patinated faster than the grip sections, but both should have a very nice patina in time.
Both of the pens I received have fine nibs. The nib grade is found not on the nib, but on the brass section and is centered in alignment with the nib. It’s definitely cool and unusual detail. At the end of the section on the Sandcastle Clay model are the words “DESIGNED IN CANADA” and on the Red Carpet we get “14KT GOLD PLATED”.
The nib is on the smaller side but is proportional with pen and has a nice engraving with “Ferris Wheel Press” in fun lettering, and a maple leaf right above the slit in the nib. There is no breather hole. The Roman numerals V and VI flank each side of the tines. I am not sure what the five and six refer to.
These pens take standard international cartridges and come with a 0.75ml piston converter. The convert has “rat tat tat” in cursive on the chrome portion just below the piston knob. I always like to see something more than a standard unbranded converter. The converter itself is unfortunately cheap feeling. The one that came in the Red Carpet had a loose piston knob that eventually came off. I was able to snap it back into place and it works fine.
When I first put these pens to use the Sandcastle Clay pen was unusually difficult to get started. I had to flush it multiple times but once it started writing, it wrote reliably. The Red Carpet wrote right away without any drama. Both nibs are pretty smooth for their fine grade and overall I am quite happy with their performance.
FWP makes a big deal about the 14kt gold plated nib and charges an extra $22 for it. I cannot tell any difference when writing with them. They feel the same, as I expected. Gold plating is cosmetic. Maybe it offers some corrosion resistance over the plain stainless steel but unless you really abuse your pens, I don’t think it will matter.
The standard steel and gold plated nibs only come in fine and medium widths. The pens do come in a lot of nice colors though. You will likely find one that appeals to you.
The section needs to be screwed tightly to the pen body otherwise the cap will unscrew the section. I still occasional unscrew the section with the cap. The pen does post but I don’t recommend it. I suspect that the sharp metal threads on the cap will damage the nice lacquer finish.
They are assembled in Canada, which means they are probably made in China. The price is on the higher side at $138 for the standard stainless steel nib and $160 for the gold plated version. For similar money you can get fountain pens with solid gold nibs like the Pilot Custom 74 or Pilot Vanishing Point.
I am surprised by how much I liked both pens. Their unique design is refreshing and I enjoyed writing with them and having them on my desk. The price is still hard to swallow. Yes, the design is unique, but you have to really like it to overlook the gold nib options for around the same price.
- Material: lacquer over brass
- Nib: Stainless steel #5 size nib available in fine and medium grades
- Filling system: Standard international cartridge and converter (converter included)
- Length: 143 mm capped, 130 mm uncapped, 155 mm posted
- Grip section diameter: 7.6 – 8.8 mm
- Weight: 23 grams total, 15 grams uncapped
- Price: $138 for the standard stainless steel nib and $160 for the gold plated stainless steel nib
I received these pens free of charge from Pen Chalet for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. All views and opinions in this review are my own. The links in this review are not affiliate links.