Monday, October 4, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 265

A few weeks ago,  I got a little surprise in the mail--a parcel from my friend (and fellow VPC member) Candice! In it were an assortment of cute stationery-related goodies ... and this cool pen - the HYL demonstrator fountain pen:

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

(My HYL fountain pen + the Pen & Ink "India Black" fountain pen ink in it)

The HYL is a clipless, torpedo-shaped demonstrator fountain pen made in China...and yes, it's a clone of the Moonman M2! At first glance, you might think they were actually the same model, but they do have some differences --the HYL is made of injection molded plastic (vs. the turned acrylic of the M2), the HYL and M2 inner barrel ends are different, their metal cap bands are marked with different manufacturer names, and -- most obviously (most importantly, perhaps, for some people??) -- the HYL is available with sparkly caps, sections and barrels (like mine), whereas the M2 barrels are all transparent, as of this writing :)

(Note:
I don't own a Moonman M2, so this info was gleaned from the "University of YouTube")


One of the things the HYL and Moonman M2 do have in common are their filling systems - both pens are eyedropper-fillers; my HYL pen actually came with a flexible plastic pipette to draw up bottled ink---very handy! I thought that was a nice touch, especially for an inexpensive fountain pen.

The HYL does have a slightly larger barrel volume; because of its injection molding
manufacturing process, the end of its barrel is "hollow" vs. the "filled-in" clear barrel end of the Moonman M2. This means that the HYL can hold a bit more ink than the M2 - a good thing, if ink volume is important to you. A drawback of this manufacturing process, however, is that the HYL barrel end might be more prone to breaking or cracking than its Moonman counterpart; I personally can't see this happening with normal usage, though. As for aesthetics...some people may prefer the M2's solid clear plastic barrel end over the hollowed-out barrel end of the HYL pen...or vice-versa (it's nice to have a choice, though, isn't it?).


(With the black ink inside, the HYL's sparkly barrel looks like a dark night full of stars - lovely!)

Interestingly, one YouTube commenter said that the HYL's material was inherently less prone to cap-cracking during posting than the M2's. When posted, it's around 15 cm long, but because it's so light (13.3 grams), it's still well-balanced. Without its cap, the HYL is about 12 cm long from nib tip to barrel end, so it can be used comfortably unposted. At 13.5 cm capped, it makes for a decently-sized pocket pen (if your pockets are a bit on the large side). 

The step-down from barrel to section isn't big (and the section isn't skinny), so I find it very comfortable to hold lower down the barrel, even though I'm usually a "high-gripper". The plastic surfaces of the HYL are shiny, very smooth and feel nice to the touch, which make for a pleasant writing experience.

Its gold-plated steel #5 size nib is marked "Iridium Point" and "F" (for Fine) and is very smooth--a real joy to use. The HYL is available in three different nib widths---Extra-Fine (0.38mm), Fine (0.5mm) and "Fine Art Pen 0.7mm" (not sure what that means).  The Fine nib on mine is as stiff as a nail---no flex at all--and I only mention this because some folks might be looking for an economical flexy-nibbed fountain pen. You won't find it here, though! 

The nib lays down a nice, wet line, and the ink flow is excellent--the pen hasn't dried out once since I filled it three weeks or so ago. According to one of the YouTube videos I saw, the HYL and Moonman M2 fountain pens have identical nibs, feeds and sections (made by the same OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer), so the writing experience should be the same, theoretically. 

Price-wise... Well, my pen was a gift so I don't know how much it cost to acquire, but I did find some other HYL fountain pens on Aliexpress (I was checking to see if they came with different cap band colours... and yes, they do!). There might be other sellers on Aliexpress or eBay who sell HYL fountain pens, but suffice to say, you can get one for less than $6 CAD including shipping.


The Pen & Ink "India Black" fountain pen ink above (also shown in the first photo) was made by Art Alternatives in California. I picked it up recently at an art supply store in Tsawwassen and I like it a lot. It shows some feathering on cheap newsprint, but dries very quickly.

All in all, I really enjoy using my new HYL fountain pen---it's a great little demonstrator pen and a reliable writer with a nice smooth nib.  I've had it inked up since I got it and it always starts up without hesitation and lays down a nice, smooth line on any paper I use. Thanks again, Candice, for your thoughtfulness and generosity! :)

~Photos & review by Maja ~

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