Trumpf TruTru Tool N160 Li Ion Nibbler Hands On Review:
The Trumpf TruTru N160 Li Ion Nibbler is a pen with a big name. The company has been around since 1997 and their pens are known for being high quality and affordable.
They have a large catalog of models, but they tend to stick to the same formula – solid construction, good ink capacity, and reasonable price tag.
They’re not cheap, but then again nobody’s really trying to compete with Pilot or Montblanc here. This model comes in two sizes, a standard size (Nibbler) and a larger one (Cup Noodles).
The nibs come in various colors, including black, blue, green, red and silver. The nibs are made from stainless steel and they’re available in different widths. The nibs range from fine to broad, though I think it’s safe to say that most people will prefer the medium nib.
The Trumpf TruTru N160 Li Ion Nibbler comes with a converter and a bottle of ink. There’s no cap included, so you’ll need to buy one separately if you want to keep your pens clean.
The pen is made from ABS plastic and stainless steel. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but it feels very solid in your hand. The plastic feels like it could take a beating and the nib is firmly fastened to the pen so I don’t think you’ll have problems with it dropping pieces into your ink.
The most interesting part of the pen is the mechanism that allows the nib to extend or retract. The nib itself is attached to a stainless steel ring that goes all the way around the section.
When you turn the ring, it pulls the nib out or retracts it into the barrel of the pen. It pushes up against some plastic fins inside the body of the pen, so it creates a seal to prevent leaks. There’s also a rubber O-ring underneath the nib, which adds an extra layer of protection.
There are pros and cons to this type of design. For starters, the pen is always going to be longer than a regular fountain pen.
It won’t bother you if you grip the pen with your fingers over the nib, but if you hold it in such a way that puts your fingertips near the nib then you might feel annoyed at how long it is. The second problem I can see is that the mechanism seems slightly fragile. The ring that attaches to the nib is thin and it doesn’t seem very sturdy. It should hold up fine as long as you’re careful with it, but I can see someone in the course of normal usage losing the nib or ring and having the pen become useless.
The big advantage to this type of mechanism is that it allows the nib to be longer. A longer nib means more ink capacity which in turn means you don’t have to fill the pen as often.
I like this because I go through a lot of ink and I don’t like having to refill my pens every few days. Of course, this long nib does make the pen slightly unwieldy if you hold it in such a way that the whole thing is supported by your fingertips.
The N160 comes with a medium stainless steel nib, which is the same width as the one on the Pilot Metropolitan. It’s not a nail, but it’s not overly wide either.
I find it to be a bit too rough for my taste, so I may end up swapping it out with a finer nib in the near future. This pen could really benefit from having an interchangeable nib.
One of the things I disliked about the Metropolitan was the infamous Pilot grind which was a little too dry for my tastes. The N160 suffers from the same issue, but it’s not as bad.
In fact, the N160 may write better than the Metropolitan from the time I’ve used it so far.
The pen comes apart easily so you can access the converter or the nib if you wanted to swap it out. It takes Pilot converters, so you have plenty of options available to you.
I filled my pen with Private Reserve Lavender since it’s one of my favorites and it should help break in the new nib.
I paid $15 for this pen on sale and I think it was well worth the price. I haven’t had any issues with it so far and everything seems to be working great.
I’m going to have to do some serious writing over the weekend just to put it through its paces, but I don’t anticipate having any problems with it.
If you’re looking for a decently priced first piston filler or just want a knock around pen, I’d definitely recommend this one.
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