Pen Review: Faber-Castell Loom

Material: Aluminum and Plastic
Nib: Steel
Appointments: Steel
Filling System: International Standard Cartridge Converter
Length (Capped): 129mm
Length (Uncapped): 121mm
Length (Posted): 151mm
Section Diameter: 11.3mm
Barrel Max Diameter: 11.8mm
Cap Max Diameter: 15.7mm
Weight, Uncapped (with ink and/or converter): 28g
Weight, Capped (with ink and/or converter): 34g

When it comes to entry-level fountain pens, it seems as though the same two choices keep popping up over and over again: The Lamy Safari and the Pilot Metropolitan. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I just don’t care for either of those pens. Both provide an inexpensive, consistent writing experience. Consistency is all well and good, but that’s not why I go through the extra hassle of using fountain pens: I want a little zazz with my writing. And I just don’t get that with those two starter pens.

Faber-Castell Loom

When I purchased the Faber-Castell Loom fountain pen, I suspected I would feel similarly about it as I do about the Safari and the Metropolitan. I was expecting a decent writer, but nothing of particular note. My previous experiences with the brand led me to expect a modern design and a pretty good nib. But at $40 USD, what I did not expect was a pen that would shoot to the top of my list of “entry-level” pens. Color me surprised!

(To be fair, there are many who would not consider a $40 pen an entry-level pen, and that’s understandable. For my purposes, I consider any pen less than $50 to be entry-level.)

The Loom is a silver-colored metal-bodied pen that comes with caps in a wide variety of colors, including some pretty bright, neon offerings.  I opted for the more subdued “Metallic Silver” finish. Due to the nature of the matte finish of the pen, it can be a little difficult to tell at first glance which parts of the pen are metal and which are plastic, leading to a very uniform, clean-looking design.

Faber-Castell Loom

The cap is made of a silver plastic that is treated to look like Aluminum. It has a slightly bulbous profile, with a deep swell toward the center. The clip, which feels hinged (see the video for what I mean by this) is chromed metal, and quite chunky, with a modern-looking shape. The top of the clip is inset into the top of the cap, and was cast with the Faber-Castell jousting knights logo.

The rest of the barrel is made of metal (likely aluminum) and is completely cylindrical. The end of the barrel features an unusual, concave finial.

Removing the snap-on cap reveals a silverized, plastic section that tapers toward the nib. This appears to be fairly unusual for Faber-Castell pens, which often feature perfectly cylindrical sections. The section on the Loom features five slightly raised rings set at regular intervals which both provide a bit of textural interest on what would otherwise be a sparse design, and help the smooth plastic section from getting too slippery. It’s also of note how perfectly and smoothly the threads of the metal barrel mesh with the threads of the plastic section. The precision manufacturing which Germany is known for is very much in evidence on this pen.

Faber-Castell Loom

The pen posts nicely, with the light cap slipping onto the barrel deeply and securely without throwing off the pen’s balance. I actually prefer to use this pen posted—an usual choice for me—and find it a touch more comfortable with the extra length provided by the posted cap. The pen can be used without posting, but I find it on the short side.

The Faber-Castell Loom takes standard international converters and both long and short standard international cartridges. Unfortunately, as is common for the lower-end Faber-Castell pens, it does not come with a converter, which I find to be greatly unfortunate for any cartridge converter pen. Just throw in the $0.30 worth of plastic and stop trying to nickel and dime us. (I’m talking to you too, Lamy!) So, you’ll need to make sure to purchase a converter if you aren’t drowning in extra standard international converters like I am.

Faber-Castell Loom

Then, at last, we come to the nib. Simply put, the steel nib on this Faber-Castell Loom is superb. It is one of the most perfectly-tuned steel nibs I have ever used. The nib does not have a breather hole, and features “golf ball” dimpling across the nib’s face. It is quite smooth, with a wide, forgiving sweet spot. There is almost no feedback, and the nib is the perfect level of wetness to use as a daily workhorse writer on most types of paper (i.e., not too wet, not too dry.) The nib’s medium point sits right smack-dab on the middle of the “medium” spectrum. It’s not as wide as one of those giant Pelikan mediums, nor as fine as a Japanese medium. It’s “just right.”

Writing with the Loom is a joy. It’s comfortable in the hand, and its textured, contoured grip fixed the only real problem I had with the Faber-Castell Ambition or Basic pens.  The pen has some  heft, but it is not so heavy as to be tiring. Ink starvation through this pen’s plastic feed has been completely non-existent. I have never had to prime the feed with cartridge or converter. It just writes. Every time. Without any problems. Much like the other most-recommended entry-level pens, the Loom is a consistent writer. It’s well-built, and very solid. But the nib on the Loom is so enjoyable, that the Loom gives me the “zazz” I am missing in the Safari or the Metropolitan.

I could not be more impressed with Faber-Castell’s Loom. It is a superbly-manufactured pen that looks nice, writes wonderfully, and feels good in the hand. At $40, this pen feels and writes as well as many more than three times its price. These days, when someone asks me what type of pen I recommend for a new fountain pen user, I tell them about the Loom. Yeah, it’s more expensive than a Lamy Safari. But for less than $50, this pen is a rockstar in my book.

  • Andrew

    Hey Matt,
    How would you compare the writing experience of this compared to your celluloid delta unica. It’s obvious that the delta is a stunner in the looks department, and that is an exceptional writer according to your review of it, but it wasn’t mentioned at the end of this review when you compared the writing to other pens.

    • I slightly prefer the Unica’s writing experience mainly because the nib is quite wet. Both are wonderful writers, and very smooth. But the Loom’s nib is a bit more moderate with the ink flow. The Unica really pours the ink out on the page.

      But the Unica _is_ more than twice the price as the Loom.

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Hey Matt,

    Just thinking you should really review the FC ambition! Here in the UK it was released 2 months ago!

    • I did review the Ambition, about a year and a half ago. It’s a very nice pen. I had the coconut wood version. You can find the review at or on YouTube! 🙂

  • Eva Yaa Asantewaa

    So glad to see your review of the Faber-Castell Loom. The Faber-Castell Basic is also a wonderful writer and cleanly, beautifully designed. Similarly priced, too! It is in the top five in my collection. Always a joy to ink up and a breeze to clean up. It never fails me.

  • Jonathan Keaton

    Dear Matt, I own a Loom with a B nib. Personally I find the Loom to be well made but a bit more heavy than I would like. One thing to point, yes the pen does not come with a converter and while it accepts international cartridges, the same does not applies with the converters. It does not accept any international converter. My Pelikan converter will fit but requires a bit of effort to fit it, while my Jinhao converter will not fit at all. I also find that many long cartridges fit loosely and that makes me insecure. For the above reasons I use the short cartridge with the second empty one that are provided.
    Great review by the way!

    • Good to know. It has taken all of the converters I’ve tried in it, but I haven’t tried all of them.

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  • Andre Blum

    going for the Stephen and Dan look? 🙂

  • Emerson Ranara

    Hi Matt,
    From what I saw on some closeup photos, this pen apparently is made in China rather than Germany. It reads so under the clip. Can you please confirm?

    – Emerson, greetings from the Philippines

  • pepperpath

    One of the first pens I bought was a F-C e motion after watching sbre Brown’ s review. It’s a winner! I bought a fine ( for drawing) and it is very smooth and not dry at all ( but more expensive than the LOOM).

  • Clifford Hughes

    As entry level pens go, I have 2 metropolitans which write great but – as with you – they fail to excite me. ( Sorry, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean). And there’s something about the design of the Lamy Safari I just don’t like (apologies to Safari fans). I prefer my Pilot Preras which I have converted to eye-droppers. I don’t know why, but the nibs just seem better. The only trouble with these pens is their size – they’re just way too small. I do like TWSBIs, especially my vac 700, so I ignore their quirks (as you do with a friend). I have a few Jinhaos from years back – some write great but some are just – well – yuk. It’s like the folks who manufacture the different parts have never met each other or even talked. My current fave entry pen is my Italix Parson’s Essential which is really something special – I think you would like it.

    Up to now I’ve never tried a Faber-Castell pen, although I love their art products which are among the best out there, so I’m think I’m going to give the Loom a try. I like medium wet nibs and that F-C nib looks good too.

    Thanks Matt for a great review, as always.

  • Glenn Higley

    Hi Matt. Today I bought an E-motion based on your and Stephen B’s recommendations of the brand. I love it. Writes a nice, smooth, moderately wet line straight out of the box. I wasn’t surprised as the Basic, Loom and E-motion appear to share the same nibs. Great ergonomics and attractive design. It is heavier than I prefer, but this quibble is outweighed by all other aspects of the pen. Thank you!

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  • begum

    Dear Matt, thank you for the nice review.Actually, I bought Loom a week ago based on your review and at first I really liked it. I didn’t want to buy a Lamy or Twisbi as a starter fp. I have had a cheap fountain pen for years but because it has a scratcy nib, ai tried to smoothen it by using a nail polisher and actually destroyed it(an iridium nib) 🙁 It was my friend for years . That’s why , I decided to buy a new one and I didn’t want to spend hundreds and try this one and that one to find a smoother one with moderate price. The first time I used it, it was surprisingly so smooth but now it started to sing. It is not scratchy. I know the scratchiness from my ex-Fp. Don’t know how to express it, humming, noisy, squeaky ? It is noisy. Whenever I want to use it, because of the noise on the paper I give up. I don’t whether this is because I have very sensitive ears or not.I do love silent and buttery smooth nibs.(who wouldn’t love?) The ink is the original ink that came with it.Should I try another ink or buy a new foubtain pen. Though some ballpoints are smoother and silent than this, I don’t enjoy the way they write. I really need your advice. Actually, I would buy Pelikan M200 but didn’t. In our culture we have a saying, instead of buying four cheap fps buy one Pelikan M200. I indeed need your advice. Thank you.

    • Hi Begum,

      I’d try a couple of other things first: Try a different ink or a different paper. Sometimes a nib doesn’t like a particular kind of paper. That “Singing” you hear is sometimes caused by the nib being a little too polished, or because you’re using it on a paper that is too slick. You could try using some 12000 grit micromesh to “rough” up the nib just a little bit. Sometimes, that takes care of the problem.

      • begum

        Thank you for the advice.I have ordered Iroshizuku ink and Rhodia dot pad.If the singing goes on, then , I will try the micromesh.

        • Steelblue


          I had this same issue with a new Sailor Imperial Black recently using Rhodia and Iroshizuku Take sumi ink. The solution for me was switching to Menemosyne writing pads. I can’t overemphasize how great they are, all of my very picky fine Japanese nibs glide across them as do the western and European pens I use. Hope you were able to enjoy your new loom!

  • Seuss

    Great info, thank you. I am looking to buy my first fountain and it looks like this may be it. I would like to experiment with the different nib sizes. Are the nibs interchangeable / can the nibs for this pen be purchased separately (independent of the pen)?

    • Unfortunately, no. The nibs are interchangable, but I’m not aware of any place offering the Faber Castell nibs independent of the pen.

      • Seuss

        thanks. confirmed with faber. they are interchangeable but they don’t sell the nibs by themselves. must buy all separate pens. guess i’ll need to buy something else. back to the lamy safari?

  • Seuss

    thanks. confirmed with Faber. yes they’re interchangeable but not you can’t buy them independently. must buy all separate pens. suggestions for other comparable pens for which this is an option? Lamy Safari is what many seem to recommend and what i had intended to buy prior to seeing this post. open to other suggestions though.

    • Steelblue

      It’s hard to beat the Lamy Safari in this price range for swapping nibs and pure reliability. Mine write perfectly every time after sitting for months. I’ve never swapped nibs so I can’t speak to that but I know it’s easy to do. I’m really enjoying the TWSBI Eco for daily use too but I’m pretty sure the nib is not interchangeable. Lamy Al Star is there too if you’d prefer the aluminum “step up” from Safari.

  • Jose Carlos Gadea

    In my Loom, thats exactly like the one reviewed, exept with fine nib, i can assure you that the section is metallic. You should use a metal rod to test if something is metal or plastic, easier way to tell, you can feel when metal touches metal. Or just feel it’s temp. Cap is plastic, rest of the pen is metal. BTW, in love with the pen, really well made and reliable.

  • I’d like to suggest a fourth starter pen — the Platinum Plaisir. It has the same nib/feed/section unit as the Preppy, but with a durable aluminum body and cap. The nib has feedback, but not enough to bother me.

  • Suryansh Singh

    Hey Matt,
    I own a lamy safari and was planning to upgrade to either Faber Castell loom or waterman hemisphere, both in medium nib. If smoothness of nib is the sole criteria, which one should I pick?

    • I’ve never used a Waterman Hemisphere, so I can’t really do a comparison. Sorry!

      • Suryansh Singh

        I ordered the loom. Thanks for the review 🙂

  • james sinole

    hi im new to fountain pens i have 2 cheap ones i have zero experience in this feild i was wondering that if i get a mount blank ( bohem to be precise would i be ablie to use parker quink in it0 throuth refilling the cartrage with quink or would it ruin the pen

  • Zahit

    I bought loom last week. I really enjoy writing with this pen. It is very smooth and the wetness is just right for me. However i have one minor problem. The cap needs too much force to uncap. I wonder if this is a general problem with looms or a problem with the one i have?