Pen Review: Delta Fusion 82

Material: Acrylic
Nib: 18k Fusion
Appointments: Rhodium-plated
Filling System: Standard International Cartridges/Converters
Length (Capped): 142mm
Length (Uncapped): 126mm
Length (Posted): 169mm
Section Diameter: 11.5mm
Barrel Max Diameter: 13.5mm
Cap Max Diameter: 15.3mm
Weight, Uncapped (with ink and/or converter): 14g
Weight, Capped (with ink and/or converter): 24g

My best friend is a marketing genius. He has been working in marketing since he was in college, through a degree in music production, an MBA in Marketing, and 15 years in the industry after that. He enjoys marketing. He’s good at it. And he’d be the first person to tell you that most of marketing is complete and utter crap. Having spent nearly a decade in the technology industry myself, and having seen product marketing in action, I have to agree.

Never have I seen quite as perfect an example of marketing run amok as I have in the case of the Delta Fusion 82, and more particularly, around the Delta Fusion Nib that inhabits this pen. But before we get to the nib, let’s talk about the pen.


The Fusion 82 is a beautiful pen. It’s long, but feels almost slender or willowy, with a sleek profile. The production line of this pen comes in a variety of different colors including blue, brown, black, and the color of my pen, fuschia. The acrylic from which the pen is turned is nothing short of stunning. It’s completely alive with movement, with swirls of white and silver, highlighted with accents of black and grey. Although it is almost cliche to say, it’s hard to capture the depth of this material in a photograph or video. It evokes an almost galaxy-like nebula flow.


In addition to the production-line versions of this pen, there are a whole variety of limited edition or retailer exclusive versions of the pen with even more interesting materials in a vast panoply of colors.

The pen itself is a nice shape–a modified cigar-shaped pen that feels almost lanky in the hand, without being too thin to be usable. The cap is made of out a solid piece of acrylic, with a perfectly domed top that swells slightly to a double cap band in silver. The wider of the bands features the Fusion 82 logo in script around the band. The pen’s clip is has a rather modern, industrial feel with a unique profile and shape. It’s solid, though, and does a nice job of holding the pen in place.  The rest of the pen tapers down to another perfectly rounded point on the bottom. It’s a beautiful pen, and appears to be made with an superb craftsmanship. It’s perfectly turned, and beautifully polished.


The cap unscrews on super-smooth threads to reveal a slightly tapering section. The section unscrews from the barrel exposing an acrylic tenon, meaning the pen is eyedropper compatible. In addition to its eyedropper compatibility, the pen accepts standard international converters and cartridges (both long and short.) The Fusion 82 comes with a screw-in type converter as well, for those who like the extra security of a converter that is pretty much guaranteed to stay in place.


Then, at last, we get to the nib, and the reason for my anti-marketing screed at the top of the blog post. The heart of the Fusion 82 is Delta’s fusion nib. It is, essentially, a steel nib with an 18k gold saddle attached to the face of the nib. This makes for an interesting-looking, although somewhat confusing, nib–but the real fun comes when you start to read the marketing blurbs around the Fusion nib.

“The nib was developed to improve the efficiency of the fountain pen by enhancing the physical-chemical properties of ink within its assembly system. The foundation of the Fusion nib is a steel alloy covered and decorated with a layer of precious 18K gold: the ink is made more viscous on the tip of the nib because the thermal conductivity of the precious metal plate will heat the underlying steel – the higher temperature makes the ink flow more smoothly. The combination of gold and steel on the flexible nib gives it a unique and appealing look. It is strong and durable for long writing sessions – much more so than solid gold nibs. Hence, the fountain pen is more precious and at the same time less expensive!”

Now, I’m not a metallurgist. I am not even particularly scientifically-minded.  (Considering my sojourn through the American education system followed by a degree in musical theatre, that’s not all that surprising.) However, even I, with my limited understanding of the world of physics, find the above paragraph to be a load of bull plop. If my reading is correct, having a gold plate soldered to the top of a steel nib will cause the gold to heat the steel and in turn, the ink in the nib slit, to the point that it would have a noticeable impact on the ink’s viscosity. I don’t think that’s quite how thermal conductivity works. If it were, my All-clad skillet wouldn’t even need to be on the stove to cook my food. Unless Delta’s scientists have discovered what, in essence, is a new battery which will never run out of energy, this sentence is little more than marketing run amok. Gold by itself doesn’t heat steel alloy.

There is also one other aspect of the paragraph above that I’d like to challenge. “The combination of gold and steel on the flexible nib…” This nib is not even remotely flexible. Perhaps they meant something else by use of that word, but if I may quote the immortal Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Now, that being said, I don’t want to tarnish the entire pen due to some overzealous marketing copy. The fact remains that the nib on the Delta Fusion 82 is wonderful. It’s super-smooth, it’s moderately wet, it writes like an absolute dream. In fact, it writes so well that, when I realized I was going to have to give away this Fusion 82 to this season’s supporters, I immediately went online and bought another one just for me. Let me restate: the Fusion 82 was so good I didn’t just buy it once, I bought it twice. And I’d probably buy it a third time.

“But Matt,” you may be saying to your computer monitor, “you just bashed the marketing campaign of the nib, then turned around and said that it was one of your favorite nibs. Don’t you think that perhaps the reason it’s one of your favorite nibs is due to that plate of gold?”

“Ah,” I might reply. “First, you should probably stop talking to your computer monitor. People may question your sanity. I mean, even more than they already question your sanity for watching reviews of fountain pens. But beyond that, let us not forget that correlation does not equal causation. For although my sample size is small, I have anecdotal evidence that perhaps that gold plate is not as a certain marketing blurb might make it out to be.”  Then I would stop talking in such wise and just get back to writing my blog post.

You see, with as wonderful a writer as the Delta Fusion 82 is (and it is), and as beautiful as it looks (and it does), there is one potentially significant flaw in the fusion nib design: Sometimes, the gold plate falls off. I had seen reports of this online, which I thought may have been exaggerated a bit…until hit happened to me. (Side note: It’s amazing how easy it is to dismiss others’ misfortunes until they happen to you as well. A good reminder that I need to work on my sympathy skills.) My pen, a Fusion 82 in the Chatterley Luxuries exclusive “moonlight” acrylic had the gold plate of the nib fall off during cleaning after its first inking. And because I am deeply concerned about data points (*cough*) , I spent some time testing the nib without the gold plate in place before I sent it back to Delta’s US distributor for repair/nib replacement. The nib looked ugly without its gold lamé sarong, but it was still a wonderful a writer. I noticed no difference in performance without the gold saddle.

Despite the silly marketing and the potentially faulty nib, the fact remains that I just adore this pen. I’ve had the Fusion 82 (the one I’m giving away in the raffle) inked almost non-stop since I got it. The pen is light, it’s beautifully (and beautifully manufactured), it writes like a dream, and it fits absolutely perfectly in my hand. Even though I know I’m being pitched some rather ridiculous marketing, not to mention overcharged for a labor-intensive, over-manufactured nib with a slight tendency to fail, I just can’t make myself care. Perhaps I’m setting myself for up disappointment, but I can’t help myself: I really do like this pen a lot. I am waiting with bated breath for my own Fusion 82 to return from repairs. Then I may find myself with a new EDC pen.

  • Joey Hunter

    I love this pen. I agree with you Matt on the hype over the Fusion nib. I do not think that the gold does all that much other than looking cool. I have one standard Fusion nib (it was my first ‘serious’ fountain pen). After having it for about a month, while pulling it out of a pen sleeve, my clip just fell off.

    That did not stop me however from buying another one. My second Fusion is one of the Chatterley limited editions. I got the Tangerine with ruthenium plating. This one has been great, but the plating on both the clip and the cap band have faded.

    I love this pen model and I would gladly buy another one. Whoever wins this is one lucky person!

    • Ted

      The problems you have had on both you Fusions gives one pause.

  • Rafael Pappalardo

    There is no photo of the nude nib?

    • Nah. I ended up sending it back before I recorded the video.

  • Don

    Nice review! I enjoyed your humor, as I did in fact talk to my computer monitor. However, IMO the nib isn’t all that attractive. And it solves a non-existent problem. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional gold nib.

  • Ken

    Another fantastic review with superb production.

    I have the same colour pen but with a lovely B nib. I wholeheartedly agree with you that these Fusion nibs are wonderful writers especially on a pen as comfortable as this. The acrylic is simply gorgeous; it does have the look of an exotic burl wood finish.

    The nib definitely seems better than Delta’s regular steel nibs, so i think you could see the extra cost of the Fusion nib as going toward a better finish or quality as well a the gold hood ornament.

    Chatterley Pens also have a stub Fusion option on some of their pens which you should try if given the opportunity.

  • KAPS1M0

    Interesting review, to say the least. But even more interesting is that watch you’re wearing, Matt. May I ask which watch it is?

    • It’s a Skagen watch. I think I got it on Amazon, if I’m remembering correctly. It’s a lovely watch, and not too terribly expensive.

      • KAPS1M0

        I took a quick look at their offerings and I have to say that their watches are a nice blend of casual tone and dressy lines. Pretty appropriate that you wear it in the video of the “fusion”.

  • Lexter Victorio

    The look of the pen and the way it writes is enough for me to want this in the future. I am, however, extremely amused by the purple prose (quite apropos for the color of your pen and ink, yes?) that comes with the literature of the Delta Fusion 82.

  • Ted

    Another great review, Matt. What a gorgeous acrylic! I agree, the gold plating is scientific nonsense (unless the plating is plugged in to an energy source…is there a battery in that barrel?) 🙂 Besides, it sounds like there is even a gap between the plating and the steel of the nib (or a welding adhesive or something).

  • Anna

    I’ve got a Fusion 82 as well, after reading review after review of the pen that said the nib was super smooth and wetter-writing. I don’t find my own to be SUPER smooth, but it is very pleasant to write with. My only complaint about it is that I tend to get a bit more ink evaporation with it than with some of my other pens, so it’s better if you don’t have a huge number of pens inked at one time like I do!

    I got one in the “parquet ivory” color – swirly white – and it looks fantastic! But after looking at the options on Chatterley Luxuries, I’m reeeeeeeally tempted to get another one in one of their awesome colors!

  • Clifford Hughes

    Nice comprehensive review Matt. I do have a science degree and you’re right, the claims have no basis in reality. The problem with fusing two different metals together is exactly that they have different thermal conductivity and therefore expand and contract at different rates. If welded together this would cause distortion of the nib, but if fixed by some other method it could loosen the bond between them causing them to fall apart. I call that a built-in problem. Lovely pen, notwithstanding.

  • Clifford Hughes

    We’re talking micrometres here, but it’s enough

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  • Steelblue

    More viscosity means thicker ink, not desirable nor is it the result they are trying to spin here. That may be the biggest clue they are making it up as they go.
    Additionally, it is rarely desirable to mate these two metals on anything having any pressure applied to it much less a pen nib. They don’t contract or expand equally and this is likely to produce exactly the gold plate separation you experienced – I’ve experienced this in other applications and unfortunately it gets worse with use and age. Perhaps Delta has a superior bonding method, hopefully so but it seems unlikely at this price.
    Even so I will likely join you in owning this one – it’s a true beauty!

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  • Kenneth

    I just received this pen today – the Demonstrator version, which also comes with a rollerball section. Amazon uk had it for £60.00 ($85). Nice pen to write with.

  • Edward M

    I have the Delta Magnifica Citta Di Amalfi Fusion Pen. I believe that it is the same fusion 18 carat nib as your Delta 82 fusion nib. I inked it up thinking it would be as you described, but I was disappointed. The nib does not write better than my Pilot Precise V7.

    I am thinking about sending this to a nibmeister to have it worked on. I am going to try the proprietary Delta ink first (I was using Aurora Blue). This nib, as it is from out-of-the-box, was a stiff as nails steel nib. It is a smooth writer with an abrasive feedback that tells you are writing on paper almost like a sharpie felt tip pen.

    To my mind, having a fountain pen to write smooth is a misjudgment. Just smooth doesn’t cut it for a fountain pen. Rollerballs like the V7 I mentioned are very very smooth writers. A fountain pen needs to be more than a smooth writer to be worth it. It needs to also have butteriness, flex, softness, pleasantness, enjoyability, warmth, and ergonomics.

    There is way to much enthusiasm for smooth writers. Smooth writers can be found at the department store. Let’s concentrate on what truly makes fountain pens special.

    Anyways, does your Delta Fusion 82 offer more than smoothness?
    Maybe, I can get mines to work as well as yours.

    • I would heartily disagree that a fountain pen has to have butteriness, softness, or flex. One of the things that make fountain pens great is that they are adjustable and give people the writing experience they prefer. Some people prefer very rigid nibs. I personally don’t mind them, but I don’t need a pen with flex or bounce, either.

      The problem with objective terms like “smoothness” is that different people define them different ways. In the case of my Delta Fusion 82, the nib is very nicely adjusted, smoothed, and polished. I don’t get any of the abrasive feedback you mentioned. In fact, every Delta nib I’ve ever used has exhibited that “butteriness.” But, yes, it is a rigid steel nib. (Despite what Delta claims, I refuse to consider the fusion nib an 18k nib.) The ergonomics of this pen are great for me as well, fitting wonderfully in the hand.

      Sounds like your Delta isn’t the right fit for you.