Pen Review: the New and Improved Venvstas Carbon T Fountain Pen

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

The Carbon T is a modern fountain pen, in a minimalist design, made of carbon fiber, and priced at 75 Euros. Venvstas is a small company, based in Paris, and started by an architect, artist and designer named Lucio Rossi, who wanted to make tools for artists and architects. I wrote a detailed review of my original Carbon T here, and posted a first look here.

I bought one of the first Carbon T fountain pens, I think. I loved the minimalist aesthetic and design. And I liked using the pen. The un-ornamented design made the fountain pen more like a classic wooden pencil — a tool you don’t think about, but just use. I also appreciated having a well-designed modern pen in carbon fiber at a decent price, too.

Unfortunately, months after I reviewed mine, in late 2016, my Carbon T developed an issue with ink drying out in the feed when the pen wasn’t in use. So I put the pen aside to email Lucio Rossi. When I finally remembered, this spring, to email him, Lucio told me to mail the pen back and he’d fix it or replace it.

Now, note that when you email Venvstas, you speak directly to the owner. Also note that my pen was nearly a year old by then. But he stood behind it with no question. That’s great service, and frankly better than I’ve had with some more expensive pens.

Lucio looked at my pen and figured that an air leak might have developed over time in the original cap, which has since been modified. So he sent me a new, updated Carbon T, which I’ve been using since early May.

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

My new Carbon T works perfectly. I have been using J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir cartridges, and the ink flow and startup have been perfect. The nib is a standard European fine nib, with slight feedback, as I like in a nib. If you wanted a smoother nib, a few swipes on micromesh would be all you need. The nib was aligned out of the box.

Lucio has been tweaking the design of the Carbon T in the past months to improve it little by little. In the future, the Carbon T will only have a clipless cap, like the one I’m now using. That cap has been modified to be more airtight, with steel instead of brass inside. The new cap is slightly shorter, which has made the pen perhaps a millimeter or two shorter.

I notice a few other changes. The guard on the bottom of the feed is now made of carbon fiber, so less noticeable. The best change is that the tiny screw that once protruded on the section is now inset completely, making the section perfectly comfortable now. Lucio said that he might eliminate that screw entirely in the future.

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

I think the Carbon T, and probably all Venvstas pens, will continue to evolve over time. Lucio seems to be constantly thinking of new ideas and improvements, including some neat ideas for new converter options.

In terms of aesthetics, the Carbon T retains it original look, but it looks even sleeker. The fit and finish is tighter and better matched now. The clipless cap accentuates that. The current Carbon T is even more clean and minimal. If you liked it before, you’ll probably like it even more now, as I do.

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

On the minus side, my new Carbon T does not accommodate every standard international converter: the metal collar or clasp is just too narrow for the ones I have. So for now I’m using it with ink cartridges.

I have learned, alas, that the “standard international converter” is deceptively named, and they aren’t all the same. Perhaps the word “standard” refers only to the converter attachment mechanism. It turns out that there are fatter standard international converters, which don’t fit the Carbon T, and thinner ones that do. Alas, I only have the wider converters at the moment.

Lucio said that Venvstas converters are thinner, as are some from Kaweco, Schmidt and Pelikan. Now, the Venvstas converter did fit in my old Carbon T — albeit very snugly — and perhaps that would still fit in my new one. But I don’t have that converter any more, because I sent it back with the first Carbon T. Alas. I’ll have to try again when I can get one of the thinner converters.

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

In the meantime I’m okay with a cartridge-only pen. I like cartridges, and I’ve got so many international cartridges that it’s good to have a reason to use them. Plus I know that I can fill empty cartridges with bottled ink using a syringe.

That said, it’s nice having the flexibility to use a converter. So if you want that, it might be best to order a Venvstas converter along with the Carbon T pen. It might even make sense to ask Venvstas to verify that it fits. My clasp is pretty tight.

The truth is, I’m still super happy with the pen. If you like modern design and carbon fiber, and don’t have a huge bankroll, it’s great to see a company like Venvstas designing modern-style writing instruments that don’t cost a fortune, and work very well. (Backed up with great service.) Venvstas has since added mechanical pencils and rollerballs, too, which also look great.

Venvstas Carbon T fountain pen 2017

 

13 thoughts on “Pen Review: the New and Improved Venvstas Carbon T Fountain Pen

    1. Dear Gabriel, I have sent all, but I had some problems with some addresses, Actually I think around 20 pens were sent and never reached the destination,…nevertheless Im going to check which pen you supported and, as that pen is not longer be made I’ll send you a carbon T instead. Its just that the T is a better pen, and it was decided to favor this one instead of the other one, which had some problems that I could not fix completely or at a high cost, for instance a recurrent capillarity problems in the carbon fiber, issues that made no sense to do it anymore, personally I prefer the Carbon T design which was made afterwards, and after learning a lot from the first experiences. It just looks better and works better too.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I have one of these pens from last year (glossy) – I do love it. It is really sleek and pretty. The part that holds in the cartridge on mine is VERY tight, so I also only use it with cartridges. I wouldn’t want to trust a converter to it. Mine didn’t come with a converter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting! It’s great to “meet” another Carbon T owner. 🙂

      My first Carbon T also had a very snug clasp for the cartridge/converter, so that’s three Carbon T’s like that (my two and yours). I did use a Venvstas converter on the first one, and it held up fine, albeit with a little cosmetic scratching, which didn’t affect anything. This second one, however, seems tighter, so maybe mine also will end up being cartridge-only (which would be fine).

      I’m glad that potential buyers can learn more about the pen this way. So can Venvstas — perhaps Lucio may find a way to adjust this in the future. It’s great to see a well-designed modern pen at a good price. I’m like you: I love mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just saw this one, hi, Im the designer of the pen, Lucio Rossi, I just wanted to comment that I would like to give every reader of the blog a reduction code until July 14 (our national hollyday, like your 4 of July) its 10% off on any product (mind that we’re not shipping ink outside europe) just take a look on the site and get to see this one and others. We have piston pens, cartride pens, hybrid pens, that means you can use a them both as a piston or a cartridge pen, as you can actionate the converter via a knob….take a look.
    Some comments on the pen, there’s still a clip version, only if you pick a carbon T glossy, also a version that will use all international converters plus lamy cartridges and parker, pilot etc, you’ll be able to fit on the pen whatever thing is left on your desk. so the pen will be pelikan/lamy/parker compatible at the same time….Laura’s frst carbonTpen was number 3, actually, so lots of things are getting improved. Plus, as the pen has life guarantee, if something goes wrong and the pen does not work, has any problem, you can change it, also you can send it to service to us at no cost any time you want, cleaning, or if you need to change the nib……….
    anyway, here the code:
    laura10
    very easy.
    the website

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is, undoubtedly, interesting pen. I’m still hesitatnt to give it a try as I’ve heard about the issues you mentioned in your review in few places. On the other hand, the design is quite unique.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get that. For myself, I took a chance, and I’m delighted with it. I really love the design, and I love using it. Not that it’s perfect, but no pen is, especially when you’re an early adopter. Maybe a Mitsubishi Hi-uni HB wooden pencil is, but even that doesn’t have an eraser. 🙂

      With my reviews, I hope people can get a little more information and make their own choice. Maybe it’s more of a sure thing for people who love modern design and minimalism, and also happen to like writing with fountain pens, than for people who are fountain pen fans first? But if it’s your style, then I think it’s worth checking out.

      Liked by 3 people

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