Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Delta Fusion 82 First Impression

Here are some key parts of the video:
  • Fusion 82 unboxing (1:23)
  • Pen overview (4:00)
  • Pen closeup, must see! (9:03)
  • Writing with fine nib (11:51)
  • Writing with 1.3mm stub nib (15:22)

Every since I heard about the release of the Delta Fusion 82, I wanted one. It's an interesting concept: a steel and gold combination fountain pen that's meant to react together to help the ink flow smoother. At least that's how Delta implies it works…the science behind it escapes me a bit, but really I don't care as much as how it works as much as if it just actually works like they say.

It wasn't just the function of the fused nib that drew me to this pen, it's really the whole presentation. The box is awesome, with more design and intention than I have seen in just about any other pen presentation in this price range. The pen itself is very, very attractive, a very comfortable size, a great weight (22g/0.8oz), the materials are stunning and the two-tone nib looks great. All-in-all, this is just a gorgeous pen, at least I think it is.

Delta Fusion 82 in blue, the pictures just don't do justice!

Delta Fusion 82 nib, stainless steel and 18k gold in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and 1.3mm italic.

Delta Fusion 82 centerband, showing the sweet retro font.

Delta Fusion 82 in black

Delta Fusion 82 clip design is simple and classy.

It has a list price of $295 (our price is $236), so it's more expensive than most of the pens I'm typically drawn to. I wanted to get one of these for myself, for sure, but I also had a good hunch that this is a pen that others would want, as well. I wanted to see if it would be worth seriously considering carrying on Gouletpens.com. But at this price, with 4 pen colors and 5 nib sizes, it's a huge investment for me to decide to carry these just on speculation. I decided that I wanted to buy one, use it myself, and then put out a video sharing my thoughts and initial impressions on the pen so that I could get your feedback about how the pen looks to you. And that's just what I've done here today.

Here is a summary of my impressions, a biased and unfiltered personal view of this pen as I've handled it and used it:

  • It's beautiful, one of the most attractive pens I have in my whole collection…perhaps the most attractive with that stunning blue!! I'm a sucker for blue.
  • The size is great, very well-balanced and solid-feeling. 
  • The grip is great, the threading is subtle and the step is not obtrusive at all, even though my thumb rests directly on it when I write.
  • The nib was more feedback than I had expected. It's not glassy-smooth, but rather feels kind of like a soft lead pencil's resistance on the paper. I usually like really smooth nibs, but this one actually feels really good to me, and is a nice change from most of the other pens I have. It's not scratchy at all.
  • The flow is generous, but not out-of-control gushing. It's just about perfect in my mind.
  • The nib, though having a foundation of stainless steel, actually has a small amount of flex, so I was actually able to make my fine nib write out to at least a medium, maybe even a broad. It takes intention and pressure to do so, but you can flex it. I won't use it for this purpose, but it's there.
  • The cap doesn't post as securely as I'd like. Because I have larger hands and the way I hold my pen, it puts a lot of side pressure on a posted cap, and it tends to wiggle loose a bit as I write. I find it more comfortable to write unposted, which is not a big deal because the body is long enough where it's very comfortable even without posting. 
  • The clip is a bit tight, not that I care because as you've seen from my videos, I wear t-shirts every day. But still. I don't even know if this is truly a 'con', I am honestly just not an expert on putting pens in shirt pockets given my personal choice of clothing!

These are just kind of my raw thoughts and impressions on the Fusion 82. It's a pen that I am looking into selling on my site for $236, but I really wanted to get your feedback on it first. It comes in 4 awesome resin colors: black, blue, purple and brown, and in 5 nib sizes: extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and 1.3mm italic. I'd be interested in stocking the full line. If you have any experience with this pen, I'd love to hear what you have to say. I've always had a very user-driven, grassroots method for deciding which pens to carry in my store, and I want to hear if it's something you would be interested in me carrying before I just start going for it. What do you think?

Write On,
Brian Goulet


  1. That's a gorgeous pen. I don't know how much business you do in higher-end pens but I bought my Platinum 3776 celluoid (also blue) from you and it's probably my favorite pen.

  2. I would be sorely tempted... I love blue pens, and being a gadget-fiend, the unique nib would be a huge selling point.

  3. You can put me down for a purple EF. This has been on my wish list for a long time.

  4. I am very interested in this. I've long been interested in Delta, and this looks like a price point I can work with. Multiple colors is a highly appealing prospect as well. :-)

  5. I have two of the Fusion 82s. One is a black matte finish that is really fantastic, and the other is a demonstrator with a black splotchy pattern over the top. A big plus on these? EASILY made into an eyedropper and the ink capacity is wonderful - not so much you feel like you will never use it anytime soon, but not so little you have to constantly refill. Apply Goulet's silicone grease and done. Mine hasn't leaked a bit, ever, even flying back and forth to DC for the penshow. I have the stub nib in the demonstrator and a medium in the black matte, and both are reliable writers (both in use about 2 months now, daily carry). The stub is very wet but I use a DA ink and it dries sufficiently quickly to not cause a mess or require a blotter. The medium has a dryer nib, but not scratchy and I haven't had issues with skipping. Again, a DA ink of a different color in that one. I can appreciate the box as well, but have talked to some of my engineer friends about the metal mixture for the nib and none of them are convinced it does anything special. They aren't sure it could be measured if we took it into a lab to study so I got some shrugs on that part. But it looks great, yes? I can't honestly say that my writing experience has been any different with this nib than, say, a non-fusion Delta nib. Generally I really love Delta pens (I have 7 so not just saying that generally), the quality is fantastic and the nib sections come out easily for exchange with other Deltas, and especially for thorough flushing. These Fusion 82s are quite light, so if you are like me and prefer a heavy pen, you will need to make some adjustments. I find it worthwhile because I do like the pens and the line they leave. I agree also on the posting problem - I don't really think either of mine with this shape were actually designed to post because they don't stay put at all. I prefer to post when I write so that is a con for sure. But the pen is comfortable to write with and really smartly designed aesthetically. If you haven't used Delta before, it is a great place to begin, and this blue is very lovely. I say take the leap, you will not be disappointed at all!

  6. Brian, two of your negatives would give me pause. I usually post my pens and I hate what you are describing about the cap wiggling and coming loose. I have a pen like that and almost never use it because of that problem.

    The second iffy negative for me is the tight clip. I won't wear a shirt that doesn't have a pocket and that is where my fountain pen resides. If I have to fight to get a pen into and out of my pocket I would think long and hard before a purchase.

    Having said that, the styling is classically beautiful, the colors are great (even the blue, LOL), and the nib sounds like it has possibilities. Put me on the fence about the Delta Fusion 82.

  7. If the gold layering does not actually have any contact with the ink (it does not appear to have this, since it is on the top of the steel nib and the gold does not protrude through the steel in any way), then I don't see how the gold does anything to assist with "flow" (as you put it, Brian). But I love that blue look, too!

  8. I like the look of the pen. Particularly the depth and color variation in the body material. The way the light plays it is stunning. The nib is an interesting design that adds to the overall visual appeal. It's a beautiful pen, and if I was in the market, I would definitely buy one.
    However, I'm not convinced that bonding (welding or brazing?) a piece of precious metal to the mid part of a nib would help transfer heat to the ink. Unless the precious metal is warmer than the surrounding environment, I'm not sure how it can heat the rest of the nib. Maybe there is something in the grip that would help transfer heat from your hand to the nib, but it did not appear so in the video. Then again (as you said), the writing characteristics are all that matter.

    Also as to the question of what "82" means (2:40). It's most likely a reference to the founding year of the company.

  9. Not totally convinced the gold-on-steel actually does anything, but wow, it looks awesome. If I can get this in purple with a 1.3 nib, I'm in.

  10. Gimmicky nib plus $300+ price for an otherwise run of the mill pen - I think I'll pass on this one...

  11. To fix the posting problem, here's a trick I learned from Rick Propas, the Pelikan guru: take a very small piece of the typical translucent office-supply tape, and stick it to the inside of the cap, just above the threads. This worked well with one of my Pelikans that didn't post securely.

  12. I'm in, Brian - love the Blue.

  13. Sorry, Don, but this (or any other fix) should absolutely not be necessary. We're talking posting a fountain pen cap here, something that many many folks do just as a matter of course. The pen needs to be better designed in that aspect, in my opinion.

  14. Well, of course it should be better designed! But in the meantime, if someone likes the pen in other respects, this would be an easy and reversible way to make it post more securely. IOW, this alone shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

  15. With all due respect, yes it should be a deal breaker. This is an expensive pen. If you just spent $45,000 on a new car and the windshield wipers did not clear water properly, and this was standard across the car line and not just a one off, the car would still be drivable but would you be getting what you paid for, even if there was a homemade fix? I'd be less concerned if this was a $15.00 Metropolitan rather than a $300.00 Delta. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

  16. I simply can't read Delta's literature about this pen within hours of having eaten. This is precisely why engineering departments need veto power over the marketeers! First off, increased viscosity would mean the ink became thicker, thereby reducing flow--so that part's just wrong at a fundamental level. Moving on, the only way I would buy the "gold overlay affects ink flow" claim is if it had a tang which extended into the section in order to conduct heat from the writer's fingers; in every photo I've seen, the overlay stops a few mm short of the section interface, so that's right out.

    Having concluded my diatribe, however, I am still quite tempted to pick up one of the blues--once I can justify it into the budget, that is.


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