Pen Class: Premium ($200-499)
Street Price: $212
Body Material: Resin
Nib Material: Steel nib with 18k gold decorative plate
Nib Size: EF, F, M, B, Stub
Cap Type: Screw On/Off
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter
Ink Capacity: 1.0mL
Overall Weight: 22g
Cap Weight: 10g
Body Weight: 12g
Overall Length Capped: 144mm
Overall Length Posted: 161mm
Length Uncapped: 127mm
Nib Length: 23.6mm
Cap Diameter: 15.3mm
Section Diameter: 11.7mm
Barrel Diameter: 13.5mm
If this pen were a movie, it would be…
Practical Magic (1998)
Stephen: 9.0 – This pen came in a fantastic box: an outer box of sturdy cardboard with a DaVinci-esque sketch of the Fusion nib, a small cardboard tube that holds three cartridges, and a box with a thick plastic front plate, again with the Fusion sketch on there, that revolves around a screw (very fancy!). I particularly liked the latter box, although I wonder slightly how much that added to the price of the pen. Nevertheless, opening that outer and finding the fancy inner box is a thrilling experience!
Dan: 9.75 – The Delta Fusion 82 comes in an uber cool package! I’ll spare going through the details since Stephen did an excellent job at that. The unique packaging is very different than with any other pen I’ve seen and adds a lot to the presentation and initial experience with the pen.
Stephen: 8.0 – A simple cartridge converter, that fits very snugly onto the nipple at the back of the section. I liked how two cycles of expelling and drawing up ink gave me a converter that was almost full and with a very small air bubble: I’d say this converter is particularly good and really draws up a fair amount of ink: some of my converters can only be filled up for about 75-80%, even after multiple expelling-and-drawing-up cycles. Although I have a slight preference for screw-in converters, my converter fit very snugly into the pen and is extremely unlikely to get dislodged under normal use.
Dan: 6.75 – I was surprised to hear Stephen mention the lack of a threaded converter as my pen included one. At first we both wondered if Delta had made different versions of the pen, but after a closer inspection it turns out the section on Stephen’s pen will accept a threaded converter, but a non-threaded one was included instead.
Based on the pen I have, if I have to use a cartridge/converter filling fountain pen I’d prefer it be one that accepts a threaded converter. I find it comforting to know the converter is seated properly and securely in the pen. In addition, the simple act of screwing one piece to another makes the pen feel more sophisticated and of higher quality. If for some reason you lose the included the converter then a regular, non-threaded converter will fit just as easily.
Stephen: 8.25 – My pen wrote straightaway: no hard starts, no skipping. I put it to the paper and wrote the first sentence I write with every pen, “Slava Tebye, Gospodi, slava Tebye” and immediately noticed the highly pleasant line variation offered by my stub nib. It doesn’t have sharp corners, so it does not cut into the paper (nibs that do that, generally offer an even crisper line variation, but I want to be able to write quickly with my pen, so this type of stub is fine for me).
Much as I loved the initial impression, I did not notice the nib to be as revolutionary as Delta would have us believe: I have used many steel nibs and many gold nibs, and although this nib is very nice and smooth, I cannot say it is the smoothest steel nib I have ever used; Faber-Castell has that honour, as far as I’m concerned.
Dan: 9.25 – The packaging sure made a great first impression, but it failed in comparison to my first moments with the pen. The brown acrylic mine came in is absolutely gorgeous! The Fusion 82 is available in 7 colors: brown, black, blue, fuchsia, green, grey and white, but only the first four are coming to the US. You can thank Yafa for that.
I really can’t get over the material used for this pen. There’s so much depth and complexity to it that I can just stare and stare at it trying to take it all in. To make things even better the pen is light, well balanced, and comfortable to hold. The best part was just how well the nib performed out of the box. The Medium Fusion nib made of steel with a gold plate attached to the top was very smooth, but a bit finer than I was expecting for a Medium.
Stephen: 8.25 – Delta made some interesting claims about this nib; some people have suggested that the little nugget of solid gold on top of the steel nib does not change the viscosity of an ink (which is impossible), but does influence the surface tension, thereby affecting the way the nib writes.
Although the latter idea sounds more plausible to me than the former, I really don’t know whether Delta’s bold claim is true. What I do know, and what is most important to me, is that the nib wrote really well. Also, the little bit of gold on the steel nib looks different (not in a bad way) and refreshing. It has a nice picture of a nib with its own reflection on it, the name Delta, and 14k, 585.
I suppose that some people might think that this nib looks a little bit like those two-tone Iridium Point Germany nibs, that have silver tines, and a central bit of gold emerging from the barrel. The Fusion nib is a whole different ballgame from those IPG nibs (I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with those) and really looks quite different.
Dan: 9.5 – Let me make this very clear right away: the Fusion nib is very, very good. Having said that, let’s take a look at what Delta is telling us about this nib.
Delta’s marketing material for this nib was a bit much to choke down and I thoroughly critiqued it on our podcast. The idea that a nib alone could improve the viscosity of an ink is ludicrous. Their marketing material states that “the ink is made more viscous in the vicinity of the tip of the nib” due to the patented-pending “fusion bonding” process. Delta describes how gold has a higher thermal conductivity (which is true) and will heat the underlying metal which then transfers that heat to the ink. The “higher temperature makes the ink flow more smoothly.”
First of all, Delta doesn’t even know how to properly use the term ‘viscosity’. They say their nib makes the ink more viscous but then they say the higher temperature makes the ink flow more smoothly. Well, which is it? Because based on the definition of viscosity that’s a conflicting statement. It’s true that adding heat to any liquid causes it flow more smoothly, and that would make it less viscous. I mean, really, was a simple Google search too much work to make a single confirmation? If that wasn’t enough to tip you off that their Marketing Dept. is full of BS, don’t worry, they keep trying. Throughout Delta’s entire spiel they talk about heat transfer and that heat making its way to the ink but nowhere do they mention an outside source of heat or energy, implying the nib creates its own. If that’s true then Delta needs to get out of the pen business and into the energy production industry because that nib right there is magical!
In all seriousness, this #6 sized nib is excellent. In fact, the nib is as good as the marketing material is bad. It was as smooth as one could hope for with slightly wet but consistent flow. And the nib looks good, too! I actually really like the design. It’s original and different than anything else out there. However, I do find it a bit disingenuous that the sole reason behind the Fusion design was so they could use a steel nib with less gold but still retain the “18k” stamp, which will undoubtedly make people think it’s an 18k nib.
Stephen: 8.25 – Straight out of the box, the pen wrote, and it wrote well. I had trouble putting the pen down, and I think that says enough: the pen is just the right size for me, and the nib is very pleasant to use; that’s everything we can wish for, right?
Dan: 7.75 – As I said previously, the nib performed very well. I used several different inks in the Fusion 82 and only had an issue with Iroshizuku Tsukushi. The problem I noticed with that ink that I didn’t notice with any others is that if I left the pen uncapped for a few minutes while thinking about something or browsing the web, the nib would hard-start the next time I went to write. Now, I never noticed a hard start at any other time and as soon as I switched inks the problem was solved.
The reason for the low score here is because I ran into some problems when posting the cap. On a pen this light it was a must for me to post the cap and it would regularly wiggle loose while writing. When posted, the cap band rests against my major knuckle which must apply pressure in just the right spot to cause the cap to come loose. Applying more force when posting the cap seemed to fix the problem and it didn’t require enough to make me feel uncomfortable. It was just annoying having the flow of writing interrupted in order to re-post the cap more securely.
Stephen: 9.0 – I was blown away by the stunning finish of this pen. Usually, I wouldn’t be particularly inclined to get a fuchsia pen, but the finish is just right with this pen. It has a beautiful marbling, which, under the right lighting, looks quite sparkling and really nice. I guess it might be more appropriate to call this finish a light lavender instead of fuchsia, although it’s a somewhat pale purple/pink.
The pen feels wonderful to the touch: smooth, highly polished, and did I mention that I quite like the finish…? There’s only one thing I do not care for that much: the way the clip is affixed to the cap. The clip itself is a little angular, but that’s fine: it fits in with the flashy design Delta seemed to be striving for. It’s just that a bit of metal extends onto the cap where it is fixed onto it, and I think that looks a little out of place to me. Nevertheless, this is a small issue that I don’t find particularly distracting.
Dan: 9.25 – Delta has nailed the proportions on the Fusion 82 and made a pen that should be comfortable for a lot of people with its subtle cigar-shaped design. It’s not too thick or thin, is fairly light, and just long enough to use not posted. But, because it is a light pen I find it much more comfortable with the cap posted.
The low profile clip has enough tension to keep it where you place it yet is still able to be positioned with one hand. Below the clip is one thin cap band and one thick one with “Fusion 82” engraved on the thicker band in a very retro hot rod style font. Opposite the clip on the back of the cap is “DELTA ITALY 0138.” To my knowledge the Fusion 82 is not a limited edition, but each one does seem to be individually numbered.
The threads near the section might be cause for concern for some, but I didn’t have a problem with them. I think the little step from the section to the barrel will affect more people than the threads will, at least it did for me. My thumb rests directly on this little step and while I wouldn’t call it disruptive, I did notice it occasionally while writing.
Stephen: 8.0 – First of all, I love how Delta etched its brand name into the back of the cap, across from the clip: on my Dolcevita Oversize, the word “Delta” is printed in big white letters on the same place of the cap, and I find that to be a little out of place on a black cap. On the Fusion 82, Delta has etched the brand name in, but has not filled up the lettering; so their name is there, but you really have to put the pen to your face to see it.
I’ve already mentioned how much I love the finish, and how I don’t like the clip design too much, so I won’t belabor these points here. I like the design of the nib: yes, it has an odd gold pitch-fork on there, and I’m not sure whether it turns black ink into gold, but I don’t mind that it’s there. At the very least, it makes this nib stand apart from many other steel nibs.
As far as I’m concerned, the pen looks great, and it has just the right size for me: neither too large nor too small. I will raise a small issue here about the cap not posting too securely on my pen. As I can use the pen effortlessly without posting, I don’t find this an issue. I am able to post the pen, but that involved pushing the cap quite far down onto the barrel, and since there’s quite some resistance when I do so, I tend not to push the matter too far.
I found no irregularities on the finish of my pen; I just think that the pen’s model name, Fusion 82, looks a little odd on the cap’s center band. It’s hard to describe, but the pen’s classic shape and the name’s futuristic letters don’t really mix well in my mind – but I guess it’s true to its Fusion name.
Dan: 9.5 – Delta has done a remarkable job finishing the Fusion 82. Since the cap, section, and barrel are turned from acrylic you won’t find any flash lines from injection molding. Every bit of the exterior has been polished to such a high gloss the pen looks wet. It feels of extremely high quality and everything screws together nicely to create a solid feeling pen.
Stephen: 8.5 – I put the pen to some Rhodia paper, started to write, and just kept going and going. My initial impression of the nib was confirmed: it’s smooth, it offers nice line variation, and writing with it was a complete pleasure. During 21 minutes, the pen did not skip, and did started up straightaway.
I found the pen to be comfortable to use. After a while (about 15 minutes), my fingers slid down a bit and started to feel the barrel threads a little bit, but a simple readjustment of my fingers removed any unpleasantness, which wasn’t pronounced.
This is really all I can say: the pen wrote, and it wrote well – that’s all I ask for.
Dan: 8.5 – I filled the Fusion 82 with some Akkerman Binnenhof Blues and began writing in a Rhodia Uni-Blank note book. After several minutes I switched to a Star Wars Edition Moleskine, then to a Piccadilly pad. The nib felt fantastic against the different textures of each paper and didn’t have a problem writing on any of them. I did run into the issue with the posted cap wiggling loose but one I set it more securely it wasn’t a problem for the rest of the trip.
The 21 minute writing session just flew by and I didn’t experience any fatigue during the entire trip. The Fusion 82 is a very comfortable fountain pen.
|Depth & complexity of material||Marketing a steel nib as gold|
|Nib performance||Cap posting issues|
Famous Last Words:
Stephen: Using this pen made me happy (many pens do, but certainly not all), and I believe that is the trademark of a good pen. Upon unboxing it, I marveled at its beautiful marbling, I loved how the converter filled up very well, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the nib. It’s not the cheapest pen out there, but I do believe you get what you pay for with this pen.
Dan: I was very pleased with everything about the Delta Fusion 82. I can easily overlook and adjust to the cap posting issue because the rest of the pen is just so good. I found it incredibly comfortable to use and the material is just gorgeous! Those looking for a pen in this price range, I can highly recommend the Fusion 82.
Thanks to AndersonPens.net for loaning us a review unit!