The Franklin Covey Freemont is a pen that you almost never hear about. This is because Franklin Covey is a brand not typically known for their fountain pens, but rather their planners and other products. This is why I’m betting that most of you have heard of this brand, but a fountain pen from them? Maybe not.
If this pen is such a secret (in the online community anyways), then how did it end up on my radar? Pure accident, that’s how. We were on a little shopping trip to Minot ND when I was insistent on going to Staples to see what America had in store for us. It was after supper and we were hanging out in our hotel room during a pretty heavy rain storm. Like the heaviest I’ve seen rain fall in recent memory. Well I was in the infancy of my pen addiction, so I was determined to make my Staples run to see what they had, so I made the journey (solo) to the local Staples. I browsed around, picked up some gel pens, looked at the $60 Cross pens that I didn’t want to buy (okay maybe wanted them a little since I wanted everything), and eventually seen this pen just hanging there. It looked fancy enough and was only $15, so I figured why no. I am of course talking about the star of this blog post, the Franklin Covey Freemont.
Once we got back from our trip, I popped in the little black cartridge that came with the pen, and boy was it underwhelming. This is probably because I hadn’t hit my ink obsession stage yet and was kinda sick of black ink. Since then I’ve used it a few more times with a few different kinds of inks and it has definitely been getting more attention by me.
On a side note, I just want to point out that I was just in a Staples in Regina (Canada) and they were selling this exact same pen for $25 CAD! Sure it’s a bit more than our neighbours to the south, even with the exchange rate, but I was just happy to see it for sale.
Design & Build
When you look at this pen, the first thought that will pop in our mind (well mine at least) is “that is a classy looking pen”. There is absolutely nothing exciting about how this pen looks, but that is okay. Not every pen needs to blow your socks off, especially for $15.
As you start to handle the pen, you’ll notice a few more things. The pen unposted is extremely light, almost so much that it is uncomfortable to use. On the other hand, the cap has a nice heft to it that really balances the pen out when posted. It also posts very deep and very secure, so you don’t have to worry about you cap falling off when things get a little out of hand.
You might already expect this from a cheaper pen, but the finishing touched are a bit messy. One of the cap bands has glue squished around it like the put too much and didn’t wipe it off. It’s not a huge deal, but it shows that quality control may not be there.
If you are someone who wants a little colour in their life, I have seen this pen in a darker, but still classy red. I am tempted to pick one up in this colour, but based on how much use this one gets, I would imagine the red won’t be much different.
How a pen looks and feels means absolutely nothing if the pen doesn’t write. Fortunately for us, this pen writes quite decent. I would even go as far as saying that it is an average writer. The nib itself is just a generic iridium point nib, so you can’t expect anything magical, but it does the job, simple as that.
The nib is not the smoothest thing in the world, but it’s also not the toothiest. I actually sometimes enjoy the feedback that I get from using this pen, but I know that isn’t for everyone. The flow has usually been pretty good, but this is where I dock points (if I were grading it). Very randomly throughout a long writing session, the nib would essentially dry up and produce a very dry line. I would then prime the nib and it would then flow properly for the rest of my session. It’s good that it is not a common occurrence, but definitely a sign of it’s inconsistency.
To add to it’s genericness (not a word, I know), the only nib option that I’ve seen is a medium, which almost writes like a fine at times. This is not an issue for me since I have so many pens with different nib options, but if this was going to be your first pen, a little bit of option would be nice.
In closing, this is a very average pen with nothing really special about it. It looks classy, has fairly solid construction, writes decent, and is at a fair price. I would say that there is definitely some value in this pen, especially if you are just starting out, but it will lack the spark you may be looking for if you have already jumped both feet into the hobby.
I would recommend this pen if you are looking for a budget gift for someone, or if you are looking for that second cheaper pen so you can use more than one ink at once. As your very first pen, I would choose the Pilot Metropolitan over this every time, but still would still support this purchase if you left your Christmas shopping until the last minute and these are all Staples has to offer.
Once my cartridge of Kaweco Palm Green runs out, I will be putting this pen back in storage, but I am sure it will shine just bright enough for me to give some consideration to it in a year or more’s time.