Laban Mento

Laban Mento

Big, bold and a good writer. I acquired my first Laban pen, the Mento, a number of years ago from the on-line retailer, - and I found Todd Nussbaum to give very prompt service. He had a good selection, and the pens were well priced. I was willing to "take a gamble" and buy a pen on-line without trying it because of the price point.

Other than the response I received back on the Boneto (see below) you will get very good service from Todd. Over the course of the past few years I have bought about six different Mentos. They are great pens to take on a trip and keep in my camera bag. I have one up in the kitchen, and I can leave one at the office.

The pens were well packaged, shipped at a reasonable rate, and arrived on schedule. Better yet, when they arrived and I started to write with the Mento, I found it to be a pretty good pen.

It was the size of the pen that first make be consider purchasing the Mento. I was looking for a large, inexpensive pen that I could leave in the office and not be too upset if it went missing. This was it. Here I am, a number of months later having quite a few of these good writers.

Laban TErrazoThe Laban Mento is a large pen with a vintage look. Closed the pen is 6 inches in length. Post the cap on the body and you are holding a pen that stretches 6 3/4 inches. The body section, where you will hold the pen comes in at just over 18 mm, just over a half an inch. So this is a good-sized pen.


Laban Cracked IceLaban created this line to have a bold look. They were successful. There is a classic look to the cigar-shaped pen/ It has smooth round ends and if a very comfortable pen to hold in the hand.

There are a variety of colours and these make this pen really stand out.

Despite the size, there is no metal in this pen so it is very light. Laban describes the body as Italian resin, yes, but it actually feels like a plastic pen.

The nib sections on most of the pens is black, a colour that goes well with the variety of colours available. Some like the Terrazzo pictured to the left above, have a nib section in the same material as the body. That gives the a more finished and richer look. The advantage of the black nib sections is that it is easy to get replacement nibs and change pens into the various nib sizes available (Fine, Medium, Broad).

The nibs vary in quality. But you can buy a replacement nib for $20 and I have replaced a few over the years. My experience is that they are all good writing, just they are about one size thinner than you would expect. Order a Broad and you are getting a nib that writes like a Medium. There is some variance as for some of the Broads that were too much like a Medium, I just ordered a replacement nib section and lucked out and got one that was a better width.

Laban Celebration Red The clips are nicely fitted to the body of the pen. This is a distinction that is a good aspect of the Mento.

Mento is Good, Boneto is Bad

I say this as Laban also makes the Boneto, a pen that is similar in size, with a more squared off top. It looks good and comes in many of the same colours and designs, but I do not recommend that pen because the clip is flimsy and moves to the right and left. Not good and when I raised this issue with the store I was only told that they had little experience with this model. Nothing else was offered.

But, back to the Mento, the clip and the ring at the bottom of the cap are platinum plated and look substantial enough for the size of the pen. The single band of silver at the base of the cap create a good break to the visual appearance of the pen.

The only draw back to the Mento is the posting of the cap. It is difficult to have the cap stay posted to the body. I have find that if I place the cap on the body and give it a slight twist there is a better chance it will stay on the pen.

Use the pen without the cap posted and the smooth round body just seems to race across the desktop and land on the floor before you know it!

The nib is steel with an iridium tip. And unlike some of the low-price pens made off-shore all having iridium tipped nibs, this is a smooth writing nib. The Mento comes with the option to trade up to a 14 kt gold nib but not in a broad, so I stuck with steel. No regrets there.

Laban Meneto Autumn LeafI found the Broad nib to write like a good thick medium and I could not have written with a nib that is narrower.