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Who are the top ranking pen brands?


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#1 PenSir

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 19:07

Dear all,

Here is a very newbie question...is there any particular brand that is ranking at the top in the world of fine pens? Famous ones are Montblanc, Carandache, Namiki, David Oscarson, Grayson Tighe, Danitrio, Sailor, Michel Perchin, Montegrappa etc etc? Are they the top ranking in terms of finishing? Or who is? I am just naming a few that i thought makes some pretty fine pens.

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you all.




Regards


#2 chud

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 19:34

QUOTE (PenSir @ Apr 21 2009, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear all,

Here is a very newbie question...is there any particular brand that is ranking at the top in the world of fine pens?


No.

But that's my opinion. There are a lot of makers of very good pens, and I don't think anything objective decisively points to one as better than the others. Your list includes a number of very good ones.

Now, most people have favorites, and in that area you probably will often find that one maker beats all others. Which one it is depends on who you ask, though.

I like Sailor better than Mont Blanc, for example. Not because it's a better pen - they are both very good - but simply because the Mont Blanc is overpriced, in my opinion. I haven't personally tried most of the others in your list, but I'd add to it Parker, Sheaffer, Bexley, and Pelikan off the top of my head. There are many other fine ones too that I either haven't tried or just aren't coming right to mind.

So, the best is the one that you personally like the best. smile.gif


#3 I am not a number

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 19:39

Difficult question because most folk here are going to have an opinion one way or another. I suppose it would be a bit like picking a favourite film, there may be evidence of box-office success but people have their own taste in such matters. One name that is not on your list but that has a dedicated following here is Nakaya so I think that you should be prepared for quite a few different answers.
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#4 daveg

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 19:56

There's no such list that I know of. Also many of the brands on your "famous" list seem rather obscure to me.

#5 someonesdad

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 21:09

Your question is kinda similar to "who makes the best food?" or "who makes the best car?" or...

Until you define your criterion or criteria for "top" or "best", your question is unanswerable.

This isn't meant to be a "snooty" answer; it's just that "best" or "top" virtually always involve subjective things and, thus, fodder for endless debate/discussion.

Here's an example: my own set of criteria for a good fountain pen results in my picking some of the least expensive pens I own as the ones I consider the best -- much better than other pens I have costing hundreds of times as much.

#6 Kimo

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 21:19

Everyone will have their opinion, but on your list, except for Namiki, I would place none of them near the top in terms of quality, but I would certainly put most of them at the top in terms of price. Charging extravagant prices for an average quality pen combined with conducting a well orchestrated advertising campaign in high cost fashion magazines to manufacture an image of exclusivity is a strategy that most of the makers on your list use effectively to make money. If they would just put half of the money they invest in fancy image advertising into improving the quality of their pens they would have some really nice pens.

My own list of pen makers that offer the highest quality pens include Pelikan, Stipula, Namiki, Parker, and Visconti.

Two other overpriced for what you get to add to your list would be Omas and Cartier.

#7 Silvermink

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 23:17

QUOTE (Kimo @ Apr 21 2009, 02:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Everyone will have their opinion, but on your list, except for Namiki, I would place none of them near the top in terms of quality, but I would certainly put most of them at the top in terms of price.


I think you're giving Sailor a bad rap. smile.gif They make some very nice and not-overly-expensive pens.

I'm also a fan of Pilot/Namiki and Danitrio, though many of the newer Danitrios are out of my usual price range. My (now-discontinued) Cum Laude is pretty great and I got it for $100 including shipping.

A lot of the others are "prestige" brands, though there are some good pens in there too.
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#8 goodguy

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 00:26

Thats an easy question Montblanc makes the best pens in the world!!!












Ok just kidding,MB is my favorite but its all a matter of personal opinion. I think many people could say that Visconti pens (which is my second favorite) are just as good as MB or maybe Omas or Aurora.

I could ask who makes better cars Mercedes or BMW ?

Everybody could have there favorite and they will be correct from there point of view.

There are companies that make good pens and some with make high quality pens.
Those who make high quality are numerous and any of them could be a good contender to the title of the best pen maker.

Respect to all

#9 PenSir

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:10

Thank you all for your thoughts and experience.

However, i still think there should be certain brands that ranks higher, not by price judgement but quality and finishing, also idea and art, originality etc. It is like, the whole world knows Merc and BMW and Audi is on par although some may still argue on little differences, but on different league like RollsRoyce, Bentley and Aston Martin, or Ferrari, Lamborghinis and Porsche are the finer makers. So what i meant is, in the world of pen, who is Rolls? Who is Mercedes? Who is Ferrari?

I am not here to argue who is more luxurious smile.gif but just like to hear ur collectors view of the finer ones and how you define it as a fine item. Maki-e by Namiki better? Maki-e by Dunhill? Maki-e by Danitrio? Sculpture by Grayson? Enamel by Oscarson? Bamboos by Sailors?

To me, fine pens are collectors item, not luxury items. Perhaps some would say Montblanc carry certain prestige with it but i see Montblanc like Rolex in the watch world, and definitely much more brands are higher and better then Rolex.

Just my 2c, cheers all.




Regards



#10 archie001

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 17:42

I think Montblanc is one of the best pen makers now a days together with Nakaya, Namiki/Pilot, S.T. Dupont and Pelikan. There are still some other good brands around but the aforementioned are for me the best.
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#11 twdpens

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 18:12

QUOTE (PenSir @ Apr 22 2009, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However, i still think there should be certain brands that ranks higher, not by price judgement but quality and finishing, also idea and art, originality etc.


I think this is an important point. One must remember that high price does not necessarily equal high quality. For example, a Lamy Safari is one of the highest quality pens manufactured today when one considers the true definition of quality. Just because a pen is not "luxurious" (whatever that means) does not mean it is not high quality. Similarly, just because a manufacturer concentrates only on high-end models does not necessarily make it in any way better than one that makes more affordable items.

Ponder this: is Lexus a "better" brand than Toyota?

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#12 jar

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 18:28

Bic, by far.

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#13 Glenn-SC

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 21:25

Opinions will vary.

Some very high priced brands (Mont Blanc) will be rated very highly by some (Mont Blanc) for reasons unknown (Mont Blanc) and despised by others (Mont Blanc) because of their poor performance (Mont Blanc).


What if I think MB cars are overpriced for their performance?

The best you will get is a pole which you would have to statistically weigh and average the results.

How do you rate a pen company whose style you hate but whose pens may write well?
And how do you rate a pen company whose pens may write horribly but whose style you like?

Some of the brands you've listed I have no experience with.

Of the pens you've listed, I have and like Namiki VP pens so I would rate them highly.

I agree that the question is meaningless.

#14 PenSir

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:07

Thank you all for your replies. Its good to know what other pen enthusiast's thought and direction of collection is when it comes to fountain pens. I think a fair conclusion is that it is a very individual and personal thing, followed from what i read from all your replies. Thanks again.




Regards

#15 goodguy

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 17:48

QUOTE (PenSir @ Apr 23 2009, 07:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you all for your replies. Its good to know what other pen enthusiast's thought and direction of collection is when it comes to fountain pens. I think a fair conclusion is that it is a very individual and personal thing, followed from what i read from all your replies. Thanks again.




Regards

I think you got it that its a personal thing.
Saying that we all know Montblanc is the best smile.gif

Respect to all

#16 Pinmin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 23:18

QUOTE (PenSir @ Apr 21 2009, 07:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear all,

Here is a very newbie question...is there any particular brand that is ranking at the top in the world of fine pens? Famous ones are Montblanc, Carandache, Namiki, David Oscarson, Grayson Tighe, Danitrio, Sailor, Michel Perchin, Montegrappa etc etc? Are they the top ranking in terms of finishing? Or who is? I am just naming a few that i thought makes some pretty fine pens.

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you all.




Regards
top in the world: in sales, marketing, quality assurance/control, etc.......? it is tue that one needs to know the criteria or basis. What about value--most for the money, the factors to consider are numerous. But I can almost guarantee you that the #1 least likely to cause problems and truly a premium brand is S.T.Dupont. They are tops are close to it for consistency whereas a # of brands mentioned are great when you get a great one...makes sense?



#17 SUNIL GARG

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 17:04

I personally got the biggest bang-for-the-buck in Lamy. Nothing else comes even close.
To me the best fine nibs are made by Sailor & just the description of their extra special
nibs is simply awesome. The field of M nibs is really-2 wide.
Taking the M nib in 18K of my MB 144 as a standard, just for argument's sake, my Parker
Duofold in M is like a Broad & the M nib of my Pilot Custom 845 is closer to a Fine.
And Pilot Elabo- It's different. Nothing else like it is in the market perhaps. Love it
or hate it! I love it.
And who can forget Sheaffer's inlaid nibs. Doing words on a paper in my Legacy M with the cap
off is a totally different experience.
To each his own. A few years ago I had just 3 pens out. A MB 144 in M, a Sailor in H-F & a
sheaffer Legacy in M, and I liked them all without caring which one was best. Now I have
around 20 FPs & some 30 ink bottles from S T Du Pont, Omas, Platinum,Carene,Pelikan etc.

Now I am in a position to say which Nib I like the most-It's Sailor Sapporo H-F in 14K.
A Sailor PG in H-F, this time in a 21K, dual tone is on the way. Hope, I like it.

#18 humsin

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 18:24

Dear all,

Here is a very newbie question...is there any particular brand that is ranking at the top in the world of fine pens? Famous ones are Montblanc, Carandache, Namiki, David Oscarson, Grayson Tighe, Danitrio, Sailor, Michel Perchin, Montegrappa etc etc? Are they the top ranking in terms of finishing? Or who is? I am just naming a few that i thought makes some pretty fine pens.

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you all.




Regards


Please spell properly if you want to write a thread...it's Caran d'Ache =P

With regards to your question, you are missing a lot of things. How did Pelikan, Visconti, Omas, Graf von Faber-Castell, S.T. Dupont, Edison, and Nakaya, just to name a few, not make your list?
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#19 Miketsheehan

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:23


Dear all,

Here is a very newbie question...is there any particular brand that is ranking at the top in the world of fine pens? Famous ones are Montblanc, Carandache, Namiki, David Oscarson, Grayson Tighe, Danitrio, Sailor, Michel Perchin, Montegrappa etc etc? Are they the top ranking in terms of finishing? Or who is? I am just naming a few that i thought makes some pretty fine pens.

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you all.




Regards




Please spell properly if you want to write a thread...it's Caran d'Ache =P

With regards to your question, you are missing a lot of things. How did Pelikan, Visconti, Omas, Graf von Faber-Castell, S.T. Dupont, Edison, and Nakaya, just to name a few, not make your list?


Your taking odds with their typos is not nearly as laughable as your peevish response to a post that is 3.5 years old.

Edited by Miketsheehan, 04 November 2012 - 05:31.


#20 pokermon

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:28

Bic, by far.


HAHAHA, I see what you did there :ltcapd:
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#21 pcn

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:13

@PenSir,
I'm quite a newbie at this myself, and I thought that my MontBlanc 146, which I got for my 30th birthday some 20 years ago, was the best pen in the world. Beautiful, writing nicely, and I didn't care about the price, since this was a gift. However, after using it with different inks, it started to bleed, the cap unscrewed easily, and when I dropped it from the table to the floor, it broke in two. The repair costs are approx 60-70% of the new price. So suddenly, in mye head, the MB plummeted from the position of "the best pen in the world". Others have similar experiences with their favorite brands.

This is not to start a brand war, but just to show you that what in some people's eyes is the best pen, to others, and maybe eventually in their own, is not neccessarily the best pen after all. Maybe one should say: "The best pen is the one that you bring with you just now"

#22 sirtoti

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:46

Bic, by far


XDD

#23 daTomoT

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:07

I'd say that there is no definitive 'best' brand, just as there can be no definitive 'best' music band/performer/singer. It comes down to taste. Some people swear by their Mont Blancs, others hate them. I am quite a big fan of Pelikan pens, for their reliability, and Mabie Todd (Swan) pens as they are made in England. I have yet to try one, but I hear that Sailor pens have wonderful nibs. Pen makers often like to use superlatives in their highest class pen titles, such as 'Sailor King of Pen' or 'Namiki Emperor'. Don't be fooled.
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#24 XiaoMG

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:20

Your taking odds with their typos is not nearly as laughable as your peevish response to a post that is 3.5 years old.

+1, and I wonder how many others will reply to this thread not knowing it's over 3 years old.
Robert.

#25 Chi Town

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 15:34

Now this is just a guess, mind you, and these are in no certain order, just as they come to mind;SheafferWaterman,MontblancNakayaDanatrioPelikanEdsion (Brian Grey's)BexleyFranklin-ChristophTWSBI

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#26 humsin

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 17:57


Your taking odds with their typos is not nearly as laughable as your peevish response to a post that is 3.5 years old.

+1, and I wonder how many others will reply to this thread not knowing it's over 3 years old.



I wasn't the one who resurrected this thread...=P
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#27 GallBladder

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:05

Everyone will have their opinion, but on your list, except for Namiki, I would place none of them near the top in terms of quality, but I would certainly put most of them at the top in terms of price. Charging extravagant prices for an average quality pen combined with conducting a well orchestrated advertising campaign in high cost fashion magazines to manufacture an image of exclusivity is a strategy that most of the makers on your list use effectively to make money. If they would just put half of the money they invest in fancy image advertising into improving the quality of their pens they would have some really nice pens.

My own list of pen makers that offer the highest quality pens include Pelikan, Stipula, Namiki, Parker, and Visconti.

Two other overpriced for what you get to add to your list would be Omas and Cartier.

Bravo!

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#28 rochester21

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:23

For me, waterman makes the best pens in terms of craftsmanship, the build quality on higher-end pens is...i could say perfect. Some models look and feel like a piece of jewelry. I can only speak of the waterman carene and l`etalon that i had, and they were not top of the range pens.
On the other hand, i could never fully trust a pen that is not made out of metal, so german and japanese pens, mostly made from different kinds of plastic material, would not enter my list with the best built pens.
Having said that, there is a difference between the pens with the best finishes and the pens that are the best writers. I never came across one that has both of these qualities...not yet, at least.
Ah, i almost forgot: for me, a pen selling for more than 1000 usd must be made out of solid gold or something like that, otherwise i don`t see how the overall quality could justify the price. Even if they are hand-painted, that doesn`t make the pen write better. A great nib doesn`t cost that much to make either.

Edited by rochester21, 04 November 2012 - 18:28.


#29 mirosc

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:30

+1, and I wonder how many others will reply to this thread not knowing it's over 3 years old.


what's the problem? we discuss about pens almost 100 years old - even in fountain pen world the market doesn't change that much in 3 years...
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#30 BrandonA

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 19:13

I personally got the biggest bang-for-the-buck in Lamy. Nothing else comes even close.


Why dig up a thread that has been dead for 3.5 years? And then to state that Lamy may the best is laughable.

As most said 3.5 years ago it is purely subjective and everyone will have their own opinion. I think most could guess my biased one.

This thread and all the "what is the best pen under xxxx" or "what is the best pen for my job in xxxx" are pointless and ultimately pose the same question just worded differently.

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