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Lever Fill Fountain Pens


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#1 Selous

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:43

I haven't had a lever fill fountain pen since I was very little. Then they were cheap Platignum and Osmiroid type pens I tended to get for Xmas. I really liked them. I would love to try another. I can't find any current ones, apart from very expensive Conway Stewarts. Are there any out there at reasonable prices? I'd happily pay up to (say) £100 for a pen I really liked, but I'd rather get into them gradually and cheaply. Also, I like a fountain pen with an ink window. Is there such a thing with a lever fill? And finally, my ideal pen would have a matching mechanical pencil... I know I'm pushing it now.

Any recommendations or suggestions, comments etc.?

Thanks

#2 RyanWakefield

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:50

I haven't had a lever fill fountain pen since I was very little. Then they were cheap Platignum and Osmiroid type pens I tended to get for Xmas. I really liked them. I would love to try another. I can't find any current ones, apart from very expensive Conway Stewarts. Are there any out there at reasonable prices? I'd happily pay up to (say) £100 for a pen I really liked, but I'd rather get into them gradually and cheaply. Also, I like a fountain pen with an ink window. Is there such a thing with a lever fill? And finally, my ideal pen would have a matching mechanical pencil... I know I'm pushing it now.

Any recommendations or suggestions, comments etc.?

Thanks


If you want a lever filler for that price, I would go with vintage. One can find lovely Esterbrook sets with a pen and mechanical pencil within your price range. Perhaps I (or someone else) can suggest a more specific pen if you provide some more details about what you are looking for. Do you like fine or broad nibs? Do you like big or small pens? Et cetera...

Oh, and the ink window...there are a few lever fillers with ink windows.

Edited by RyanWakefield, 21 August 2010 - 13:51.


#3 RsqVet

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:51

I would suggest the vintage market, if you are looking for a matched set. You may shop here or online for folks who restore pens and likely find something in your price range. Or look around flea markets etc. and find something cheaper and fix it up yourself. Lever fill pens are very simple to fix / restore.

I have owned, and seen many more vintage lever fill pens that have an ink window built into the section. Should be pretty easy to find something that meets your needs.

As to modern pens, lever fill seems to be seen in only very basic pens or replica / re-issue pens that command the high prices you note. Too bad as the lever fill is really a simple, cheap and reliable system.

#4 Emma

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:54

Hi,

Yep, I would agree: vintage is the way.

I've got a really nice grey marbled vintage Burnham lever-fill, medium flex nib, from Write-Time in the UK (no affiliation). Barry - who I think runs the store - is really helpful and I paid less than half your budget for what is a practically new old stock Burnham. There are several Swan, Mentmore, Conway Stewart pens on the site that are lever fill too.

cheers, Emma

#5 hawkgnat

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:58

There is a whole wide world of vintage lever fillers out there for you to explore, and it really is a fantastic filling system. I have no idea why there aren't more modern companies taking advantage of it, but you will get much better value and variety with vintage anyway.

#6 Paddler

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 14:02

I have seen exactly what you describe, except they are vintage. Sheaffer made such pen and pencil sets. The pens were lever fill and had a transparent area in the section to view the ink supply. Here in the US, I see sets like this at antique stores and flea markets, NIB, for much less than the figure you mention. You would still have money left to send the pen out for a new sac.

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#7 Selous

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 14:29

Thank you all for your very prompt and helpful comments. I've taken your advice already and looked at vintage pens on this site. There is some lovely stuff out there!!. The Esterbrooks look wonderful. Thanks for that pointer. I've never looked at an Esterbrook before. Also the tip re vintage Sheaffers. thanks. I've already got a pleasing Snorkel. I like Sheaffer very much and now I know I'll seek a lever fill too.

Regards

#8 jar

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 14:33

I haven't had a lever fill fountain pen since I was very little. Then they were cheap Platignum and Osmiroid type pens I tended to get for Xmas. I really liked them. I would love to try another. I can't find any current ones, apart from very expensive Conway Stewarts. Are there any out there at reasonable prices? I'd happily pay up to (say) £100 for a pen I really liked, but I'd rather get into them gradually and cheaply. Also, I like a fountain pen with an ink window. Is there such a thing with a lever fill? And finally, my ideal pen would have a matching mechanical pencil... I know I'm pushing it now.

Any recommendations or suggestions, comments etc.?

Thanks


There are a world of great pens, many with a way to check the remaining ink. Sheaffer is likely your best bet for a great lever fill pen, closely followed by Waterman.

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From left to right, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 are all lever fill pens.

On your side of the pond there are also wonderful UK made lever fill pens like these Conway Stewarts and all can be found for well under your budget including repair costs.

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#9 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 15:11

I've only seen no windows lever fill pens. Live and learn.

Normally if you fill your lever fill pen with your morning coffee, you should have no problem with a day's worth of writing, in a lever fill holds lots more than a converter or a cartridge.

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For that get a 'flexi' or a "flex" nib.

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#10 welch

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 15:57

In addition, try Eversharp Skyline. Some will need a new sac, but Eversharp made some of the all-time greatest nibs. Under-priced...
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#11 Pen Is Mightier

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 20:44

+1 for jar's comments. I have a Sheaffer lever fill Balance and it is my favorite pen even surpassing my Snorkel (in writing and beauty, not ease of filling), I am actually in the process of my first restoration of a Sheaffer 500 lever fill and it is like drugs I just want to keep doing it. You can find some cheap lever fills on ebay and try the restore yourself as I am doing, the two lever fill Sheaffers I have got off ebay have been under $10 each and they have good nibs (I may have just gotten lucky), but there are a plethora of good restorers out there who can also help you out. Let us know what you get!
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#12 Malcy

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 23:04

I will also give a recommendation for a Sheaffer lever filler like the balance. They can be picked up on eBay quite cheaply and in most cases only need clean up and a new rubber ink sac. They are great writers, hold lots of ink and will last for years. My favourite lever filler is the slightly earlier Sheaffer Flat Top, like the one on the far RH of JAR's picture.
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#13 Aunt Jill

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 00:26

I've only seen no windows lever fill pens. Live and learn.

Normally if you fill your lever fill pen with your morning coffee, you should have no problem with a day's worth of writing, in a lever fill holds lots more than a converter or a cartridge.


Be sure it's very strong coffee so you can get a good brown line with your pen.
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#14 phentrek

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 00:53


I've only seen no windows lever fill pens. Live and learn.

Normally if you fill your lever fill pen with your morning coffee, you should have no problem with a day's worth of writing, in a lever fill holds lots more than a converter or a cartridge.


Be sure it's very strong coffee so you can get a good brown line with your pen.

:roflmho: Leave out the sugar, mold!
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