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Brands You Will Never Buy From


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#151 NedC

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 00:06

I honestly can't think of ANY brand of pens I would NEVER consider buying. If I pen's aesthetics tickles my fancy (I'm thinking of the Montblanc Kafka here), or its functionality meets some particular need I have e.g. Noodler's pens, and I can afford it and get a reasonable deal on it I'm willing to buy it. I still don't have my Kafka because I can't afford one. I really like my Noodler's Ahab, in spite of the many times I've cursed it, because it is a GREAT drawing and sketching pen and is really cheap and pretty rugged.

My tastes, needs and budget guide my pen buying decisions, not brand names. Fortunately most of the pens I would find most aesthetically appealing and useful are not too expensive. I tend to prefer pens that are small to 'standard' sized, not overly decorated, and fairly light in weight, with the exception of some Nakayas and Auroras I'd really like to have, and that MB Kafka, most of what I like can be had for well under $350 new, and many for below $150.

#152 PENitent

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 00:14

I can't imagine paying more than $30 for a pen so that adds a bunches of brands to my no-fly list.
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout Fell long before; nor aught aviled him now To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he scape By all his engines, but was headlong sent With his industrious crew, to build in Hell

#153 smodak

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 00:44

I ran into a friend today and he mentioned that he will never again buy a Parker, after his first experience with their service, after having a very sketchy quality nib. He was also very obstinate about never purchasing from Lamy, calling their pens "ugly".

It got me thinking though, that I will probably never buy a Platinum, just because I think their nibs usually look hideous. Other brands that seem to primarily construct from celluloid crossed my mind, as I'm not a fan of the material.

Do you have any brand you flat out refuse to buy from, or to buy from again? What's the story behind it?


Not brands but specific pens (similar bad experience with multiple copies/multiple times)
TWSBI 540
Noodler's Ahab and Regular Flex Pens

#154 yamborghini

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 00:53

Visconti- the nib is not nearly as smooth as my other pens and the convertor has a tiny capacity. Plus, its picky as to what inks it likes. :glare:


Obviously has not tried or own a 23K palladium nib.

The only real FP I wouldn't buy are pirre Cadin. Some cheap chinese rip off of pierre cardin. I'm also going to stay away from iridium points.

I like to have one of each brand tbh and if one is different or interesting, I just have to have it.

#155 blackangus

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:59

Only evil deals in absolutes.


Isn't that an absolute?
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#156 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:57

I wouldn't buy an Authentic Models Palette for Pens glass pen again. They're pretty and beautifully packaged, but they don't write well.

Posted Image


Dang, I forgot about these. YES you are correct. They don't write well. It's embarrassing really because I gave them as gifts.
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#157 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:00


I wouldn't buy an Authentic Models Palette for Pens glass pen again. They're pretty and beautifully packaged, but they don't write well.

Posted Image


Oh, carp! I was going to buy that! :crybaby:


Just say no. It was so sad.
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#158 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:01


I shall never buy anything again from Conway Stewart. Not because of the quality of their products but because of their customer support or lack of.



I'll second that. My experience with service (Mary) was fine, but the modern pens have absolutely crappy quality control. Two out of two (that makes...um... oh yeah - a 100% defect rate) were faulty. I am probably unlucky, but that is pretty ridiculous. One was machined with the threads on the wrong piece so that the section came off and stayed inside the cap every time you removed the cap. The other had the whole nib fall out on the desk the first time the cap was unscrewed. Way to go, Conway Stewart!

No problem at all with vintage CS, but the company has become a boutique MB wannabe, a shadow of its former self.


But I love the car.....
When I grow up, I want to be a great lawyer. Until then, I practice.

#159 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:03

I generally avoid Noodler's inks now.


I'm so sorry to hear that.... I'm a huge Noodler's ink fan. Everytime I'm "unfaithful" with a new brand, I have to learn my lesson again. Noodler's for me.
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#160 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:04


when i first saw a lamy, i thought "how ugly"

I too think that Lamy is ugly. What did you say her phone number was?


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#161 robofkent

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:29

Noodler's Ahab and TWSBI 540 seem to have been mentioned here and they are two of my favourite pens. I know people have had problems with both but mine are okay. The Ahabs I have did indeed require flushing through before use but since have been excellent and handling my TWSBIs carefully has avoided any cracking thus far!

#162 somnath1077

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:53

He was also very obstinate about never purchasing from Lamy, calling their pens "ugly".


I agree with your friend. I won't purchase another Lamy again ever.

#163 Kimo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 14:29

Montblanc. My first expensive pen was a Montblanc because of their saturation advertising. It wrote okay, but one day it rolled off my desk onto a wooden floor and the barrel shattered. Montblanc customer service said 'too bad for you' and did not offer to help. I went back to them and said I needed a new barrel and they said they would sell me one but the price was almost as much as the pen cost me. I will never buy another Montblanc after that terrible experience. And ever since I have discovered all kinds of pen brands that are better made, write more smoothly, are nicer looking, cost less, and have customer service departments who actually care about customers.

#164 Minty

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 23:14

Cross.

#165 Mountolive

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 00:08

TWSBI is the only brand I wouldn't buy again. In fact, a Lamy 2000 with a nib I did not like and two TWSBI are my only bad experiences with fountain pens.

The TWSBIs had way too many problems for $40 pens. They worked for a while, but then they developed leaks and cracks. You couldn't post them. They wrote okay, but nothing special.

#166 frans-utrecht

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 15:06

Montblanc. My first expensive pen was a Montblanc because of their saturation advertising. It wrote okay, but one day it rolled off my desk onto a wooden floor and the barrel shattered. Montblanc customer service said 'too bad for you' and did not offer to help. I went back to them and said I needed a new barrel and they said they would sell me one but the price was almost as much as the pen cost me. I will never buy another Montblanc after that terrible experience. And ever since I have discovered all kinds of pen brands that are better made, write more smoothly, are nicer looking, cost less, and have customer service departments who actually care about customers.


Many people share your experiences and conclusion. But I covet the Henry Tate and if I could find an affordable (but genuine!) Skeleton, I would surely buy it. But never again a new Montblanc for me, because of the very reason you described. Still, I have fond memories of a Mb Meisterstück from my youth, long since lost though.
I cannot but laugh at the silly Montblanc habit to call their shiny but brittle plastic "precious resin". It is exactly as in the real estate trade: the more dilapidated the property, the more fascinating the descriptions with many an "original", "airy" or "unspoiled" thrown in. It fools nobody who's ever bought a house or a pen before, but immediately puts them on a par with the used car salesmen, the bankers and the buyers of scrap metals and used clothing.
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#167 den_lim

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 16:11

Montblanc -- can't afford it.

#168 M@rtin

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 16:49

MB,italian brands,Pelik... Too expensive...

#169 mhosea

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 18:49

It's interesting to hear the negative sentiments about modern Sheaffer and Parker pens. I used Sheaffer pens as a student many years ago because I thought they wrote smoother than the cheap Parker FPs that were alternatives on the shelf. As of last year, I had rarely used fountain pens in the last 20 years, but last year I took out a mothballed 10 year-old Sheaffer Prelude and thought it wrote well, still do, but it likes to leak into the cap, and I don't really like the pen's styling or small size. So I went to Paradise Pen, knowing almost nothing about what I should be looking for, and shopped around with a ~$200 budget in mind and looking for classic black and yellow gold styling and feeling like this was quite a lot to spend. Ironically, I ended up with a black lacquer Parker Premier medium point (18K nib). Other than the grip and nib, the gold parts have a certain chunky "attached" rather than inlaid look. I don't love this aspect of it (including the clip), but the way it wrote was so much better than what I compared it to on that day. I still love the way it writes, though now I can't be certain Parker deserves the credit because I dropped it at some point several months ago and had Richard Binder readjust it, so now it's back home and "Binderized". The nib on this pen is, IMO, a reason not to write Parker off entirely, though they really need to work out how to achieve a more refined look and better quality in their pen body at this price point.

Edited by mhosea, 12 April 2012 - 21:03.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.


#170 ethernautrix

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 22:51

There are brands I'm reluctant to try, but I'd never say never.
I ink; therefore, I am
Fleekair <--French accent.

#171 l4yercak3

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 23:38

Man all these Parker and Schaffer comments are sad! I only have old ones and they were my 1st fp's I learned how to use. Enlightening tho. I should stay away from valors and modern duo folds then.

#172 frans-utrecht

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:43

S.T. Dupont is the one company I will not buy from again.

This is why. I am a pen collector with eclectic taste (some say no taste al all). In other words, if it is a fountain pen, you might find it in my pen hoard.

Brands like Cartier and
S.T. Dupont are not greatly represented in what I prefer to call my collection, because generally I don't like them as much as other pens my money could buy.
For over thirty years though I have owned and used a sterling
S.T. Dupont Classique with a clip inlaid with a thin strip of Chinese lacquer (tortoise), bought from a jeweller's in Utrecht where it was the only pen available. It is quite a nice understated pen, smallish as pens were back then. It tends to leak a bit, but not disturbingly so. Later on they produced more garish pens, but not spectacularly garish like the Graphyscaf from Jean Pierre Lepine, so I don't think I bought any pens from them in the next thirty years. But then S.T. Dupont entered into a partnership with Pilippe Tournaire, a jewellery designer from Paris. And that led to the pens discussed in the FPN topic "Should someone be embarrassed". Here are some pictures for your inspection and/or enjoyment:

St Basils 80pct.JPG
399973878_tp.jpg

Well, since I already have a Graphyscaf, I thought I could just as well go the whole hog and buy
a Saint Basils Basilica - Moscow (many coloured onions) and a Dôme des Invalides - Paris (one golden onion). The Sun Pagoda from China being relatively simple and perhaps even "elegant" in its design with no onions at all.
So instead of paying into my retirement plan that year I bought these two heavyweights. At the moment they are in a safe in a bank, so I cannot verify it right now, but I think both pens were numbered 13/15 Either that or 08/15. In their way they are beautifully designed and constructed and each came in its separate black lacquer cabinet, lacquer being a signature product of
S.T. Dupont's. So far so good.

Here is a piece of a joined press release from Tournaire and
S.T. Dupont, dated March 13, 2010, with a picture of the happy couple. There is a Duch saying "Dief en diefjesmaat" which comes to mind here. It translates in something like "Thief and thief's accomplice". Philippe Tournaire (left) being the accomplice here...

Tournaire.jpg
Philippe Tournaire et Alain Crevet, président du Directoire de St Dupon, ont présenté jeudi à Paris les précieux stylos réalisés à Montbrison / Martine Goubatian

Le joaillier montbrisonnais associe son talent au savoir-faire prestigieux de la marque Dupont en réalisant l'habillage de stylos d'exception. Découverte en exclusivité à Paris.
On connaît la passion du joaillier montbrisonnais, Philippe Tournaire, pour l'architecture. Ce dernier, qui signe des bagues très originales représentant des monastères, châteaux ou autres monuments, vient de créer pour la prestigieuse marque Dupont trois séries de 15 stylos plume d'exception.

But now comes the reason why I will never buy from
S.T. Dupont again.

Half a year after I bought the pens from Tay (Pensinasia) I found an offer on Ebay for the exact same pens, but with the LE number of 25/30 and the imprint: 2e edition. I wrote to
S.T. Dupont for an explanation. Were these pens fakes? And if not, how would they explain their breach of trust? They never reacted to any of my letters, other than that they removed all information on the LE numbers from their website. You can still verify this:
http://www.st-dupont...al-masterpieces
I don't think anyone now knows how many they've sold in this virtually unlimited edition, because after 30/30 they may easily have thrown in another batch as a third or a fourth edition, beginning with 31/45 of 31/60 or whatever number they fancied. And they may have done a similar trick with every other limited production pen they've ever sold or will ever sell.
S.T. Dupont just cannot be trusted.

here is a picture of the 2e edition 25/30 base with the numbers

399973926_tp LET OP SECOND EDITION.jpg

Okay, perhaps I was stupid to deal with a French company like S.T. Dupont and I know they will bleed me to bankruptcy if I take them to court over their deceit, but I just thought I should warn the FPN-members and the international pen collectors community so they won't be taken in by these crooks like I have been.

Now for a glimmer of light: Since 2010 my retirement plan hasn't done particularly well, so I should probably have lost money anyway.

Edited by frans-utrecht, 13 April 2012 - 21:56.

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#173 ninjandrew

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:55

I see Sailor hasnt been mentioned once.

Thats kind of awesome cause I recently ordered one John Mottishaw.

Nakaya has always interested me too, and I've seen no mention of them. So far so good!

#174 Danni2989

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:38

I can't think of any brands where I could honestly say "I'll never buy one of their pens" but there are many where I can say "So far they have produced nothing I want."


This really...

I don't have a problem with companies (I suppose I haven't been "into" fountain pens long enough) I have problems with prices because frankly, I bet my last penny that one of my cheaper pens, nay, one of my less than £10 pens (so, a disposable to most of you) works just as well, if not better than stupidly expensive pens. I just can't justify buying anything more expensive than £20, pen wise. (Which is why I'm still in deep hesitation about the TWSBI.) I collect the cheap and cheerful (and often colourful.)

As much fun as a thread like this is intellectually and emotionally, the fact remains that I do not care what pen you use as long as you don't take mine!


:D This is a good point too.

I'd never take another person's fountain pen - I know what I'm like with mine (MY PRECIOUSSSSS), but I would probably just sit and look/admire/possibly drool from a slight distance. Just because I can't/won't spend more than a certain amount on pens, doesn't mean I don't admire/have a pen crush on the more expensive, pretty ones.


~ Danni

Edited by Danni2989, 13 April 2012 - 10:39.

I like to collect the cheap, cheerful and colourful!

#175 mhosea

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 15:00

I see Sailor hasnt been mentioned once.


Actually, I probably won't buy another Sailor. :) I have 3 already. Mine did not come from Mottishaw, unfortunately. I find the nibs+feeds to have the most excellent, controlled, and consistent flow, but none of them have turned out to be among my smoothest-writing pens. It's probably my fault somehow. There's a sweet spot that I have trouble keeping for some reason. The last one's still got a shot, however, as it came to me, though new, out of adjustment, IMO, and rather than send it back to Japan, I've sent it to be "Binderized". Coming from Mottishaw, yours will be excellent, no doubt.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.


#176 robofkent

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 17:28

My latest experience with a Lamy Safari and a lemon of a nib has put me off Lamy......

#177 Markk

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 21:02

My latest experience with a Lamy Safari and a lemon of a nib has put me off Lamy......


I was going down this path...until I flushed the pen.

Have you flushed yours? Maybe that will do the trick?

(or maybe you really did get a lemon :( )
All bleeding stops...eventually

#178 ninjandrew

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 22:46

Something else kind of unusual, several people have listed TWSBI, but not said why. I wonder...

#179 smodak

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 23:17

Something else kind of unusual, several people have listed TWSBI, but not said why. I wonder...


None of my TWSBI 540s write well and now they are developing cracks. The cap is becoming increasingly harder to screw in. TWSBI sends replacements etc. if you contact them (or so I heard) but I do not want to bother with such flimsy quality. I purchased a 1.1 stub which took a lot of work to start flowing right. On top of that, the 540 does not post. Those are reasons enough for me not to bother with TWSBI anymore - your mileage may vary.

#180 Garageboy

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 00:51

Parker/Waterman/Sheaffer
Just when I think they can't go down the drain any further, they come out with stuff like the Parker Ingenuity and the upgraded Waterman Expert.

Honestly, when I had an Expert and a Hemisphere, they felt like Heros. Heavy, cheap lacquer, poor plating, poor printing, coarse threads, minimal finishing on the nibs

Edited by Garageboy, 14 April 2012 - 00:51.