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Naginata Togi Question


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#1 Calabria

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:51

I am considering getting a Sailor Naginata ribbed with a Togi nib. I usually like their regular M nibs, so should I go for a Medium-Fine to compensate for the fact that these nibs run somewhat wider? Or just order the pen with the regular (not Togi) M nib that I'm used to? :mellow:
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#2 Calabria

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:53

And would someone have any opinion on whether to get the 1911 matte black instead (I did read the review here but am confused about the "non-slip" coating - what is it and how does it wear?)
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#3 ransky

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 13:28

This doesn't answer your questions, but sharing my experience: I have a full-size 1911 with a medium-fine Naginata Togi nib. It's a unique nib and fun to play with, but I find it impractical for everyday writing. It has a very broad cross-stroke and mine (as I requested) is very wet. In retrospect, I should have asked for medium ink flow when I purchased it as I think this nib is likely naturally wet anyway. For writing bold notes or highlighting, the nib is great. For everyday writing, much too big. That said, it's a very smooth nib. Since I have a bunch of other pens that fulfill my everyday writing needs, this was a nice addition to my daily carries (to fulfill that special niche when I need it). However, I wouldn't want this as my sole carry.

#4 Siv

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:33

The Naginata Togi is a special nib, one that takes some skill to wield correctly. If you know what you're doing you can achieve results like the picture. I, unfortunately, can only achieve this line variation about 5% of the time - the writing pictured is not mine, it belongs to pixwriter, someone who can extract the true performance from this pen.

Posted Image

With that said, I found the MF to be a nice nib for me however depending on how you hold your pen, the angle to the paper will dictate the line width so the more vertical you hold the thinned the line gets and vice versa.
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#5 Calabria

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:17

This is actually very helpful. I do have a Naginata Togi M and never use it. In essence, I write a lot and don't like a nib to talk back at me. I guess I was just hesitating getting an expensive pen without the special nib it comes with, since it seems like a bad deal.

That said, does anybody have information on what the "non-slip" coating of the matte black is - is that (ugghh) rubberized? How does it wear (I post my caps).

Or generally, should I just go with a regular 1911, save the money, and to hell with the bells and whistles? :hmm1:
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#6 Dr.Grace

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:39

I usually like M nibs but found the naginata togi M to be too broad. The N-MF is fantastic! I was inspired by pixwriter's handwriting sample above, so I've tried to follow her directions. I have been holding the pen somewhat from the side, much like I imagine one would use a music nib, and the results have been quite satisfying (but nowhere near as nice as pixwriter's example).

Personally, I haven't been happy with the regular Sailor nibs I've tried (too scratchy out of the box) so I'd recommend the naginata togi.
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. --Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#7 FPFan

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:31

The ribbed body is a little more difficult to find these days, so definately go for it! I like the M-F nib I have had for some time. I would at least give it a chance and if it doesn't work out, get a nib exchange. You got to at least try it with that beautiful body!
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#8 Malpighi

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 21:42

Calabria, I think You should find out why You don't use Your togi nib - just because it's too broad or because it "talks back" to You. In the first case an MF Togi may change Your relationship to the nib, in the second possibly not: I don't think there is much difference in the general behaviour of Togi nibs though I have only an MF naginata nib.
If You don't mind I'd like to ask a question myself: I have a large Sailor 1911 with a Naginata MF nib that I traded here more than a year ago, for another Sailor with a normal H-F nib which was perfect but I didn't like it too much because of lacking "personality". (I prefer my Pelikan and Aurora EF nibs) I soon realized I couldn't handle well the naginata nib and gave up experimenting with it. A few weeks ago I bought here an Omas Paragon from the 80's with a fantastic semi-flexible F nib (perhaps the best nib I have ever used in my life) and began reflecting on selling the Sailor which I don't use. Meanwhile I found that topic from which Siv attached here the beautiful picture of Pixwriter's penmanship with the naginata and began to hesitate: why not keep the Sailor and give it one more chance. But I'm not quite convinced if the nib is OK: If I follow Pixwriter's advices and try to write with it turning the nib a bit left or right the tines, mostly the right tine, moves a bit vertically and the nib becomes scratchy. For my taste the whole nib is a bit scratchy though it's said that naginata nibs are exceptionally smooth. So what is Your experience, is it normal that naginata nibs behave like that or there must be some defect with it?

#9 Calabria

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 23:32

So what is Your experience, is it normal that naginata nibs behave like that or there must be some defect with it?


Malpighi, Now that I think about it, no, it's not normal for a Togi nib to be scratchy. It's slightly elongated at the end and has a fairly large tip, which, when shifted, can give various width effects. But if you apply pressure, it may scratch, as the tines are separating and catching on the paper. It's not a flex nib.

The philosophy behind the Togi is entirely different from that of a flex nib. The flex nib works with elasticity, while the Togi nib works by changing the angle of the nib to the paper. Does that help?

It helps me. I don't like the brush effect (or wrist movement involved) when writing with the Togi nib. I like a straightforward writer.

A flex nib is nice, if you can find it. I have an OMAS from the 80s, and though the pen is crappy (World Cup series, but the rings are all corroded and out of alignment), the nib really is fantastic. It's nearly impossible to find that kind of nib on a new pen, although everybody always talks about it. That's why I go looking for old pens.
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#10 Dr.Grace

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 00:55

I wouldn't call my NT scratchy, but it does have a little "feedback" or drag, even with a light touch. It's not glassy smooth.
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. --Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#11 Malpighi

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 15:02

Thank You very much for the answers - perhaps I keep on experimenting with my Naginata nib, and try to avoid applying any pressure.

#12 ronw

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:30

I bought the matte black 1911 with the Naginata MF nib, and have been really pleased with it.

The first thing to deal with is that in the 'normal' hand position, it write a slight fat medium line. This is what it's going to do when you just pick it up and write with it. So be prepared for that. You need to like that idea in order to enjoy the pen as a daily writer.

I ordered mine for light pressure and medium flow - Sailor Naginata nibs are pretty free-flowing by nature, and I wanted to maintain at least a semblance of MF in normal use. It never fails to have adequate flow in all configurations set up like this.

I wouldn't say I've mastered the nuances of the pen, but there are certain configurations I like:

* For drawing, the normal position is really cool - I get a heavier line than I would normally use, and on top of that, if I slow down my stroke, it is even wider. I can get beautiful rounded dots at intersections this way. It's a unique drawing style, and this is one of the most beautiful expressive things about the nib for me.

* For writing, I don't try to move to different elevations, instead I pick one (low/fat, mid/medium, high/fine) and write with that. This is not for everyone; not everyone will be successful with different elevations. If you have used a brush, you will have something familiar to start with. (The pen imitates the angles and widths of a Japanese calligraphy brush.) I am experimenting with different rotations of the pen and my writing - vertical writing with an oblique pen angle, for example.

* This is a really really nice needlepoint when used upside down. It's wet enough to write that way all the time, in fact. I mostly use it for drawing, but it's also excellent for technical note-taking. For me this is a very important aspect of the pen.

I find the NT MF nib to be really smooth, but with enough 'feel' to satisfy my need for control in smaller writing and when drawing. Overall, it's a pen I really appreciate for it's intricate variations. I think that to be really happy with this pen, you have to both want to experiment to bring out these various aspects, and to have enough pen and brush experience to even know how to 'get to' those aspects.
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#13 MJ Vesuvius

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:07

I had Mike Masuyama sculpt my MB Agatha Christie into a Naginata Togi nib and I love it! I print a lot, and the brush-like nature of the nib has made my personal typography much more interesting. This is a nib for experimenting, for stretching your comfort zone. Challenging? Yah. Dull? Never!
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