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Do Lamy, Kaweco Feel The Chinese Breathing In Their Necks?

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#31 KBeezie

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 22:14

Rightly or wrongly, people tend to associate Chinese pens with junk, or at least unreliability; in the responses to the "what should my first fountain pen be" around there, responders frequently steer newbies away from Chinese pens, helping that attitude to perpetuate itself. Chinese pens have a lot of bad press to overcome, at least in the U.S., and that's not something that can happen over night. In my personal experience, the bad reputation is completely spurious. I own 18 Chinese pens and have only encountered one real dud. All the rest of the pack works great with only minor adjustments.

 

There are of course some people who would think of any pen requiring 'minor' adjustments being a dud out of the box, but I think that if you truely wanted something to work perfectly out of the box requiring absolutely no adjustments at all (or the chance of not needing any), then that's going to be several hundred dollars and possibly a trip to the Boutique (or purchased directly from a nibmeister which will have aligned and tested each pen before selling). 

 

Because other than those and custom/handmade, even a pen in the 100-200 range may need 'minor' adjustments out of the box, usually sometimes just a little nib re-seating if they're the friction/screw fit kind. Noodler's statistically seem to need more adjustment than most the Chinese pens out of the box, so yes there are some non-Chinese brands that appear to have similar level of quality control (though the non-Chinese ones tend to consistently use the same parts every time). 



#32 displacermoose

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 00:29

Because other than those and custom/handmade, even a pen in the 100-200 range may need 'minor' adjustments out of the box, usually sometimes just a little nib re-seating if they're the friction/screw fit kind.


That is kind of my point. I initially got into nib grinding because of my third Kaweco with asymetrical tipping. On the whole, my Chinese pens usually require 30 seconds realigning the tines with my fingernail, if that much. So when I talk to newcomers, I tend to present Chinese pens as the best bang for their buck and the chance to learn some very basic adjustment techniques. It's good, in my thinking at least, to be a bit self-sufficient.
Hello, my name is Sarah. I'm addicted to fountain pens, knitting, and books.





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