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Should I Give Up On The Pilot Vp?


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#1 Mezzie

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 00:14

I love everything about the VP -- the smooth writing, the shape, the color, the retractability -- except for how fragile the nib is.

I've posted before about dropping my VP nib-first into a hardwood floor (yes, into -- it stood straight up). I replaced the nib unit. Then today some student used my pen when I wasn't looking and the tines are now nowhere near each other. At about $60 per nib unit, this pen is starting to cost me much more than I had planned.

So, should I give up? Is it cheaper to have the nibs repaired rather than replaced (and if so, where do you recommend I send them?)?

I'm so sad... I love the pen so much, but it just doesn't seem to be working out. :(

#2 jar

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 00:30

The nibs on the VP are no more fragile than on any other gold nib pen.

 

Maybe you need to stick to steel nibs and cheap pens.


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#3 xwingrox

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 00:31

Erm no... the VP is amazing. It appears that you just need to take better care of it! Go buy yourself a $12 Aston leather pen slip from Isellpens (no affil to either) and keep your VP in your pocket at all times when it is not in use. Seriously. The VP is amazing. Don't give up on it! 

(And try straightening the tines of your two nib units.. it just takes a lot of patience and finesse!) 



#4 Betweenthelines

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 00:38

The nibs on the VP are no more fragile than on any other gold nib pen.

 

Maybe you need to stick to steel nibs and cheap pens.

 

I disagree wholeheartedly.  I have noticed my VP nibs are far more prone to misalignment than any of my other gold nibs, especially the 18K version.  I've always assumed that it is because of their size and/or design.

 

 

To the OP: I understand your frustrations - the VP nib is definitely one that requires you take care of it, and definitely not to casually lend out.  It ain't a steel Safari nib.  However, it is a fabulous pen as you say and worth the extra care - my suggestion is to 1. Buy a loupe and realign the tines yourself.  This is is far cheaper than getting it fixed professionally, and will empower you to fix any future misalignments.  And 2. Keep it on you and don't lend it out!  

 

Also, if you have an 18K nib, you can consider swapping it for a 14K which will be a little less soft.



#5 jar

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:28

 

I disagree wholeheartedly.  I have noticed my VP nibs are far more prone to misalignment than any of my other gold nibs, especially the 18K version.  I've always assumed that it is because of their size and/or design.

 

 

To the OP: I understand your frustrations - the VP nib is definitely one that requires you take care of it, and definitely not to casually lend out.  It ain't a steel Safari nib.  However, it is a fabulous pen as you say and worth the extra care - my suggestion is to 1. Buy a loupe and realign the tines yourself.  This is is far cheaper than getting it fixed professionally, and will empower you to fix any future misalignments.  And 2. Keep it on you and don't lend it out!  

 

Also, if you have an 18K nib, you can consider swapping it for a 14K which will be a little less soft.

While I understand that you disagree with me, my experience using VPs for about 20 years or so has been totally different.

 

Granted, 18K will be softer that 14K and so will require greater care, but that is true of any make not just Pilot.


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#6 Freddy

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:29

The nibs on the VP are no more fragile than on any other gold nib pen.

 

Maybe you need to stick to steel nibs and cheap pens.

Hear..Hear!

 

Have been usin' VP's since early 1990's with no problemo..whatsoever.

Ladies and Gents..of course this is my personal experience and

your mileage may vary..and I really like the faceted versions. <happy smiley face time>

 

Fred

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say good night...

...good nite...



#7 elysee

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:32

Erm no... the VP is amazing. It appears that you just need to take better care of it! Go buy yourself a $12 Aston leather pen slip from Isellpens (no affil to either) and keep your VP in your pocket at all times when it is not in use. Seriously. The VP is amazing. Don't give up on it! 
(And try straightening the tines of your two nib units.. it just takes a lot of patience and finesse!)

The pen case is the best way in which to protect all your pens. Never leave a pen unattended, especially around your students.

I never leave my pens unattended around my students: when not in my hand, any pen or pencil is put into its protective case, and the case is is always near my hands. Sadly, students of any age (mine are college students) do not understand the difference between their throw-away Bic pen or Staples mechanical pencil and a nice ballpoint pen, rollerball pen, or mechanical pencil, and especially not a fountain pen. They certainly do NOT understand the difference between writing with a ballpoint pen and writing with a fountain pen.

While I do not mind "talking pens" with my students, I never let any of my students try my nice pens/pencils as I do not want (i) the finish on any of my writing instruments to be scraped, scratched, dinged, dented, chewed, or gouged, (ii) the pen clips bent or broken, (iii) the caps to be cracked or flattened, (iv) the pen's/pencil's mechanism to be damaged due to excessive twisting or pushing, (v) the cap to be damaged due to forceful pulling off or pushing on, (vi) the threads to be ruined due to excessive/over tightening, (vii) the pen body or cap to be cracked due to forceful capping of the pen or tightening, or (viii) the nibs to be splayed due to excess pressure or bent via dropping. When letting students try fountain pens, I use a disposable fountain pen such as a disposable Varsity which is no loss to my collection if it is damaged, lost, or stolen.

Using disposable fountain pens as a forum for learning about fountain pens has worked well since students of any income level can afford these disposable pens and they can learn the consequences of the heavy hand on the delicate nib. This provides an introduction to nib repair as well for those who push to hard. Then, if they find that they enjoy the feel of free-flowing ink through the metal nib, they are ready to take the next step in fountain pen ownership -- purchasing a non-disposable fountain pen.

Using nice writing instruments, especially fountain pens, takes care and requires attention and responsibility, something that many have not learned. Considering many of my students destroy their expensive laptops by spilling liquid on them, banging them on walls and tables, and dropping them, such students are certainly not going to care about damaging my valued pen/pencil. The pen case provides protection and a sort of hands-off warning as well as makes my pens/pencils easier to monitor during class.

My using pen cases for my pens has actually opened a dialog with my students regarding taking care of their belongings, especially their laptops and their beloved smart phones.

Edited by elysee, 07 June 2014 - 02:43.


#8 cleosmama

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:42

I'm with Elysee on this one, except that I never take my fountain pens out of my office; the more expensive ones never even leave my house.

 

MY EDC is a Sailor Clear Candy pen (which I have to admit I am so fond of that it would bother me if I lost it or if someone took it or broke it), so I only use it in my office.

 

I usually use only cheap mechanical pencils or BIC ballpoints in the classroom. I don't even let my students near my Hi-Tec Cs or my Sanfrio Hello Kitty rollerballs when they are visiting me in my office. I have a pack of Varsity fountain pens that I would let them use.



#9 mhguda

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 15:02

It would seem the OP's students do not know the difference between mine and not-mine... that would apply to any object, not just pens! I admit I do not understand the casual attitude of many on the forum towards other people taking someone else's pen without their consent. The question of using or abusing would be the next step. I am fairly sure none of my students would make free with anything that is clearly mine, be it a book, a pen, or a ruler... it's not theirs, so they don't just take it. And these are high school students, not college students.


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#10 alexander_k

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:11

I've only once let someone use my VP and was so horrified by the rough treatment that I very impolitely grabbed it out of his hands. In my own hands I don't notice any difference from other pens. Its mechanics is certainly sensitive but so far I've had no problems with any of my VPs. The main difference is that, as mentioned by several posters above, there are cheaper pens that if damaged accidentally wouldn't make me feel devastated .



#11 79spitfire

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 17:22

Sounds to me like someone has a "F" grade in their future.....

 

In the Japanese market didn't Pilot make these with a 'Special alloy" nib, that was essentially stainless steel?


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#12 Mezzie

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 02:43

You know, I don't blame the student. Am I annoyed? Sure. But my students write with disposable pens and often leave theirs behind because they're so replaceable. Some of them know about my nice pens, and many of them don't. They all know I don't share my pens, but in a moment when one of them needed a pen and it was right there? I'm guessing the student simply didn't think about it because, outside of those of us on this board, most people aren't fiercely protective of their pens. My students are generally very respectful of my things, and I suspect this was just a fluke. It happens. I'm just bummed it happened with this pen.

79spitfire -- I'll look into steel nibs for the VP. I love the feel of the gold nib, but to avoid a future accident, I could see swapping the nib unit out for something more durable on school days. If I can find one, that may be the best solution.

I do need to be more careful with where I put my pens. I'm actually impressed that after switching to fountain pens I haven't lost any. My previous pens would never leave the classroom, but I had a dozen or more in various places and never quite knew where I'd just put one down, so I've made significant strides.

#13 raging.dragon

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 21:35

It would seem the OP's students do not know the difference between mine and not-mine... that would apply to any object, not just pens! I admit I do not understand the casual attitude of many on the forum towards other people taking someone else's pen without their consent. The question of using or abusing would be the next step. I am fairly sure none of my students would make free with anything that is clearly mine, be it a book, a pen, or a ruler... it's not theirs, so they don't just take it. And these are high school students, not college students.

 

It might be attributable to regional cultural differences, or:

 

[...]

I do need to be more careful with where I put my pens. I'm actually impressed that after switching to fountain pens I haven't lost any. My previous pens would never leave the classroom, but I had a dozen or more in various places and never quite knew where I'd just put one down, so I've made significant strides.

 

Most people with pickup cues from how you treat something. If you're a bit careless with your pens, others will assume they aren't worth caring about. If you make it obvious you're a bit paranoid about your pens, then others will tend to respect that and leave your pens alone.



#14 soapytwist

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 14:02

It's obviously a double-edged sword with the VP - because of its looks and clicky top maybe students think that it's just a biro with a slightly different-looking end to it, and pick it up and use it accordingly.

On the other hand, it does seem the perfect pen for the OP, as long as they remember to retract the nib when not writing - that way only the casing will get hurt!


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#15 Calamus plasticus

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 15:54

1) Display the student's hand in a formaldehyde jar with the legend "Please do not touch my pens" I have one of them in my office and it works :-)

2) Have always a BP with you, specially when students are around.

3) Buy yourself a new nib unit: I can assure you that a VP nib is not more or less fragile than any other pen nib.

4) Think that that student may had grabbed the MB limited edition that was lying on your desk along with the VP (if there was no other pen, imagine it was).

 

Enjoy every aspect of 1 to 4 and be happy with your favourite pen.



#16 Wolverine1

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:14

The VP is manufactured by Pilot/Namiki, making it a Japanese pen. Therefore, please post on the correct sub-forum.


Edited by Wolverine1, 10 June 2014 - 23:14.


#17 Blue_Moon

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 17:57

The VP is such a great pen.  Just don't leave it, or any pen you care about, where students (or anyone else, for that matter) can pick it up.  I know they weren't purposely destructive, but stuff happens.


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#18 ac12

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 23:55

This is why you should have 2 classes/pools of pens. 

#1 to use in the safety of your home or private office (the GOOD stuff)

#2 to use in a school or open office environment where it is subject to loss, damage or theft (the pens that you can afford to loose)

 

Yes it is nice to use a GOOD pen all the time. 

But the environmental risks in an office/school and the cost of replacement, both push me to relatively inexpensive pens that I can afford to loose.

And there are some pretty decent writing inexpensive pens out there.



#19 jar

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 00:47

This is why you should have 2 classes/pools of pens. 

#1 to use in the safety of your home or private office (the GOOD stuff)

#2 to use in a school or open office environment where it is subject to loss, damage or theft (the pens that you can afford to loose)

 

Yes it is nice to use a GOOD pen all the time. 

But the environmental risks in an office/school and the cost of replacement, both push me to relatively inexpensive pens that I can afford to loose.

And there are some pretty decent writing inexpensive pens out there.

 

Threads like this really depress me as an American. We seem to have lost all sense of personal morality and duty.  When I was growing up doors were not locked at home, cars were parked with windows left down and often a Winchester 30-30 and Browning Sweet Sixteen in the rack in the rear window, at school books and clothes and pens were left in a pile outside while we played lacrosse and there was no thought of anyone stealing something. As a kid I walked the Baltimore city streets and down along the docks, over into the market district with no fear of being harmed by any adult.  In the sixties I did experience a burglary but it was definitely something unusual.


Edited by jar, 19 June 2014 - 00:48.

How pierceful grows the hazy yon! How myrtle petaled thou! For spring hath sprung the cyclotron - How high browse thou, brown cow? -- Churchy LaFemme, 1950

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way suffers a severe handicap. -- jar

The last pen I bought will be the next to last pen I ever buy! --jar


#20 79spitfire

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:55

 

Threads like this really depress me as an American. We seem to have lost all sense of personal morality and duty.  When I was growing up doors were not locked at home, cars were parked with windows left down and often a Winchester 30-30 and Browning Sweet Sixteen in the rack in the rear window, at school books and clothes and pens were left in a pile outside while we played lacrosse and there was no thought of anyone stealing something. As a kid I walked the Baltimore city streets and down along the docks, over into the market district with no fear of being harmed by any adult.  In the sixties I did experience a burglary but it was definitely something unusual.

+1 It's part of the reason we moved away from town, but it's followed us here too....


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#21 Misfit

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 03:56

Mezzie, was this your Pilot VP in yellow or the Raden Galaxy?

I saw your post on another thread where you replied to the question on what was your dream pen.

Made me go look for it online. I like the idea of holding the universe in your hand.

Goulet has what looks like the Galaxy without labeling it as such.

Edited by Misfit, 04 July 2014 - 05:48.

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#22 Mezzie

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:44

It was the yellow, but I'd injured the Galaxy on my own before. Luckily, the nib units are easy to replace, though they aren't cheap. Very luckily, a fellow FPNer (not sure if he wants to be named) was generous and sent me a fine nib unit he had sitting in a drawer as he prefers a medium nib. The kindness of the people on here is quite astounding. :)

#23 frr149

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 15:35

So, should I give up? Is it cheaper to have the nibs repaired rather than replaced (and if so, where do you recommend I send them?)?

I'm so sad... I love the pen so much, but it just doesn't seem to be working out. :(


No nib would survive falling into the ground or into the hands of a ballpoint user. VPs are great pens. Either take better care if yours or use a Varsity pen.

Lord, grant me the serenity to avoid the pens I don't need,
the dough for those I need and the wisdom to know the difference.

#24 frr149

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 15:42

BTW, when I travel I always take a cheap pen, such as a Hero 616. This way if I lose it, some ballpoint user gets his sweaty little paws on it, it falls or any othe deadly incident happens, it's not a big deal. At home or my office, controlled and safe environments for pens, I use the fancy ones.

Lord, grant me the serenity to avoid the pens I don't need,
the dough for those I need and the wisdom to know the difference.