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New Pen For A College Student


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#21 inotrym

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:26

I would go for the Vanishing Point (binderizing is kind of an overkill imo, but if you can afford it go ahead!) and a spare Metropolitan.

 

I obviously have a sweet spot for Pilot. :)

 

 

edit: forgot to mention the Decimo. It's a thinner and lighter version of the VP, if weight is a problem to you. (I personally don't mind a heftly pen)


Edited by inotrym, 08 June 2014 - 14:32.


#22 shawndp

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:36

I have the VP in M and the M205 in B - the only advice I can give you is don't buy the Pelikan in a B nib as it is just too wet on cheaper paper - which you will inevitably write on in college at some point. It is a subtle looking pen (in black) and holds more ink that I have ever had the need to have loaded in a pen at a single time (again, this is to your advantage in a classroom environment). The VP is a lovely pen to write with - words flow off the nib gracefully but I don't have reason to write with it for an hour straight so I can not attest to ergonomics - it is one of those pens you should really try in store to see if you can get along with.



#23 The Blue Knight

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:43

I'd buy a case of Varsity disposables. You can lose them, give the away, loan them and actually enjoy using them with no concern for value. If that's just too déclassé, two or three Sheafer schools or a pair of Lamy Safaris, inked with black and red.f

 

 

I agree with you to some extent I wouldn't buy a pen that costs $100+ for collage. As it is so easy to lose a nice pen when you are constantly on the move or to damage, Why take the risk?

 

What I would suggest is buy yourself the pen you want and only use it at home. You will have the next few years ahead of you full with study so you will have ample opportunity to use it and at least you won't risk losing it. Take a pen you can afford to lose and replace for collage so if the worst thing happens, it won't be the end of the world.

 

I learnt this the hard way I used to take my then nicest pen to university with me every (Parker Sonnet Matte Black GT) and I lost it only after 2 weeks of ownership. It was a rubbish feeing and I was annoyed about it for about a month before I got over it and from then on I only carry pens that are worth £15 or less to university as I don't want this to happen again all my nicer pens stay in my flat now.

 

Ultimately, what's the point in carrying a pen that you can't afford to lose at college.



#24 fpSuperstar

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:47

Ultimately, what's the point in carrying a pen that you can't afford to lose at college.

+1



#25 risingsun

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 14:27

I'll weigh in as the owner of at least 2 examples of all three pens you suggest.

The VP isn't what you are looking for if ink capacity is paramount. Yes, you can carry a backup so running dry is covered. I am not a big fan of the VP, as I find the grip to be uncomfortable for longer writing sessions, such as taking notes. It is fine for jotting, signing, etc. it is quite heavy and durable, though. I also find that the tipping on both of my VP's tends to get a bit messy over time from the trap door with gunk/dried ink. It is a little annoyance, that's all, and a quick wipe and it's cleaned up. I do love the quality of Pilot pens.

The M200 is a true gateway pen to the luxury of Pelikan. I love these pens and their quality. The ease of swapping nibs and getting a variety of them to change through is a great perk with Pelikans. The piston assembly is pretty much foolproof. The pen is very durable, and it is great that they have a color you like. This was my first thought when reading your original post, and it would be the best choice unless you would seriously consider the...

Lamy 2000. I am a huge fan of this pen and own two that I put in rotation regularly. The concerns are that both of mine needed some minor nib tuning to be perfect, and there are lovers and haters of this pen. Some complain about the "ears" on the section that grip the cap. One *may* be gripping the pen too tightly if these bother you. I adore the design of this pen; heft is perfect for me, the feed system is tried and true (better than Pelikan's gold standard, IMHO), with basically no drying while you pause during note-taking. It can be completely disassembled for a deep cleaning if needed, if you would want to try. The makrolon has a great feel in the hand for me. The nib has a tiny bit of spring, but I agree with another poster above that if you are actively seeking spring from any of these three pens, you are probably pushing too hard. The snap cap is better suited to the college student over the screw cap of the M200 as well, I think. I do want to say that if you go this route, you might want to plan on a paid tuning of the nib, since you aren't comfortable with that yourself. Then again, it might show up writing perfectly. They are not all bad. My EF was on the dry side when it arrived, but now it is one of my favorite writers. And then I have a ground Bold/stub that was ground/tuned by Mike Masuyama that is the ultimate signature pen. I have bought other spare nibs for my 2000's as well, that are swappable with some patience and care, so I can get the full gamut of writing styles with these two pens. If it were between a Lamy 2000 and my M600, the decision would be tougher, but I would choose the 2000 over the M200 every time. I think it is neat having a pen that has been essentially unchanged since the mid-60's as well.

So there are my thoughts - it was kinda fun writing them for you. And I'd like to say that you can't go wrong with any of the 3.

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#26 brgmarketing

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 14:37

I'd buy a case of Varsity disposables. You can lose them, give the away, loan them and actually enjoy using them with no concern for value. If that's just too déclassé, two or three Sheafer schools or a pair of Lamy Safaris, inked with black and red.f

 

+1 on the pack of Varsity disposables or similar pens. Use them for a while and make sure that they fit your needs. In addition, I could be wrong however, some of the "disposable" pens can actually be turned into refillable and/or eye dropper pens. After you have settled in, maybe at the end of your first semester, revisit the purchase issue.

 

You may have insights into what is best for you.


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#27 truncated

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 15:48

I am a (seemingly perpetual) college student and I carry 9 pens (I like colorful notes) to campus 4 days a week. They're Safaris, a few Al-Stars, a Preppy, and an L2k.

 

I have been using FPs at school for...many years.. now, and I've never lost one. I've lent a Safari out for a few moments, always had it handed back immediately after use as if it was a small smelly animal. The only thing I've lost was a Rotring pencil, because I lent it for a test and that person decided not to show up to the class anymore. If you keep your pens in a case/folder/roll, keep that on your desk while you're writing, close it if you get up for any time, and it goes right into your backpack when class is over. People won't be Hamburgalering your pens off of your desk, I promise.

There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting a *nice* pen as a student, and it seems like suggesting Varsities etc when you're looking at pens with Binderized nibs is a little..dismissive. I'm sure you kow how to take care of your things, and unless you're a chronic misplacer of things, you'll be fine.



#28 canibanoglu

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 16:05

As for your (mis)conception about Lamy 2K nib not being the smoothest writer among those you're considering, that is simply not true. I know that there are a lot of talk about Lamy 2K nibs being bad out of the factory and it really scared me that I'd have the same problem when I was buying mine. Simply inspect the pen before making a purchase, if the tines are not misaligned and there's nothing else that strikes you as being out of place, then go for it. I can't speak for the Vanishing Point since I don't have any experience with those but I can easily say that a good Lamy 2K nib will be a *very* smooth writer. 

 

I can't speak for how comfortable it will be in your hand though. For me, it is extremely comfortable but I guess the section would be slippery if your hands sweat too much while writing. Some people don't like the "ears" but I don't notice them at all. And yeah, the ink capacity is great, much more than what you will be able to get with a Safari or Vanishing Point. 

 

On the other hand, Pelikans are truly amazing pens. They are very reliable and a joy to write with. But I don't think I'd ever go for an M200 unless it was a special edition or something (like the Cognac that just got released where I live), especially not over a Lamy 2K. Then again, the Lamy 2K was THE pen I desired above all else and it has a very special place in my heart. 

 

When it comes to line variation, the Lamy 2K will give you some, but don't expect something crazy. It is a springy nib (at least mine is) in the sense that you feel like you have a small cushion of air while writing. Again, nothing like my Pelikan M1000 but the size difference between those two nibs is HUGE. 

 

And there are no "school" pens. There's nothing wrong with taking notes with a very nice pen as long as you can afford it, know how to take care of it (I assume that you do judging by your post) and love writing with it. If you can acquire it, I don't see anything wrong with taking lecture notes with a Pelikan Raden. Don't loan your pens, never leave them unattended and you should be fine.

 

I hope you find a pen that strikes your fancy and are happy with it. Just don't go over the Lamy 2K that fast, it is an amazing pen.



#29 MusterMark

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 16:13

I work at a university and almost always have either my Lamy 2000 or Parker 51 in my shirt pocket. As numerous people have already noted, if you leave a pen on your desk it will get picked up (and possibly taken away) at some point. Even if the person gives it back to you, you may find that your springy 2000 nib is now horribly disfigured because of an unpracticed hand.

 

That said, I have no qualms whatsoever about taking a nice pen to work. (I regularly take vintage pens from the 1930s as well.) My pens stay in a leather pen pouch or in my pocket when not in use. Never lever them on a desk unattended, even for a second. I carry a Pilot V5 with me most days as well for annotating books, and if someone asks to borrow I pen I hand them that one. As long as the pen is in your hand, bag, or pocket, it can only walk away if you give it to someone else.

 

Now, if you have a friend who's comfortable taking pens out of your pocket, that's another story. :) Barring that, however, I imagine you would be fairly safe with a 2000 in everyday use. 


Edited by MusterMark, 08 June 2014 - 16:13.


#30 lynxcat

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 16:34

if you have a friend who's comfortable taking pens out of your pocket, you may have one friend less than you think. if you have a friend who YOU are comfortable with them taking things out of your pocket, that's another matter.



#31 superglueshoe

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 17:06

I have the lamy 2000 as well as the m200. Both are great. The lamy is extremely smooth which combined with its heft can be hard to control. The m200 is very smooth too but its a lot lighter -resulting in less effort in controlling the pen and hence less hand fatigue. Not sure about the VP, I've being eyeing one for ages but that clip always puts me off. I usually take the M200 to lectures.

#32 MusterMark

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 20:16

if you have a friend who's comfortable taking pens out of your pocket, you may have one friend less than you think. if you have a friend who YOU are comfortable with them taking things out of your pocket, that's another matter.

LOL. Fair point. 


Edited by MusterMark, 08 June 2014 - 20:17.


#33 Beckwith

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:55

I would say the M200 out of those three for two reasons with respect to the categories you mentioned:

 

1) Durability - All of those pens are perfectly tunable in my experience. They can survive being in a pocket, being dropped, etc. But the M200 can be most easily disassembled and cleaned. I assume that you want this pen not just for college, but for life. Having a pen that can be easily cleaned will likely make it last longer.

 

2) Springiness - All three pens have relatively small nibs. The VP and Lamy have smaller nibs than the M200, and their nibs are also mounted so as to leave very little of the nib exposed. Because the M200 has a slightly larger nib, and more of it is out in the open, it will have slightly more springiness. 

 

All three pens meet your other criteria equally well I would say.


Edited by Beckwith, 09 June 2014 - 02:56.


#34 sirach

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:13

My first "expensive" pen during college was a Lamy 2k. Great pen... wouldn't call it springy.  I have had the other two, and eventually gave them up.  I love Pelikans, but the size was too small.  I tried to love the Pilot VP, but I could not get along with the placement of the clip.  

 

All that said, let me echo the sentiments of so many others... you will get along just fine with a cheaper pen.  There will be time for more expensive pens.  Personally, my taste has changed so much from when I was a freshman in college.  I used to be a EF-F person and now I don't ink up anything much thinner than a european medium.  Of course you are free to do with your money what you want, but look at the opportunity cost of the pen (the value of the next best alternative.)  That is gas money, going out to eat money, date money, shoe money, watch money, etc.  

 

Again, it's your money, and I would be a hypocrite to tell anyone how to best use money on pens (I have spent more at times than I should have), but whatever you get, enjoy it in good health, and let us know how it goes!  



#35 carlos.q

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:10

I have the lamy 2000 as well as the m200. Both are great. The lamy is extremely smooth which combined with its heft can be hard to control. The m200 is very smooth too but its a lot lighter -resulting in less effort in controlling the pen and hence less hand fatigue.


My feelings exactly. I would also recommend a Pelikan M200.

#36 ziptrickhead

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 13:01

I think a Pilot Custom 74 hits all the points you desire. Even if you order from Richard Binder who will tune the pen first before shipping it out to you (you could probably ask for it to be less wet), you're still under $170. And if you don't mind maybe doing some nib work yourself you can get the pen for under $100. I got mine in a medium nib and while tines were aligned and it wrote very smooth, tines were a bit too close and lead to some hard starts under very light pressure. Plus the nibs are quite springy giving you a cushioned feel when you're writing with them and the fine nibs are quite a good size.

 

As for the cons of the other pens you're considering:

 

Lamy 2000

- the EF nib has quite a small sweet spot but if you can hit it consistently then it's a wonderful writer

- during the warmer seasons if I have the pen in my pants pocket my pen will burp ink from the breather hole (I suggest you keep the pen in pocket when not in use to avoid someone taking it)

- very wet writer but the nib isn't what I would consider springy (at least the EF nib)

 

Pilot VP

I don't own one but I've handled one and while the clip placement was okay for me, I wouldn't want to write with it for an extended period of time. And while the clickie would be nice for quick notes, most often than not when I was in school I was either taking notes for an extended period of time or not taking notes at all. I didn't really need to jot down quicks notes that often but that may have been because of the classes I took.

 

Pelikan M200

- nibs are mostly very wet and springy

- pen length is okay when posted (at least for my hand size) but it's a narrower pen and I wouldn't want to write for an extended period of time with it

 

 

 

Don't forget that most schools don't use great paper and anyone that has ever had to write in a blue book will know how bad the paper can get. I used a Lamy Safari with a fine nib through my years of college and when writing in blue books it wrote like a broad nib because of the spread and feathered quite a bit, even with a dry ink like Pelikan Black. Fortunately the ruling in those test books is quite wide so I compensated by forming extra large letters. 

 

If you can deal with the size of the M200 then I would say go for that purely because the nibs are easy to swap out and relatively inexpensive. You can always buy another tuned nib from Binder while you can't get loose nibs for the 74 and the VP nib units are much more expensive. And with Lamy nib changes are even more expensive unless it's a warranty change.

 

Also just because the Pelikan and Pilot pens are plastic, don't let that fool you. The plastic is very durable and if you use the pen for it's intended purpose and not throw it around the room, you will find that you won't have any problems with them breaking. If anything for my a lighter, plastic pen is more comfortable to write with for long periods of time than a heavier, metal pen.


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#37 Myrtle_T_Turtle

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 22:42

Thanks everyone for all the feedback! I am hoping to get to try out the Lamy 2000 and the Pelikan M200 tomorrow to see how they feel (Pilot isn't carried by the store I'm going to). Right now, I'm somewhat leaning towards the Pelikan M200, but that may change after tomorrow. I know someone mentioned the Cognac Demonstrator version - I considered it since it's a special edition, but to be honest, I've never really liked the look of demonstrator pens (plus, it is more expensive).

 

Quite a few of you seemed concerned that the pen might easily be lost in college. In high school, I always carried around at least one of my Lamy Safaris, but most of the time I carried both. I did loan them out temporarily to classmates who forgot their pen/pencil or wanted to try writing with a FP, and neither of the pens were ever lost or stolen. Now, I do realize that the risk of losing pens in college will be greater, but I do intend to keep this new pen safe (trust me, I was even pretty protective of my Safaris). I won't be carrying this pen with me very often (if at all) - it'll be more for when I know I'll have extended writing sessions and want to have a good writing experience, but I do want it to be suitable for note-taking in case I do decide to bring it to class.

 

Oh, and I may post a review of this pen...we'll see.  ;)

 

Myrtle_T_Turtle



#38 Myrtle_T_Turtle

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:40

Unfortunately, I was only able to try the Lamy 2000 today. It was great to see the pen in person, and it did feel relatively comfortable in my hand (however, I could see how the grip could start to feel slippery after writing for a while). The nib was quite smooth (at least with water, they don't ink the pens before selling them), though the nib was a medium nib, not the fine nib I was looking for (they would have to order that in). I'm kinda bummed they don't stock any of the Pelikans - I really would've wanted to try out the M200 to compare it. Oh well.

 

I think I've ruled out the Pilot VP - I have much more interest in these two pens. Now I just have to decide between sleek and understated versus traditional with a possibility of nib swapping... :unsure:

 

Myrtle_T_Turtle



#39 parnesh

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:03

Let me add to your confusion...Pilot Custom 74,91 or more importantly 92.

 

You get the 91 and 74 (and 92 if you know where to look) with pilot soft nibs. These are very springy...almost semi-flex. The 92 is a bit larger and heaver than the M200 and not much more expensive...

 

As a workhorse, L2K. Snap cap, nice nib, incognito design. As a nice pen to enjoy, the pilots are hard to beat or rather pilot nibs are hard to beat.

 

PS. I own a L2K, VP, m215, C92.



#40 kvz

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:00

Got a pilot decimo in grey and fine nib off eBay for 150 (AUSSIE DOLLAR) including shipping. Great buy, a nice fine smooth nib with a sleek design that is not over the top showoff but gives you an air of wlegance/style as you use it. Relatively low ink capacity may be the only downside. The clicking mechanism works nicely.definitely Worth considering.

Kev




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