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Good Workhorse Pens?


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#21 piembi

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 10:19

My workhorse pens are (in no particular order):

Parker 51 aero
Pelikan vintage 400(NN)or modern M400 and M250
Sheaffer Touchdown and Snorkel

At least one 51 and one of the Pelikans and Sheaffers is part of my daily pen case. They are reliable, sturdy and everything except a vintage Pelikan nib is pretty much foolproof and can be lend to everyone (at least in Germany where everyone has been tought to use a fountainpen in elementary school ....) without fear of damage.

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#22 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:08

waterman expert first generation or waterman laureat. Reliable and collectible watermans.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#23 stevlight

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:31

Yeah MY workhorse pen is a MB 149 but i got the impression you were looking for an inexpensive reliable pen. Although I have had my 149 for 17 years now. I paid like $400 for it plus $70 for a recent visit to MB for a tune up so that adds up to just $27.65 a year---very reasonable!! HeHeHe This is what I try to explain to my wife--I call it Voodoo Pen Economics!! ---VPE
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#24 pen2paper

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 13:41

.."good workhorse pen, a nice sturdy, smooth writing instrument that I could recommend to someone just starting out on Fp's or someone looking to carry around one for daily use? "
per your requirements.. you noted Lamy Safari.

I will restate, my Safari is used daily at work, carried in purse, clipped to my blouse-now sweater, dropped frequently, never skips, never blobs ink, no ink in the cap, or on fingers..
I refill the Original cartridge from a bottle of Lamy Blue ink.. the Endless bottle.

The other 2 pens in daily work use, same abuse, are Pilot Plumix from Target, also smooth nibs..
Every once in a while, after writing over White-Out, need to wipe the nib, one press on the cart to restart, But that is Rare.. also, after dropping the Plumix on the cement, droplet of ink may enter the cap, but the pen never leaks on its own.
I also refill (via syringe), the original Plumix cart with Lamy ink..
These pens 'go to work' specifically because they Are the workhorses of my 'fleet'..
The one I discharged was my Phileas.. the nib is somewhat easily bent, and after trying Many in store, find that many are scratchy and need adjustment straight out of the box. Safari=$25 Phileas=$30ish Plumix=$7
Plumix has the added feature of a slightly flexy italic nib, gives character to one's handwriting, imho. Might? be a problem for some lefthand overwriters who need to push up? but I find the nib Very smooth in every direction.
Pilot Varsity is ok, but some nibs scratchy, ink used up quickly, not as easy to refill.
hope that helps:)
edited to add, Safari nibs, (in fact the whole pen's components), are replaceable.

Edited by pen2paper, 11 October 2009 - 13:42.


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#25 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 14:49

Esterbrook J.

You can usually get one in ready to use condition for the price of a new Parker Vector, and you'll be getting beautiful marbled celluloid in a choice of a half dozen colors, interchangeable nibs, and a real self-filling pen instead of a C/C that encourages you to buy and throw away cartridges. There's something especially satisfying in using a pen that's fifty to seventy years old and still works, too...


First so far as modern pens go, I'd vote for the Safari and the Phileas/Kultur both of which do what they are supposed to very well. (2nd hand
info only on the Safari but I do appreciate it's ability to have it's nib switched out) For me, the Kultur demonstrators now sit at the top of my suggestions for a first (modern) pen.

That being said,

Pun intended, it's hard to put my fingers on it but personally, but I get more enjoyment from using a vintage pen. There to me is just something about them that in many cases seems to have disappeared between their heyday and the design of modern FPs. There's something I feel, a connection with a vintage pen that I don't seem to get from it's modern "replacement". There's just such a noticeable difference between a pen "doing well what it's supposed to do" and a pen that feels at home, almost physically connected to the hand that holds it. I'm sure there are modern pens that can still elicit that same response but more seem to have lost their way to that in the passing of time.

So, of course, in the end, I have to side with ZI here and go with whichever Esterbrook of the Dollar or J famlies that fit ones hand the best, and there's probably one of those that fit most hands. It may be the difference for you as it is with me between having a pen you like to write with and having one that makes you sigh with contentment.

I could say more on why that's my choice. In fact, I already have. Here. http://roossinck.wordpress.com/

Bruce in Ocala, FL-Resident Estie Crack pen enabler

#26 tanburi

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 15:10

Pelikan M205 Dem - light, sturdy, good ink capacity and demonstration :), smooth replaceable nib, and a consistent not-too-wet line.

Pelikan M4xxs and of course Lamy 2000. I'd double Safari recommendation, but they write a bit like markers.

EDIT: Clarification...

Edited by tanburi, 11 October 2009 - 15:11.

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#27 pen2paper

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 15:11

I hear you Bruce.. just being practical in regards to introducing new ones-quickly slipping in a new cartridge, or advancing to using a convertor is easy in our already complex world..
Besides, I'm already teased at work for my odd fountain pen 'thing'.. can just imagine the 'looks' I'd be given if I also began to slink off into the closet to Lever up a fresh ink supply in my Esterbrooks;D
so 'they', although Very reliable, stay home.
besides.. that bright red ABS pen gets Noticed, and Found, wherever it tries to hide..

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#28 welch

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 17:36

I will give you a great workhorse pen: an Esterbrook J. One of the hardest working pens ever. I have three red Esties, and really only write with ine hand...Good ink sac. I have a few different nibs -- one great thing about Esterbrooks is that all nibs are interchangable.


Check your PMs.


Otherwise, a restored Parker 51 (typical price: about $150) has been the world champ workhorse since 1941. Note the nib suze, since most American 51s were fine point.
Don't take any job that requires new clothes.

#29 devaldez

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 18:14

Oh, hello...I'm new here, but I've been avidly reading and this question was right up my alley. I have just ordered a Waterman Kultur Demonstrator, Fine Nib, as my first "real" fountain pen in many years. I have a pen from XFountain Pens that I like just fine (gave one to a friend), but I realize that I'm not getting the quality I desire OR the fine nib I prefer. I'm going to bookmark this thread so I can come back and slowly acquire other workhorse pens. =)

Although I'm new to the fountain pen collecting end of things, I think I've decided that the bulk of my collection will be demonstrators, so the Kultur was a good start, IMO.

#30 RLTodd

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 19:21

Supposedly, every non bling pen on the market is a Standard Daily User pen.

As a practical matter I prefer the Pelikan Future, Pelikano, or Lamy Safari. If they are lost, stolen, run over by the swivel chair, etc... one is not out a great deal of money.

I would ad the Phileas/Kultur, but I believe they have been discontinued and were always a stinker to get in a Fine nib in the States.
YMMV

#31 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 19:28

Supposedly, every non bling pen on the market is a Standard Daily User pen.

As a practical matter I prefer the Pelikan Future, Pelikano, or Lamy Safari. If they are lost, stolen, run over by the swivel chair, etc... one is not out a great deal of money.

I would ad the Phileas/Kultur, but I believe they have been discontinued and were always a stinker to get in a Fine nib in the States.


RLT said;
"Supposedly, every non bling pen on the market is a Standard Daily User pen."

Ha! RLT, NOW you've gone and done it! I'm just waiting for the LE Blingmeister daily users to come out now.

There are still metric buttloads of Phileasi/Kulturs on The Bay in both F am M.

Our own Lewertowski can tighten you up right nicely post haste for a paltry sum.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#32 lapis

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 21:53

Upperclass workhorses: Pelikan M800 or M1000 (depending oin the size of your hand).
Lowerclass workhorses: Pelikan 215 or Waterman Charleston.

NO Lamys, NO MBs.

Mike

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#33 MidnightBlue

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 21:59

Always FILCAO. Reliable and good value for money. Support the little guy who's a class act.
Thanks

#34 leicamaster

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 00:28

parker 51
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#35 Mauricio

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 01:18

Vintage Parker 51 ... there is no other workhorse like this in the history of fountain pens ... tough as a tank

Vintage Esterbrooks ... cheap and very reliable and simnple to work on

Any Pelikan pen. Enough selection from low price to vintage and modern and a lot of different styles. Very well made and write beautifully

Aurora Ipsilon

Lamy Safari
Tu Amigo!
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#36 richardandtracy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:28

My daily user for 25 years was a Parker 61. At the end of those 25 years, it was worn out.
The P51 is almost as nice, and is more durable. I have near daily users of P51's that have been around for 55 years. That's not bad.

Regards,

Richard.

#37 JustDave

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:58

All of my pens are workhorses, but then again I have mostly Esterbrooks, Sheaffer and Parker. Lately I have been using my Sheaffer Sentinal Deluxe on a daily basis. Something about an American made self filler......
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#38 Nibson

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:52

I'm rather late to the fray I know, but I would second the Platinum Preppy - you just cannot go wrong here for a beginner. Another pen ideal for those starting out is the Lamy Pur. It has the sturdiness of the Safari but is a little more streamlined and less prescriptive in how you hold it when writing. The Pilot 78G is great for sustained writing, and finally the Kaweco Sport Classic or Ice would be a great choice too in my opinion.



#39 praxim

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:55

Thread necromancy. Nice to see that some people are the same people as today though. :)

 

Still, some comments above exposed an inconsistency in my views about pens. If asked about workhorses, I will cheerfully suggest pens 60-100 years old (as well as newer ones), because I have such pens which work reliably day to day, with no special attention or thought on using. I have three of them inked now. However, if the criteria include "recommend to someone just starting out on FPs" then I find I will be more cautious. Perhaps this owes to the fact that a buyer of a new pen might be able to use a warranty, or buying old pens has a higher failure rate than new ones. 

 

There are many older pens I will happily recommend as workhorses on the basis that if you buy one and it is unsatisfactory then buy a different one. If there is still a problem then I will be very surprised.

 

edit:typo


Edited by praxim, 06 December 2017 - 09:56.

I consider getting from point A to point B an undue constraint on what might otherwise be an enjoyable drive.

#40 Nibson

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 18:20

Never give up on a good thread - that's my motto.

 

I agree that older pens can be every bit as reliable and viable a day-to-day workhorse as anything they're producing today, and I have a few in my own regular rotation. My only concern is that a complete newbie might somehow find a vintage pen a bit more intimidating. There's no reason why they should, and perhaps I'm underestimating those who would be inclined to give fountain pens a go.








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