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Two New Pilot Capless Models Compared


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66 replies to this topic

#41 Askaniclan

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 02:42

The Fermo does not necessarily need two hands to retract or extend the nib. You hold the pen in with the knob part between your thumb and forefinger, and use the thumb and forefinger to twist the knob while three fingers grip the barrel. So on one point of comparison, I think the correct way to say things would be "a Capless/VP can be 'capped' and 'uncapped' faster or more conveniently than you can a Fermo."

I found the Fermo to write smoothly and its design interesting and appealing. I do prefer the Decimo, though; in addition to the quick-click, its girth and weight work better with the way I hold pens. I use a fine point with Noodler's Blue-Black, no skipping or nib creep, and it handles the bulk of my everyday writing well.





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#42 jd50ae

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 02:49

How do they compare to THE JULES?

#43 parrothead56

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:23

Excellent review. I assume the VP and Fermo nibs are not interchangeable, correct?

My Blue Carbonesque VP and 3 Binder nibs are about all I use now.
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#44 HDoug

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:45

QUOTE(parrothead56 @ Jun 27 2007, 05:23 PM) View Post
Excellent review. I assume the VP and Fermo nibs are not interchangeable, correct?

My Blue Carbonesque VP and 3 Binder nibs are about all I use now.


The VP and Fermo use the same nib and assembly (including converter). I've been using my Fermo almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks -- really love it, especially with the Binder .5mm cursive italic. If you haven't read my review of the Fermo and care to do so, you can click here.

Doug


#45 angel

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:27

Hi! I recently got a Pilot Capless in all-black plastic body, similar to this pen > http://www.riverapen...mages/87Dec.htm. It was made in March 1999 according to the seller. Does anyone know if the newer nibs will fit into it?

#46 goodyear

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 09:50

QUOTE(HDoug @ Jun 28 2007, 05:45 AM) View Post
QUOTE(parrothead56 @ Jun 27 2007, 05:23 PM) View Post
Excellent review. I assume the VP and Fermo nibs are not interchangeable, correct?

My Blue Carbonesque VP and 3 Binder nibs are about all I use now.


The VP and Fermo use the same nib and assembly (including converter). I've been using my Fermo almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks -- really love it, especially with the Binder .5mm cursive italic. If you haven't read my review of the Fermo and care to do so, you can click here.

Doug

Yes, Doug. And I hate you because that review has added a Fermo to my 'list'. List keeps growing...

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#47 parrothead56

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 21:56

QUOTE(HDoug @ Jun 28 2007, 04:45 AM) View Post
QUOTE(parrothead56 @ Jun 27 2007, 05:23 PM) View Post
Excellent review. I assume the VP and Fermo nibs are not interchangeable, correct?

My Blue Carbonesque VP and 3 Binder nibs are about all I use now.


The VP and Fermo use the same nib and assembly (including converter). I've been using my Fermo almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks -- really love it, especially with the Binder .5mm cursive italic. If you haven't read my review of the Fermo and care to do so, you can click here.

Doug

Thanks for the info Doug, and I just finished your excellent review. I do have another question about the Fermo that I'd like you to address. I have to "watch" the end of the pen nib as I'm writing, so how difficult is it to see the nib when writing with the Fermo? From the images that I've seen, the nib in the Fermo does not appear to extend out from the pen as far as it does with the VP, and the blunt end of the Fermo looks like it might also obstruct the view of the nib a bit, as well.
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#48 Brian

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 23:13

Thanks for a great post. It's because of reviews like them that I recently saw on FPN that I decided to get both. Here's some thoughts I sent to a friend who asked:

Fermo: silver w/fine pt. It is very well designed and is thinner and slightly longer than VP. Aesthetically, it is a completely different look and somewhat heavier, but not by much. The clip is well designed, easy to use and has good tension. The twist actuator is spring loaded and it takes 1 turn to advance and retract the nib (retracting the nib actually takes something less than 1 turn since it is spring loaded).

The FP unit is the same as in the VP. That means it can be removed and be used in either Decimo or VP. It came without a converter but did include an empty cartridge that I filled with an eye dropper with Fiesta Red, Private Reserve. I wonder if using pilot ink would make a difference?

Wow, the point is a fine, but is closer to xf. It's interesting too that the point is 18k and rhodium plated. (i thought all VPs were 14k and yellow gold). Although it is toothy the tines are well adjusted and I expect the roughness to work out after a few tankfuls. I hope Earl has some CON-50 or CON-20 converters back at the shop. Note: Yes, this nib has become much smoother after about 5 days of daily use.

Writing performance is great. The nib is surprisingly springy lending character and expression to writing and it lays down a consistently good line. At speed it does thin out, but not by much and it will catch up with flow very quickly. And all this from the first fill-up with no flushing or other extraordinary actions before use.

Fermo is easier to use at meetings than a capped pen despite the use of two hands to extend the nib. It is the antithesis to the current trend for fat pens and is slim, unobtrusive, handsome, and very much a tool pen.

Decimo: dark blue w/fine pt. It really is very light and much thinner than VP. It is everything the VP is, but in a smaller, lighter package. The clip does taper more and is flatter than VP. Sort of like a light beer, except it is a light VP.

It too is unobtrusive but more so than Fermo. I'm not quite sure why since it is clearly almost as long. It too uses the same FP unit that is interchangable between all three capless models - VP, Fermo, Decimo.

In summary, Fermo and Decimo are winners. If I were a professional writer I'd use the Decimo and pencils in the field. It has the tactile qualities of a good writer including light weight and quick ability to begin writing right now, good feel in the hand, and a great expressive point for long bouts of contemplation on paper.


#49 Zarble44

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 15:50

I just received a Gray Decimo (FCT-15SR-GRY) that I bought on Ebay. I weighed it on my electronic postage scale and it was 22 gm empty (24 gm with the supplied Pilot cartridge installed). That's roughly 0.8 ounces. A couple of grams heavier than 20gm advertised, but it is well under an ounce, and definitely light in weight. Also came with a Converter CON-50 (the twist piston model).

I've been reading a lot about how Japanese nibs are narrower than others. My Decimo M is roughly the same as a Parker Sonnet M, and considerably broader than an Aurora M (which I think is closer to fine, anyway).

So far, I just love it, it starts right up and the clip is thin enough to be easily ignored.

Ujuku is selling Decimos on his website for $130. If you're patient and keep trying on Ebay, you can get one for well under $100.

BTW - The ebay seller was engeika (Taizo Okagaki). Shipping from Japan to Tennessee took only 3 days! Highly recommended. For ebayers, the following search does a good job of finding all the relevant pens (vanishing,fct,decimo) . The parens turn the search into an "or".
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#50 HDoug

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 21:23

QUOTE(parrothead56 @ Jun 28 2007, 11:56 AM) View Post
QUOTE(HDoug @ Jun 28 2007, 04:45 AM) View Post
QUOTE(parrothead56 @ Jun 27 2007, 05:23 PM) View Post
Excellent review. I assume the VP and Fermo nibs are not interchangeable, correct?

My Blue Carbonesque VP and 3 Binder nibs are about all I use now.


The VP and Fermo use the same nib and assembly (including converter). I've been using my Fermo almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks -- really love it, especially with the Binder .5mm cursive italic. If you haven't read my review of the Fermo and care to do so, you can click here.

Doug

Thanks for the info Doug, and I just finished your excellent review. I do have another question about the Fermo that I'd like you to address. I have to "watch" the end of the pen nib as I'm writing, so how difficult is it to see the nib when writing with the Fermo? From the images that I've seen, the nib in the Fermo does not appear to extend out from the pen as far as it does with the VP, and the blunt end of the Fermo looks like it might also obstruct the view of the nib a bit, as well.


I'm a nib watcher also. I like setting up the lighting on my writing desk to reflect the wet ink on the paper as I write. I don't know why this is such a thrill for me...

As you suggest, the "eclipse" angle of the Fermo is greater than the regular VP, or an open nib pen like a Pelikan, but shouldn't be a problem for something resembling a "schoolbook" grip. With the end of my pen shooting a beam well beyond my right shoulder, I'm okay. If the beam starts warming your shoulder or head, or sticking you in the eye, then the business end of the nib may be obstructed.

So I'd say probably not a problem for you, but best you try one out first. If you can't, you'd have to risk decent odds and just get one. I think you'd be able to tell right away if it were a problem, then sell it -- "inked once, beam sticks me in the eye."

Doug


#51 PenFisher

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 00:10

Thank you for a very well done, thoughtful review. Great pictures and verbal detail. clap1.gif

#52 Frits B

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 21:45

QUOTE (Hans Geelen @ Dec 21 2006, 11:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (TMann @ Oct 30 2006, 05:43 AM)
However, since neither of them are sold in North America, (and Europe?)  it's been a bit tough for most of us to figure out which pen would be the best choice.

For the Dutchees, the Decimo is now alos available in The Netherlands.

PW Akkerman december 2006 newsletter (in Dutch)

Enjoy,
/:) Hans.

Link doesn't work. Should read: http://www.pw-akkerm...brief_alles.htm

#53 BBailey

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 18:24

Are Fermo Capless available in the U.S.?

What are the size differences of the Fermo and the Namiki VP?
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#54 Siv

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 19:18

QUOTE (BBailey @ May 13 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are Fermo Capless available in the U.S.?

What are the size differences of the Fermo and the Namiki VP?


Not officially but you can get them from JetPens

Here you can see Fermos and their VP cousins.


They are identical in height, slightly wider in places and I feel they are heavier but thay may just be the balance.

Edited by Siv, 13 May 2009 - 19:19.

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#55 BBailey

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 19:39

QUOTE (Siv @ May 13 2009, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (BBailey @ May 13 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are Fermo Capless available in the U.S.?

What are the size differences of the Fermo and the Namiki VP?


Not officially but you can get them from JetPens

Here you can see Fermos and their VP cousins.


They are identical in height, slightly wider in places and I feel they are heavier but thay may just be the balance.


Very helpful, thank you.

I looked at JetPens, but they only have the fine nibs and I'm going for a broad to be modified to a medium italic.

I've read a lot in FPN postings about the feel of carbonesque compared to lacquer. Any thoughts on the feel?
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#56 ccajackson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 19:48

QUOTE (BBailey @ May 13 2009, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Siv @ May 13 2009, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (BBailey @ May 13 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are Fermo Capless available in the U.S.?

What are the size differences of the Fermo and the Namiki VP?


Not officially but you can get them from JetPens

Here you can see Fermos and their VP cousins.


They are identical in height, slightly wider in places and I feel they are heavier but thay may just be the balance.


Very helpful, thank you.

I looked at JetPens, but they only have the fine nibs and I'm going for a broad to be modified to a medium italic.

I've read a lot in FPN postings about the feel of carbonesque compared to lacquer. Any thoughts on the feel?

Depending on how quickly you want the pen, you could have both nibs. Richard Binder sells a variety of modified nibs for the VP. I am exposing my ignorance of the Decimo and Fermo here, though, as I am presuming that they use the same nib unit as the VP. I have one of Richard's ItaliFine nibs for my VP that I am very partial to, and his website lists all of the other options.

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#57 mucephei

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 19:24

That Fermo does look very nice indeed and just the right weight for me. Too bad it's twice the price of a standard Capless here in the UK though.

#58 Siv

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:37

QUOTE (BBailey @ May 13 2009, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've read a lot in FPN postings about the feel of carbonesque compared to lacquer. Any thoughts on the feel?


The carbonesque pens have texture and they feel slightly warmer to me. I doubt it would make a big difference to you unless you had one of each and compared directly. The difference is pretty small IMHO.

Then again, the one I use all the time is the Raden and that's Urushi which is much softer and nicer in feel.
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#59 MYU

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 15:50

QUOTE (Frits B @ Jan 12 2009, 05:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Hans Geelen @ Dec 21 2006, 11:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For the Dutchees, the Decimo is now alos available in The Netherlands.
PW Akkerman december 2006 newsletter (in Dutch)

Enjoy,
/:) Hans.

Link doesn't work. Should read: http://www.pw-akkerm...brief_alles.htm

I fixed it in the original post, Frits. Thanks for the heads up. smile.gif

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#60 MYU

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 15:52

It would be great if Pilot made a Raden version of the Decimo and Fermo... Like Siv, I use my Raden all the time. The other capless I put to use is the plastic faceted version that came out a little earlier (it has a less obtrusive clip and nice light weight). I'm hoping to sample a Decimo at the next pen show. smile.gif

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