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Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Nakaya


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67 replies to this topic

#1 JustinJ

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 15:15

I wanted to start a topic for those considering purchasing a Nakaya. Personally, Nakayas are the only pens that I want to use. I thought it would be helpful to others to list what some people may not like about the pens, especially if their expectations have been raised too high.

Nakaya is highly praised in this forum but people should be aware that there is a simplicity to the pens. The pens are light and simple, especially the basic finishes. The pens are very light which may make someone think of them as cheaper. I do not hold this view but someone use to a heavier pen may feel that the pen should be heavier for the money.


The beauty of these pens is when you look at the workmanship on the pen. It is amazing that the pens are handmade when you look at the perfection of the work. I always take a moment and look over my Nakayas before using them. If someone has practiced a technical skill or done other kinds of crafts, then I think it is easier to appreciate the Nakaya pen. I've always admired things that are well made, especially when a person aspires to perfection in their art. If you do not really care about the process or the details of the work, then you may not care about a simple pen done well.

I could see where there is a disappointment with Nakaya. I know two people who just did not like the pens. The pens did not speak to them. For those who are considering a Nakaya, I think it is important to ask yourself if you will be happy with a basic simple pen. I am not discussing the more expensive Nakaya pens, but the base model pens. The pens are light, simple and functional. For the amount of money that the pens cost, they are very simple.

Many sing the praises of the Nakaya nibs. I agree that the nibs are beautiful and write extremely well. With that said, if someone has not used a fine nib than they may be disappointed. A fine nib requires a lighter touch. I write with light pressure, so the pen is able to glide on the paper. If I hand one of my pens to my wife, she hates it. She presses too hard and finds it scratchy. The nibs are far from scratchy but for someone with a heavy hand it is not going to glide. I do not have experience with the broader nibs but they will be smoother because of the larger writing surface.

The pens are also converters instead of piston fillers. The pens will not hold as much ink. Some may feel that for the money, a piston filler should be included. I would like to have a piston filler but do not know how they could integrate it into the pens without taking away from the aesthetics of the pen.

Please feel free to add other thoughts that will help those looking to buy their first Nakaya.

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#2 sky67

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 15:55

Well said, and I agree with Justin's assessment. You really need to get into the details and amazing processes that are used in making these pens. To some, a Urushi finish just looks like polished plastic. It's only when you understand what goes into making that finish, that you gain the appreciation. It's the same with the more artistic Maki-e artwork on some of the more expensive pens.

The weight is a real issue for some, but for people that write a lot, being light weight is a huge benefit. Being light does not bother me at all.

Personally, I dig that Nakaya's are not mass produced. Being made in limited quantities, and coming to you with customized nibs makes these pens a very personal thing. I don't let other people write with my pen, because it wasn't made for their hand. I also don't want someone that has only written with a ball point, screwing up my nib. They can learn on an old Esterbrook if they want to explore fountain pens.

#3 reprieve

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:04

This is a very well thought out post, and a very good topic. You touched on all of the major points I can think of that might lead to disappointment. We always hear about how wonderful Nakayas are (and I am definitely a Nakaya fangirl!), but I do realize that they are not the perfect pen(s) for everyone.

Because Nakaya pens are not mass-produced (which I happen to like very much), there can be a long wait unless you purchase the pen from a dealer who has the particular model you want in stock (e.g., Nibs.com, Aesthetic Bay, etc.). That three-to-five-month-long wait can lead to such anticipation and excitement that you may actually feel disappointed when you finally see the finished project in all of its simple, subtle, quietly elegant glory.

The beauty of these pens is when you look at the workmanship on the pen. It is amazing that the pens are handmade when you look at the perfection of the work. I always take a moment and look over my Nakayas before using them.


This is what makes me love every one of my Nakayas. Each finish and shape and nib is unique. If you do like these pens, be warned: they are like potato chips--it is impossible to just have one.

#4 kushbaby

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:09

This is what makes me love every one of my Nakayas. Each finish and shape and nib is unique. If you do like these pens, be warned: they are like potato chips--it is impossible to just have one.


Tell me about it. :bonk: I broke down this weekend and ordered a long unpolished shu and a long ascending dragon in aka-tamenuri from nibs.com (wanted them for a *long* time, was goosed by the impending price increase). They will join my much beloved spiketails.

I was also surprised at how light my first Nakaya was. But I have gotten used to it and adore it... :cloud9:
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#5 reprieve

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:28

Kush, you're finally getting the Dragon!!! :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:

I will admit to ordering another Nakaya after I heard about the looming price increase. It was a special order, though, so it will be another few months at least before I see it. This was the last Nakaya I knew I really, really wanted. I'm sure there will be another eventually, but not for a long time. I looked at my pen box and realized how many I have now. It's embarrassing. And my other pens are angry with me--they aren't making it into the rotation.

PS: What nibs did you get on the Dragon and Unpolished Shu?

Edited by reprieve, 16 August 2011 - 02:29.


#6 kushbaby

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:45

Kush, you're finally getting the Dragon!!! :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:

I will admit to ordering another Nakaya after I heard about the looming price increase. It was a special order, though, so it will be another few months at least before I see it. This was the last Nakaya I knew I really, really wanted. I'm sure there will be another eventually, but not for a long time. I looked at my pen box and realized how many I have now. It's embarrassing. And my other pens are angry with me--they aren't making it into the rotation.

PS: What nibs did you get on the Dragon and Unpolished Shu?


Yes, FINALLY!!! :bunny01:

I have a soft fine on my spiketails, so I'm getting an XXF flexible on the unpolished shu and a soft medium on the dragon. I am SO excited!!!

:bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:
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#7 reprieve

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:00

Yay! I am excited for you! :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:

I hope you will post photos and writing samples when they arrive! I would especially like to know what you think of the XXF flex nib.

#8 kushbaby

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:07

Yay! I am excited for you! :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:

I hope you will post photos and writing samples when they arrive! I would especially like to know what you think of the XXF flex nib.


Will do! :thumbup:

See, everyone? They ARE addictive!!! :cloud9:
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#9 Koshy

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:07

Nice post! I cannot, at least for now afford a Nakaya. But it does not stop me from salivating looking at the Briar collection. Being an ex briar pipe smoker, I can almost feel the wooden body in my hand. One can very well understand why Justin would lovingly look at and admire the Nakaya before he actually uses it!

Edited by Koshy, 16 August 2011 - 03:08.

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#10 MadAmos

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:29

Another one that has come down off the fence, I just ordered my first Nakaya today...my only concern is that I won't know for a day or so if I will actually get it. So I hope no one bought the Neo-standard in aka tamenuri at the DC pen show from John :mellow: I am getting it with a cursive italic nib ground from a medium so that I will be able to se it at work, there will probably not be a lot of line variation but if it is close to my Edison fine that is a cursive italic I will be very happy. :bunny01:
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#11 entity999

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:27

Thanks for starting this topic - very timely as I'm close to ordering one so keen to get as much info as possible. I'd really love a decapod twist but not sure funds will extend that far at the moment so may try a portable writer first and see if the bug bites!

#12 MidnightBlue

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:33

I see there's no need for them to be integrated piston fillers: but, why would a built in detract from the aesthetics??Thanks

#13 JustinJ

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 14:26

I was thinking of a piston filler, such as a Pelikan or the Lamy 2000. A piston filler that you do not have to open the pen to fill it.

One nice thing about the converter is if it goes bad, it is cheap and easy to replace.

#14 Lady Spencerian

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 15:36

Very nicely presented, Justin.

One other thing worthy of mention is perhaps that the ink flow can be temperamental on some fine feeds. I know that I am not alone in having experienced this because I found a thread about it here at FPN. The new Nakaya owner should not despair if the pen writes a very spidery line or, worse, develops an air lock that necessitates a hearty shake of the cartridge, or a twist of the converter knob. Ink flow can be adjusted, but it may take several tries to get it right, resulting in huge frustration and expense for the pen owner.

Attentive reading of the above thread should be a prerequisite to buying a Nakaya. There are many comments that I would love to quote from it, but I will restrain myself to just one, by Flourish: "The closest comparison I have for a Nakaya is a Formula One race car, for every hour you drive it you can expect to work on it in the shop for 10 or more hours. It's a huge pain but when a Nakaya is working right there is no writing experience quite like it to be found out there. "

It would appear that some Nakayas write perfectly from the first time the pen is removed from its kimono, and others require some tweaking. I've had the bad luck to own two Nakayas with flow problems. No, I am not about to part with either of them! Love, love, love these pens! and I have full confidence that John Mottishaw can make them write smoothly.

Edited by Lady Spencerian, 16 August 2011 - 15:45.


#15 shl

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 16:33

Are Nakaya nibs smooth or toothy?

#16 ehemem

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 17:29

The pens are also converters instead of piston fillers. The pens will not hold as much ink. Some may feel that for the money, a piston filler should be included. I would like to have a piston filler but do not know how they could integrate it into the pens without taking away from the aesthetics of the pen.


I don't know if a piston filler would be my choice. But there is the tradition of a Japanese eyedropper. I don't think an JED would detract from the aesthetic of a Nakaya.

#17 reprieve

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 19:27

Are Nakaya nibs smooth or toothy?


They are smooth, but not glassy. There is some feedback, but I wouldn't describe it as tooth--there is not as much feedback with Nakaya nibs as, say, Aurora nibs.

#18 Mattishme

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 20:20

Another one that has come down off the fence, I just ordered my first Nakaya today...my only concern is that I won't know for a day or so if I will actually get it. So I hope no one bought the Neo-standard in aka tamenuri at the DC pen show from John :mellow: I am getting it with a cursive italic nib ground from a medium so that I will be able to se it at work, there will probably not be a lot of line variation but if it is close to my Edison fine that is a cursive italic I will be very happy. :bunny01:


I actually think that might have been sold at the show. Maybe not though. Did you get to go to the show? The whole thing was very nice.

#19 MadAmos

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:11

Another one that has come down off the fence, I just ordered my first Nakaya today...my only concern is that I won't know for a day or so if I will actually get it. So I hope no one bought the Neo-standard in aka tamenuri at the DC pen show from John :mellow: I am getting it with a cursive italic nib ground from a medium so that I will be able to se it at work, there will probably not be a lot of line variation but if it is close to my Edison fine that is a cursive italic I will be very happy. :bunny01:


I actually think that might have been sold at the show. Maybe not though. Did you get to go to the show? The whole thing was very nice.


No I did not go to DC so all I can do is hope it is still available, as of this evening I have not heard either way yet.
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#20 jde

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 13:09

JustinJ: Well stated!

I would add is that if I had to do my first Nakaya order all over again, I would have gotten some customization even if it were my name in kanji. If you're waiting 3 months or more for the pen anyway, why not? Impatience in pen buying is overrated and leads to a lot of unnecessary pens.

Also for anyone curious about the nibs, IMHO a Platinum #3776 is a good experience of what a Nakaya nib will be like.

I avoided these pens early on because they were c/c and not piston filling pens. Without that c/c prejudice I'd have been able to swing another Nakaya or two prior to all the price increases. I won't give up my Danitrios but the Nakaya nibs are the ones I desire the most! :happyberet:

Cheers,
Julie

Edited to change something about Aurora nibs (having misunderstood what reprieve wrote): I found my Nakaya nib to be similar to an Aurora Optima nib. And I'd go with her view that it's not as much feedback as Aurora.

Edited by jde, 17 August 2011 - 13:12.

 
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