Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Webster Flex Xf


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 requiescat

requiescat

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 831 posts
  • Location:Louisiana
  • Flag:

Posted 06 February 2012 - 22:41

INTRODUCTION: I bought this Webster because it was an affordable vintage flex nib and I wanted to try the waters before spending more on a wet noodle because what if I hated flex? As it would turn out, I liked flex but this particular specimen wasn't suitable for the use I wanted out of a flex nib (sketching), although this doesn't reflect badly on the pen.

I apologize for the photos--my camera is probably adequate but I learned on a 110 and never managed to figure out anything more complicated.

1. Appearance & Design (1-10) – 9. I'm not a good judge of aesthetics, and the appearance of the pen doesn't fill me with adoration, but the pen looks nicely understated due to being all black, with the gold band on the cap to give it a little character. It's not flashy, but I didn't buy it to be flashy. This has ended up being my workhorse writing pen, and I do almost all of my writing at home, so it's not like I have anyone to impress. I have also discovered that I like matching inks to the pen's appearance, so in a sense the black scheme is a boon because anything goes. (That being said, I often use Noodler's Bulletproof Black anyway.) I can't tell you what the pen is made of, sadly. It looks like some kind of plastic and that's all I can say.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

2. Construction & Quality (1-10) – 9. Well, it's stood up to being dropped a few times. It's comfortable enough for four-hour writing sessions. (I wrote a third of a novel with it when my left wrist--I'm right-handed--gave out and I couldn't type for a couple months.) I post the cap and it balances well. I don't think anyone would mistake this for a super-expensive pen, but it feels pretty solidly built.

Also! I don't know where this goes, but it has an ink window down by the nib. I didn't factor in the ink window when I chose to purchase the pen, but now that I have it I love it.

3. Weight & Dimensions (1-10) – 10. This is about perfect for me. I don't have any way of weighing it, but it's light enough to be pleasant but not so light that I feel like I'm going to break it. With the cap on, the pen is 5.5" long. About 4.75" without the cap, and about 6.5" posted (a little shy). I prefer to post, the cap posts securely, and the pen is very comfortable. For reference, my hands are 6.5" from base of palm to the tip of the middle finger, I have no idea if that's large or small or what.

4. Nib & Performance (1-10) – 8. The nib is a 14k flex that goes to XF on good paper (feathering usually kills the line width on the paper I usually use, but you can tell on Clairefontaine paper) up to B with pressure. However, the nib is not especially responsive--it takes a while to snap back, so the flex is mostly nice for adding a little character to the line. If you wanted flexy/calligraphic effects, you'd be better off with something that had better responsiveness (and I ended up getting another pen for that purpose).

I was expecting a fine nib to be scratchy, but it's only scratchy when I'm attempting to speed-sketch on crappy rough paper, a purpose the pen isn't suited to in the first place. For *writing* at a normal speed, the pen is remarkably smooth. I am personally determined to only own as many pens as I can reasonably keep in use, and it's killing me because this pen is so pleasurable to write with that I don't want to give it up. The line tends to be slightly on the dry side, but I think the inks I've been using (mostly Noodler's) have been wet, so I haven't had any issues there.

I have no idea how standard the nib is or how easy it would be to pull out and I'm frankly too terrified to try so long as the thing is working.

Writing sample:

Posted Image

5. Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) - 8. Lever-filler. It was my first lever-filler and thankfully it was much easier to figure out than I thought it would be (my previous experience was with a cartridge/converter). It tends to fill quickly. I can't quite figure out how much it holds and I don't have a lot of experience for comparison (my other pen is a Waterman 52V, which runs through ink pretty fast), but I don't think it has remarkably large or small capacity. It will write for a while (a few thousand words), but that's probably the size of the nib as much as anything else. Cleaning the pen between ink colors is kind of a nuisance, but oh well.

I haven't attempted to disassemble the pen and I kind of hope it will be a long time before I have to, because I am not dextrous.

6. Cost & Value (1-10) – 10. I bought the pen at vintagepens.com. I paid $150 for it and given how much useful the pen has been to me and how pleasurable it is to use, I am well satisfied. I could probably have spent much less on a Lamy Safari and also had a good, reliable, workhorse pen (I kind of want one even though I am determined not to order any more pens) without the flex. I've used a rigid Sheaffer and I liked the nib just fine, but I wanted to experiment, so what I was paying for was the opportunity to try something different.

7. Conclusion (Final score, 54/60) - I don't regret buying this pen. It's responsive and reliable and smooth-writing, and the ink window! I hadn't realized how happy ink windows make me, but now I know. I use this pen almost daily, and maybe someday I will find something even better, but for now, life is good.

Sponsored Content

#2 pokermind

pokermind

    Studying Hard - photo by Yau Leung

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 280 posts
  • Location:San Gabriel, CA - USA
  • Flag:

Posted 06 February 2012 - 23:18

You have an ink window on a lever filler? What do you see in there?

I am personally determined to only own as many pens as I can reasonably keep in use...

... Lamy Safari ... (I kind of want one even though I am determined not to order any more pens).

yeah, good luck with that! Thanks for the review.

#3 requiescat

requiescat

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 831 posts
  • Location:Louisiana
  • Flag:

Posted 06 February 2012 - 23:45

You have an ink window on a lever filler? What do you see in there?

I'll try to get a better photo tomorrow when the sun is out again--I don't have good lighting available and my flash is terrible. Basically, the section of the pen between the nib and the main barrel looks like the outside is made of clear plastic of some sort, and inside near the nib you can see that there's a black stopper kind of thing, and then above the stopper (?) there's a clear column through which the ink is visible. When I'm low on ink I can see the ink sloshing back and forth if I turn the pen upside down and back. It's admittedly harder to see because I've got black ink in there and the clear plastic isn't so much clear as slightly yellowy (I can't tell whether that's age or deliberate).

I am personally determined to only own as many pens as I can reasonably keep in use...

... Lamy Safari ... (I kind of want one even though I am determined not to order any more pens).

yeah, good luck with that! Thanks for the review.


Ha, yeah, but I have a custom Edison on order and I have at least promised myself not to make acquisitions while I wait for it to happen. :) I'm really stoked about it, though.






Sponsored Content




|