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Wality 51


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Catsmelt

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 03:43

Wality 51 Review

1. First Impressions

I bought the pen through isellpens.com after meandering through all their inexpensive offerings. Along with the Wality 51, I bought a Hero 616 Jumbo, Hero 82-1 and a Reform Bremen Black and Gold (along with a couple bottles of the Hero ink). The turnaround time with isellpens was very satisfactory, especially since I paid by check instead of paypal. The packaging was spartan, as was expected, with no extras.

2. Appearance and Finish

The pen is a glossy primary blue with some stainless trim at the base of the cap and a separator/ring between the piston screw and the rest of the body. The name "Wality" is stamped (though not very confidently!) on the cap ring. The clip is very securely fastened to the cap with a lot of tension. I thought an interesting design feature is that the clip is embedded into the cap rather than bolted into or screwed on top of it (see image). As this is a piston-fill pen, there is a view window just above the section area to check on ink levels. For those who obsessively check on ink supply, this is very nice

For a very inexpensive pen, there are no inconsistencies I notice. The pen looks exactly as advertised and certainly meets my expectations.

3. Design / Size / Weight

The 51 is a very light plastic pen (I don't have a scale, so I can't be precise). Given it's large size, the lack of weight is very pleasing. Capped, the 51 is 5.25"; 4 7/8" unposted; 6 1/4" posted. The design itself is an interesting yet vague blend of some Pelikans, and vintage Parkers or Sheaffers. The clip, however, seems very unique in a wide and substantial manner, and the piston screw-end is slightly tapered.

Posted or unposted, the pen is very light and balanced in the hand. I've written for quite some time with it and have never felt fatigued due to its weight and all around balance.

In sum, it is a very understated pen that cries "UTILITY!" Still, it is interesting to look at and use.

4. Nib Design and Performance

The nib is medium, two-toned (gold plated). My only gripe with isellpens for this transaction is that the website describes the nib as fine ("stamped FINE"), yet my nib is medium (it's stamped "MEDIUM"!). I contacted Todd via email about this and have yet to receive a response (however, he's likely busy during the holiday season, so I'm willing to cut him some slack given the rave CS reviews he's received). The nib is engraved rather extravagantly for a pen of its price. Aesthetically pleasing.

So, having my choice in nib size forced upon me, the Wality 51 provided me with my first foray into nib/feed tweaking which proved to be very interesting and satisfying in the end. When I first inked the pen, it was a gusher. It immediately evoked suppressed memories of my medium Cross Century nib and I was very disappointed. Fat, wet, sloppy medium lines.

Then I remembered FPN's wonderful archives and did some research. Walitys apparently can be characterized with this problem. Walitys also have friction fitting nibs and feeds (thanks guys!).

I got a feel for the nib/feed movement and assumed that if I forced the nib and feed into the section then I would restrict the flow. Problem solved and I have a manageable and not-overwhelming flow with most inks but I still find myself tweaking the position of the nib and feed depending on the ink.

Who'd think that FPs were like a pan-head Harley?

Once the flow was tweaked, I found the nib to be very smooth on paper. The feel of the nib is fairly stiff. I don't know if it's the nib or the inks I've used, but the edges of the line are not well-defined. In comparison with my Lamy Safari (also medium) with which I get fairly crisp lines, the Wality 51 lays down an uneven line (at first glance it appears slightly feathered, but upon close inspection it just makes me look like I've got the DTs). I believe this has to do with a rounded nib -- I really don't notice anything remotely resembling a "foot" on this nib.

One major issue with the nib & feed -- some ink may fly out if you gesticulate too wildly with the uncapped pen. I found this out while going over AP statistics homework with my daughter. That said, it has not otherwise leaked. I've been carrying it around in my shirt pocket for about a week.

5. Filling System

This is a piston filler, similar to the Pelikan. The capacity is large, but not as large as I notice in my M400. Still, it holds enough for plenty of writing. It's a fairly easy fill, and I've got nothing to complain about.

6. Cost / Value

Who can beat a $3.99 pen? In fact, I'm questioning my sanity writing so much about a pen that cost $3.99. Even with the flow problems I've had, it can't be beat. I see myself using it a lot. I see myself purchasing more pens through isellpens (though Todd should edit the item description regarding nib size for this Wality).

7. Overall opinion / conclusion

There was no hype for the Wality 51 to live up to. It was an impulse buy with no real downside if it turned out to be junk. I would probably have bought it knowing what I know now. I may just buy another so I can have a spare around if I need a handy replacement.

I'd recommend this pen to others with some qualifications:

- if you don't mind tweaking nibs and feeds
- if you don't mind a relatively wet medium
- if you don't throw your arms around while talking about probability distributions

Buy one. But wait a few days so I can order one more.



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#2 amh210

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 04:29

Great Review, thanks.

I've been a Wality fan for a while. Some on FPN have had various problems from nib to feed to smell, but I've had no issues with mine.

Andy
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#3 Macuser

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 06:09

Great review. Thank you. I often debate adding one to my cart everytime I order from Todd. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but maybe I will someday!

#4 Univer

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 13:46

Hi All,

Just a couple of quick notes.

First of all - and I'm sure I'm not breaking any sort of confidence here - those who've been considering a Wality purchase from Todd (ISellPens) might want to accelerate the deliberative process. Todd has told me that he doesn't plan to continue carrying the brand. (He also told me that the Parker 45-inspired "77" model seems to be less prone to flow/leaking problems.)

Second - a comment or two on reseating the Wality nib/feed to cure flow issues. My 69L eyedropper had the nasty Wality habit of exuding a blob of ink from under the nib every page or so. It would have been easy to solve the problem by tossing the pen...except that I have an irrational affection for the way the pen writes. (You know how it is: sometimes a pen just feels "right" in your hand, irrespective of price or quality.) I tried the quick fix of forcing the nib/feed further into the section, but that didn't correct the problem. For me, the only thing that worked was removing and reinserting the nib and feed, making sure to increase the distance between the point and the leading edge of the feed. (As the pen came from the factory, that distance was a couple of millimeters; for my pen, it's now roughly one centimeter.)

I also used a hobby knife to carve the two side fissures in the feed a fraction more deeply. I actually don't think this accomplished anything other than to make me feel that I was "doing something." So I'm not sure that I can recommend that procedure to others.

In any case, these adjustments seem to have solved the blobbing issue; it's also made the pen a slightly dryer writer - a negative for me, probably a plus for others. But that change isn't a "kill defect": I still really enjoy writing with it. **EDIT** This was a hopelessly overoptimistic early assessment. The blobbing problem returned after a few days, and I haven't been able to correct it. My piston-fill Walitys, on the other hand, are still working fine.

(Only a true fountain pen oddball would waste all this time and energy wrestling with a problem that was solved, from an engineering standpoint, about a century ago.)

Now that I feel reasonably confident that I can deal with similar issues, I've ordered a few more Walitys from Todd. If you're inclined to do likewise, you might want to act quickly. (Obligatory "no affiliation" disclaimer here.)

Cheers,

Jon

Edited by Univer, 14 March 2007 - 13:28.


#5 isellpens

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:32

He is correct these nibs are indeed stamped MEDIUM. I am thinking the pen I had as test pen was stamped FINE. I am dropping the Wality line and selling all remaining stock out for closeout dirt cheap prices. The Eye dropper has already been sold out and remaining stock is going quite fast and the #51 will be the next to sell out. We had some serious quality issues with the #69 piston type so I decided to closeout the entire pen line. If any of you bought on of these lemons #69 and has had a problem just let me know and you can have a free replacement of any remaining Wality model.

#6 Univer

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 15:31

Hi All,

Let me offer some amendments and amplifications to my earlier post.

With respect to the 69L eyedropper, I regret to say that my nib/feed fix - which I previously characterized as successful - actually effected nothing more than a short-term improvement. After a week or so of exemplary behavior, my eyedroppers returned to their maddeningly blobby, leaky ways. I plan to continue tinkering with the nibs and feeds, but I may simply have to accept that I am not destined to have any luck with this model. Ah well...I've never had a great deal of luck with Parkers either.

As for the Model 51 itself, let me add my own positive comments to those already expressed here. I have found the pen to be a faultless performer: an agreeably wet writer that doesn't skip, hesitate or (happily) drip. The piston-filler mechanism, so far, has operated perfectly. The nib is a smooth medium. The pen is a comfortable, fatigue-free lightweight, very much in the mode of a vintage pen; and its decidedly solid, businesslike design gives a reasonable idea of how attractive a piston-filler No Nonsense pen might have been.

The Model 51 (along with a newly acquired sibling, the 52) is going to be staying in rotation for the foreseeable future.

Cheers,

Jon

#7 kethiemann

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 18:43

Great information. Thanks!

#8 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 06:52

Hi All,

Let me offer some amendments and amplifications to my earlier post.

With respect to the 69L eyedropper, I regret to say that my nib/feed fix - which I previously characterized as successful - actually effected nothing more than a short-term improvement. After a week or so of exemplary behavior, my eyedroppers returned to their maddeningly blobby, leaky ways. I plan to continue tinkering with the nibs and feeds, but I may simply have to accept that I am not destined to have any luck with this model. Ah well...I've never had a great deal of luck with Parkers either.

As for the Model 51 itself, let me add my own positive comments to those already expressed here. I have found the pen to be a faultless performer: an agreeably wet writer that doesn't skip, hesitate or (happily) drip. The piston-filler mechanism, so far, has operated perfectly. The nib is a smooth medium. The pen is a comfortable, fatigue-free lightweight, very much in the mode of a vintage pen; and its decidedly solid, businesslike design gives a reasonable idea of how attractive a piston-filler No Nonsense pen might have been.

The Model 51 (along with a newly acquired sibling, the 52) is going to be staying in rotation for the foreseeable future.

Cheers,

Jon


Hi Jon,

just a suggestion, how full is the eyedropper when it boobs, larger eyedroppers without shut off valves blob when they are more than 2/3 empty,






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