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Conklin Symetrik


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13 replies to this topic

#1 RodneyOK

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 18:18

I have become quite enamored with the modern Conklin pens as of late. So, in that vein, here is my review of the modern version of the Conklin Symetrik. This is a remake of the classic from the 1920s, and holds pretty true to the original look. The pen comes in the standard but grandiose Conklin gift box. This baby sure is a looker! Now, on to the review...


Appearance and Design: 9

The Symetrik is a "streamlined" pen with rounded features, breaking from the flat top tradition of the 1920s era. The blue and brown cracked ice resin is simply gorgeous. The gold plated trim looks very good set against this backdrop, and I find the overall look extremely alluring. The cap posts well on the back of the barrel, and the pen feels balanced in my hand with or without posting. The section is comfortable to grip, even for extended writing periods. It utilizes a cartridge/converter filling system, and comes supplied with the screw type converter.

Symetrik5.jpg


Construction and Quality: 8

The quality appears to be good overall on this pen. It is fairly lightweight, and the finish is excellent. As with other models of Conklins, the clip is the spring loaded "Conklin Clip" that opens easily with a pinch of the fingers, and grips even the heaviest weight materials with ease.

Symetrik3.jpg


Weight and Dimensions: 9

The Symetrik weighs in at right around 1 ounce, and is 5 1/2 inches long. It is certainly not a small pen, and should fit even those who have large hands. I find this combination to be very near perfect for my tastes.

Symetrik4.jpg



Nib and Performance: 7

The nib is two-toned stainless steel, with a gold colored Conklin logo and a crescent breather hole. The nib is very thin, and leads you to believe that there is flex here. Don't be fooled by this. I was. Applying semi-flex pressure will not be good for the nib, as I found out shortly after inking up for the first time. After straightening the nib because of my overzealous flexing, I find it to be extremely smooth and very juicy. It really is a pleasure to use, just don't try to find flex where it doesn't truly exist. The only other problem that I had was due to a piece of debris in the converter. The pen would write for a while, and eventually the feed would become starved for ink. Upon taking it apart for some good old fashioned flushing, I found and removed the debris. That completely fixed the problem, but certainly shouldn't have been there in the first place. These two issues have caused me to drop the score a few points in this area.

Symetrik2.jpg


Cost and Value: 8

The Symetrik is by no means expensive, and I find the overall quality and joy of use to be well worth the asking price. It does carry the Conklin lifetime guarantee.

Symetrik1.jpg


Conclusion and Final Score: 8

I really enjoy using my Symetrik, and am very happy with the purchase. I can absolutely recommend this to anyone who wants a vintage look in a modern pen at relatively low cost. The smooth and juicy nib certainly had a part in winning over my heart as well.
- Rod

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#2 Uncle Red

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 18:25

Thanks for the review. Nice looking pen.

#3 worldwide137

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:31

Thanks for the review. I have the very same pen, even the same color. You were spot on with your assessment of the nib. It is indeed thin and I did the same thing, i.e. applied light/moderate pressure to get some line variation and ended up bending the tines out of shape. Once I adjusted the tines back, it wrote very smoothly and my feelings towards this pen eventually went from totally disappointed to actually enjoying using it, with caution though. Cheers. -Norm

#4 ThirdeYe

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:48

I have this exact same pen, but I have a lot of issues with the nib drying out when not in use. Have you experienced this? The ink I use doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I don't use it everyday it tends to start hard. It's a joy to use when it's actually writing, though.

Edited by ThirdeYe, 09 June 2012 - 20:48.

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#5 RodneyOK

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 23:00

1339274897[/url]' post='2369696']
I have this exact same pen, but I have a lot of issues with the nib drying out when not in use. Have you experienced this? The ink I use doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I don't use it everyday it tends to start hard. It's a joy to use when it's actually writing, though.


I have been using it for a few days now, and have had no problems with it starting. The only ink issue that I experienced was the debris in the converter. Does yours write wet or dry?
- Rod

#6 worldwide137

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 00:45

No issues with mine drying out either. I am using Noodler's Blue Eel in mine. Perhaps, the nib needs a bit of adjustment or the feed may have some debris in it? The nib comes out easily enough, I've had mine out when I had to adjust the tines. Good luck. Cheers. -Norm

I have this exact same pen, but I have a lot of issues with the nib drying out when not in use. Have you experienced this? The ink I use doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I don't use it everyday it tends to start hard. It's a joy to use when it's actually writing, though.



#7 SteveE

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:52

I had one -- for about an hour, at which time I returned it to the vendor. I found the pen to be too small for my liking, and the nib felt cheap. Not only did it feel thin, it seemed that the nib had been designed with narrow shoulders to foster the "springy" feeling they call flex. I never inked it - just re-boxed it and back it went.

I later purchased a new Conklin Endura. From these two pens, I have concluded that the newest version of the Conklin Pen Company has moved away from the hefty (both size and weight) pens (turned from rods?) of the previous new Conklin Glider, Duragraph, Nozak, etc., to a business model of thin (molded?), light weight pens with cheaper nibs. I guess I'm done with them.

Edited by SteveE, 10 June 2012 - 01:53.


#8 langere

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:34

What keeps me from buying this pen is the clip. I've already had one of my new Conklin's clips start to brass and it's only a few years old.

Erick

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#9 lovemy51

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:22

beautiful pen!... but... i tested one and the nib seems to be of bad quality -it looks and feels like the cheap chinese nibs that come on some of the cheaper Hero pens.

#10 ThirdeYe

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 16:56

1339274897[/url]' post='2369696']
I have this exact same pen, but I have a lot of issues with the nib drying out when not in use. Have you experienced this? The ink I use doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I don't use it everyday it tends to start hard. It's a joy to use when it's actually writing, though.


I have been using it for a few days now, and have had no problems with it starting. The only ink issue that I experienced was the debris in the converter. Does yours write wet or dry?


When flowing properly, it's nice and wet. I love the line it puts down (when it's working properly). If it didn't dry out on me all the time, it would be a daily user for sure.
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#11 breaker

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:04

nice review and pics!
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#12 fncll

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 19:22

Bringing this thread back to ask: does this pen have a screw-in nib unit? Or can I fit some Jowo or other nib?

 

I'm looking for a new nib for my Symetrik, but it has a friction fit feed and the only replacement unit I can find that says it should fit is a screw-in model...so something isn't right :)


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#13 sansenri

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 15:30

I am bumping this up because I am Interested to get the same answer on possibly swapping nib.

I have this same pen which I bought second hand.

The pen looks very nice and the resin looks good quality despite being rather thin.

I find that the different comments all sum up well the pros and especially the cons.

 

The pen is light and smaller than it looks. The cap is somewhat large but once uncapped the size of the barrel and section is perhaps just 5 mm longer than a Pelikan M200. The section is very long and compfortable although it tapers towards the nib and is rather small, in comparison smaller in width than a M200. So I would judge this to be a SMALL pen, although usable even in mid sized hands (I like using M200s, because they are so practical, although I judge them as being on the small side).

 

When it writes, the nib is smooth and springy.

I feel the pointed out cons are however true for this model as I am experiencing them exactly as described in the thread.

The nib is almost flexy, but in reality it is probably thin and tends to bend out of shape. I had to adjust the tines several times and force myself to use the nib much more delicately that with other pens.

I would not judge this nib to be similar to chinese nibs, which in my experience are hard nails, it is much softer if it could only maintain its shape.

The pen tends to dry out and not write at all after some use, and also after some time unused.

The nib hard starts often, sometimes during writing it stops writing completely. Oddly, in such cases the nib writes if used reversed.

That maked me think that the problem is the nib bending out of shape, separating from the feed and stopping the ink reaching the tip.

This means that the nib is inevitably flawed, and cannot be repaired, the only thing you can do is continuously bending back the nib in its proper shape, but that's hardly very practical.

That is in fact a pity and looking for an alternative nib sound like the only solution. The nib does not seem to unscrew, so if it is friction fit it would be interesting to know which other nibs could replace it. The size is smallish, could be a # 5.

 

One thing I have not considered is that being a second hand pen the nib may have been overly bent by the previous user and consequently I have a more problematic nib than I should. A replacement conklin might also be the first step to try.

 

thanks for any advise

 



#14 mitto

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 18:39

I have a vintage conklin endura with the cusion nib and I love it. Have no experience of the modern ones, though.

Beautiful pen you have there.
Khan M. Ilyas






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