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Serwex Mb


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17 replies to this topic

#1 AtomicLeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 21:05

This is a quick first impression review comparing the Serwex MB and Noodler's Ahab flex pens. Pictures of both pens are available all over the net so I will not post them here. The Serwex MB is available at fountainpenrevolution.com (http://www.fountainp...SerwexPens.html). I bought my Noodler's Ahab with the Arizona color scheme, from isellpens (http://www.isellpens...odlerspens.html).

I primarily use lower end pens at work where I like to take notes. These pens will be filled with bulletproof Noodler inks to avoid catastrophic loss of my words and work well with cheap papers. They also will spends days on my desk unused and I want them to start up with just a few scribbles on the paper, and they must be cheap because these pens travel around in a backpack to and from work and back again. The risk of losing one is high.

I've been interested in testing out flex pens for some time. This has been part of my search the past two years looking at interesting nibs that add character to my writing. I do not have the talent for Copperplate, but I like the look a nice stub nib gives my handwriting. Finding such a pen that is under $25 is difficult.

I purchased the Noodler's Ahab after a bad experience with the smaller Noodler's flex pen, hoping that the writing experience would improve and I really liked the idea of a larger size pen. I bought the Serwex a few weeks ago because my other Indian pen, a Ratmanson 302, is my work-horse pen at work, (Just wish it was stub!) and couldn't resist when the web site offered the flex nib for the price of a fine nib, and here's what I think after using the Serwex for just a few days and the Ahab for almost a year.

Overall Appearance
Serwex MB more business-like
Ahab Arizona is “Let's have a party”
When I opened my package from India and unwrapped my new pen I thought, “This looks like an Esterbook”. Now I don't own an Esterbook, but that's what it looks like to me. It's smaller than the Ahab, but it feels serious and is about the same size as my 51s but shorter. Medium weight. A closer look at the trim and you can believe price. The cap snaps on securely.
I love, love, love the Arizona color scheme. My favorite color is red and the streaks through the yellow make me happy. The Ahab is light but the resin feels more interesting than the Serwex material. Warm to hold. The cap on the Ahab is screw-on. Bit partial to that since I ruined a $300 bed spread with flecks of Noodler's BB flying off a Lamy Safari when I yanked the cap off. Trim, to my eyes, seems better than the Serwex, but it will not be confused with the trim on my higher-end pens.

Posting
Serwex, and it's not even close.
At work, I want to post my pens because it's just too easy to lose the caps. For some reason, posting is an after-thought for most modern pens. A pen that posts well should not have the balance point move significantly and the cap weight should not make the pen uncomfortable to hold. My Mont Blancs, Pelikans and Pilots all post well, but some of my other higher end pens (I'm looking at you Edison!) are just down right terrible posted. The Ahab cap sits on the end of the pen and seems to double the length and I feel as if I'm trying to write with a walking cane. The Serwex posts as well as my Pelkans and snaps on the end. No spinning around.

Filling System
Ahab and in fact Ahab beats many other pens, too!
The Serwex has this cheap slide piston converter. Not only does the slide reduce the amount of ink that a typical piston converter holds it doesn't work very well either. I had to grease mine with silicone grease just to get it to move. Terrible filling system.
The filling system on the Ahab is superb. Quick easy to fill, holds almost as much ink as my ED pens and a snap to disassemble and clean. It is the highlight of the Ahab design.

Flow
Serwex
Serwex is a wet writer while the Ahab needs a lot of encouragement if it sits for a few days. The Ahab is also picky about inks. I've had a bit of trouble with some of my Noodler inks in the Ahab.

Writing
For flex, meh to both and Serwex beats Ahab with a Knox nib
I spent weeks trying to get my Ahab to flex. My first Noodler's pen was the Ivory Darkness model and I loved how it gave my handwriting this interesting look, but the leaked ink. I mean I would be trying to write with it and drops on ink would gush out of the feed. I also did not like the small size. When the Ahab was released I decided to try again, since overall the reviews seemed better than the originals. Although the size was a better fit for me, the pen never flexed for me. It wrote a decent MF line, but once I tried to increase the width, the ink flow would cease or in fact the line width would change very little. I was so disappointed! Luckily, I saw the posts about replacing the nib with a Knox nib. I made the switch and now I enjoy my Ahab. It doesn't flex but it's a decent writer now.
The Serwex has what I would call a soft feel to the nib, not flex. The line is wider than the Ahab and the there is little line variation. Although the flow is much better than the Ahab and it starts up without a fuss. Unfortunately, I don't have more to say because......

I ruined my Serwex flex nib. :gaah: If you watched this video , you'll hear him warn you about the lip inside the cap that could bend the nib if you are not careful placing the cap back on. I was not careful and now I have a ruined nib, but while it was functional I enjoyed the writing experience more than the Ahab with or without the flex nib.

So what to make of these two cheap flex pens? They are not flex and if you really want to try flex buy a vintage pen. Peyton Street has a great selection: http://www.peytonstr...eversharp flex. I bought a beat-up Eversharp pen from them for $60. Gold flex nib with a feel and writing line that can not be matched by either the Noodler or Serex. Looking for soft writing experience with great flow and fairly solid build, then the Serwex is a good pen to consider. Just be careful when placing the cap back on!Want a stiffer nib with a great filling system, then buy an Ahab and a set of Knox nibs.

Now off to email fountainpenrevolution.com and see if I can straighten out my nib :angry:
Atomic Leo

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#2 mhguda

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 17:43

Thanks for your nice write-up. I have both these pens. I agree that the danger of the Serwex inner cap lip for its nib is a problem, although if you can get used to the dive-in capping method suggested in your embedded video, the risk is much reduced.
I also had not seen it in time, but I had a standard nib in mine initially, not having realized that I could buy the flex nib as an option.
What the inner cap lip seemed to do was force the tines out of alignment, so the nib would be scratchy almost every time I uncapped the pen, even after painstakingly aligning the tines. Very frustrating! Luckily, when I wrote fountainpenrevolution they were quick to send me both a flex nib and a regular nib to replace the one giving me the trouble. And when I put the flex nib in I discovered it was possible to push the nib and feed assembly a little farther in, thus also reducing the risk of getting the tines damaged on the inner cap lip.

With the Ahab, there is a good thread on this forum My link that has a lot of information on how to tune those Ahabs. I understand from it that in order to increase the flow you push the feed farther into the section, to reduce it it should be farther out. The adjustments are tiny, so you have to be careful when you try this. I can assert that it worked for me, and my Ahab, which was too wet out of the box, is now much better behaved and a pleasure to write with. It even gives me a little flex.

I hope this helps...

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#3 AtomicLeo

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 19:57

Thanks for your nice write-up. I have both these pens. I agree that the danger of the Serwex inner cap lip for its nib is a problem, although if you can get used to the dive-in capping method suggested in your embedded video, the risk is much reduced.
I also had not seen it in time, but I had a standard nib in mine initially, not having realized that I could buy the flex nib as an option.
What the inner cap lip seemed to do was force the tines out of alignment, so the nib would be scratchy almost every time I uncapped the pen, even after painstakingly aligning the tines. Very frustrating! Luckily, when I wrote fountainpenrevolution they were quick to send me both a flex nib and a regular nib to replace the one giving me the trouble. And when I put the flex nib in I discovered it was possible to push the nib and feed assembly a little farther in, thus also reducing the risk of getting the tines damaged on the inner cap lip.

With the Ahab, there is a good thread on this forum My link that has a lot of information on how to tune those Ahabs. I understand from it that in order to increase the flow you push the feed farther into the section, to reduce it it should be farther out. The adjustments are tiny, so you have to be careful when you try this. I can assert that it worked for me, and my Ahab, which was too wet out of the box, is now much better behaved and a pleasure to write with. It even gives me a little flex.

I hope this helps...


Thanks for the information about the standard nibs and the Serwex MB cap problems. Luckily I bought a fine nib with the pen and plan on replacing the flex with the fine so I can use it. Very disappointed that ruining the nib is so easy to do with these pens. The writing was outstanding.

I have looked into all the various Ahab threads here and did everything but widen the feed. Decided to replace the nib instead and have been very happy with it. IMHO, Noodler's ought to look into regular nibs for these pens and sell the flex nibs as an optional feature like the Serwex MB. If the price of an Ahab drops $4-5 with a regular nib then they would be the best fountain pen on the market for under $20.
Atomic Leo

#4 AlejoPlay

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 20:22

One of my Serwex pens with a flex nib burps ink. It's a piston filler so I am not sure what's going on there. It does write really nicely before the ink goes nuts.

(That said, once I inked one of my Ahabs with LAMY Blue Black, it became one of my all time favorites . . . I don't flex, but I love a cushiony nib).

#5 mhguda

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:10

I've had some burping Serwexes, and I found that the nib was not quite as far in as it could be. Pushing it all the way up helped. You might have to pull out the nib and feed together, clean them, and then reseat them, pushing them as far as they will go up into the section.
I took a short airplane ride recently and brought my two Airmails along, and one of them actually burped in flight. There was also something going on along the section/barrel threads, since there also I got inky fingers. Back on the ground, everything was fine, and has been ever since. Go figure.

Good luck with yours. Please post your solution when you find it.

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#6 kronos77

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 19:28

I have one of these flex nibs. The main problem I have with it is the tines don't close up. Flex pens should have tines set close together, I think! If that is incorrect, let me know. Directly related is the fact that the tines can NOT be closed up. I can't push them together or otherwise adjust them. It is as if they were cut so that they would always be spaced to far apart.

When I flex the nib, the tines spread and sometimes don't return at all to the original position.

I actually don't mind using the pen though, but as a regular writer with a springy feel to the nib.

#7 robofkent

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 19:51

I'm still waiting for my Serwex MB, can't stand the long wait!!!

#8 andymcc

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:57

I've been using my Serwex MB Flex for the last week, when I first saw it I was really impressed with the quality look and feel. After a week of use there's a few little niggles that I've found, the first was that the ink seemed to vanish in a couple of days, I think the culprit was the ill fitting clip and top of the cap, after sealing them carefully with acrylic resin the cap is airtight and the ink now stays where it should and doesn't evaporate. The other issue is that some of the chrome near the nib and on the clip has fallen off, it doesn't really bother me too much as it's hardly noticeable and at this price I'm not expecting the same quality as in a £100 pen. For the price the pen is brilliant, it has the look and feel of a far more expensive pen and the flex nib works very well, it's easy and clean to fill and very nice to write/draw with.
FPR have some great pens and prices and service that's hard to beat, I was given a free Serwax 162 which I'm loving too, I think I actually prefer the fine nib on the 162 to the flex nib of the MB, I'm already looking to add a few more of FPR's pens to my new but rapidly growing collection :)

#9 Rosser

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 20:13

I had and enjoyed using both pens. But the threads on the Serwex were not good quality and it had a tight fitting cap. So after a few weeks of use, whenever I tried to take its cap off, the body of the pen would come off from the still-capped nib and section. It was unusable and ended up in the bin. Pity because I really liked the nib. So for me, the quality of the Ahab is better.

#10 AtomicLeo

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:30

A follow-up on my review ....

FPR sent me a replacement nib free of charge! How is that for service? :thumbup: Highly recommend FountainPenRevolution. Now I just need to be careful when I place the cap back on.
Atomic Leo

#11 Saintpaulia

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:12

Gee I guess I should feel lucky. My Serwex MB has not had any evaporation, tines not sprung, chrome not wearing off, cap comes off properly, etc.

My problem is that this pen is much too fat for my hand! The grip section is 10.5 mm.! My limit is 9 mm. I like the pen for all the reasons cited (the positive ones of course), but I simply cannot write with it.

Hence I am going to sell it to someone who can use it. If anyone on this thread is interested, please private message me. I'll give you a good deal and the pen will not have to come from India! (I'm in the USA).

Thank you! Breck

#12 robofkent

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 22:36

I have my Serwex MB.....I opted for the standard Medium nib as I am yet to be won over with Flex nibs. First impressions are good, certainly a keeper.

#13 VillersCotterets

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:34

I have one of these flex nibs. The main problem I have with it is the tines don't close up.


Take a look at this video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7xG5535d68

#14 kronos77

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 17:47

I have one of these flex nibs. The main problem I have with it is the tines don't close up.


Take a look at this video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7xG5535d68


Thanks for that. I never thought that was the cause.

#15 steb

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:37

Excellent. Very helpful, as is the video one increasing flow.

#16 Ray_NEMBFV

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 15:04

I just finished waiting for my Serwex MB.  Mailman arrived today, got it in the house, opened it up, noticed the bonus eyedropper pen included.  Opened the MB and the nib was COMPLETELY DESTROYED.  I did watch Sir Brown's video, so I prepared to be careful in capping the pen.  I didn't even get the chance to ink it.  The nib was trashed.  I emailed Kevin so I presume he will send a replacement (I wanted the flex).  Are they the only replacement, or can I get a Goulet flex nib in under 3 weeks to install?  Any help is appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Ray

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#17 Jamerelbe

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 23:09

Goulet Pens don't do flex nibs - at least not nibs that will fit - but Fountain Pen Revolution are good at sorting out any hassles, I'm pretty sure they'll ship you a replacement free of charge!

#18 mhguda

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 00:33

Yes they will. I've just received a replacement nib for the Jaipur - after I wrote them to say I was unhappy with the one that shipped with my order, finding it too broad. This was the first time I'd had an issue with the nib size as shipped; mostly they are exactly as expected...


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