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Pelikan M200 Vs Pelikan M400


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20 replies to this topic

#1 goodguy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 13:12

Pelikan M200 vs Pelikan M400

Posted Image

Two pens so alike but yet so different.........well actually no they are not this different.

I will try to decide here in this review if the extra money to get the M400 is indeed worth it or not.

A new M400 goes for around 240$ while the M200 goes for 110$.

Thats quite a price difference for pens which are same size and weight using both a great smooth piston filler and both have an ink view window.

Posted Image

The Look and Feel

The M400 has few added trims that the M200 hasnt like the thick ring at the top of the cap, another at the bottom of the cap and small ring on the section.

The M200 body looks cheaper because of the trim but thats not to say the M200 looks or feels cheap, not at all but the M400 wins on that department, I am not sure if the M400 plastic is any different then the M200 as they look close to me so I hope somebody who know better then me could add this piece of information to this comparison.

Posted Image

Ink View Window

Both ink view windows look pretty much the same so its a tie here.

M400
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Piston

The piston feels smooth on both pens so another tie here.

Nib

Well here is another big difference.
The M200 nib is a very good nib, its a gold plated steel nib.
Its nice and very smooth and has a lovely spring to it but it does look cheap and is not as smooth as the M400 nib, it gives a nice feedback and the ink flow is wonderful but still feels just a bit rougher on the paper.

The M400 on the other hand is amazingly smooth but is considerably stiffer with almost no spring to it so comparing the two nibs I would prefer the M400 because the smoothness and feedback on it is simply better and with its 14k gold two tone it also looks much better but still it would be nice if it had the M200 springiness.

M200
Posted Image

Conclusion

Its been a relatively short compariosn but I think I have the answer for you which one to buy.

If you want to buy a pen you plan on using for many years, you are looking for a pen that isnt too big or long, light weight with a piston and ink view window then one of these two pens are good candidates for you.

Is the added 130$ worth it ?

I think if you are tight on money then no, I think you will use the M200 and love it every time you use it but and this is a big but if you are like me and like your nibs super smoooooth, like finess, put emphasis on quality and like gold at the end of your pen then you have no other choice and go with the M400.

I would invest the extra 130$ and go with the M400, I think to me its worth it and I wouldnt hesitate and go with the M400.
So I think for most people the M200 would win but for me I made my choice I go with the M400.
Respect to all

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#2 watch_art

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 18:51

Do they use the same plastic piston mech? I ha d a 400 for a while and thought the piston felt like a higher quality unit than on the 200. I really didn't like the 200 - felt cheap.

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#3 vans4444

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:28

I have a number of example of both pens.

Perhaps oddly, I use an M200 much more than any M400. It goes with me to the office most days. M200 replacement nibs are relatively cheap so I have a selection. My favorite is a steel EF.

The M400 nib is smooth, but I feel it is a little stiff. However, one of my most treasured pens is a Pelikan 400NN due to the really lovely nib.

#4 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 13:29

got a M200 clear demonstrator gt(got it today :)) i love it but i must avow that it really feel like plastic...compared to my MB the nib is evidently less less smooth but i don't care i love it and this is all that count!
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#5 jar

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 15:30

Glad you posted this because I have been thinking about doing a similar comparison but also including the old 600; three such similar pens, same size, weight, with only minor differences yet each having a unique personality.

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#6 jttoft

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 15:57

I agree. The gold nibs of the Souverän line are far superior to the steel nibs of the Classic line.

You get what you pay for.

#7 MBFan

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 16:13

I think that this is a somewhat unfair comparison ( although a nice overview!). Comparing gold to steel (nibs) will usually end in favour of gold, because as you rightly stated, many do prefer a piece of gold. I have a Pel 205, which sports the gold version of the same steel nibed design as on the 200. It's easily one of the best nibs I own. It also cost a darn sight less than the 400. A review between the 205 and 400 would be more fair. I tested both, before settling for the 205; same size, weight etc. at a fraction of the cost.

Alternatively, buy a used 200 and then buy a new M400 nib. That would save some pennies.
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#8 goodguy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 14:11

I think that this is a somewhat unfair comparison ( although a nice overview!). Comparing gold to steel (nibs) will usually end in favour of gold, because as you rightly stated, many do prefer a piece of gold. I have a Pel 205, which sports the gold version of the same steel nibed design as on the 200. It's easily one of the best nibs I own. It also cost a darn sight less than the 400. A review between the 205 and 400 would be more fair. I tested both, before settling for the 205; same size, weight etc. at a fraction of the cost.

Alternatively, buy a used 200 and then buy a new M400 nib. That would save some pennies.

You got a good point about comparison not being fair but I think price is a huge factor here so what I tried to do is not directly compare these 2 pens but more to ask the simple question if the M400 is worth the extra money.
You cant really go wrong with both pens and in a way it depends of importance, is quality really important for you and if so the M400 has an important place in your collection, if you are willing slighly make a compramis in quality and nim feel and material the M400 is your pen.
Respect to all

#9 goodguy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 14:25

got a M200 clear demonstrator gt(got it today :)) i love it but i must avow that it really feel like plastic...compared to my MB the nib is evidently less less smooth but i don't care i love it and this is all that count!

Thats the whole point in fountain pens if you are happy then this really is what counts.
I love the M200 and its a fantastic pen with its own merits, for the price you get a fantastic pen.

Glad you posted this because I have been thinking about doing a similar comparison but also including the old 600; three such similar pens, same size, weight, with only minor differences yet each having a unique personality.

I enjoyed writing this comparison and each has its place to different people.

I agree. The gold nibs of the Souverän line are far superior to the steel nibs of the Classic line.

You get what you pay for.

Exactly :)
Respect to all

#10 piembi

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 18:30

Thanks for the comparison. The main question is: is the M400 worth the extra money?

My history with those pens started in the 1980s with the M250, a M200 body design with a 14K nib, priced between the M200 and the M400.

The 14K nib provides a better writing performance than the steel nib. The plated steel nib will experience brassing sooner or later that makes me buying a replacement nib. For me the performance and the durability of a nib are important and I would invest in a 14K nib. All my Pelikans are fitted with gold nibs - even those that come with steel nibs (M150, M200).

The body design is a matter of personal preference. The gold/silver trim of the M400 might be more durable though. I don't like the bling of the modern M400 but I don't like the shape of the modern M200 either. I prefer the more understated vintage or 1980s pens but still like the M400 as my reference pen.

Conclusion: IMO the 14K nib is worth the extra money, either with the M200 body or the M400 body.

#11 jttoft

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 19:48

I have a Pel 205, which sports the gold version of the same steel nibed design as on the 200. It's easily one of the best nibs I own.

- That must be a specially fitted gold nib then. As far as I'm aware the M205 doesn't come with a gold nib - at least the current one doesn't.

#12 jttoft

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:21

I have a Pel 205, which sports the gold version of the same steel nibed design as on the 200. It's easily one of the best nibs I own.

- That must be a specially fitted gold nib then. As far as I'm aware the M205 doesn't come with a gold nib - at least the current one doesn't.

Nibs.com sells them with gold nibs...maybe he got it there. :)

- I think most retailers do that, but it's a special service. They take the gold nib from the M400 and install it on the pens from the Classic line (which all come standard with steel nibs).
What MBFan suggested was that his M205 has a gold nib of the same type as the standard steel nib on the M2xx pens, which I don't quite understand.

Edited by jttoft, 13 November 2012 - 21:27.


#13 NedC

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 22:09

I have both m400s, M200s, m205s and an m215, and I can't honestly say I've noticed a difference in the smoothness of their piston mechanism's operation, they are all very good. As far as nibs go, the worst out of the box was my first m200's which was scratchy, too wide, had badly misaligned tines and a nib slot that was cut off centre leaving one of the tines wider than the other, all of the others have been quite good, even excellent out of the box if a little bit wider than I'd like; and that poor m200 nib is now an excellent performer through the use of a 10x loupe, some Japanese waterstones and few diamond files it has become a cursive oblique italic with excellent flow. The gold nibs were all good out of the box, the 14K EF I got from John Mottishaw at nibs.com may be the smoothest nib I have but it's also too wide for an EF and rather boring to write with, I have also a very special medium that is super smooth and extremely juicy when used normally, to broad an juicy for most of my everyday writing in fact, but when inverted becomes a phenomenal fine italic nib, and this was on an NOS tortoise 400 not customized at all. For day to day writing, I prefer the 200 series's steel EF nibs, nice flex, reasonably fine, and relatively cheap, I even swap then into my m400s most of the time.

#14 Dillo

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 00:19

Hi,

As far as I know, being a Pelikan dealer and having owned both, the piston mechanism used is identical. The plating on the trim is higher quality on the M400, but I don't like the section ring as that is one more thing that could get corroded.

Dillon

Edited by Dillo, 14 November 2012 - 00:20.

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#15 Robert Alan

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 16:49

According to nibs.com, the m400 has a larger ink capacity than its cheaper twin. Can anyone validate this: 1.5ml VS. 1.8ml?


I believe a typical example of an M400 holds about 1.35cc of ink. This has been confirmed by the Japanese pen magazine Shumi-no Bungu Bako in an article comparing various fountain pen ink capacities, along with cartridges, and converters (e.g., a Pilot CON-70 converter holds 1.10cc of ink, the most of any converter). The M200 appears to hold the same amount as the M400.

BTW, of all the pens reviewed, the Pilot Custom 823 had the greatest capacity, at 1.59cc of ink.

I just compared one of my new M200 pens with a new M400, and the M200 held slightly more ink! However, it seems that any difference in capacity between the two models is negligible. Although I have had excellent dealings with the people at nibs.com, and have great respect for them, I do not think the M400 has a "larger ink capacity." If that were the case, why isn't the measured amount listed?

I also discovered something interesting when comparing Pelikan ink capacities. My M800 holds about the same amount as my M400, when I filled the pens with the nib units attached, and measured the reservoirs by emptying them back through the nib (which, I think, is similar to actually using the pens for writing). However, when I filled the pen reservoirs with the nib units removed, the M800 held a bit more ink.

Personally, because the ink capacity is so close, I do not think it is an important issue when comparing the M200 with the M400. Perhaps the biggest decision, when considering purchasing either one, would be whether the additonal bling and 14K two-tone nib of the M400 is worth the additional expense. A good compromise might be to purchase an M200, M205, or M215 body with either a single-tone or two-tone 14K nib, and retailers like nibs.com or richardspens.com offer such possibilites at good prices. The M200, M205, M215, and M400 pen bodies are durable, they have the same piston mechanism, and they should last a lifetime with proper use and care.


If anyone has other data related to the ink capacity question, I would be interested in reading about it.

A BIG thanks to "goodguy" for his review!

/Robert

Edited by Robert Alan, 15 November 2012 - 16:54.

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#16 handwriter

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 17:17

Nice review, thanks.
I owned more than one pen of each type, and I clearly prefer the M200, the reason being that I do not like nibs as rigid as those on the M400.
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#17 mirosc

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 17:41

I would prefer the M200 (actually right now I have an old M250 lying here) for one simple reason:
The M400 has this metal decoration ring at the front end of the section. And I have seen ways too many Pelikans where this is worn and corroded (right now I have at least three coworkers with that "problem"). For me it looks just ugly. So I don't use pens with such rings anymore - but as always: your mileage may vary.

Anyway: A nice and good comparison. Thank you.
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#18 gentlyom

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 16:18

I would prefer the M200 (actually right now I have an old M250 lying here) for one simple reason:
The M400 has this metal decoration ring at the front end of the section. And I have seen ways too many Pelikans where this is worn and corroded (right now I have at least three coworkers with that "problem"). For me it looks just ugly. So I don't use pens with such rings anymore - but as always: your mileage may vary.

Anyway: A nice and good comparison. Thank you.


I feel the same with mirosc and Dillo. The extra metal ring at the end of the section makes me worry about corrosion. Having both M200 and M400, I prefer to use the M200. I would sometimes switch a 400 gold nib on to my 200 green translucent pen for smoothness. :lol:

Thanks for the nice review and comparison.

Edited by gentlyom, 28 December 2012 - 16:20.


#19 RobertJRB

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:16

I have a Pel 205, which sports the gold version of the same steel nibed design as on the 200. It's easily one of the best nibs I own.

- That must be a specially fitted gold nib then. As far as I'm aware the M205 doesn't come with a gold nib - at least the current one doesn't.


As far as I know the m2xx series is like:

M200 - gold trim, steel gold plated nib in 1 color
M205 - same as 200, only silver trim
M215 - same as 205, but with steel decorations on the barrel
M250 - same as M200, but with 14k gold nib in 1 color, not 2 color like the M400's nib.

So he has a m250, or the nib isn't original.

Nevertheless, thanks for the review.
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#20 mrul

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 14:45

I'm thinking about buying M200 and so for me this review useful. Many thanks.






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