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Twsbi Micarta Vs Sailor Procolor Vs Pelikan M200

twsbi micarta sailor procolor pelikan m200

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#1 andymcc

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 21:52

I've got the new pen itch again and the 3 pens in the title are what I'm considering.  I've had a bit of bad luck with vintage pens lately so I want my next pen to be a new one :)

 

  • I love the look of the Micarta but I'm not sure about the nib, I would get an EF nib, does anyone have one and if so how is it? wet/dry? hard/soft?
  • My last new pen was a Sailor Sapporo Mini and I've been amazed with it, it has a fine nib that is extremely fine which I like. The ProColor also has a fine nib but it's steel, does anyone have any experience with the fine steel Sailor nib?
  • After buying an old Pelikan M150 I keep coming back to Pelikan and looking at the M200, I've asked about them here in the past but always seem to pick other pens(Sapporo Mini).   I've read that the new steel nibs have a little spring so are nice to write with

 

 

The Micarta is the dearest pen at around £82, the ProColor is the cheapest at £55 and the Pelikan is in the middle at £60.  I'm leaning towards the Micarta as I really do like the look  of it but my Sapporo Mini nib is making me think the ProColor (if the nib is as good) would be a pen and I'd feel comfortable taking out with me as it's not hugely expensive. 

Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated  :thumbup:


Edited by andymcc, 19 February 2014 - 21:52.


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#2 Aurko

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 23:20

The Micarta is an interesting material, so I would go with that since I don't own anything quite like it. However, the nib on the Sailor is probably a good deal better. To be fair, I've only used the nibs on TWSBI 540 and 580 series. 



#3 andymcc

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 23:49

The Micarta's material is what I'm curious about too as it looks like no other pen I've seen but Sailor nibs are great...if only I could combine the two  :)



#4 donwinn

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 00:13

I have not used the Sailor Procolor, but I have a Sailor Somiko/Young Profit, with a Sailor F steel nib. It is as smooth as the 21K 1911 Sailor I own, but on a much smaller pen. I used to have a Pelikan M200 but the nib was too wet for my taste, so I traded it for a resin Namiki Falcon here on FPN. 


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#5 andymcc

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 00:37

Thanks donwinn  :thumbup:

The price of the ProColor is appeals to me as the £28 difference(compared to the Micarta) could buy ink and maybe even another pen...which is always nice :D 

I've found my Pelikan M150 quite a wet writer but wasn't sure if that was due to the nib being an M.  



#6 Blueorb

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:20

I have 2 x Sailor Sapporo's and they are my favorite nibs out of a large collection of pens. I'm not sure how the steel nibs compare with the gold as I haven't used the steel version but my understanding from the forums is that there is little difference. My only gripe with Sailor is the filling system and the cartridge converter. Ink capacity is pathetic. It seems to run dry after only about 3-4 sides of A4 writing, and that's with the fine nib! As a result I began to look at other pens as my daily work horse due to my 3 plus messy refills per day.

My next pen, was the Pelikan m200. Again, I bought 2 of these. One with a B nib and one with an EF nib. They both write ok, but the nibs just feel dull to me. I don't know what it is, but compared to the Sapporo, they don't feel anywhere near as special, despite being smooth and wet. It's like I am disconnected from the writing experience. They also run quite broad. Even the EF is like other western manufactures mediums. My plan was to upgrade the nibs, and I am currently awaiting a Richard Binder m400 nib with a custom EEF grind. I should receive this any day. I am hoping with the nib change I will have the pen I am looking for. What I like about the Pelikan is it's size and the fact it can hold a tonne of ink. It also appears well built, but simple although a tad on the light side. Unfortunately, there are very few colours I am keen on in the range. I managed to get hold of an m200 from the 1990's that was brand new with a lovely grey barrel which is far more appealing that there typical colours available in the modern range. I do like the limited edition Lizard 101n, but to me this is way overpriced for what it is.

Finally, I decided to also give TWSBI a try. Not the Micarta, but the Diamond Mini. I have purchased 3 of these in the past week and absolutely love them. Size wise, they are perfect for my small hands. I prefer the size of the mini to the Pelikan. The TWSBI feels a tad smaller but slightly fatter, It also has a nice weight and lovely balance. Again it is Piston filler and holds a tonne of ink. It is also a very beautiful pen and with the demonstrator and black models that I have, you can see ink sloshing around in the barrel. I love it! I want to get one for every colour of ink I use eventually.

Regarding the nib, I have bought a few different sizes to play with. The first couple of nibs were defective. I ordered more. The EF is comparable to my Sapporo F, which is perfect for work. It is medium wet and fairly smooth. I also have a F nib, which is comparable to a Sapporo MF. Again this is medium wet and reasonably smooth. Unfortunately, the nibs do not compare to the Sailor nibs with regard to feel. Having said that they are perfectly good nibs and given the pens other attributes, I would take it over the Sailor. Regarding the nib, I have ordered a Pendleton fine cursive Italic which should arrive any day now. I'm hoping with this custom nib, it will match the Sapporo's in terms of feel. If it does, I will order more custom nibs for the other pens.

My next pen will be another TWSBI mini. At the price they sell for (£42.00) they are a steal! I will also replace the regular nibs with Pendleton Points (also reasonably priced) if I am satisfied with my first order from him.

One other option to consider is the Pilot Custom 92. These can be had as cheap as chips on ebay if you order from Japan. You should get a nib comparable to The Sapporo with a large capacity Piston fill and all for about £70.00, which is only a tad more than the Micarta and the Sailor pro colour. The Custom 92 is on my future pen list.

If you heart is set in the Micarta, then go for that given it's unusual finish, but don't overlook the mini and check out Pendleton custom nibs for either Micarta or mini if you go the TWSBI route.

If you go for Pelikan, check out Richard Binder and consider a custom grind in either Steel if on a budget or gold if you have cash to spare.

Keep us posted with your choice and I will update regarding my custom nibs.

Edited by Blueorb, 20 February 2014 - 06:03.

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#7 Moshe ben David

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:28

The only one of the 3 I've personal experience with is the Pelikan.  It is a smooth writer -- not as smooth as its big brother the m800, but smooth nonetheless.  Like the m800, it does hold a lot of ink.  I've also noticed that both of them can sit and simply do not dry out.  Start write up every time, even with a week or more between uses.  A real pleasure.


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#8 andymcc

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:16

Thank you for the detailed comment Blueorb  :thumbup:

I love my Sapporo Mini, it's good to know that the steel & gold nibs are fairly similar.  As the Sappro Mini is so small the converter won't fit buy I'm finding that the cartridge holds tonnes of ink and seems to last me ages, although I use it to draw it's hard to gauge a drawing against a full page of text.

I have a TWSBI Mini that's been inked since the day I got it, for the price it's a fantastic pen, I'm not sure I'd get another but I'll probably get a Vac Mini when they come out later this year.

I'd read Pelikan nib run wider than most which is an issue for me as I like very fine nibs, I've never considered the Binder of Pendleton nibs due to the price and being stung for VAT & import duties but having a Pelikan with a true EF nib might be worth the price.

I'll update once my decision is made :)

 

Thanks Moshe ben David  :thumbup:  I've found that even my old M150 doesn't dry out even after being left a day or two, all the positives of that pen are what makes this choice difficult because I really like my M150 :)



#9 shumanfu

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:44

The sparkle procolor that tried at the shop was very small and the nib mediocre... it's more of the small purse pen type, dont expect the same quality as your pro gear slim.



#10 andymcc

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:06

shumanfu thanks for your comment :)  I'm leaning more towards the Micarta now :)



#11 bbs

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:47

I have all three of these pens, and I'd recommend the Pelikan for best quality.

I'm a fan of Sailor pens, but the ProColour is a step down. The barrel is plasticky and the nib can't compare with the Sapporo - it's nowhere near as nice as the Pelikan steel nib IMO.

The Micarta is an attractive pen, but again the nib is beaten by the Pel. Mine isn't an EF though. Haven't used it for a while, but no spring in it that I recall.

Depends what your priority is - unusual looks go for the Micarta; all round quality and better nib, I'd recommended the Pelikan. Plus with that one you can easily change nibs, and even upgrade to a gold one later - the M400 nibs will fit it.

Plus try Niche Pens here in the UK if you go down the Pelikan route. They will let you swap nibs if you find you don't like the original (or they did when I bought my M200). Also you won't get stung for import duty which you probably will if you buy from Richard Binder.

Edited by bbs, 20 February 2014 - 13:05.


#12 andymcc

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 13:36

Thanks bbs  :thumbup:  I've just ordered a Micarta, the looks are too good to ignore  :D  

Pelikan are definitely on my list and I think a birthday treat in  couple of months will be an M200 EF nib, Niche pens are great, I got my TWSBI Mini from them and their service was brilliant.



#13 inBOIL

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 16:42

Might add here that you can also get the Sailor "Profit Junior Skeleton" (or some-such) for something like $18, and i'm sure it's probably not much different than the regular Procolor. (Only comes with an MF nib, tho--but it's still quite fine.) i wouldn't buy it INSTEAD of a "New Pen" (i certainly use MY mini and Pro Gear more) ... but if you get around to just wanting to buy something small later on (and try out a cheaper Sailor), there's always that one....

The Micarta makes the most sense, just 'cos it seems kinda' different. Hope you like it.



#14 Tanzanite

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 18:30

I have a Sailor Procolor 500 translucent blue with a F nib. The nib is very thin with no spring and rather dry but with Parker Quink Blue it writes lovely and I really like it.
I have some Pelikan M200 with EF, F and M nibs and they are really nice pens. Mine have been all from dry too wet. They have a little spring. The F is much broader than the Procolor F.

#15 OakIris

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 20:44

I don't have a Sailor fountain pen, though I have a couple on my wish list.  I do have a Pelikan, but it is a vintage 400 from the 1950's, so a different beastie from the 200.  I don't imagine you could go wrong with either a Sailor or a Pelikan, but there is something about the TWSBI Micarta....I think you made the right decision, andymcc, and not only because it mirrors my own!

 

I had the privilege of using a loaner Micarta (version 1) for a bit more than a month last year; I loved it.  It had a nib stubbed by Pendleton Brown, so much broader than the one you are getting, but I loved the way the Micarta material felt in the hand and much enjoyed using the pen.  I liked it so much that I just ordered one of my own this week; I will be getting it with the broad (bold) nib, since that is what I prefer.  And if I need to, I can always have it tweaked by Pendleton Brown if it doesn't quite suit me.  The nibs on the version 2 Micarta are supposed to be much improved over the v1 nibs so I am hopeful that no tweaking will be necessary.

 

A Micarta with a nice Sailor or Pelikan nib would be exceptional!   I wonder if they would fit?   If you don't like the nib that comes with the Micarta, and want a much less expensive route, I have read that the replacement #6 nibs on the Goulet Pens site will fit fine.  I imagine there are others - any #6 nib should fit.

 

I hope you like your new pen, andy, and I can't wait to get mine!

 

Holly



#16 bbs

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:23

Thanks bbs  :thumbup:  I've just ordered a Micarta, the looks are too good to ignore  :D  
Pelikan are definitely on my list and I think a birthday treat in  couple of months will be an M200 EF nib, Niche pens are great, I got my TWSBI Mini from them and their service was brilliant.


It is a good- looking pen! Hope you enjoy using it.

#17 andymcc

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:02

inBOIL Thanks :) Hopefully I'll have the Micarta in a few days and it will live up to its looks.

 

Tanzanite I wondered whether the nib would be very hard on the ProColor, thanks  :thumbup:

 

OakIris I've read the improvements like the new nib & cap inner seal make a big difference to the Micarta, hopefully the nib will suit me but it's good to know that a #6 will fit if I want to change it, thanks :)

 

bbs hopefully I will enjoy it, as the TheWritingDesk is closed over the weekend it'll be early next week when I get my hands on it, I can't wait  :D


Edited by andymcc, 21 February 2014 - 11:02.


#18 OakIris

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 16:47

My Micarta arrived yesterday afternoon, cleaned/flushed it, let the nib and converter dry overnight, inked it up this morning - PR Chocolat for its first fill, but I will probably try some nice green and blue inks in it as well.   Yum.

 

I find myself just picking up the pen and gazing at the pattern of the Micarta.  A very nice, smooth nib with great flow; it has been a very short acquaintance, of course, but I have no complaints as yet!  It feels and looks good, writes well.  What more could I ask for?  :D

 

I think you will like your Micarta when you get it andymcc!

 

Holly



#19 andymcc

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 22:22

I'm glad you're enjoying your Micarta Holly, I can't wait to get my hands on mine(it will probably arrive onTuesday) hopefully I'll like it as much as you do yours  :D



#20 Tanzanite

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 17:46

inBOIL Thanks :) Hopefully I'll have the Micarta in a few days and it will live up to its looks.
 
Tanzanite I wondered whether the nib would be very hard on the ProColor, thanks  :thumbup:
 
OakIris I've read the improvements like the new nib & cap inner seal make a big difference to the Micarta, hopefully the nib will suit me but it's good to know that a #6 will fit if I want to change it, thanks :)
 
bbs hopefully I will enjoy it, as the TheWritingDesk is closed over the weekend it'll be early next week when I get my hands on it, I can't wait  :D


Yes, I think you could say that the Procolor nib is very hard, but not scratchy. It's a small nib.





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