Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Getting Started With Fountain Pens

preppy vfm

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 rcazador

rcazador

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 17:20

Hello everybody,

When I was much younger I had a small collection of Parker FPs and at that age it was basically a case of pearls before swine. I like some of them but in the pursuit of smoothness(back then I felt they weren't) I abandoned them. Now to improve my handwriting and in general get back to FPs, I shopped about and picked up a Schneider FP. Living in India I have relatively few choices and most of the FPs recommended here cost 1.5 times more than they normally do.

What I'm looking for is a smooth(I really can't stomach scratchiness), inexpensive FP to get started. I expect to be writing quite a bit - mostly reference notes. The options before me are the: 

  1. The PlatinumPreppy(the only website with it gives the model code of the Fine 0.3, but displays a 0.5); 
  2. Parker Vectors(these seem to be popular here, they're stocked in nearly every colour, can't comment on the nibs);
  3. the Sheaffer VFM; 
  4. Pilot Petit1
  5. Pierre Cardin Masterpiece;
  6. the Rotring Isograph(I dont think this counts as a FP);
  7. lastly the Schneider ID M(this being the most expensive).

From reading several reviews and posts I can't help favouring the Preppy. Primarily since it is Japanese(I'm quite a Japanophile), but also because I generally seems to enjoy a good reputation. Especially if I do end up getting the 0.5 the scratchiness will be averted.However this does seem a little hasty. So I look forward to you suggestions. 

 

P.S. Unfortunately I couldn't find many inexpensive Pilots or Pelikans here so I haven't included them on the list.


Edited by rcazador, 16 April 2014 - 17:31.


Sponsored Content

#2 doggonecarl

doggonecarl

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,002 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 18:14

 Living in India I have relatively few choices and most of the FPs recommended here cost 1.5 times more than they normally do.

 

Just wondering, why no Indian fountain pens? Airmail, Wality, Camlin, Serwex, etc.

 

I have a Parker Vector in medium. It's smooth. All my Parkers are smooth, for that matter. Most Japanese nibs in medium are smooth.



#3 kidde

kidde

    SQUIRREL!!!!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 673 posts
  • Location:Forney Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 18:45

You should also have quite a selection of Chinese pens. My luck with Jinhao is so far so good, Hero has been hit or miss.
You should have several choices for Indian pens. Even my humble Reynolds "Grippy" is fairly smooth, especially if you look at the nib.
Start your search at the corner store, in the school supplies aisle. Check what brands are available then do a search for reviews.
Last thing. Pen, Paper, Ink. Each makes a difference, some combinations are amazing, some aren't. Good luck.

Paul

"Nothing is impossible, even the word says 'I'm Possible!'" Audrey Hepburn


#4 KBeezie

KBeezie

    Gerbil Charmer

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,724 posts
  • Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 18:56

You should also have quite a selection of Chinese pens. My luck with Jinhao is so far so good, Hero has been hit or miss.
You should have several choices for Indian pens. Even my humble Reynolds "Grippy" is fairly smooth, especially if you look at the nib.
Start your search at the corner store, in the school supplies aisle. Check what brands are available then do a search for reviews.
Last thing. Pen, Paper, Ink. Each makes a difference, some combinations are amazing, some aren't. Good luck.

Paul

 

for "getting started" they're the kind of pens you're not 'as afraid' to damage, and I guess you learn pretty quickly how to re-seat a friction fit nib and feed (which is handy for cleaning out the pen before changing inks, you'll want to clean every new pen regardless of brand with a little bit of diluted dish soap or pen flush). 

 

The top 3 Jinhao pens (albeit on the heavier side as they are made of brass or a mix of brass and resin)

- X450 

- X750 

- 159

 

The X450 and X750 are very similar, except the cap is more easily posted on the X750, and there's no 'ridges' in the grip section of the X750 which is smooth all the way around. Both of them can be had from anywhere from 6$ to 10$ depending on where you buy. 

 

The 159 is a MontBlanc 149 clone, rather large, bout the same weight as the X450/X750, around ~45 to 50 grams (mainly due to the bulk of it being resin/plastic with brass fillings), has a screw on cap instead of a snap on cap. 

 

All of those above can take #6 nibs, so can easily replace the stock Jinhao nib with a Goulet (Jowo) one, or a Monteverde Nib, or One of the Noodler's Nibs (ahab, etc I think), nibs for the Nemosine singularity and fission as well. (I'm using a Goulet 2-tone Medium on my 159, and a Monteverde Black Fine on my X750). Though any of these choices add about $6 to $25 to the cost, but gives you some flexibility in choosing a nib size and probably of something a bit smoother than the default medium. 

 

They all take standard international cartridges, and come with a converter.

 

And since I just love sharing this picture... the Jinhao 159 with a Goulet 2-tone Medium:

marble_full.jpg

 

But as far as other inexpensive pens, I'm surprise the Pilot (Japanese Brand) 78G or Metropolitan are not on that list. 


Edited by KBeezie, 16 April 2014 - 18:58.


#5 KBeezie

KBeezie

    Gerbil Charmer

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,724 posts
  • Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 19:00

P.S. Unfortunately I couldn't find many inexpensive Pilots or Pelikans here so I haven't included them on the list.

 

Pilot Metropolitan w/ Squeeze Filler with Medium Nib (Supposedly Fine will be available later) = $15

Pilot 78G w/ Squeeze filler and Broad (stub), Medium or Fine Nib = 10.50 (JStationery, otherwise around $12 off ebay)

 

As a side note, the section, nib and feed are interchangeable between the Metro and 78G. 

 

A pair of my 78G (one with a broad stub and one with a medium) that I got from JStationery (out of Boston area)

 

pair.jpg

 

edit: Just noticed you're from India, should be quite a few Indian pens that would work, but otherwise the two above are 'inexpensive' Pilot pens, though the Metropolitan is sold as an MR internationally and uses standard international cartridges last time I checked (where as the 78G and "Metropolitan" uses proprietary Pilot cartridge/converter)


Edited by KBeezie, 16 April 2014 - 19:03.


#6 j.a.j.

j.a.j.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 333 posts
  • Location:Finland
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 19:12

+1 vote for Jinhao pens. Although 2 of my 4 have needed a bit of adjustment i still consider them very good purchases.

Have you checked shipping prices from Asian countries on Ebay? Pilot 78G is a very nice, although a bit small pen and it might be possible that somebody can provide you with one with low shipping cost.

Non notisi signi.


#7 Ed333

Ed333

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Coastal Maine
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 21:02

+2 or 3 on the Pilot Metropolitan, if dependable pen, reasonably smooth (not scratchy), at bargain low price is your object.



#8 Kataphract

Kataphract

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts
  • Location:SoCal
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2014 - 21:57

The Preppie is a nice one to get into fountain pens with - it's a solid, if unsophisticated, pen.  I keep mine beside my computer for taking notes (the better pens tend to travel with me).  Alas, though, I have no experience with the other pens you mention and cannot give any kind of comparison.  The Preppie is what I would call a good "bang for the buck" pen.  If it were available to you, I'd recommend a Pilot Metropolitan over it unless you absolutely need it as cheap as possible.



#9 Lou Erickson

Lou Erickson

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,384 posts
  • Location:Silicon Valley, CA

Posted 16 April 2014 - 22:38

I've got a Vector, and had them in the past, and I honestly have no idea why people here say so many good things about them.  They are, at best, mediocre, at least in my experience.

 

Of the pens you list, the Jinhao are surprisingly smooth.  I like the Metropolitan, too.

 

For smoothness, you'll be better off with a larger nib; watch out for the fine and extra-fines.  They tend to have more feedback, if not be outright scratchy.


-- 

Lou Erickson - Handwritten Blog Posts


#10 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Super Pinks member:

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,984 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah - Elevation 4509'
  • Flag:

Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:47

Not a fan of the Preppy-I was given one that had been converted to eyedropper and it just leaks and leaks and leaks. I am not a fan of the clear plastic it is made of- seems very cheap. The nib is pretty nice however. If you get one splurge and get a converter. Even if it is as/more expensive than the pen itself, make the investment.

 

Jinhao 159- to heavy for me (50 grams) , the nib on mine isn't great. It had been stubbed when I got it- I don't think the feed can keep up, but it may only need an adjustment.

 

Noodler's Konrad- a bit of a tinkerer's pen, so many will say don't get as a first pen. But at $20 US it is inexpensive. But for the same money (less actually) I would go for the Pilot Metropolitan/MR first.

 

Of those I would go Metro. I have a number of more expensive pens, but the Metro gets used as much or more than some of my more expensive pens.


Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#11 rcazador

rcazador

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:38

 

Just wondering, why no Indian fountain pens? Airmail, Wality, Camlin, Serwex, etc.

 

I have a Parker Vector in medium. It's smooth. All my Parkers are smooth, for that matter. Most Japanese nibs in medium are smooth.

 

To be perfectly honest,I've never heard of any of these except Camlin(a few of which I used when I was kid, and never had a good opioion of. I was hoping this time around I'd get something a little better). Parker's excellent marketing means that at most stationary stores when I ask for fountain pens they just offer Parkers. You seem very knowledgeable about these pens(some searches did turn up a few hits but not actual suppliers). How do they compare with the pens from the rest of the world? Do you know any websites/suppliers in India? Thanks. 

You should also have quite a selection of Chinese pens. My luck with Jinhao is so far so good, Hero has been hit or miss.
You should have several choices for Indian pens. Even my humble Reynolds "Grippy" is fairly smooth, especially if you look at the nib.
Start your search at the corner store, in the school supplies aisle. Check what brands are available then do a search for reviews.
Last thing. Pen, Paper, Ink. Each makes a difference, some combinations are amazing, some aren't. Good luck.

Paul

I can confirm that eBay's Indian website has a few selling Jinhao's. Thank you for the advise on raiding a few pens stores, it might me my only option since most websites shipping here only seem to sell the more expensive FPs.

 

 

for "getting started" they're the kind of pens you're not 'as afraid' to damage, and I guess you learn pretty quickly how to re-seat a friction fit nib and feed (which is handy for cleaning out the pen before changing inks, you'll want to clean every new pen regardless of brand with a little bit of diluted dish soap or pen flush). 

 

The top 3 Jinhao pens (albeit on the heavier side as they are made of brass or a mix of brass and resin)

- X450 

- X750 

- 159

 

The X450 and X750 are very similar, except the cap is more easily posted on the X750, and there's no 'ridges' in the grip section of the X750 which is smooth all the way around. Both of them can be had from anywhere from 6$ to 10$ depending on where you buy. 

 

The 159 is a MontBlanc 149 clone, rather large, bout the same weight as the X450/X750, around ~45 to 50 grams (mainly due to the bulk of it being resin/plastic with brass fillings), has a screw on cap instead of a snap on cap. 

 

All of those above can take #6 nibs, so can easily replace the stock Jinhao nib with a Goulet (Jowo) one, or a Monteverde Nib, or One of the Noodler's Nibs (ahab, etc I think), nibs for the Nemosine singularity and fission as well. (I'm using a Goulet 2-tone Medium on my 159, and a Monteverde Black Fine on my X750). Though any of these choices add about $6 to $25 to the cost, but gives you some flexibility in choosing a nib size and probably of something a bit smoother than the default medium. 

 

They all take standard international cartridges, and come with a converter.

 

And since I just love sharing this picture... the Jinhao 159 with a Goulet 2-tone Medium:

marble_full.jpg

 

But as far as other inexpensive pens, I'm surprise the Pilot (Japanese Brand) 78G or Metropolitan are not on that list. 

 

 

 

Pilot Metropolitan w/ Squeeze Filler with Medium Nib (Supposedly Fine will be available later) = $15

Pilot 78G w/ Squeeze filler and Broad (stub), Medium or Fine Nib = 10.50 (JStationery, otherwise around $12 off ebay)

 

As a side note, the section, nib and feed are interchangeable between the Metro and 78G. 

 

A pair of my 78G (one with a broad stub and one with a medium) that I got from JStationery (out of Boston area)

 

pair.jpg

 

edit: Just noticed you're from India, should be quite a few Indian pens that would work, but otherwise the two above are 'inexpensive' Pilot pens, though the Metropolitan is sold as an MR internationally and uses standard international cartridges last time I checked (where as the 78G and "Metropolitan" uses proprietary Pilot cartridge/converter)

KBeezie, thank you for taking the time and effort to post the pictures, I could find a few Jinhais, if my search for Pilots fails I may resort to them. Personally would pick the Pilot 78G or Metropolitan simply because their Japanese, not to mention their immense popularity but local availability seems questionable.

 

+1 vote for Jinhao pens. Although 2 of my 4 have needed a bit of adjustment i still consider them very good purchases.

Have you checked shipping prices from Asian countries on Ebay? Pilot 78G is a very nice, although a bit small pen and it might be possible that somebody can provide you with one with low shipping cost.

Looking into this Much appreciated.

 

+2 or 3 on the Pilot Metropolitan, if dependable pen, reasonably smooth (not scratchy), at bargain low price is your object.

Thanks, currently hunting for this.

 

The Preppie is a nice one to get into fountain pens with - it's a solid, if unsophisticated, pen.  I keep mine beside my computer for taking notes (the better pens tend to travel with me).  Alas, though, I have no experience with the other pens you mention and cannot give any kind of comparison.  The Preppie is what I would call a good "bang for the buck" pen.  If it were available to you, I'd recommend a Pilot Metropolitan over it unless you absolutely need it as cheap as possible.

The budget isnt a constraint to that extent. Though there is something alluring about a pen we don't worry about, that said currently looking for Pilots.

 

I've got a Vector, and had them in the past, and I honestly have no idea why people here say so many good things about them.  They are, at best, mediocre, at least in my experience.

 

Of the pens you list, the Jinhao are surprisingly smooth.  I like the Metropolitan, too.

 

For smoothness, you'll be better off with a larger nib; watch out for the fine and extra-fines.  They tend to have more feedback, if not be outright scratchy.

Totally agree about the Vecotr(in my very limited capacity and experience with them).

Yesterday I said  I'd prefer smoothness and hence a medium nib. Since then I wrote a bit on the pen I had acquired. It's really quite smooth but it seems to put out way too much ink. almost like its telling me to get a move on and write faster. Not so much  ink as to cause spidering but still a little above the ideal, I should think. Writing smaller sized fonts has gotten harder. WOuld a Jinhao or a Pilot fine be better smoothness-ink flow balance?

 

Not a fan of the Preppy-I was given one that had been converted to eyedropper and it just leaks and leaks and leaks. I am not a fan of the clear plastic it is made of- seems very cheap. The nib is pretty nice however. If you get one splurge and get a converter. Even if it is as/more expensive than the pen itself, make the investment.

 

Jinhao 159- to heavy for me (50 grams) , the nib on mine isn't great. It had been stubbed when I got it- I don't think the feed can keep up, but it may only need an adjustment.

 

Noodler's Konrad- a bit of a tinkerer's pen, so many will say don't get as a first pen. But at $20 US it is inexpensive. But for the same money (less actually) I would go for the Pilot Metropolitan/MR first.

 

Of those I would go Metro. I have a number of more expensive pens, but the Metro gets used as much or more than some of my more expensive pens.

Whats a 'Fine' Metro like to write with, smooth with out too much ink? 

 

 

Thanks for replying everyone. Since my last post I did some writing on my newly acquired fountain pen (a Schneider), and while it is smooth, control seem much harder, because it seems to pour ink quite freely, smaller wriitng gets a little messy(not smudged just less defined), so despite my declaration in favour thicker Mediums, I now wonder whether a smooth fine would be much easier(I generally write with small letters)?  Do Metros and Jinhaos write like this(not too scratchy, yet not too much ink flow and preferably a thin line)? How does a Lamy Safari/Vista Safari compare to Metro and Jinhao? 

Thanks again.



#12 David_W

David_W

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:46

Lamy nibs tend to be on the broad side of expectation for the designation. If you really want a fine line, consider ordering a Lamy extra fine nib.

I've got two Lamy pens, both with steel extra fine nibs, and I'm very happy with them.


If you didn't know, pretty much all current Lamy pens other than the 2000 use the same series of interchangeable nibs, though higher end models use gold nibs whereas the standard pens use stainless steel nibs. The steel nibs are inexpensive and easy to change - I recommend the sticky tape method shown in various YouTube videos.

#13 WirsPlm

WirsPlm

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,550 posts

Posted 18 April 2014 - 00:07

I also love the Pilot Metropolitan and 78G, they are great, sturdy inexpensive pens, I'd recommend M nibs (the 78G F is smooth but the smaller a nib the more feedback you'll get), Jinhao pens are also often smooth but sometimes QC is suspect (you get what you pay for, and at $5 a pen we apparently aren't paying for QC), I really like my Pilot Petit1 but it's definitely a cheaper pen than my 78Gs and I'm not sure how well the plastic would hold up to repeated everyday use, it works fine but just feels a little flimsier.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: preppy, vfm



Sponsored Content




|