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Japanese Fountain Pen For Student

japanese extra-fine student fountain pen search

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#1 R201

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 17:07

Dear Fountain Pen Network,

 

[I've highlighted the very relevant passages for those who can't afford the time to read through all!]

 

firstly, let me introduce myself and what I am exactly hoping to find here.

 

I am a student from Germany, currently waiting for my study pass to study electrical engineering. Therefore I am searching for general advice on extra-fine nib fountain pens, companies who sell those and of course, availability.

 

During my Abitur (probably high-school in US), I was using a simple Lamy Safari with a fine nib, which did not exactly fit my handwriting very well. It is still too big for my taste and I've sometimes heard complaints not about the style, but the tininess of my writing. As I was attempting to fix this issue, I stopped writing script-style and started with the usual "block"-style. Furthermore, I tried to use a different angle on the tip of the pen so that the width further decreased.

 

Western nib sizes could not offer me the width japanese companies have in their products, if you happen to know specialty nibs for a reasonable price which fit on fountain pens from western countries, please contact me! ; )

 

Ok so I've decided to do some research on fountain pens and came to the conclusion that the european market simply is not suited for those products (at least in Germany), neither Sailor nor Premium sell their products and even Pilot only has a very few products available.

 

I've found those products on the internet, those best describe what I am exactly searching for. Beside the Pilot VP, they offer the normal kind of fountain pen (classy design).

 

Pilot Custom Heritage 912,             estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 180€ ($245)

Sailor Professional Gear Silver,    estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 175€ ($238)

Pilot Vanishing Point Fermo,          estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231)

Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo,        estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 132€ ($180)

Platinum 3776 #1 Black,                  estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231)

 

all of those feature an extra-fine nib, which I am searching for. If you're curious about the prices: It's the cheapest I found them online. Bear in mind that those prices are calculated differently because tax is added up on top:

 

(Price of product itself + shipping cost) * 1,19 * 1,135

 

1,19 = 19% VAT; 1,135 = 13,5% customs duty

 

The customs duty is only added if the package (product + shipping cost) cost above 150€ ($202), otherwise "only" 19% is added.

 

All of the fountain pens recommended must therefore be at a maximum price of 150€ ($202), including shipping cost to Europe.

 

As one can see, it is very pricy for me to buy those fountain pens, so I am eager to find one that best suits my purpose which is everyday writing. Feel free to suggest pens which don't appear on this list, in terms of style I would rather like a decent pen in black, silver or dark blue with silver accents. I don't really like gold much, but if the price is right, I may take a look at those, too.

 

Another thing I would like to adress is that I don't know if the Vanishing Point suit me since I am not using the common tripod-grip, my thumb is a lot higher, touching the point-finger between the first and second joint. I am not sure whether I can change that without putting hours in it, I've tried it and unless I am writing very slow, the handwriting does not look good (still readable though). In the next week I can probably test if the clip is a problem for me or not and I am a bit worried about the placement of the nib, too.

 

Regarding the Pilot Custom Heritage 912: I would like to know if someone has experience with the PO-nib, especially in comparison to the EF nib.

 

Sorry for the wall of text guys, but at this price, I have to be very precise at what I am searching for. This is my first post here and I hope that I'm in the right forum section for this kind of threads.

 

If you've came down here, thank you for your time to read through the whole thing!

 

Yours sincerely,

 

R201


Edited by R201, 10 June 2014 - 23:37.


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#2 bk123

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:45

If you are interested to buy pilot pens, I guess you can give this seller from Japan a try.

 http://www.office-japan.com/store/.

A good seller and prices are very competitive.

 

Note: I'm not affiliated to this seller, just a happy customer:)

 

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#3 rutherfordr

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:25

The Lamy Safari is a very light-weight pen.

 

Do you want a new pen with a similar weight? It will make a difference, because it will affect how long you can write without fatigue.


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#4 R201

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:43

@bk123: thanks for the recommendation, the prices are quite similar to those I've found so far, in the lower range, which is nice. The good thing is that the shop I used to search products is in english, but japanese should not give me too much of a problem. I just want to make sure that there is no extra-cost or anything which is not too easy to find out.

 

@rutherfordr: I was curious about the weight, too. A lot of customers who bought the Vanishing Point (especially the Fermo) say that it's kinda heavy, but not so with the Decimo. As far as weight goes, something between the range of 20-35 should do it. That does not mean that the Fermo (37gr) is out of my list because I still like the pen very much in terms of style. I will report here if this range in- or decreases if I actually hold some pens which are similar in weight in the next pen shop. My personal impression is that while I was searching for a good pen, I often find myself searching for metal ones (entire body) which are of course a little bit heavier than other pens. I will provide more insight on that, so thanks that you came up with this topic!


Edited by R201, 10 June 2014 - 23:37.


#5 inotrym

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:00

Pilot is one of my favorite brands (the other being Faber-Castell) and although the PILOT logo guarantees a writing tool of excellent quality, I would be rather scared to spend that much on a brand I've never tried before.

 

Consider getting a Metropolitan, a Prera or a 78G in F, along with a Penmanship in EF, to decide which line width suits you best. Then, if your experience is positive, you can upgrade to a more expensive pen. After all, having a toss-around backup pen is always a good idea.

 

 

 

I take it that you have finished your exams and now you're just waiting for the results.

If that's the case, I wish you best of luck.

You have the whole summer ahead of you to relax, get prepared for university and experiment a little bit before buying your "university pen".



#6 cellmatrix

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:05

Dear Fountain Pen Network,

 

[I've highlighted the very relevant passages for those who can't afford the time to read through all!]

 

firstly, let me introduce myself and what I am exactly hoping to find here.

 

I am a student from Germany, currently waiting for my study pass to study electrical engineering. Therefore I am searching for general advice on extra-fine nib fountain pens, companies who sell those and of course, availability.

 

During my Abitur (probably high-school in US), I was using a simple Lamy Safari with a fine nib, which did not exactly fit my handwriting very well. It is still too big for my taste and I've sometimes heard complaints not about the style, but the tininess of my writing. As I was attempting to fix this issue, I stopped writing script-style and started with the usual "block"-style. Furthermore, I tried to use a different angle on the tip of the pen so that the width further decreased.

 

Western nib sizes could not offer me the width japanese companies have in their products, if you happen to know specialty nibs for a reasonable price which fit on fountain pens from western countries, please contact me! ; )

 

Ok so I've decided to do some research on fountain pens and came to the conclusion that the european market simply is not suited for those products (at least in Germany), neither Sailor nor Premium sell their products and even Pilot only has a very few products available.

 

I've found those products on the internet, those best describe what I am exactly searching for. Beside the Pilot VP, they offer the normal kind of fountain pen (classy design).

 

Pilot Custom Heritage 912,             estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 180€ ($245)

Sailor Professional Gear Silver,    estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 175€ ($238)

Pilot Vanishing Point Fermo,          estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231)

Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo,        estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 132€ ($180)

Platinum 3776 #1 Black,                  estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231)

 

all of those feature an extra-fine nib, which I am searching for. If you're curious about the prices: It's the cheapest I found them online. Bear in mind that those prices are calculated differently because tax is added up on top:

 

(Price of product itself + shipping cost) * 1,19 * 1,135

 

1,19 = 19% VAT; 1,135 = 13,5% customs duty

 

The customs duty is only added if the package (product + shipping cost) cost above 150€ ($202), otherwise "only" 19% is added.

 

All of the fountain pens recommend must therefore be at a maximum price of 150€ ($202), including shipping cost to Europe.

 

As one can see, it is very pricy for me to buy those fountain pens, so I am eager to find one that best suits my purpose which is everyday writing. Feel free to suggest pens which don't appear on this list, in terms of style I would rather like a decent pen in black, silver or dark blue with silver accents. I don't like gold really much, but if the price is right, I may take a look at those, too.

 

Another thing I would like to adress is that I don't know if the Vanishing Point suit me since I am not using the common tripod-grip, my thumb is a lot higher, touching the point-finger between the first and second joint. I am not sure whether I can change that without putting hours in it, I've tried it and unless I am writing very slow, the handwriting does not look good (still readable though). In the next week I can probably test if the clip is a problem for me or not and I am a bit worried about the placement of the nib, too.

 

Regarding the Pilot Custom Heritage 912: I would like to know if someone has experience with the PO-nib, especially in comparison to the EF nib.

 

Sorry for the wall of text guys, but at this price, I have to be very precise at what I am searching for. This is my first post here and I hope that I'm in the right forum section for this kind of threads.

 

If you've came down here, thank you for your time to read through the whole thing!

 

Yours sincerely,

 

R201

you are paying way too much for the #3776, instead of $231, you can get one for $89 in nib sizes ranging from ultra extra fine to extra fine to fine.

http://www.ebay.com/...4126288?lpid=82

http://www.ebay.com/...7518018?lpid=82

http://www.ebay.com/...4774755?lpid=82

FYI-Platinum nibs run on the fine side- see this chart for reference, courtesy of nibs.com

http://nibs.com/TippingSizespage.htm

 

edit to add: not affiliated with seller, but I am a happy owner of a 3776, which I bought from another source last year. They are a great value, and the nib/feed unit is the same as that used on the far more expensive nakayas.


Edited by cellmatrix, 10 June 2014 - 21:53.


#7 parnesh

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:12

Why not try a Pilot custom 91. Similar size and weight to the 912 but much cheaper. The difference? A little bit of trim and a smaller nib. Can be had for about US$90 + shipping. Takes the Pilot Con-70.



#8 R201

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:35

@inotrym: nice advice from you. I'm familiar only with the cheaper Pilot products, which I found to have a good quality and price. To some extent, I think that those brands have to deliever good stuff at these prices, they have their names to pay in case they get a bad review. Furthermore, Pilot, Platinum and Sailor are said to be the big 3 in Japan with high quality pens. Well, at least that's on the naive side I suppose, on the other hand, I can't remember a review I've read through or a YouTube Video I watched where people found any of those pens utterly unusable. There are some critics on the design of the VP, some nibs, but overall, the response is quite good.

 

I am an enthusiast when it comes to quality work, actually, I would like to use this pen maybe 3-10+ years. Therefore, it must be one of the higher quality ones, which also come with higher price, of course (OT: I know that this is not true for everything, since I am a loudspeaker addict who can tell that some of the expensive ones are not worth the price at all). And even if I don't like it in 1 year anymore, it should still be working & in good condition at least that I can put it in a collection with other pens. Since I've found that so many people are addicted to fountain pens, maybe I even start collecting myself, but that's Off-Topic now. ;) Thanks for wishing me luck, I appreciate that.

 

@cellmatrix: Yes, I knew that someone would address that. I was quite confused with the pricing of the #3776, since it has a very large price range. The models themselves are quite indistinguishable, so I couldn't find out why this or that one adds 15$-50$ (gold ones). The problem with that particular piece though: It is the Silver Edition (Rhodium Trim) which seems to have a higher price anyways. I don't know why it so much off in price (found it at nibs.com) and I will probably ask the owner of the shop about that. I already informed myself about pretty much everything I could find on websites or YouTube reviews (Goulet, sbebrown, fountainpennetwork ofc, Pen Addicts, The Pen Habit and so on - thanks for those excellent impressions and instructions by the way!). I am quite sure that I'll like an extra-fine nib, I used to write with fineliners with 0.1-0.3 width. The experience is quite different from a fountain pen, but the line it produces is near that of the fountain pens on the chart. I don't know about scratchy nibs though.

 

@parnesh: I will definately check it out, especially since it can hold the Con-70 with higher ink capacity, thanks for recommending!


Edited by R201, 10 June 2014 - 23:44.


#9 cellmatrix

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:57

@cellmatrix: Yes, I knew that someone would address that. I was quite confused with the pricing of the #3776, since it has a very large price range. The models themselves are quite indistinguishable, so I couldn't find out why this or that one adds 15$-50$ (gold ones). The problem with that particular piece though: It is the Silver Edition (Rhodium Trim) which seems to have a higher price anyways. I don't know why it so much off in price (found it at nibs.com) and I will probably ask the owner of the shop about that. I already informed myself about pretty much everything I could find on websites or YouTube reviews (Goulet, sbebrown, fountainpennetwork ofc, Pen Addicts, The Pen Habit and so on - thanks for those excellent impressions and instructions by the way!). I am quite sure that I'll like an extra-fine nib, I used to write with fineliners with 0.1-0.3 width. The experience is quite different from a fountain pen, but the line it produces is near that of the fountain pens on the chart. I don't know about scratchy nibs though.

 

The rhodium plating is contributing to some of the added cost but the fact that you are going thru nibs.com is most of what is contributing to the cost. You pay the premium there because it includes the labor needed to get your pen tuned by nibmeister John Mottishaw, who you can count on to get your nib writing very smoothly for you. In my opinion its worth it. In fact, this is where I bought my 3776 from, nibs.com, and Mottishaw really did a nice job tuning the nib for me. This would also be the case for pilot or sailor pens bought at nibs.com versus much less expensive options on ebay - you pay a premium for the expert nib tuning.

 

So the choice is

 

1) you can get it much cheaper elsewhere, like the ebay links I gave you, and take your chances, and its quite possible the pen might write just fine for you or

 

2) go to nibs.com and more or less guarantee that the pen is going to write really nice for you, but you pay a very significant premium for it.

 

One of the drawbacks of extra fine nibs is that you are going to have the greatest risk of having scratchiness, and even though platinum does an especially nice job designing relatively smooth extra fine nibs, as good as anybody out there, its worth considering whether you want to optimize the writing experience as much as possible.

 

So I suppose it depends if you are a starving student, or a not so starving student. I certainly felt it was worth it to get the premium nib tuning, but it might not be the case for you, you have to decide.  

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by cellmatrix, 11 June 2014 - 00:05.


#10 R201

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:10

@cellmatrix: That has been one of my bigger worries throughout the time I was searching for a decent pen. I am aware of the fact that extra-fine nibs can be scratchy, some just out of the box (alignment off), some will get smoother after a while. John Mottishaw has been praised to be a very good seller and I've recently watched his YouTube Video where he fixes a new pen. This man really deserves respect for what he does, a friend of mine also bought stuff from there and was very pleased with the condition of the product. Still, it's a tough decision. Added on top to that, there is a percentage behind it - 19% to be precise. It adds up a lot more on $168 than on $89 (shipping cost on top of that). Thanks for clearing the "mystery" behind prices anyways, it makes me consider my choice a lot more.

 

I really don't get the point of those high VATs, it's a pure customer ripoff and bad for anyone who enjoys Import products. This product isn't even available on the german market, therefore it should be excluded in VAT calculation in my opinion. Our financial system would have some arguments against me, that's for sure.


Edited by R201, 11 June 2014 - 00:13.


#11 parnesh

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:45

 

 

I really don't get the point of those high VATs, it's a pure customer ripoff and bad for anyone who enjoys Import products. This product isn't even available on the german market, therefore it should be excluded in VAT calculation in my opinion. Our financial system would have some arguments against me, that's for sure.

You guys are paying 19% on anything that is store bought in germany. Therefore it is "only fair" to charge for imported products. For us here in Oz, the threshold is $1000. Yay!

 

I would also add that, a Japanese fine is rather fine. Do you really want a Japanese EF? Plus with an F/EF nib, ink capacity isn't much of an issue so you have a few more options. Why not try a Pilot MR with a fine nib. Should cost you about 20 euro delivered plus 5 Euro for converter if you need one.

 

Use if for a few weeks and then decide what you like and don't.

 

I am waiting for two of these in the mail to gift to friends who finished grad school. I was willing to spend up to 100 on each pen but given that they are FP novices, I couldn't think of a reason why they would be better off with any other pen. I will get them something else later on.

 

Also should add, there is a Pilot 92. A piston filler, the size of a Pelikan M600. Awesome pen!



#12 Algester

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:36

if you really want EEF you go with Platinum 3776 if better PTL-5000 (its cheaper) in EEF or Custom Heritage 912 in PO Sailor alrady discontinued their EEF so if you want EEF you'll have to pay for a grind



#13 R201

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:01

@parnesh: OT: See, I understand it that way: Customs were introduced to protect products which were produced in the country itself. I have no problem to pay for imported products, but none of this product is produced in Germany. There is no (except Pilot) Customer Support here for that product. And about the threshold, that's exactly why I am ranting about that. Excuse me, but 22€ (includes shipping cost!) is ridicolous as a threshold for duty free. Add on top the 13,5% with products above 150€ - I mean, they will control the package anyways since it's above 22€, why add another 13,5%? However, I am searching for a pen and I don't want to bore you guys with things you don't need to care about.

 

To the point: Good advice to test before buying a japanese nib, I thought about purchasing a cheap one and see if I can handle it, but I am pretty sure. I am learning Japanese Kanji anyways, and it's pretty damn hard to write such small strokes to align it with other kanji. I'll check the Pilot 92, as well as the 91 which was recommend by you, too.

 

@Algester: Looking for Extra-Fine, not the UEF they also feature. Though I took a look since I found it awesome that they can do this with a traditional fountain pen. Thanks for the information though.


Edited by R201, 11 June 2014 - 09:07.


#14 parnesh

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:39

@parnesh: OT: See, I understand it that way: Customs were introduced to protect products which were produced in the country itself. I have no problem to pay for imported products, but none of this product is produced in Germany. There is no (except Pilot) Customer Support here for that product. And about the threshold, that's exactly why I am ranting about that. Excuse me, but 22€ (includes shipping cost!) is ridicolous as a threshold for duty free. Add on top the 13,5% with products above 150€ - I mean, they will control the package anyways since it's above 22€, why add another 13,5%? However, I am searching for a pen and I don't want to bore you guys with things you don't need to care about.

 

To the point: Good advice to test before buying a japanese nib, I thought about purchasing a cheap one and see if I can handle it, but I am pretty sure. I am learning Japanese Kanji anyways, and it's pretty damn hard to write such small strokes to align it with other kanji. I'll check the Pilot 92, as well as the 91 which was recommend by you, too.

 

@Algester: Looking for Extra-Fine, not the UEF they also feature. Though I took a look since I found it awesome that they can do this with a traditional fountain pen. Thanks for the information though.

 

 

I have been meaning to do a review of my 92. I will try and get it up by the weekend and let you know.



#15 Algester

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 13:23

@parnesh: OT: See, I understand it that way: Customs were introduced to protect products which were produced in the country itself. I have no problem to pay for imported products, but none of this product is produced in Germany. There is no (except Pilot) Customer Support here for that product. And about the threshold, that's exactly why I am ranting about that. Excuse me, but 22€ (includes shipping cost!) is ridicolous as a threshold for duty free. Add on top the 13,5% with products above 150€ - I mean, they will control the package anyways since it's above 22€, why add another 13,5%? However, I am searching for a pen and I don't want to bore you guys with things you don't need to care about.

 

To the point: Good advice to test before buying a japanese nib, I thought about purchasing a cheap one and see if I can handle it, but I am pretty sure. I am learning Japanese Kanji anyways, and it's pretty damn hard to write such small strokes to align it with other kanji. I'll check the Pilot 92, as well as the 91 which was recommend by you, too.

 

@Algester: Looking for Extra-Fine, not the UEF they also feature. Though I took a look since I found it awesome that they can do this with a traditional fountain pen. Thanks for the information though.

If your going to like the CH 91 then the CH 912 will also be a pen for you its slightly bigger than the CH 91 but it has more nib options including a Falcon but ok so Extra Fine go ahead but I would really go with the PTL-5000 but of course the CH 912 is also a good pen along with 3776 and the Pilot standard successor to Pilot Calemo which is the contender to PTL-5000 both with gold nibs at 5000 yen?

PS: CH 912 will be on my Japan Pen to buy list next to Parallels if I can find any of them in Japan


Edited by Algester, 11 June 2014 - 13:24.


#16 trulylefty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 16:06

I agree with inotrym about a Prera and Penmanship combo (although my EF from the penmanship isn't really finer than my F Prera).

 

Also, the clip with the decimo is much less of an issue than with the VP. I don't have a problem with the VP, but the profile of the clip with the decimo is less pronounced. If you want a higher-end with a gold nib, I would absolutely get one of those.

 

Pilot is one of my favorite brands (the other being Faber-Castell) and although the PILOT logo guarantees a writing tool of excellent quality, I would be rather scared to spend that much on a brand I've never tried before.

 

Consider getting a Metropolitan, a Prera or a 78G in F, along with a Penmanship in EF, to decide which line width suits you best. Then, if your experience is positive, you can upgrade to a more expensive pen. After all, having a toss-around backup pen is always a good idea.

 

 

 

I take it that you have finished your exams and now you're just waiting for the results.

If that's the case, I wish you best of luck.

You have the whole summer ahead of you to relax, get prepared for university and experiment a little bit before buying your "university pen".



#17 R201

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 17:33

@parnesh: nice, I will wait for that. I have plenty of time to choose a pen, but I am very excited to buy soon : D. But I will be patient since it's a great help from you guys.

 

@Algester: Next guy who is going to be the Heritage? Sounds like it's a very nice pen, I will take the good reviews into consideration.

 

@trulylefty: I've heard that the clip of the decimo is much easier to handle. Honestly, I would like it to have the good old styled namiki-design the VP pens used to have, so that the clip is not seperated. If I had to choose between newer models only looking for the better design, I would take the Decimo as first pick. Another thing to keep in mind is that I am planning to write with this pen the entire time I am the university, so it has to be durable, comfortable and feature a very good writing experience. I guess that the VP pens are designed for people who take short notes very often.



#18 Algester

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 17:35

I agree with inotrym about a Prera and Penmanship combo (although my EF from the penmanship isn't really finer than my F Prera).

 

Also, the clip with the decimo is much less of an issue than with the VP. I don't have a problem with the VP, but the profile of the clip with the decimo is less pronounced. If you want a higher-end with a gold nib, I would absolutely get one of those.

 

Wait I dont get it VP/Capless comes in Decimo (click pen) or the Fermo (Twist) they have pretty much the same clip design



#19 Algester

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 17:42

@parnesh: nice, I will wait for that. I have plenty of time to choose a pen, but I am very excited to buy soon : D. But I will be patient since it's a great help from you guys.

 

@Algester: Next guy who is going to be the Heritage? Sounds like it's a very nice pen, I will take the good reviews into consideration.

 

@trulylefty: I've heard that the clip of the decimo is much easier to handle. Honestly, I would like it to have the good old styled namiki-design the VP pens used to have, so that the clip is not seperated. If I had to choose between newer models only looking for the better design, I would take the Decimo as first pick. Another thing to keep in mind is that I am planning to write with this pen the entire time I am the university, so it has to be durable, comfortable and feature a very good writing experience. I guess that the VP pens are designed for people who take short notes very often.

http://www.fountainp...w/#entry3005036 here's my review of the CH 91



#20 R201

R201

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 17:56

@Algester: I think that there are at least 3 models of VP style pens I know of, which is the "Capless", "Decimo" and "Fermo", basically the Capless has the same clip as the Fermo, and in terms of weight, only the twist mechanism of the Fermo adds more weight to it. The Decimo clip seems to be unique, neither Capless or Fermo feature that one. Moreover, the Decimor is lighter in weight and has a touch less diameter of the barrel I guess.







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