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Suggestions For Really Cheap Flex Nib Foutain Pen

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#1 JRav

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:36

I'm looking to get a flex nib fountain pen for really cheap (below $20 if that's possible). I have a Pilot MR and three Jinhao 450s. I've been told that the Jinhaos don't work well with replacement flex nibs.

 

Any suggestions? Even buying a cheap pen and then getting a seperate cheap flex nib to replace the orgiginal nib with.

 

 

Thanks


Edited by Jrr13, 06 April 2015 - 05:48.


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#2 vPro

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 07:18

http://www.gouletpen...t~Nib_Size:Flex

 

I've never tried them, all I've heard is that they do offer a fair bit of flex (nothing like vintage pens, though) and can be modded to be flexier. However, they are in your price range.



#3 Murky

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 07:25

Noodler's Ahab/Konrad + http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/240492-noodlers-ahab-ease-my-flex-mod/ 

 

I've done it, and it works like a charm; Good luck!


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#4 Matt.Nethery

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 07:26

Noodler's is going to be about it for your price range unless your willing to try dip pens or hard tip brush pens. There is not enough demand for modern companies to make modern flex nibs. While there are a few modern fountain pens with modern nibs that have decent flex they are all out of your price range except Noodler's.

Save your money and look to the vintage world.

#5 TheRealScubaSteve

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:11

Don't forget the Noodler's Nib Creaper at $15.



#6 Manalto

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 13:04

I would avoid the Noodler's 'Ahab'. The one I bought requires so much pressure to flex and its recovery to a thin line is so slow that it's useless for line variation. Frankly, I felt cheated by this purchase. I've read many comments here on how to modify the Ahab nib and feed for it to work properly as a flex pen. It's nice to know that this is possible but it also assumes that the person has the skills to accomplish this successfully (or is willing to pay the fee for an expert to make the adjustment, which raises the price considerably), and confirms my assertion that this is not an adequate flex pen as sold.


Edited by Manalto, 06 April 2015 - 13:06.

James


#7 rwilsonedn

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 15:23

There are two sources of inexpensive Indian pens with sort-of flexible nibs: the widely distributed Noodlers and fountainpenrevolution.com. Many, but not all, reviewers have had a slight preference for the latter pens. Though the nib designs are very similar, the FPR pens and nibs seem to be more successful out of the box and require less redesign and remanufacturing.

But neither has a true flexible nib. For that, you either need to spend a lot of money, or you need to try dip pens. I would suggest the dip pen route. It is less expensive than the cheapest fountain pens. Dip pens are ultimately reliable and of high quality. It doesn't take long to adjust to them (basically the same adjustment you would need to use a really flexible fountain pen successfully, plus a couple of things). And if you get serious about fine writing, odds are you will eventually end up with dip pens anyway. So why not start out right?

ron



#8 ac12

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 18:53

Go with a dip pen

$2 nib + $4 holder, and you are up and writing for only $6 (or less)


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#9 Manalto

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 21:19

Didn't the OP say he was looking for a cheap flex fountain pen? (misspelling notwithstanding) Am I reading this too strictly? Maybe such a thing doesn't exist?


Edited by Manalto, 06 April 2015 - 21:21.

James


#10 ac12

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 22:49

Except for the Noodler's pens, I do not know of any flex pens down at the $20 price point. 

So, the only other practical option is a dip pen, reflecting on his requirement of "for really cheap."

 

I tried to order a Konrad, but the model that I wanted was 'out of stock' with an unknown availability.  So I can't say anything about the usability of the Noodler's pens.


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#11 Manalto

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 23:01

Reminds me of an exchange I had years ago:

"Where can I get good shoes in Savannah?"

"Atlanta."


James


#12 ac12

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 23:25

Some times that is indeed the best answer.

In your case, the answer specific to the question would have been "nowhere."

And the follow on question would then be, "So where can I get good shoes?"

Saying Atlanta is providing the answer to the follow on question without it having to be asked.

 

In the case of the OP, since there is only 1 pen in the sub $20 mark (Noodler's) that I know of.  And that pen has a range of good to bad reviews.  Then it makes sense to provide an alternative.


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#13 Manalto

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 23:32

Thank you for your analysis.

 

I'm pretty new to this, but even so I've seen it repeatedly stated that flex nibs are no longer in fashion. A couple of generations of ball-point pen users have created a population that's poorly-adapted to the more delicate touch of flex, I suspect. A stiff, or subtly-yielding nib is much less of a leap for someone adapted to a ballpoint. It's a shame, really, but c'est la vie.

 

I wonder if, in keeping with not answering the question asked (because, of course, there appear to be no options), we can recommend to the OP an italic nib. This achieves line variation (if that's the goal) and there are more to choose from that are priced under $20.


Edited by Manalto, 06 April 2015 - 23:34.

James


#14 FountainPages

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 23:46

So...you are left with Noodler's or dip pens. Did you really expect more for 20USD or less?


Edited by FountainPages, 07 April 2015 - 00:04.

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#15 Intellidepth

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 23:59

Firstly, welcome to FPN! Great question for your first post. :)

For me, the Konrad was really good to start with. Yes, it needs a lot of pressure (too much for my hand muscles to last more than a paragraph), so it's fun for initial experimentation to find out if one likes the overall flex style of writing in a basic form. It's also great for the occasional card or thank you note.

The Konrad helps one to learn about pressure being required on down strokes and a light hand on the upstrokes and to start finding that rhythm. I couldn't ever imagine springing this tough nib. So, it's tough.

It also helped me learn how to fiddle with pens, nibs, feeds, ink flow, and gain confidence in doing so. I also learned how a piston filler worked. I discovered I like piston systems. My pen was rarely frustrating to re-set up for ink flow. I had a couple of those occasions, but I found its sweet spot far more often than not. I didn't need to alter ink channels, fins, or heat set the feed differently.

Then began my hunt for vintage. There's vintage, and there's vintage. The Konrad experience along with info on FPN helped me narrow down that hunt considerably. What I call 'better vintage' has specifications which differ from other appreciators' specifications of 'better' vintage flex. I now have two vintage fps, plus a couple of vintage dip nibs. Each is quite different with their own pros and cons. Naturally, they are all far, far, easier to flex.

I like my Konrad as a pen so much I recently ordered another with a flex mod because I didn't have the tools, nor did I have cheap and easy access to spare nibs if I messed up a few. The cost of ordering the mod was far cheaper than buying a dremel. None of my friends had a dremel I could borrow. I really didn't feel confident about doing it by hand. I also wanted my existing Konrad to stay as-is, hence the second purchase.

The modded nib+pen is on its way as we speak. I don't expect it to respond like my snappy vintage nibs. I imagine it will be a little more painterly. I do expect I'll have a pen that is easy to clean/pull apart, that I can easily get parts for, far easier flex, and, from the images I received, will have greater line variation than I can afford to pay for in vintage fountain pens. (I'm not into the repeated hassle factor (to me) of regularly corroding steel dip nibs.)

OP, if the Konrad or Ahab or Creeper are in your price range, I reckon they're worth a go. You may even have tools to hand and the confidence to tailor it for yourself. :)

Edited by Intellidepth, 07 April 2015 - 00:08.

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#16 ac12

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 00:28

Actually, a stub/italic pen is a good idea.  And you can get a Pilot 78G with a B or BB stub nib for about $15 or so.

My first variable line width pen was a 1.1 nib for my Lamy CP1, for the reason of low cost (just the $15 nib) and much easier to get the line variation than learning to use a flex pen.


Edited by ac12, 07 April 2015 - 00:30.

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#17 TheRealScubaSteve

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 00:44

The Hero 395 is "semi-flex" and certainly seems to meet the cheap requirement.

 



#18 Lamyrada

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 00:52

i would go with an old Osmiroid with a flex nib. I had a model 65 and 75 (or else) that were great smooth flexers. I bought several nibs with them, 2 of which were great for flex! They have to have the right nib of course, and they are cheap on eBay.

Edited by Lamyrada, 07 April 2015 - 12:22.


#19 JRav

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 02:16

Thanks everyone! And I know I'm a cheapo and this was hard to come up with but I'm in a budget. I'll research some of the ones you all pointed out



#20 ac12

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 02:40

Nothing wrong with being on a tight budget.

After college my budget was REAL TIGHT.

You just have to learn to work within the budget you have.  Some times you have to settle for less than what you want, but hey you gotta stay in that budget...rent and food come first.

Not all of us have $$$$$ to throw at our hobbies, I don't.


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