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Pens Everyone Seems To Love That You Hate

pens love hate

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267 replies to this topic

#1 Uncial

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:10

When I first stumbled upon this enabling site I quickly noted that there was a set of fountain pens considered to be 'great' in terms of value, ease of purchase and use. Some of them I had and others I didn't. Seeing that a lot of them tend not to be in the expensive category (although a few do creep that direction) I indulged. Naturally, my expectations for these pens was quite high, so the disappointment factor was unnaturally exaggerated. After about four of these great, crashing disappointments I began to wonder what on earth anyone saw in these 'wonder pens' and what was it about me that didn't seem to 'get it'. I thought it might be an idea to redress the balance - hence this thread. I will start the ball rolling with three pens that everyone and anyone seemed to give high praise to, but I ended up loathing.

 

First up for consideration is the Pilot 78G. It's tiny. Yes, that is a personal preference for some, but I like big pens. It doesn't hold a great deal of ink and it loves to leak. I read a few more reviews - nothing but elegant praise - and bought another one. It leaked in the same way. I gave it one more try. It also leaked and the nib was horrible. I ended up really annoyed at wasting my time and money on what looked and felt and acted like a cheap nasty pen.

 

Second offering is the Pilot Metropolitan. Now before you go all crazy, I have nothing against Pilot. In fact, I have a Pilot Falcon and an 823 Custom, both of which rate very highly in my pen collection. This one, on the other hand, was just damned ugly. The balance is a tad curious and that sharp step makes it the most irritating pen I have ever used. The nib is amazing, I will give it that -  if only I could stick it on a different pen.

 

Last, but by no means least, the greatest disappointment of all, the Parson's Italix. It regularly gets very high praise here. I bought the nice amber coloured one and it is a lovely colour. I like it's little celtic patterns on the furniture. Then I picked it up. Boy is it a heavy pen. Normally I don't mind heavy pens at all; in fact I tend not to like pens that are too light, but this was just clumsy. This, however, was not my main issue. This pen is often described as having a truly great nib and certainly the website does have a bewildering set of options. I went for a fairly big stub, but it writes like a felt tip pen. It has absolutely zero line variation. It's nice and smooth, but it aint no stub.

 

All in all, it has still been a useful exercise. I don't necessarily regret buying these pens, but I do regret parting with the cash. It has taught me that one person's pleasure is another person's poison and when it comes to buying pens reviews can be very useful but they can't always be the main factor in a purchase.



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#2 deepak23

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:16

For me the Waterman Hemisphere has been the biggest disappointment, not that it gets praised here often.

The second underwhelming experience was with the M200. Nib is hard starter with a prominent baby bottom issue.

Both now sit unused :-(

A lifelong FP user...


#3 hbyu

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:22

lamy 2000, very ugly pen 



#4 The Blue Knight

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:36

The Lamy Safari... never again.



#5 vPro

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:41

Pilot Metropolitan, for me. Many many people recommended this pen but the feed couldn't really keep up. After writing about half a page the nib would get VERY dry and as a result of that, it wasn't smooth and pleasant. I often found myself pushing ink into the feed to make it work properly, but doing that every half a page was a pain. I could've gotten a lemon, but the Metro is a no-go for me. I will, however, consider the higher-end Pilots.



#6 Tootles

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:42

I guess it really is down to personal preference and a little luck. My Parson's Essential has a fine italic nib and gives nice crisp variation. Pen is too heavy to post comfortably for any length of time, but just big enough to use unposted  (and I have big hands).

 

Of the 3 Pilot 78Gs none have leaked so far, and they are daily throw-in-the-bag pens. Lightweight and cheap feeling, yes.

 

My most disappointing pens - and this is a somewhat relative statement - are my Parker 51s. All three have fine nibs. And yes they are enduring, but they are uninspiring for anything more than functional work.

 

Sometimes though perspectives can change. Take Esterbrook Js. I bought a nice copper one, and it really was nice, didn't like it and gave it away. A little while later I acquired, accidentally (honest!), another that I really liked. Gave that one away for no good reason. Now I have another and I am really enjoying it. So much so that a second arrived recently and a third is inbound.

 

Of course there are lots of well-known and highly recommended pens I would like to try. Pelikan, MB, Nakaya, Omas, Visconti, Platinum, other Pilots, to name but a  few brands. Chances are I will never get to see any of these, let alone own any.

 

Oh, and Sheaffer Sentinel TD. Doesn't fit for me, but my recent lucky accident Statesman fits much better.



#7 migo984

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 11:12

Lamy pens (especially Safari, Studio & 2000) leave me cold. Having said that, I'm going to try another Studio in a different finish to see if it fares better, but only because I got it cheap.

Verba volant, scripta manent


#8 Buzz_130

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 11:47

Disappointing is a strong word.  The one pen I felt I had done the most research and found the most consensus on and didn't live up to the praise or expectations is the Lamy 2000.  Metal section, metal tabs, indifferent nib, and a heavy pen for its looks was not the right pen for me.  This pen is my least used pen.



#9 penxade

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 11:56

I wouldn't say I hate it. I just have this love-hate relations with the Hero 616.

 

It is a decent writer if you have a good one. If you have a bad one, it's a different tale.........



#10 Tresconik

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 13:22

I don't hate any pens, but there are some that I would be quite reluctant to buy. 

 

1) Current production Viscontis. I don't understand their beauty.

 

2) Nakayas without any designs on the body. What do they have that a skilled Indian pen maker cannot give to their     pens? An arguable point is the nib, but then the nib can always be adjusted to one's liking.

 

3) Current production Cross, Parker, Sheaffer, and Waterman pens. It seems like everything these companies embodied in their designs have been lost with the new owners. Though I was never really a fan of Cross to begin with.

 



#11 The Blue Knight

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 13:37

2) Nakayas without any designs on the body. What do they have that a skilled Indian pen maker cannot give to their     pens? An arguable point is the nib, but then the nib can always be adjusted to one's liking.

 

 

Have to agree on that one. They look plain. I don't have anything against Japanese pens and I think the proper Makie pens made by Sailor, Pilot and Platinum are stunning but the Nakaya's that cost $600 or so really don't look like anything special and I don't understand the wow factor they some how command. 



#12 TSherbs

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 13:50

I was very underwhelmed by a Visconti Wall Street that I tried. I would never be able to buy one, regardless, but I was surprised by how awkward it felt in my hand and how blah the nib performance was. Looks pretty cool, though.



#13 Charles Rice

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 13:52

I don't hate it, but I have no desire at all for a Vanishing Point.



#14 Uncial

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 14:42

 

Have to agree on that one. They look plain. I don't have anything against Japanese pens and I think the proper Makie pens made by Sailor, Pilot and Platinum are stunning but the Nakaya's that cost $600 or so really don't look like anything special and I don't understand the wow factor they some how command. 

I think it has more to do with the process. See here: https://www.facebook...53140693578880/

 

 

Disappointing is a strong word.  The one pen I felt I had done the most research and found the most consensus on and didn't live up to the praise or expectations is the Lamy 2000.  Metal section, metal tabs, indifferent nib, and a heavy pen for its looks was not the right pen for me.  This pen is my least used pen.

 

Just for the sake of balance; this is one pen I thought I hated from pictures I had seen of it. To me it looked a plain old black pen with a metal grip. I just didn't get it. Then I saw one in a shop, used it, and had to have it. The subtlety of it had to be seen to be appreciated (for me).



#15 Keyless Works

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 14:52

I agree with you on the Parson's Italix. Not sure what other pens I dislike as much as that one. Pens with exposed smooth metal sections are awful for me.

#16 Frank C

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 15:31

I don't hate any pens, but there are some that I would be quite reluctant to buy. 

 

1) Current production Viscontis. I don't understand their beauty.

 

2) Nakayas without any designs on the body. What do they have that a skilled Indian pen maker cannot give to their     pens? An arguable point is the nib, but then the nib can always be adjusted to one's liking.

 

3) Current production Cross, Parker, Sheaffer, and Waterman pens. It seems like everything these companies embodied in their designs have been lost with the new owners. Though I was never really a fan of Cross to begin with.

 

 

I tend to agree with Tresconik on this. I have avoided Viscontis because the company seems to be trying to make collectible items instead of useful pens. (The same could be said of Omas, now, too.) I won an auction on the 'bay for a Homo Sapiens. It came with a stub nib. The ink flow couldn't keep up with slow writing. I need to take it to a pen show for a tune-up, now. No more Viscontis for me. 

 

I do like Nakayas. They were an incredible deal when they first came out. After the price increase, not so much of a deal. The designs are pretty, but do they make it write any better? 

 

I have never owned a Sheaffer. I have lots of pens, but current Sheaffers do nothing for me. I bought a Cross fountain pen in the 80's. It never worked well. The last good Waterman was the LeMans 100. I do like Parker Duofolds and Sonnets. 


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#17 bbs

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 15:51

Have to agree re the Pilot 78G and the Parsons Italix .... The first, I found plasticky with an unremarkable nib, and the second had a stub nib which I found really scratchy.

The Waterman Edson didn't impress me either - would rather have a Carene any day, even preferred the nib.

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#18 mooshi

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 16:07

Lamy pens for me.  Most particularly the Safari.



#19 Yehenara

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 16:16

Anything made by Visconti. Even the Homo Sapiens, which most Visconti-haters seem to find all right, and the Divina do nothing for me.



#20 bardharlock

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 16:24

For me it is modern pens from the former great makers of US pens. Very limited nib choices, lack of innovation, and overseas manufacture have ruined my perception of the big 3 and others. Fortunately, there are plenty of vintage options, but I long for the glory days of pens made and manufactured on a large scale in the US. Also, there are plenty of boutique makers putting out and sometimes even innovating design of good fountain pens. Now if only we could get quality, US-manufactured nibs...


"In this world... you must be oh, so smart, or oh, so pleasant. Well for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."





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