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

Big Rant About Poor Quality Nibs In Costly Pens

scratchy costly premium fountain pen poor nib rant

  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#21 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,006 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 July 2016 - 14:24

This is why a lot of my pens are vintage.  Or relatively inexpensive modern ones.  Mind you, nothing I have cost more than about $180 US (and those two pens were older or vintage).  The most expensive modern pen was the original Pelikan M200 Café Crème -- the one I lost in March.  It was skippy with every ink I tried in it.  Had the nib tuned at a pen show and then it worked great.  Done on the spot (along with a vintage pen with a music nib where the tines looked slightly misaligned); the cost? $35 total.  Given that I had gotten the Café Crème at a discount by ordering it from Rolf Thiel on eBay, I figured that I still came out ahead over US prices.  The replacement pen I got lucky on, price wise, on eBay; had the gusher of an IM nib tweaked at the Triangle Pen Show, and bought a B nib (tuned for me on the spot on a different pen to test it) to swap out for the IM.  Given that I paid *less* for the replacement (I *did* say I got lucky  :thumbup:), paying for the tuning and the replacement nib put the overall price roughly to what I had paid (including the overseas shipping charges from Germany) for the one I lost.

OTOH, if I had paid a lot of money (as much or more than I had paid for even the two "expensive" pens), I would have been a lot less philosophical about paying for the nib tuning.  In fact, I probably would have been really torqued, and been ranting like Samrat.  And probably have been a whole lot less polite....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Sponsored Content

#22 Bill Wood

Bill Wood

    Bill Wood

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,415 posts
  • Location:Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 10 July 2016 - 15:22

I had huge problems with Sonnets a while back,and a couple with Sheaffer. I now find that standard 5 and 6 Jowo nib units work well for my purposes and my pen buys are around $150. Not terribly extravagant but dependable, enjoyable and functional. If you want to try some different grinds there's replacements for $15.

#23 tommylovell

tommylovell

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 10 July 2016 - 16:07

I'm sorry to hear that about the OP's experience. 

 

I've found that many pen purchases look great but write poorly out of the box.  Some poor writing pens are so because the manufacturer does not take care in assembling them; or, as I think Brian Goulet has said and paraphrasing, there is some residue left from the manufacturing process (oil, or some sort of "stickem" between the nib and feed).  Both situations are easy to remedy, but why should I have to do this?

 

Unfortunately the worst writing pens are ones that have been "professionally tuned." I suspect the tuners are all right handed and they all tune for right-handed use.  I'm left handed.  Once re-tuned to their neutral factory state they write great.  When you're one in ten, you get used to the tyranny of a right handed world...  Just joking.  Some of my best friends are actually right handed. 



#24 Arkanabar

Arkanabar

    Ain't I a stinker?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,918 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 July 2016 - 17:25

Most of my disappointing pens have been Noodler's pens, from shortly after Mr. Tardif started offering them.  I'm sure that QC has improved for him over the years.  I know that design changes have improved some of them significantly.

Still, this sort of thing is one reason I'm generally dissuaded from buying pricey pens.  Nothing on my horizon is over 50 USD right now, and there's very little even on my wish list so high.



#25 pepsiplease69

pepsiplease69

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 992 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 July 2016 - 00:29

I usually don't get too caught up in it emotionally if the pen doesn't write properly out of the box.

I'm a tinkerer by nature so, if it's scratchy I check it under the loupe and balance the tines if needed. If it writes a bit on the dry side I adjust the spacing between the tines and once it starts writing to my satisfaction, off I go, I put it behind me and think nothing of it that I had to do the tuning. I almost kind of like having the option of "helping my own self " as and when needed.

But I do see your point though (@OP).

Not everybody is like me.

Plus the other fact for me is that, on principle, I never buy a pen above the $100. (maybe even $150 if the impulse is strong). So the let-down is not as harsh if the pen doesn't work the way I like out of the box.

The thing that gets me enraged is if the pen is so poorly designed, or the quality control is so horrible that it refuses to work properly no matter what I do.

I won't name any names here but it did happen to me for a certain pen brand whose pens I spent $130 for. And then another $40 to get it tuned by a nibmeister ( I was less proficient at the time).

I'm still very bitter from the experience and it still doesn't write as well as I'd wish it to.

Needless to say I've completely sworn myself off of this particular brand.

#26 pepsiplease69

pepsiplease69

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 992 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 July 2016 - 00:41

I'm sorry to hear that about the OP's experience. 
 
I've found that many pen purchases look great but write poorly out of the box.  Some poor writing pens are so because the manufacturer does not take care in assembling them; or, as I think Brian Goulet has said and paraphrasing, there is some residue left from the manufacturing process (oil, or some sort of "stickem" between the nib and feed).  Both situations are easy to remedy, but why should I have to do this?
 
Unfortunately the worst writing pens are ones that have been "professionally tuned." I suspect the tuners are all right handed and they all tune for right-handed use.  I'm left handed.  Once re-tuned to their neutral factory state they write great.  When you're one in ten, you get used to the tyranny of a right handed world...  Just joking.  Some of my best friends are actually right handed. 

I'll go out on a limb and mention Kaweco as an example. (Sorry Kaweco fans).

It has been my experience that Kawecos are notoriously dry writers. And the reason, far as I can tell, is that they use the same identical feed on their extra fines as their BB or 1.1 nibs and above. There's no provision made for the extra ink demands of a BB nib. It's all coming off the same production line and sadly there isn't anything you or I could do about this except to avoid such situations.

A BB nib on a Kaweco will fizzle out and start skipping eventually because the ink supply from feed is inadequate and no amount of flushing or cleaning will help.

btw: Kaweco is not the brand I ranted about in my previous post on this thread.

Edited by pepsiplease69, 11 July 2016 - 00:45.


#27 estie1948

estie1948

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,835 posts
  • Location:far, far away - even farther than that

Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:34

In reading the posts to this topic, I am struck by what a nice bunch of people the members of the Fountain Pen Network are. We pay good money for a fountain pen that is suppose to work and, when we receive that pen and it does not work, we gladly roll up our sleeves and go to work on it. Now, many are like me and are purchasing vintage pens at less than a hundred dollars each or new pens at less than fifteen dollars each. My last three new pen purchases involved fountain pens that cost less than the postage to get them here. This is all understandable. But for those who are paying in excess of one thousand dollars per pen to adopt such an attitude! Oh, the good natured understanding of such people! 

 

A friend of mine is a car salesman. He worked for several years at a BMW dealership. He told me once that a customer had the car he had newly purchased because when he got it home, he found it had a chewing gum wrapper in the ashtray (probably left there by someone looking at the car). This customer was cajoled and sweet talked by both the dealership owner and the sales manager into accepting a ride back to the dealership where he agreed to take delivery of a slightly more expensive model for the same price he had settled on for the car with the gum wrapper in the ashtray. My friend tells me that for all the remaining years he worked at that dealership, every salesman always said to each other, "Be sure to check the ashtrays!"

 

I have heard that one should try to be a television weather person because they can be wrong ninety percent of the time and not get fired. Evidently one better is to own a business selling very expensive fountain pens.  

 

A lady I know spent nearly twenty years teaching in China. When she return to the United States a couple of years ago, she gave me a new fountain pen. It had been a gift to her from the father of one of her students. He worked in the factory that made the pen. She said the pen could be purchased for less than five dollars (US), but that factory produced several different brands of fountain pens on the same production floor and at least two of those brands were very expensive. She said that my pen might only cost a few dollars, but it was made and assembled by the very same workers that made pens that cost more than eight hundred dollars.

 

We are such a nice, understanding group of people here. I mean that sincerely. When all is said and done, that is the way I really believe we should be. Personally, I am not quite so nice nor understanding, so it is a good thing that I am both so poor and so cheap. 

 

-David (Estie).


No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery. -Anon.
A backward poet writes inverse. -Anon.

#28 Samrat

Samrat

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 22 July 2016 - 21:34

I feel your pain Samrat. I've experienced the same pain with a Pelikan 400 and a Waterman in years past. The Pelikan was taken back and adjusted at no cost to me but I never felt the same way about the pen after that. That's why I now buy, almost exclusively, Japanese pens.
I did recently receive a very pleasant surprise when I paid $3.93 on Amazon for a Jinhao 159 which writes very well, as if it were a $150.+ pen. I wrote an enthusiastic post here about it a few weeks ago.
To salve your pain I say this: I'm assuming the pen is from a reputable manufacturer and you have bought it from from a reputable dealer. Contact them immediately. State your problems clearly and succinctly and request a substitute, or, your money back. If they offer you a repair instead, insist that they bear all costs of shipping to and from in addition to insurance. If they refuse these reasonable accommodations, you should post here which pen it is, who the manufacturer is, and who you purchased it from. I'm a firm believer that "the squeakyest gear always gets the most grease". And companies and dealers who won't stand behind their products should be publicized. If everyone did this when they received a disappointing pen from an ostensibly reputable manufacturer, maybe at least some of these companies would sell a more quality-controlled product from the get-go.
Sorry for your disappointment. Good luck and hope things work out.

Thanks Maurizio...I have faced this problems with some Waterman, some sheaffer and a cross pen....I mostly buy from online stores such as eBay (flea bay!!!).... Though I can make the seller take back and replace the product (or money back), it's difficult to make them adjust the nib....it's much effort in the form of multiple emails and shipping back etc...so I try to adjust them..I have been able to manage by myself till now..with nail files etc as micro mesh is not available here with proper size...but it really takes away from the first impression

#29 Samrat

Samrat

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 22 July 2016 - 21:41

Thanks shawndp, fpnnat0.....I have never felt comfortable with roller ball pens...I like the feel of fountain pens...Japanese pens are most consistent....I have a few and all of them were tremendous right out of the box...they write with some feedback which is a welcome characteristics for cheaper papers...

#30 Samrat

Samrat

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 22 July 2016 - 21:49

Thanks lionheartlee and David....indeed price tags are deceptive and cannot guarantee good smooth nibs...my approach to buying an expensive pen is not for flaunting or showing as nobody around me uses them or understands anything about them, except may be that this man must be crazy to use fountain pens at this century....I like to experience as much as possible in this lifetime...so I want to test drive each affordable brand...that's it...I would have been more than happy to burrow each model for a few days from friends but such people are obsolete here....so my expectations are modest while buying costly pens..I want to write with them and find out why they are famous. Chinese pens like Jinhao attracts me as much as say Waterman provided they both write well....and the mass production process must have some glitches to cause such problems...

Edited by Samrat, 22 July 2016 - 22:01.


#31 Samrat

Samrat

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 22 July 2016 - 21:53

Well of my 60-70 pens only three or four were new right out of the box....they worked fine.
 
The rest were flea market, Ebay buys or live auction, vintage or semi-vintage. 
 
After I learned to adjust the tines, most worked fine.
 
And I was getting the Grand Nibs, that many are looking for.
Looking fro "Grand Nibs" on modern pens is hard to do, when all you are after is a nail or semi-nail....
 
Being able to adjust tines, is as basic as having a 10-12 X loupe to do so or having a rubber ear syringe for cleaning the C/C pen.
Should learn to adjust tines, so the tempest in the Tea Cup is smaller.


Thanks...same with me...after mesh work all work fine...and I constantly make improvements.....

#32 Samrat

Samrat

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 22 July 2016 - 21:56

This is why a lot of my pens are vintage.  Or relatively inexpensive modern ones.  Mind you, nothing I have cost more than about $180 US (and those two pens were older or vintage).  The most expensive modern pen was the original Pelikan M200 Café Crème -- the one I lost in March.  It was skippy with every ink I tried in it.  Had the nib tuned at a pen show and then it worked great.  Done on the spot (along with a vintage pen with a music nib where the tines looked slightly misaligned); the cost? $35 total.  Given that I had gotten the Café Crème at a discount by ordering it from Rolf Thiel on eBay, I figured that I still came out ahead over US prices.  The replacement pen I got lucky on, price wise, on eBay; had the gusher of an IM nib tweaked at the Triangle Pen Show, and bought a B nib (tuned for me on the spot on a different pen to test it) to swap out for the IM.  Given that I paid *less* for the replacement (I *did* say I got lucky  :thumbup:), paying for the tuning and the replacement nib put the overall price roughly to what I had paid (including the overseas shipping charges from Germany) for the one I lost.
OTOH, if I had paid a lot of money (as much or more than I had paid for even the two "expensive" pens), I would have been a lot less philosophical about paying for the nib tuning.  In fact, I probably would have been really torqued, and been ranting like Samrat.  And probably have been a whole lot less polite....
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Thanks...I have been following the same strategy lately...buying some excellent vintage pens and modern inexpensive pens...most old pens have turned out great....

#33 Eugen-of-Savoy

Eugen-of-Savoy

    Numero Uno is Back !

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,558 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 23 July 2016 - 01:27

Occasionally one buys a new pen with a bad performace. When it is a new expensive pen, the problem was always solved by the manufacturer or the dealer at no cost. In case of a cheap pen , that are mostly bought online , it makes more sense to keep it for spare parts and buy a new one.

#34 WriterMe

WriterMe

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 23 July 2016 - 14:09

I feel your pain as well. My Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Barley, at over $650, was the biggest disappointment of a pen I have ever had. It has the worst nib ever! Ink flow problems, squeaks as it glides along the page. Nothing but trouble. My Lamy Safaris and TWSBIs have MUCH better nibs. So disappointing. Now, I won't bash all of my expensive pens, my Aurora Optima Demonstrator has the most amazing nib ever! But, alas, ever since the Grand Viceroy, I am always hesitant to save up my money for something expensive. I think I am going to sell my Yard-O-Led. It truly is a disappointment.

 

Oh, it was a fine nib size.


Edited by WriterMe, 23 July 2016 - 15:25.


#35 cellmatrix

cellmatrix

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,550 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:03

I feel your pain as well. My Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Barley, at over $650, was the biggest disappointment of a pen I have ever had. It has the worst nib ever! Ink flow problems, squeaks as it glides along the page. Nothing but trouble. My Lamy Safaris and TWSBIs have MUCH better nibs. So disappointing. Now, I won't bash all of my expensive pens, my Aurora Optima Demonstrator has the most amazing nib ever! But, alas, ever since the Grand Viceroy, I am always hesitant to save up my money for something expensive. I think I am going to sell my Yard-O-Led. It truly is a disappointment.
 
Oh, it was a fine nib size.


Doesn't yard o led have a lifetime warranty?

#36 cellmatrix

cellmatrix

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,550 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:06

Thanks...same with me...after mesh work all work fine...and I constantly make improvements.....


I agree with Bo bo, learning to adjust tines is so useful. Most of the time if you do this first, you can avoid irreversible destructive methods such as nib smoothing, or at least minimize them.

#37 jar

jar

    A Vintage Pen has to be older than me.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,162 posts
  • Location:From Deep South Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:45

Doesn't yard o led have a lifetime warranty?

 

Yes, yes they do have a Lifetime Warranty.


My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

My Website


#38 Lamyrada

Lamyrada

    Super Witch

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 580 posts
  • Location:California, Florida
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 14:17

I haven't read any responses to be able to write from my heart without any influence from those responses. During. My journey into "fountainpenland" It has happened to me many times, your experience has with a difference. I mostly have found this to be true on the higher priced (within my budget , up o $250) pens that are constantly shown everywhere as "jewels" not as instruments for writing. And that's what they are, do not be confused. After a year of reading and searching and staring at beautiful reviews where the beauty has taken first stage over usability and smootheness of writing, there is no doubt in my mind these pens are bought. Because of their beauty and not their usefulness. So be it... If that is what you want. Manufacturers have discovered that that is what drives most buyers ebcause that is the culture we live in. We are programmed to admire. Th eperson9s) with the highest tag item at hand, be it a. Car, a house or a pen; better if all of these go together. I started at the bottom of the price list ($1.44) up to the highest that I could afford (as said, $250/pen) I was sooo disappointed with all the hype that I have just discovered in my case to stay at the $50 mark. It works, with the exception of just 2 brands I consider the best although (both foreign) I have not bought the over $300 pens they offer which I think might turn out to be as disaapointting as you explain. In my world, the nib is what makes a pen, the beauty should be an extra bonus to complete its allure. and I shouldn't need to have to use the grinding tools of a novice to "enahance" any nib, cheap or expensive nor have to pay for the skillful hands of a "meister" to fix them.

So I stay on theh $20-$50 marks where I have found the perfect nibs - no fixing needed - to my daily needs. Come on, I am not a calligrapher, so I don't need flex or specialty nibs with special "wings" . What I ask from a nib is consistency, fluidity, reliability in summary a working tool that is available at all times. Contrary to your experience, I find the Chinese pens ( and I am not Chinese) very useful. They are sturdy and reliable and always work. Yes, you may buy a Brand name nib and stick it in; but it just makes something good even better and... the total expense is not more than $20 or $50 if you get fancy with the nib. What's wrong with that? Recently I found $1.60 FINE nibbed CHINESE pens that I had to wait like 10 days to get them, but Oh, boy, was I not disappointed.. That's worth $1.60 (----and free shipping).

I have wasted a lot of money to get to this wonderful discovery: No fancy pens until I get to be amillionaire. And the. Other discovery is that the right VINTAGE pen is the only thing that is worth big money. They knew how to make pens then! So current manufacturers, please learn from the past. But hey really don't care because. They make the profit today, increasing value of their pens over time does not impact them. But they should, if they want people to be buying their pens in the long future.

Edited by Lamyrada, 24 July 2016 - 14:21.


#39 cellmatrix

cellmatrix

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,550 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 14:25

I feel your pain as well. My Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Barley, at over $650, was the biggest disappointment of a pen I have ever had. It has the worst nib ever! Ink flow problems, squeaks as it glides along the page. Nothing but trouble. My Lamy Safaris and TWSBIs have MUCH better nibs. So disappointing. Now, I won't bash all of my expensive pens, my Aurora Optima Demonstrator has the most amazing nib ever! But, alas, ever since the Grand Viceroy, I am always hesitant to save up my money for something expensive. I think I am going to sell my Yard-O-Led. It truly is a disappointment.

 

Oh, it was a fine nib size.

 

If you send it in for nib service I bet they would fix it, its under a lifetime warranty.



#40 cellmatrix

cellmatrix

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,550 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 24 July 2016 - 14:25

 

Yes, yes they do have a Lifetime Warranty.

thanks for clarifying, Jar







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: scratchy, costly, premium, fountain pen, poor nib, rant



Sponsored Content




|