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Big Rant About Poor Quality Nibs In Costly Pens

scratchy costly premium fountain pen poor nib rant

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51 replies to this topic

#41 Lamyrada

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 17:43

I feel your pain and echo the same thoughts as the other members. 

 

My first pens were Pilot Metro's and was please at an affordable price and pleasant writing experience. Logically, I thought my experience can only be better once I saddled up and purchased a higher end pen. Upon opening and marveling at the craftsmanship of the material, much like you did, I was met with equal disappointment when the nib scratched at my paper and heart. I now stick to a $30 or less range unfortunately until I am ready to try again. So far some of my favorite pens to write with are Jinhao's and lower end Pilot's.

 

Echoing the other members, you should contact the manufacturer and seek a resolution that is at no cost to you. Hope you have a better experience next time!

 

 

I find Pilots to be unique across the price ranges they have. That is one of my "good brands" that just work well. I am also mad as hell (****d off)  at a Pelikan that skips. My vintage are just smooth and a delight to use. This one, I take it out, try it again, it still skips, back to the museum.  Take it out when I want to have my fingers stained. Why bother with the manufacturer- send and wait, make a deal or not ? Why bother? Don't sponsor them!  -- I finally bought a new inexpensive Pelikan  nib  and the problem was solved. One shouldn't need to have to "work" on a nib unless  we damage it. It should arrive on my hands ready to write and write well. You would expect that from modern technology, shouldn't we? 



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#42 pajaro

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 19:09

 

 

I find Pilots to be unique across the price ranges they have. That is one of my "good brands" that just work well. I am also mad as hell (****d off)  at a Pelikan that skips. My vintage are just smooth and a delight to use. This one, I take it out, try it again, it still skips, back to the museum.  Take it out when I want to have my fingers stained. Why bother with the manufacturer- send and wait, make a deal or not ? Why bother? Don't sponsor them!  -- I finally bought a new inexpensive Pelikan  nib  and the problem was solved. One shouldn't need to have to "work" on a nib unless  we damage it. It should arrive on my hands ready to write and write well. You would expect that from modern technology, shouldn't we? 

 

Pilot has worked almost as well for me as Parker Sonnet.  Not a good brand for me, so who knows.  Pelikan has been flawless for me, so go figure.  I have opposite experience.  I agree, though, that a pen should work perfectly when new.  It used to be this way, in the 1960s and 1970s, in my experience.  Perhaps the fountain pen is not such an important commercial item now, and the ballpoint and rollerball are the commodity items of commercial importance, resulting in some lesser degree of care taken in the production and finishing of many fountain pens.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#43 zwack

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 20:16

I have a Levenger L-tech 3 with a nib marked F. Having compared it with writing samples on the Levenger website I am pretty sure it is a misstamped B. if not then Levenger have broader F nibs than Platinum M nibs. In fact it produces a line almost indistinguishable in width from my Pilot Plumix (which I believe are 1mm stub nibs)

It writes well though...

#44 cellmatrix

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 20:36

Levenger have broader F nibs than Platinum M nibs...

That entirely possible. Platinum medium nibs (0.4mm) are certainly wider than Pelikan Fine nibs (0.5mm) as can be seen on this tipping chart:

http://www.nibs.com/...ngSizespage.htm

#45 zwack

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 22:27

I am sure that Levenger F nibs are broader than Japanese ones, but 1mm is twice the thickness of that Pelikan Fine... I just checked...

My wife has a Levenger TrueWriter in Medium and it produces a similar line to a Medium Platinum 3776. My Levenger F produces a similar line to a Pilot Plumix (1mm stub). The Levenger nib units are interchangable between those two pens. I was using all four of these pens on the same piece of paper, and no sign of feathering.

Platinum Preppy nibs are 0.2mm EF, 0.3mm F and 0.5mm M.

I am sure that this Fine nib is mislabelled. It is at least a nice smooth writer.

#46 cellmatrix

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 01:34

I am sure that Levenger F nibs are broader than Japanese ones, but 1mm is twice the thickness of that Pelikan Fine... I just checked...

My wife has a Levenger TrueWriter in Medium and it produces a similar line to a Medium Platinum 3776. My Levenger F produces a similar line to a Pilot Plumix (1mm stub). The Levenger nib units are interchangable between those two pens. I was using all four of these pens on the same piece of paper, and no sign of feathering.

Platinum Preppy nibs are 0.2mm EF, 0.3mm F and 0.5mm M.

I am sure that this Fine nib is mislabelled. It is at least a nice smooth writer.

 

If its 1 mm, there is no way anyone could call that a fine. I agree, it has to be mislabeled. But hey, maybe the mislabeling makes it a $$$ "collector's item" $$$. Alternatively I am sure that if you sent it back to Levenger, or called them, they probably would send you a correct fine nib.



#47 zwack

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 02:08

If its 1 mm, there is no way anyone could call that a fine. I agree, it has to be mislabeled. But hey, maybe the mislabeling makes it a $$$ "collector's item" $$$. Alternatively I am sure that if you sent it back to Levenger, or called them, they probably would send you a correct fine nib.


LOL I called Levenger and while their customer support people were friendly they basically told me I had to work with the vendor I bought the pen from (Amazon) to get a replacement. By this point I have decided that I like the nib, so I haven't had it replaced. But it does show a QC lapse that a clearly broad nib is labelled fine.

#48 pajaro

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 03:22

Stuff happens in business.  You could sue Levenger and Amazon for the material damages and look into suing for the psychological damage inflicted by their negligence.  They have caused you to fear fine nibs.


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They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#49 Moshe ben David

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:18

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.

 

Interesting.  I recently bought my first and only Kaweco; an AC sport with a medium nib.  When I first inked it with a 'house' branded cartridge it would continually run dry after a line or two.  I would give a shake and it would start back up.  I was absolutely certain the problem was surface tension in the cartridge, which is hardly an unknown phenomenon.  Usually I store my pens vertically, nibs up.  With pens writing dry I leave them horizontal.

 

I started noticing that gradually even if the pen was not used for a day or two, it would write for longer periods before running 'dry'.  Now, about a month or so later, it no longer runs dry. 

 

I have to assume in this case the feed just needed time to saturate.

 

Sometimes, when reading threads such as this one, I am reminded that all of us from time to time overlook the fact that our fountain pen writing experience is a result of the interplay of several factors (nib tine alignment, nib tipping, feed, paper type, ink itself, humidity, how we hold our pen... I'm sure I'm overlooking something here); and it becomes all too easy to just blame the manufacturer's process control.  

 

One of the 'tip offs' in this thread to me is how many have posted on their experience in having a nibmeister tune their pen specifically for their usage.  I am especially noting the situations where this happened at a pen show where pen, owner, and nibmeister all were present together so the nibmeister could in fact customize it for the owner!

 

For what its worth, I have an assortment of new and used pens, American, German, Italian, and Japanese.  I have had only a couple of pens that I could not stomach to use.  True some write wetter or drier than others.  Some (for example) I can only use Waterman or Diamine inks with; a couple need a Pelikan ink because ink flows too well through them.  And a few I only store whilst inked  in the horizontal position.  But I do carry those in my shirt pocket without a problem when I carry them.

 

What is my point?  Just that in fact we're dealing with a complex interplay and we should realize that.  Or just use a rollerball if we cannot.

 

L'chaim!


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#50 KaB

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 06:35

I can feel the OP very much. (Should I tell you 'bout the Visconti HS bronze with stub nib?  http://www.fountainp...h-this-new-nib/

26984515475_dae68f6f2a_h.jpg

 

The problem was solved. Thanks to my B&M penshop (La Couronne, no links, just happy client). Took them many weeks and many rejected replacement nibs to finaly come up with a decent stub nib...


fpn_kab_tsuki_yo_most_boring_212x150.gif  Current rotation: home: Lamy Al-star 1.5, GvFC Moss Green; Lamy Vista 1.1, Diamine Oxblood; Sheaffer Touchdown 0.6, Sailor Kin-Mokusei

Case: Visconti HS EF, Sailor Kin-Mokusei; Estie 2314M, R&K Alt-Goldgrün; Lamy Studio 1.1, Diamine Ochre 


#51 View from the Loft

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 18:37

I have purchased 5 brand new pens costing more than £100. All wrote flawlessly out of the box.

Three different manufacturers are involved.

#52 pepsiplease69

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:26

 

 

 

What is my point?  Just that in fact we're dealing with a complex interplay and we should realize that. 

 

 

You bring up a valid point. The interplay between all of the factors you mentioned is vital to having a favorable (or otherwise) writing experience.

 

I used to write with Kaweco sports 1.1 and 1.5 nibs quite a bit and I most often had to tinker with the ink's surface tension (by adding soap) to get it to flow more easily. It was my way of tipping the scales to compensate for other factors by reducing ink surface tension.

 

In the medium term, I found, though, that mixing soap into ink was not good, specially for the reds, as the ink's character began to change (started leaning heavily towards brown).

 

I've not really had very much luck with the Kawecos no matter how I've stored them. I eventually gave up and transferred the kaweco 1.5 nibs to a nib creaper which has a much more generous ebonite feed and now it writes pretty well for my liking.

 

To each his own I suppose, is what I'm trying to say.







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