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Steel Vs 14K Gold Vs 18K Gold - Does It Matter?

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67 replies to this topic

#41 Aysedasi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 13:40

I agree with Jar. If it's a good quality nib, and you like writing with it. There's nothing else to talk about.
I have some steel nibs that I like better than my gold ones. It all depends on what you like.
Most steel nibs will be stiff good writers with little flex, to get more spring and line variation is the only reason to go to gold. The difference in price between top quality steel nib, and gold is huge, and I don't think you get all that much better a writer.
I just got an Edison collier with a medium steel nib. It wrote smooth as butta right out of the box. Love that pen.

 

I agree too.  I have more steel or plated nibs than gold ones and as a hater of all things flex, perhaps that's why I have little desire to pay a lot of money for a gold nib.  The best writing nibs I have are all steel ones.  



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#42 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:22

Hello

Why don`t you accept the word breather hole? The back-donation of air into the ink reservoir is not a constant streaming. The removal of the air bubbles which is directly proportional to the surface tension of the ink interrupts the ink flow frequently which is wellknown as "swallow". But you may invent another word for this periodic input of air...

Kind regards, Thomas

What you say I agree with. -_-

Except, to me, breathing relates to air and therefore, when someone uses the word breather hole for the hole at the end of the slit in the nib, it would assume that air goes through this hole, occasionally.   :angry:

However, the pens I investigated the air intake is at the bottom of the feed.  Only recently I found a Japanese fountain pen feed with its air canal at the top (using the breather hole for breathing), it had no overflow slits (gills).

 

Generally, the breather hole is not used for breathing.  That's why I threw it my five cents worth of objection.  ;)


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#43 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:28

 

I agree too.  I have more steel or plated nibs than gold ones and as a hater of all things flex, perhaps that's why I have little desire to pay a lot of money for a gold nib.  The best writing nibs I have are all steel ones.  

old north German proverb: "Wat is for un sin Ul is for den oder sin Nachtigal."

Or in proper German: "Was für den einen seine Eule ist, ist für den andern seine Nachtigal."  

Or in New German: "What is for one his owl is for the other his nightingale." 

:rolleyes:


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#44 Honeybadgers

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:49

I do know that my second favorite nib in my collection is a steel faber castell loom in M. It's a nail, something I don't traditionally like, and it has the most stunningly precise feedback, something I do. 

 

I do know that it also comes down to availability. Most pen makers will reserve specialty nibs (such as flex) to gold as an attempt to keep some reason for the upmarket to exist. I personally would like a company to come up with a normal pen that accepts an unmodified zebra comic G nib, as that thing flexes better than anything else I've ever used, and is also steel.

 

I agree that I don't understand why people like nail hard nibs made from gold, a-la the platinum 3776. The only version of that I'd own is the soft fine, which is basically just what one would expect from a "normal" gold nib, some softness, not a lot.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#45 Kevan

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 22:58

I've written with steel nibs I love, and gold nibs I've hated.  If you're just going to write, ​then choose steel.  There's no point in paying the extra money for gold, especially if the steel nib is tuned to write well.

 

But if I'm honest with myself, my favorite nibs in my collection are gold.  The vintage Aurora 88 semi-flex.  The Pilot 14k SF and SFM.  The Pilot 14k F and M.  The Platinum 14k M.  The 1990's era Pelikan 14k F which is wonderfully soft.  The Sheaffer 18k F in my "Fantasy Legacy."  The Lamy 2000 14k F.

 

Those are my most pleasurable nibs to use.  The "good steel ones" are perfectly good nibs.  I can't fault them.  The Faber Castell steel M.  The assorted Jowo steel nibs in F, M, and various stub and cursive Italic grinds I have.  All of them are good nibs that I enjoy using...but if I was forced to choose, I'd choose the gold ones.

 

*shrug*

 

I'd guess I'd say this:  Is there a difference between "good steel nibs" and "good gold nibs?"  Yes.  Is there a $100 difference?  No.


Edited by Kevan, 26 April 2017 - 23:00.


#46 sidthecat

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:10

I have one 18k nib, an XF on a Doric Junior, and it's one of the best nibs I've ever used.

That said, I'll quote Sturgeon's Law: "Ninety per cent of everything is (bleep)."

#47 Icywolfe

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:56

Go Bold and Go Gold!

 

If you don't mind getting a used pen you can get a 18k gold pen for about 15 to 40 USD. I gotten my "vintage" Pilot Elite 18k for less than 20 USD. 

 

Better start bidding: http://www.ebay.com/...tsAAOSwhvFZCSzZ

 

(Not Affiliated to anybody on ebay)


Edited by Icywolfe, 03 May 2017 - 18:40.

#Nope


#48 Kevan

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:59

Or try a Platinum PTL-10000A.  Simple slim design, but with an 18K nib at around $50-$60 or less.  The nibs are wonderful.  Soft and springy, responsive, wet.  And even though the US sellers have said its 14K brother, the PTL-5000A was discontinued, you can still find it on Ebay or Amazon for about $44.

 

There are steel nibbed pens that sell for more than these that aren't as good.



#49 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:20

A springy 'true' regular flex steel Pelikan 200's nib is IMO better than the semi-nail modern 400/600 nibs. It gives a better ride......................and is not a "Flex" pen nail lover hate.

Once most companies made one as regular issue.....then came the Ham Fisted Ball Point Babarian Cross over users...............so to stop pretzel nibs, the companies had to go over to stiff nibs.

 

The '82-97 M400...no piston gold ring, gold nibs are as good at the steel 200's.

They are 1/2 a width narrower than modern 400/600 and are not fat and blobby....made that way for ball point users who refuse to learn how to hold a fountain pen properly, so have a cleaner line....with the better ride.

Gold can be as good as steel...........but why waste paper and ink money.....unless you absolutely have to have bling. :wacko: 

  Then I suggest the '82-97 M400's gold nib....that one could put into a 600 just like one could put a 200's nib in a 600. .............. :P a good upgrade for a 600.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#50 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 00:18

 

 

 

Gold can be as good as steel...........but why waste paper and ink money.....unless you absolutely have to have bling. :wacko:

  

Still fighting for the super flex mushy floppy nip   :lticaptd:  Herr Olson?  I really admire your persistence... and agree with your comment.  ;)   Bis bald!  Mit freundlichen Grüßen


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#51 Bobje

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:53

Good to see your knowledgeable input here on FPN, PenIngeneer.


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#52 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 23:23

Good to see your knowledgeable input here on FPN, PenIngeneer.

Thanks.  been out of action.  but back now.  Glad to see that all is well  :rolleyes:


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#53 Nail-Bender

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:04

50% of my writing is done with a Zebra-G

40% of my writing is done with a Creeper.

9% is done with a vintage Waterman #2

1% something else

 

So I guess it's steel for me



#54 siamackz

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 05:02

From experience, I have learned that metal alloy is one of the many variables that influences the writing experience that a nib produces. For example, I have seen members, online articles, and sellers, demonstrate steel and gold nibs that often do exactly the same thing in terms of flexibility, smoothness, etc. It would be interesting to know, from a technical point-of-view, what exactly are the distinct functions of different alloys.


Edited by siamackz, 30 July 2017 - 05:03.

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#55 Chrissy

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 10:50

Go Bold and Go Gold!

 

If you don't mind getting a used pen you can get a 18k gold pen for about 15 to 40 USD. I gotten my "vintage" Pilot Elite 18k for less than 20 USD. 

 

+1 I still prefer to go gold. It just sounds and feels better when I'm writing.  :)



#56 siamackz

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 11:05

 

+1 I still prefer to go gold. It just sounds and feels better when I'm writing.  :)

I agree and I gravitate towards gold too, unless I am adding to my wartime vintage collection. But, my choice has nothing to do with writing characteristics :) Its just because its gold !


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#57 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 07:52

From experience, I have learned that metal alloy is one of the many variables that influences the writing experience that a nib produces. For example, I have seen members, online articles, and sellers, demonstrate steel and gold nibs that often do exactly the same thing in terms of flexibility, smoothness, etc. It would be interesting to know, from a technical point-of-view, what exactly are the distinct functions of different alloys.

Steel Vs 14K Gold Vs 18K Gold - Does It Matter?

From a performance point of view: No.

 

Additives change  the character of materials as well as the way they can be treated... hardening, machining, welding, etc.  In some cases the impact of an additive can be predicted, sort of, in other it is pure alchemy.  Most stainless steel materials have no steel/iron in them.  And most magnets are made of ceramic.  Unimaginable in the sixties, the time of my studies. 


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#58 Bobje

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:32

FPN contrubutor Seele weighed in on this topic recently in his series of short videos. This is well worth the 6 minutes.


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#59 siamackz

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 14:22

T

 

Steel Vs 14K Gold Vs 18K Gold - Does It Matter?

From a performance point of view: No.

 

Additives change  the character of materials as well as the way they can be treated... hardening, machining, welding, etc.  In some cases the impact of an additive can be predicted, sort of, in other it is pure alchemy.  Most stainless steel materials have no steel/iron in them.  And most magnets are made of ceramic.  Unimaginable in the sixties, the time of my studies. 

 

Thanks for confirming!


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#60 Frank66

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 15:47

A couple of gold nibs I have I love, but that is probably due to the fact that they belong to better pens than because of the gold alloy in the nibs per se.  My perception sometimes is that ink rheology and flow may be better with gold nibs, but this can be true with well plated steel nibs too.  My 2 gold nibs are frankly stiff and nail-like, whereas my one Bock EF steel is truly amazingly elastic.  So it is true there are a lot of parameters involved...

 

+1 for the suggested video, Bobje thanks for sharing.  PenIngeneer nice to see you posting again, I like your site a lot.  Regards,

 

Frank


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