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Can't Decide On My Next Pen

twsbi noodler konrad kaweco sport vac 580 vac700 post student

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#1 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:34

Hello,
I recently got back in to fountain pens and have been conflicted as to my next fountain pen.
My first pen was a crappy jinhao, which was quickly followed by some other unknown Chinese knockoff of a lamy, and then shortly by a borrowed blue-gold waterman expert (it's my mom's. I love writing with it but want my own pen because she'll get mad at me if I damage it because it was really expensive at the time and is no longer available). and before anyone says anything, I personally don't like the more inexpensive Lamys, I don't find them to be comfortable. More recently I have also tried out a rOtring 600 (currently discontinued) which I like, however the lack of a knurled grip on the model I have, the cap, and terrible balance when posted are huge put-offs.

I have come down to a somewhat wide list and can't decide on what to get:

The Noodler's Konrad (probably one of the ebonite or acrylic ones)
The Kaweco Sport (basically any of them, but most likely one of the non-metal ones as they cost less)
Any of TWSBI's pens (basically all of TWSBI's pens fit my criteria, however I can't pick one over the other)

As you can clearly tell these are relatively inexpensive pens. I am a student right now, which is why these pens are all pretty inexpensive. I want to bring the pen around with me to my classes. I walk between all my classes up and down a 3-story building and it's pretty long. I store my pens more diagonally or horizontally when not in use (when they are in my bag, as my backpack rests at a diagonal angle across my back). I like to be able to post my pens, as it means I don't need to keep track of the cap as I don't like holding the cap in my other hand, however most times I post my fountain pens or someone else's I find it to be either unbalanced or just uncomfortable as the edge of the cap irritates the side of my hand (this is especially the case on the Waterman, where when I post it the edge of the cap digs into my hand slightly). in case it matters, I use purple/violet ink, currently I am using the J. Herbin scented Violet ink (I love this stuff), however I am considering switching to something like Waterman's Tender Purple or some other purple/violet ink (suggestions?)

I really like the look and design of the Kaweco, but the use of a converter is a bit of a put-off as I would prefer I be able to fill it once and have it last me a while. I like the look and design of the Noodler's a lot too however I worry it may require fidgeting with which is something I really would rather not do (and if I don't like the flex nib I could always replace it with some other nib, but then I need to do that... Again with the fidgeting). And on the topic of the TWSBI pens, they basically all fit my criteria, they appear to be a safe bet but I can't pick one in particular (580 vs classic vs mini vs maybe the vac700 or vac mini)

I just can't decide. Help would be very greatly appreciated.

Edited by Napostrophe, 19 October 2016 - 21:18.


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#2 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:36

Forgot to say, I'm also considering the TWSBI Eco (very viable considering how cheap it is and how it is supposedly more durable than other TWSBI pens

#3 gryphon1911

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:53

Order in which I would buy:

 

TWSBI - either a Diamond 580 or the Eco

Kaweco

Noodler's Konrad



#4 Alteyz

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:27

Twsbi > kaweco > noodlers

 

I would go for a twsbi the 580 or the 580AL it's a great pen. Vacs are more of a novelty than having any actual use unless you travel alot and constantly turning the knob when using it can be annoying, many take off the oring so you dont need to but that kinda defeats the purpose of having a vac filler.

 

Kawecos are great if you want a everyday pocket carry pen which can take a beating only real draw back is the very small ink capacity.

 

Noodler's pens are okay and all but they have major QC issues and dont think there has been a pen I've gotten which didnt need at least some tweaking to get it to work. There is also the issue with smell, to me it smells like toothpaste where as some of my friends smell vomit probably the smell being the major concern over anything else and unfortunately that smell stays.

 

Also worth mentioning is that you can get few cheap FPR flex nib are the same as noodlers which you can stick into the twsbi 


Edited by Alteyz, 19 October 2016 - 13:27.


#5 jar

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:33

Welcome home.  Pull up a stump and set a spell.  Change your question from "Which pen will I buy?" to "Which pen fill I buy first?"


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#6 ENewton

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:41

I use a Kaweco Sport when I travel.  It is the one pen in which I use cartridges. 

 

Like you, I am a person who prefers to write in purple/violet ink.  In the Kaweco I usually use "Kaweco Summer Purple," but it's a dusty color, so you might not like it.  

 

My reservation concerning the Kaweco is that it is quite common for a nib to require an initial adjustment. When I first got my Kaweco, I reflected more than once that if that had been my first fountain pen, I would not have become a fountain-pen user.  The required adjustments are not complicated--if you do a search for "Kaweco nib problem" or "Kaweco flow problem," you will learn techniques that others have tried--but if you want a pen with a great likelihood of writing well from the start, the Kaweco might not be your best choice.



#7 sandy101

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:55

If you like your mother's Waterman, why not go for the Waterman Hemisphere? You'll probably get a good deal on a second hand one on  the internet as well.

 

Waterman Tender Purple is, in my experience a very wet ink. It's nice, and I like the colour, but you have to leave it for an extra minute to dry and more particular about the type of paper you use it with (postcards are a no-no). A sheet of blotting paper might help.

 

Diamine's Tyrian Purple is a good candidate, as is J Herbins Voilete Pense.


Edited by sandy101, 19 October 2016 - 13:56.


#8 T4TEXAS

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 14:48

If you are a student, you may want two pens...just in case. That could be two different brands/models or two of the same. Two Ecos in different color caps would still be economical.

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#9 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 14:59

So after what everyone has said the list has narrowed down to the Kaweco Sport and the TWSBI 580(AL), Eco, Classic, and/or the mini versions of them.

The Waterman Hemisphere is also in consideration now, however i personally would like a screw-cap pen more. My friend actually owns a Waterman Hemisphere so I will ask him if I can try it out.

Thanks to everyone who has helped so far

Edited by Napostrophe, 19 October 2016 - 15:05.


#10 LizEF

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 15:32

FWIW, consider the idea of two pens - that seems like the best suggestion so far.  For the price of one of your higher-end choices, you could get two of the lower-end choices.  Personally, I would go with the Ecos because of how much ink they'll hold (or even an Eco with your main note-taking color and a Kaweco Sport in a highlighting / emphasis color).  If you get a plastic Kaweco, you might be able to eye-dropper it (I can't tell you whether this is a good idea or not).

 

Either way, with two of them, you have the options of:

  • More ink ready to go
  • Different inks
  • Multiple nib types
  • A backup if one is no longer available for any reason

One thing to consider: if you use cartridges (e.g. in the Kaweco), you can easily carry more and insert a new one anywhere and in no time.  If your only pen is a piston filler like the TWSBIs, you need to make sure they're full before you leave home, or take an ink bottle with you and that just doesn't sound like a good idea to try filling between classes... :)


Edited by LizEF, 19 October 2016 - 15:33.


#11 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 15:41

FWIW, consider the idea of two pens - that seems like the best suggestion so far.  For the price of one of your higher-end choices, you could get two of the lower-end choices.  Personally, I would go with the Ecos because of how much ink they'll hold (or even an Eco with your main note-taking color and a Kaweco Sport in a highlighting / emphasis color).  If you get a plastic Kaweco, you might be able to eye-dropper it (I can't tell you whether this is a good idea or not).
 
Either way, with two of them, you have the options of:

  • More ink ready to go
  • Different inks
  • Multiple nib types
  • A backup if one is no longer available for any reason
One thing to consider: if you use cartridges (e.g. in the Kaweco), you can easily carry more and insert a new one anywhere and in no time.  If your only pen is a piston filler like the TWSBIs, you need to make sure they're full before you leave home, or take an ink bottle with you and that just doesn't sound like a good idea to try filling between classes... :)
You make a very good point. However, I personally have a fundamental problem with cartridges as they are really wasteful and bad for the environment. I personally refuse to use anything other than a converter or a pen with a built in filling mechanism and I while having backup cartridges is a good idea, at that point I'd rather just use the mechanical pencil I keep with my pens :P
Another worry is that if I have both pens I will use one more than the other and one will just sit idle and the ink will slowly dry over time or congeal and other problems may occur, though this is probably unlikely.

Buying both a TWSBI Eco and a Kaweco Sport is a very compelling option. I'll deffinitely keep it in mind.
I just worry I won't have the budget for it as currently my budget is not concretely set (I'm pretty sure it's gonna be around $50 but I don't know exactly, I'm working on figuring that out as the current situation is a bit complicated.)

Edited by Napostrophe, 19 October 2016 - 15:43.


#12 sandy101

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 15:44

Parson's Essential from Mr Pen in the UK. It comes with a lovely nib, you don't pay the sales tax, and after the pound's current nose dive on the markets, it will be much cheaper.



#13 LizEF

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:13

Another worry is that if I have both pens I will use one more than the other and one will just sit idle and the ink will slowly dry over time or congeal and other problems may occur, though this is probably unlikely.

 

I don't have personal experience with the Kawecos, but I'm in one of the drier parts of the US, and I can tell you, my Ecos will go a long time without drying out - the screw-on cap and o-rings really seal it up nicely.

 

If money's a concern and ~$50 is the limit, I'd go with the Eco and some good ink and paper. :)



#14 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:16

Parson's Essential from Mr Pen in the UK. It comes with a lovely nib, you don't pay the sales tax, and after the pound's current nose dive on the markets, it will be much cheaper.


Looks promising, however I personally cannot justify shelling out $55 for a converter pen, and that's not including shipping all the way to the US.

Edited by Napostrophe, 19 October 2016 - 16:26.


#15 AL01

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:18

As a student myself I can give you some surprising options...
1. Pilot Prera. A small but very comfortable pen to use while posted. It doesn't hiccup when writing fast.
2. Sheaffer Prelude. A decently sized Pen with a brass barrel and a plastic grip section. The nibs on these pens are smooth but give you the faint squeak that tells one that a pen is tuned to not bleed on paper no matter the ink or nib size.
3. Esterbrook J. A well made pen that comes in many different sizes but all share a few things in common... They are all lever fillers, all have swappable nibs (which are inexpensive to obtain), and feel very natural in the hand.
All are dependable pens that I have been using for 3,4, and 2 years respectively. None suffer from burping or cracks. The clips on all 3 pens are solid and one can expect to use them for many years. None of these pens deal with ink flow problems and won't bleed on your paper or skip at all. All pens can be obtainable for under 40 bucks.
I don't, however, recommend using Sailor and Noodlers ink on the J.
Good luck!

#16 AL01

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:23

The reason why I can't really recommend any of the pens you have listed is because all of them will pretty much give you the same writing experience. All have the same type of nibs that come from a German company, I believe. All the pens that I have recommended to you have in-house nibs, which makes them even better and makes one really appreciate the uniqueness of each fountain pen manufacturer.

#17 _InkyFingers

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:24

Go vintage a Parker 51 with a golden cap. Classic. Or better a Parker Vacumatic , huge ink reservoir. Classic. The three C of fountain pen. Cap - golden, Classic - exceptional Coverage - generations. Yes one fountain pen, one lifetime.

#18 T4TEXAS

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:30

Re the Eco...it does not always post securely, and posting makes it a little back heavy. Not posting does not bother me, but it may you.

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#19 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:31

I've got a Waterman Hemisphere - it's a decent pen. Robust (metal body) with subtle styling. Mine writes fairly well - never had a hard start or a skip. It had a bit of feedback when I got it so I used some mylar to smooth it out and it glides over the paper now! It's a wide-ish nib - Western Fine - if that's what you're looking for. While I like mine I think for the money a nice Jinhao would be a better option. The problem with the Jinhao is it's hit or miss on the quality of the writing experience.

 

Good luck with your choice!



#20 Napostrophe

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 16:41

As a student myself I can give you some surprising options...
1. Pilot Prera. A small but very comfortable pen to use while posted. It doesn't hiccup when writing fast.
2. Sheaffer Prelude. A decently sized Pen with a brass barrel and a plastic grip section. The nibs on these pens are smooth but give you the faint squeak that tells one that a pen is tuned to not bleed on paper no matter the ink or nib size.
3. Esterbrook J. A well made pen that comes in many different sizes but all share a few things in common... They are all lever fillers, all have swappable nibs (which are inexpensive to obtain), and feel very natural in the hand.
All are dependable pens that I have been using for 3,4, and 2 years respectively. None suffer from burping or cracks. The clips on all 3 pens are solid and one can expect to use them for many years. None of these pens deal with ink flow problems and won't bleed on your paper or skip at all. All pens can be obtainable for under 40 bucks.
I don't, however, recommend using Sailor and Noodlers ink on the J.
Good luck!


The pilot prera looks promising, on the list it goes.
On the other hand, I personally don't like the Sheaffer considering its price and on the topic of the Esterbrook, I don't feel like getting in to vintage pens yet.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: twsbi, noodler, konrad, kaweco, sport, vac, 580, vac700, post, student



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