So, it is your first purchase from an Indian company (other than fountain pen revolution which you didn't like very much) and you are looking at the these 4 big names:
Ranga, Wality, ASA, and GAMA.
Which do you buy to ensure a wonderful writing experience? An experience that will keep you coming back for more.
How much is too much for an ebonite pen?
If you want a eye dropper that you can carry and won't leak and it seems that ASA's Athlete looks like the best option with its particularly long feeder, but does it really matter?
Do you prefer (like me) to grip the pen rather high or rather low?
If given the option between nib makers JoWo, Schmidt or and generic, which do you choose?
And finally, if you have the option to upgrade the pen (and thus the price) into a converter/cartridge, do you?
Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer these burning questions
Ideally, you have had some experience with more than 1 of these companies' pens so as to be able to make a comparison, but if not I am still interested in your experience any of the pens!
I would like to shade some light on this matter. Eyedropper pens are tricky, some copies will invariably have leaking from the junction of body and section, some will have burping issues, etc. So whatever the company and reputation, there are bound to be some disappointments and heartbreaks for mass produced eyedropper pens. With this caveat I would like to focus on specific questions. I would start from below to clear the other questions. Indian default nibs are mostly fine grade, writes between Japanese fine and western medium, and there is lack of good quality control. So if you choose Indian generic or specific branded nibs like Gama or Wality nibs, there might be occasional duds, scratchiness, poor quality etc. Jowo, Schimdt, Bock nib units are definitely better, comes with varieties of tip options and the feeds are well tolerant to pressure and temperature changes, so the burping issues are minimal. So given the choice and expectation of getting a good nib right out of the box with minimal issues- I'll definitely go for Schimdt or Jowo nibs.
Then come to the up-gradation to other filling systems and my answer is a definite yes. 3-in-1 system is better than plain eyedropper and hassle free.
Combining the above answers its best to get either Ranga or ASA pens with German nib units and 3-in-1 filling systems. Ranga offers premium ebonites and some premium models. Also the base price of Ranga is more than ASA pens, in exchange you'd get better finish and costly looking materials. ASA on the other hand offers more affordable pens with good finish and much more approachable for customization.
Gama pens are solidly built and the nibs are a pleasure to use, but remember its difficult to predict which copy would turn out to be a bad copy.
Wality pens are a let down as far as the nib is concerned and also these pens have weird nib size, so getting replacement nibs can be real tough.
Fosfor is India's best known luxury pen producer and his pens are much more costly and regal.
Guider pens are well built but almost all Guider nibs requires replacement.
About how much is too much for an ebonite pen- it depends. For simple ebonite eyedropper pens with generic nibs, anything above INR 1000 (about US $ 20) is high. For a 3-in-1 filling system and other German nib units, anything above INR 2500 (about US $ 45) is costly. But add to this specific models with great craftsmanship, some intricate hand made work on the body or costly materials and the price could go up in a valid way.
For premium Ebonite and custom made pens, the price might be greater.
Lastly any eyedropper pen needs to be carried very cautiously for the first few days. If it leaks than bad luck.
Edited by Samrat, 23 November 2016 - 18:18.