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Pilot 823 Vs 743 Balance

pilot 823 743 top-heavy weight

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#1 Pendimonium

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 17:31

I have a Pilot 823, but it turned out to be too top heavy for me. The shape is perfect, but it's just too fatiguing for longer sessions, so I'm considering getting a 743. I believe that having a cartridge converter, it should be more balanced?

 

Am I correct in my thinking? This site lists them both having a very similar weight, so I'm not sure:

http://kmpn.blogspot...lot-custom.html

 

Thanks!



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#2 jar

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 17:39

I have not found my 743 to be top heavy at all.


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#3 ChadRiggsbee

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 18:41

I just received a Pilot Custom 743 a couple of days ago, and I can already tell that I like it better than my 823.  My reason for ordering it was I wanted to try out a Waverley (WA) nib, and had read several places that the nibs on the 743 and 823 could be swapped, both being #15 size Pilot 14kt nibs.  My plan was to swap the nibs, put the fine nib I have on my 823 onto the 743, and then sell or trade the 743 with a fine nib.

 

Well, I swapped the nibs out, and the WA nib did not perform well on my 823 at all.  It was dry, it skipped, it hard starting issues, etc.  So, wanting mostly to try out the nib, I put it back onto the 743 and it worked beautifully.  To my surprise, I found that not only do I like this particular nib quite a bit (it's mostly as side topic here, but I mention it just to give context for my feelings on the two pens), but I actually prefer the 743 overall as a pen.

 

Aesthetically, I like the 743 better, as I am not a huge fan of demonstrators, and I only bought the 823 for the "cool" filling system.  Additionally, I do find the balance and weight of the 743 to be more to my liking.  I like to post my pens, and when I post my 823, I find the balance to feel a little bit "off."  Posting my 743 does not seem to change the balance for me, at least not that I can feel.  The resin / plastic that the 743 is made of also feels a bit "nicer" to me than the 823's material.  Finally, I have had trouble with the writing of my 823 even with the fine nib that came on it, ever since I acquired it a couple of months ago.  It is a bit dry (even with the blind cap unscrewed fully), and the fine nib occasionally gives me skips and hard starts.  The ink flow on the 743 is fantastic -- just on the wet side of medium, which is what I like, and it is consistent.  The CON-70 converter holds a gracious plenty of ink for me, and having the option of using cartridges in a pinch is handy.

 

Sorry for any tangents there (I know you asked specifically about balance), but that's my personal experience with the Pilot Custom 823 and Custom 743, and I have come to the surprising conclusion that I like the 743 better overall.  In fact, now I think I will be selling / trading the 823, rather than the other way around -- good stuff!

 

Best of luck with your decision, and have a nice day!

 

Best,

Chad



#4 Tootles

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 18:50

Did you have to pull the nib to swap them over, or can you simply unscrew the whole section to swap?  I have heard that the sections are the same but confirmation would be good.



#5 ChadRiggsbee

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 19:21

Did you have to pull the nib to swap them over, or can you simply unscrew the whole section to swap?  I have heard that the sections are the same but confirmation would be good.

 

 

You just pull out the nib and feed (they are friction fit) to swap them.  The section on the 823 does not unscrew, to my knowledge.  However, the sections on the Custom 742 and Custom 912 are indeed interchangeable, from what I understand.



#6 Pendimonium

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 19:35

I have not found my 743 to be top heavy at all.

 

Thanks

 

I just received a Pilot Custom 743 a couple of days ago, and I can already tell that I like it better than my 823.  My reason for ordering it was I wanted to try out a Waverley (WA) nib, and had read several places that the nibs on the 743 and 823 could be swapped, both being #15 size Pilot 14kt nibs.  My plan was to swap the nibs, put the fine nib I have on my 823 onto the 743, and then sell or trade the 743 with a fine nib.

 

Well, I swapped the nibs out, and the WA nib did not perform well on my 823 at all.  It was dry, it skipped, it hard starting issues, etc.  So, wanting mostly to try out the nib, I put it back onto the 743 and it worked beautifully.  To my surprise, I found that not only do I like this particular nib quite a bit (it's mostly as side topic here, but I mention it just to give context for my feelings on the two pens), but I actually prefer the 743 overall as a pen.

 

Aesthetically, I like the 743 better, as I am not a huge fan of demonstrators, and I only bought the 823 for the "cool" filling system.  Additionally, I do find the balance and weight of the 743 to be more to my liking.  I like to post my pens, and when I post my 823, I find the balance to feel a little bit "off."  Posting my 743 does not seem to change the balance for me, at least not that I can feel.  The resin / plastic that the 743 is made of also feels a bit "nicer" to me than the 823's material.  Finally, I have had trouble with the writing of my 823 even with the fine nib that came on it, ever since I acquired it a couple of months ago.  It is a bit dry (even with the blind cap unscrewed fully), and the fine nib occasionally gives me skips and hard starts.  The ink flow on the 743 is fantastic -- just on the wet side of medium, which is what I like, and it is consistent.  The CON-70 converter holds a gracious plenty of ink for me, and having the option of using cartridges in a pinch is handy.

 

Sorry for any tangents there (I know you asked specifically about balance), but that's my personal experience with the Pilot Custom 823 and Custom 743, and I have come to the surprising conclusion that I like the 743 better overall.  In fact, now I think I will be selling / trading the 823, rather than the other way around -- good stuff!

 

Best of luck with your decision, and have a nice day!

 

Best,

Chad

 

Thank you, that was very helpful and seems very much in line with my 823 F experience!



#7 Dr.Grace

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 00:54

The section on the 823 does unscrew, but I'd advise against it. You might end up cracking the barrel when you reassemble. It would be better to pull the nib out.


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#8 Drone

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 11:17

@Pendimonium,

I have both 823 (F-nib) & 743 (semi-flex FA-nib) Pilot pens. When  posted (I always write posted), the 823 is a bit more top-heavy compared with the 743. But I do not find the 823 to be too top heavy. Overall, the 743 is the better balanced pen.

My 823 sees little use compared to the 743. The reasons have more to do with just the FA nib on the 743 (which is not available on the 823 even though all Pilot #15 size 14K nibs fit both pens). The key reason is the 743 is a C/C filler which is far easier to clean and maintain than the fiddly vacuum-fill 823. Also, unlike the 823 I don't have to unscrew the filler knob to write with the 743 (I use the CON70 pump converter in  the 743).

There are more factors in favor of the 743 over the 823:

Keep in mind the 743 is not available as a demonstrator. But unlike the 823, I've never heard of a 743 cracking. The last time I  checked, the 743 comes with fourteen (14) nib options while the 823 comes with only three sizes ( F, M, & B ). The 743 & 823 are for all intents and purposes the same in size and shape. I have found the 743 to be around 10% to 20% less expensive than the 823.

Unlike the 823, buying the 743 outside of Japan is difficult if not impossible. But the price of all premium Pilot fountain pens outside Japan (U.S. included) is so high, you would be crazy to buy one in the  first place! So put the power of arbitrage to work for you and always buy Japan-direct. If you use a reputable Japanese reseller they will honor the factory warranty on your behalf. The last time I bought a pen direct from Japan, global online-tracked shipping by air (e.g., EMS) was  around $12 USD or less depending on destination.

Good Luck, David


Edited by Drone, 14 January 2017 - 12:06.


#9 Pendimonium

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 07:53

Thanks for your input, David. I totally agree with the c/c system being more practical and for me this too is the reason I almost never use my 823.

 

This all sounds very promising, so I've ordered a 743 with a broad nib from Japan. I'll report back how it compares to my 823 in - hopefully - about two weeks.



#10 Tootles

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:17

I think it would be fairer for Drone to say that there are more factors that he prefers in the 743 over the 823.  It is a subjective call really.  I chose an 823 over the 743 because of factors I prefer.  There's no objective good or bad here, go with what you are attracted to.



#11 Drone

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:51

I think it would be fairer for Drone to say that there are more factors that he prefers in the 743 over the 823.  It is a subjective call really.  I chose an 823 over the 743 because of factors I prefer.  There's no objective good or bad here, go with what you are attracted to.

 

Dear Empty_of_Clouds,

 

With all due respect... Of course what I said is "my subjective opinion" - that's the whole purpose of this forum, for people to post their opinion on matters being discussed. I fail to see how openly stating the obvious makes my post any "fairer". Or perhaps I should begin every single one of my posts with: "In my opinion..."?

 

With Regards, David



#12 Drone

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:28

Thanks for your input, David. I totally agree with the c/c system being more practical and for me this too is the reason I almost never use my 823.

 

This all sounds very promising, so I've ordered a 743 with a broad nib from Japan. I'll report back how it compares to my 823 in - hopefully - about two weeks.

 

From reports I've seen that Pilot #15 14K broad nib will probably write like a rather wet western medium nib and be quite smooth but with a bit of feedback. Remember to give the pen a good flush before filling it the first time (just in-case).

 

Since I haven't purchased a pen from Japan in a while, when your 743 comes in let us know who you bought it from and what the pen and shipping costs where. Normally I buy Japanese pens through Taizo at Engeika, but I'm keen to try another reseller as a backup.

 

If you are in the U.S., depending on where you live, how quick your pen ships, what day the pen shipped on, and whether it was shipped by EMS air (likely), you might see the pen within a week if you are on the U.S. west coast. Add two or three days for east coast delivery (pro-rata if you are between coasts). Your 743 with a B nib should ship pretty quick, the nib choice is rather popular but not so popular it might be out of stock (the FA nib gets like that sometimes).

 

Almost all my shipments from Japan went EMS air. Below is the link to the Japan Post EMS tracking site I use. Unlike most EMS tracking sites which track only until a package reaches the destination country's inward post office (you then have to switch to  the destination country's tracking site), the Japan EMS site tracks the shipment all the way to delivery - at least it does for shipments to me here in Indonesia.

 

http://www.post.japa...s/index_en.html

 

I wish you luck with your new 743.

 

Regards, David



#13 Tootles

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:30

Edit: Retracting the previous statement. Opinions are just that, here's mine in the debate between the humdrum 743 and the exciting 823. :D

 

I chose the 823 because it has more factors that favour it than the 743.

 

It has a built in filling system that holds far more ink than a converter. I find converters far more fiddly to clean.

 

The 823 costs exactly the same as the 743 if one shops around. FWIW I bought my 823 brand new for 200USD.

 

It 823 comes in 3 cool demonstrator colours, the 743 comes in only solid black or red.  The 743 is somewhat pedestrian in the looks department.

 

The only objective advantage the 743 has, in my opinion, is the initial choice of nib. If one is choosing a fine, medium or broad then this advantage is null. And of course one cannot buy individual Pilot nibs so it's still a one-shot choice. The 823 can be had with an FA or WA nib at a premium, but this changes the price comparison.

 

The form factor of both pens is identical, but the 823 feels more substantial in the hand. Some may find this preferable. However, the weight difference between the two pens is not a deciding factor for me. In fact I hardly notice the difference.



#14 Drone

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:32

...The 823 can be had with an FA or WA nib at a premium, but this changes the price comparison...

 

The only place I know of that offers the 823 with an FA or WA nib option is the "Quill" shop in Tokyo:

www.japanshop-quill.com/pilot-custom823.htm

The "Quill" price for an 823/FA is currently JPY 30,000 which at today's ForEx rate is roughly $262 USD - about $50-$60 over the 823 street price with a regular F, M, or B nib.

I have heard that Taizo San at Engeika can "swap" an FA nib into an 823, but you either need to supply the nib or buy a 743 as a donor (the 743 can in-theory then be resold). I have never confirmed this myself though.

Question: Do you know of any other resellers of the 823 w/FA nib?

I agree the 743 is not as "exciting: as the 823, but I feel both pens fall into the "workhorse" category, and that's where the 743 pulls out ahead of the 823 as my daily user. If I want to make a fashion statement, IMO there are plenty of other pens available that would leave both the 823 and 743 in the dust ;)

Thanks, David


Edited by Drone, 15 January 2017 - 10:34.


#15 Pendimonium

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 11:55

Since I haven't purchased a pen from Japan in a while, when your 743 comes in let us know who you bought it from and what the pen and shipping costs where. Normally I buy Japanese pens through Taizo at Engeika, but I'm keen to try another reseller as a backup.

 

Engeika doesn't seems to carry Pilots anymore? I ordered from amazon.co.jp through buyee.jp. I'm in Europe. So far I've payed 174 euros, pending shipping and service charges once it arrives in their warehouse. I've used buyee before and had a good exprience. They do ship via EMS.

 

My 823 I bought from smartimports.net. Expensive, but good service. He can get most pens by request.


Edited by Pendimonium, 15 January 2017 - 11:58.


#16 EricTheRed

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 22:07

The 823 and 743 both sport the outstanding. world class, Pilot #15 nib, so you cannot go wrong with either option.  The 743, being a cc, is slightly easier to fill and clean but holds significantly less ink. The 823, being a VAC, is the superior traveler as it has a much greater ink storage capacity (for extended trips) and can be carried on an aircraft without fear of ink spillage.   I think they are both beautiful and highly functional.  Hence, I strongly recommend getting both if your budget allows it :D







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