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Pilot Custom 823 Isn't Writing Very Well

pilot custom 823 823 repair

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31 replies to this topic

#1 PenandDesign

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 18:15

A month or so ago, I bought a Pilot Custom 823 in M from an Amazon reseller. However, the pen just doesn't write about 30% of the time, regardless of blind cap openness, ink, or paper type. Is this a common issue with a common fix, or should I contact Pilot? I bought this pen from Japan and I live in Canada. Resultingly, who should I contact? I've already emailed Crestar and Pilot USA. I've heard about this issue before, but I don't know what to do about it. Thank you so much, FPN!
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#2 jar

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 18:34

See if you can return the pen or if you waited too long.


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#3 PenandDesign

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 18:55

Thanks, jar. I'm looking into that, too!
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#4 Maurizio

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 12:52

Was this a brand new pen or used? Are you sure the reseller didn't pawn off a "lemon" to you? If yes then you should certainly contact Pilot. If there is no help from there because it was an "unofficial reseller" , contact Amazon so they can ask the seller to provide you with service or drop them from their vender list.

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#5 zerobuttons

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 16:07

When I got my 823, I had problems with the pen often not starting, and often stopping mid-writing. I found that way too much grease had been applied to the piston, and that much of it mixed with the ink in the ink-chamber. Flushing the pen a couple of times with a mild soap-solution cleared out enough of the grease to make the pen function as expected.


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#6 PenandDesign

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:48

Was this a brand new pen or used? Are you sure the reseller didn't pawn off a "lemon" to you? If yes then you should certainly contact Pilot. If there is no help from there because it was an "unofficial reseller" , contact Amazon so they can ask the seller to provide you with service or drop them from their vender list.


Maurizio. I'm sorry for not responding sooner. The retailer has said they can take the pen back, but I think it was brand new. It was an unofficial reseller, but the pen came in a shrinkwrapped Pilot box, and was in a sleeve. Could it still be a lemon or factory reject?
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#7 PenandDesign

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:49

When I got my 823, I had problems with the pen often not starting, and often stopping mid-writing. I found that way too much grease had been applied to the piston, and that much of it mixed with the ink in the ink-chamber. Flushing the pen a couple of times with a mild soap-solution cleared out enough of the grease to make the pen function as expected.


Yes! I have the exact same writing problems. The feed just seems insufficiently, well, fed.
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#8 Maurizio

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:15

"shrink-wrappped" says to me "repackaged". I've bought at least 12 over $100 pens from Pilot over the last 3 years, including 2 direct from Japan, and none of them were in any shrink-wrapped packages. I'd like to hear from others here on this issue. The 823 is a great pen but no company produces 100% perfect units. I'd send the pen back for a refund and get your 823 from an official Pilot seller.

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#9 Duane Pandorf

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 23:25

If you don't return the pen it's not that difficult to disassemble the pen to ensure the nib and feed are assembled correctly and there's nothing blocking the feed to barrel connection.

Here's a YouTube video showing easy it's done:


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#10 PenandDesign

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 15:07

"shrink-wrappped" says to me "repackaged". I've bought at least 12 over $100 pens from Pilot over the last 3 years, including 2 direct from Japan, and none of them were in any shrink-wrapped packages. I'd like to hear from others here on this issue. The 823 is a great pen but no company produces 100% perfect units. I'd send the pen back for a refund and get your 823 from an official Pilot seller.

 

Really? The box was placed on some cardboard stock, IIRC, and that was all wrapped in plastic. Inside, the pen was also in a plastic sleeve. Thanks for your help


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#11 Maurizio

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 19:00

Did the box say "Pilot" on it?

 

Here's a link to a picture of the box the 823 usually comes in at least for its outside of Japan stock

 

https://www.jetpens....CFYmLswodi-8HvA

 

If the seller will still take it, send it back; if not I'd make a complaint to Amazon for a bad vendor selling something as new which, apparently, was not.


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#12 JunkyardSam

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 00:38

I could be mistaken, but I believe that's the box the American version of the 823 comes in. If imported from Japan it may come in a different box. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Regarding your pen -- I've purchased ~15 gold nibbed Pilots so far. The most common issue I encountered related to the tines being too tight... Tight enough that it actually restricts ink flow. I'd say this was an issue with nearly half of them to some degree, and at least two of them wouldn't write at all before adjustment. (a very very slight widening of the tines to reduce tension at the tip.)

 

Regarding your 823 -- if you drag the pen by its tail does it produce at least a moderate line? Try that, as a test to see if it releases ink under its own weight. Drag it down, side to side, upward, etc. It should produce at least a moderate line in all directions.

 

If it doesn't -- now try writing with it with no pressure. Then try applying a little bit of pressure on the downstrokes --- just enough to open the tines a bit. (Not flex, just a little pressure.)

 

When you do that --- do you get flow? Does pressing down, gently, cause the pen to release ink when it wouldn't before?

 

Sometimes people get pens with flow issues and assume it's a feed problem when it's actually the nib restricting flow. I've encountered this issue with Pilot, Platinum, Lamy, and even a Sailor pen... so it's pretty common.

 

(I apologize if my suggested troubleshooting underestimates your knowledge of pens, etc. I'm just trying to help diagnose the source of trouble.)

 

I would also check alignment and try reseating the nib and feed.

 

 

And you already said it's not an issue -- but unscrewing the blind cap is an absolute must. It's actually sealing off the ink if you don't. But you know this. (I ended up removing the conical seal at the tip of the post --- the best decision I ever made. My 823 works like a normal pen with no bothering with the blind cap.)


Edited by JunkyardSam, 25 March 2017 - 00:41.


#13 Bobby Check

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 06:46

The above comments are all helpful.
 
However, you probably do this, but you must unscrew the end of the barrel, (Engeika calls this a "tail plug"),   a quarter turn or so to release the seal at the front of the barrel. This is a feature designed to protect our kimonos when the cap falls off.
 
 
When I forget to do this, inevitably the pen starves itself and I am not able to write with it. With the tail plug off a quarter turn or so it becomes one of my favorite pens.
 
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#14 PenandDesign

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 00:35

I could be mistaken, but I believe that's the box the American version of the 823 comes in. If imported from Japan it may come in a different box. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Regarding your pen -- I've purchased ~15 gold nibbed Pilots so far. The most common issue I encountered related to the tines being too tight... Tight enough that it actually restricts ink flow. I'd say this was an issue with nearly half of them to some degree, and at least two of them wouldn't write at all before adjustment. (a very very slight widening of the tines to reduce tension at the tip.)
 
Regarding your 823 -- if you drag the pen by its tail does it produce at least a moderate line? Try that, as a test to see if it releases ink under its own weight. Drag it down, side to side, upward, etc. It should produce at least a moderate line in all directions.
 
If it doesn't -- now try writing with it with no pressure. Then try applying a little bit of pressure on the downstrokes --- just enough to open the tines a bit. (Not flex, just a little pressure.)
 
When you do that --- do you get flow? Does pressing down, gently, cause the pen to release ink when it wouldn't before?
 
Sometimes people get pens with flow issues and assume it's a feed problem when it's actually the nib restricting flow. I've encountered this issue with Pilot, Platinum, Lamy, and even a Sailor pen... so it's pretty common.
 
(I apologize if my suggested troubleshooting underestimates your knowledge of pens, etc. I'm just trying to help diagnose the source of trouble.)
 
I would also check alignment and try reseating the nib and feed.
 
 
And you already said it's not an issue -- but unscrewing the blind cap is an absolute must. It's actually sealing off the ink if you don't. But you know this. (I ended up removing the conical seal at the tip of the post --- the best decision I ever made. My 823 works like a normal pen with no bothering with the blind cap.)

Thank you so much for your comments. I've opened the blind cap, but the pen sometimes just won't write despite the strokes I make and the prudent application of pressure. I'll try your diagnostic test and report back...I wasn't sure whether it was the nib or tines. Maybe it's because I'm left-handed...I let a family member try it, and they found it less prone to stopping, but still plagued by the same issue: the pen sometimes stops writing - regardless of blind cap status - despite the ink, and despite the stroke/pressure.

Edit: performed the diagnostic...it seemed to work fine when there's consistent ink flow - I guess the question is why does it fail to write after a few sentences...

Edited by PenandDesign, 09 June 2017 - 03:23.

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#15 PenandDesign

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 00:38

The above comments are all helpful.
 
However, you probably do this, but you must unscrew the end of the barrel, (Engeika calls this a "tail plug"),   a quarter turn or so to release the seal at the front of the barrel. This is a feature designed to protect our kimonos when the cap falls off.
 
http://www.engeika.com/page/1
 
When I forget to do this, inevitably the pen starves itself and I am not able to write with it. With the tail plug off a quarter turn or so it becomes one of my favorite pens.
 
Enjoy,
 
Bobby


Thanks, Bobby. Nice to see a fellow Canadian...I don't suppose you're wearing a kimono in Calgary very often, what with the winter weather and all :) Thanks for the diagram. I've been opening the blind cap, but when it didn't help the pen write, I pulled out the tail plug fully, to no discernible effect. I'll keep trying.
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#16 deacondavid

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:47

I have ordered a few Pilot Pens from Japan in the past (a Custom 823 (I wanted a color that is not offered in the United States), a Custom 743( I wanted a pen with a Posting nib) and a Vanishing Point Green Carbonesque (again, not offered in the United States)). None of the pens were shrink-wrapped in the box. Now, the pen inside the box was in a plastic sleeve, but no external shrink-wrap was present on any of them.

 

I will also say that none of my Pilots - either purchased from a dealer in the US or ordered from Japan - has had a stopping and starting issue similar to what you describe. I hope that you can get this sorted out. The Custom 823 is a great pen and should write like a dream - both of mine have!


Edited by deacondavid, 09 June 2017 - 02:48.

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#17 PenandDesign

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 03:24

I have ordered a few Pilot Pens from Japan in the past (a Custom 823 (I wanted a color that is not offered in the United States), a Custom 743( I wanted a pen with a Posting nib) and a Vanishing Point Green Carbonesque (again, not offered in the United States)). None of the pens were shrink-wrapped in the box. Now, the pen inside the box was in a plastic sleeve, but no external shrink-wrap was present on any of them.
 
I will also say that none of my Pilots - either purchased from a dealer in the US or ordered from Japan - has had a stopping and starting issue similar to what you describe. I hope that you can get this sorted out. The Custom 823 is a great pen and should write like a dream - both of mine have!


Sorry, I should clarify. The box itself was shrink-wrapped. The pen came in a sleeve. The box matched that of another Pilot pen I purchased online from Japan, so I think it was probably new. Thank you, David!
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#18 Dr.Grace

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 23:06

With my 823, I need to open the blind cap past where the threads end to get steady ink flow. A couple of mm isn't enough.
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#19 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 23:13

My Pilot Custom 823 in Black came in what is in those pictures. I can't remember if it was in some type of plastic wrap or not.

 

Did the box say "Pilot" on it?

 

Here's a link to a picture of the box the 823 usually comes in at least for its outside of Japan stock

 

https://www.jetpens....CFYmLswodi-8HvA

 

If the seller will still take it, send it back; if not I'd make a complaint to Amazon for a bad vendor selling something as new which, apparently, was not.



#20 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 23:13

I too do this. I unscrew it all the way until I could pull the plunger out but I don't do it.

 

With my 823, I need to open the blind cap past where the threads end to get steady ink flow. A couple of mm isn't enough.







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