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3776 Extra Fine Vs. Pilot Decimo Extra Fine?

nibs extra fine pen comparisons

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#1 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 14:50

I'm thinking of delving into the world of Japanese extra fines. Originally I was thinking of getting a Platinum 3776 Century extra fine. I currently have a soft fine 3776, which I love, and I also have fine and medium Pilot Vanishing Points (a Decimo and a Twilight VP), which I also love. I realized that I want something thinner for a pocket pen with waterproof ink. (Right now I have a Dollar Pen with Carbon Black, and that definitely does not work well on normal paper.) Does anyone have both the Pilot and the Platinum, and would the Pilot be way smoother than the 3776?

 

Also right now the 3776 is half the cost, since I could get one on Amazon (with prime shipping!) for $70, but a Decimo from JetPens would be $139, and the ones on Ebay/Amazon aren't that much cheaper and would take forever to ship to the US. I think if I were employed right now I wouldn't hesitate on the extra fine Decimo, but I lost my job in March. Then again, maybe I'll hate the Platinum, since I wonder if I only like the soft fine because it's soft and fine. Maybe I should just put a waterproof ink in the fine decimo or soft fine platinum I currently have, and not buy a new pen at all.



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#2 ManofKent

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 17:08

An even cheaper option if you want a thin pen with an extra fine nib is the Platinum PTL 5000A - 14k gold nib, firm with a fair bit of feedback but not truly scratchy. Around $44 dollars on Amazon, occasionally slightly cheaper on ebay from Japanese sellers.



#3 Driften

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 17:37

Just the VP nib unit is $80 and could easily be swapped between the bodies you have. I think you were right in trying the cheep pen with the waterproof ink first.  Not a lot of Japanese extra fine pens cheep though. There is the Platinum preppy. In general the lower price Pilot and Platinum are limited to F or M. For the ink you want to use maybe its good to try a Pilot MR in F for ~$13 you don't have much to lose. 

 

Another option is to send one of your current pens to be reground to extra fine. Normally that would be about $40-50 from looking around. Cheeper then a new 3776 or VP, but you are not getting the "Japanese" experience you are getting the custom nib experience.



#4 DocRadar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 17:41

Just the VP nib unit is $80 and could easily be swapped between the bodies you have. I think you were right in trying the cheep pen with the waterproof ink first.  Not a lot of Japanese extra fine pens cheep though. There is the Platinum preppy. In general the lower price Pilot and Platinum are limited to F or M. For the ink you want to use maybe its good to try a Pilot MR in F for ~$13 you don't have much to lose. 
 
Another option is to send one of your current pens to be reground to extra fine. Normally that would be about $40-50 from looking around. Cheeper then a new 3776 or VP, but you are not getting the "Japanese" experience you are getting the custom nib experience.



#5 DocRadar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 17:57

I suggest you grab an EF preppy to get an idea of the Platinum nib feel (a little toothy). Then try the Pilot Metro EF for the Pilot feel (smoother), but for a great ESF pocket pen, you might not do better than PilotNamiki 78G+ from Alibaba (Chinese Amazon and they're dying to sell you a pen, some sellers no shipping charge). The 78G+ EF is soft, unlike the Metro, but as smooth, and the Pilot nibs are swapable between all their cheaper pens. If you get all three pens it'll run you about $35 total if you avoid shipping (Amazon prime, motivated sellers... shop around). All these pens are well made and available with very fine nibs.
When you get a job you can buy the higher end pens if you still want them.

#6 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 23:46

An even cheaper option if you want a thin pen with an extra fine nib is the Platinum PTL 5000A - 14k gold nib, firm with a fair bit of feedback but not truly scratchy. Around $44 dollars on Amazon, occasionally slightly cheaper on ebay from Japanese sellers.

 I don't think I had heard of the PTL 5000A. I'll look into it.



#7 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 23:48

Just the VP nib unit is $80 and could easily be swapped between the bodies you have. I think you were right in trying the cheep pen with the waterproof ink first.  Not a lot of Japanese extra fine pens cheep though. There is the Platinum preppy. In general the lower price Pilot and Platinum are limited to F or M. For the ink you want to use maybe its good to try a Pilot MR in F for ~$13 you don't have much to lose. 

 

Another option is to send one of your current pens to be reground to extra fine. Normally that would be about $40-50 from looking around. Cheeper then a new 3776 or VP, but you are not getting the "Japanese" experience you are getting the custom nib experience.

Hmm. Getting an extra nib would work. I do have a Kakuna and a Metropolitan both in fine, which are also options. I might consider getting something reground at some point, though I'd think long and hard first.



#8 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 23:50

I suggest you grab an EF preppy to get an idea of the Platinum nib feel (a little toothy). Then try the Pilot Metro EF for the Pilot feel (smoother), but for a great ESF pocket pen, you might not do better than PilotNamiki 78G+ from Alibaba (Chinese Amazon and they're dying to sell you a pen, some sellers no shipping charge). The 78G+ EF is soft, unlike the Metro, but as smooth, and the Pilot nibs are swapable between all their cheaper pens. If you get all three pens it'll run you about $35 total if you avoid shipping (Amazon prime, motivated sellers... shop around). All these pens are well made and available with very fine nibs.
When you get a job you can buy the higher end pens if you still want them.

I ended up ordering a 78G+ EF at your suggestion (it'll be a while before it comes). Does the Metro have an EF option? I thought it just came in fine, medium, and now italic.



#9 Bounce792

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:02

Buy a Pilot Penmanship.  Swap the nibs.


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#10 MYU

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 17:02

You can't go wrong with a Pilot 78G+.  Probably one of the best pen values around.  Let us know how it turns out.  :)


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#11 TruthPil

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 14:18

You can't go wrong with a Pilot 78G+.  Probably one of the best pen values around.  Let us know how it turns out.   :)

 

Agreed, the Pilot 78G+ is an amazing value for a great everyday use nib. The fact that you can put the nib in all the other low-end Pilot pens is also a plus.


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#12 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 18:03

And now I realize my pilot elite is an EF as well. It needs some severe cleaning, but once I've done that I can use it for waterproof ink. I forget if I liked it last time I used it, though it clogged pretty quickly with the Namiki Blue that used to be in it. I might still go for the 3776 or the extra nib unit for the Decimo at some point. (Maybe as an employment present?)



#13 cellmatrix

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 13:23

I have both a pilot VP extra fine and a platinum 3776 extra fine. I think that the pilot EF nib writes a wider line compared to the platinum, which by contrast has a slightly thinner line and a slightly more consistent ink flow. The 3776 has some mild feed back buts it is more pleasant to write with than the pilot, which just feels scratchy to me.

#14 TheYellowHobbit

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:33

The 78G+ came, the elite is cleaned, and I can't find the Namiki Blue I was going to use. I figure I'll use up the ink in the Metropolitan (Noodler's La Reine Mauve) first and then fill the G+, since it's new and I want to try it out.

 

I think when I do buy a more expensive pen, it'll be the 3776, based on what people have been saying.



#15 TruthPil

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:10

78G+ is a wise economical choice. I'm looking forward to reading some of your impressions of it once it's inked up and running!

 

I have a 78G+ and a 3776 Century in Soft Fine and I find the Pilot pen to be a much smoother writing experience. The Platinum has some definite tooth to it, but other than that I enjoy the pen and use it daily because it works perfectly for doing my Chinese homework where I need a little feedback on the strokes. :P


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#16 deacondavid

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 18:07

I would recommend the nib unit for the Decimo (it's the same unit that the Vanishing Points use) if you decide go beyond what you already have. It's less expensive than the Platinum Century 3776 and a smoother writer. The line from the VP Extra Fine nib unit is a bit wider, though. You'll have to make your own choice between fineness of line and smooth writing. 

 

If you want a really fine line, Platinum also makes an Ultra Extra Fine. It's probably the finest line you're going to find without involving a nibmeister, but successful writing with it requires a very light hand and good paper really helps. The UEF is outstanding, in my opinion, when I am wanting to practice writing Japanese (agreeing with TruthPil, here - they're usually the same characters).

 

Don't forget that your choice of inks can make a huge difference in how wide a line a nib gives you. While I love the color that I get from some of the Noodler's Bulletproof line (especially Texas Live Oak), they spread and create a much wider line than I get with Sailor Sei-Boku and Kiwa-Guro. I just put Pilot Blue-Black in my Vanishing Point Extra Fine and find it to be somewhere in between the Noodler's Bulletproof inks and the Sailor Pigmented inks.


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