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Pilot Custom 823 Nib And Related

pilot custom 823 custom 823 fine nib

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Aditkamath26

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 19:32

Hello pen people. I am posting this in dire need of advice. I might buy a Pilot Custom 823 next week or so from the Nibsmith. I am not convinced on the nib size. I am either going for a fine nib or a medium ground to a medium-fine according to Sailors mf width. Can anyone say how the fine nib compares to other fines like TWSBI or Platinum 14k fines on the Century model? If you can provide a writing sample of the Custom 823 fine or medium with other nibs like Jowo fines, mediums or Sailor mf etc, it would be of great help. Any help in decision making would be very much appreciated. I have to say that the Pilot waverley nib is almost the perfect line width for me. I have tried it on a friends pen.

Also can anyone tell me about the blue ink that comes with it? And any comparison photos with well known blue inks would be much appreciated.

Arigato Gozaimasu!

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#2 JunkyardSam

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 20:26

I own three 823s. I bought them with F, M, and WA nibs though I now run EF, FA, and WA on them.

 

The 823's F nib is comparable to a TWSBI EF (in width -- not feel)

 

Pilot's #15 M nib was surprisingly wide. I own two (#5 and #15) so I wasn't so surprised by the second... Pilot's M nib is more comparable to a Western M although I owned a Pelikan M215 Rings Edition M which was narrower.

 

My Pilot M nibs are comparable to my 3776 B. They're that wide!  Probably because Pilot has the FM nibs as a between size, a width which you seem to like.

 

To confirm your experience - my 823 WA sits clearly in the middle of a Pilot F and Pilot M, so again -- based on this I think you'd like the medium ground to a medium-fine.

 

You could also buy a 743 FM with your 823 M and swap the nibs.   I really love Pilot's nib feel so I would personally prefer a Pilot nib to be in its original state - not reground by someone... but Nibsmith.com offers a free grind with the purchase and that's a good value.  The cost is a little higher than buying an import -- but with the grind and setup included that could totally be worth it since Pilot nibs are not *always* perfectly tuned out of the box.

 

The 823 is a great pen - I think you'll like it.


Edited by JunkyardSam, 25 May 2018 - 20:28.


#3 Aditkamath26

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 03:53

I own three 823s. I bought them with F, M, and WA nibs though I now run EF, FA, and WA on them.
 
The 823's F nib is comparable to a TWSBI EF (in width -- not feel)
 
Pilot's #15 M nib was surprisingly wide. I own two (#5 and #15) so I wasn't so surprised by the second... Pilot's M nib is more comparable to a Western M although I owned a Pelikan M215 Rings Edition M which was narrower.
 
My Pilot M nibs are comparable to my 3776 B. They're that wide!  Probably because Pilot has the FM nibs as a between size, a width which you seem to like.
 
To confirm your experience - my 823 WA sits clearly in the middle of a Pilot F and Pilot M, so again -- based on this I think you'd like the medium ground to a medium-fine.
 
You could also buy a 743 FM with your 823 M and swap the nibs.   I really love Pilot's nib feel so I would personally prefer a Pilot nib to be in its original state - not reground by someone... but Nibsmith.com offers a free grind with the purchase and that's a good value.  The cost is a little higher than buying an import -- but with the grind and setup included that could totally be worth it since Pilot nibs are not *always* perfectly tuned out of the box.
 
The 823 is a great pen - I think you'll like it.


Thank you very much for the reply Sam. As much as I would like to get the 823 in a FM, I cant. Also swapping the nibs isnt really an option to me since I have to buy another pen for it. Truth is, the 823 isnt the only pen Im buying. Im also buying an Aurora Optima. But its really nice to know that the WA is a nice upturned FM.
I am afraid of buying from Japan since many experiences state that the nibs are dry out of the box. I do know a little bit of nib tuning and grinding but have never tried on gold nibs.

#4 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 06:47

Hello pen people. I am posting this in dire need of advice. I might buy a Pilot Custom 823 next week or so from the Nibsmith. I am not convinced on the nib size.

I feel your pain. Once I had decided to get an 823, the next step was to decide on the nib. 823's can't be bought in stores in Europe, so no try before you buy. In the end I chose to order a F. In about 3 weeks I will let you know if I made the right choice.

Regarding ink, given that the 823 can be hard to clean, I'm also puzzling on which ink to put into it. It will depend on the wetness of the pen, but I'd like to put a "set it and forget it" blue or blue-black ink in it.

#5 Paperlate

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:22

I find my Pilot 823 F nib to be very wet and it produces a broader line than the Platinum 3776 F nib you asked about in the original post when using the same ink and paper for both pens. Keep in mind my experience is based on owning one 823 F nib and two 3776 F nibs, so a small sample size.
I have also found the Pilot 823 F nib line width to be very dependent on the ink being used, more so than any other pen in my collection. Changing the ink can change the line width from F to M and I experimented with numerous inks before finding one that produced a narrow line width that I was happy with.
If it were me, I would get the F nib and not touch it. It is a visually stunning nib and if you have Dan do a size reduction on a M nib it will write great (I had him reduce a nib on a Montblanc for me a few years ago) but it will look like someone took a grinding wheel to it, which in fact they did.
Of all my Japanese F nibs, including numerous Sailors, Platinums, and other Pilots, the 823 F nib is the broadest. I suspect due to it being so wet as looking at the nib tip under magnification doesnt suggest it has a broader tip than the other nibs Im comparing it to.

#6 jmccarty3

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 13:14

Pilot's #15 M nib was surprisingly wide. I own two (#5 and #15) so I wasn't so surprised by the second... Pilot's M nib is more comparable to a Western M although I owned a Pelikan M215 Rings Edition M which was narrower.

 

My Pilot M nibs are comparable to my 3776 B. They're that wide!  Probably because Pilot has the FM nibs as a between size, a width which you seem to like.

 

To confirm your experience - my 823 WA sits clearly in the middle of a Pilot F and Pilot M, so again -- based on this I think you'd like the medium ground to a medium-fine.

 

My experience has been identical to JunkyardSam's, and I agree with his advice.

 

For ink, I don't think you can go wrong with Pilot Blue or Blue-Black (I use the latter in mine). The Iroshizuku inks should do fine as well. Enjoy your pen!


Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.


#7 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 13:53

I have also found the Pilot 823 F nib line width to be very dependent on the ink being used, more so than any other pen in my collection. Changing the ink can change the line width from F to M and I experimented with numerous inks before finding one that produced a narrow line width that I was happy with.

All pens show some degree of variation depending on ink, but yes, some change dramatically. I have similar experiences with a Sailor Pro Gear Slim 14k H-M and a Visconti van Gogh F. Using any Sailor ink in that Sailor pen makes it wider than European M (with the exception of Kiwa Guro Black). I use Pelikan 4001 Blue Black in it, and that's a great ink for that pen. The Visconti writes beautifully with Visconti Blue (which is somewhat dry and perhaps even a bit viscous) but becomes a firehose with other inks.

Basically it is meaningless to say that a pen is dry or wet. First it depens on age and usage (a lot of pens become wetter with use, even with the same ink throughout), second it depends strongly on the ink used.

#8 Aditkamath26

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 01:55

I find my Pilot 823 F nib to be very wet and it produces a broader line than the Platinum 3776 F nib you asked about in the original post when using the same ink and paper for both pens. Keep in mind my experience is based on owning one 823 F nib and two 3776 F nibs, so a small sample size.
I have also found the Pilot 823 F nib line width to be very dependent on the ink being used, more so than any other pen in my collection. Changing the ink can change the line width from F to M and I experimented with numerous inks before finding one that produced a narrow line width that I was happy with.
If it were me, I would get the F nib and not touch it. It is a visually stunning nib and if you have Dan do a size reduction on a M nib it will write great (I had him reduce a nib on a Montblanc for me a few years ago) but it will look like someone took a grinding wheel to it, which in fact they did.
Of all my Japanese F nibs, including numerous Sailors, Platinums, and other Pilots, the 823 F nib is the broadest. I suspect due to it being so wet as looking at the nib tip under magnification doesnt suggest it has a broader tip than the other nibs Im comparing it to.

 

Thank you for the reply, but I don't think I quite understand this bolded text. Where there scratches on the nibs? Or any sort of plating wear? If you can provide me a picture, it would be really helpful.



#9 Tseg

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:00

My 823 F is either my broadest Japanese Fine or thinnest Western Fine, however you want to look at it. I disagree with the comment that it is meaningless to refer to wetness. A wet pen will deliver more ink saturation, which is a trait I like. Even though my 823 line is thin there is a very sizable ‘rope’ of ink it lays down that then melts into the paper. I love that in a fountain pen. A ballpoint does not lay down a rope of ink, nor does a dry FP.

#10 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 14:56

^---My comment about wetness had a bit more context to it... perhaps I should clarify... Basically I think wetness is a term that applies to a pen and ink combination, and if one must use the term to describe either a pen or an ink, then perhaps it makes more sense to apply it to an ink than to a pen.

A real-life example would be my Visconti van Gogh F, which is a firehose with any ink except Visconti Blue or Pelikan 4001 Blue Black. With those two inks, it's a European F. With any other ink I've tried, it's broader than a European M. This refers to changes in line width depending on ink used. To me, it's not very meaningful to say that the van Gogh is wet. If someone puts Pelikan 4001 in it, then the pen is not wet. It would be somewhat more meaningful to say that Pelikan 4001 is a dry ink.

A second example, also concerning my van Gogh, has to do with age and usage. That van Gogh was bone dry when I got it and no amount of cleaning and flushing would help. It opened up with use, became very wet (except with those two inks) and plateau'd out after 2 months or so. Do I call it a dry pen, because it was very dry when new? Or a wet pen, because it became very wet after about 2 months of use?

I have similar experiences with other pens, such as an old Sheaffer Targa which has become very very wet over time, even with the same ink.

Because dryness and wetness are factors that influence whether people buy a pen or not, or if they're happy with it, I tend to be very careful in applying these terms.

#11 EricTheRed

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 00:35

My 823 F is either my broadest Japanese Fine or thinnest Western Fine, however you want to look at it. I disagree with the comment that it is meaningless to refer to wetness. A wet pen will deliver more ink saturation, which is a trait I like. Even though my 823 line is thin there is a very sizable ‘rope’ of ink it lays down that then melts into the paper. I love that in a fountain pen. A ballpoint does not lay down a rope of ink, nor does a dry FP.

I understand exactly what you mean.  I have a 823 with a medium nib, that writes a western fine but it lays down the same "sizable rope of ink" that you refer too.  Its magical and makes it one of my very best writers.  A complete joy to write with.



#12 jrhudgins

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 17:15

As another point of reference, I own two Pilot pens (I won't count the Prera Italic, the nib of which will always require adjustment).

 

The Custom 823 WA was purchased from Tokyo Pen Shop Quill (http://www.japanshop-quill.com , Mr.  Yasukazu Hagiwara), and the entire experience was delightful. Communication was excellent, and the pen arrived with a butter-smooth, medium-wet writer, in perfect condition. The WA nib is easy to use, and I agree that it is somewhere in between a Pilot F and M, possibly on the M side due to the ink flow.

 

The other Pilot that I really enjoy is the E95s with a F nib. Straight out of the box (from Goulet) it writes a pleasantly wet, smooth line which is just in between the 1911L Sailor MF and M nibs that I use.



#13 Tseg

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 00:13

 

 

The other Pilot that I really enjoy is the E95s with a F nib. Straight out of the box (from Goulet) it writes a pleasantly wet, smooth line which is just in between the 1911L Sailor MF and M nibs that I use.

 

I keep eying up those E95s's.  They seem so reasonable.  I may consider an M since I have a Fine 823 and Metropolitan.



#14 Calabria

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 22:01

I have the 823 with an M nib which writes like a Western F. I probably would prefer an F but I go back and forth on that because a bit of width and shading can actually be enjoyable. I have the Custom Maple Kaede in F and though it's a much
more controlled writer, it's also a bit uninteresting.

I'm not a fan of regrinds. Even when done perfectly they alter the character of the pen. I guess I'm a purist - I want a Sailor to write like a Sailor, and a Pelikan like a Pelikan.

Edited by Calabria, 14 June 2018 - 22:02.

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#15 minddance

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 04:27

Pilot gold nibs shade ANY ink as long as they are fresh. I know many people like it but I don't, therefore I fill them only with saturated and darker inks.

I like my pens to write as they are too, i.e. Sailor should write like a Sailor, Pelikan like a Pel. So, no micromesh or nibmeister for me. If thry don't write as I desire, I'll return the pen. No 'nib work' for me.

#16 biancitwo

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 02:32

I'm not a fan of regrinds. Even when done perfectly they alter the character of the pen. I guess I'm a purist - I want a Sailor to write like a Sailor, and a Pelikan like a Pelikan.


I like my pens to write as they are too, i.e. Sailor should write like a Sailor, Pelikan like a Pel. So, no micromesh or nibmeister for me. If thry don't write as I desire, I'll return the pen. No 'nib work' for me.


I understand the idea. You want a Sailor or Pelikan nib to write like a Sailor or Pelikan nib. My Sailors did not write well. The EF was scratchy and dry. My two 1911s were hard starting and skipped. Pendleton Brown smoothed and opened the EF. It writes beautifully. I am glad I did not send it back. My 1911S Music, and my 1911L HB are no longer the same shapes. They are italics. But, they are wonderful. No hard starts. No skips. I could have sent them back, or I could have two wonderful writing pens. I chose two wonderful writing pens. Those Sailor nibs have been maximized. They are still Sailors. My Pelikans, with Pendleton Brown italics, write very much like Pelikans of the 30s through 60s. They are not flexible, but the line variation is exquisite.

I may not qualify as a purist. But, my pens write like superb fountain pens are supposed to write. They are a joy to use. If I left them as the round nib they arrived with, I would not use them. As it is, I use them every day. The joy I get using them is the reason I write with a fountain pen. Each to his own.

#17 biancitwo

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 04:01

A further point to my immediately prior post: if Sailor or Pelikan produced a cursive italic nib, it would be sacrosanct, whether perfect or not. Their routinely round nib would also be considered perfect, so it too would be sacrosanct. The skills of a Pendleton Brown, or Mottishaw would be of no value, even if their nib modifications were of great value.

Edited by biancitwo, 30 July 2018 - 12:49.






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