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Help Buying Next, Next-Level Pen

fountain pen next-level pen sailor diplomat platinum faber castell twsbi pilot

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30 replies to this topic

#1 bobshephard

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 19:03

Hey! 

 

I'm new to posting on FPN but have been reading for a while. I wanted to ask for recommendations of my next pen. I started out with the varsity and preppy and since have expanded my collection. I have the following pens:

 

  • Platinum 3776 14k
  • Platinum Balance
  • Platinum Plaisir
  • Pilot Metro
  • TWSBI Eco (lost this :mellow:  )
  • Wing-Sung 3008
  • Wing Sung 6359
  • Monteverde Monza
  • Jinhao Shark

 

I was considering buying the following pens but have not heard as much about them. 

  • Diplomat Magnum
  • Sailor Lecoule
  • Pilot e95s
  • Faber Castell Loom

 

I wanted to add that though I have a lot of Platinum pens, I don't really enjoy the writing experience. I like the pilot though it's a bit dry. The pen i've enjoyed the most is maybe the TWSBI.

Also, I have smaller hands and typically like lighter pens.

 

Any advice on what to buy next?



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#2 Kodiac136

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 19:27

The E95S is a great pen, though I've had a few Pilots that were a bit too dry before (a quick fix but not everyone is eager to have to fix a pen). I think you would be happy with it. Also might want to consider a Pilot custom 74.


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#3 Driften

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 20:09

It seems like the pens you are looking at for the most part are not a step up from the ones you have. It might also be good to know what your budget is and what you don't care for in the pens you have mostly the Platinum 3776 which is a step above most of your other pens.


Edited by Driften, 01 August 2018 - 20:10.


#4 bobshephard

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 21:23

I'm not too much of a fan of feedback and don't like very heavy or overly girthy pens. 

 

I'm happy to go up to the Platinum 3776 price point if it's a pen that fits me well, but I rarely use my 3776 because I'm not the greatest fan of the nib.

 

An optimal pen for me would have the wetness of a Platinum pen with the smoothness of a Pilot and the weight of a TWSBI.



#5 NinthSphere

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 21:59

I'm happy to go up to the Platinum 3776 price point if it's a pen that fits me well

 

Numbers would help. A 3776 can be had for ~$60 to over $100,



#6 bobshephard

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 23:13

Oh where is it listed for $60? I was willing to go up to around ~150 if it's truly worth it.



#7 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 23:31

I think one should have an EF and B nail. Japanese is real good for narrower than marked sizes.

 

F&M in regular flex..........Pelikan 200 is good for that (different size screw in nibs are not too expensive @27 or so. or a vintage Esterbrook with the right screw in nib. There are vintage '50-70-80's Sheaffers, in regular flex....in that was once the main flex of pens that were not nails.

They are sturdy enough, and make good nibs for shading inks. A nice springy ride.

 

Somewhere after that after the 5-6th pen, it might well be time to look for Vintage ***semi-flex. :puddle: When you are not still Ham Fisted. Most of us start off that way, because of ball points or roller balls.

Real semi-flex is mostly found in Vintage German pens, but there are Pilot pens with a factory modified nib that are semi-flex.

 

If one alternates stub and CI from EF to BB, there are some 45 different nib widths and flexes. Chase the nib.

What nib are you missing?

What do you want the nib to do?..............that comes with experience. Better inks and papers. :happyberet:

 

Older C/C are inexpensive and just as good as new. Sooner or later you will get a P-45....nail if Stateside made, regular flex if English made. 

 

All pen companies have their very own standards, and slop....so best to think, real skinny, skinny, middling, and wide....and don't split hairs. or you will be :gaah: :wallbash: :angry:......Think horseshoes when buying a nib size. (If you start with Japanese pens, you have Mark 2 calibrated eyes.....so all western nibs will be Fat. If like me, I have a Mark 1 calibrated eye, and Japanese nibs are way too narrowly marked.

Pilot makes the skinny Japanese nib, Sailor the fat ones.

 

With in the same company.....made in the same minute.....one nib could be a skinny M = exactly the fat F.....and at 1/1000 of an inch....a hair into tolerance, no difference can be seen.

Does the nib write well, that is the question.

 

No, a pen company does not want to make the exact width nib as another. Back in the One Man, One Pen days, of buying a replacement every 7-10 years when the used daily all day writing wore out a pen so one had to buy a new one...and it had to be 'up to date' ....Parker was wider than Sheaffer........and if Parker made a narrower nib.....some Parker user could make a horrible a mistake............and buy a Sheaffer. :headsmack:

 

The new numbered nibs will also have just as much slop/tolerance. A 1.0 can be 1.1 or 0.9 just as easy

 

Fountain pens are 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink, in that order.

 

I suggest getting a good to better paper for every three inks (bottles) you buy.

 

Cartridges are very, very expensive....get a converter or two.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#8 OCArt

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 01:28

Pelikan M200 or M400.  Find a color you like, both are exceptional pens.  


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#9 Old Salt

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 01:47

From your list, I’d go with the Loom. The FC nibs are really nice.
If you enjoyed your TWSBI, then get yourself another. I have one of nearly every TWISBI model made. Whenever I don’t have an Eco inked up I’m feeling a bit incomplete. I also like the feel of the 580 in my hand.
Don’t let yourself be moved by fancy nibs and high priced pens. Stick with a pen that feels the best in your hand, and gives the best writing experience for you.

#10 SoulSamurai

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:09

I'm not too much of a fan of feedback and don't like very heavy or overly girthy pens. 
 
I'm happy to go up to the Platinum 3776 price point if it's a pen that fits me well, but I rarely use my 3776 because I'm not the greatest fan of the nib.

Instead of buying a new pen, why not try modifying the ones you have to your taste? Send the 3776 to a nibmeister, or maybe just smooth it yourself with some micromesh - practice on the cheaper pens first of course.

#11 minddance

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:36

I do not understand what "next-level pen" means.

Do you mean better material and finishing, smoothness, bigger girth, heavier, better ink sealing capability, larger ink capacity, gold nibs vs steel nib, faster feed, or what?

Or do you just want to pay more and hope that the pen is of a "higher level"?

Edited by minddance, 02 August 2018 - 06:37.


#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 07:12

The E95s is a great pen but it is primarily a pocket pen. it posts, it does everything it should, it's got a nice and bouncy 14k nib, but I just find myself having no urge to use it outside of the pocket pen role.

 

The Loom is not really in the same price region, but its fit and finish are absolutely superb and the nibs are some of the best steel nibs made, no matter the price. Very feedbackey but they have no tooth, they just "drag" on the paper like a nicely sharpened 2b pencil. They post well, and the grip section is pretty good, but they can be a little heavy (I still use mine all the time, though I did swap in a 14k chinese lucky nib, which fits like it was made for the loom) The only other complaint I have is the snap cap position makes for an annoying pen to fill with the converter since ink gets stuck and is hard to wipe off from the collar, so I just fill the converter from the bottle, wipe that off, and then insert it into the pen.

 

The sailor lecoule is the flat top version of the young profit, steel nib, well made plastic body. I have the young profit skeleton demonstrator in a FM steel nib and I can confirm that it's a GREAT writer, that nice sailor HB pencil feedback, but for me, the skeleton is what makes that pen work, since it also has a clear feed. Interestingly, the section from a sailor "standard" gold nib fits into the body. So my 1911 standard zoom nib's black section and gold nib can thread perfectly into the barrel, which gives me a skeleton demonstrator 1911 standard with a 21k nib. Which is fun. Still, I think that there are better pens for the money, since it is just a plastic C/C pen with a good nib. The nemosine singularity comes to mind.

 

The diplomat I have no experience with, but I will be picking one up in the next couple months. I've heard nothing bad about any diplomat pens.

 

The E95s seems to be a big price jump. It's on par with an amazon-purchased lamy 2000. The rest of those pens seem to be in the $40 range.

 

If you want a cheap 14k nib, you can get a wing sung 698 with a 14k nib that I've been singing the praises of for about a year now. that nib not only fits ant standard pilot with a steel nib, but it fits almost every #5 nib too. Also, the 698 is just a well made piston filler. Comes in around $50.

 

Also, look at the pilot custom 74 or 91 heritage pens. 14k nibs, available in everything from extra fine to soft fine/medium/FM, broad, coarse and three tine music nib (all are great but be prepared to tune that music nib since it's tuned from the factory to write music, not write like the flexible stub that it was destined to be) 


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#13 Mech-for-i

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 08:44

TWSBI Vac then...

Edited by Mech-for-i, 02 August 2018 - 08:45.


#14 NinthSphere

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:01

Oh where is it listed for $60? I was willing to go up to around ~150 if it's truly worth it.

 

Ebay.

 

The Elite 95S wouldn't be a bad pick-up, imo. I didn't care for the con-20 it came with, but mine was a broad, wet, glassy medium, if that's what you like. Sub $100 if you go with Japanese sellers. Sounds like you went domestic with the 3776.



#15 SenZen

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 13:53

Next step...?

 

Design? Faber Castell Ambition in pearwood; other finishes look nice, but not as spectacular in my opinion. Lamy Studio, but you need to make sure you get along with the shiny section or opt for the steel version. Pelikans are iconic and very reliable.

 

Nib? Sailor, Pilot and Platinum seem to offer interesting nibs, e.g. the soft, falcon or WA nibs.


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#16 bobshephard

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 15:57

Instead of buying a new pen, why not try modifying the ones you have to your taste? Send the 3776 to a nibmeister, or maybe just smooth it yourself with some micromesh - practice on the cheaper pens first of course.

 

I have micromesh but the tipping is tiny and I'm a bit afraid to ruin it. As for the nibmeister, the cost of the work, shipping, and insurance would probably be similar to buying another pen it seems.



#17 bobshephard

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 16:02

The E95s is a great pen but it is primarily a pocket pen. it posts, it does everything it should, it's got a nice and bouncy 14k nib, but I just find myself having no urge to use it outside of the pocket pen role.

 

The Loom is not really in the same price region, but its fit and finish are absolutely superb and the nibs are some of the best steel nibs made, no matter the price. Very feedbackey but they have no tooth, they just "drag" on the paper like a nicely sharpened 2b pencil. They post well, and the grip section is pretty good, but they can be a little heavy (I still use mine all the time, though I did swap in a 14k chinese lucky nib, which fits like it was made for the loom) The only other complaint I have is the snap cap position makes for an annoying pen to fill with the converter since ink gets stuck and is hard to wipe off from the collar, so I just fill the converter from the bottle, wipe that off, and then insert it into the pen.

 

The sailor lecoule is the flat top version of the young profit, steel nib, well made plastic body. I have the young profit skeleton demonstrator in a FM steel nib and I can confirm that it's a GREAT writer, that nice sailor HB pencil feedback, but for me, the skeleton is what makes that pen work, since it also has a clear feed. Interestingly, the section from a sailor "standard" gold nib fits into the body. So my 1911 standard zoom nib's black section and gold nib can thread perfectly into the barrel, which gives me a skeleton demonstrator 1911 standard with a 21k nib. Which is fun. Still, I think that there are better pens for the money, since it is just a plastic C/C pen with a good nib. The nemosine singularity comes to mind.

 

The diplomat I have no experience with, but I will be picking one up in the next couple months. I've heard nothing bad about any diplomat pens.

 

The E95s seems to be a big price jump. It's on par with an amazon-purchased lamy 2000. The rest of those pens seem to be in the $40 range.

 

If you want a cheap 14k nib, you can get a wing sung 698 with a 14k nib that I've been singing the praises of for about a year now. that nib not only fits ant standard pilot with a steel nib, but it fits almost every #5 nib too. Also, the 698 is just a well made piston filler. Comes in around $50.

 

Also, look at the pilot custom 74 or 91 heritage pens. 14k nibs, available in everything from extra fine to soft fine/medium/FM, broad, coarse and three tine music nib (all are great but be prepared to tune that music nib since it's tuned from the factory to write music, not write like the flexible stub that it was destined to be) 

 

Thanks! this was exactly what I was looking for. I asked about a few obscure pens just because I haven't heard them talked about as much, and this was great.



#18 bobshephard

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 16:08

Next step...?

 

Design? Faber Castell Ambition in pearwood; other finishes look nice, but not as spectacular in my opinion. Lamy Studio, but you need to make sure you get along with the shiny section or opt for the steel version. Pelikans are iconic and very reliable.

 

Nib? Sailor, Pilot and Platinum seem to offer interesting nibs, e.g. the soft, falcon or WA nibs.

 

 

I do not understand what "next-level pen" means.

Do you mean better material and finishing, smoothness, bigger girth, heavier, better ink sealing capability, larger ink capacity, gold nibs vs steel nib, faster feed, or what?

Or do you just want to pay more and hope that the pen is of a "higher level"?

 

 

I think just the next pen to be honest, whether it be different in price or not. I'm not too crazy about cool materials and just want something that writes smoothly. I use pens a lot so not really worried about the ink sealing and over time as I've accumulated more pens, ink capacity isn't as big of a deal for me. I didn't find the gold nib experience to be too much better than the steel, but maybe I just chose the wrong pen?



#19 minddance

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 16:50

Getting the next pen or another pen is always fun! There is so much variety out there.

Be sure to choose a vendor with good return and exchange policies so that you won't regret your purchase :)

#20 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 17:24

A steel nail, is a lot cheaper than a gold nail.....both are nails/ rigid/manifold nibs.. It's the tipping that writes.

There is no softer Gold Nails, there are folks comparing a steel nail with a gold semi-nail, to get 'softness'.

 

Outside of MB(the 149 is nailish, the rest not; 'Springy' good tine bend, but only 2X tine spread when mashed), Pelikan has the steel nibbed 200 3 X tine spread in regular flex (now rare is my impression), the 14 K 400/600 in semi-nail, the 800 in nail, the 1000 in either a nice springy regular flex or semi-flex; depending on your luck.

Aurora; are not nails.Some Japanese nibs can be from what I read. Factory modified nibbed Pilot pens can be semi-flex. 

Most other better companies use Bock or JoWo nibs, stamped to their brand. And if the company wants a nail, that's what you get.

Nails require less repair in they are harder to ruin.

 

Those who want better nibs buy Vintage, semi-vintage.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 02 August 2018 - 17:28.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fountain pen, next-level pen, sailor, diplomat, platinum, faber castell, twsbi, pilot



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