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Very Disappointing Experience With A Pelikan M805 Stresemann

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#1 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 12:06

Hi Guys.

 

I have been into fountain pens for a while now, but I hadn't bought any expensive pens until now. My collection mainly consisted of TWSBIs which I have been very happy with.

 

I worked really hard this year for my 2nd-year exams, and I worked pretty hard over the summer in an internship so I decided I would reward myself with my first "expensive pen".

 

I decided on the Pelikan M805 Stresemann for a couple of reasons.

1 - It looks brilliant. I really like the look of the grey stripes down the barrel. I haven't seen a pen that I like the look of so much.

2 - I had heard that Pelikan nibs are some of the best nibs around and write brilliantly out of the box.

 

However, I opened up my new pen this morning and sadly I have never been so disappointed with a purchase.

 

As I was opening the pen it was somewhat clear that I had been sent a pen that was previously a return. For example, the little plastic bag that the pen comes in was all screwed up. (I bought this pen from cultpens in the UK by the way). Now I'm wondering if someone else had a bad experience of this pen, sent it back, and now I've ended up with it.

 

On the barrel, it appears that one of the grey stripes is missing. There appears to be a dark gap where it is missing. I have tried to get a picture of this but it is quite difficult to pick it up on camera! This is something that wouldn't bother me in the slightest on a much cheaper pen, but at £300 I'm not impressed by this.

 

IlUi8wJ.jpg

 

I decided to forget all this as the writing experience is the most important thing. So I inked up the pen with some Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku and began to write with it. The writing experience is extremely disappointing! It's almost as if I am writing with a different pen to that of the reviewers online. 

The nib is very dry, and not smooth at all. Also, it feels very stiff which I was surprised by as a lot of people say the Pelikan nibs have some spring to them.

I grabbed my TWSBI Eco to compare the writing experience, and the eco is the clear winner. Smoother and wetter, at less than a tenth of the cost.

 

A lot of people say that the Pelikan nibs are quite broad. For example, the medium M805 nib in the pen habits review looked more like a broad or even a double broad. So I decided I would go with a fine nib as opposed to the medium nib I usually go for. 

 

So I'm wondering, would you guys recommend returning the pen and swapping it for the same pen with a medium nib? Or do you think I would be better getting a refund and buying a different pen altogether?

If you think there is a better alternative pen out there I would appreciate any recommendations - I'm looking for a pen with a really wet and smooth nib for the best writing experience possible. Around £300 or less.


Edited by John545, 17 September 2018 - 12:18.


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#2 ENewton

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 13:14

I don't think it is a defect for the grey stripes not to be uniform.

 

If the fine nib is too fine and dry for you, it does make sense to try to exchange the pen for one with a medium nib.  



#3 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:06

Did you check the nib in a loupe? I've purchased a dozen new Pelikans and its not unusual for them to need minor tweaks out of the box.

 

Make sure the tines are aligned and that the gap is correct. A Pelikan fine tends to write pretty wet and wide from my experience.

 

I've got an 805 Stresman due to be delivered from Cult Pens today!



#4 PAKMAN

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:28

If you are unhappy you should probably send it back for an exchange. Pelikan nibs do tend to be a little broader than eastern nibs. This one may just need a good cleaning out or some usage. The only modern Pelikan nibs that have any spring are on the M1000 series. As to the stripes, this is not that unusual to see them not perfect but it it bothers you then I would send it back and ask them to check the one they send you back for uniform stripes.


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#5 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:34

Did you check the nib in a loupe? I've purchased a dozen new Pelikans and its not unusual for them to need minor tweaks out of the box.

 

Make sure the tines are aligned and that the gap is correct. A Pelikan fine tends to write pretty wet and wide from my experience.

 

I've got an 805 Stresman due to be delivered from Cult Pens today!

 

At this price, I'm not comfortable making any adjustments to the nib. It's just too risky as I could end up making the issue worse and then not being able to get a refund.

 

The issue may be that the gap between the tines is too small, it just writes way too dry.

 

I hope you have a better experience than me! Out of curiosity, which nib size have you gone with?



#6 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:36

I've got on to cultpens and explained the situation.

 

They said if I send it back they will refund the order, but they will only refund the postage if a "fault is confirmed".

 

This sounds questionable to me seeing as the issues I've had may not necessarily be deemed to be a fault.



#7 Black-Ink

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:48

Life is short. You are not happy. Send it back and forgo the shipping cost if that is the decision.



#8 sirgilbert357

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 14:51

I've got on to cultpens and explained the situation.

 

They said if I send it back they will refund the order, but they will only refund the postage if a "fault is confirmed".

 

This sounds questionable to me seeing as the issues I've had may not necessarily be deemed to be a fault.

 

 

It's pretty common to charge the postage on the return if there's no actual defect and you just aren't happy with it because of your own expectations. If the flow seems too light, I would flush the pen very well with water or a pen flush and make sure it's clean and try again.

 

The nib can easily be fixed. I've had to make adjustments to almost every pen I've bought, and that includes about a half dozen Pelikans. Its not that there is anything "defective" with them, I just like zero feedback and a glassy smooth writing experience. They usually come with a bit of feedback, so I smooth them. You can learn to do your own nib adjustments, but if you aren't interested in that, you will have two options for now: send the pen back and get another, or contact Pelikan for their nib exchange program and get a medium.

 

Also, the binde (that's the part with the stripes on it) on all Pelikans is a flat sheet that is rolled and mated to the pens individually. Every Pelikan with a striped binde that I have held in my hand had a noticeable "seam" where the binde comes together. Sometimes the lines line up quite well and the seam falls into the dark area and is less visible, but I've always been able to see the seam if I just casually roll the pen in my fingers looking for it. It can be harder to see in pictures, but in hand, I can always spot it. If that bothers you, get a solid colored Pelikan, because a very high percentage of striped Pelikans will have a noticeable seam on their binde.

 

The only Pelikans with springy nibs are the M1000 and the M200 series steel nibs. And it's slight...you won't be doing full flex writing with them, you'll just notice a mushier feel when writing. (EDIT: Well, the 1000 nibs seem to actually flex a tad)

 

EDIT: Here's a pic that shows another binde with the seam thing. Check the 9th pic over from the left (the zoomed in view of the nib on the blue striped pen) and look closely at the binde. See that one super thin blue stripe? This is from Missing-Pen, a very well known, highly reputable seller of Pelikans:

 

https://www.ebay.com...9MAAMXQqBxRGeB4


Edited by sirgilbert357, 17 September 2018 - 15:04.


#9 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 15:16

 

At this price, I'm not comfortable making any adjustments to the nib. It's just too risky as I could end up making the issue worse and then not being able to get a refund.

 

The issue may be that the gap between the tines is too small, it just writes way too dry.

 

I hope you have a better experience than me! Out of curiosity, which nib size have you gone with?

 

Ah - if you don't want to tweak the nib then by all means - send it back - even if you have to eat the shipping cost. Life is too short!

 

I got an extra fine nib on mine - they tend to be just right (more like a Western fine) for me.

 

Also - as noted - the Pelikan gold nibs tend to be pretty stiff with the exception of the M1000 nib which is big and bouncy.


Edited by TheRealMikeDr, 17 September 2018 - 15:20.


#10 minddance

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 15:58

Don't live with regrets, send the pen back for a refund.

#11 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 16:06

I have now posted the pen back to cultpens for a refund.

I wasn't going to keep it just for the sake of the shipping costs (£8.60), it just annoys me a little that they won't cover it. 

 

So with that in mind, what would you guys recommend buying if I'm looking for a pen that will write really wet and smooth right out of the box?



#12 Black-Ink

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 16:22

So with that in mind, what would you guys recommend buying if I'm looking for a pen that will write really wet and smooth right out of the box?

 

 

http://www.mrpen.co.uk

 

And look at the Italix Churchman's Prescriptor, but don't be fooled by the fact that the price is about 15% of what you paid for the Pelikan.



#13 sirgilbert357

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 16:50

I have now posted the pen back to cultpens for a refund.

I wasn't going to keep it just for the sake of the shipping costs (£8.60), it just annoys me a little that they won't cover it. 

 

So with that in mind, what would you guys recommend buying if I'm looking for a pen that will write really wet and smooth right out of the box?

 

 

The Pelikan you just sent back is known for being a wet writer, and their nibs are made in house, with each gold nib being written-in by hand and getting a final inspection before going out the door. You just happened to get one that maybe wasn't optimal or wasn't to your liking. I prefer wet, smooth nibs too and I would encourage you to just order the same pen again in medium nib if you are really in love with the looks of it. Odds are you will be delighted with the next one (unless the binde seam issue is insurmountable).

 

But just know that while there are SOME generalities in the pen world (Pilots are known for excellent consistency in their nibs, usually quite smooth for how fine they are / Pelikans are usually wet writers and write wetter and broader than Pilots, for example), any pen someone suggests to you could come with a nib not up to your expectations, despite the brand's reputation. Usually if you just try again, you'll get a good one...

 

Barring that, you could order from Nibs.com, they will customize any nib to your liking and ensure it's writing the way you want before they ship it. If you don't care to dabble in nib tuning and want a guaranteed perfect nib out of the box, then you'll be happy with what they provide. You pay a premium for it, but some consider it worth it.

 

EDIT: and keep in mind, if you are writing on sub par paper, no nib is going to perform as well as it should. The trifecta of nib/ink/paper is very important to the overall writing feel/experience.


Edited by sirgilbert357, 17 September 2018 - 16:52.


#14 sirgilbert357

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 16:55

 

 

http://www.mrpen.co.uk

 

And look at the Italix Churchman's Prescriptor, but don't be fooled by the fact that the price is about 15% of what you paid for the Pelikan.

 

Exactly. Price does not equal writing performance. I have a Wing Sung 3008 I paid less than 8 bucks for that is super smooth and has excellent flow with every ink I've tried in it.



#15 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:02

 

 

http://www.mrpen.co.uk

 

And look at the Italix Churchman's Prescriptor, but don't be fooled by the fact that the price is about 15% of what you paid for the Pelikan.

Thanks for the recommendation!

 

I've actually never heard of that pen before, and it looks pretty good! 



#16 John545

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:08

 

 

The Pelikan you just sent back is known for being a wet writer, and their nibs are made in house, with each gold nib being written-in by hand and getting a final inspection before going out the door. You just happened to get one that maybe wasn't optimal or wasn't to your liking. I prefer wet, smooth nibs too and I would encourage you to just order the same pen again in medium nib if you are really in love with the looks of it. Odds are you will be delighted with the next one (unless the binde seam issue is insurmountable).

 

But just know that while there are SOME generalities in the pen world (Pilots are known for excellent consistency in their nibs, usually quite smooth for how fine they are / Pelikans are usually wet writers and write wetter and broader than Pilots, for example), any pen someone suggests to you could come with a nib not up to your expectations, despite the brand's reputation. Usually if you just try again, you'll get a good one...

 

Barring that, you could order from Nibs.com, they will customize any nib to your liking and ensure it's writing the way you want before they ship it. If you don't care to dabble in nib tuning and want a guaranteed perfect nib out of the box, then you'll be happy with what they provide. You pay a premium for it, but some consider it worth it.

 

EDIT: and keep in mind, if you are writing on sub par paper, no nib is going to perform as well as it should. The trifecta of nib/ink/paper is very important to the overall writing feel/experience.

Thanks for your advice.

 

I haven't decided yet on whether or not to give the Pelikan a 2nd go. The binde seam really isn't too much of an issue so long as the pen writes well. You're probably right that I just got unlucky with it. I really was surprised by how dry it was given all I've heard about Pelikan nibs. 

I actually just saw the picture of the new Stone Garden edition of the Pelikan M800 and it looks stunning! So that's worth looking at.

 

I believe the writing desk here in the UK offer a similar service with testing and adjusting the nib before shipping, so I am considering getting a medium from them.

 

The paper/ink definitely isn't the problem. I was using Iroshizuku ink on Rhodia paper.



#17 iruciperi

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:11

Firstly, I'm so sorry to see your reward for yourself did not do its job well. I have multiple Pelikans, and I think their nibs are not in good condition right out of the box. Mostly, their slits were too narrow. So they were dry and I had to adjust them. 

 

If you still want to have some pens at that price range, I recommend you to try Pilot, such as Pilot Custom 823. Pilot will never disappoint you. I think Pilot Custom 823 with B nib will fit to your taste as you like western M nibs.  



#18 Driften

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:12

Just exchange the same pen as a M and you should be happy. Like you, I read that Pelikan pens tend to write wide for western nibs, but mine didn't get the memo. I love my Pelikan's in M and B. If you didn't like the size and balance of the m805 then you should move on to a different brand, but if everything was good other then the F nib it would be worth trying the M.



#19 Driften

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:15

Firstly, I'm so sorry to see your reward for yourself did not do its job well. I have multiple Pelikans, and I think their nibs are not in good condition right out of the box. Mostly, their slits were too narrow. So they were dry and I had to adjust them. 

 

If you still want to have some pens at that price range, I recommend you to try Pilot, such as Pilot Custom 823. Pilot will never disappoint you. I think Pilot Custom 823 with B nib will fit to your taste as you like western M nibs.  

 

 

None of my Pelikan pens had slits that were too narrow.

 

I agree the Pilot 823 has a similar feel as the m80x and is a very good option for less money. I love my 823 in B as much as I do my M805. I would not give up my m805, but the Pilot is a top pick.



#20 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 17:20

4j7Hk3z.jpg

 

Sorry for the crappy phone picture here.

 

I just got my Stresman and inked it up - it's writing great! For comparison purposes I showed how it compares to the other 3 pens I currently have inked up.The Montblanc  (medium) and Parker (fine) have darker ink so they seem a bit wider (i think they are maybe just a bit wider) but they're very similar to the extra fine Pelikan. The Pilot Custom 823 (fine) is noticeably finer.

 

Sadly - any pen you purchase may or may not be super smooth out of the box. It's mostly just the luck of the draw based upon my experience.







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