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Penbbs 355 First Impressions

penbbs chinese fountain pens piston filler

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45 replies to this topic

#21 TruthPil

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:09

Thanks for another excellent review, EDC!

 

I'll definitely pass on this one. I don't like large pens nor complicated filling systems and I change inks too quickly to ever need a massive ink supply. Kudos to Penbbs for trying new things and listening to customer requests for broader nibs!


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#22 Honeybadgers

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:10

bummer. I was hoping it'd be a good posted pen.

 

It's looking like the 456 is turning out to be the better pen.


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


#23 maclink

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:24

 

Until it wears out and no longer 'clicks' in place.

 

I got myself 2 of these PenBBS 355's.  

 

I think they're great value, though I'd personality be cautious with longevity.

 

The first point of concern is how the piston becomes stuck in place without moving it for an extended period.  The first 355 I got was the Galaxy Blue version.  It's not transparent/translucent and I was lost with what was happening with the filling system.  In my opinion, this filling system should be produced only in pens with transparent or translucent barrels that allow for you to see/confirm the rod screwing in and out of the piston.  Youtube videos were a 'godsend' in providing info on how to use the filling system and to assure me of just how much I could push on the piston to free it from it's stuck position.  After freeing it, it moved very nicely indeed.  I filled the pen and used it for a while.  I decided to try another ink in it and the piston was stuck again as when I just got the pen.  Again, a firm push freed it and I was back in business.  

 

I just got the transparent version and the experience with the filling system was identical in terms of how stuck the piston initially was.  A firm and confident push on the rod freed it.

 

Both nibs have required a little tuning on 12000 micromesh paper to get out some scratchiness, despite pretty much well-aligned tines.  After this, they've been great.  The nibs are like nails with very little flex/springiness to them.  However, I'm finding myself a fan of the up-turned tip of the nib.  The fine nib on my 1990's Montblanc149 is very similar in performance and tip format!

 

So, out of the box, these pens work, but I am not expecting too much from them long term, unless one is willing to change parts.  I suspect that they will do best if used continuously; rather than intermittently, with extended periods storage.  The piston may well become stuck. You'd have to be sure to disassemble, clean and smear silicone on the piston prior to storage.  If you're into that sort of ritual, then I don't see why it should be fine.

 

Overall, one shouldn't complain too much about these pens.  They're incredible value and I find them more useable than a few very expensive pens that I've tried before.  

 

IMO, the 308's are more reliable since they are less complicated.  The nibs I've used on the 308's have been bang on (I've tried 2 so far).  If you want a lot of ink in one, then eye-dropper it.  


Edited by maclink, 12 January 2019 - 11:30.


#24 Karmachanic

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:43

 

I got myself 2 of these PenBBS 355's.  

 

I think they're great value, though I'd personality be cautious with longevity.

 

The first point of concern is how the piston becomes stuck in place without moving it for an extended period.  The first 355 I got was the Galaxy Blue version.  It's not transparent/translucent and I was lost with what was happening with the filling system.  In my opinion, this filling system should be produced only in pens with transparent or translucent barrels that allow for you to see/confirm the rod screwing in and out of the piston.  Youtube videos were a 'godsend' in providing info on how to use the filling system and to assure me of just how much I could push on the piston to free it from it's stuck position.  After freeing it, it moved very nicely indeed.  I filled the pen and used it for a while.  I decided to try another ink in it and the piston was stuck again as when I just got the pen.  Again, a firm push freed it and I was back in business.  

 

 

This isn't a problem. It's a feature! Refer to post #17


"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#25 maclink

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:52

 

This isn't a problem. It's a feature! Refer to post #17

 

I have to disagree.  A stuck piston isn't what I'd call a feature.  Once the piston is freed from it's stuck position, I can appreciate the 'feature' as intended and demonstrated in post #17.  The piston snaps into place and is freed with a gentle push that one would expect.  It becomes pleasant to use.  However, on first getting the pen and also, after a few days of being inked up and needing to free the piston, I had to push really hard to free it.  Uncomfortably hard.  I can understand why the OP dismantled his pen to free the piston on first use.  What made me not do it originally was that I didn't have a wrench of the size to do so, and a video demonstrated just how much push is needed and can be exerted to get the piston free when stuck without breaking the pen.



#26 Burtelon

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 13:07

Hi!

Thank you for such a good presentation, I have a unit and I could never have explained it better.

Miquel



#27 Bobje

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 14:11

Does anyone know if Penbbs uses the same feed on the 308, 267, 309, 355, and 456? The nib appears the same, but I do not know about the feed.

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#28 JollyCynic

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 15:07

Does anyone know if Penbbs uses the same feed on the 308, 267, 309, 355, and 456? The nib appears the same, but I do not know about the feed.

 

Yes, all are the same feed.  Currently the 322 (78G style pen) uses a different feed, and the pump-filler they're designing is being held up by a redesigned feed.  Otherwise they all have the same feed, and swappable nib units.

 

Beini has implied that nib units should be available in cheap keychain charms again later this year.



#29 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:17

Question for all, wondering what tools is required for disassembly of the filling mechanism of the 355?



#30 Karmachanic

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 13:51

Pliers. Adjustable wrench.


Edited by Karmachanic, 10 March 2019 - 14:02.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#31 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 14:56

Pliers. Adjustable wrench.

 

Will it damage the plastic threads though?



#32 EDC

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 15:13

 

Will it damage the plastic threads though?

 

No. I used smallish crescent wrench on the flat spots . Just to loosen. After that fingers worked fine.



#33 Karmachanic

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 17:30

 

Will it damage the plastic threads though?

Wrap the threads with a piece of inner tube, or something similar, and apply the tool to the flats. I would advise doing this only when essential to do so, and not as a part of a cleaning regimen.


"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#34 Mr.Rene

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 00:08

Whose pen shops are selling on line this pen ? TIA

René.



#35 Karmachanic

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 09:53

PenBBS Etsy https://www.etsy.com...shopheader-name or *bay

Popular/new pens tend to sellout quickly on Etsy. Then you'll have to pay (or not) the inflated prices on *bay. Taobao is also an option.


Edited by Karmachanic, 20 March 2019 - 09:54.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#36 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 14:56

Back in the days, Ebay used to be a place where the PenBBS prices are not bloated.

Sad that those days are gone.



#37 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 02:46

 

Will it damage the plastic threads though?

 

I've been using a small crescent wrench as well, works fine, no thread marring.


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


#38 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 14:11

Thanks for the suggestions, will try it with the tools mentioned by you guys



#39 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 19:06

if you want to be very cautious, a crescent wrench with a single layer of tape on the jaws will do the job even more safely.


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


#40 lawrenceloklok

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 19:14

After reading this review I got my penbbs 355. But I found that there is a problem with this pen, after filling the pen a few times,some ink has leaked into the piston, that means the ink passed through the O- ring at the end the barrel. Does anyone encounter this problem?

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Edited by lawrenceloklok, 11 May 2019 - 19:38.






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