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First Gold Nib Pen - The Lifelong Workhorse

gold nib workhorse carene custom heritage 91 falcon karas kustoms ink first journaling all-around under $200

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#1 shadrickjr

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:01

Ok, here we go....I am looking to purchase my first, and last, gold nib pen. The last pen that I will ever use. This pen will be my workhorse pen, as I will use it for journaling, I might even keep it in my pocket throughout the day. I'm looking to spend under or around $200. These are the pens that I would like to pick from:

 

1.) Waterman Carene

2.) Pilot Custom Heritage 91

3.) Karas Kustoms Ink (all copper)

4.) Pilot Namiki Falcon

 

I would like to note that I'm NOT interested in any piston fillers, as I would prefer a pen that uses cartridges and converters. I enjoy carrying extra supplies and the rare instances in which I actually have to go to my Altoids can and grab my backup ink. I'm looking for a smooth nib, and I plan to write with a Fine or Fine-Medium nib. Here are a list of some of the pens that I currently own, that are decent writers to me:

 

- Pilot Metro (Fine nib, Section is a little too thin)

- Parker Urban 2016 model (current workhorse) (Medium nib)

- Jinhao 911

- Jinhao 8802 (Pocket Carry)

- Hero 901

- Parker Urban 2012 model (Medium Nib) (a little dry/resistant writer, but it feels nice in my hand)

 

For some reason, I'm leaning mostly towards the Carene and the CH91. Has anyone had any issues out of the pens listed? Which one would be best for all-around heavy use? Thanks!



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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:33

The Gold myth is just that. A nail is a nail, be it good steel or gold.......pure bling and nothing else.

 

 

Too bad you don't want piston pens....'50-70 German semi-flex :notworthy1: :thumbup: :puddle: pens are mostly gold nibs.

 

You are going to give away those non-gold clunkers right?

I was a one pen man for 40 years.........twenty my silver P-75 was locked up in my wife's jewelry jail.

So you don't want valuable or pretty pen that will walk...............do suggest having your name engraved on your pen, to prevent it from walking.

 

Have you decided what paper you are going to be stuck with the rest of your life...same with the ink brand. Then you can pick a single width.....for your single pen.

 

xxxxxxxxxxx door has closed behind me. :bunny01:

 

:lticaptd: :lticaptd: :lticaptd:

 

 

Gold is not softer than steel as a nib.....some who say so are comparing a semi-nail gold nib to a steel nail. A nail is a nail.

I don't know which company makes a steel semi-nail.......but enough make gold semi-nails, like  P-75 or a oh...scratch Pelikans.

 

Have to stick with Japanese only 'soft' nibs for regular flex in you don't want piston pens.

If you get a factory modified gold Pilot it is semi-flex.  One pen....naw not that either. For best results you would need to find different papers and an ink or three....and that would be different from what your nail or semi-nail or even Soft nib will want.

 

I find cartridges to be super expensive....but what do I know, they were too expensive for me in the late '50's....and the rest of the decades. Do make sure your converters have little springs in them to break vapor lock. A needle syringe is nice to re-fill cartridges with. Cartridges can be re-used some 20 times perhaps more....so keep that in mind.

 

A decade ago, when I was noobie, I thought 10-12 pens would be more than enough :lticaptd: ...and that much ink also :rolleyes: ....................that was long before I found out paper was more important than ink.

Your first mistake was coming here....some one will mention a pen....did I rave about the standard sized  P-75 it has a squeese gadget, one can use a cartridge and a converter. Is a gold semi-nail.....posted has absolutely great Balance....and it is fancy silver pen...that can be admired by one and all for @ $200-225.

Your second is thinking gold is something special out side of bling. IMO. Of course all you want is modern, so the great steel nibs are on vintage piston pens. And I do have gold nibs from the same company that can match their steel nibs........both being =.

 

 

Ignore the P-75 :( I think you want large pens like your Chinese ones.

 

:) Ever heard of two toned shading inks, sheen inks? F & M nibs do best for that.  EF don't do those inks..........do need good papers. B)

 

As an alternative to a one and only fountain pen....I was very impressed with hybrid ball points.........one can even get them in different widths. ;)

If you want to be bored....a single pen....that you are forced to use....when there are so many pens of different widths, lengths and balance points. So many different nibs....over 45 of them.

 

Have you been been to Ink Reviews? Sandy1 is our Ink Guru, and uses 4 different widths of normal pens, on four better papers......and you would not believe it's the same ink.

Writing is 1/2 nib width/flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink and in that order.

And not the least bit boring.

 

One pen is like eating only a Whopper.....the rest of your life.............not fun. Boring!!!!!!

Can't play with inks, can't dance on different papers.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 04 April 2019 - 22:40.

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,

 

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#3 sandy101

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:42

If you want a lifelong gold nib, then the Cross Townsend is worth considering. Simply because the Cross pens come with a lifetime guarantee. If the pen develops a fault, you send the pen back to Corss and they'll repair it for you, and it will only cost you postage. They fixed my Century 2 after 11 years of use, and it cost me £6 in postage.

 

I have the Waterman Carene with a fine nib. It is a nice pen, but the finish will chip off the lacquered brass quite easily if handled roughly - a case, rather than a pocket would be a better place to keep it. It is probably better used as a desk pen, rather than an every day carry. 

 

I've handled a Pilot 91 with a broad nib. It was a nice writer. It is much lighter than the Carene being made of resin/plastic.  It's a more practical everyday carry pen for pockets 



#4 sandy101

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:42

Deleted due to the remarkable similarity to my previous post. 

 

 

 


Edited by sandy101, 04 April 2019 - 22:44.


#5 OMASsimo

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:48

First of all, welcome to FPN  (at least it's your first post here). With all due respect, I doubt that you will stick to a single gold nib pen for the rest of your life since you already got 6 steel nib ones. And even in the "one man one pen" days people eventually bought a new pen after many years of constant use.

 

Anyway, your list does not contain any pen that would be my favourite. But I'm not particularly fond of Japanese pens despite the fact that they are built excellently. And I'm not thrilled by the nibs of the modern Watermans either. There will be many other opinions you can pick from.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:49

A Townsend is a good choice. I have one.


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.

 

 

 


#7 ENewton

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 22:57

I don't own a Carene, but my first pen, a Waterman Gentleman, has served me well for decades.

 

Still, if I could use only one pen for the rest of my life, it would be either my Parker 51 or my Parker Victory.



#8 WLSpec

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 23:08

From your choices, go with the 91. Here's why (from what I've heard)

 

-It is a great daily all-around writer

-The nib is great

-The Falcon is NOT for everyone (mine is very scratchy)

-I've heard good things about the Carene, but its reputation is not quite the same as some of Pilot's fps

-The same thing goes for Karas Kustoms as the Carene. Also has a metal section, which not everyone likes, and might be heavy

 

Also consider:

Sailor 1911: Great daily writer with wonderful all around nib

Pilot Vanishing Point/Decimo: Another great Pilot Pen that is easy to cap and uncap because there is no cap (good for notetaking, screw caps take longer to unscrew)

 

Good luck finding the right pen!


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#9 Tseg

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 23:15

I believe the Carene was my first gold-nibbed pen.  A wonderful writer.  Best wishes with your decision.   I'm about 24 pens later, trying to confirm my Carene is really that good.  It is still holding its own.



#10 Uncial

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 23:17

Go for number 2

#11 OmegaMountain

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 23:55

I'm going to be the odd man out: go with the Karas. They use Bock nibs which will likely (no guarantee) be a bit smoother than the Japanese nibs and you're getting a metal body which is going to stand up to a lifetime of abuse much better. This is particularly true if you're actually considering throwing it in your pocket, etc. It's just going to take the abuse and develop character better than the plastic body pens. Just my two cents.

Edited by OmegaMountain, 04 April 2019 - 23:55.

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#12 Maurizio

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 00:10

Pilot Custom Heritage 91

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#13 the-smell-of-dust-after-rain

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 00:13

I've been eyeing the Pilot Falcon for a while now.

 

One main pen is how I've been most of my life.  One main pen and one back up so I don't have to stop and refill mid-sentence.  Having a single, everyday pen is a tremendous comfort and really helps me get in the flow when working on long projects (more than a few months).

 

Now that my waterman's gold nib is kaput, I am trying to decide if I want to repair it or switch to a new pen.  To be fair, they tell me the technology for waterman's nibs has improved tremendously.  But even still, I'm pretty bitter about the whole experience as I'm not hugely keen on learning how to fix and tune the pen to write so well again.  I miss having a local pen dealer who can just swap the nib for a new one.

 

That's the main thing I'm looking for in my new every-day pen: easy repair.  

 

It has to be comfortable for my hand, write smoothly and quickly.  I'm leaning towards a screw top and a fine nib, but none of that matters if I can't fix the pen when (not if!  WHEN!) I drop it nib down on a stone floor.  

 

Do any of the pens on your short list have a replaceable nib or other repairable parts?  


petrichor


#14 flyingpenman

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 01:15

If you get a CH91, choose the nib wisely. I got a soft-fine (SF) nib thinking I would enjoy the extra bounce in the nib. It was pleasant and interesting, but I didn't love what it did to my handwriting. I ended up selling my CH91 fairly early out of my collection. It is a great, unassuming pen with fantastic value (especially if you import from Japan) but I couldn't change the nib out and hated seeing such a good pen not get used.

A soft nib may be exactly what you want (and the 91 has plenty of those options), my point is I would choose a nib width/type that you know you already like if you want it to be your workhorse, since it's difficult to find/swap nibs around with Pilot pens.
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#15 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 14:38

The Gold myth is just that. A nail is a nail, be it good steel or gold.......pure bling and nothing else.

 

 

Too bad you don't want piston pens....'50-70 German semi-flex :notworthy1: :thumbup: :puddle: pens are mostly gold nibs.

 

You are going to give away those non-gold clunkers right?

I was a one pen man for 40 years.........twenty my silver P-75 was locked up in my wife's jewelry jail.

So you don't want valuable or pretty pen that will walk...............do suggest having your name engraved on your pen, to prevent it from walking.

 

Have you decided what paper you are going to be stuck with the rest of your life...same with the ink brand. Then you can pick a single width.....for your single pen.

 

xxxxxxxxxxx door has closed behind me. :bunny01:

 

:lticaptd: :lticaptd: :lticaptd:

 

 

Gold is not softer than steel as a nib.....some who say so are comparing a semi-nail gold nib to a steel nail. A nail is a nail.

I don't know which company makes a steel semi-nail.......but enough make gold semi-nails, like  P-75 or a oh...scratch Pelikans.

 

Have to stick with Japanese only 'soft' nibs for regular flex in you don't want piston pens.

If you get a factory modified gold Pilot it is semi-flex.  One pen....naw not that either. For best results you would need to find different papers and an ink or three....and that would be different from what your nail or semi-nail or even Soft nib will want.

 

I find cartridges to be super expensive....but what do I know, they were too expensive for me in the late '50's....and the rest of the decades. Do make sure your converters have little springs in them to break vapor lock. A needle syringe is nice to re-fill cartridges with. Cartridges can be re-used some 20 times perhaps more....so keep that in mind.

 

A decade ago, when I was noobie, I thought 10-12 pens would be more than enough :lticaptd: ...and that much ink also :rolleyes: ....................that was long before I found out paper was more important than ink.

Your first mistake was coming here....some one will mention a pen....did I rave about the standard sized  P-75 it has a squeese gadget, one can use a cartridge and a converter. Is a gold semi-nail.....posted has absolutely great Balance....and it is fancy silver pen...that can be admired by one and all for @ $200-225.

Your second is thinking gold is something special out side of bling. IMO. Of course all you want is modern, so the great steel nibs are on vintage piston pens. And I do have gold nibs from the same company that can match their steel nibs........both being =.

 

 

Ignore the P-75 :( I think you want large pens like your Chinese ones.

 

:) Ever heard of two toned shading inks, sheen inks? F & M nibs do best for that.  EF don't do those inks..........do need good papers. B)

 

As an alternative to a one and only fountain pen....I was very impressed with hybrid ball points.........one can even get them in different widths. ;)

If you want to be bored....a single pen....that you are forced to use....when there are so many pens of different widths, lengths and balance points. So many different nibs....over 45 of them.

 

Have you been been to Ink Reviews? Sandy1 is our Ink Guru, and uses 4 different widths of normal pens, on four better papers......and you would not believe it's the same ink.

Writing is 1/2 nib width/flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink and in that order.

And not the least bit boring.

 

One pen is like eating only a Whopper.....the rest of your life.............not fun. Boring!!!!!!

Can't play with inks, can't dance on different papers.

 

Thanks for helping me with that myth, it is rather difficult to read several posts on gold vs steel and still not know for sure which side is correct. I guess I just want a more expensive pen, and often times they are equipped with a gold nib. I've also been leaning to get a Faber Castell Essentio, as I've heard that it's the same nib as on the loom...which is said to be very smooth indeed. It's not about springiness or flexibility, I don't do much stylish writing. Just looking for a general purpose workhorse that look cool without all of the flair and perks. I'm a simple man. 

 

To give you a little background on me. I've used a parker Jotter ball point pen for over 10 years. It was finally dethroned a year or two ago due to my interest in fountain pens. Never lost it, and it always performed when I needed it to. It's still in my work bag today as a backup pen, also for signing things that may not have the best writing surface. Also, I've driven the same car for 7 years now. I'm just a simple man that likes things that are reliable and repairable. I'm also 29, and being that you were once like me, I now have to sit back and consider your thoughts. For 30 years from now, I might look back and say that being a simple man was a waste of my youth. I'm still not convinced enough to get a piston filler yet. 

 

I want a fine point due to the way it performs. It seems to handle most ink and most paper. I enjoy a reliable instrument, and i'm still trying to find what paper I enjoy the most. I recently bought a cheap (i'm pretty sure you know i'm cheap  :lticaptd: ) notepad from Walmart. I was rather surprised by how smoothly my pens wrote on it. I think it's the brand "Pen + Gear". I only have 3 bottles of ink right now. Noodler's Black, Noodler's 54th Massachusetts, and Waterman Serenity Blue. I also have a syringe, with a few cartridges filled with ink and sealed with a hot glue gun, stored in an Altoids can that is padded with tissue for slight protection in my work bag. I don't care for sheen inks right now, my favorite color is black. It's fairly timeless to me.

 

I guess if I had to break it down, I mainly want a trusty "go-to" fountain pen. Because I already have a "go-to" Ballpoint that I use when necessary.

 

I'm open to other pen suggestions, but that's a dangerous road for a person like me to travel. I have already logged many hours google searching reviews on various pens to create the list in which I have lol.  



#16 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 14:57

Deleted due to the remarkable similarity to my previous post. 

 

 

 

 

Could you send me a link to your post? I might be able to find it myself. It's nice to see someone with similar interests or goals. Which pen are you leaning towards?



#17 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 15:05

If you want a lifelong gold nib, then the Cross Townsend is worth considering. Simply because the Cross pens come with a lifetime guarantee. If the pen develops a fault, you send the pen back to Corss and they'll repair it for you, and it will only cost you postage. They fixed my Century 2 after 11 years of use, and it cost me £6 in postage.

 

I have the Waterman Carene with a fine nib. It is a nice pen, but the finish will chip off the lacquered brass quite easily if handled roughly - a case, rather than a pocket would be a better place to keep it. It is probably better used as a desk pen, rather than an every day carry. 

 

I've handled a Pilot 91 with a broad nib. It was a nice writer. It is much lighter than the Carene being made of resin/plastic.  It's a more practical everyday carry pen for pockets 

 

I haven't heard much about Cross in the fountain pen community. It seems as if it might be one of those hidden gems.

I was worried that the carene's would age the worst out of the pens listed. I imagine sanding it down after a few years. I Imagine buying a leather sleeve if I go that route. I'm also worried about leakage from that particular pen, and it seems like the least repairable. But it is a beauty and it looks the coolest to me.

 

The Pilot 91 seems like the best choice for what I want. I'm glad that I ran into someone that has used my top two considerations. Thanks so much for your input!



#18 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 15:10

First of all, welcome to FPN  (at least it's your first post here). With all due respect, I doubt that you will stick to a single gold nib pen for the rest of your life since you already got 6 steel nib ones. And even in the "one man one pen" days people eventually bought a new pen after many years of constant use.

 

Anyway, your list does not contain any pen that would be my favourite. But I'm not particularly fond of Japanese pens despite the fact that they are built excellently. And I'm not thrilled by the nibs of the modern Watermans either. There will be many other opinions you can pick from.

 

I also looked at the Sheaffur 440, but I wasn't able to find as many reviews on it. 



#19 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 15:16

From your choices, go with the 91. Here's why (from what I've heard)

 

-It is a great daily all-around writer

-The nib is great

-The Falcon is NOT for everyone (mine is very scratchy)

-I've heard good things about the Carene, but its reputation is not quite the same as some of Pilot's fps

-The same thing goes for Karas Kustoms as the Carene. Also has a metal section, which not everyone likes, and might be heavy

 

Also consider:

Sailor 1911: Great daily writer with wonderful all around nib

Pilot Vanishing Point/Decimo: Another great Pilot Pen that is easy to cap and uncap because there is no cap (good for notetaking, screw caps take longer to unscrew)

 

Good luck finding the right pen!

 

Thanks! Because the last thing that I want is a scratchy nib. I'm afraid that the Karas Kustoms would feel heavy over time. Right now i'm young and I don't mind a heavy pen, but I fear that in my older days, it will become an issue. 

 

I've heard great things about the Sailor 1911, nib smoothness in particular. I might look at more reviews on it, but I prefer the look of the CH91...which may seal the deal.



#20 shadrickjr

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 15:18

I believe the Carene was my first gold-nibbed pen.  A wonderful writer.  Best wishes with your decision.   I'm about 24 pens later, trying to confirm my Carene is really that good.  It is still holding its own.

 

And just when I thought my decision was made.....the Carene comes back into play. Have you used any of the other 3 pens that I listed?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: gold nib, workhorse, carene, custom heritage 91, falcon, karas kustoms ink, first, journaling, all-around, under $200



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