Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

First Gold Nib Pen - The Lifelong Workhorse

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

  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#41 5Cavaliers

5Cavaliers

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,516 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 05 April 2019 - 18:13

Welcome to FPN!

 

With a question like this, you will get many different answers. 

 

I do not own any of these pens, so I can't advise about them.

 

My very favorite pen is my Franklin Christoph Panther with a 14kt medium cursive italic Masuyama nib. ( It is my finest writer and suitable for anything I have used it for (both journaling and work).  The reason I suggest looking into these pens is that they have a lifetime guarantee and great customer service.  No, I am not affiliated with F-C, nor have received anything for this positive recommendation. I know from personal experience, they are great pens! 

 

I have many other fountain pens from Jinhaos to Montblanc and Pelikan.  I love every pen.  But if I was marooned on a deserted island with only one pen and unlimited ink and paper, it would be my F-C Panther. 


"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


Sponsored Content

#42 SenZen

SenZen

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,761 posts

Posted 06 April 2019 - 03:24

Some ideas:

 

Pilot 74, 91, 92, 912.

 

Sailor 1911 standard, large, pro gear.

 

Diplomat excellence.

 

Lamy Studio palladium.

 

You could also go vintage with a well sourced Pelikan 140, Parker 75.

 

Only three of my 27 pens are gold, some of my steel nibs feel just as smooth, it might be worth it to invest in having a nib specialist tune whatever you get.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#43 rosmarinaus

rosmarinaus

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Location:Iowa
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 03:48

My gold nib preferences: Pilot Custom 74 (smooth with an amount of feedback I enjoy), Pilot Vanishing Point (pure smoothness - butter on a stick), and a gift I received today, a Sailor 1911 with a left-hand grind (I'm left handed) that is just perfect. First ink for the Sailor is Iroshizuku Syo-Ro. Beautiful combination.



#44 jameswatts

jameswatts

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 06 April 2019 - 04:37

Haven't read the whole thread but I would suggest a Sailor Professional Gear. Yes, the cartridges are proprietary but this is one of my go-to pens ever since I received it.

#45 RudraDev

RudraDev

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Location:India
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 05:51

If you want to pick from the ones you shortlisted, I'd go for the Pilot Falcon.
But you could try out some vintage Pelikans or the new Pilot Custom 74.

#46 IndigoBOB

IndigoBOB

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 847 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 06:13

Go with Pilot: 

  • Great QC, safer to buy overseas = Better Value.
  • I recommend J-Subculture for that (They guarantee a brand new unopened pen, which I didn't get from a recent Amazon purchase of a Pilot 91, which came very used, but was purchased "new" from the highest rated seller).
  • Pilot Soft Gold nibs are great, but I recommend the Regular ones first.  I like both, but find myself reaching for the Regular Gold nibs more.

If your budget is up to $200, Even if you have smaller hands, I recommend the Pilot Custom 912, which you can get for sub $200 from J-subculture.  

  • 912's a better all around size especially for workhorse purposes.  
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Uses a Con70 converter which holds a lot of ink.
  • The 91 is a little small and you'll feel it, unless you have very small hands.

It won't be your last gold nib pen, but I must say that when I tried my first Pilot Gold Regular Medium nib on a Custom 74 I got that feeling of:  "Grail nib" like it was my last Gold nib I'd need, but I needed it in a 912 'cuase the 74 (which is basically the same pen as the 91) was a bit too small for a workhorse pen for me.

 

But for future reference, I also recommend looking at Eboya Natsume Pens.  They are "down-the-road" pens, but are Ebonite with a Nice Gold nib pretuned.  Ebonite, IMO, is the best workhorse pen material that is exceptionally comfortable for longer writing sessions, but their aren't a lot of options, and Eboya pens are so well made.  And also Aurora Optima/88's, which I always see/hear people praise the comfort of for long writing sessions.



#47 displacermoose

displacermoose

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 505 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 13:20

Another vote for the Pilot. My CH92 (same nib and body size/shape as the 91) is one of my daily go to pens. Mine has a MF nib. I find the F too fine (I have one of those on a 74).

Also like others, I’m going to suggest you take at look Sailor. I have 2 Sapporos (a F and a M) and a FM ProGear and they are hands down my favorite pens. The full sized ProGear is probably out of your price range, but the Sapporo is not.

And while we’re on the subject of moderately priced Japanese gold nibbed pens I feel obligated to mention the third member of the trifecta: the Platinum 3776 Century. Also a great daily writer in your price range.

But of what you mentioned, go with the Pilot.

Yet another Sarah.


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

the-smell-of-dust-after-rain

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 15:05

You could also get a hard pen case or clip it to your shirt/pants. I keep several pens in a Franklin Christoph 3-pen case in my duffel bag daily, including a vintage Vacumatic, and have had no issues.

But if you want to throw your pen loose into a bag with books and other large items I'd stick to an inexpensive, easily replaceable workhorse or get your Karas Kustoms or something made of metal. Or be okay with scuffs, scratches, and the possibility of damage to the body over time.

 

If I am going to use the pen daily for 20 or 40 years, a little bit of patina is a good thing.  It reminds me of all the places I've taken the pen and helps it become part of me.  I'm tempted to go with something that tarnishes over time.  Maybe a brass grip that polishes to the shape of my hand?  I don't know.  It's a few months to a year before I'm ready to buy but I'm having a lot of fun learning about all the different options.

 

Cases are good but I worry they add a lot of weight to the bag.  Books, camera equipment, regular girl stuff, all weigh a lot and are hard on the back.  A couple of oz actually make quite a difference.  

 

But then again, I'm thinking of finding a lightweight case that could carry two pens and a portable inkwell.  That would be useful.  Not sure if it exists or if I would have to make one.  


petrichor


#49 flyingpenman

flyingpenman

    We see in a mirror dimly...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 639 posts
  • Location:Mississippi
  • Flag:

Posted 06 April 2019 - 17:39

If I am going to use the pen daily for 20 or 40 years, a little bit of patina is a good thing.  It reminds me of all the places I've taken the pen and helps it become part of me.  I'm tempted to go with something that tarnishes over time.  Maybe a brass grip that polishes to the shape of my hand?  I don't know.  It's a few months to a year before I'm ready to buy but I'm having a lot of fun learning about all the different options.
 
Cases are good but I worry they add a lot of weight to the bag.  Books, camera equipment, regular girl stuff, all weigh a lot and are hard on the back.  A couple of oz actually make quite a difference.  
 
But then again, I'm thinking of finding a lightweight case that could carry two pens and a portable inkwell.  That would be useful.  Not sure if it exists or if I would have to make one.

Here's what I use from Franklin Christoph. Lightweight, can hold 3 pens or 2 pens and a pen-shaped inkwell (Visconti, Pinkeder, etc) and can double as a glasses case or pouch if you prefer. A bit pricey but HIGH quality and classy. Leather, canvas, or cloth. I have a blue canvas one and it's very nice. If you get one make sure to get a pen insert with it.

https://www.franklin...-pen-pouch.html

No affiliation, just happy customer. There are plenty of other options out there - just one of them.

Edited by flyingpenman, 06 April 2019 - 17:41.

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.
~C.S. Lewis
--------------
Current Rotation:
Edison Menlo <m italic>, Lamy 2000 <EF>, Wing Sung 601 <F>
Pilot VP <F>, Pilot Metropolitan <F>, Pilot Penmanship <EF>

#50 Penpulsar

Penpulsar

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:36

I enjoy the Carene immensely, but also the Waterman Charleston, an 18K nib which is very light and.  You might also want to consider one other alternative, if traveling -- the Platinum 3776, a large 14K nib, which Platinum advertises will seal and allow use of ink for at least one year. The converter is pricey (12 $USD ) but you could get two 3776's for your $200 (looking on AMAZON).



#51 Penpulsar

Penpulsar

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:52

 

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

 

Cross was once THE American pen. Ball. rollerball, pencil or fountain tip, Cross writing instruments stood against any other American items favorably. In style and workmanship, they were matchless, as was their guarantee.

 

Then, a few years ago, the company was sold.

 

It's now trying to be trendy, trying to extend price points, replacing style and sturdiness with flash in most cases. I began with many Cross pens in my collection. I stopped collecting them 20 years ago, to broaden my experience and avoid what I anticipated would be loss of quality and subsequent disappointment.



#52 them700project

them700project

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 165 posts

Posted 08 April 2019 - 15:28

What about the Pilot VP. They write very well



#53 sandy101

sandy101

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,792 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 April 2019 - 22:27

What about the Pilot VP. They write very well

 

I handled a couple at the London Fountain pen club. There are indeed very nice writers. I've seen a few Pilot pens there - 843, vanishing Point and 91 (?) and all the nibs were very good.  



#54 IndigoBOB

IndigoBOB

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 847 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 April 2019 - 05:15

I find the VP a heavy pen for a workhorse and the grip limiting.  I think as a Workhorse, it may hit some people's sweet spot, the likes of which I think is fairly narrow metaphorically speaking.

 

I think SBRE Brown said it most reliably about the Vanishing point:

 

It's one of the most practical fountain pens, but has limitations as a work horse.

 

 

Though I find the Pilot 91/74 small for a workhorse and prefer the 912 and 743 dimensions, I can still use the 91/74 as a workhorse.  I couldn't with the Vanishing Point.  My hands are medium large.



#55 ParkerDuofold

ParkerDuofold

    Jersey Boy

  • Remembered Fondly
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,368 posts
  • Location:Eastern Time Zone; United States
  • Flag:

Posted 09 April 2019 - 06:09

Hello Shadrickjr,

:W2FPN:

Since you are currently enjoying the 2016 Urban as your workhorse...

...why not upgrade to a Parker Sonnet with a 18k nib?

(I like mine). :thumbup:


However, if that is not an option for you; then go for the Pilot 91. You won't regret that choice, either. ;)


Be well and enjoy life... and I hope whichever pen you finally choose really rings your chimes. :)


- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#56 Houston

Houston

    Purple Pen Eater

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 487 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 April 2019 - 21:54

Hi, there:

 

Welcome to this extraordinarily knowledgeable and generous community. Never any question too simple nor too esoteric. 

 

I have and use all four of the pens you are considering. Of the four, the Pilot just seems to find itself in use more than the others. If you want a "pick one" recommendation amongst them, I'd recommend the Pilot. Lots of joy. No regrets. 

 

Now some nuance: 

 

While I haven't looked up the numbers nor hauled out all four pens just now, my recollection is that there's a pretty mighty difference in mass (or, if you prefer, weight) between your four choices. The Karas is built like a tank, which is its charm and its sin. After a few pages, it can feel like you're pushing an armoured vehicle across the page. Your writing habits and mine may differ, but I find the Karas tests my patience and stamina in long sessions.

 

My Carene writes like a dream, but (1) there's no particular character to the nib, and (2) the lacquer has chipped without particularly rough handling -- which isn't uncommon, anecdotally. It's also got some weight to it.

 

Some folks suggest that the Japanese nibs are utilitarian and lacking in character, too. That's not been my (qualitative, inductive, personal) experience of Japanese gold nibs. I find they can be quite a bit more suggestive/expressive than mass-produced steel nails. They don't have big personalities, but I think they bring subtle interest and intrigue. And, as has already been covered in this thread, you have quite a bit of nib choice with the Pilot.

 

(And that would be my personally held exception to the sound view that neither steel nor gold is a superior nib material. I agree with the generalism, entirely. Much more depends on the specifics of an individual nib than depends on its material, per se. But I find Japanese steel nibs pretty undifferentiated and generic -- however stunningly reliable -- while Japanese gold nibs do bring some subtle character to the party. And the Japanese definitely offer range.)

 

As for the Falcon: Great pen. But, for me, it's a specialty nib. It certainly *could* be a daily workhorse, but that remit suggests an "all rounder", whereas the Falcon is a delightful specialist. I wouldn't choose it as your one-and-only unless you'd had the opportunity to write with one and found it to be the undeniable Bacall to your Bogart.

 

I agree with those who suggest that, if you like the Pilot, you might enjoy agonising over a comparison with Sailor. Both are outstanding. Can't go wrong with either. 

 

Whatever you choose, I highly recommend that the moment you purchase it, you hold it aloft and declare that you made the perfect decision, and never look back. Then write your tuchas off.

 

Have fun out there.



#57 Guardy

Guardy

    Neeeeerd!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 378 posts
  • Location:Bavaria - Germany
  • Flag:

Posted 09 April 2019 - 22:28

I got to test out a Carene in London a few years back and I wasn't particularly smitten with it - and I REALLY wanted to like it, too. It didn't look as nice in person compared to the photographs I'd seen, I didn't particularly like the balance of it, and the nib - while technically perfectly fine - was nothing I couldn't live without either. 

 

If you enjoy the look of the Carene, though, you might want to consider a Sheaffer Targa or Imperial. My Imp has by far my favorite gold nib. You'd have to buy a vintage pen, but they come in c/c and are definitely worth the price.

 

I can also second the recommendation of the Platinum Century, mostly. Not fond of the plastic they use, but the rest of the pen is a real gem. 



#58 Braxfield

Braxfield

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 72 posts
  • Location:Denver

Posted 16 April 2019 - 20:45

Choice of pen is highly personal because it depends on how you write and how big your hands are, as well as seven million other factors.  (Well, how large your writing hand is.  The size of the other one hardly matters.)

 

Even something as "objective" as smoothness of nib is affected by very subtle nuances.  "Feedback" has many elements.   And then you get on ink and paper.

 

Which is to say that the advice you receive here may not lead you to your perfect pen.   However, one thing I have noticed is that whilst many, many pens will satisfy the owner when it comes to pens that are truly beloved, a smaller set emerges.   Unfortunately not much smaller.  And not small enough to solve the riddle.

 

I am going to resist the temptation to name names.  Ultimately I think the key is to test many pens.   The answer, when it comes, may surprise you.


"They come as a boon and a blessing to men, 
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."


#59 OMASsimo

OMASsimo

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 760 posts
  • Location:Ink Blue Planet
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2019 - 22:15

Choice of pen is highly personal because it depends on how you write and how big your hands are, as well as seven million other factors.  (Well, how large your writing hand is.  The size of the other one hardly matters.)

 

Even something as "objective" as smoothness of nib is affected by very subtle nuances.  "Feedback" has many elements.   And then you get on ink and paper.

 

Which is to say that the advice you receive here may not lead you to your perfect pen.   However, one thing I have noticed is that whilst many, many pens will satisfy the owner when it comes to pens that are truly beloved, a smaller set emerges.   Unfortunately not much smaller.  And not small enough to solve the riddle.

 

I am going to resist the temptation to name names.  Ultimately I think the key is to test many pens.   The answer, when it comes, may surprise you.

 

+1 I think this is a very wise statement.

 

It's very unlikely that you'll find the "match for life" by following explicit pen suggestions from the community. If you have an idea what you like in a pen, the suggestions here might be mildly helpful to narrow down, which pens might be worth trying out. But chances are that the perfect pen for you is found in a totally different corner. However, if you don't care for the perfect match and are satisfied with any robust, long-lived pen that will outlive you, then most pens from top tier manufacturers will do and suggestions hardly are necessary.



#60 AL01

AL01

    Eh?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,182 posts
  • Location:A Texan - Wisconsinite
  • Flag:

Posted 16 April 2019 - 22:36

  Personally, I'd choose the Carene.

 

  I am VERY picky with the materials and the balance of a pen, and I think that the 91 fails in both categories.

 

 It's plastic is durable, but it feels a little hard. It doesn't warm up to your hand...

 

 The Falcon is not a bad pen, but I have not used one extensively.

 

 What I can say, though, is that it's flex nib is basically a springy soft nib.

 

 It does't have the capabilities of ANY vintage flex pen, (which, if you smart, you can find 'em for less than a Falcon.)

 

 The Carene is made well and fits MY hand like a glove.

 

 But all three of your options are very respectable, and whatever you choose, may you enjoy your pen!







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



Sponsored Content




|