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Titanium Or Gold?

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#1 Autiflip

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 18:27

Hello,

I am looking to buy a pen with a nib made from a different material than steel. I have looked at a lot of gold nib pens, of which the pilot E95S has peeked my interest the most. I am looking for pens with a nice springyness and decent line variation and whilst searching I came across some titanium nibs. How does titanium generally feel? Are there any pens out there with a titanium nib that is really good (I am a college student so $200 is the max I can afford) or is it not comparable to a gold nib? All suggestions are really appreciated. Any information is good, especially of how titanium nibs feel compared to gold nibs.

A big thanks in advance!

Autiflip

 

ps: Extra fine nibs are my favorite, so it is great if the pen has that option :)

pps: heavy pens too



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#2 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 19:01

The Stipula T-Flex is the only titanium nib I know of that is expressly billed as "flex", though no where near that of a gold Pilot FA (falcon) nib (not to be confused with the "S" [soft] nibs of the Pilot Falcon pens). It has just a touch more "flex" than the Bock titanium nib on a Ranga. Other than the Ranga/Bock, my titanium nibs are on Stipula (or Levenger from when I'm sure they were commissioning models from Stipula -- back then Stipula was the only company I knew of that used titanium).

 

The Pilot Custom 912 with FA nib is the first pen I've encountered that I would consider "flex" (in my mind, the Noodler's steel "flex" nibs, Conklin/MonteVerde Omniflex steel, Pineider "Quill cut" "Hyperflex" gold are barely flex*)

 

As for "feel". I currently have one titanium inked -- the Ranga, along with a Ranga with a Bock gold nib. The titanium as a subtle "pencil" feel -- and scritchy sound. I need to finish the ink load and try a different ink, as the Diamine HoneyBurst is too pale for my taste, and I might be trying to compensate with added pressure.

 

Note that gold does NOT EQUATE to flex. The aforesaid Ranga/Bock gold nib is very smooth, and quiet, but shows no variation with the amount of pressure I was comfortable trying.

 

$200 budget -- not going to find many gold nibs these days, and they likely won't show any flex. You just missed the last Ranga group buy with Bock titanium nibs (and feed units -- you could try one and later purchase a Bock gold nib for comparison... Note that where a titanium nib added about $50 to the base price of a Ranga, the gold nib alone adds $175 or so). Platinum has a few models with gold nibs at under $100, but don't try to flex them (Japanese EF and M as I recall). The next step up would be their "Modern Maki-e" series, around $150.

 

 

 

 

*Caveat: My main criteria is NOT how wide the tines will spread, but how much pressure is needed to produce variation -- if it takes muscles to flex at all, it is not a "flex" nib to me. A Conklin DuraFlex gave 0.4x0.2mm expanding up to 1.0x0.6mm; a Stipula Model T gave 0.4x0.4mm up to 1.0x0.4mm -- so about 2.5X variation.



#3 challer61

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 21:07

Interesting. My Bock nibs in Ti flex way more than the same nib in gold.



#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 23:12

For $200....actually for E100-120 you could go to German Ebay.de....and get Pelikan '82-97 springy gold regular flex (called soft on Japanese pens)  era nibs. or just as good regular flex steel nibbed 200 for lots less. Or '50-70 German stubbed semi-flex nibs....many gold, and some with great steel nibs.

 

Well you can Hunt and get them for E100 or you can push the Buy Now Idiot button, and pay stateside prices. $200-300.

They have to take Paypal and mail to the States, some won't ship outside of Germany.

 

 

Don't buy into the gold nib myth.....a gold nail is only much more expensive than a steel nail.

A good steel nib can be just as good as a good gold nib.....accent on good.

Need to match the era.

 

You can buy new....Japanese regular flex nibs.....called 'soft' by Japanese with gold nibs for what every you said. Buy German semi-vintage for cheaper. '82-97 for Pelikan.

 

If you had a few pens, and a regular flex or two I'd recommend '50-70 German vintage pens in semi-flex.................and there I do have Osmia steel nibs that are as grand as their great gold nibs.

Who makes the nib, which era.

 

You can get a nice springy gold plated 200 with a great nib.....and I rave about them all the time....for E90.

 

I have been talking about piston pens................ :thumbup:

A good used pen is affordable....take a look at our sales section....take a look at Ebay.de.....for even cheaper.

Stateside prices have become real high lately. :yikes: ...real high :gaah: and that for the used good pens too. :wallbash:


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.

 

 

 


#5 Jamerelbe

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 03:35

Lemme start with the negative re titanium nibs: Richard Binder and other establish nib repairers are not fond of titanium, because (they say) it's hard to work with to repair if someone 'springs' it.  And because they're billed as flex nibs (they're not), it's fairly common for people to press them too far.

 

On the positive side, I have about 4 Bock titanium nibs of varying sizes, and I really enjoy them. They *do* produce a bit more feedback on the page as you write, but are still pretty smooth if well-tuned; they're fairly wet writers, compared to regular steel nibs; and they *are* relatively springy.  And yes, they're a little cheaper than gold, too, which is a significant added bonus.  

 

I've been really happy with my titanium nibs, though it's a very personal thing.  My suggestion would be looking at someone like Karas Pens (if you're in the US), who supply a range of pens that will take a Bock #6 (or #5) nib. Or there's Ensso pens, if you like their designs.  The beauty of these pens, too, is that if you end up not really enjoying the Titanium nib, you can buy a steel (or gold) nib unit to swap in, and sell the titanium nib on if you wish!



#6 katerchen

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:46

I find titanium "mushy" -- don't know how else to describe it.

 

Gold has a beautiful variation, from the super stiff to soft and bouncy to flexible. And it's not all *that* more expensive ... (well except on the vintage flex side).

 

I'd suggest Pilot's "Soft" designation nibs (SM, SFM, SF). Your budget of $200 is more than enough for those.

 

-k



#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 05:49

I find titanium "mushy" -- don't know how else to describe it.

 

Gold has a beautiful variation, from the super stiff to soft and bouncy to flexible. And it's not all *that* more expensive ... (well except on the vintage flex side).

 

I'd suggest Pilot's "Soft" designation nibs (SM, SFM, SF). Your budget of $200 is more than enough for those.

 

-k

 

I *like* the feel of my Titanium nibs - but agree it's not the same as gold, and won't be to everyone's taste.  Then again, as @katerchen points out, there's a fair degree of variance between gold nibs as to degree of 'bounce' and flexibility. Which makes recommending something *you'll* enjoy a little bit tricky!



#8 5Cavaliers

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 06:36

I have a Namisu Nova with a titanium nib.  It is NOT a flex nib.  It is slightly springy but much less so than many of my steel nibs.  

 

I am different than many.  I like gold nibbed pens even the "nails".  But my reasons are that most of them are a bit more "wet" and seem much smoother than many of my steel nibs.  For example, I have a Lamy Studio with a gold nib that writes so smoothly you can hardly feel the nib on the paper.  I have several Pilot VPs that deliver the same experience.  None of these are flex nibs.  

 

My suggestion is that if you want line variation, start with stub or a cursive italic.  If you are in the U.S., I would suggest purchasing the pen through a reputable nib meister (i.e. nibs.com, etc.) so that the nib is tuned before you buy.  Yes, you will pay more, but then you know that the pen will write the way you want it.  


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#9 Karmachanic

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:30

I have four Bock Ti nibs ground to cursive italic. The "nice springyness" you seek, with built in line variation.

If you would like a modern true semi, or full flex 14k gold nib FPNibs is the place to get one. Spendy, but very much worth it.


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#10 Autiflip

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 21:36

The Stipula T-Flex is the only titanium nib I know of that is expressly billed as "flex", though no where near that of a gold Pilot FA (falcon) nib (not to be confused with the "S" [soft] nibs of the Pilot Falcon pens). It has just a touch more "flex" than the Bock titanium nib on a Ranga. Other than the Ranga/Bock, my titanium nibs are on Stipula (or Levenger from when I'm sure they were commissioning models from Stipula -- back then Stipula was the only company I knew of that used titanium).

 

The Pilot Custom 912 with FA nib is the first pen I've encountered that I would consider "flex" (in my mind, the Noodler's steel "flex" nibs, Conklin/MonteVerde Omniflex steel, Pineider "Quill cut" "Hyperflex" gold are barely flex*)

 

As for "feel". I currently have one titanium inked -- the Ranga, along with a Ranga with a Bock gold nib. The titanium as a subtle "pencil" feel -- and scritchy sound. I need to finish the ink load and try a different ink, as the Diamine HoneyBurst is too pale for my taste, and I might be trying to compensate with added pressure.

 

Note that gold does NOT EQUATE to flex. The aforesaid Ranga/Bock gold nib is very smooth, and quiet, but shows no variation with the amount of pressure I was comfortable trying.

 

$200 budget -- not going to find many gold nibs these days, and they likely won't show any flex. You just missed the last Ranga group buy with Bock titanium nibs (and feed units -- you could try one and later purchase a Bock gold nib for comparison... Note that where a titanium nib added about $50 to the base price of a Ranga, the gold nib alone adds $175 or so). Platinum has a few models with gold nibs at under $100, but don't try to flex them (Japanese EF and M as I recall). The next step up would be their "Modern Maki-e" series, around $150.

 

 

 

 

*Caveat: My main criteria is NOT how wide the tines will spread, but how much pressure is needed to produce variation -- if it takes muscles to flex at all, it is not a "flex" nib to me. A Conklin DuraFlex gave 0.4x0.2mm expanding up to 1.0x0.6mm; a Stipula Model T gave 0.4x0.4mm up to 1.0x0.4mm -- so about 2.5X variation.

Thanks for your insight, It was really useful! I am not looking for full vintage flex but just a nice soft nib to give my writing a little extra joy. The most soft nibs I've come across were gold but I do realize that gold does not mean a soft nib. Thanks again!



#11 Autiflip

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 21:50

I have a Namisu Nova with a titanium nib.  It is NOT a flex nib.  It is slightly springy but much less so than many of my steel nibs.  

 

I am different than many.  I like gold nibbed pens even the "nails".  But my reasons are that most of them are a bit more "wet" and seem much smoother than many of my steel nibs.  For example, I have a Lamy Studio with a gold nib that writes so smoothly you can hardly feel the nib on the paper.  I have several Pilot VPs that deliver the same experience.  None of these are flex nibs.  

 

My suggestion is that if you want line variation, start with stub or a cursive italic.  If you are in the U.S., I would suggest purchasing the pen through a reputable nib meister (i.e. nibs.com, etc.) so that the nib is tuned before you buy.  Yes, you will pay more, but then you know that the pen will write the way you want it.  

I don't really like italic or stub nibs, it messes up my handwriting since I write so small that every nib bigger than a japanese fine makes every letter just a blob of ink. Thanks for the help though!



#12 Jamerelbe

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:40

Thanks for your insight, It was really useful! I am not looking for full vintage flex but just a nice soft nib to give my writing a little extra joy. The most soft nibs I've come across were gold but I do realize that gold does not mean a soft nib. Thanks again!

 

If you're looking for a bit of soft 'bounce' rather than the capacity to splay the nibs without consequence (!), the Bock Ti nibs will definitely give you that - I have 4 (2 EFs, an F and a B - one of the EFs is a #5 though), and really enjoy the 'softness' of the writing experience.  



#13 Autiflip

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 16:07

 

If you're looking for a bit of soft 'bounce' rather than the capacity to splay the nibs without consequence (!), the Bock Ti nibs will definitely give you that - I have 4 (2 EFs, an F and a B - one of the EFs is a #5 though), and really enjoy the 'softness' of the writing experience.  

Thanks, I will definitely look into them!



#14 SpecTP

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 20:54

Hello,

I am looking to buy a pen with a nib made from a different material than steel. I have looked at a lot of gold nib pens, of which the pilot E95S has peeked my interest the most. I am looking for pens with a nice springyness and decent line variation and whilst searching I came across some titanium nibs. How does titanium generally feel? Are there any pens out there with a titanium nib that is really good (I am a college student so $200 is the max I can afford) or is it not comparable to a gold nib? All suggestions are really appreciated. Any information is good, especially of how titanium nibs feel compared to gold nibs.

A big thanks in advance!

Autiflip

 

ps: Extra fine nibs are my favorite, so it is great if the pen has that option :)

pps: heavy pens too

 

I have a Conid with both titanium and gold nibs. The titanium gives a nice feedback and is slightly springy. The gold nib is much more springy with no feedback. If you like to write EF consistent lines, then the titanium is for you. If you want some line variation and don't mind your lines some times being F or M, then the gold nib is better.


Edited by SpecTP, 24 June 2019 - 20:56.


#15 Karmachanic

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 06:19

 

I have a Conid with both titanium and gold nibs. The titanium gives a nice feedback and is slightly springy. The gold nib is much more springy with no feedback. If you like to write EF consistent lines, then the titanium is for you. If you want some line variation and don't mind your lines some times being F or M, then the gold nib is better.

 

Conids come in three nib sizes. What size gold nib are you referring to?


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#16 SpecTP

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:53

 

Conids come in three nib sizes. What size gold nib are you referring to?

 

I have the Kingsize bulkfiller #8 nib



#17 Karmachanic

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:21

 

I have the Kingsize bulkfiller #8 nib

 

Far beyond the scope of the $200 mentioned by the OP.


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#18 tonybelding

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 18:05

Lemme start with the negative re titanium nibs: Richard Binder and other establish nib repairers are not fond of titanium, because (they say) it's hard to work with to repair if someone 'springs' it.  And because they're billed as flex nibs (they're not), it's fairly common for people to press them too far.

 

I got a Bock titanium nib (taken from a Karas Ink pen, in fact), and I consider it a flex nib.  It's not the most flex, not a wet noodle, but it's in the same category with some of my vintage Wahl-Eversharps, for example.  It does produce satisfying line variation without effort, and isn't that what matters?  I do like it a lot!

 

I use it the way flex nibs on fountain pens are meant to be used — I write normally.  I don't mash down on it, or try to do calligraphy or fancy "copperplate" flourishes.  The problems that Binder and others have observed aren't really problems with titanium nibs; they're just problems with people who abuse titanium nibs (and, I would assume, every other flex nib they get their hands on).

 

bock_titan.jpg


Edited by tonybelding, 25 June 2019 - 18:09.


#19 Autiflip

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 20:39

 

I got a Bock titanium nib (taken from a Karas Ink pen, in fact), and I consider it a flex nib.  It's not the most flex, not a wet noodle, but it's in the same category with some of my vintage Wahl-Eversharps, for example.  It does produce satisfying line variation without effort, and isn't that what matters?  I do like it a lot!

 

I use it the way flex nibs on fountain pens are meant to be used — I write normally.  I don't mash down on it, or try to do calligraphy or fancy "copperplate" flourishes.  The problems that Binder and others have observed aren't really problems with titanium nibs; they're just problems with people who abuse titanium nibs (and, I would assume, every other flex nib they get their hands on).

 

bock_titan.jpg

this looks gorgeous, very nice line variation. this is also exactly the purpose I intend to use it for: to give my daily writing some spice and caracter. Thank you, this was very useful!



#20 Karmachanic

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 21:01

And fab shading to boot!


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