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New Penbbs Model?


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131 replies to this topic

#41 MuddyWaters

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 20:52

If reliability is a concern, I'd actually steer clear of PenBBS for now.  In the price range you're looking, there are two different categories: The injection moulded pens (494, 322, and 268 piston filler) and C/C pens (the 267, 308, 323, 350, 352, and 480).  Actually, there's also the pocket-pen eyedropper 471, which is fine.
 
I haven't tried a 494, and the 322 is fine, but boring.  It's just a Pilot 78G clone with a better nib than most clones.  The 268 would be an excellent pen, but I can't keep the sections from cracking spontaneously.
 
The C/C pens used to be great for reliability, but Long switched out the converters being used about half a year ago.  The new converters are terrible.  I've had them leak out the back and fall apart in my hand just flushing them.  (And they must be flushed, because they come with inordinate amounts of oil in them.)  Sourcing replacements can be problematic.
 
If you plan on eye-dropper filling or you can source a reliable Hero Widemouth size converter (I haven't found a source that has consistent stock), then the 323 might be right up your alley.  Most people love the ergonomics (though I find it too short for my hand, which ends up putting pressure on the section) and it's quite light.  As I stated, the 471 pocket pen is likewise decent, but it does have a tendency to cross-thread.

Agreed with this. The wing sung 601, 618 and 698 remain the best for value pens right now imo, though I like the upturned penbbs nib in a cheaper offering (323).

Edited by MuddyWaters, 07 December 2019 - 20:52.

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


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#42 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 23:01

Agreed with this. The wing sung 601, 618 and 698 remain the best for value pens right now imo, though I like the upturned penbbs nib in a cheaper offering (323).

Please elaborate on what is agreed? No intention to be a PenBBS evangelist but again reliability concern of PenBBS on the basis of converters alone is really ridiculous. And also I don't see people flocking to complain specifically about the new converters failing in doing its job so far. JollyCynic also did not respond on my counter argument of his reliability point and I don't understand if the converters alone is worth the argument.

 

The 618 is really the one model I would steer clear for reliability though. I've had mine disintegrate in the cap part of then pen due to unknown reasons (I never dropped / knocked it it) and also the clicking mechanism at the blind cap is wobbly.

 

I will, however, advocate for the 601. I currently own 3 of these models and all of them performs excellently as EDC pens.



#43 MuddyWaters

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 23:34

Please elaborate on what is agreed? No intention to be a PenBBS evangelist but again reliability concern of PenBBS on the basis of converters alone is really ridiculous. And also I don't see people flocking to complain specifically about the new converters failing in doing its job so far. JollyCynic also did not respond on my counter argument of his reliability point and I don't understand if the converters alone is worth the argument.

 

The 618 is really the one model I would steer clear for reliability though. I've had mine disintegrate in the cap part of then pen due to unknown reasons (I never dropped / knocked it it) and also the clicking mechanism at the blind cap is wobbly.

 

I will, however, advocate for the 601. I currently own 3 of these models and all of them performs excellently as EDC pens.

Perhaps I was used to the older models having such solid converters, but when my latest penbbs pen came without o-rings and the new crappy converter that did put me off of them. Their more expensive offerings are at least double the price of those wing sungs, so I would appreciate that they stick to their previous standards.


Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


#44 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 01:18

Perhaps I was used to the older models having such solid converters, but when my latest penbbs pen came without o-rings and the new crappy converter that did put me off of them. Their more expensive offerings are at least double the price of those wing sungs, so I would appreciate that they stick to their previous standards.

I understand the frustration of being served a less reliable component than the previous version but has the newer version converter failed you? If it doesn't then it has exactly the same function as the previous one but with less material. That's better cost efficiency in my book.

 

Again as I have said in my previous post, my 480 & 323 converters have not made any issues so far and they are the newer version of the converter.

 

As for the O-Rings, they should have spared it for eyedropper-able pens at least.



#45 JollyCynic

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 07:27

JollyCynic also did not respond on my counter argument of his reliability point and I don't understand if the converters alone is worth the argument.

That's because you didn't offer a counter-argument, you said that yours hadn't failed yet. And some of mine haven't failed yet, either. The ones I've received lately are of the same quality as the first few, but they've been put to the side as I was able to find nine of the old converters.

And I don't think that the converter is a good reason not to get the pen. They're a consumable part of the pen, and should, on my opinion, be discounted from the overall value of the pen. If someone's asking for a good pen, or a pen of outstanding value, or a well-priced pen with insanely good engineering, I won't hesitate to break out my PenBBS pens.

But in this case, someone specifically asked for reliable pens. If that hadn't been specified, I'd merely have said that the new converters have a tendency to leak. (While I don't recall others complaining about theirs falling apart like my second one did, there have been a fair number of complaints about leaking past the piston.) Similarly, I would have happily recommended any of the self-filler options (with a caveat to watch videos and practise with the 355) except the 309 had price not been mentioned.

If someone says something is important to them, I tend to take them at their word that it's important to them, and recommend accordingly.

Edited by JollyCynic, 08 December 2019 - 07:34.


#46 Mech-for-i

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 11:41

so far my PenBBS pens had been all working fine except one , and that had been the notorious 309 unscrewing the piston itself ( and I remedy that after tuning with some silicone lubricant ). I can understand the frustration and the thrill .. in the end I think PenBBS still inherit some of the quirkiness and  some time shortcoming of the Chinese fountain pen in general, I am not sure if its manufacturing, or simply QC or simply combination of many more factors that can some time made the pen less than what it can be.

 

I would not say the nib or its dryness a issue as its just the way it is ( for its decide to be used to write a language that favor this ) , but I would indeed be disappointed with the converter if it do not come working , this is clearly a QC issue.

 

If someone ask me for a reliable Chinese fountain pen today I must say I would still recommend the good old Hero , no not the cheapo vintage models but all the current production up to date mid range ( aka not student pen, not school pens, not the vintage one ). It cannot be denied Hero actually made some of the most consistent mid rage and reliable workhorse in and among.If someone ask me for good engineered pen, the PenBBS, Moonman, Delike, the current Wing Sung, and then some like Fuliwan ( individual models ) would sill get my recommendation with the caveat emptor to be made of small issues that can prop up here and there some times



#47 Cyclohexene

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 12:36

If someone ask me for a reliable Chinese fountain pen today I must say I would still recommend the good old Hero , no not the cheapo vintage models but all the current production up to date mid range ( aka not student pen, not school pens, not the vintage one ). It cannot be denied Hero actually made some of the most consistent mid rage and reliable workhorse in and among.If someone ask me for good engineered pen, the PenBBS, Moonman, Delike, the current Wing Sung, and then some like Fuliwan ( individual models ) would sill get my recommendation with the caveat emptor to be made of small issues that can prop up here and there some times


Any specific Hero models you would recommend? Hero has always been a brand I'm interested in but seems too confusing with all the models to deep dive in.

#48 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 12:56

That's because you didn't offer a counter-argument, you said that yours hadn't failed yet. And some of mine haven't failed yet, either. The ones I've received lately are of the same quality as the first few, but they've been put to the side as I was able to find nine of the old converters.

And I don't think that the converter is a good reason not to get the pen. They're a consumable part of the pen, and should, on my opinion, be discounted from the overall value of the pen. If someone's asking for a good pen, or a pen of outstanding value, or a well-priced pen with insanely good engineering, I won't hesitate to break out my PenBBS pens.

But in this case, someone specifically asked for reliable pens. If that hadn't been specified, I'd merely have said that the new converters have a tendency to leak. (While I don't recall others complaining about theirs falling apart like my second one did, there have been a fair number of complaints about leaking past the piston.) Similarly, I would have happily recommended any of the self-filler options (with a caveat to watch videos and practise with the 355) except the 309 had price not been mentioned.

If someone says something is important to them, I tend to take them at their word that it's important to them, and recommend accordingly.

My counter argument was against your claim of steering clear of the PenBBS (in general) if you want reliability where you specifically mentioned the converter for the basis of your reliability argument and I gave my experience regarding the new converter which had no problem. There are also very few people reporting of the poor performance of the converter.

 

Definitely, the PenBBS I would not recommend right now if we're talking constant reliability is the 309 (engineering / manufacturing failure) and to an extent the 268 (manufacturing failure,). Others I would not hesitate in saying they have excellent reliability in terms of design and manufacturing.

 

in the end I think PenBBS still inherit some of the quirkiness and  some time shortcoming of the Chinese fountain pen in general, I am not sure if its manufacturing, or simply QC or simply combination of many more factors that can some time made the pen less than what it can be.

 

The shortcomings of Chinese pens you are generally plaguing their low end priced pens IMO. As for PenBBS, I would rather take a jibe at their finer nibs performance. Recently received more than one of their EF nib charms  and more than half writes so dry to the point of constant skipping. It's at the point of rather switching out the nibs with either Jowo / Nemosine nibs.



#49 Mech-for-i

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 13:19



Any specific Hero models you would recommend? Hero has always been a brand I'm interested in but seems too confusing with all the models to deep dive in.

 

Hero 3081, 1506, 981, 2061, 616 Plus, 5066, H610, 737/738, 850 .. all up to date C/C and great daily writer , but if you want something a bit more substantial ; try H708 , build like a tank, a soft 10K nib which give decent line variation ( all of the H70X series use 10K nib but different nib ), or if you want to try out how vintage feel like but want a new one, the 856, a recent new production of the vintage Gold Star 28 with a M no.6 nib and a somewhat quirky aerometric filling ( it fill just fine but require getting to know it as its simply too large a volume )

 

Hero 100 is the Hero to had but its a 1950's model so ... Hero almost always at any time had literally dozens of models on their catalog ( not all are current production though ). The H708 is my EDC most of the time , you just cannot go wrong with that classic style and BLACK

44237404921_61cf8912bf_k.jpgHero H708, on Flickr

 

44193303210_eb26ec3917_k.jpgHero 856, on Flickr



#50 Honeybadgers

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 14:30

Any specific Hero models you would recommend? Hero has always been a brand I'm interested in but seems too confusing with all the models to deep dive in.

 

The hero 1000 is like $35 but it's got a 10k nib and REALLY good fit and finish.

 

The clip is a bit too stiff and it's an aerometric filler but those are my only gripes. it's large for a hooded nib and writes really smoothly, there's even a bit of bounce (but no flex) to the nib.


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#51 LazyPen

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 11:10

And what about Hero 856 ?

 

Is has a classic design that looks very attractive to me.



#52 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 22:48

Like last year, they seem to release a couple of new models by end of the year / early period of the next year.

 

Here is the announcement of a new model , 491:

 

https://www.instagra...g_web_copy_link

 

This pretty much confirms that the 500 might be the transparent only model like the 268.

The 491 will have the privilege of using multiple type of resin / pattern. Not sure what the extra space in the cap is for?



#53 Cyclohexene

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 11:31

Not sure what the extra space in the cap is for?


I'll bet it's to allow more tolerance for nib swapping, which was a common complaint when it comes to the model 308.

#54 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 13:25

But that specific issue has been mitigated since the release of 309



#55 Cyclohexene

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 23:35

But that specific issue has been mitigated since the release of 309


I think I read somewhere that the 355 bulkfiller has some nib swapping inconsistencies as well, albeit not as serious as the 308. Though I might be totally crazy and that is not the case at all.

#56 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 14:32

Actually I remembered that I read about the 355 nib swapping issue, thanks for the reminder.



#57 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 11:45

Update on this thread, just got my 491 with an EF nib and surprisingly the nib experience is far better than my previous purchase of their EF nibs.

The quick uncapping is also a feature I really am behind for this model.



#58 jsintierra

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 13:42

Hi Honeybadgers, interesting but of information you bring and I have quite a few penbbs pens. Where can I find those nib units and feeders for purchase? Also for the 355 which is the Bock nib that works best? (I assume that you use the penbbs housing and feeder and stick the Bock nib in it, right?)... So far for the 355 what I used is a special housing and feeder from flexible nib company to fit a JOWO 6 but the fit was still tight so I actually had the bottom of a JOWO nib 6 shaved to shorten it and it kinda work.... Looking forward for your reply and thanks for your time and answer! Take care


 
All of them use the same nibs. There is a nonzero chance you will get a dud nib. I tend to buy them assuming I'm just going to swap in a $12 JoWo nib. If they write well out of the box, cool. If not, new nib.
 
They're 90% the quality of pens costing five to ten times as much. another $12 for a good new nib is worth it (just be aware that the 355 can only take bock and jinhao replacement nibs because it has a slightly shorter inner cap. All the others don't have this issue.)
 
I sell custom nib units with customized nibs and feeds, ready to screw into any penbbs model for $25.
 
That said, they're all good, apart from the 309. Avoid the 309, its piston system has a habit of sticking and unscrewing itself instead of moving the piston. Every single other model is great. I personally love the 380 spiral facets aluminum pen, the 355, the 456, and the comfort of the 323 (the 323 is the cheapest)


Edited by jsintierra, 01 January 2020 - 13:45.


#59 awa54

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 02:32

I think this one is the model 500, at least that's what it's listed as here, where it also calls it a syringe filler.


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#60 drathbun

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 05:34

I think this one is the model 500, at least that's what it's listed as here, where it also calls it a syringe filler.

I don't want to derail this thread, but what is that Pilot pen in your avatar photo awa54? It looks like a Pilot Elite or e95s?


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