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Looking For Most Recommended Modern Flex Pens

flex omniflex pilot noodlers falcon conklin fpr

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67 replies to this topic

#21 Vunter

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 09:15

I strongly recommend a FPR Himalaya. They are great pens with ebonite feeds that come in both #6 and #5 (5.5 as FPR calls it) nib sizes. FPR have both flex and "ultraflex" nibs, I recommend getting at least one of each nib, so can see which one you prefer. Personally I love my Himalayas.

FPR have some other pens that can house their flex nibs, such as the Triveni which can accept standard international ink cartridges, but my most positive experiences have been with the Himalayas. Their ebonite feeds can keep up with the nibs in a way that plastic feeds can't always seem to manage.

I love my Noodler's Creaper, but I don't use it because it dries out too quickly. As do Noodler's other "vegetal resin" pens (same as many other companies' cheaper plastic/resin pens), their acrylic and ebonite pens work fine in my experience but only come in #6 nibs, so if you prefer a #5 (as I do) then the Himalaya is the way to go. If they ever release an ebonite or acrylic Creaper I will grab one of course.

BTW it seems Osprey have a flex nib now (eg https://www.ospreype...osprey-flexpert), that I believe comes in a section (the "flexpert" I guess?) that also accepts some dip nibs. I've only just heard of this one and I plan on picking one up soon, but for now I cannot comment on the quality.


Having said all that, my personaly opinion after experimenting with "affordable" modern flex pens for a couple of years or so is this: flex is fun, but stubs are easier to use, easier to get, less hassle, and writing with them looks great. They don't necessarily produce writing that looks better than flex nibs, but it doesn't look worse,and it's easier to get it to look good than it is to get flex writing to look good.

So yeah, don't neglect stubs.

 

My first pen I got ever was a Lamy Safari and I didnt care for it much until I tried a stub in the store and it turned a pen I hated into pen that I like a lot.  I own a few other stubs as well, however I have to say the stub in the safari i tend to prefer over my others.  I also have a stub in a churchman prescriptor, twsbi eco, and metropolitan.  I thought I would like the churchman prescriptor stub but i cant pin point what it is about that stub nib that just doesnt feel right to me. Everytime I write with the churchman stub i struggle with it.  My stub in the eco i like too, but thus far i much prefer my stub in the safari; it just writes without fail.

 

I'm still very much in the phase of learning my nib preferences.  I got into the hobby back in 2015 or there abouts and about a year or so in I splurged for my first big purchase and got a lamy 2000 with a fine nib.  At the moment it's probably my favorite pen in my collection.  The moment I first inked it up and started writing I was like oh my god this writes amazing.  Unfortunately since then I also have the thought, hmm I wonder what else is out there lol.

Back to stubs; yes when i first got turned onto them I went and purchased replacement stubs for all my pens; however the stub in my churchman feels persnickety compared to my safari stub and eco stub.  Anyhow yeah i do like stubs too. 
 



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#22 sandy101

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 09:46

A vintage, restored Swan Mabie Todd will probably give you what you need - and still be cheaper than the Pilots. They usually sell for less than £100 with a new sac fitted.

 

You'll pay half the price, and get twice the pen to be honest.



#23 Karmachanic

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 11:23

Or a Pelikan 400/400NN which will last as long as you do. If you decide it's not for you, you'll be able to resell for your purchase cost.


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#24 como

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 12:39

Modern flex: Scribo 14k Flex nib is pretty good, essentially the  same specs as the 14k Omas Flessibile nibs. I would still go for a vintage flex if you are looking for flex. Many vintage nibs have excellent flex and semi-flex characteristics and the cost is so much better than modern pens which usually sell more for their looks.



#25 JulieParadise

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 12:46

If vintage pens and the hunt to acquire a flexy nibs do not intimidate you, go that route. If you want a reliable and fairly flexy nib in a modern and not at all complicated pen, easy to clean, warranty, etc., then go for a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA. These do not flex like a wet noodle but they do offer considerable line variation, a soft feeling, reliable writing, are easy to clean & maintain and carefree.

 

And forget the Falcon (beak shaped) SEF/SF nibs, these are feeling really hard, at least after you have tried vintage flex or FA (with the cutout shoulders) nibs. 

 

I sold my SEF Falcon as well as two vintage pens with amazing flex nibs (no name with a Degussa steel flex + an old no name safety pen with an italic flex nib) and own three Pilot CH 912 FAs now which are always inked. Since these are hassle free I even put glitter inks and pigment inks in there, they take everything.


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#26 Addertooth

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 13:51

Might I suggest, you place a Want To Buy (WTB) listing in the classified, such as "WTB Vintage Flex under $200" or "WTB Modern Flex under $200".  Stipulate how many MM of flex you want without railroading.

You might be surprised at the responses.  1mm of flex is fairly common, 2mm of flex is far less common, and Flex over 2.5mm is much harder to find.  State how much flex you want.  

Ask for written examples with an item in the image for scale (like a dime).  A lot of the dot-grid paper is on 5mm centers.  There are a lot of no-name pens which had good flex, and are 

available at a bargain price.  Also, specify what you generally want in a pen body, as a lot of the old ring-top pens were very flexy, but not ideal for holding for long periods. 



#27 SpecTP

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 15:23

As previously posted, I'd also not recommend the Conklin Omniflex as any 'flex' attributes. It's more of a soft nib than a flex nib.



#28 Karmachanic

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 17:53

a replacement 3-slit ebonite feed produced by Flexible Nib Factory and designed to better support "flex" writing in English,

Ooops!


"Want little. Need less. Love more."


#29 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 20:08

The Ahab is a 'flex' nib but rather hard, needing semi-flex pressure to flex.

If you do the Ahab/Pilot mod (grind little half moons in the side of the nib) , it jumps two flex rates lower to real super flex,, Easy Full Flex,which then makes it a fun nib.

 

Easy Full Flex is one flex rate higher than Wet Noodle.

 

 

For Weak Kneed Wet Noodle, get a Hunt 99/100/101 or Gillette 303/404 dip pen nibs.


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.

 

 

 


#30 Ted A

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 02:36

I see you’re in Minneapolis. You might visit a P.E.N.S meeting. There are usually people there who have pens with flex nibs, birth vintage and modern.  https://penenthusias....wordpress.com/

they could give you some advice


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#31 Vunter

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 02:53

I see youre in Minneapolis. You might visit a P.E.N.S meeting. There are usually people there who have pens with flex nibs, birth vintage and modern.  https://penenthusias....wordpress.com/
they could give you some advice


Yeah others have told me about the p.e.n.s Meetup but I haven't mustered the courage to attend yet. I'm not very good in new social environments. I'll go eventually, but atm too scary lol

#32 JulieParadise

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 09:04

All we pen people are kind of weird, you'll be among friends & peers immediately ;-)

Sina a.k.a. Julie Paradise | www.instagram.com/wwwjulieparadisede


#33 Arkanabar

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 10:20

I concluded a few years ago that stubs would meet my variable line width needs.  For the penthusiast on a budget, I suspect Fountain Pen Revolution (fprevolutionusa.com) may be your best bet.  Their site is full of reviews saying "Your flex is sooo much better than Noodler's" especially with their Ultra flex (as others have said, basically their flex nib with the Ease My Flex mod already applied.

 

Don't presume off the bat that their #6 flex and ultra flex are going to suit you better than the #5.5 nibs.  The Darjeeling has a plastic feed, as do the Triveni and Triveni Jr.  I'd go for a #6 Himalaya (v1 or v2), as it's their only pen with an ebonite feed that fits #6 nibs.  For smaller nibs, you have a lot more options, and the smaller flex nibs might suit you better.  Kevin also sells high-flow feeds with wider channels.

 

My own experience with an ebonite Himalaya with a flex nib was poor.  It may have behooved me to have tried to better heat-set the feed.  It wasn't much better with the stub.



#34 como

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 11:56

No we are not weird. We are passionate. :-)))))

All we pen people are kind of weird, you'll be among friends & peers immediately ;-)



#35 bbs

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 18:22

Thank you, SoulSamurai, youve made the scales drop from my eyes with your comment about stubs v flexy nibs:

Having said all that, my personaly opinion after experimenting with "affordable" modern flex pens for a couple of years or so is this: flex is fun, but stubs are easier to use, easier to get, less hassle, and writing with them looks great. They don't necessarily produce writing that looks better than flex nibs, but it doesn't look worse,and it's easier to get it to look good than it is to get flex writing to look good. So yeah, don't neglect stubs.

It made me realise that on the whole I enjoy writing with my stubs more than flexy nibs, duh! But I am still intrigued by the FPR flexy - at this price I can probably buy one of each. Next year! Has anyone got a writing sample of the FPR Himalaya stub nib, please? What is the line width?

Edited by bbs, 21 December 2019 - 18:23.

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#36 MuddyWaters

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 19:50

If vintage pens and the hunt to acquire a flexy nibs do not intimidate you, go that route. If you want a reliable and fairly flexy nib in a modern and not at all complicated pen, easy to clean, warranty, etc., then go for a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA. These do not flex like a wet noodle but they do offer considerable line variation, a soft feeling, reliable writing, are easy to clean & maintain and carefree.
 
And forget the Falcon (beak shaped) SEF/SF nibs, these are feeling really hard, at least after you have tried vintage flex or FA (with the cutout shoulders) nibs. 
 
I sold my SEF Falcon as well as two vintage pens with amazing flex nibs (no name with a Degussa steel flex + an old no name safety pen with an italic flex nib) and own three Pilot CH 912 FAs now which are always inked. Since these are hassle free I even put glitter inks and pigment inks in there, they take everything.


I have a custom 74 in soft fine medium. It is a good nib but I would like more flair when i journal. Do you think the 912's fa nib could offer a reliable cursive writing (not calligraphy) experience with flair? Thank you so much. The 912 is a great size for the hand too.

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


#37 A Smug Dill

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 00:45

Has anyone got a writing sample of the FPR Himalaya stub nib, please? What is the line width?


I just remembered that a FPR #5.5 Stub nib is currently installed on one of my Himalaya v1 pens,
fpn_1576974781__top_half_of_e-i_page_fro
 
so on the off chance that it's still ready to write after all several months of not having been used, such that I could oblige you, I pulled it from the pen roll in which it lives, and tried writing with it. No dice, but that's hardly a surprise. I unscrewed the barrel, and saw that the entire converter's worth of ink is gone; fair enough. Peering inside the cap, I wasn't sure whether any ink had dried against its walls or roof (since the colour of the ink is about the same as that of the acrylic), so I decided to give it a bit of a soak anyway, by standing the cap on its end and then filling its cavity with water:
 
fpn_1576975093__my_fpr_himalaya_v1_in_em
 
OK, that's not good. It's one thing for a pen's cap to be ineffective in limiting the nib's and feed's exposure and preventing them from drying out when capped, but I see that kind of leakage of fluid (whether that's gas or liquid), through where the clip is positioned, to be a kind of defect in the function of a cap, irrespective of whether it's a design defect or a manufacturing defect.
 
What's even less good, though, is that I found far more dried ink than that inside the barrel, which means the converter was leaking from somewhere, even though the O-ring at the top of the thread for screwing the converter was properly in place. (Sorry, I have no photos of that, since I wasn't expecting it before flushing the barrel with water just as a precaution.)

 

On the basis of that, irrespective of whether someone intends to fit a Stub, Flex or EF nib on an FPR Himalaya, I wouldn't be recommending that model of pen.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#38 SoulSamurai

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 10:28

It made me realise that on the whole I enjoy writing with my stubs more than flexy nibs, duh! But I am still intrigued by the FPR flexy - at this price I can probably buy one of each. Next year! Has anyone got a writing sample of the FPR Himalaya stub nib, please? What is the line width?

 

 

I recently picked up a few FPR pens with their 1mm stub nibs. I did not have good results out-of-the-box with the nibs (I did flush the pens before testing), so I swapped them out with other nibs I had lying around. Perhaps they could have been made to work, but I didn't feel like trying.

 

I've also tried a couple of Conklin stubs in the past, and was not very happy with them (although the plastic feeds may have been part of the problem with those).

 

I have a TWSBI 1.5mm stub that works very nicely in a Himalaya, it's quite smooth and not too rotation-sensitive. My older Himalaya has a FPR flex nib that I am satisfied with. So I guess FPR nibs have been a bit hit-or-miss with me. I do like their ebonite and acrylic pen bodies though; they are some of my best pens when paired with the right nib.



#39 bbs

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 12:06

Many thanks, A Smug Dill, that’s really useful. The stub looks narrow enough for general use - but the warning about the ink leakage is critical.

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#40 A Smug Dill

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 12:27

The stub looks narrow enough for general use

 
fpn_1577017619__fpr_himalaya_v1_55_stub_


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flex, omniflex, pilot, noodlers, falcon, conklin, fpr



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