My opinion of the Naginata M nib:
To be honest it wasn't as smooth as I was expecting at first. From some people's accounts, Sailor makes the smoothest nibs on the market, so I was expecting butter. It's not butter nor is it glass. I don't feel that it matches my Parker 51 for smoothness but after giving it a work out, I feel like it's a very smooth nib indeed.
It just has a personality, for lack of a better word, that I just never experienced before. The medium nib is much more like a standard med than most Japanese pens I've tried and it has a mind all it's own. The Naginata nib is not a standard nib but a variation designed by Sailor's master nib-designer Nobuyoshi Nagahara.
I find that I really have to steer when I drive this pen. If the Parker 51 is a high performance vehicle, taking tight corners without a thought, the 1911 Naginata M is a bit bulkier, with just as much horsepower, but it just doesn't handle as well. It doesn't slip and slide like I thought it might, this puppy doesn't grip the paper like the Parker but it's doesn't glide all over the page either. It's more like riding a motorcycle, than driving a car.
Saying that, after just a little bit of time, I found the Naginata M to be a fun pen to write with but it takes practice to make your penmanship looks good if it's shaky already.
The construction is high and very nice but it still feels like plastic. The cap is screw-on but there doesn't seem to be any sort of guide that prevents from screwing too tight. I can see the cap cracking if someone applies too much force while closing.
The nib section that screws into the barrel is metal while the barrel is plastic. There seems much less of a chance of the threads stripping and breaking the plastic parts.
The Sailor 1911m XF nib:
After writing with the Naginata for awhile, I decided to try out the 1911m XF. The body is less than a centimeter shorter than it's cousin, just a couple millimeters slimmer around it's thickest part. The size and length is almost exactly the same as a Parker 51, with cap on and posted. The pen itself without a cap is about 1 centimeter shorter than the body of the Parker.
The nib is 14kt compared to 21kt for the Naginata. The nib is a standard nib and not a special one like the Naginata. The differences between the two nibs are vast but both seem to be of superb quality.
How does it write? This is butter! I love this pen! I can see what people were talking about now. I was expecting a bit of scratchiness and tooth with it's XF nib but not at all. The flow is great and it glides over the page. It's wet for such a small nib and feels more like a medium in the way it contacts and coats the paper with ink.
I really don't know what else to say about this pen. It's highly recommended.
I'm really looking forward to trying out more of Sailor's pens, especially the 1911's. I really like the size of their large pens, such as the Naginata, but it goes for quite a bit more.
I can see trying to find a regular medium someday in the large model but I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for decent prices for the 1911m. I picked mine up for $65, not a bad deal. The Naginata was around $175, pretty good at the time I felt, but it's a bit high to spend if you're looking for an everyday writer without a chance to test drive it first.
But if you already have a favorite writer, looking for something a bit different and can afford it, I recommend the Naginata.
I recommend the 1911m without hesitation. I feel it would make for a lovely everyday writer.
I guess this was more of a review than I thought at first. Hope it helps, on to the pictures.
Edited by docsamson, 08 August 2007 - 01:23.