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Pelikan M-600 Review


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Clydesdave

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 15:09


You may recall that some time ago, I purchased a Pelikan M-405 fountain pen, and didn't like it. In that post I mentioned that I might buy a larger M-600 fountain pen and try that. I did purchase the M-600 and this is the review of that pen, as promised.

First, here is a link to the review of the Pelikan M-405:

My Previous M-405 Review

Secondly, here is the review of the Pelikan M-600:

The Pelikan M-600 is a slightly longer fountain pen than the M-405, but only by a few millimeters. The proportions of the pen are virtually the same, so I suppose the diameter is larger, but very slightly. I could measure these dimensions if you want me to, but I don't think it is important to this review. Both of the Pelikan fountain pens I purchased have stock,
fine nibs, and both were used when I purchased them. The first of the pens (M-405) wrote very, very smooth with a broader line than I expected from a Fine nib. The M-600 did not write as smoothly with Noodler's Eel Blue ink and wrote a finer line, although still broader than I expect a Fine nib to write. (I may be spoiled with Namiki nibs, I should note.) The nib is not as flexible as the first, although both are the dual tone, gold and steel nibs.

The Pelikan M-600 is still too light for my preference, but the balance is better than the M-405. This may be due to the slightly longer pen body, or less flexing. It is a subtle difference, as I'm sure you know, any discussion of balance is. It is still a little light in the back of the pen.

I have used the M-600 with a few inks now, as suggested by the readers of the first review. I've used Herbin, Noodler's, Private Reserve, and Mont Blanc. I am currently running it out of Herbin and it will remain out of ink forever as far as I'm concerned.

I don't like the pen. It's a fine pen, it writes well, a little scratchy, but I like that. It is just too light and out of balance for me. The biggest dislike I have of the pen is the inconsistency of the nibs. It was a surprise to me that the same pen manufacturer would differ so much in the same nib. It made me question how much control they have over the other factors of their pens if the nibs are so different, and I don't like the thoughts that come into my head when I pick it up because of that.

I love the ink viewing window though! I can't see any difference in the barrel when the pen is full, but when it gets down to refill time, the window looks green and noticeble. Very cool.

I tried to give the M-405 away to a new pen enthusiast, but she didn't want it. (Good call.) I mention this because I want you to understand, I'm not concerned about the $240.00 I spent learning that I don't like Pelikans. I'm not bitter about them, nor am I defending a pen because I can't afford not to.

I just don't like Pelikan fountain pens.

I'm never going to buy another one, and I don't know what I'm going to do with these two. I'll tell you what, I'll trade you both Pelikans, for a Bexley? Visconti? uhmmm....... a wrist watch?




At Your Service,
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#2 limesally

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 15:16

They should move nicely in the marketplace!

Well, at least you found out that these pens are just not for you. I personally love Pelikans, which make up half of my little collection, but they really don't seem to satisfy everyone. Hope you get a decent price for them so you can get something you really want!

#3 punch

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 15:34

QUOTE(Clydesdave @ Jun 2 2008, 10:09 AM) View Post
I tried to give the M-405 away to a new pen enthusiast, but she didn't want it. (Good call.) I mention this because I want you to understand, I'm not concerned about the $240.00 I spent learning that I don't like Pelikans. I'm not bitter about them, nor am I defending a pen because I can't afford not to.

I just don't like Pelikan fountain pens.


You can give this pen enthusiast those pens if you like. I'll PM you address if you want.

"Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional and illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"

#4 Lloyd

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 17:01

QUOTE(punch @ Jun 2 2008, 11:34 AM) View Post
You can give this pen enthusiast those pens if you like. I'll PM you address if you want.

ME TOO, ME TOO!
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Oscar Wilde

#5 MYU

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 17:05

I have a lot of respect for Pelikan, but they are faced with the same challenge as Montblanc: keeping alive a pen design from over 50 years ago, but now having to make them with cheaper materials and/or more automated (less manual labor). I've tried out first-hand the newer M400, both full colored barrel and white tortoise. What struck me most was the very light weight of the pen and the rather "plastic" feel of it. For $200, the M400 seems overpriced to me. The white tortoise version can be found for around $100 if you look hard enough. I ended up getting a vintage 400NN in very good condition for about the same price. The 400NN is noticeably of better quality, in addition to the tortoise section looking more like a real tortoise shell than the honey candy stripe look of the newer M400 white tortoise. Also, the Pelikan logo "decal" on the cap top of newer Pelikan pens looks cheap in comparison to the engraved logo on vintage models.

Thankfully the newer nibs are really well made--no loss of quality there. I believe this is one of the key ingredients that keeps Pelikan in business. I wonder what their individual nib sales are like, relative to the full pen units.

So, I wouldn't swear off Pelikan altogether. Buy a vintage model and check for nib compatibility--most are interchangeable with newer nib units, so you can easily switch.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#6 Bananafish

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 18:12

Give'm both to me - I'll pay the postage and sing your praises ! biggrin.gif


#7 John Cullen

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 18:20

If you don't like Pelikan, that is fine. If strange thoughts come into your head when you use the pen, that is probably a good reason not to use the pen. Why don't you see if the place you purchased from will take back one or both of the pens and give you some serious credit toward a number of other pens? There are so many other pens out there, some of which are heavier than Pelikan and many of which are made in such a way that any one nib is indistinguishable from any other and thus will be consistent if you buy more than one of a particular width.

Don't give them away. Sell them or get credit toward a new purchase. Too many nice pens out there not to have one that works for you. j

#8 Clydesdave

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 18:25

Please, as you can see, I would have no problem giving these Pelikans away. The problem of course would be justifying to whom I gave them. I could not, nor should not give them away at this point.
At Your Service,
Clydesdave

#9 Have Fun

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 19:35

As a matter of interest what pen in your possession do you like the most?
& if you can define the reasons to yourself for liking it, this may point you in the right direction for future

I had a surprise recently with a Wahl Oxford which is very close (ie almost identical) to the Pelikan M200 & M400 in size but I preferred the Wahl ~ Im still trying to find out why, & can't give a plausible explanation to myself other than it feels better in my hand

Perhaps it maybe worth trying an M800 (I mean try not buy) as these are supposed to be heavier

#10 Clydesdave

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 20:11

QUOTE(Have Fun @ Jun 2 2008, 12:35 PM) View Post
As a matter of interest what pen in your possession do you like the most?
& if you can define the reasons to yourself for liking it, this may point you in the right direction for future


This brings up an interesting matter. The pen I write the most with is a Cartier, Diablo. It has been sent to Richard Binder to have some work done on the nib, and I like it just fine (fine nib). It is the pen I carry ninety percent of the time and has served me well for years.

The pen I like the most is a Namiki, Golden Pheasant. It has a fine nib and does indeed write a fine line. I do not post the cap on either pen.

The shape of the Diablo is a fairly conservative, somewhat long body. By "conservative" I mean to say it is not tapered much at the back end, it is not very rounded at the back end, there is nothing fancy about the section, the barell has a length that is very nearly parallel (not tapered at all). It rides in my hand, while I am writing with a certain amount of tension at work. The back section of the body sits on the web between my thumb and forefinger with a no nonesense sort of feel. "Sign it, screw the cap back on, clip it back to your pocket and move on." It's a pretty hefty pen, gets laid on the table with tools, cutters and chips.

Now, the Golden Pheasant is almost the same weight, isn't quite as long, writes a very fine line with a softer nib. The body of the pen is much more tapered, and rounder at the back end. It moves around while I write, it is more fluid in that way. The end of the pen is closer to the web of my hand, and rounder so it changes the angle I write with. It is a very attractive pen, all painted and enamled. I would never lay it amongst tools and cutters. She is a gentle pen and seldom rides in my pocket.

Why is this interesting to me? Which pen do I like the most, work or play? Have I just gotten used to the Diablo or am I just enamoured with the Golden Pheasant? By the way, I have a whole bunch of pens. Seventeen pens lay ready to be inked at any moment, three await a dip. Five (or so) are inked, three sit in a tray on the sideboard vying to be the pocket pen for the day. Twenty more sit in the nether, between case and Baggie waiting some fate untold. (Actually they are in cases, but it makes for a better story this way.) Two are Pelikans that sit on my office desk glaring at me. I'm not some flibbity jibbity just scribbling about scribbles. bunny01.gif
At Your Service,
Clydesdave

#11 Bananafish

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 21:53

Seriously Clydesdave, it seems you might have started out with the wrong Pelikans. Maybe the M1000 would suit you better. It feels much heftier than either the 400 or 600. I bought one for my dad to distract him from his Parker, and he liked it so much he even asked about other models from Pelikan.

I don't know about the quality control issue; there seems to be quite a few complaints about stock Pelikan nibs here, but I've bought 4 so far (2 EF, 2 F) and they posed no problem at all. Also I did expect them to write broader so no disappointment there as well. Having been spoiled by Japanese nibs so far, it'd be inconceivable to me to receive a problem nib right out of the box tho.

Do you particularly want a Pelikan? If not, there're so many other choices out there, good luck wink.gif

Edited by Bananafish, 03 June 2008 - 07:48.



#12 FrankB

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:35

I think you gave the Pelikan brand a pretty fair trial. I am a Pelikan enthusiast, but I understand not everyone will like the same pen. Perhaps that is as it should be. As someone said, they should sell well in the Classifieds.

You have obviously found some pen types that you like. Stay with those. The pens you mention in your narraive are good pens. Some of them are pens that I do not prefer. For example, I have tried to write with a Cartier Diablo, but I found there was too much wrong with the pen for me. I did not like the pen's size, nor the size of the nib. The pen was not balanced for me. It seemed to write okay, but the size of the nib bothered me. That pen has to be for someone, and it appeals to you, which is good.

Thank you again for an honest review. It helps keep my perspective more objective.

#13 kiavonne

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 00:06

Thanks for the honest review, Clydesdave.

I have this sort of on-again-off-again relationship with my Pelikans. The M200 and M400 are both currently hidden away out of rotation. Both a little bit small for me, but both were good "starter" pens. At the time, I most likely would not have purchased the M400 had I realized it was pretty much the same as the M200. The M600 in my collection is in use, it writes ok, seems ok, but it just isn't my favorite pen. It is a bit light, and doesn't quite want to fit my hand right. I still use it, however. I don't have my M320 back from Richard Binder, yet, and it was my first Pelikan. I've never tried it. Cute pen, though.

Pelikan just didn't take off for me. I haven't gotten rid of any of them, though, either.

The Namiki/Pilot Vanishing Point, on the other hand, is a pen I have really taken to. I like writing with them for everyday writing. I prefer them with fine nibs as opposed to the medium nibs I'm more accustomed to. I have 5 in current rotation, and I use them all. For journaling, I use my Bexleys. The Bexley nibs are very free flowing, and my journal paper is thicker and in want of larger lines, it feels to me.

I have lots of pens in between that I pick out and sample now and again, but they usually only stay inked for one run. The VP's and my Bexleys are my favorite pens to own and write with thus far.
Scribere est agere.
To write is to act.
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#14 Clydesdave

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:50

QUOTE(kiavonne @ Jun 2 2008, 05:06 PM) View Post
For journaling, I use my Bexleys. The Bexley nibs are very free flowing, and my journal paper is thicker and in want of larger lines, it feels to me.

I have lots of pens in between that I pick out and sample now and again, but they usually only stay inked for one run. The VP's and my Bexleys are my favorite pens to own and write with thus far.


I've never written with a Bexley..... but I'm working on it wink.gif They are the nicest looking nibs! Wanna trade? I'll throw in a Mont Blanc...... tongue.gif
At Your Service,
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