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Good & Cheap (or Cheap & Good)


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Virgil

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 20:35

Greetings!
I am graduating this May with my PhD, and wanted to give my committee members (there are 3 of them) a little parting gift. I thought a fountain pen would be a nice symbolic touch (we're in an English dept), but as an English major, money is an issue. If I had more scratch, my first choice might be a Pelikan 150 as a solid pen that's fairly inexpensive . . . but with three members, I'm thinking more the below-$30 range.
To my knowledge, none of my profs uses a FP already (or at least that I've noticed, as an EDC), but I don't want to go cheap on the assumption that they wouldn't use it. I know Pam Braun carries the Lamy Al Star and the Pilot Knight, both of which are at the top end of my range. What about others, the Lamy Safari, for example? What about the Pelikan models (the Future, for example)? If the Future (for example) is a solid pen I'd have the cash left over to get converters and maybe a bottle of ink, or several cartridges. Going with the Pilot is doable, but a stretch. ;)

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#2 amh210

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 23:07

Check out the Wality piston-fillers. Good capacity, nice nibs, looks very traditional. GREAT PRICE.

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#3 Glenn-SC

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 00:19

Too bad you don't have some ebay time available, you could pick up some nice lever-fill celluloid Sheaffer Balances for $30 each.

Lamy Al-Stars are nice.

Personnaly, I would step up and get a Pelikan. It would be relatively inexpensive but would be of appropriate quality for the occasion.

#4 Danosaurus

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:08

I recently bought a Lamy Al-Star, Hero 100 and Pelikan 215. I also have a Pilot Knight in my collection.

I think the Al-Star is a great pen, but a little on the practical side. I don't think I would give it as a gift when there are other more elegant pens in that price range.

The Pilot Knight in my opinion is much classier. It is also an excellent writer with a nib width that is "just right", not too bold and not too fine. It also comes with a neat aerometric convertor.

You might also look at the Hero models available at isellpens.com, that's where I bought my 100 and Al-Star. The 100 is also an elegant pen, but it can only be filled from a bottle, something to consider when giving a fountain pen as a gift.

My Pelikan 215 is one of the finest in my small collection, very well made and another excellent writer but it is above your range pricewise. If other Pelikans are of a similar build quality, the 150 just might be the way to go.

Good Luck!

#5 Virgil

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 03:51

I see your point about the "classy" bit; the Lamy looked a bit too utilitarian to me as well. The pilot has a more classic look. But it's true, the Pelikans are sweet, and if I could (or if I can) comfortably afford it, the 150s might be my best choice. Glenn has almost shamed me into "stepping up". :)
I've got a Pelikan 200 and an 800, so I know how good the are.

#6 Glenn-SC

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:34

But it's true, the Pelikans are sweet, and if I could (or if I can) comfortably afford it, the 150s might be my best choice. Glenn has almost shamed me into "stepping up". :)
I've got a Pelikan 200 and an 800, so I know how good the are.

WHAT!!!???

You've got an 800 and you were considering Heros and Walitys?

:ltcapd:

#7 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:49

.... I'm thinking more the below-$30 range.

You might want to consider a Waterman Phileas, which Swisher Pens sells at below your price point. It even looks like a fountain pen!
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#8 LapsangS

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:34

With a F nib, two-tone steel, Philéas is the best writer in my collection. Great value! And it looks much more expensive than it actually is.

#9 Virgil

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 13:14

You've got an 800 and you were considering Heros and Walitys?

:ltcapd:

I know, the irony is not lost on me - but I was given the 800 as a gift, and even if I'd bought it myself, that's much different from buying three more for folks who may or may not appreciate what a glorious pen it is.
I like the Phileas; that's a natural choice and one I looked at for myself before I got my 200

#10 Melnicki

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:24

I don't like my phileases, as they are the demonstrators, and feel a bit cheap (though i just converted one to an ED, and am pleased with THAT). But a friend today just confessed to me that she has a FP too, and it was a Phileas, the non-demonstrator kind, and it was much nicer than mine. So, I would be careful which Phileas you buy. My nibs (a M and a F) are also very toothy, but hers was one of the smoothest I've used.

I think the Wality's are great pens, (she wants me to buy her the Wality 77C, despite my warning that the cap scratches the body. it does write DANG nice, for a "fine" line, especially wet, too, which is rare for a "fine" nib, methinks)... but I would not give them as a gift to professors.

I wholeheartedly recommend the Duke line. I've only got two of them, but they are amazing for their price. The models are diverse enough that I think you can find what you want. Isellpens has the best prices, even better if you find him on Ebay. I have the #2009, which is a strangely weighted pen, but BEAUTIFUL and very smooth, and has a removable converter (a review is in the works, but I want to switch out the ink first to test another color)... and also the Mini Torpedo, which Grant just reviewed (beat me to it!). The mini torpedo is small, and does not have a removable converter. The laquer on these pens is quite nice, makes them look more expensive than they are... Go for the Dukes!!! (I'm a Ph.D. student, and I will soon have to do the same, and that's the route I would go, though I've got many more years before I'm done!!)

Cheers,
Matt.


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