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  1. Hello all, I am searching for a new pen to introduce in my rotation, it would be my third and I would take annotations, complementary to my first pen. Let me sum up my searching criterias ; 1) I am at school. I need to write quickly so screw-caps are not my favorite system.. Or it is ok if it opens very easily. 2) I would use Sailor Kiwa-guro ink which is pigmented. It's not a very "liquid" ink so to avoid problems I want something easy to clean.. If it can be taken apart that's a big plus. 3) Average size is ok.. but a compact size is preferred. 4) A piston-filler would be the best but I am ok with c/c. So I have not found any perfect pen that would assemble all of these ; but I have highlighted some pens : Twsbi Mini (compact size, piston-filler but screw-cap)Kaweco sport classic (less expensive, nib & feed can be changed but screw-cap and less ink capacity)Herbin FP ? (sghlity less expensive but crapy plastic, accepts converters)Jinhao x750 (.. average size and afraid it would be too big)I've heard about some compact made/sold by jetpens like the "chibi" but by some it has a scratchy nib.. Note that I already have a Pilot Petit1 with green ink, it does not work great with Sailor KG. What can you recommend me ? Thank you. Armand.D
  2. .. (would like to delete)
  3. **This is my first pen review! Feedback definitely encouraged, but please be gentle with me, I'm new ** I started using fountain pens a couple of years ago, and since that first Lamy Safari, I've learned a lot about what I like, dislike, want, don't want, prefer to have, and can live without. At first, my pen purchases were somewhat haphazard - "hey, I've heard of Lamy - let's get one of those! Oooh, I'd fancy having a RED pen, better grab that as well" - a problem which I suspect is relatively common to newbies (and even a few oldbies). Lately, however, I've started thinking out my purchases a bit better, and after seeing Stephen Brown's review on YouTube, I became curious about the Kaweco Student. The first thing I noticed is that it seems to be somewhat difficult to find experience with this pen. There's Stephen's review, two that I could dig up here on FPN, and a handful of other mentions out on the web: but broadly speaking, search for it and you come up with a big fat "Did you mean KAWECO SPORT?" No, internet, I did not mean Kaweco Sport. And I'm puzzled by this seeming lack of Students in the wild, because after taking the plunge at my local B&M about a month ago and using the Student heavily since then, I'm here to tell you that I think this pen is absolutely tremendous. I bought it out of curiosity, and it is now my all-around favorite pen that I own. This is not going to be a review packed with fastidious measurements and loupe details. I'm going for a more narrative review based on what I now consider to be adequate real-world experience, trying to give you something beyond a "first impression." So let's dig in! THE BASICS The Student is a mostly acrylic plastic C&C and eyedropper-ready (!) pen which costs between $50 and $60. It is available in four colors: opaque black, white, and red, and translucent blue. I have the blue one, and it can look a bit violet in some light (***ONE NOTE: in the photos here, the pen will mostly look much darker than it actually is, because I have it filled as an eyedropper right now***). The pen is packaged in that nifty, retro Kaweco tin, which is both sturdy and quite handy. A nice touch for the price point. It is supplied with a short cartridge and, depending on where you buy it, usually a converter as well: most online vendors I've looked at include a converter, but the local B&M where I bought mine sold it separately. THE BUILD The pen, as mentioned, is mostly plastic. The screw-on cap and solid barrel are all plastic. The simple but very strong clip is metal, and the hourglass grip section is metal as well ("chromed brass," according to Kaweco). The finial bears a small, metallic three-sectioned Kaweco logo. Just below the finial and on the reverse side from where the clip attaches, the words "Kaweco Student Germany" are etched into the cap. There is a single metal ring around the cap where it screws on to the pen, which bears the words "KAWECO" and "GERMANY" along with a series of dots. That's the extent of the decoration on the pen itself. It has a very streamlined, unobtrusive, classic - almost retro - look that I really enjoy. The stainless steel nib, which I believe is made by Bock, bears some scrollwork along the tines over the words "Germany" on the left tine and "since 1883" on the right, the Kaweco logo below the breather hole, and the nib size below the logo. The logo is also found on the feed, which, as Stephen Brown mentions, is somewhat unusual and a nice touch. The Student takes the standard Kaweco "nib replacement 060." These are the screw-in nib replacement units that include the combined nib and feed assembly housed in a plastic sleeve. In other words, for not too much money, you can have an easily-swapped-out range of nib sizes from EF to double-broad: just unscrew the whole unit and screw the new one in. This is not a very large pen, but it isn't tiny either. The mostly-plastic build means it is pretty lightweight. The cap posts well, not deeply but very securely (though I wouldn't jam it on there too hard since this is a plastic body). I find the pen to be better balanced when it is posted. That metal section is quite heavy and tends to tug the pen forward and down a bit, if that makes sense, so posting provides a bit of counterweight and better overall balance. As for length, the pen fits beautifully into my small-to-medium size hands when posted, but just on the right side of "too short" without posting. I cannot stand using small pens (which is why this model is my first Kaweco rather than one of their more popular smaller builds), and I prefer to post for the most part. The Student hits a definite sweet spot for me as far as size and weight. The overall impression is of solid engineering and very good build quality. The threads for the screw-on grip section and the cap are smooth and secure, the clip is very tight (but well designed to make it easy to slip in and out of a pocket), and all in all the pen feels like a workhorse. In day-to-day use over the past month, I haven't exactly babied it, and it is holding up well. One quibble is that the acrylic picks up scratches rather easily, though that's to be expected in this material. On my blue...I guess I'd call this a semi-demonstrator?...model, the barrel is starting to cloud very slightly in some specific places, particularly a ring around where the cap sits when posted. Then again, since this is a relatively affordable pen and an EDC for me, I think it is holding up fine. It feels like a pen that will be with me for a good long while. Those who like the model but want more durability can step up to the metal Allrounder, with the understanding that you'll lose the possibility for eyedropper filling. THE NIB Kaweco nibs seem to be a little bit hit or miss. Stephen Brown's review mentions that his Student (mirroring his general Kaweco experiences) wrote bone-dry out of the box. Some other Kaweco reviewers have mentioned quite a variety of first impressions with their Kaweco nibs. All I can tell you is this: maybe I was very lucky, but the medium nib on my Student is flawlessly, utterly, abso-freakin-lutely fantastic. It's the best stainless steel nib I have. As far as smoothness, it runs neck and neck with my Faber-Castell e-motion - possibly even edges it out - and, though definitely not a gusher, I'd say it writes about as wet as the e-motion. I would say the line is on the finer side of medium. It has never had a hard start, never skipped, never faltered. It just writes, and writes well. I know that sounds crazy. Really, I do! I promise, though, that I'm not exaggerating. I know that Kaweco is well-liked but not exactly legendary as far as nibs go. I hear ya. I had only reasonable expectations for this pen when I bought it, but wow. It has totally won me over. THE WRITING EXPERIENCE - AND EYEDROPPER CONVERSION! In the beginning, I thought maybe it was the ink. I first inked up with a sample of Noodlers Cactus Fruit Eel, and we know that's an especially smooth, wet, juicy ink. I jotted down a note to a friend on some Clairefontaine Triomphe stationery, and it was like writing on glass with melted butter. Gosh, this thing glides! Obviously that combo of ink and paper was always going to be somewhat glassy, but this nib felt great right away. Once I used up the Cactus Fruit, I decided to try something I've never tried with any of my pens, and use the Student as an eyedropper fill. This was a major reason that I purchased the pen, after Stephen mentioned the potential in his review. One FPN user mentioned that s/he had done it with good results, and I know other Kaweco models have been used as eyedroppers. I was, and remain, slightly concerned about the metal grip section. There is exposed metal where it screws in to the body. Others, though, have said that this isn't a massive problem, and that concerns about corrosion can be mitigated by using a well-behaved ink. Well behaved ink? What else, then, but ol' faithful: Waterman [serenity/Florida/whatever it's called today] blue. Which, incidentally, matches the blue color of the pen itself rather well. I filled it up - OMG so much ink! - and I've hardly been able to set the pen down since. It wasn't just the Cactus Fruit. It wasn't just the Triomphe. This is simply a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant little writer. No matter what I throw at it, the Student cheerfully (this is a cheerful pen) does its thing without question. It behaves well in my sometimes-finicky Leuchtturm pocket journal and skates across Rhodia/Clairefontaine. Best of all, a few days ago I used it to write a six-page letter on some Crane monarch sheets. Holy moley. I just couldn't stop. The way this thing felt on that paper...wow. Fountain pen nirvana. LIVING WITH IT AND FINAL THOUGHTS It didn't take very long for me to fall in love with this pen, and now I always have it on me. I've had zero issues so far with using it as an eyedropper. That speaks well to total fit/finish, but of course I'll be keeping an eye on it longer term to see if the metal of the section starts developing problems later as a result of the eyedropper usage. One gripe I have is with the section. It is very smooth, and while the hourglass shape helps a bit as far as maintaining grip, it can get a bit slippery. And the section might be just a touch too narrow for me for comfort over very long periods of uninterrupted usage. By the end of that monster 6-page letter, my fingers were screaming, but that was also a lot of writing for me in one sitting. When I first got the pen, the section was screwed on very tightly. I mean the thing felt glued. It took a painful amount of force to unscrew the thing, which was not helped by the smoothness of the finish. Now that I'm using it as an eyedropper, this level of fit is something I obviously appreciate, but if you pick one up and find the section is screwed on almost impossibly tight, you aren't the first. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just something to be aware of. Here's the thing. I would, in a heartbeat, recommend MY Kaweco Student to absolutely anybody. I mean MY champion-class writer, with a nib that just sang right out of the box. There is, however, that nagging sense that I may be really, really lucky. I mentioned, earlier in the review, that some others have had issues with their Kaweco nibs, issues that may go beyond the typical "different strokes for different folks" subjectivity of fountain pen users' opinions and point to some QC problems. Given that, can I recommend the pen on the whole? Absolutely! Though with the obvious and standard caveat that your mileage may vary. That uncertainty alone may be enough to turn some people off, and understandably so. Most of us don't bring unlimited budgets to this hobby, and a $50-60 pen isn't throwaway money like a Preppy. I'd hate to see somebody come in expecting a dream writer like mine and get a bone-dry, scratchy, skippy mess. However, if you want to take the chance, and pull the trigger on a $50 eyedropper-ready workhorse with a nice retro look and largely excellent build quality, you may just end up surprised with what you get. I know I am. **EDITED IMMEDIATELY AFTER POSTING FOR A FEW TYPOS AND GRAMMATICAL ISSUES I NOTICED AS SOON AS IT POSTED. ...NATURALLY**
  4. I am in the market for an every day carry pocket fountain pen to be carried in the pants pocket with keys. I read a quote many years ago in Popular Photography magazine something to the effect of: "What is the best camera?....the one you have with you." In that same spirit, I don't always have my work bag, pen case, or desk with me. I want a pen to keep on my person at all times without worries. After researching, the Kaweco Sport seems to be what I am looking for. I LOVE the look of the aluminum AL Sports (especially after earning pocket-worn status), but I cant justify the triple price over the plastic version, at least not yet since I've never owned a Kaweco. I'm just curious how the plastic versions in various colors earn a patina over time when carried with keys, etc. Also curious if anyone has attempted a satin finish on a plastic sport using sandpaper, scotchbrite pad, etc.? Pictures of your beater pens please! If anyone has a well used Sport they want to part with, I'm in the market...prefer manly colors, chrome trims, and extrafine nibs.
  5. Howdy Pilgrims, So I've been searching for an EDC case/pouch - ah that old gem BUT My system involves carrying something like my Visconti HS Bronze (sometimes something else, but not often) and a Rotring 600 mechanical pencil. My issue is, that any pouch I've found falls short in either one of two criteria: - quick access - securely housing both a fat fountain pen and a thin mechanical pencil (without rubbing) My current system is this (oh yeah, livin' the dream)... The zipper means slow access and the bit of cardboard falls out all the time, but at least keeps my two pals from bashing each other up :/ And yes...that's a bit of tubing from a breast pump machine that came home from the hospital with our baby...it stops the point of the pencil being crushed in the zipper... Can anyone say dodgy? Can anyone offer a suggestion for my needs?
  6. My quest for the perfect everyday use blue black ink continues... When I got (back) into fountain pens, the first ink I bought was a blue black, Hero 232 blue black. At the time I didn't know much about different types of ink, but later, while trying to figure out why my pen behaved badly, I found out this was an iron gall ink. I love the colour of this ink (so far my favourite of all blue blacks I tried), but it is just too finicky for everyday use. Then I bought some Waterman Mysterious blue, but it turns out this ink has fairly little to do with blue black. Grey teal would be a better description. Next was Sailor Jentle blue black (the regular one), this looked like a winner. The colour was quite close to the Hero 232, it works just fine in most of my pens (although my Twsbi 580AL w. 1.1 stub doesn't seem to play nice with it) and while not the cheapest (here in the Netherlands), still affordable enough for everyday use. I thought I had found my EDC ink... But... Then I got caught out in the rain, and ended up with all my paper (a Midori passport size notebook, a Rhodia Webbie and an Aurora A4 notepad) slightly damp. And none of my Sailor Jentle blue black inked pens would write. I switched to another ink (J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir) and my pens wrote like normal again. As i live in the Netherlands, where rain and high humidity aren't exactly uncommon, this 'damp paper'-behaviour is pretty much unacceptable for an everyday ink. What blue black ink to try next? I'd like a nicely saturated blue black, that is a quite dark blueish grey or greyish blue. Easy flowing, not afraid of damp paper, it doesn't have to be waterproof or quick drying, but those qualities are appreciated. And of course something that is for sale in the Netherlands (so not Noodlers )and not too expensive (< $25 per 50ml). I'm looking forward to your suggestions, pictures of sample writing are much appreciated.
  7. Howdy! I wrote this piece yesterday for my blog and I thought it might be fun to post it here as well. :-) I was thinking this past week over the themes that I think show up in almost every daily carry. Now, you might have more or less than five pens, but I bet that if you look carefully you will find these five pen archetypes showing up in your rotation regularly. The non-fountain pen Let’s face it - as much as we all wish we could, we can’t use fountain pens for everything. Even if you are completely unfazed by the idea of marking up plywood with your Montblanc or smushing a soft gold nib into carbon-copy forms, you still need a loaner for those times when someone who doesn’t carry an assortment of writing instruments asks to borrow one of yours. Mine is a Fisher Space Pen, because I am a physicist and I need to be ready to write nerdy things at all times, even in zero gravity. The workhorse The pen has seen it all. It goes everywhere with you because it can survive anything. Usually a sturdy plastic or metal, it once had a glossy finish. That has long been replaced with a unique “patina” of scratches and scuffs. You could pick this pen out of a pile of other people’s pens because it is such an extension of your hand. Like many other people, I have a Safari in this position because it seems (so far) to be impossible to kill. The attention grabber This pen is a looker. Whether it has a pricey brand name attached to it or is just visually attractive, you grab this pen when you want people to take note of you taking notes. It’s a big pen, with a big nib to match. No way will someone mistake it for an inferior rollerball. If it’s a demonstrator then it does double duty by holding your attention while you watch your ink slosh back and forth instead of paying attention during that meeting. I like to use my TWSBI Vac 700 to make sure people know I mean business. The almost perfect This pen is like that person that you dated and broke up with, dated and broke up with, over and over again. You love the idea of them, but it never quite works out in the long run. It could be your favorite pen, if it was just lighter, or had better ink capacity, or had a slip cap, or didn’t have that annoying clip, or… You will never get rid of this pen because you have a strange, irrational connection to it even though you never use it for more than a few lines. Instead you’ll just keep toting it around and staring at it wistfully, longing for what might have been. I’m looking at you, Lamy 2k in stainless steel… The one that just works Continuing with the relationship analogy, this pen is the best friend that you fell in love with slowly and now you’ve been married for years. It might not be that flashy or have the smoothest nib, but this pen always works when you need it. When you reach into your pen case, this is the one you are looking for and when you forget it at home your whole day seems a bit darker. It’s the reason you got into using fountain pens in the first place, because at the end of the day it’s not about having a big collection or fancy calligraphy or trying every ink, it’s about taking the basic experience of writing to a higher level. This is my Pilot VP, and I know I will always have one in my carry because it just works. What do you think? Do you have these five pens in your rotation, and if so, what are they?
  8. Hello everyone, So as my summer vacation is almost at a close, and my travels abroad are sadly coming to an end, I've realized that I have enough left over spending money in my budget for a new pen! 76 dollars, which may not seem like much to spend on a pen, but keep in mind that my small collection is limited to pens in the Lamy Safari range. I've decided to go from small price range, to medium sized (40-70 dollars) with my new purchase, but I'm not sure what to get, and was wondering if you all could help me out. Some things to keep in mind: I'm a student, and would preferably like to tote this to school, so something sturdier would be preferable I have rather big hands, so id like something that can be comfortably posted A piston filler would be nice, but it's not necessary I've been considering the TWSBI mini, but I thought it would be better to see if there are other pens out there that may be better. Thank you for the help!
  9. Hello all, I'm looking to purchase a new pen and I'm specifically looking to obtain a stub nib. Due to my smaller hand writing, I've decided a 1.1 mm would work the best. My question is, is a 1.1 mm stub nib suitable for every day use, such as taking notes? Or is it more for bigger writing? Any help is greatly appreciated Thank you, CJ
  10. Hey everyone, I'm relatively new to fountain pens (I only have 2), and I was wondering how you guys carry your pens. Personally, my wardrobe doesn't include many shirts with pockets so that's out of the question for me. I've been carrying my pens (one at a time) in my pants pocket for about 4 months now; I simply slide the pen in and clip it on the pocket (making sure the rest of the picket is empty so that it doesn't get scratched), but I've seen many people on here strongly discouraging this and say that one should only carry the pen in an inside jacket pocket or a shirt pocket. Well, like I said before, I don't have shirt pockets, and I'm a student so I don't have many occasions to where suit jackets or blazers, what ways to carry my pen does this leave me with? I've considered purchasing a leather slip, but even if I did where would I then place the slip? Perhaps anyone that's faced this dilemma before can help. Thanks!
  11. I bought this wrap from Inthreadible on Etsy a couple of months ago. At the time, I felt I wanted something that held more than my five-pen Saki Collection wrap from Japan. Now I've been using it for a while, I discover that while I might *want* more choice in the day than five pens gives me, I don't actually *use* all nine daily - and keeping nine pens inked at once is not practical for me - but this wrap is so beautiful that I'm keeping on using it anyway. Here it is furled... And unfurled. A few of these pens are vest-sized ringtops, so I stuff the bottom of the compartments in the wrap with acid-free tissue paper so they don't get lost in the bottom. Pens unleashed (because I know you're going to ask about them): Left to right, that's a TWSBI Diamond Mini, a Binderised F Raden VP, a nameless Paul W Johnson from Greg Minuskin, a Waterman 52 1/2 V, a sterling silver Mabie Todd Swan ringtop, a nameless 1930s Eagle Pens school pen, a Mabie Todd Blackbird, a Parker Challenger with a really lovely Greg Minuskin custom 1.3mm stub, and a Mabie Todd Swan 1500. Realistically, this is too many. The only ones I use daily are the VP, the little silver ringtop (my favourite pen), the Blackbird, the Eagle and the Challenger. It's probably time to go back to the old wrap. (I've only owned the 1500 for a couple of hours: it just dropped through the letterbox this morning. There's a perfunctory review here - it's gorgeous to use, and may also end up in my EDC when I've had a bit more time to get used to it.) And bonus pussycat. Mr Raffles has a sixth sense for when I'm taking a photo of something. I really love this wrap. It's nicely padded, so if dropped, the pens are safe. It fits in my handbag, and it's so pretty that it always attracts comments when it comes out. The fabric's beautiful, the construction's very nicely done, the ribbon and bead closure is lovely - I just wish I hadn't bought such a big one! I can highly recommend Kathryn at Inthreadible; she often has some superb Japanese fabrics to make her pen wraps from, and her prices are very reasonable.
  12. Lately I've been looking for a new EDC pen fitting the criteria below and I thought a lot of other people probably are looking for EDC pens as well so I guess this thread could be suggesting EDC pens to people with a $300 budget? What I'm personally looking for: -20g or heavier -smooth nib -either really fine like a pilot fine or a fine stub (0.8 ideal but I guess 1.1 max) -Budget ≤350 incl shipping to Australia -If vintage must be mint-ish condition -looks nice Any suggestions?





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