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  1. Some pics of a push cap Guider purchased maybe a decade back. They made it in several colors and I bought all of them in a fit of fancy. This particular one was the only one that got inked. The stock tubular nib was no good but I found some replacement Hero nib with a fatter point from a shop here. The cap was vented like a sieve which was pretty tough to seal to prevent dryouts. Anyway. I did all that with this one pen. I have inked it up today again as a companion to my Deccan Five Star Super.
  2. I was thinking of buyiing several nibs and housings straight from Kanwrite. Their range of nibs has convinced me that they are the best option for me given my budget. This still leaves me with pens in which these could be fitted. Kanwrite's pens don't interest me as much as their nibs do. I previously bought a Guider and was satisfied by it. It made me wonder if Guider is willing to make their standard models but for nibs sent by the customer. Has any poster tried doing this?
  3. Guider pen works is by now possibly well known on FPN with reviews dating back to 2008. They started in 1946 at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, India. Since they started under the guidance of their mentor from the famous pen making firm Ratnam and brothers, the firm was named Guider. http://guiderpen.in/about-us/ In addition to Ebonite, Acrylic and Solid Silver, they also have vintage stocks of genuine cellulose nitrate tubes for making pens. Their stocks from the 50s and 60s have now dwindled as nitrocellulose is very hard to come by nowadays. I have a few of their small sized Mandarin Yellow and Red celluloid pens and one Green celluloid pen. I was understandably excited when Mr Rao of Guider offered me some Vermillion Celluloid pens of large size. In the past, I could never quite manage to convince him to part with the few pieces he had remaining. But somehow he decided that I deserved a few of these pens and offered them to me one fine day out of the blue. This was sometime in mid 2017. I have been using the pens since and this is my attempt to document the existence of these pens. I had the choice of no cap band, single cap band or twin cap bands. I opted for one example each of the latter. The other thing he did was to accept my request to install my favourite Schmidt nib units so that I could use cartridges or converter and thus avoid ED mode and potential staining of the celluloid. Here are the pens: The Single band model: The twin band model: With some other Guider nitro celluloids: For size comparison with an English Duofold Maxima and a Big Red. Nitro cellulose is a wonderful pen material. The colors are superb and it is a live material which has the potential to change and age over time depending on how it is cared for. If you have any questions, pls do feel free to ask. Best, Hari
  4. After purchasing several of the Fountain Pen Revolution Himalayas, my appetite is whetted for more Indian pens. I've read a lot and have narrowed down the selection to these. I'd love customers to weigh in with their recommendations: ASA Translucent Acrylic Nauka Fountain Pen -- because I like, no love, demonstrators. (Did anyone say, "group buy?")http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/asa-pens-india/asa-translucent-acrylic-nauka-fountain-pen-online Guider Acrylic Fountain Pen (Schmidt Upgrade) -- because I like the greenhttps://fprevolutionusa.com/collections/guider-fountain-pens/products/guider-acrylic-fountain-pen-schmidt-upgrade Either a Ranga acrylic or ebonite swirl -- because I love purple! https://www.ebay.com/itm/RANGA-HANDMADE-COLOUR-ACRYLIC-FOUNTAIN-PEN-MODEL-4CS-20-BEAUTIFUL-COLOURS/132362483655?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140725133649%26meid%3Ddd039b2639d84e5d9306f66572ce7c20%26pid%3D100276%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D152688117461&_trksid=p2060778.c100276.m3476 https://www.ebay.com/itm/RANGA-GIANT-EBONITE-RIPPLE-FOUNTAIN-PEN-MODEL-5-13-SPECIAL-NEW-COLOURS-RARE/132362483754?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D41376%26meid%3D08dca296596e49329a8fe81120f3f555%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D132362483726&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851 Things to consider: While my hands are medium-sized for a woman, I have arthritis/grip issues and prefer thicker pens, at least .44 cm in the grip section. (The Himalayas are the most comfortable pen I own.) I don't want threads that will get in the way of a good grip. In addition, I don't like much metal, as that tends to be heavy. (My idea of hell is being stuck in the afterlife with just Jinhaos. Or cranky Lamys.) I love stub/calligraphy nibs. I write in huge letters (I do not have fine control to write small) and I enjoy the panache of a nice 1.1. Points then to Ranga and ASA, which will fit pens with Jowo stubs. I'm a writer. The more ink in there, the better. I'm not a tinkerer. I want the damn thing to work well from the get go (and so I will never again buy a Noodler's pen). Looking forward to your wisdom, everyone. Happy New Year!
  5. Hello everyone, This review is long due. I love this particular pen model so much just for the looks, with far less emphasis on the utility part. But surely, that’s my selfish choice not to subject these pens to the everyday rough working conditions, trying hard to preserve these absolute beauties. The model is named as Guider ‘Capsule’. Now, I can presume many would frown upon hearing the model name, but it’s not very hard to see the similarity between a very very elongated capsule and this model. Well, if you are not convinced, still the model name is pretty catchy. Guider Pen works is a famous Indian hand made fountain pen making company based out of a small town Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. There are two pens on review today. One comes in black-grey-white mosaic patterned acrylic and another one in red-black mosaic acrylic. Both the colours and patterns look amazing. The black and white pen has a medium Schmidt nib unit and the red-black one has a steel Visconti medium nib unit. I would like to thank our respected member Mr. Sanjay Ramaswamy for arranging a group buy for these Visconti nibs and also commissioning these pens from Guider. I initially bought two Visconti steel nibs, one fine and one medium. The medium nib was fitted on the red-black mosaic pen and fine nib was with a yellow-black pen. Later I sold off the yellow-black pen with fine Visconti nib. Sanjay was also generous to give us a snake clip for each of the pen free of cost as roll stopper and I appreciate the beautiful clip. The second pen of black-white pattern with Schimdt nib was ordered directly from Mr. G. Subbarao of Guider pens. This is a rod shaped symmetrical fountain pen, with rounded ends and no tapering towards top or bottom. The cap is flushed with the body in such a way that it looks a single piece when capped. Why I like this pen- The simple yet beautiful looks!! What I don't like about this pen- It’s a bottom heavy pen, so I don’t like the balance of it. Posting is not possible. The design entails it to be clip less, so chance of rolling over table edge. But again, you don’t want to spoil the looks by introducing some roll stopper that might scratch the surface. Guider needs to improve their packing. They sent my pens in a plastic box with transparent plastic cover, which broke in all three pens. Fortunately none of my pens had any scratches etc. But I feel they should give attention to this aspect. Also they should provide better pictures of their offerings when one contacts them. You can never guess how his pens look by watching his photos sent in whatsapp 1. Appearance & Design: The particular bland appearance is the key in case of this model. Many Guider pens are beautiful, but this one is best. The streamlined shape, the simple minimalistic yet attractive design steals the show for me. But I don’t think everyone is going to love this pen, some even may find it to be too ordinary or lacking any specific appeal. It’s a medium sized pen with no finial, ornamental accessories, clip, extra curve, edge or groove. When capped, it looks like one round stick. One can chose a clip for this pen, but in my opinion that will destroy the look. On removing the cap, the section gently tapers towards the nibs before just flaring up a bit for a presumed finger rest. Or the end flaring might be there to render some strength to the section top and easy threading of nib unit. The tapering section is in contrast to the elongated rod shaped body, which feels a bit oversized compared to the section. The threads for cap don’t interfere with the grip. The cap unscrews in two and a half turns, but there is no tightness. The section proper is small, sits on top of a step down protrusion from body which actually sports the threads for cap. The section requires 8-9 turns to fit, but I haven’t tried this pen as eyedropper. I wouldn’t advise members to try it as eyedropper unless they are ready to face the hassles of a failure. 2. Construction & Quality: The material is very good looking. The polish is good on both pens. Though these are hand turned pens, there are minimal lathe marks on them. Both the pens look like premium models. The finishing on Guider pens is one of the best among Indian pen makers. The white-grey mosaic acrylic cap looks transparent. I am not sure about the strength of this acrylic, neither I want to drop this pen on floor like some You tubers do with their iPhones. Particularly I am concerned with the margin of the caps, as they look particularly thin. But considering the design, a cap ring is strict no no. Also the section end looks a bit thin. The pen nevertheless feels sturdy in hand. I don’t have any complaints with the finish. 3. Weight & Dimensions: It’s a lightweight medium to large sized pen. The dimensions are as follows (There may be slight piece to piece variations as these are hand made pens) Length of the pen: 152 mm Length of uncapped pen: Schmidt nib black-white pattern pen- 135 mm Visconti nib Red-black patterned pen- 143 mm. Posted length: Not possible Diameter of section: Schmidt nib pen - 10 mm at base to 7.5 mm at top. The flaring measures 8 mm. in diameter. Visconti nib pen- 11 mm. at base to 9 mm at top. The flaring part measures 9 mm. Barrel diameter: 12 mm. and 13 mm. respectively. Section length: 25 mm and 30 mm respectively. Nib length: 18 mm and 21 mm respectively. Posting is not possible. The balance is back heavy and I don’t like long writing sessions with the pen. 4. Nib & Performance: Schimdt medium nib- The nib is smooth and it has good flow. No skipping or dry start. Visconti Steel medium and fine nib – This is a famous nib and hard to get in our geographical area. Thanks to Sanjay, we got them at a good price in a group buy. Both the nibs are smooth, but the flow is towards a dry side. I didn’t get the fuss about Visconti steel nibs. The Schimdt nib in this case is better than both the fine and medium Visconti nibs. There was no skipping or hard start in either nibs. All the pens worked fine out of the box. The Schimdt nib was a delight to use. The Visconti steel nibs were average smooth performers. 5. Filling System & Maintenance: This pen is a cartridge converter pen. Unfortunately I didn’t receive any converter with any of these pens. They take Schimdt converters and probably international cartridges. The end of nib collar is flush with the section end, so effectively the converter hangs from the section end. Though with my limited usage, I didn’t face any leakage problems. I don’t advise to try converting these pens into eyedroppers. From Right: FC Loom, Sailor 1911,Conklin Duragraph, Guider Capsule 6. Cost & Value: The pen with Schimdt nib cost me Rs. 2000 (About $30) which is amazing price for this beautiful pen. The pen with Visconti nibs cost us Rs 3000 each (about $45). It’s a valuable addition to any collector’s possession. Guider pen is quick to prepare and ship my pens. He responds to queries properly, though occasionally it may take 1-2 days and follows deadlines. Sanjay did a great job in getting the custom Visconti pens done in a few month’s time. 7. Conclusion: I would love to recommend this pen only for the attractive material and the unique, albeit elementary design and appearance. I would recommend selecting a Schimdt nib rather than the Guider Stock nib, because in case you get a lemon of a nib, you can fit another nib unit far easily. Also the experience with Schimdt nib is far better than the Guider Stock nibs. This pen also comes in ebonite, but obviously the beauty will be much muted in that material. Different colours are available on contact with Guider pens. His no. for phone and whatsapp-- +91 9390163779. His website (though no direct buying link) Guider pens. If you are interested in their other pens and a bit of history of Guider as pen maker, you can check out this review. Disclaimer: I bought all pens, inks and papers with my money and none of them received as gift.
  6. Hello everyone. I went for Guider egg acrylic fountain pen impulsively after reading a review by fellow Indian FPN gold member Prithwijit for ASA Santulan. Interested persons might like to first read through the wonderful introduction about fountain pen shapes, which practically went well above my head. So I concentrated more on the pictures, and immediately knew I needed a pen with "pointed top and end" (well, less technically). Obviously I didn't have the Conway Stuart material, neither the ability to design pens on CAD software and implement it. So I had to look for some ready made pen showing the particular traits in shape, which to burrow Prithijit's language is '...a cigar shaped pen with a torpedo like barrel and a pyramid like cap' and I stumbled across one of the current production models from 'Guider' pens, the Guider Egg. Now one disclaimer - This pen is nothing in front of Prithwijit's ASA Santulan, period. I have the propensity to seek small little joys out of nothing when other routes might be temporarily out of reach ( here it was the CS blanks). So, his review inspired me, gave me immense joy and one day I'll make my own version, till then let me review this little beauty. Guider pen was started by Mr. G. Subbarao in 1946 in a place called Rajahmundry, by the banks of river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. This is the same place where another patron of Indian made fountain pens, Ratnam and Brothers flourished. This small town became a place with rich tradition and impeccable artistry in making hand made fountain pens, just as India was at the threshold of becoming independent, both politically and economically. Its difficult to envision the extreme hardship, endeavor and dexterity of workers to produce completely hand made pens, without electricity, without Government support, in a shrinking market for fountain pens. There were definitely all those golden years for Indian Fountain pens post independence, with stalwarts from every walks of Indian society supporting the industry, but those were short. What followed was something akin to a dark winter, ball pens taking over the world, these facilities shrinking and getting eliminated with stiff competition from more organised and cheaper Chinese, Japanese and other European fountain pens, in whatever minuscule market that remained for these pens. Today, Subbarao's son, Mr. G. Lakhamana Rao oversees Guider's operations. I can feel his love for these pens. They are like materialized emotions, personifying love, care, sweat, joy, hope and heartbreak of Rajahmundry, a small obscure town at one end of this subcontinent, trying hard to keep at least part of its rich past traditions alive. That's enough ramblingsfor now, but this is to emphasize why I go back to these pens, why I overlook their flaws and fight for them. If loving ones own history and heritage is quirky, then using fountain pen in this age is quirkier enough. I bought Acrylic version first, in brown material with white swirls. Later I was so impressed with the feel of this pen in hand, I searched out and bought the ebonite version in matte black as well. I'll review both together. 1. Appearance & Design: Both pens look beautiful in their own way. Obviously the acrylic swirls are more captivating and feels more costly. But the ebonite matte finish is also very good, for an ebonite lover at least. the Acrylic version is smaller and thinner than the ebonite, but that's expected. The cap on acrylic pen is longer than ebonite cap. It is because the pyramid shaped finial on the acrylic cap is larger. both the pens are cigar shaped with gradual smooth tapering to pointed ends. The clips are typical golden coloured flat clips with Guider written on them, the quality of paint is not very good with some small imperfections exposing the underlying metal at some places. Though I haven't found any rusting after some intensive use at humid conditions. Both clips behaves well and secures the pen in shirt pocket without being tight. There is no other branding on body, which suits the design. The acrylic version has two golden rings at cap end, protecting the cap. Ebonite version doesn't have end rings on cap, but the end surface has been made glossy skillfully, so it looks pretty attractive even without the rings. The pyramidal finials are flushed with the cap, that's a nice feature for the design to work well. Both sections are tapered towards the nib and both have a small step just beneath the nib for easy finger rest. The sections are well designed for long writing sessions, and threads don't pose any problem while gripping. Guider Egg in Brown swirl acrylic and matte black ebonite 2. Construction & Quality : I am no authority about acrylic and ebonite quality as I don't have many world class costly pens to compare with, but they don't feel cheap. The trim quality is not very good and this is one of the big problems plaguing Indian hand made fountain pen market. The finish is very good. the acrylic pen don't show ant imperfections in the body and cap. The ebonite matte finish is smooth and warm to touch. Both the caps closes on respective bodies with about two and half turns, no tightness is felt anywhere. The section secures well in both the pens, there is no leaking problem. The acrylic section is easily screwed over its body. Ebonite section faces some stiffness while turning initially, later it screws on rather smoothly. Both the pens are lightweight and much thinner than similar pens from many other Indian makers. 3. Weight & Dimensions : I don't have exact weight, but both are light weight. The measurements are given in the following picture. It is clear the acrylic version is smaller and thinner, with a larger cap. Both have very good balance, the acrylic one is a bit thin for my choice but holds very well while writing quickly for longer periods. The balance improves further after filling both with ink. Secure posting possible in both of them and neither becomes oversize after posting. I use all my fountain pens without posting. Size measurements From left to right: Kaweco sports, Sheaffer no-nonsense, Pilot Metropolitan, Guider egg acrylic, Guider egg ebonite. 4. Nib & Performance: Guider nibs are unpredictable. I had to change the nib of Acrylic version with a #5 Kanwrite fine nib and after some adjustment, it writes in accordance with the feel of the pen. It appears like a spear in hand, and the kanwrite nib writes with just the appropriate balance of feedback and smoothness, just like a spear would behave in my hand. The nib of the ebonite version is a bit larger, but fortunately it was good. After some smoothing on a nail file, it behaved well for daily use. The nibs are one of the disadvantages of these pens, so if one is not comfortable with nib tuning or nib swapping, better not to go for these pens. Both nibs write fine with adequate flow, flow of ebonite version more than acrylic one, but not much difference. Both have friction fit nib and feed. The feeds are probably made of ebonite. 5. Filling System & Maintenance : Both are eyedropper as default design. But I think if requested Mr. Lakhamana Rao can arrange for other filling mechanisms at some extra price. The maintenance is minimum, at most amounting to periodical application of silicone grease at the threads and occasional flushing after pulling out the friction fit nib and feed. 6. Cost & Value : These are cheap pens. Each of them cost around rs 1000-1200 ( 15 $- 18 $ without customs, shipping etc). Even if one has to replace the nibs with kanwrite or Ambitious nibs (both very good quality cheap Indian nib manufacturer), still the price is quite decent for such pens, in my own idea. 7. Conclusion : I love them. I am posting pics and thorough review for others to judge. I'm no expert when it comes to fountain pens, just a plain user who allots some time from his daily routine to these small ceations. The Guider Egg pens, both acrylic and ebonite make me happy when I use them. Why there is no marks given in any segment : Let's face it, these pens are nothing in front of so called 'good' international fountain pens. Even many Indian fountain pen users are not satisfied with them when compared to the high standards set by some of the big names in this industry. So, I don't want to give the impressions that these are very high ranking pens, but at the same time I cannot belittle my own joy and the struggle of our cottage industry. I wrote candidly about them, its upto the buyer to dive into these pens. Contacts: Mr. Rao is very responsive and cooperative, give him some time and he can customise according to ones wishes. His no. for phone and whatsapp-- +91 9390163779.His website (though no direct buying link) Guider pens.
  7. Prologue Long before the likes of Romilo and Scriptorium reintroduced and popularized the concept of hand-crafted gold nibs customized to individual tastes & needs, there has been a set of small dedicated Indian handmade pen-makers who have been diligently doing the same out of there small workshops located mostly around South India. Today I want to share pictures of a trio of such pens from my collection. All these pens are vintage, were bought by me as used pens and are made by artisans who are no longer with us or else are too old to be active themselves although the institutions they have set up are still active and still manufacture handmade pens mostly using steel nibs sourced from nib manufacturers. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2306_zpsgzqvekso.jpg From Left to Right – Ratnamson, Guider and Ratnam http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2308_zpscwd4rmqe.jpg From Left to Right – Ratnamson, Guider and Ratnam Guider The most interesting pen out of these three is a vintage celluloid pen with a handmade conical gold nib. It is hard to put an exact date of manufacture for this pen but according to Mr Laxman Rao the current proprietor of Guider pen works this particular writing instrument is at least fifty years old. Such specimens are very rare to come across and even he doesn’t have access to any. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2295_zpsry9fc6gl.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2296_zps81jyeqvk.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2302_zpsjhz6u0dp.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2310_zps628aw4rf.jpg Ratnam The next pen in the collection is another conical nib but this time manufactured by Ratnam Pen works of Rajahmundry. I do not know the exact model number but the trims on this pen are in exceptionally good shape. This is a huge nib and side by side, it dwarfs the #8 nibs I have from Jowo or Bock. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2298_zpsjp10sw3e.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2297_zpstjhsrilo.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2303_zpsctiz06fc.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2312_zpsqykmci1r.jpg Ratnamson The third pen in the trio is a Ratnamson 302 with a handmade gold nib made circa 2007. I believe it is still possible to get such pens commissioned albeit being manufactured by the next generation. The interesting thing about this pen is that it has a bold nib which is quite unusual for Indian pens and is an extremely smooth writer. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2299_zpsa6az8khh.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2300_zpsuv7gbpco.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2301_zpsst4ji1ht.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2311_zpsefppydp7.jpg One thing that is common to all the three pens (apart from 14K nibs) is that each of them come with custom hand cut ebonite feeds. Epilogue Shortly after taking these pictures I came to the realization that my personal enjoyment of fountain pens did not come from being a collector and certainly not from being a collector of vintage pens. At the same time I was acutely aware that this set that I had built up was historical in significance and wanted it to be maintained properly even if I was not the right person to do so. I started making a few discrete inquiries amidst our small fountain pen community and I am happy to let everyone know that fellow FPNer Sudhir (@Sudhir-ThePenPerson) is the new custodian of these pens. Sudhir is a passionate collector and a consummate gentleman. I am sure that the pens will be taken care of very well in his safe hands. Hope you guys liked reading about this part of Indian Fountain pen heritage and the pictures were enjoyable. Regards, Prithwijit
  8. Guider Pens are hand turned by Guider Pen Works, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India. The company was started in 1946 by Mr. G Subbarao. At present his son Mr. Lakshmana Rao looks after the business. They still turn the pens by hand and the pen materials are acrylic, ebonite and some celluloid which it is claimed is in stock since 1950s. I bought an Emerald and pearl green swirl acrylic medium pen. It is offered in eye dropper filler but Mr. Lakshamana Rao, the gentleman he is, agreed to do a cartridge/convertor version of the pen for me. So my ‘Guider Acrylic Medium’ is a cartridge/convertor filler with a fine nib. Design and Workmanship The pen is in emerald and pearl green swirl with the pearl green having a mother of pearl sheen and white lines rippling through. This gorgeous acrylic makes it very attractive and the high gloss polish adds to the beauty. The golden clip is Parker like Arrow with Guider embossed on it. There are two golden cap rings and a jewel of same acrylic on the cap. The cap is screw type and opens in very convenient 21/2 turns. The barrel is rounded at the end without any end-cap or rings. The barrel threads are generous so that the ink does not leak as the pen can be used as an eye dropper filler too. The Section is made of the same acrylic. It is straight with a flared edge. The pen uses an ebonite comb feed and #3 nib in a nib housing which is screwed into the section. Size of the nib is in perfect resonance with the pen but it is steel coloured, an absolute no-no with a golden trim. 4/5 Dimensions and Weight Weight 25.7 gms Length capped 144 mm Length uncapped 128 mm Length posted 169 mm Section Diameter 12 mm Barrel Diameter 17 mm Cap Diameter 19 mm It is a medium sized pen but due to acrylic, is light weight. The balance is excellent when posted but feels awkward when un-posted. The size and diameter of section and the balance as well as weight is ideal for long hours of writing. 4/5 Nib The nib is steel while rest of the trim is golden causing a clash which takes a lot away from the looks. The nib is not smooth but toothy with a lot of feed back. However the feed and nib combination is good as it lays a wet and uniform line. I had to change the nib with a FPR 2 tone medium nib to make the glaring design flaw go away. The nib leaves a lot to be desired. 3/5 Filling System The cartridge convertor filling system is very handy as it takes any International size cartridges. The twist convertor, very obviously of Chinese origin, holds 1.1 ml of ink and offers you a choice of any ink of your choice. The pen can be used as an eye dropper filler too. 5/5 Price and Value for Money The cartridge/convertor filler version of the pen was supplied for Rs 1,200/- (approximately US$18) excluding shipping. It is a value for money pen for its design, feed, quality of acrylic and finish. The nib malady can be easily treated by a nib switch. Or you can order the more expensive German nib and cartridge/convertor from the manufacturer. 5/5 In my opinion, there are not many hand turned pen makers left in business and each piece they create is an artefact or let us say a sculpture. Guider make their pens in the old fashioned way by hand on machines imported from Germany more than 70 years ago.For serious collectors and even fp lovers it is a must have. Overall Score: 21/25
  9. This is my first topic in FPN and first fountain pen review. https://inkpensblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/guider-large-acrylic-in-brown/ Planning to review some more pens in the future. Some pictures of the pen below. thanks, Dinuraj
  10. Hello everybody, I am pretty new to this site and don't post very often so please forgive me if this is a topic that has come up a time or two. I recently discovered Fountain Pen Revolution's website and with it the world of Indian ebonite pens. To say they intrigue me would be an understatement. I have been wanting an Ebonite pen forever and the prices really seem right on these. I was wondering if you had any particular recommendations, or warnings on picking a first pen. So far I have been looking at the Triveni by FPR, the Guider, and the Gama pens. The mottled ebonite really appeals to me. I have never owned an eyedropper, but have read that they like to burp out ink when not all the way full and I was wondering if this is a common problem? I would appreciate any feedback, thank you! -tleek
  11. First impressions I knew this was a big pen and when it arrived, I wasn't disappointed Indian pens aren't exactly known for their fit and finish, but this is a pleasant deviant from that norm. Short of examining it under a loupe, I found no flaws on its body or cap. The two threads - between the barrel and section and between the body and cap - were also smooth enough. The clip has indentations that initially suggested a quality issue but after looking it awhile, I'm not sure that it isn't by design. I wish I had a better camera (what sort are ideal to photograph pens?); apologies for the quality of the two pix. Appearance and Finish 3.5 out of 5 As I state, this is a big pen. Let me compare it with some other amply-sized pens that I have... http://i.imgur.com/g7uLnHa.jpg The pens in the pic are, from top - Guider Jumbo, 149, Rosetta Coronado Oversize, Bexley 58 and Italix Churchman's Prescriptor. As you can see, this pen is quite basic. It won't have your gaze transfixed on it or anything. Design, Size and Weight 4 out of 5 I'm not someone who's comfortable posting my pens while I write, and it's just as well because when posted, you need to be King Kong-esque to feel comfortable with it (well, nearly). The ebonite makes it light enough when unladen and there's a tangible difference in its weight after its barrel is full. I know it's just 2 ml or so but one does feel the difference. I did anyway The section transitions well from the barrel and the threads don't get in the way at all. The clip and top of the cap are very basic and nothing to write about. This isn't a pen that's ideal for a shirt pocket. It does fit in mine but its girth makes me feel self-conscious as I walk around in my office, and I prefer carrying it unobtrusively by hand http://i.imgur.com/La1YbP4.jpg Nib and Performance 5 out of 5 Here was the biggest, most pleasant surprise of all. You'd have read about Indian pen nibs and their scratchiness. The nib on my Jumbo blew me, though. When the manufacturer said that he could only ship with the standard Fine and not a Broad (my standard nib size preference), I was half expecting to replace it with something else. Was I in for a surprise! It's hard to describe just how well the Jumbo's nib is. It glides around on the paper but I'm left feeling that Guider would do better to term the point a Medium rather than Fine, because that's how the line width feels. When I bought my Professional Gear a year or so ago, I was given a complimentary bottle of Sailor Jentle blue ink which I always found unpleasant somehow. On a hunch, I filled the Jumbo's barrel with it and I've developed a new appreciation for it; a happy fallout, if you will The pen writes wet and is an absolute joy to write with. There's a constant triangular nib creep at the very tip and after a while, it feels like it's part of the territory... y'know, a gold-colored nib with a little blue triangle at the tip The one little sore point about the pen was that after a month's use, there was some leak from the barrel-section junction. Since I've not found silicon grease here in Sharjah, I rely on hope with my EDs. If I find some grease, I'm sure the slight leak will cease to be. Filling System 4 out of 5 It's an ED, and they don't come any easier than that It doesn't get a full 5 because of the aforementioned leak. Value for Money 5 out of 5 I ordered two Jumbos (the other one is black, and I've not inked it up yet) and it cost me $40 including postage to Bangalore. Lots of bang for the buck Conclusion It's not a looker but more than makes up for it when you put it to paper... and what more can one ask for from a $20 pen? I'm not connected to Guider pens but do go on and buy one today. At $20, you could hardly go wrong.
  12. I have been meaning to get some celluloid pens from Guider Pen Works of Rajamundhry, India. I finally ordered and got these a few days back. However, this post is not about celluloid pens, but about a nice surprise I got. I ordered 2 celluloid pens and just for fun, I also ordered a Guider Baby pen in Yellow Acrylic. Expecting 3 pens in the box, imagine my surprise when out fell a fourth pen. At first, I was not even sure it was a pen because it was so TINY. But further examination revealed that not only was it a fountain pen, it was a fully functional eyedropper with a pretty good nib. I have named this pen the Guider Nano (for want of anything more creative) and here are some pics and comparisons with other small pens I have. Please excuse the picture quality - I had to make do with very average lighting. So, here is the Guider Nano with some of its contemporaries. From Top to Bottom Kaweco Sport, Guider Baby Acrylic, Guider Nano, Deccan Lilliput. By itself, the pen looks pretty good. Some measurements to give an idea of how these compare. Please take these as ballpark figures. I have tried my best to be accurate with the tools I have, but YMMV, so please excuse me in advance if someone has other figures. Though I think they should be in a similar range. Kaweco Sport: Length Capped = 106.1 mm. Weight Un-inked 13.00 gms (with the clip) Deccan Lilliput: Length Capped = 110.5 mm. Weight Un-inked 13.90 gms Guider Baby Acrylic: Length Capped = 103.6 mm. Weight Un-inked 11.29 gms Guider Nano: Length Capped = 78.5 mm. Weight Un-inked 4.71 gms As you can see, it is a really tiny pen. Kaweco Sport Deccan Lilliput Guider Baby Acrylic Here is the Guider Nano: Then, just for fun, I decided to compare this pen to two absolutely huge pens - The Varuna Gajendra and the Gama Supreme White Acrylic. Measurements. The Gama and Varuna lengths were visually taken with a plastic scale as the sizes were beyond the scope of my callipers. Gama Supreme Acrylic: Length Capped = 164 mm. Weight Un-inked 40.08 gms Varuna Gajendra: Length Capped = 178 mm. Weight Un-inked 41.02 gms I must really thank Shri Lakshmana Rao of Guider pens for sending me this tiny, but unique surprise package. In my experience, this is the tiniest functioning pen that I have seen and used. I would love to hear from others about such tiny pens. Has anyone else used such a tiny pen, or maybe something even tinier? I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed posting it. Cheers Sudhir
  13. Bought this from JK Pen stores in Abids, Hyderabad. He had a bunch of fountain pens in a box. Many were missing sections, nibs.. among them were few pens which looked in good shape, this being one of them. The nib was, at first, very scratchy. It felt like a shard of glass or sand being stuck between the nib tines. I washed it throughly and that made it a little less scratchy. Then one day, when scribbling, I heard a crack and then... buttery smooth writing http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140426_180156.jpg http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140426_180321.jpg
  14. I have just had an opportunity to ink up a fountain pen produced in India that only days ago came out of the prototype stage and is now available to the public in limited numbers. It is a stunning innovation in Indian pen design and manufacturing, and very well executed. Best of all, its price is affordable for the overwhelming majority of fountain pen enthusiasts. The pen is a Guider "Twins." Designed independently and placed into production by Mr. Lakshmana Rao, the respected head of India's Guider Pen Works, it features two nibs, each with its own ink reservoir, at opposite ends of a black ebonite body. For all its 6.25" (15.8cm) length, the Guider "Twins" is lightweight, a special quality of ebonite, which is the characteristic material of quality Indian pens, and widely used by American fountain pen manufacturers until they switched to plastic in the 1940s. Each reservoir holds approximately 1.35ml of ink. That amount -- 30% larger than what many cartridge converters hold -- is more than adequate for average writing purposes, while serving to mitigate against ink "burping," a well-known feature [not a bug; hat-tip to Microsoft] of eyedropper pens. ("Burping is generally explained as the result of heat from your hand being transferred to the ink reservoir, which expands the volume of the air pocket in the reservoir as the amount of ink draws down and the amount of air exchanged into the reservoir grows in size by replacing the ink.) The smaller volume of ink which each reservoir of the Guider "Twins," and thus the ultimate size of the air pocket, bodes well for overcoming the "burp" phenomenon. The body, caps and sections of the pen are all ebonite. The caps are flat. One cap, however, is topped by a round, flush disk composed of acrylic. (The disk on the one I acquired, shown above, is white; another version of the same pen sports a red acrylic disk.) Against a ground of highly polished, lustrous ebonite, this end piece lends a sleek, dramatic flair to the pen's design. It also serves a welcome functional purpose: to remind you, if you use many inks, that one end of the pen holds a different color or brand of ink. (Of course, it's up to the user to remember which end holds which color/brand of ink.) Filling each reservoir with a different color of ink is extremely useful not only to ink enthusiasts, but also to writers (like myself) who are now able to devote one end of the pen to writing first drafts, and the other end to mark up revisions -- without having to rummage through their fountain pen collections, trying to remember which pen is inked up with what color. With this pen, both colors are right at your fingertips. Of course, if you fill both reservoirs with the same color, you'll be carrying close to 3ml of ink -- nearly three times as much as a cartridge converter, with the added advantages that you'll be twice as likely not to burp as you write that long journal entry, love letter or next chapter of your novel. The Guider "Twins" nibs are iridium-point Guider nibs. Both nibs are fine, in both senses of the word: line width, and smoothness. Each provides a touch of feedback on Clairefontaine paper, but so little that it's not distracting. Fountain pen users familiar with micromesh and lapping film will be able to fine-tune their nibs with a few brief twirls of the tines. For the rest of us, these Guider nibs will be perfectly respectable "right out of the box." Here is a writing sample, made with two different inks: Two features of the "Twins" are of note: First, there is no clip. Something had to give in designing a pen with two nibs, and apparently it was the clip. That said, it is probably wise not to attempt to carry this peen loose in your shirt or blouse pocket. At 6.25", it is likely to fall out in a moment of rash movement (think: bending over to retrieve a paper clip), and it would be a shame to mar the highly polished finish of this pen. Rather, it would be best to carry it in a pouch (I am making one of leather at the moment), and even better, a pouch with a built-in clip that can be slipped over the fabric of a shirt or blouse pocket (a task beyond my current leatherworking skills). Another reason to acquire and use a pouch is that the designer and manufacturer have fashioned it from an ebonite rod that has been machined to be as perfectly round as possible. Set it down on its side, give it a gentle nudge and, absent a cap clip, it will roll -- and once it runs out of writing surface and gravity takes over, the next stop is usually the floor, and all too many of us are familiar with the consequences. A second thing to note is that the cap threads at each end are closely machined and not interchangeable, as a way to make sure you don't mix up which ink is where. Each cap is designed to thread easily and securely on its designated end of the pen. My suggestion is that if you inadvertently mix up the caps, be attuned to any possible resistance you may encounter as you replace the cap. If you sense resistance, try putting the other cap on that end, and chances are you will not meet resistance. Moreover, note that the caps unscrew when turned counterclockwise. When recapping, it is always good practice to first turn the cap in a clockwise direction until you hear a gentle "click." That means that when you then turn the cap counterclockwise, the threads will be properly engaged, and you'll be less likely to strip the threads. The Guider "Twins" just recently went into production and is available in limited numbers from FPN member Mesu. Her ad in FPN Classifieds displays the pen in higher-quality photos than I've been able to take. If I sound enthusiastic about this pen, I am. (Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with either Guider or Mesu, other than having previously purchased a Guider Marala through Fountain Pen Revolution, and this pen through Mesu.) I own a good number of Indian ebonite eyedroppers, including the ones just mentioned, and a Guider super-mini, a Ranga Duofold Model 3, a Ratnamson No. 15, and a Gama Supreme. The design of this Guider "Twins" pen promises to give Indian pen design and manufacturing a shot in the arm, and to boost Indian ebonite eyedroppers from a niche market to a real contender in the global pen market. Innovative design and attentive, handcrafted production make this a desirable pen in any collection.





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