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  1. Tested on HP LJ 32 lbs paper. Group A, 5 pens: feels like writing on a micro pillow of ink, wants me to want to write more. Without meaning to, this includes my more expensive pens, but also a heroic Muji and a steel nib Sonnet. For a long time I didn't think much of the Waterman and Pelikan nibs, but they have shown their worth. Group B, 6 pens: Completely smooth, no floaty feeling or not completely, for instance the Studio floats except when coming back up on a letter, although it's not scratchy. These are positive surprises, particularly the Studio and the super cheap Metropolitan. The inks seem to play a role for the Lamy Vistas: Rouge Hematite, Ancient Copper, Orange Indien, Verde Muschiato, but the first three tend to clog up pens. A Platinum Cool with a medium nib would be here or maybe even in group A, but it refuses to start reliably and has been relegated to a drawer. Group C, 11 pens: Smooth but you can feel the paper; not completely fair for the two extra fine nibs. Silicone grease resuscitated the midget from hell Kaweco and its terrible converters. My conclusion is if I ever find an easy and affordable way to tune up group B and C, it would be very much worth it. The Pilot metropolitan is very nice, although I wish the medium nib wrote thicker, it didn't bring the best out of Souten, but seems to get along with Fuyu Gaki. It took me a very long time to match inks and pens, in terms of saturation, particularly since most evaporate after a few days, or hours in the case of the Sonnets, and after learning from rookie mistakes like not realizing pens have a sweet spot and the value of decent paper. I have no problems grabbing any of these to write now, for travel group A is better in terms of reliability and evaporation (except, again, the Sonnet). I am only waiting for one more pen for Sailor Souten.
  2. Hello everyone, Today I just want to write an opinionated post about what I consider German fountain pens quality control. Please take note, this is my view, my opinion, and thus is highly subjective. I don't claim to write here about absolute truths, incontestable facts and scientific observations. Thanks. Over the years I have purchased dozens of nibs for Lamy as well as Kaweco and Pelikan. The rate of success was less than 20% overall. Maybe I am the most unlucky man on earth, but let me explain. I like EF nibs and not a single EF Lamy nib that I bought was smooth. They were all more or less scratchy, misaligned or toothy. I could live with that if I wasn't able to straighen them out and smoothen them with lapping film myself. Something I paid Lamy to do for me but they shamefully didn't and sold me a half finished product. Next, Kaweco. Now these other guys decided to go in the other extreme. They make all their nibs so smooth that they practically don't write. Yes. You buy a fountain pen just to look at it. Everybody complains all over the internet about Kaweco nibs having baby bottom and yet Kaweco completely ignores the problem. All my Kaweco nibs have this problem. Does every fountain pen customer have to become a nibmeister himself? Is this what the world of fountain pens is turning into? Then I spent a ton of money on Pelikans and found that the only nibs that write legible for me without writting just 30 words per page are the EF nibs. But all of them have flow issues and if you even try to adjust the flow, the smoothness is gone, the nib is ruined and again ... back to grinding and smoothing. I've found Japanese pens to be the highest quality of them all, but also the least attractive. While the Europeans are extremely expensive pieces of art that cannot write but look gorgeous and like true fountain pens should (at least in my personal opinion), the Japanese ones are of superb quality but ... I know that you can't make a fountain pen nib that can satisfy everybody, and I know that many people might actually not be bothered by a scratchy nib or a nib that skips a little every 3 words. The world is a vast place and there are many individuals in it, for sure. Some might even like writing with absolutely whatever writing tool they find on a desk, for them being more important what you write than how you write it. And some may exclusively type. But even so, I strongly believe that is is pretty common sense and has been established for a long time how a nib should write and it's only a matter of additional effort to bring it there. It's possible and I think it's better if manufacturers did it instead of their customers, just like going to a dentist shouldn't require that you fix your filling after you return home. I apologize to the readers that have German pens that write like a dream. And I tell them to cherish those pens even more now after they've read my opinions. I am sure there are many such pens out there.

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