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  1. One of my Danitrio Mikado (eyedropper filling model) pens leaked on me at work. That is Noodler’s Navy you see on the section in the first image. I collect Danitrio and this sort of thing happens more often than I care to admit on their eyedropper filling pens. I still collect Danitrio but stopped buying eyedropper models a couple of years ago. At this point I know all the potential ways in which a Danitrio can leak. This one leaked at the junction between the section and the barrel. Naturally, with a leak like this you don’t know it’s happening until you look at your inky hand so that’s nice. There is no obvious reason for the leak, which led me to investigate further. To do so I thought a comparison to a Japanese eyedropping pen that has never leaked on me was in order. Thus, I cleaned out the Namiki Emperor I had with me at work and set about comparing the two pens. What have I learned? 1) That even compared to a Namiki Emperor the Danitrio Mikado is a big pen and looks great. Feels good to hold and to write with and that stub nib is extra nice. Seems to be on par with the Namiki on looks and feel but… 2) The section engineering and machining execution is different between the two pens. The concept is the same—eyedropper with shutoff valve—but the Namiki has some advantages. a. The Namiki threads are finer pitched and better machined inside the barrel and on the section. This can be felt when screwing in the section; there is a smoother feel and less play. b. The threaded portion of the section has a bigger diameter on the Namiki. The overall diameter is 10% greater and but the ratio between the diameter of the grip portion and the threading is also 10% greater on the Namiki. c. The o-ring on the Namiki is more precisely seated, that is, it has no room to move about. d. Both o-rings fit into a slot in the barrel that is flat and smooth before the threads start up. The slot on the Namiki is not as deep. I have a gang of Danitrio pens that fill by eyedropper. One or two have never leaked on me at the section. This pen used to be one of them. The problem is at the level of the o-ring. There is too much potential for the o-ring to move about, get twisted, or otherwise compressed in an uneven fashion. It only takes an infinitesimal gap for ink to leak. Water always finds the path of least resistance. A little side pressure from your grip and the heat from your hand is all it takes to set the leak in action. Part of loving Danitrio seems to be leak mitigation. Changing o-rings has helped in the past on other pens but o-rings that fit are not easy to come by. Danitrio themselves does not seem to have consistently sized, readily available replacement o-rings. That bit about consistently sized o-rings may make more sense knowing that there is more variability between Danitrio pens of the same model than Namiki pens of the same model. I reckon Namiki buys only one size of o-ring that always fits like it is supposed to. I admit that it all is a bit frustrating, but I press on. IMG_8517 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8529 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8535 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8539 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8541 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8543 by Ja Ja, on Flickr





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