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  1. If you've been around fountain pens for a while, chances are you know about Kanwrite. At the risk of repeating myself... Again, let me repeat the intro that I said about my review of the Kanwrite PC. "Kanwrite or Kanpur Writers is one of the most popular pen companies in India and outside (If you've used a Noodler's pen, Chances are high that it may be made by Kanwrite...). Though their Desire and heritage have stolen the show for most of us, there are a few hidden gems in the brand..." One of which is the Relik, which is the only hooded nib pen in Kanwrite's lineup. And for about ₹350/- INR when bought directly from Kanwrite, just like other Kanwrite budget pens, it's a solid knock-around everyday carry pen. So without any further ado, Let's crack on... Design and Build Design wise, it's a classic design which harks back to the old reform piston filler pens of the 60's and 70's, and almost identical to the PC. Honestly, if I place a PC and a Relik side-by-side capped, and ask you to tell which one is which without touching them, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference between them. It's when you open the difference becomes apparent. The hood over the nib is the main differentiator between the PC and the Relik, You can swap the parts like the converter, Body and the cap between the two and they'll fit perfectly. But design wise, It's a handsome fella. (Note: the standard relik comes with a gold plated nib however I dropped it nib down and bent the tines. since then I replaced it with a non plated nib, so some of the photos will contain the a silver nib on a gold trimmed pen... My bad) As far as the build, the cap is made of metal and has a slight texture to it, the body is made of plastic which is very durable. Easily able to handle drops without issues, and surprisingly scratch resistant. It does smell. But not a lot and you'll barely notice it after a week or so. The pen comes with a hooded nib which looks similar to pens like the Camlin 47 and the Airmail/Wality 77. It uses a No.00 nib and an ebonite feed housed in a plastic sleeve which is then slid inside the grip section. reassembly can be fiddly, as the sleeve is like a gear with a million billion teeth and to get the assembly just right takes some trial and error. Also a thing to note while cleaning the pen, the sleeve is fairly fragile so be careful when reassembling the feed. Don't just jam it in there with all the frustration of your last breakup or else the sleeve will be the next thing you'll break up (Poor joke... I know...). Because of the hooded design, you can leave the pen for more than an hour, and it won't dry up. So that's the reliability box ticked for the Relik. The pen accepts a converter which is a screw in type and it smells... like more than I expected... Luckily, the barrel has enough threads that makes it a perfect candidate for eyedropper conversion, but air-tight enough that it seals the smell off... As for the size comparisons, from top to bottom: 1. Kanwrite Relik 2. Beena Lincoln 3. Parker Vector CT Standard 4. Jinhao X450 One thing though, and it happened to my PC and the Relik, the plastic of the converter becomes yellowed when using Bril black ink, tough it does not seem an issue with the other inks that I use, which includes other Bril inks. It does not affect writing though. Speaking of which... Ergonomics, Writing and Final Verdict The ergonomics are fairly good. If you use a Gel or Ballpoint before, you'll feel right at home, plus the hooded nib design means you can hold it very close to the nib, if you're an imbecile like me and hold the pen according to the mood I'm in, this is a very good pen to write. Plus because of it's light weight, it's comfortable to use for long writing sessions. Posting it gives it that little bit more heft that in my opinion, adds to the overall writing experience. As for the writing, It's a typical Kanwrite fine nib. Smooth for the most part with a hint of feedback that is noticeable but not unpleasant. You really feel you're writing something, which I prefer over a nib that writes like writing on glass, as my hand tends to go out of control faster than when a fish slips out of the hand the moment you catch it out of the water. Wetness and flow is more than adequate enough, but not so much that it makes the ink feather and make the writing a bunch of squiggly lines on cheap copier paper. Flow keeps up with even the fastest of writing that I can manage and over long writings, the pen doesn't break a sweat. Overall, as a final verdict, This is a solid option if you are considering a hooded knock around EDC pen that is both durable and good to write with. Honestly these Kanwrite offerings doesn't leave me with anything to say that I haven't said before. For the price that you buy from Kanwrite directly, it's a great value and an excellent beginner pen. PS: Note that the min. order value for ordering from Kanwrite directly is ₹500/- INR (you can order by contacting them via Whatsapp). So I'd suggest you buy and Apex (Review of which you can see by clicking here) and some spare No.00 nibs as well just in case. Trust me, you won't regret it. That's all from me, and I'll catch you all next time
  2. I got a Pilot Elite that I believe to be from the 1970's/early 80's. This pen appears to be from the Korean Manufacturer with the hooded gold plated steel nib. It is EF but I have a few questions about the pen if anyone knows anything... 1. Japanese Pilots could be dated by the nib - is there a way to date this Korean Version? 2. The Converter inside does NOT want to come out and I do not want to force it if it is not supposed to come out - Is there a trick here? Is this pen a single piece? What am I looking at here? 3. Are there certain inks that I would not want to put into a pen like this - considering that it uses an aeromatic style converter - I believe this is the Con-20 but I'm not sure and am curious about a more current and diff style of converter.
  3. Dear readers, I was hoping you could help identify this pen. Searching for "Swan piston filler" and derivatives thereof have not yielded any helpful information. I'm looking to disassemble and restore this pen, as it is leaky from both ends. Many thanks for any help you can offer. If pictures are of too low a quality, I can provide better ones.
  4. I am considering to acquire a Ratnamson pen. Among their pens, the model #21 is one with a hooded nib. It seems unique as an ebonite pen with a hooded nib. It also comes in 3 sizes. On searching previous posts, I do not see much reviews or enthusiasm about this model of pen in this forum. Has anybody used this pen? What are your experiences? Are there any other Indian pen manufacturers that offer pens with hooded nib?
  5. KingRoach

    Jinhao 911 - Review

    Hello all. Having recently fell for hooded pens, I decided to make a few purchases, including the Hero 616. However, I was very reluctant in buying anything as I was very cautious of the possibility of inconsistent manufacturing and the element of luck involved in these purchases. While I was searching, I found this Jinhao 911 on Aliexpress on sale. The seller had no feedback or orders placed on this particular listing, but they otherwise had good feedback in general. For £1.40, I thought I'd take the chance. The main reason I chose this over the very similar yet cheaper Hero 338 is because it comes as a C/C fill rather than the aerometric Hero pen. It also claimed to come with a converter, so if the listing was true, I was in for a treat. Another thought was that Jinhao, being well-known for producing some pens that are often praised, in comparison to Hero (granted, a much older company) which, in some lines (ahem, Hero 616, ahem) was infamous for inconsistent manufacturing and very low quality control. I took the chance and placed an order for one pen and hoped I wouldn't be ripped off my penny change. A short while later, when the "sale" was over, the whole listing was removed. Aliexpress saves a snapshot of the listing when you place the order so I may still have some protection. To my surprise, a while later, the pen did actually arrive, and if I am impressed at one thing at all, it is that I was not ripped off. The pen came in a Chinese envelop that actually stated "pen" on it instead of just "gift" or "usb lead", which helped me recognise it and hide it from my wife for a while, until she eventually noticed an unfamiliar item on my table later on. The envelop had bubble wrap around the pen, which itself came in a suede pouch that it fits in. A nice first impression. Out of the pouch, you will be surprised how nicely finished it is. The brushed metal finish from top to bottom is very nicely done, including the clip and the two conical ends: the jewel and the butt. In online images, the clip finish seemed better than that of the Hero, and reality did not disappoint. On the cap, "Jinhao" is engraved in rectangular fonts, which is also very nice. The engraving is subtle, but there. It does not scream at you. On the topic of finish, I thought the engraving could be done slightly a tad better: the J had depth-jitters which, to my perfectionist eye, were noticeable, but perhaps only if I intend to look at the engraving. On the other side of the cap, engraved is the number 911 in a different font. In my opinion, it would have been better sticking to the same rectangular aesthetic for the numbers as well You want another pleasing surprise for this price point? The clip is spring-loaded. And it has good tension: it is strong, but not impossible to clip into your shirt, and if you do, it will hold there real tight. The cap is friction fit so it just pulls out with no clicks, and without it, the pen has a uniform surface with no bumps, so you can hold it near the nib or as far away from it as you like. Distentions of the pen are as follows: length capped 141mm length uncapped 125mm length posted 156mm wide at the widest point where the section meets the barrel 10.3mm medial width near where I hold it 9mm approximate weight with cap (inc.converter) 20g approximate weight without cap (inc.converter) 12g One of two things about the finish that did not strike me very positively was the threads of the barrel. They felt a bit... I don't know. Unfinished. I thought I wanted to grab a metal brush and rub them a little bit, but of course I did not do that. Mind you, this might only be a matter of "feel" not a matter of "fact". On the barrel end, the threads are in fact made of plastic. This is done by using a kind of "insert" which is glued to the barrel. The insert only makes up the threads and does not extend all the way through the barrel, so forget eye-dropper-ing. The insides are metal. Other than that, the exterior of the barrel is really nice and the jewel is well machined. On the cap-end, the same can be said about the exterior. The clip is, as we said, nice looking, springy and secure. The jewel is well-machined and perfectly centered. Pleasure to the eye. Inside of the cap is what needs some highlights. The cap is friction fit. It does not "click" or thread. Just push in, push out, on both sides of the pen. Inside of the cap there are four metal flaps that cause this friction to happen. Mind you, it is rather secure, this is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the possiblity of scratching your pen if you rotate it with the cap on. I am not sure whether the friction flaps have edges that will not scratch either the plastic section (oops, I said plastic), or the very nice brushed metal of the barrel when posted. This is something that we well have to leave for time to tell. Deeper inside the cap, there is the inner white sealing cap which defintely touches the nib when the pen is capped. How do I know it touches? My pen was inked and I can see a dot of ink inside. The question remains: is it plastic or silicone? Does the pen merely touch, or pierce through, that thing? I do not know. The second point I do not like about the finish of the pen is that inside the cap, behind the flaps, the cap was rather dirty/rusty. This can be easily seen if you are trying to see it but will not be seen to anyone watching you use the pen at all. And now only the main part: the section. I said this before. This is plastic. The disappointing type. But is it really disappointing? Look at your price point again. It is nicely shiny, but feels like the type that is prone to cracking or scratching easily, so might just need some care. I noticed some micro scratchings on mine already out of the box, nothing that you will probably notice in everyday use, but I will have to keep an eye on it. There is however a very tiny small little ding near the front. In the following photo, I shined a flash at it, so it looks a bit blue, but it is black. Some of the "scratches" have been made visible by the flash, and some of them are in fact just reflection from the table texture, so do not be very alarmed by this photo. The pen came with an international converter. What more do you want? I put some Parker Quink in it. I was expecting, and hoping for, a really fine line, so which of my inks did I want to see that fine? I had the black Quink or the Diamine Turquoise, but I already have the latter in one of my "modded" Hero 616's, which is also black, hooded and fine. I need variation in my life. Which leads us the very last and most important point of a fountain pen, and the question that probably everybody needs answering about any pen they could be buying any time in their life. What about the nib? At the time of this review, I only had the Hero 616 to compare it with, which came in a variety of unfinished nibs, mostly scratchy, splayed, or extra-touching. Almost all of them needed adjustment and smoothing, so what do I expect of the Jinhao? Visually, the nib seemed rather shiny, which is a very good sign. I tried it on paper without any ink, and I could see it was almost digging a trench in the paper almost with no pressure from my hand, but surprisingly, there was no scratch at all. This was also another very good sign. I know when you ink a nib it acts much smoother than when dry, so I inked the pen, and lo! Straight out of the box and with no adjustment done to it at all, the nib is indeed very fine, and is also considerably smooth for its fineness. Way to go Jinhao, I commend this! It is also sufficiently wet. I like to write with no pressure at all, barely just touching the paper, and this nib/feed catch up really well to this. One last question I like to investigate when I try a new pen is flow control. Sometimes, a pen acts a bit dryer or wetter than other times. I am still keeping an eye on this, but overall, at least with Parker Quink, I suggest this pen is considerably good and hard to believe that I was able to get it for £1.40 inc. postage. It is about double this price normally, so at about £2.80-£3.00 pounds, you will want to know you got a good bang for the buck. This is the same money you'd spend on a Jinhao fat pen (X750, X450 or 159, for example).I still think it is worth it for fine-nib and hooded nib lovers, especially if you like the flighter aesthetic, and the steel/black contrast. Personally? I never felt I like the black/steel aesthetic, and if this was't so cheap I may not have got it but that was simply due to taste. Functionally, it is a good pen, so the rest is up to you to decide.
  6. Greetings Fellow FPNers, Below are some of my thoughts on the Thyer edition of the Jinhao 911. This review turned out sounding a little more negative than I had intended, but don’t let it scare you away from this pen. Many of the good points about the Jinhao 911 have already been discussed in KingRoach’s excellent and much fuller review. My observations agree 100% with his, including the issues of potential scratching and the nib lightly touching the inside of the cap when capped. According to the Thebai Company that sells this pen, it has several distinct differences from the regular Jinhao 911: 1. The nib has been reground from 0.38mm to 0.45mm, given a better feed assembly, and tuned. 2. The plastic threaded part that connects the section to the barrel has been replaced with a metal one (newer Jinhao 911s also have the metal part). 3. A better piston converter has replaced the plunger type (newer Jinhao 911s also have this improved converter). 4. Each Thyer pen is adjusted by hand for optimal performance. 5. The Thebai logo and “Thebai Thyer” have replaced the “Jinhao 911” engraving on the cap rim. I’m not sure if it’s available outside of China, but Seele has kindly provided the link to the Taobao seller whom I bought it from. A Final Word If you want an inexpensive, lightweight, hooded nib “flighter” with a decent fine nib, then this is definitely worth your interest. Just know that the outside of the pen will scratch easily (I can already see scratches on the barrel in addition to those already on the section) and may quickly turn into a “beater” pen. The nib is average but not scratchy and flows alright with a wet ink, producing an even fine line. Is it worth paying a little more for this “hot rod” Thyer version as opposed to the standard Jinhao 911? Since I don’t have the latter to compare with, all I can say is definitely if you really want the fine nib instead of the 911’s extra fine. SDG
  7. TheLeverist

    Crushed Barrel On Lever Filler

    Howdy Fellow Penners, it's me, the Leverist. (AKA Busy New Guy) I am in the throes of restoration right now, fixing a box of third-tier beauties, and was given yet another old clunker today. You can't beat free, but you can't always fix it either. It's a Scripto lever filler, hooded nib and steel cap, with a black barrel. The J bar is nice, the sac is due for replacement, and the end of the barrel is crushed. I don't have the pieces, they're long gone. It's someone's old junk pen. I was thinking about removing sac and J-bar, then making a new distal end with black epoxy putty and sanding it down smooth to form a tip. It won't be perfect but it will look better than the sad piece of pen carnage it is now. Also--this is cool. There's an imprint on the barrel reading "WHEN EMPTY LIFT LEVER ONCE, POINT DOWN, TO RELEASE INK RESERVE." Was there some sort of hidden reservoir in it? It looks like a plain old lever filler to me, though I haven't gotten the section off yet. Anyhow, see what you think. Sincerely The Leverist.
  8. I found this pen at an estate sale recently. I picked it up because I'd never seen anything quite like it. It appears to fill using some kind of piston mechanism and might be described as "hooded?" I cannot find any distinguishing markings either on the clip or body. A complete mystery to me. I'd like to get it in working order if possible, and identifying it seemed like the logical first step.
  9. tonybelding

    Mod Style Pens

    As I'm sitting here on a damp Thanksgiving, with some coffee and chocolate-pecan pie (highly recommended!), I'm just taking it easy and pondering modern style as it pertains to pens. I've actually begun a project renovating my 1965 vintage ranch style house, so the styles and fashions of that era have been much on my mind. I have to be very clear on what I mean by modern in this context. In the pen world we usually divide pens into vintage and modern, which is all about age. Even though the exact transition point can be debated, we all pretty much define it in terms of years. So. . . That's NOT what this post is about, and from this point forward I'm going to try and avoid the word "modern" and simply say "mod" instead, so everybody knows I'm talking about the design language, not the age of a pen. From where I sit, mod designs hit the pen world around 1940-1941 with the introduction of the Sheaffer Triumph and the Parker 51. The streamlined shapes, new materials, and conical nibs (on the Triumph) and hooded nibs (on the 51) were a very deliberate break with tradition. Other companies got into the act, but to me Sheaffer and Parker were the leaders in this movement. Later we saw the coming of Sheaffer inlaid nibs (notably on the Imperial and Targa series), the Pilot Vanishing Point, various Japanese pocket pens, and of course the Lamy 2000 and the Safari. To my mind, all of these are icons of mod style among fountain pens. Today it seems that we've regressed, and most contemporary pens are more-or-less traditionalist. You know, I love those 1920s style oversized flat-tops as much as anyone, and I've got my share of modern retreads of those. From today's Parker Duofold, to the 1930s-ish ultra-stodgy designs of Pelikan and Mont Blanc, to all those retro Bexleys. . . Traditionalist pens are in. For those who favor a more purist mod design, the options are limited. Sheaffer and Parker are shadows of their former selves. It seems like the only mod stalwarts today are Pilot, with the VP and E95S, and Lamy with the 2000 and the Safari and Studio and several other models that accept Safari nibs. If I'm overlooking anything out there, please point them out! I feel like perhaps we've, collectively, become too fixated on the old-fashioned-ness of fountain pens. For example, how often has somebody here on FPN rejected the Parker 51 for not having a big, open, traditional nib to show off? Perhaps we forget how design-forward some of these famous pens were in their time. Maybe we should appreciate them more?
  10. Good evening, I spied this interesting looking vintage unit on the famous auction site last week and it arrived today. Based on the limited information I could find online prior to purchasing, the pen is a c/c, using the proprietary c/f cart or converter. The only markings on the pen are on the clip where it is stamped Waterman's, and on the barrel where a Made in Italy imprint lies. I understand the hood is not an integral part of the nib unit, as is the case with the famous P51, and although I have not attempted to remove the hood there does appear to be a significant gap between the nib and the hood. Despite the presumed lack of the large collector, this pen was chock full of ink, which after a day of soaking and a few ultrasonic cycles seems to be cleared. Now I just have to source a cf cart to refill. I know converters are available for around $20, so that may be a better choice. I'm hoping some of you Waterman experts can help me with additional information on this pen, I have yet to find one like it in my searches, specifically with the grip section. http://i.imgur.com/9Eg22SH.jpg?2 http://i.imgur.com/XOp2WNu.jpg?1
  11. I just received a Haolilai 661A, which I ordered from eBay. Since there is little about this brand on FPN, I thought I'd post this very informal, handwritten review.The pen I purchased was http://www.ebay.com/itm/FOUNTAIN-PEN-HAOLILAI-661-FINE-NIB-SILVERY-PURPLE-H055-/121127212869. The photo posted here of the pen is is from the eBay listing. My review is in the attached image, though I can't seem to modify the orientation of the photo.
  12. So recently I was pen browsing, and I came across a couple of hooded nibs. I was wondering, what is the point (no pun intended) of these? What is the benefit of it, what are the drawbacks? And why did they start being used? Thank you!

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