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  1. Currently there are many excellent pens being made in Italy and modern Italian pens have captured my heart. I have been a fan of the beautiful Aurora pens for some time and lately the uniquely special offerings from Scrittura Bolognese have enthused me even more. I have a few Leonardos and even two (!) of the very first Radius 1934 pens. I have been delighted with them all because of their beauty, the quality of the nibs and overall manufacture, and most of all the pleasure of writing with them. I didn’t have a Montegrappa, however. Today I set that right and it is truly extraordinary and, I hope, worth sharing here. I am not personally enamoured of sterling silver - the feel and weight of it or the tarnishing - and I hesitated for a long time over the brand, even though the celluloids are very beautiful and the styles of the Extra 1930 and Extra Otto appeal to me very much. And of course the prices for these pens are extremely high, so you have to be sure the pen is for you. Finally I gave in to the temptation, but I ordered a custom design through their website in the Extra Otto model but with gold-plating and a celluloid section. It cost a little more but in my mind the changes to the pen would be more than worth it to me. It is an expensive pen anyway, so to pay a little more to have it exactly the way I prefer made sense rather than paying so much for a pen that may be great but with a few reservations. I chose the zebra celluloid for my pen, which is my favourite of their materials - although I also find the butterfly, lapis, and shiny lines celluloids very compelling too. The custom configurator offered fewer options for the Extra Otto than for the Extra 1930, but the zebra celluloid was available for all parts of the pen and it looked like it would work nicely with gold-coloured trim. Exactly ten days after I submitted the order (which was the quoted production time) I received an email saying that the pen was made and had shipped. The shipping box is marked “handle with love” and the pen arrived in the Extra Otto wooden presentation box along with a nice letter from the CEO telling of his early experience receiving a one-off customised pen as a gift from his father. Montegrappa also supplied a gift, for which I selected a pair of onyx cufflinks. It all made for a nice and special experience to receive this pen. I normally do not care for such fanfare or presentation boxes, but in this case it felt really nice. After such a preamble you want to see the pen, I assume... I chose an extra-fine nib. The pen writes absolutely wonderfully out of the box. It is a true extra-fine line and nicely smooth with just the right touch of feedback to make it feel good in writing. It writes really effortlessly, with good ink flow. You know how sometimes you see the way a really well-tuned fountain pen can put down ink and you are reminded why you love them so much? It is like that. The build quality appears to be perfect. The pen design and materials in real life are stunning to my eye and they surpass even my high hopes for this pen. The celluloid feels great - seriously high quality and unquestionably a premium material. Just as importantly the size of the pen, section width, weight and balance all absolutely match my preferences and it is superbly comfortable, natural and a true joy in-hand. It feels weighty and solid enough to feel special, but is still light enough to be nimble and effortless to control. Opting for a metal section would have front-weighted the pen and given a slightly different balance - but I like it very much the way it is and the slight back-weighting from the piston mechanism makes it rest on my hand very solidly as I write, and the pen is not long. I would not want to swap the feel of the celluloid section for metal and I think my choice was right for me. It is only my first day with the pen, of course, but everything augurs well so far. I am so, so pleased with this pen. I think it may be the most beautiful pen I have and the fact that everything about it also fits my hand so well and it writes so wonderfully is not only a great relief but even a pleasant surprise. Even acknowledging the price I would definitely consider a custom Montegrappa again some day. As Sir Henry Royce famously said, “the quality will remain long after the price is forgotten”.
  2. Hello people of FPN! It’s been over a year since I’ve last posted here, I’ve been busy with my first year and a half of college. In the last month or so, though, I’ve started lurking around reading the forums again, and I’ve been wanting to write another review. I just needed to find a pen that was the right balance of inexpensive and interesting, and luckily I found just the thing. As I was browsing the shelves of my college’s bookstore, procrastinating studying for my final exams, the blister pack these pens came in caught my eye. Zebra fountain pens. “An easier fountain pen” the box proudly states. I wasn’t aware that writing with pens was difficult, but that’s neither here nor there. I bought them (obviously, who wouldn’t buy a pack of 4 fountain pens you’ve never seen before for $8), and rushed them home to see what was in store. The single most important and obvious thing about these pens is that they were clearly designed to be a direct competitor to the pilot varsity. They’re made of the same materials with even the same shaped nib. They come in the same colors, and they’re sold on adjacent shelves. Zebra wanted to have a product in the disposable fountain pen market, so they emulated the most popular example of that market. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the varsity, so I’ll always be happy to see more Varsity-style pens enter the market as simple starter pens to help people make the switch and understand what fountain pens are all about. Because these pens were clearly designed to emulate the varsity, and most people have used a Varsity at some point, I’ll be comparing the pens to Varsities for the majority of this review. First off, in terms of appearance these pens aren’t terrible, but they fall short of the Varsity’s design in my opinion. There’s certainly nothing hideously ugly about them, and beauty is subjective so you’ll be able to see the pictures and make your own conclusions about the appearance, but for me the design on the Zebra’s just seems cheap. They are cheap, so that’s fine, but it would have been nice to have a design that’s a bit more clean and polished. The pen compared to a sailor procolor as a reference for size. The pens come in at least four colors (they were only offered in a four pack of purple, pink, blue, and black where I bought them, I’m not sure if more colors exist). The black is a fairly standard black, reminiscent of Parker Quink in shade. It’s not particularly dark, but it is definitely a black. The blue ink is very reminiscent of the typical blue ink you’d find in the average blue ballpoint pen. At first glance of writing with the blue pen, you might expect that it came from a ballpoint. I’m not familiar enough with pink inks to make a good comparison, but it’s what I would call a fairly standard, not too bright but not too pastel pink. As someone who doesn’t usually like pink things, I actually really like this ink color, and I plan on using it in the future. The fourth color, purple, is a pretty dark purple. It’s not so dark that it could be considered a purple-black, but it is definitely a very deep color, and in poor light conditions it can even look black. By now, you may have noticed that I’ve used a lot of words and still haven’t mentioned the most important part of any pen: how it writes. It’s complicated. Pilot Varsities are, in my experience, remarkably consistent. Especially within a particular color, every pen is exactly the same in how it writes and feels. Throughout my freshman year of college, I worked through a box of 12 Varsities, and all 12 felt exactly identical. These pens are not that. Don’t get me wrong, they all write well, and none of them are bad pens by any means, but the nibs on the four pens from the same blister pack offer vastly different writing experiences. Here is a writing sample with the four pens. Please excuse my horrific handwriting and cursive. The black and pink pens are the most similar to each other, and I have the least to say about them. They are pretty much a drier version of a Varsity. Slightly less smooth (probably because they’re more dry) but around the same width and writing behavior. The width is marked on the box as 0.6mm, and I’d call it around a Western Fine / Japanese Medium. The purple pen is wildly different from the black and pink pens. It is a very wet nib, more than a pilot varsity, and the thickness is equivalent to a western medium. Additionally, the purple pen came out of the box with ink on the inside of the cap and some ink on the grip, which may be due to a mix of the pens wetness and being moved around during shipping, but none of the other pens had that happen. There is some texture to the way it writes, it is not perfectly smooth, but the wetness makes up for any scratchiness in the nib itself and offers an enjoyable writing experience. The purple pen arrived with ink on the inside of the cap, the nib, and the grip. The blue pen is again, wildly different. This time, though, it is absolutely exceptional. The width of the pen is what pretty much every manufacturer would call an Extra Fine, and it’s incredibly smooth. I own a number of pilots with 14k fine nibs, and a number of western pens with extra fines of around the same width. This is unequivocally the best writing pen I’ve ever seen at this width. The problem is, these pens are so inconsistent that I don’t think I’d ever find another pen like it from them, no matter how many packs I opened. Still, I plan on using this pen for as long as I can (which I think will be a while with how thin the nib is and how large the ink reservoir is), and then hoping I can find another nib like it sometime in the years to come. All in all, I would recommend these pens. I would have paid the full $8 (and then some) for just the blue pen, but even without that likely fluke, these pens are a solid disposable pen. I plan on buying another pack at some point, and if the blue is like the blue in this pack then I would recommend these pens 100 times out of ten over the Varsity. That being said, if the blue I got really was a fluke, and you have a choice between these and some Varsities for around the same price, I’d probably take the Pilots.
  3. Zebra Fountain Pen (un-named, plastic body) Brief Introduction/First Impressions: I bought this pen in an attempt to find a pen between the Pilot Varsity and the Platinum Preppy. I like the length and the fine point of the Preppy, but the grip drives me nuts! For some reason I always wind up gripping the Preppy really hard, and my fingers start to hurt during long writing sessions. The Pilot Varsity has a grip section that feels wonderful, but the line weight is heavier than I prefer. Good News! This pen has a Varsity-Like grippy-grip section, and a nib that puts down a line similar to the Preppy. Bad News! There are some durability issues... these are discussed below. Note: I am writing this review when the ink reservoir is at about 50%. Up until this point, I have kept the pen on my desk at work (I haven't knocked it around in an over-packed purse or otherwise abused it). PS - forgive me if I miss an obvious point of discussion, this is my first pen review. ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design (6) - Colorful Plastic, Feels Good in the hand, but cheap I have not weighed or measured this pen, but it feels like it is around the same weight as a Preppy or Varsity (very light!). The plastic is colored throughout the whole pen to a color similar to the ink contained within. The cap includes a spring and inner cap that keeps the nib wet, similar to the inner cap in a Preppy. It definitely looks like a cheap plastic pen, but that is what it is! … Construction & Quality (3) - dissapointing! I still like to write with this pen, but unfortunately the cap has cracked in a way that allows the cap to become a projectile in certain circumstances. The lip of the cap has nubs that can catch onto corresponding nubs on the back of the grip section, and if these do not line up, the spring in the inner cap has enough force to eject the cap off the end of the pen if you let go of it. Entertaining, for sure, but maybe not so desirable. Even if the cap does not fly off the nib, it tend to sit a few millimeters off of where it is supposed to sit (See attached photos). Definitely not a knock-around pen. That said, the inner cap does keep the nib wet, and it never has trouble writing, even though the cap does not sit properly. … Weight & Dimensions (10) - Long, slender, and lightweight About the same weight and length as a Preppy, the girth maybe a little thinner than a Varsity. The nib is similar to a Preppy as well. … Nib & Performance (10) - Very smooth, wetter than a preppy Not as wet as a Varsity. I love it! Never a hard start or skipping. … Filling System & Maintenance (6) - "disposable" Really, there is not intended to be any maintenance on this pen - it has a feed and ink reservoir similar to a Pilot Varsity. This is good and bad in my book, as it may be a good intro pen, but encourages a lot of waste. I think it is possible to yank the nib and feed out, similar to the Varsity though, so this could be a grey area. … Cost & Value (5) - cheap, functional, not durable I picked this pen up for about $3.00 USD, which eases the disappointment I feel about the cracked cap. … Conclusion (7/10) - Worth a try? I really want to like this pen, and I LOVE the writing experience with this pen, but it is not durable enough to last even through the ink reservoir it has, let alone any attempt to refill it. Maybe hold out to see if the quality improves. Have you all had a similar experience with this pen? Do you love it? Hate it? Let me know!
  4. Hey all, I'm very tempted to get myself a Zebra F-xMD bp pen, mainly for quick bullet journalling and notes where a fountain pen just doesn't seem 'quick' enough (and a VP is too pricey!). I love the look of the Zebra but I would like to swap out the stock refill with something better. The only options I've seen online are the Fisher space pen refill, but according to Fisher's own website, their three point sizes are huge: Fine = 0.9mm Med = 1.1mm Bold = 1.3mm But I think I really want something that has a much finer line than that - more like a 0.5mm. Does anyone know if the numbers above are accurate in the width of line put down? And/or, does anyone know another type of refill that'll fit in the F701 body which does give a finer line?? Many thanks, Chris.
  5. I have seen various videos about modifying this pen for big line variation. So I thought I would try it out. I made some mistakes and discovered some stuff that may be of interest. I put it all in a video.
  6. All of these railroad/dry sections aren't there with a better ink (I am trying to get rid of the remainder of a visconti green ink sample I got to try with my divina metropolitan. I hate this stuff, it writes horribly. Waterman green and robert oster peppermint are far superior performers.) Also lease excuse my fast, nasty chickenscratch writing sample. If you want to write bigger (to the absolute max flex) and faster, simply put a piece of scotch tape over the nib and trim it to fit, and it'll overfeed the thing into low earth orbit. Completely unmodified ranga feed. Even a chewed out noodlers feed simply doesn't flow this nicely. When I bought a ranga 3c from Mr. Ranga on ebay, I got a spare feed with the pen for free, so that was awesome! Essentially this does cost about $60 total, because you need to buy a konrad, a box of zebra comic G nibs, and a ranga pen of some sort, but you do get two pens out of it (and the ranga pens are really fun on their own) The feed does extend a hair into the ink chamber of the noodlers konrad, but that may actually be why this thing just flows so well. It only loses maybe 5% of its ink capacity and nothing is harmed in the filling. It does fit with the konrad inner cap, but I use this thing so often that I don't need it, and I hated the ink behind the cap, so I removed it. No drying out issues when used daily. The only thing that you have to "modify" is very, very easily done with lots of room for error. Take a pair of wide pliers (not needlenose, wide enough to fit the whole base of the nib in the flat of the plier) and squeeze just hard enough until you feel it "give". A little more than that is just fine, but I find that as soon as I feel it "smoosh" the back of the nib the barest amount, it fits happily. While it is possible to simply jam the two in together, it makes fitment way more obnoxious and you actually save a lot of effort doing it this way. Then line it all up as normal, I find it's easiest to insert by lining the nib and feed up with the gap of the nib lined up with the third slot on the feed, insert it until the nib bottoms out in the slot, and then gently slide the feed down until the first or second (really makes no difference) fin lines up with the slot on the nib. I really quite like this nib, even for everyday writing. It lays down a lot of ink, so you can't really flex it wide if you need to change pages quickly, and some inks like noodlers golden brown can take TWENTY minutes to dry. Personally, I find the sailor jentle inks (souten, oku-yama, and yama-dori are my favorite) to have incredibly quick dry times along with a heavy amount of sheen that this pen REALLY showcases. Line variation is insane, needlepoint (0.1) to 3mm, no risk of springing it unless you're literally trying to fold the nib in half, you get a box of 10 nibs for $10 so there's plenty of room for mistakes. It's also great for sketching and drawing. People say the nibs can rust. I have done that once, and it was only because I cleaned the pen and put it away without completely drying the nib and feed. With ink, I honestly haven't seen the nib rust yet, and the one in there has been daily writing for three months without a spot of rust. With the noodlers feed, I've heard a lot of people having flow troubles, having to widen the channel and risk ruining the feed, needing to prime it regularly (I never have to prime this one, though when I used the nib in a jinhao x750 I did need to prime it every half page or so) Also, one thing I haven't tried, but would suggest for that extra insurance against corrosion, is to just drop the money on the somewhat more expensive coated zebra comic G nibs. They do last longer in dip nibs, but I didn't have any to try in this application. I take this pen with me wherever I go, it's an incredibly fun pen to scrawl with, puts fun, pretty headers on pages at the beginning of class or new chapters in my notes, and has never failed to perform. Again, in this writing sample, disregard the railroading and dry spots, Visconti green is absolutely the wrong ink for this application. (also don't even think about trying noodlers polar colors, they will eat right through the paper with how heavy this pen lays it down!) http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c101/popnsplat/20170423_183418_zpsxbrkzi5f.jpg http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c101/popnsplat/20170423_185242_zpsaez4pte9.jpg http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c101/popnsplat/20170423_183509_zps2ft5tjrq.jpg http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c101/popnsplat/20170423_183434_zpsdqum7ato.jpg
  7. Howdy All, I just noticed Pilot came out with their "Mogulair" mechanical pencil (who picked that name?) It seems the Mogulair dropped (in the U.S. anyway) early in 2017. This thing is obviously trying to one-up the Zebra DelGuard pencil. Both the Mogulair and Delguard pencils have similar spring-cushioned tip mechanisms to reduce lead breakage, but the Mogulair adds a weighted Shaker (or Knock) mechanism to advance the lead. The shaker seems to be the only big difference. The added shaker in the Mogulair can be a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about it (I don't care for them). Now we need someone to marry the spring cushioned tips on the Mogulair and/or DelGuard pencils with the self-sharpening, self-ejecting mechanism in the Uni Kuru-Toga * U.S. availability at my post time on 20 May 2017: In the U.S. I see Tokyo Pen Shop in Iowa is carrying the Mogulair for $8.30, which seems kind of pricey for what I'm seeing so-far (plasticky school pencil-ish). I have a black/chrome Zebra DelGuard standard, the build is mostly plastic but it looks and feels better than that. Tokyo Pen Shop sells the DelGuard standard for $7.00, $1.30 cheaper than the Mogulair, but still pretty high. (Note, there are higher-quality versions of the DelGuard such as the LX and the clipless ER.) At Tokyo Pen Shop basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $25. Jetpens in California is not carrying the Pilot Mogulair yet. Jetpens sells the Zebra DelGuard standard for $7.50 (as usual, Jetpens is the highest in price). At Jetpens basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $25. JStationary in Massachusetts is not carrying the Mogulair yet. JStationary sells the DelGuard standard for $5.95. At JStationary basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $20. Amazon returned nothing on a search for Mogulair. Amazon shows low prices for the DelGuard standard at between $4.50 and $5.50 plus shipping/eligible for free shipping. But to me it seems like $5.50 is the safe low-price for the DelGuard standard on Amazon. I'm tired of fighting with ebay. [Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post.] * Links: - Pilot Japan has a whole Web site up (in Japanese) dedicated to the Mogulair. The pictures are nice, and there are some animations: http://mogulair.jp/ - Pilot Mogulair for sale at Tokyo Pen Shop: https://www.tokyopenshop.com/pilot-mogulair-p-1435.html - Tokyo Pen Shop's YouTube intro to the Pilot Mogulair (English): - An annoying Japanese kid demonstrates how the Mogulair's spring mechanism works on YouTube. (At-least I think he's demonstrating how it works, I don't speak Japanese.) Jump to 12:30 to see the relevant portion. I suggest you turn the sound off (even if you speak Japanese). Have Fun, David
  8. Desiderata Daedalus It’s a fountain pen. No, wait. It’s a dip pen. Hang on a minute. Ah, nuts! It’s both. By now many people will have heard of or seen the Desiderata Daedalus, conceived of and brought into existence by Mr. Pierre Miller of The Desiderata Pen Co., Chicago, Illinois. The pen is a hybrid. It is essentially a fountain pen sporting a dip nib. In this case the nib is the Comic Zebra G, much favoured by manga artists and a solid performer – which we will come to in due course. In the early history of this one-man company there were many and varied models made from a number of interesting and exotic woods, and even a part acrylic version. Sadly, for most of us, and for one reason or another, these wood versions are no longer available. We can only hope they may re-emerge later. What we have left is a pen made from Delrin. This is a versatile plastic that is used in a wide range of applications, from precision engineering components to furniture parts and much else. Perhaps most people will be familiar with it in its use in knife handles. Anyway, the Delrin here is cool, smooth and very, very black. The shape of the pen is in the guise of a three stepped telescoping rod. In fact, on the day it arrived at work a colleague asked if it was a pocket tool – which it is, only not quite what they expected! The reason for the small step toward the end of the barrel is to accommodate the cap if one should wish to post it. Frankly speaking the pen does benefit from being posted, in terms of its perceived weight and balance, but naturally this will be a personal choice. The ends of the barrel and cap have some neat chamfering, and overall the pen is well-turned. There are some turning marks on it, though they seem quite in keeping with its industrial demeanour. Dimensions (approximate) Length Capped: 153 mm Uncapped: 115 mm (not including the nib) Posted: 144 mm (not including the nib) The nib adds about 24 mm Barrel (main) diameter is 11 mm, section is 10 mm. (Bear in mind that these pens are individually made and so measurements may very slightly) Filling system The pen is an eyedropper. Open that sucker up and slop your favourite writing juices in there! I haven't measured this yet but at a guess I would say the barrel takes between 2 and 3 ml of ink. The main draw here, and the raison d’etre for the pen’s existence, is the nib. This is a pen that offers the full flexibility of a steel (or titanium) dip pen, but without the very high price tag that often accompanies vintage pens with gold nibs. And that is exactly what it does. Familiarity with dip pens is useful, though this is also an excellent tool for those who are new to this sort of thing. The nib is sharp, flexible and, unlike a lot of dip nibs, quite user friendly. In other words, it will take a reasonable amount of abuse from the ham-fisted among us (author included). So, to shamelessly borrow from Dr. SBRE Brown, what do I like and what do I not like? Likes (in no particular order) Price – well under $100, makes this a most affordable alternative to vintage flex pens. Durability – the Delrin looks like it would survive the apocalypse. Nib – the zebra G is a first rate entry into flexible dip pens. It is also quite cheap to buy and easily available from all the usual sources. Machining – good finishing and precision threading give lots of confidence. Feed – hand cut ebonite feed that serves the nib well. Dislikes Size - it’s a thin pen. A little more girth would be nice. Subjective yes, but noted nonetheless. Delrin – It’s a good functional material, but does not ring my bell for aesthetics. Other material options would be nice to explore. Maintenance – the trade-offs with using a steel dip nib are the need to keep it clean and the understanding that it will wear out and need replacing. Meaning a lot of nib pulling. No roll-stop – some may like the cool and vast expanses of darkness. I am not one of them. The earlier pens had a neat little stop. Pierre, please bring back this option! Conclusion This is a good fountain pen and a very neat way for those of us on a budget to have a go at writing with a flexible nib. The need to change the nib relatively regularly, and to keep it clean in between changes, can be seen as both good and bad. Good in that it encourages good pen housekeeping habits, bad because it may be a tad annoying to have to do it so often. The pen is certainly different from anything else out there. Pierre has improved the feed from the earlier models and it works very well. I haven’t had any noticeable railroading yet. At this point I have only tried Diamine Teal and ESSRI iron gall ink. Both worked well, but there may be other inks that do not. Discovery is part of the fun, they say! Also worth noting, I tried some frankenpen set-ups using the same nib in Chinese pen bodies. While this worked tolerably well, the feeds on those pens did not work anywhere near as well as the Daedalus. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would, but with the caveat that the pen will not magically make your writing better. It still takes practice and patience. Will I keep mine? Debatable. I like using an oblique dip pen holder for this kind of writing. And yet the Daedalus is certainly a lot of fun. Time will tell. Disclaimer: this review represents my personal opinion. The pen was purchased at full price by me.
  9. Hello mein inky friends. Today I have quite the conundrum. I recently received some diamine oxblood, alongside a cross aventura and zebra r301. The ink flows fine in the cross and my old pilot parallel, but my zebra r301, which is supposed to be a broad .8 mm, is putting out a dry line of peachish ink at around .5 mm. I had previously used noodler's bulletproof black without any problems, but I soon found that I did not clean out the r301 well enough and it began writing black. It eventually kept lightening until it became the sickening earthen colour it is now. I thought this was do to leftover water and thought nothing of it, but now the pen writes terribly. I believe it may have been clogged somehow. If so, are there any ways to fix it? Feel free to move this thread if I am in the incorrect section; I did not know which board to post this in, but thought you guys would have the most experience.
  10. Hey, having a decision here. I don't know whether or not to use some black-capped Winsor and Newton inks in a Zebra R-301. I know you can't use them in fountain pens, but I'm unsure of rollers(this is my first refillable). Any help?
  11. Hi everyone, Right now I'm carrying a fountain pen (Pilot VP Decimo) and a disposable ballpoint, the latter is for FP-unfriendly surfaces and lending. It goes quite well, but I'm looking for a multi pen in order to have a pencil and another coloured pen on hand. It should be quite slim and light to not be too much of a heft in my pocket. I've been searching and narrowed it down to the list below: Pilot 2+1 Slim (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AX5UL0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A214QR0RLUH6NQ) Platinum MWBS-1500 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BA6AKO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A214QR0RLUH6NQ) Zebra Sharbo X LT3 (http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Sharbo-ST3-Body-Component/dp/B0010WMWTE/ref=sr_1_2?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1432227030&sr=1-2&keywords=Zebra+Sharbo+X+LT3) - Quite expensive though. These pens' reviews can be found quite easily e.g. on Jet Pens, but there are some that reviews are scarce, but I'm leaning towards them: Zebra Surari Sharbo 2000 (http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Surari-Emulsion-Mechanical-SB27-BK/dp/B00FBWWDL6) Zebra Sharbo+1 (http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Sharbo-Ballpoint-Pencil-Notebooks/dp/B002H9W9AG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_229_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=03QC0G33GPDC367RA6F5) So, feedbacks from anyone has experience on these pens are appreciated, especially on the bottom two pens. Another question is that are Pilot, Platinum, and Zebra compatible with other brands' refill e.g. Uni? I find Zebra refills quite expensive, Pilot and Platinum's can't be found locally. Thank you very much! Edited: Minor details
  12. from iampeth.com website, i found that i need to align the tip of my nib with the axis of the holder, ( sounds reasonable enough ) However, the nib is ALREADY inserted as far as it will go. Yet it protrudes over the axis. My Nikko nib is also the same situation... I think its Speedball design problem. What do you think ? http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3744/11081707705_e0d39eb977_c.jpg

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