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Platinum Century's Plastic



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Considering that it is the same plastic, but somehow the demonstrators feel slightly better. But I feel that the plastic on the Pilot Custom 74 Black even cheaper.

From The Sunny Island of Singapore

 

Straits Pen Distributors and Dealers of Craft Rinkul, JB Perfect Pen Flush, Ohto Japan, Parker, Pelikan, Pilot Pen, Private Reserve Inks, Schrade Tactical Pens, Smith & Wesson Pens, Noodler's Ink LLC Pens, TWSBI Inc and Waterman in Singapore

Disclosure: I do nib work for others and am affiliated with those which do. I also sell and represent certain brands of pens.

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I would like to know how one judges whether a plastic feels cheap? What are the characteristics that lead to that judgement?

 

Dan

"Life is like an analogy" -Anon-

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Thank you for the input everyone!

 

I would like to know how one judges whether a plastic feels cheap? What are the characteristics that lead to that judgement?

 

Dan

Well, I've held some Hero pens. 110, 616. Those felt awfully cheap for example (in fact they are). So cheap that I would not get one even if it was free. (sorry for those who like them, I don't want to offend anyone)

Very light, thin, dull, had scratches out of the box already (all of them).

Edited by attika89
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One man's cheap plastic is another's precious resin. :)

Yes, when it comes down to it, if it's not made of wood or ebonite (rubber?) it's likely made of plastic; cheap or ridiculously expensive, it's plastic.

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Per Platinum's website they use AS (Acrylonitrile Styrene) resin in their pens and most others use acrylic (PMMA) resins. AS is generally less brittle that acrylic but more so that ABS and not quite as clear as acrylics and a bit more prone to microscratches, I think it has better chemical resistance than acrylic too, and fewer stress problems with moulding than acrylic or polycarbonate, but I'm not a materials scientist just guy who a few ID classes long ago. I'd say it's a good compromise material and in ID all material choices are compromises.

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I have the black 3776 and agree it feels cheap. There's a lightness to the pen that makes it feel insubstantial (to me). I'm not talking simply about weight, though; my Nakaya Naka-ai is very light but feels incredibly substantial and well-made.* The 3776 just doesn't feel durable or strong (to me). I also think the clip looks & feels cheap, and incredibly basic--the clip looks like it should be on a $3 pen (IMO).

 

But obviously this is very subjective. Mr. Ink doesn't find his 3776 cheap-feeling, though I do mine, and studiohead thinks his Pilot Custom 74 feels cheap while I don't share that view at all. My Custom 74 with SF/M nib is one of my faves, and it feels (to me) MUCH more sturdy than the Platinum 3776.

 

I've often wondered if I somehow got a lemon for my 3776, a pen that shouldn't have passed through quality control. I'm glad to read my opinion on the 3776 has some other supporters.

 

best wishes,

eo

 

*Though I can't USE it until the urushi cures further. Sniff. :(

Edited by ever onward

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. --Albert Einstein

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Cheap plastic or not, if judged by feel alone, is subjective.

 

Bit what I'm certain about is the plastic scratches real easy - on both the Bourgogne and Chartres Blue as I have both.

 

 

 

Shahrin

 

+1.

 

The plastic easily scratches on my Bourgogne.

I only have two pens - an Aurora Optima and others.

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Fit, density, and wall thickness relative to overall thickness all contribute to the "feeling" of cheap. If the converter, cartridge, or whatever are a tight fit, then the sense of hollowness is avoided too.

 

In other words, the feeling does not come from the material itself most of the time; it's mostly a consequence of geometry and tolerances in fit. Hardness or stiffness may be material properties that influence that, but I think design is a more important factor a lot of the time.

Robert.

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The plastic on my Chartres Blue 3776 never felt cheap to me. It's hard to remember because I use Renaissance Wax on my pens. Yes, I'm well aware the controversy, have read the article people like to cite, and have drawn my own conclusions about it, thank you very much. The main reason I do it is that I really (really) like the way it makes the pen feel. Not sure if it provides any scratch protection to speak of, but I don't see how it can hurt in that regard.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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I would like to know how one judges whether a plastic feels cheap? What are the characteristics that lead to that judgement?

 

Dan

If the word "feels" means to give the impression, then my experience is:

1) Injection molded thermoplastic pens have soft finishes that accumulate microscratches and become dull. Example, Omas Milord (which is stunningly beautiful, IMO).

2) If the mold line is not polished away, it looks cheap. Example, my Sailor Sapporo, my eye is instantly drawn to the mold mark on the section. An unforgettable defect. And the pen writes very well.

3) Some thermoplastics have lots of plasticizers, for gloss, and they collect fingerprints. Example, Omas Milord, again.

4) If the plastic is not compounded with good high index of refraction pigment, thin parts become translucent. Sailor Sapporo, again.

 

So what does not feel cheap?

1) Pens turned on a lathe from a solid rod of acrylic. The finish is hard and stays shiny, there is a depth to the finish; it is three dimensional. Example, a modern Parker Duofold.

2) Vintage pens and modern (especially Italian) pens made from celluloid. Like acrylic, they are hard, shiny, totally fingerprint-free, and just feel great when you pick them up.

3) My vintage 1950s Japanese Urushi over ebonite pen - the finish seems alive and deep. Much better than my modern Urushi.

4) Ebonite pens. Not so hard and scratch-free, but a nice warm feel. I have a vintage Watermans mottled red.

 

Bob

Pelikan 100; Parker Duofold; Sheaffer Balance; Eversharp Skyline; Aurora 88 Piston; Aurora 88 hooded; Kaweco Sport; Sailor Pro Gear

 

Eca de Queroiz: "Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently, and for the same reason."

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I am guessing that the glossier the pen, the more noticeable the the scratch(I mean , if you are going to use it daily, there is bound to be some wear)? I noticed that even though the plastic on my Pilot Custom heritage is a little less solid compared to the Sailor professional gear, it looks a little more expensive because with the slightly creamier color, scracthes simply don't show as much.

 

Wears used to bother me a lot but now I just think that, once I use the pen long enough, there would be some patina (sound a little gross) and the body would be shiny again.

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But obviously this is very subjective. Mr. Ink doesn't find his 3776 cheap-feeling, though I do mine, and studiohead thinks his Pilot Custom 74 feels cheap while I don't share that view at all. My Custom 74 with SF/M nib is one of my faves, and it feels (to me) MUCH more sturdy than the Platinum 3776.

Considering that it is the same plastic, but somehow the demonstrators feel slightly better. But I feel that the plastic on the Pilot Custom 74 Black even cheaper.

Just to weigh in on this particular debate: I also disagree about the Custom 74 feeling as cheap as the Century. I'm not saying the Custom 74 feels like it's super expensive or anything, but it's definitely different and better. I have both sitting right here.

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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Thank you for sharing you opinions!

The reason why I was asking is that I really want to try Platinum's UEF nib. But if the material is really off-putting than I would probably skip it. Or I need to search someone who could make an other body for the pen..for a fortune haha

The Sailor 1911's material was good and the Parker 51's too. The only bad ones were the Hero's so far. This can not be that bad :lol:

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Can you see next week's lottery numbers maybe? :lol:

But, yes. I would love to own one!

If I could there'd be a lot of Nakayas sitting on my desk right now ;)

 

Well, in another thread we were tlaking about the fact the Wancher brand uses Platinum nibs... and of course, Platinum themselves make lovely wood and celluloid.

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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