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Help Me Choose A Smooth-Writing Italic Pen (A 3Rd Pen)? [Has Pictures]



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My current pens!:

 

So, I was given a fountain pen as a gift some years ago. I finally decided to try using it. I don’t know what brand the pen is, but here is a picture:

Pen

Nib

It is very beautiful, has a great weight and balance, and I think it is fairly wet—it puts ink down thicker and thinner giving the writing a nice marbled texture (although that means it can bleed through printer paper part way). It has a ball on the nib, which makes it great for moving in any direction on a piece of paper (like for signatures), but doesn’t make my handwriting instantly beautiful like the italic nibs—which I was very pleased to discover italic nibs did.

Here is my handwriting using that pen with Antietam ink:
(Sorry it is rotated. The server seems to rotate it sideways no matter what I do.)

Handwriting 1

Before I could use the pen, I had to replace the converter, which wouldn’t draw up water or ink. For some reason, it seems that there is not a good seal on the plungerhead, so no suction was created. I went out to Michaels (because there are no fountain pen stores where I am) and bought two Manuscript Calligraphy pens (italic nibs in: fine, medium, broad, double broad. I like medium the best, but may be moving to fine when I get new ink in the mail). I cannibalized one pen for its piston converter, and used a cartridge in it. Here are my Manuscript pens:

Pens

Nib

Side Nib

These make my handwriting look amazing! However, because I don’t use them frequently enough, they dry up a bit: sometimes they don’t start writing right away. And I have to write slower, because the pen won’t ink the stroke moving in just any direction (I have to pull the fountain pen always with a component normal to the blade—no easily moving then pen up the page). These pens write very evenly—never put down a gob of ink (so no marbled texture like on my wet pen)—does this mean it is dry?

Here is what my handwriting looks like using these pens (currently identical, but the cartridge in one is out of ink):

(Sorry it is rotated. The server seems to rotate it sideways no matter what I do.)

Handwriting 2

I am wondering what the third pen I purchase should be. I would spend $50, but $35 is really more palatable. I think I want the nib to be italic because I like how using the Manuscript pens forms my handwriting. I would like the pen to be somewhere between my current pens in wetness—wetter than the Manuscript and drier than the Montenegro pen.

I would like it to start easier than and be less resistant to pushing in arbitrary directions than the Manuscript pens—if that is possible—while still making my handwriting look awesome.

I would like a nice weight; I like thick pens; I would like a clear case if I can find it. I’ve heard non-steel tips are better: don’t know what to make of that.

Attribute importance:
0) < $50, $35 or so perhaps as a minimum, with happiness-with-the-cost decreasing exponentially from there to $50. I would spend $50, though.
1) The thing I want most is for my handwriting to keep looking calligraphic like it does with the Manuscript pens… but the Montenegro pen is way more awesome in every other respect:
2) Better flow and writing experience than the Manuscript pens (medium wet? …?)
3) More stylish and balanced like the Montenegro pen.

I am definitely pleased that I have been able to try two very disparate types of pens! Again, I haven’t found a shop in Reno with fountain pens I can try… The last one seems to have closed up before I ever visited it.

Does anyone have suggestions for me?

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A Lamy Safari with a 1.5mm italic nib, around $30 and I think you wouldn't be disappointed.

@arts_nibs

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The PE is a wonderful pen. I have four with two more on my wish list. However it's beyond the OP's budget. Shipping to the US is about 17.00 US. However, OP, put the PE on your wishlist, and save for it. It'll be one of, if not the best pens you purchase.

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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While the Safari is a good pen, it is definitely not "stylish"

 

I think the idea of one of the Italix pens is a good one.

 

 

Mr Ford, the owner of Italix does good work.

 

 

D.ick

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KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

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strictlyobiter

Pilot 78G with a B or BB nib.

Pilot Metropolitan with an italic nib from a Plumix.

Noodler's Ahab/Konrad with a Goulet italic nib.

Jinhao x450/750 with a Goulet italic nib.

Nemosine Singularity/Fission with an italic nib.

Lamy Logo or CP1 with an italic nib.

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A Lamy Safari with a 1.5mm italic nib, around $30 and I think you wouldn't be disappointed.

 

If the pen is going to be used for usual everyday writing, I'd personally amend this to the same but with 1.1 mm nib.

 

I'd also agree the Parson's is a nice choice too.

 

I would argue that the Safari indeed has it's own kind of "style", as polarizing as that style may be with some. A Safari, converter and 1.1 mm nib

is a well spent $30 in my book.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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pepsiplease69

Hi Solohelion.

From the looks of it, that montenegro pen looks like a variant of the chinese made Jinhao/Bulow pens.

 

It appears that you're quite happy with it and the only thing you need is to have it write italic and maybe a little less flow.

 

Have you considered just swapping out the nib on the montenegro with an italic nib that is compatible with that nib and feed?

 

Swapping a nib is fairly easy. You can grab the nib and feed from the base of the nib (as far away from the delicate tip of the nib as possible), and pull it away from the grip section. They are usually held together with friction and will pull out with light to moderate force. Put the new nib in place over the feed and push it back into the section.

 

If it is a jinhao variant, then it should accept any standard #6 size nib.

 

You could go to goulet pens and find yourself a goulet nib of italic 1.1 or a 1.5 mm italic size and try that on the pen.

 

These goulet nibs are more smoothed at the edges so they will be more forgiving than the manuscript, they are good for everyday use.

 

I only write with italic nibs now, never a ball tip.

 

Goulets are an excellent site from every respect, product selection, customer service, speed of shipment. And they will entertain your request to adjust the flow to be slightly on the wetter side if you mention in in the order notes.

 

It requires a little leap of faith to buy a nib that you don't know whether it may or may not fit that pen. But if it fits and works, you'll be very pleased with it.

 

If on the other hand, it doesn't fit, you can always buy a $20 noodlers Konrad or Ahab to house that Goulet Nib and still make it work.

 

Cheers..

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I would suggest TWSBI, 580 and vac 700 they both came with 1,1 stub. A delight. They are closer to your U$50 limit, but they worth the effort

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You could consider a manuscrpt master italic pen for around $25. The body on this one seems more solid and you can always get a wetter ink for it if you think the supplied manuscript ink writes too dry. Here's a review on it:

http://scribbledemonboddo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/manuscript-master-11-italic-nib-2014.html?m=1

Edited by cellmatrix
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One of the pens I have been most delighted with is a Sheaffer Cadet I bought NOS and then I added a Sheaffer S-1 stub steel nib to. It has a Touchdown filler and the S-1 steel stub writes with beautiful line variation. The pen cost me $20 and the nib $18. It's a nice economy Sheaffer from the 50s or 60s. The nib fits a Craftsman also. I like the Sheaffer Touchdown pens because I have learned how to restore them. Anything I can do without destroying the pen is a fairly easy task. Back in the day Sheaffer made some some nice, affordable pens, and most of them are still affordable.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

Does anybody know of a Chinese pen that would take a jowo #5 stub? Preferably Baoer. Thank you.

Edited by ulric
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@ulric: No Chinese pen that I know of but the Indian pens at Fountain Pen Revolution list the nib size they take. And there is a pretty decent selection of inexpensive pens to choose from.

 

I have not tried one yet but the Napoleon Rosetta Pocket pens use a JoWo nib, the same company that produces Goulet nibs. So that might be a good one to try for an italic stub nib.

 

Another good pen within the general budget is the Conklin Duragraph with an italic nib. The Conklin italic nibs are thin, which makes them a good approximation to a dip nib or even -- dare I say it -- the original quill nibs. Of course, not quite as bendy.

 

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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  • 10 months later...

The PE is a wonderful pen. I have four with two more on my wish list. However it's beyond the OP's budget. Shipping to the US is about 17.00 US. However, OP, put the PE on your wishlist, and save for it. It'll be one of, if not the best pens you purchase.

 

Would you consider doing a writing sample of the PE's you have? Comparison with Lamy would be amazing since they're so popular.

 

I'm trying to decide between the M Italic and B Italic. I love my 1.5mm Lamy and want something close to that.

 

Thanks for your consideration!

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If I were going to save for a pen it would be something better than a Parson's. Like a Montblanc or a Pelikan. I do not regret buying my red MB 144 in red with a 1.2 cursive italic.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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If I were going to save for a pen it would be something better than a Parson's. Like a Montblanc or a Pelikan. I do not regret buying my red MB 144 in red with a 1.2 cursive italic.

Great idea. Of course I do like my Pelikans.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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