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Nakaya Pen Advice



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Hi Everyone,


I'm thinking about purchasing a Nakaya pen, but before making the investment I was wondering if anyone familiar with the brand could help me out with any thoughts or advice they might have.


Currently, I am partial to the cigar shape pen but am unsure as to the appropriate size and thickness. Specifically, does anyone have any thoughts on major differences between the long cigar and the short cigar? And thoughts between the 15mm or the 17 mm portable cigar?


As for length, I don't see myself carrying around such a nice pen in the day to day and would like to use a larger pen at my office at home. That said I would like something that still travels reasonably well and more importantly works for notation and comments in the margins of documents.


As for diameter, If I were to opt for the portable cigar would the 17mm barrel be too thick for the shorter length? I don't have very large hands but would like something that writes comfortably for a longer period of time. I like the idea of a thicker, 17mm, pen that I could grip and write for long periods, but am worried it may be too much pen.


As a point of reference, the current fountain pen I use is a 'pocket' Retro Yard-o-Led with a medium nib. It's an attractive pen and I love the way the nib feels as it writes, but I find it uncomfortable to use for anything more than jotting down very quick little notes. I write with a medium to light medium pressure.


I understand that choosing the type of pen is a subjective decision, but any thoughts, advice or insight is much appreciated!


Thanks.

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  • BMG

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Hi Risham, and welcome to the forum. While I'm familiar with the brand and prefer the cigar models (I have two: a Portable and a Naka-ai), I have never written with the longer / thicker pens, so I can't speak to that issue. I can speak to a couple of other questions you bring up…

 

Personally, I find the "normal" length to be long; not excessively so, but long nonetheless. For handling and writing, they feel perfect, no exaggeration, and they are very comfortable to write with, but I don't own a shirt with a pocket deep enough for them. If you like to keep pens in your shirt pocket, this may be an issue (and you should choose the "writer" model with the clip, if so).

 

While I don't baby my pens I tend not to take my Nakayas to work, where I often need a pen I can quickly grab and note things with. It's not that they seem fragile, but rather that, for whatever reason, to my mind and hand the Nakayas seem to call for a more measured, purposeful type of writing as opposed to jotting or quickly dashing things down. No doubt this is a *very* subjective thing, but I mention in FWIW.

 

Regarding your wish to have a pen for marginalia... I suggest you consider an EF or F. I find the former great for such writing (esp. as the type of paper I'm likely to be annotating on is not the most FP friendly, and the line written by the EF nib remains fine and crisp. I prefer the F nib for "longer" writings).

 

If at all possible, try before you buy. You could do this at a pen show or "pen posse" gathering, should there be one near you, or alternatively if you know anyone who has one / a couple and would be willing to let you give them a go. You could certainly purchase a Nakaya without ever holding or writing with one, but that's a lot of money to plunk down on an unfamiliar pen that you may not like. Not trying to discourage, just be prudent.

 

Though I've posted it before, here's a pic of my Portable:

 

http://i.imgur.com/PtypgOV.jpg

Écrire c’est tenter de savoir ce qu’on écrirait si on écrivait. – M. Duras

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I have Long Cigar, Decapod, Naka-ai and Dorsal Fin 2. As a daily FP, I use only the Decapod, easy to carry with me in a traditional case. I think that the standard Long Cigar is OK, so much the more the 17 mm is harder to find. Of course all FPs are beautiful, but I like the most the Dorsal Fin with its original shape. Shortly, the Long Cigar is a very nice pen, but you should accept to use an unusual long FP - 166mm (even uncapped it is long) and with a weight similar to M800 (around 24 gr). But, it is an impressively stately pen. If you look for such one, that's your ! For a comparison between some Japanese pen, take a look here.

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I like bigger, thicker pens... what most people would call oversized. I found the long cigar to be too long for my tastes, but the 17mm to be the right circumference. As the 17 mm portable is relatively light, I would recommend that for you if you like a thicker pen. Also, you should note the section is a little different with the 17mm portables vs the standard portables. Again, for me, this is a preference.

 

member geoduc had written a bit about the 17 MM portables. See this link for a good write up and a nice comparison shot.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/253222-nakaya-17mm-portable-in-unpolished-shu-family-portrait/

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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Just to echo something that zaddick has said, these pens are rather light (except for the titanium Piccolo :) ). This doesn't bother me, but I do know a couple of FPophiles who like Japanese pens but who have 'til now resisted the call of the Nakaya because they find them too light.

Écrire c’est tenter de savoir ce qu’on écrirait si on écrivait. – M. Duras

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mongrelnomad

Don't even think about a long cigar as a daily carry; it is truly monstrous (unwieldy) and should remain on a desk.

 

The portable is a very standard size: about the same length as an M800/146 but narrower. The Decapod is slightly longer than the portable but the same thickness at its thickest point; the Naka-ai is the portable's length, but with the taper.

 

All are light, but don't let the lightness put you off; they are "Japanese light" (ie: a quality that is and intrinsic part of the appeal) not "Western light" (ie: cheap-feeling) and are all supremely usable and comfortable pens.

 

Here are a few photos of the Decapod with other, commonly available, pens from a comparative review I did a few years ago. It may help give you an idea of the respective sizes...

 

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w432/penlovermn/R0010629.jpg

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w432/penlovermn/R0010630.jpghttp://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w432/penlovermn/R0010636.jpg

Edited by mongrelnomad

Too many pens; too little writing.

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  • 1 month later...

 

Hi Everyone,
I'm thinking about purchasing a Nakaya pen, but before making the investment I was wondering if anyone familiar with the brand could help me out with any thoughts or advice they might have.
Currently, I am partial to the cigar shape pen but am unsure as to the appropriate size and thickness. Specifically, does anyone have any thoughts on major differences between the long cigar and the short cigar? And thoughts between the 15mm or the 17 mm portable cigar?
As for length, I don't see myself carrying around such a nice pen in the day to day and would like to use a larger pen at my office at home. That said I would like something that still travels reasonably well and more importantly works for notation and comments in the margins of documents.
As for diameter, If I were to opt for the portable cigar would the 17mm barrel be too thick for the shorter length? I don't have very large hands but would like something that writes comfortably for a longer period of time. I like the idea of a thicker, 17mm, pen that I could grip and write for long periods, but am worried it may be too much pen.
As a point of reference, the current fountain pen I use is a 'pocket' Retro Yard-o-Led with a medium nib. It's an attractive pen and I love the way the nib feels as it writes, but I find it uncomfortable to use for anything more than jotting down very quick little notes. I write with a medium to light medium pressure.
I understand that choosing the type of pen is a subjective decision, but any thoughts, advice or insight is much appreciated!
Thanks.

 

 

I have a few Nakayas. I do have big hands, but for daily carry I prefer a Piccolo. The other pens are very large. Nakayas are really nice pens; I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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Yes to all the above. Decapods and Naka Ai are really nice. I really love all 11 of mine and the long piccolo is excellent. My caution is they are very light, think vintage Omas celluloid. Enjoy....

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Keyless Works

I have tried just about all of the Nakaya body shapes in ebonite and none of them are uncomfortable. I have small hands and love my Naka-ai and Portable Writer. Nakayas are not meant to be posted so I think getting a little larger pen is okay.

 

None of them are uncomfortably fat like a Montblanc 149 and the ebonite pens are lightweight. I find thinner heavier pens uncomfortable; many Caran d'Ache and most Yard-o-Led pens are not for me.

 

When I worked in an office I carried my Nakaya Naka-ai to work almost every day with no problem. They are durable pens (obviously don't drop them of the floor but definitely use them). The more you use them more you get to see the finish age and evolve.

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