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Flexible-Nib Pens, What Do You Recommend?


gammada
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After using a stub nib for the better part of a couple of months, I've became truly in love with line-width variation and the fact that these nibs work well with the shading that I so love in my inks. However the stub nibs directionality (upward/ downward strokes) doesn't seem to work that well with my left hand and the odd way in which I hold my pens. As such, I'm really interested in trying flexible nibs which offer the line variation am going after, but without the directionality limitations.

 

However, I see that those nibs are far more common with vintage pens than with current ones. So am reaching to this wonderful community to guide me in the right direction. I want to buy a pen with a flexible nib but my budget is a little constrained at $100. Do you think I could find something useful with this budget?

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Unless if you like to tinker stay clear from the cheap modern flex offerings like and save up a little and seek a vintage waterman 52 or the like. See restored ones on eBay for $100 to $300 range.

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You might be better off trying some cheap dip pens to start with, just to see if such flexibility is going to work with your stated left hand and odd way of holding the pen.

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Flex nibs are even more demanding of writing angle and position, otherwise you ruin your nib. Also the nature of flex nibs mean a LOT of ink is dumped on the page, and it requires longer drying time. I don't know how that would work with writing with the left hand.

 

There are no modern flex in the under $100 price range that will give you a satisfactory result that vintage flex does. Having said that, some flex that are under a hundred are all by Noodlers. They are great for what they are and I have lots of fun using them.

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If the OP is an underwriter then a straight dip pen holder + nib is certainly a cheap way of discovering if flex is going to work. Don't know how over-writing would cope with it though.

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If the OP is an underwriter then a straight dip pen holder + nib is certainly a cheap way of discovering if flex is going to work. Don't know how over-writing would cope with it though.

Badly. Trust me on this.

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

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If the OP is an underwriter then a straight dip pen holder + nib is certainly a cheap way of discovering if flex is going to work. Don't know how over-writing would cope with it though.

 

If the OP is an underwriter s/he could try stub obliques as well.

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If the OP is an underwriter then a straight dip pen holder + nib is certainly a cheap way of discovering if flex is going to work. Don't know how over-writing would cope with it though.

Had to google my writing style, but seems I'm more of a side-writer (thou I hold the pen with the nib facing me). However, if I use a stub nib, I find it more comfortable if I rotate the paper some 30 degrees to the left.

Edited by gammada
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There are no modern flex in the under $100 price range that will give you a satisfactory result that vintage flex does. Having said that, some flex that are under a hundred are all by Noodlers. They are great for what they are and I have lots of fun using them.

Never had an issue smearing ink so far, but then, my FP experience is rather limited.

 

How good are those Noodlers? Read a lot of mixed reviews on them.

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If the OP is an underwriter s/he could try stub obliques as well.

Can you elaborate? What kind of stub oblique could work for me?

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Never had an issue smearing ink so far, but then, my FP experience is rather limited.

 

How good are those Noodlers? Read a lot of mixed reviews on them.

 

 

I have 2 that I have just about given up on; Konrad and Nib Creeper. The pens will drool, dropping LARGE drops of ink onto the paper as I am writing. VERY MESSY. I have not been able to figure out how to stop the pens from drooling.

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Can you elaborate? What kind of stub oblique could work for me?

 

Obliques change the angle of the tip so that you rotate the pen around itself and not the paper or your hand, it does depend on angle, you would definitely need to try them in person though.

You could get a cheap pilot parallel modified to an oblique : http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/424

 

Crude representation of how you hold a stub commonly at an angle to write with:

+----+

| \ |

+----+

 

But a oblique stub you would hold the pen like so, which might make it easier for a lefty.

+----+

| | |

+----+

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There is a (potentially) cheap alternative to a Noodlers leaky fidget stick: it's possible to find vintage flex nibs (which are a lot flexier than the ones the Noodlers pens come with, as a rule) and there are several cheap Chinese pens that use friction fitted nibs of the standard old school sizes. Anything described as "number six size nib" for instance, will probably fit into a Jinhao x450 or x750.

 

I think the Goulets also sell loose flex nibs, that can be fitted into some of the pens they carry as well.

 

(I'm with ac12 on the Noodlers. I have a nib creaper that's never given me any real trouble, but I've gone through three Konrads that have turned out to be utterly useless so far. I appreciate that the pens are sold as requiring some tinkering to set them up, but I really don't think that should extend to leaking viewing windows or caps that don't seal well enough to stop the nib drying up.)

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I have 2 that I have just about given up on; Konrad and Nib Creeper. The pens will drool, dropping LARGE drops of ink onto the paper as I am writing. VERY MESSY. I have not been able to figure out how to stop the pens from drooling.

 

I guess I have been very lucky! Currently in rotation are an Ahab with Noodler's Walnut, a Neponset with Apache Sunset and a nibcreeper with Rome is Burning. They write well and are fun to play with. I also did a session of note taking with the Ahab last week and nary a drool or errand leak.

 

I also do have other vintage Waterman's inked up too, but I have to be very careful with those as they are one of a kind these days and not easy to replace. Having the Noodlers pens allows me to go crazy with them as I don't feel I need to treat them with kid gloves.

 

I do admit the Noodlers are pretty much touch and go with their quality control. I had to return a Konrad as it could not retain ink to save its life. But Nathan always maintains these pens are for tinkering.

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Badly. Trust me on this.

+1.

 

As a left hander, naturally over writing, but sometimes under writing, I had a hard time getting my mind around the flexible nibs I have. I quit trying to flex them. There is also the wet ink issue with my hand wallowing in all that. Bad enough with ordinary nibs.

 

I have contented myself with italic nibs and cursive italic. No extra thought is needed, but it does look like the result is not the same as for right handed writers. Still the several stubs, cursive italics and italics I have are fun.

"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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One option is to fit a Zebra G nib to a Jinhao X450 or X750. This will give you an excellent pen with tons of flex for less than $10. There are tons of threads, articles and videos on how to successfully pair a Zebra G nib with a Jinhao without having to make any modifications to either the pen or the nib.

 

The Jinhao can be purchased on eBay or Amazon for a few dollors and the Zebra G nib can be purchased at various on line retailers for less than $2. If you are impatient (like me), then you can get a Jinhao X450 or X750 for less than $10 from Amazon with free 2 day shipping using Amazon Prime (just sign up for the free 30 day trial and cancel before it ends if you don't want to keep the service). The Zebra G nibs are also available on Amazon Prime, in a ten pack, for less than $9.

 

Jinhao X450 (with Amazon Prime free 2 day shipping):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CQ1UE7U?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=ABU395NKXGNNC

 

Jinhao X750 (Amazon Prime):

http://www.amazon.com/Jinhao-X750-Frost-Black-Fountain/dp/B00JN9E99C/ref=sr_1_3?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1445196567&sr=1-3&keywords=jinhao+x450

 

Zebra G 10 pack (Amazon Prime):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006CQW428?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

 

Zebra G single nib:

http://www.paperinkarts.com/zebrac.html

Edited by jabberwock11
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Is there a difference between a 'Zebra G' and a 'Zebra G Comic"' nib?

 

Also, I got a big laugh out of dogpoet 's description of Noodlers pens..."leaky fidget stick" Yep! That about sums up my experience. And getting them to start is always a challenge. I gave the two I had away to a FP person who enjoys getting the darn things to work. I'm the same with cars, want mine to drive without having to do anything to it. My husband...not so much. At any given time we have 2-3 vintage European cars all of which require tinkering. He LOVes it. It's a personal lifestyle choice.

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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I want to buy a pen with a flexible nib but my budget is a little constrained at $100. Do you think I could find something useful with this budget?

The quest for an affordable flexible nib FP...is endless...I'm still hunting...so I am going to pay close attention to this thread, in the meantime I use an oblique dip pen.

Edited by httpmom

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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