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Differences Between Fa Nib And Soft Nib



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Hello,

 

I'm looking to purchase Pilot Heritage 912 with a FA nib but confused at what the difference is between Pilot Heritage Soft nib?

 

Also, any experiences in purchasing on eBay from sellers in Japan? They all have very great reviews and are much cheaper than websites in US.

 

Thanks for any feedback!

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The FA nib is much softer, it spreads further and more easily than the soft nib; it is perhaps the most flexible modern nib you can find. The soft is a regular nib which can be used for normal writing, with a bit of give if you want moderate line variation. The FA is for careful calligraphy, although you can still use it for normal writing, but only if you have a featherlight touch with your pen.

Edited by Feanaaro
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The FA can give very decent line variation, I wouldn't even hesitate to call it full flex, though you will find it is less responsive than vintage nibs and feels "mushier".

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Bo Bo Olson

Full Flex???? A super flex nib? :unsure:

 

I heard those nibs are not quite the equal of the '50-60's German semi-flex nibs. The German nibs are not so mushy, and snap back better.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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The amount of flex you can get from a FA nib is comparable with a vintage full flex – you can go from ~0.3 mm to ~1.5mm without much pressure, and can be pushed even a little further – the spring-back-ness is not the same as a vintage nib, thence the "mushy" moniker.

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I concur with the above comments. After writing with my Pilot Custom 912 fitted with a SF (soft fine) nib for a year and then I purchased a Pilot Custom 845 Urushi fitted with a FA nib. What a difference. The FA nib flexes more and recovers faster after the tines spread. Both nibs are fine writers.

 

Keep on Writing... Pete

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man

that he does not know until he takes up his pen to write.

Thackeray

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Bo Bo Olson

I am always glad to learn something new...or new to me, that the FA nib is well worth having, as a superflex nib. That a superflex nib of quality is being made is wonderful.

Pilot has then a lock on that market for modern.

 

I guess what I had 'heard' was about the soft and Falcon nibs.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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ninobrn99

I've got a Custom 743 with a FA15 nib. I've had a small confidence boost adding flex to a 14k nib that came with my Ranga. I think I'm going to tackle adding flex and grinding mine to a needlepoint. I think I'm going to keep it at a minimum and not get too carried away. Just enough to make a significant difference.

 

Nino

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The Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with FA nib has had issues where the feed did not keep up with the nib which means you run out of ink when you are writing and then must stop and wait for the feed to get more ink or dip it, etc.

 

I don't know if this is still the case.

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ninobrn99

The Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with FA nib has had issues where the feed did not keep up with the nib which means you run out of ink when you are writing and then must stop and wait for the feed to get more ink or dip it, etc.

 

I don't know if this is still the case.

It is still the case, but the bright side is that you can fix it if you're willing to do a little bit of work to open up the ink channel. I destroyed my feed just to see how it works and how the pieces fit together (it's a two piece feed). It's being repaired now, but I worked on my Namiki Bamboo and opened the ink channel as well as shaving down a bit of the height of the center piece to allow a bit more airflow. I plan on doing it to my 743 once I get it back.

 

Nino

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I guess what I had 'heard' was about the soft and Falcon nibs.

 

The FA nib is a Falcon nib. Pilot has been producing this kind of nib since before WW2. Not to be confused with the nib on the Falcon pen, which is also known as the Elabo and has more of a "soft" nib with limited flex unmodified.

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The Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with FA nib has had issues where the feed did not keep up with the nib which means you run out of ink when you are writing and then must stop and wait for the feed to get more ink or dip it, etc.

 

I don't know if this is still the case.

 

Sorry, I believe that the problem with flow in the 912 FA is due to user error and is not a fault in the pen itself. This is not a pen designed for Western calligraphic technique. The pen is made for the Japanese market, and it is well known that it is designed for writing Chinese/Japanese characters, which it does very well. It can be used for Western script, but not things like Copperplate unless you are very slow and careful. Not recommended in my book.

 

And yes, I am an owner of this pen who has never had railroading or any other ink starvation problems.

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The FA nib is perhaps the best modern flex nib, but it is not comparable to vintage flex from Waterman, Conklin, Wahl, etc. The feed of the FA nib isn't really designed for full flex, and it frequently railroads when flexed hard, depending on the ink used.

 

The soft nib is not really a flex nib at all, merely semiflex to give some character when writing.

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While I understand the design limitations of the FA nib+feed, I must say that I haven't had any problem with railroading or running dry while writing Western scripts (except when the ink is running very low). I think a lot of it depends on your hand and on the ink you use. If anything, the fact that it is drier than vintage flex nibs allows the ink shading to come out more beautifully.

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While I understand the design limitations of the FA nib+feed, I must say that I haven't had any problem with railroading or running dry while writing Western scripts (except when the ink is running very low). I think a lot of it depends on your hand and on the ink you use. If anything, the fact that it is drier than vintage flex nibs allows the ink shading to come out more beautifully.

 

+1 - I have in rotation now a Pilot CH 743 with the #15 FA nib and Pilot Blue Black. On good quality virgin 80 or 90 q/sqm office paper I have no flow issues, even when flexing. Most inks behave likewise with the pen and paper. With Clairfontaine paper and some inks I get occasional hard starts, but no skipping or railroading. This is not uncommon with extra fine nibs on less absorptive polished/coated paper like Clairfontaine. If I swap from the Pilot/Namiki blue-black or blue ink to something that flows better, the hard starts go away for the most part.

 

In-general: If your FA nib is acting up, clean and thoroughly flus the pen (especially if it is new), try different paper and/or ink, also try slowing down, especially if flexing.

 

If nothing helps, you may have a pen with a genuine flow problem - it happens sometimes. Send the Pen back to Pilot and describe your symptoms. BTW: I would not mention flexing. Pilot does not think the FA nib is intended for Western flex writing.

 

Oh, and I agree with others here: The SF nib is a bit springy but it is not really flexible. The FA nib does flex. Choose the FA nib over the SF nib in my opinion.

Edited by Drone
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