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Kaweco Nibs And German Quality Control


yixiel
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All my Kawecos: F, M, B, BB are very very dry out of the box. Of course, I flushed, ultrasonic cleaned the section, nib and feed, spread open the tines but they are still dry and irritating, until one day, I hacked the feed by cutting away 1-2 critical fins, without widening the ink channel. Now, the pens are finally breathing - and writing healthy.

 

It was a combination of

1. Baby's bottom

2. Poor feed or bad air exchange.

3. Very tight tines.

4. Inks do not enjoy flowing.

5. Papers that do not form an affinity with inks and/or nibs.

 

'Good' ink flow can solve many problems.

 

I often wonder if pen makers test the finished products at all. Kaweco is not alone.

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Happy owner of two Kaweco AL Sport fountain pens with F tips and one additional spare tip, also F. These tips are cheap, costing 10,- each. All three nibs are shaped correctly, as judged through a hand lens. When writing, differences between these tips are clearly noticeable.

 

One of them was used with Kaweco orange ink and this didn't work out: parts of certain letters such as the letter 'e' would not write, as no ink would flow. Extremely annoying. When I changed to a different brand of ink, it worked perfectly but also appeared to change from F to M, i.e. ink flow increased considerably. Curious.

 

The other tips did not have such issues with Kaweco ink, but did improve in terms of 'feel' when I changed to another brand of ink. However with these two tips, the change to another ink brand did not lead to more ink flow.

 

All things considered, I love these pens. Always carry one with me, never leave home without it, write about 6 A5 pages a day with it, an ideal and very pleasing every-day pen. And if I drop one and ruin a tip, then it's not a big deal. (Aside from tips and nibs, I love the design: very small, lots of character, very pleasing in the hand.)

Edited by TheDutchGuy
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I have experienced one Kawaco Sport and one Lamy Safari, and both of them had crucial problem on their nibs. It was not simple baby's bottom or flow issue that can "in principle" be fixed by a user with some efforts. The nibs of both pen were significantly mis-splitted. I don't expect ideal 5:5 split. The Kaweco sport had more than 3:7 split, so it did not write at all because one tine cannot even touch the paper unless I rotate the pen a lot. The Lamy had the same problem, but less severe. I bought them as test sample for my gift pens to my friends who are just getting into fountain pens. So I never buy them as a gift, or my own usage.

 

I bought other starter pens together with those, and all the other pens wrote just out of the box at least. It could be feedbacky, dry, firm, etc., but a pen must write at least. I don't think all pens from Lamy and Kaweco have the same problems, but I can't say their quality control is as superb as Japanese pens.

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Most of my 7 Lamy Vistas have had some problem with the nibs, but I wouldn't expect such quality control on a mass produced product selling at the $20-$22 USD I got them for, that requires people and people are expensive. My Lamy Studio has the same nib but is one of my smoothest, even if that pen has other design issues, and has an MSRP five times bigger.

 

My one Pelikan m600 from the 90's is the one that never ever fails, the nib felt strange at times but it was from lack of use, once I started using it more regularly it's been great, now that I think about it its the one that is not only smooth but also has some character. My one Kaweco Sport has been a nightmare, the gold came off the nib after the second changing of ink and the converters are a sadistic joke (no cartridges for me thanks); but the nib is otherwise fine.

 

My mid range (in price) French made Sonnets and Waterman Lauréat were a nightmare; I managed to recover the Sonnets but not the Lauréat, which is a real shame given its smooth nib; my highest pen is a Le man 100, works well but the nib collar corroded long ago :headsmack:; it does put me off from a Carène but I can't generalize to all French products, particularly since they so clearly dominate other (less user dependent?) luxury products.

 

My one Metropolitan, four Mujis and two Platinums work well, save for one Platinum that never wanted to start and on which I finally gave up on.

 

In the end my test is: which pens would I take on a trip? None of the Vistas, which now work well enough but evaporate quickly; I would now have no problem taking any of my other 15 pens; even the Sonnets which is quite amazing. It's particularly impressive of Muji, which is not even a fountain pen brand.

 

It's a question of realistic expectations and verifiable statistics, not only our limited experience, although we can now provide those statistics collectively ourselves.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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  • 5 months later...

Personally I have two Kaweco pens. I bought separately two spare extra fine nibs (one steel and one gold): I have no problems and both write smoothly.

Much better are nevertheless my italian Aurora's and Omas with fine and extra fine nibs.

My first and best fine nib remains anyway a vintage Montblanc from the fifties: nothing writes like it.

Greetings from Italy to you all !!

;)

 

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""a vintage Montblanc from the fifties: nothing writes like it.""

 

I love the '50-70 nibs.Well, Pelikan, Geha, Osmia are also very great nibs also. Even some of the no names are very good....nibs made by first class nib makers, Rupp, Degussa and Bock.

As Soennecken died, they used Degussa and Bock nibs. Geha also.

And my Geha 790/760 nibs are a slight tad better/softer/slightest tad more springy than my Pelikan ones.

I'm not going to ink up my 234 1/2 to test it vs Geha.....but would be something to do...if I was as OCD as I once was............one can only split a hair so often.

 

I have a ''52-54 only MB 234 1/2 Deluxe KOb semi-flex that is one of my very best balanced pens, and a very, very good balanced medium-small '50-70 146 maxi-semi-flex F,

My only Kaweco from that time, a semi-flex Dia....I flicked at a piece of dirt on the nib tip, and the tipping came off the tine. Someday I'll have to do something about that.

 

A suggestion....if you like the Kaweco Sport, why not chase the vintage piston ones....from the semi-flex nib times.

@ 1962 OB so should be should/could be semi-flex....but has a spade nib V-12....so I won't guess.

German Ebay.........163154911976....right now with 12 bids at E26, with a day to go.

My WOG it goes for a bit less than E40.

Could also look for the classic nibbed 12G....would have to do a weekly hunt on German Ebay for either.

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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""a vintage Montblanc from the fifties: nothing writes like it.""

 

I love the '50-70 nibs.Well, Pelikan, Geha, Osmia are also very great nibs also. Even some of the no names are very good....nibs made by first class nib makers, Rupp, Degussa and Bock.

As Soennecken died, they used Degussa and Bock nibs. Geha also.

And my Geha 790/760 nibs are a slight tad better/softer/slightest tad more springy than my Pelikan ones.

I'm not going to ink up my 234 1/2 to test it vs Geha.....but would be something to do...if I was as OCD as I once was............one can only split a hair so often.

 

I have a ''52-54 only MB 234 1/2 Deluxe KOb semi-flex that is one of my very best balanced pens, and a very, very good balanced medium-small '50-70 146 maxi-semi-flex F,

My only Kaweco from that time, a semi-flex Dia....I flicked at a piece of dirt on the nib tip, and the tipping came off the tine. Someday I'll have to do something about that.

 

A suggestion....if you like the Kaweco Sport, why not chase the vintage piston ones....from the semi-flex nib times.

@ 1962 OB so should be should/could be semi-flex....but has a spade nib V-12....so I won't guess.

German Ebay.........163154911976....right now with 12 bids at E26, with a day to go.

My WOG it goes for a bit less than E40.

Could also look for the classic nibbed 12G....would have to do a weekly hunt on German Ebay for either.

 

 

Huh. I had no idea the kaweco sport was a piston filler in the old days. Why the hell don't they still make that? I'd pay $50 for a plastic sport with a piston filler.

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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163154911976

Kaweco V 12 14K OB, went for E42.50.....pretty close on my guess.

That E42/$50 is used....I'm sure making a modern piston filler would cost more, and few might be willing to pay for it.


Kaweco went broke a few times in between, even being made in Greece for a while. So making a cartridge filler is lots, lots cheaper than making a piston pen....also.

The piston pen would carry more ink. :)


It is my understanding they use Bock nibs. At the price of the modern pen, the cheap ones.


For those who hate Bock nibs....I'm sure Bock makes 4 or 5 levels of nibs, in pens like Delta were never complained about here on the com for bad nibs. Viscounti yes, but you get what you pay for. The cheap Twsbi I'm sure did not use Bock top of the line nibs.

There are a vast amount of respectable pen companies who use Bock nibs stamped to their company name, with no complaints. So they buy the more expensive nib.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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I like both Jowo and Bock they both are the same and very good. But to my surprise, I find the Schmidt nibs are more interesting than Bock and Jowo.

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Schmidt is the feed really...I don't remember if they use Bock or JoWo for their nibs.

 

Feeds matter a lot, especially when matching ink and nib. Super flex needs a real fast unbuffered feed to prevent railroading.

 

Ebonite was used for semi-flex.....in it being rougher in it was hand cut, holds the ink better, than the 'new- 40's' much cheaper pressed plastic of today.

 

Over on the MB pinned section, the passed poster Max, had a great thread of the many different feeds MB used.....to date the era, from at least the '50's to now.....and there were so many tiny tweaks to the design of the feed.

 

Penengineer(sp) has some threads here, he was an engineer at Lamy and developed the chemical treatment of the fast, slick looking Lamy plastic feeds(no combs), roughing them up at microscopic level to match ebonite.

 

So it is interesting that the Schmidt feed may well be worth getting to put your favorite Bock or JoWo nib on it.

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

All my Kawecos: F, M, B, BB are very very dry out of the box. Of course, I flushed, ultrasonic cleaned the section, nib and feed, spread open the tines but they are still dry and irritating, until one day, I hacked the feed by cutting away 1-2 critical fins, without widening the ink channel. Now, the pens are finally breathing - and writing healthy.

 

It was a combination of

1. Baby's bottom

2. Poor feed or bad air exchange.

3. Very tight tines.

4. Inks do not enjoy flowing.

5. Papers that do not form an affinity with inks and/or nibs.

 

'Good' ink flow can solve many problems.

 

I often wonder if pen makers test the finished products at all. Kaweco is not alone.

Yes, some -perhaps many- pen makers test their pens, as evidenced by traces of ink left in the feeds of new pens. I've had this in in all of my Lamy pens, and some others. Rinsing out the feed and nib of a new pen with tap water is always interesting.

 

The type of major surgical intervention you describe suggests a nib is catastrophically ill-made, and perhaps fatally flawed. I fortunately have experienced such issues with these pens. Luck if the draw?

 

Did you ever consider contacting the manufacturer and returning the pen(s) for service or replacement? That's where I'd start.

Brian

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Yes, some -perhaps many- pen makers test their pens, as evidenced by traces of ink left in the feeds of new pens. I've had this in in all of my Lamy pens, and some others. Rinsing out the feed and nib of a new pen with tap water is always interesting.

 

The type of major surgical intervention you describe suggests a nib is catastrophically ill-made, and perhaps fatally flawed. I fortunately have experienced such issues with these pens. Luck if the draw?

 

Did you ever consider contacting the manufacturer and returning the pen(s) for service or replacement? That's where I'd start.

It has been writing exceedingly well since the surgery. No need to contact factory/seller.

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