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Smoothest Pen Under $50?



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CheesyWalnut

I'm looking to buy a second fountain pen that is a smooth as possible, and under $50. I currently have a Metropolitan with a fine nib and have considered the Pilot 78G, but I have heard the nib on the 78G is about the same as the Metro.

 

I'm hoping to find a very smooth pen with minimal feedback that writes about as thick as a .5 mm rollerball. I've researched some pens, and I'm considering purchasing a Faber Castell Loom with a fine nib since I've heard its the smoothest writer at this price point. Other options I have thought about were buying some micro mesh or mylar paper and smoothing out my current pen, or purchasing another metropolitan with a medium nib. I know paper affects the smoothness of a pen, but the paper I have available is usually pretty low quality.

 

I have also heard good things about the Twisbi Eco, but I'm not a fan of demonstrators, and the Eco looks too fragile to be an everyday pen.

 

Thank you for any suggestions.

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CheesyWalnut

How about a Lamy Vista?

 

I've thought about a Lamy safari, but I've heard their nib quality isn't very consistent.

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I'm a big fan of the Faber Castell. Loom or Basic, either one. If there is a better writer, I'd like to know, and very attractive as well. Such a nice nib.

 

The Prera is great, but it's also similar to the Metro.

 

One last note: I would not worry about the durability of the Eco. I think it's solid as a rock.

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TennesseeTrash

I bought my friend a Parsons Italix Essential from mrpen.uk in a fine nib and it's as smooth as anything I've used.

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I've thought about a Lamy safari, but I've heard their nib quality isn't very consistent.

 

Faber Castell Loom/ Basic. I have heard wonderful things about it. If you want a super smooth nib then you are pretty much stuck with European pens.

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CheesyWalnut

I'm a big fan of the Faber Castell. Loom or Basic, either one. If there is a better writer, I'd like to know, and very attractive as well. Such a nice nib.

 

The Prera is great, but it's also similar to the Metro.

 

One last note: I would not worry about the durability of the Eco. I think it's solid as a rock.

 

Which nib do you have for the Loom? The samples on Goulet Pens made the fine nib seem very thick, and I'm hoping to get a pen that writes about .5 mm. Thanks.

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I'd also try a Kaweco Sport. Really smooth nibs, but the small design is not everybody's cup of tea.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Beena Lincoln "F" nib running Jacques Herbin Rouge Hematite

Parker Duofold "F" nib running Pelikan Königsblau

Leonardo Officina Italiana Pura "F" nib running Diamine Autumn Oak

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A Pilot Prera would be a PHENOMENAL option, especially if you import one from Japan. The nib won't be butter on glass smooth, but will be incredibly smooth with just a touch of feedback. I have personally owned one for 3.5 years now.

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I would support the mentioned Faber Castell models with preference for the Basic. The Loom has the same nib, even interchangeable between the two but the aluminium section can be a bit slippery with dry hands. The neoprene cover on the Basic is a solid grip but it has grooves that can collect ink when filling from the bottle.
Just some practical point, smoothnibwise, they're about the best in this price-range.

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Agree with Kaweco Sport. I have one that's nice and smooth. I think the Kaweco, if you can live with the compact size, will be your least expensive smooth nib.

 

Even better, try a Pilot Lucina available in several body colors and in F,M & B nibs. Check Amazon. Smooth writing nib. The Lucina is an under appreciated little gem of a pen, smallish in size but well made and smooth writing.

 

The Pilot Prera is good too, but I'd look at the Lucina first before you decide.

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I would recommend against a Kaweco Sport unless you have someone at hand who can adjust the nib if necessary. Someone was kind enough to adjust mine for me, but it is still a disappointment; I now use it only when I travel.

 

I do not doubt people who have had a Kaweco Sport write well out of the box, but if you do a search for something like "Kaweco nib problem," you will find that initial disappointment is not uncommon.

 

One qualifying statement is that satisfaction with the Sport might depend on how much pressure one applies while writing. As a longtime fountain pen user, I am accustomed to letting the pen glide while I steer. With the Kaweco, I had to apply consistent pressure to maintain the flow and couldn't write more than a few words before starting to feel discomfort in my hand.

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MuddyWaters

I would recommend against a Kaweco Sport unless you have someone at hand who can adjust the nib if necessary. Someone was kind enough to adjust mine for me, but it is still a disappointment; I now use it only when I travel.

 

I do not doubt people who have had a Kaweco Sport write well out of the box, but if you do a search for something like "Kaweco nib problem," you will find that initial disappointment is not uncommon.

 

One qualifying statement is that satisfaction with the Sport might depend on how much pressure one applies while writing. As a longtime fountain pen user, I am accustomed to letting the pen glide while I steer. With the Kaweco, I had to apply consistent pressure to maintain the flow and couldn't write more than a few words before starting to feel discomfort in my hand.

 

+1, out of the box, the Kaweco is smooth but at the cost of being a hard-starter and dry nib. Go for something else.

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Don't forget that the Japanese nibs tend to write finer than European nibs. That means that to get the XF (0.5mm) line width you want in a Kaweco Sport, you need an XF, and it still may be too wide for you. OTOH, the Pilot Prera fine will give you an XF line. I can't say that it's the same with all pens, but the Prera I bought with a fine nib has a line width a bit under 0.4mm.

 

The option that nobody has mentioned is an Esterbrook with a 9556 or the finer 9550 nib. They're usually in the range of $45-$55 with that nib, restored. IMO they're better than either the Kaweco or the Prera, and I own and use all three. As a matter of fact, a Prera and an Esterbrook are in my pocket today.

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CW,

 

Understand that in general, the finer the nib the scratchier it will feel, all else being equal.

Because the finer the nib, the more sensitive it will be to the texture of the surface of the paper.

So a F nib will feel scratchier than a M nib.

 

What has been said in parts is that the pen itself is a major variable in how smooth or scratchy the pen writes.

  • alignment of the nib
  • how much or little the ink flows

There are 4 variables that affect smoothness

  1. the pen
  2. the ink
  3. the paper
  4. you the writer

Change any one and you can go from smooth to scratchy or scratchy to smooth.

 

The pen has several sub-variables

  • the quality of the nib/tipping
    • Pilot pens normally have pretty smooth tipping (at least the few pens that I have seen), so do not just assume that polishing with micromesh will make it write smoother. You may end up making it worse.
  • how much or little the ink flows
    • Ink acts like a lubricant. Not enough ink and you get more friction between the nib and the paper.

 

re paper

You say "the paper I have available is usually pretty low quality."

  • You may have to buy better grade paper. Because there is only so much that you can do to make up for the lack of quality of the paper.
    • Note that better paper does not have to be significantly more expensive. There are decent papers at reasonable prices, if you shop for them.
  • You may have to go to a wider nib, to get a smoother feel.
    • I have used paper that I will NOT write with anything smaller than a Medium nib, because the finer nibs feel too scratchy on that paper.

 

I have to go now, so more later.

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