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Help Me Buy My Next Indian Pen: Guider/ranga/asa?

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After purchasing several of the Fountain Pen Revolution Himalayas, my appetite is whetted for more Indian pens. I've read a lot and have narrowed down the selection to these. I'd love customers to weigh in with their recommendations:



ASA Translucent Acrylic Nauka Fountain Pen -- because I like, no love, demonstrators. (Did anyone say, "group buy?")



Guider Acrylic Fountain Pen (Schmidt Upgrade) -- because I like the green



Either a Ranga acrylic or ebonite swirl -- because I love purple!








Things to consider:


While my hands are medium-sized for a woman, I have arthritis/grip issues and prefer thicker pens, at least .44 cm in the grip section. (The Himalayas are the most comfortable pen I own.) I don't want threads that will get in the way of a good grip. In addition, I don't like much metal, as that tends to be heavy. (My idea of hell is being stuck in the afterlife with just Jinhaos. Or cranky Lamys.)


I love stub/calligraphy nibs. I write in huge letters (I do not have fine control to write small) and I enjoy the panache of a nice 1.1. Points then to Ranga and ASA, which will fit pens with Jowo stubs.


I'm a writer. The more ink in there, the better.


I'm not a tinkerer. I want the damn thing to work well from the get go (and so I will never again buy a Noodler's pen).


Looking forward to your wisdom, everyone. Happy New Year!



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Nice choices - why not plan for - eventually - all three? Although I have a feeling the Guider acrylic might be a bit small for you, if you also think the Asa or Ranga might be comfortable for you. I have a transparent Nauka, and a number of the medium and larger sized Rangas, which I think are comparable with the Naukas. I also have an acrylic Guider, which is comfortable for me but considerably smaller than the other alternatives on your list. So in your place, I'd go for the Nauka or a Ranga. And expensewise, unless you can join a group buy, the Nauka is probably the least expensive option, because you don't necessarily put a Jowo in there - Asa also has Indian stub nibs, IIRC.


Let us know what you end up doing...

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks


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I am really quite fond of the Zayante that I bought from Peyton Street Pens. That longer section and less “ridge” on the section is a winner for me!

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You could also look at buying a Guider Pen. It would be easier to contact Mr Lakshman Rao on Whatsapp and place your order.



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All I know is the last group buy I got a Ranga Giant Bamboo clear and it is one of my favorite pens ever. Lovely nib and a big horking pen for my big hands. I've no experience with the other pens, but the Ranga has been nothing but a pleasure.

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I have arthritis and love my Nauka (black polished ebonite). Not that there's anything wrong with your other choices, either. Ask ASA pens to check the nib for you (there's a tickbox for that service, I believe; it costs nothing).


You might enquire with Ranga if there's a possibility of adjusting the grip section to make it more comfortable for you. I've found Mr Kandan is often able to help with requests since the pens are handmade.

Too many pens, too little time!


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i would advise to go for ranga or fosfor (which makes world class pens) if u have great patience.ASA can be very hit or miss. "a perfectly made nauka" without any glitches is a great pen but the part in " " is very important

There's no such thing as perfect writing, just like there's no such thing as perfect despair : Haruki Murakami

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i have pens from all of these makers and i would say that from my experience Ranga and ASA are the best options. Guider makes beautiful pens but i have had some issues with subpar nibs with them. Ranga has several different models to chose from and a huge array of different colors. ASA also makes great pens and some of their designs are really innovative. their inventory is sometimes limited, and they are often out of stock of some models, but the pens themselves are stellar. Both make versions in eyedropper and CC form. of course, i would probably buy one of each!

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Same thing happened to me: I tried my first ebonite pen purchasing an FPR Himalaya and was so pleased with the grip and feel of the material that I tried a few more ebonite pens.


I tried a Ranga, a Zayante, and the section wasn't my preference, but it was built very well. It functioned as well as my Franklin-Christoph Marietta, which makes sense since both use Jowo setups. The Jowo setup isn't going to be as wet as the FPR Himalaya, but I prefer that sometimes since it doesn't use up ink as fast. Plus you can eyedropper those still.


----->If you're going to get a Ranga I'd recommend an Ebonite. Since the material has a better grip it will take less effort to hold and it would be more favorable for your arthritis. I have arthritis as well and when I discovered ebonite it felt like I finally found what I needed.


I ordered an ASA Maya with a Jowo setup because I needed a thicker grip as well. I like a thicker grip on my ebonite pens. It hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment on it.


I hope that helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have all of the above and they are all excellent pens. Subu at ASA is easiest to deal with just choose your pen and buy straight from his site. The ASA Daily is a great pen though the number 5 nib unit looks a bit undersized in such a big pen but that is just a minor quibble. Mr Rao is very good to deal with. His pens are made to order and the choice is vast. They are beautifully finished. He will bombard you with options. Only trouble is he only takes money transfer. Ranga are great: pens seem to have more of a rustic feel to the ebonite: not as glossy but they are beautifully made with perfect tolerances. Their customer service is first class too but they are more expensive than ASA and Guider. I'd eventually try them all!

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Before you choose perhaps you should try to determine more accurately the size of the pen you need because there may be many different options.


If your arthrytis problem requires a special size or even a special shape or both you are in the best hands with some of the custom made pens as the pen could actually be designed to fit your very need, but you must determine this size and shape in advance.

Are there any pens you use that fit you best? this is the most advisable starting point.


I know that Mr. Kandan of Ranga could make a custom pen for you, at reasonable price, you just need to ask.

Another starting point could also be one of the pens in the Ranga range as they have many and of different sizes.

I would skip the model 2 and the model 8 as they are too thin. A model 3 or a model 4 could fit better. Model 5 is just huge...

The bamboo model is very comfortable but particular (search the different models here on FPN there are several images showing them)

Once you choose the barrel size you could then also ask to customize the section, which could be conical or hourglass depending on what is more comfortable when you grip the pen.

I do recommend ebonite, a wonderful feel and warmth in the hand, and a light material that will not cause fatigue.


Besides Ranga other Indian pen makers could likely customize the pen but I have no experience, except Deccan which once made a Pelikan threaded pen for me, but difficult to contact. Ranga is much easier, just email Mr. Kandan.

let us know if you resolve.

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oh by the way, I noted you have selected the Ranga 5 in the proposed options of which you posted links...


be aware, if you have never tried a model 5, that it is really very big!

here ia a comparison with a Franklin Christoph Collier, which is already a rather big pen



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For value and performance I would recommend a Ranga 3 eyedropper with an Ambitious fine nib. This nib has to be the smoothest fine I have ever used. Ranga CC Converters with Bock or Jowo are quite expensive. Ebonite is indeed a wonderful, durable and tactile material.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you all so much for your helpful advice. (It's as if I traveled to India and had many men offering to show me around Mumbai. Which happened. Every day.) I have looked at videos and realized that the ASA Nauka, while gorgeous, would be monstrously big for my hand. And while I love Ranga's ebonite colors, I find I much prefer to hold my FP Revolution acrylic pens. There's something about the oil on my fingers that does not like the ebonite. (Doesn't make sense, I know.) So I've asked the good people at Ranga if I may obtain one of the purple acrylics -- and yes, with an Ambitious nib. I'm excited to find out. I'll report back. And thank you so much.

Edited by ssata
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