Jump to content

Advice On A New Pen In The 0-$100 Range



Recommended Posts

Hi all. I've received great advice from everyone here before - super helpful and friendly site in general. So thanks for that, and I'm going to try to put together some reviews of something that may be helpful to others but in the meantime, I'm looking to get a new pen.

 

Used mostly for drawing/sketching. I currently have:

-Lamy Safari Al Star - M - really like it but don't love the grip when I flip the pen over, which I like to do to get line variation etc.. Lamy Joy 1.9 - love the balance unposted but same issue as safari grip.

-Pilot Metropolitan- F - love it, love how smooth and thin the lines are - this is prompting me to get the platinum desk pen for like $15 - I think I'll like that and is pretty cheap - I'm going to put it in the same order as the yet unknown pen I'm asking advice about.

-Hero 9018 Fude pen - super cool and love the thick lines - caused me to purchase the...

-Sailor Fude de Mannen - green one - Really like it but it seems to have a smaller sweet spot than my Hero, which is very forgiving of the angle used. And both of them flipped upside down are nice and fine. Highly recommend a fude nib to anyone drawing who hasn't tried them. Cheap and awesome.

TWSBI Diamond 580 AL - Broad Nib - My favorite pen to date. Just love how smooth the nib is, it puts down a lot of ink and the piston filler is awesome.

 

I can't decide weather to get another thick, broad nib like my TWSBI so I can have two colours loaded at once. Or another medium or fine - But what I'm asking about more is which pen to put that nib in. I'm open to suggestions, but this is what I've been thinking :

 

-Second 580 because I love the one I have.

-TWSBI eco -because it's cheaper than the 580. Although in some images it seems to me, the broad nib is not as broad as the 580 but still could be ok for me I think.

-A Pilot ? . I really like my pilot metropolitan because I was so surprised how smooth it was for how fine it is so I had thought of splurging a bit and for about $30 more than the TWSBI 580 I have seen a Pilot Custom 74 or Heritage 91 on amazon.ca from japanese vendors for $95-$110.

This seems really tempting to me but the potential issue of dealing with random online vendors is a bit concerning and I'm spending a bunch of money - top of my pen budget - for a pen that I don't know if I'll really like.

 

Any thoughts ? Are those gold nibed Pilots that much different and worth spending that much on ? I don't care about the weight, or the fact that it's gold, or prestige, or looks that much. Though I kinda want it to look cool I guess lol.

 

- had considered a faber castell Loom but it seems nothing really special about it for the $. But a lot of people seem to recommend them so I dunno.

 

I can't really try any of these pens out where I live without driving for hours so that's really the issue and why I'm asking.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 46
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Simulacrum

    16

  • woleizihan

    7

  • SoulSamurai

    5

  • max dog

    3

Could you try to clarify what it is that you want out of your next pen? From what you wrote I get the impression that you might be looking for an interesting nib that's different from what you already have?

 

If that is the case then consider a Noodler's Konrad (ebonite or acrylic, not resin) with flex nib or FPR Himalaya with flex nib, or maybe a Kaweco Sport with a double nib.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for the reply. Yes, I can't make up my mind. I'm partly thinking go with what I know I like - and get another 580. But I like the idea of trying something new as well, especially if there's a reason to think it may change or inspire me to do some different type of drawings etc.. I do have a dip pen (forgot to mention that in previous post ) with some flexy nibs, but they are dip pens. Requires a whole set up. Can't just pull it out, you know.

 

A kaweco sport with a double nib. You mean like a double broad ? BB ? That's interesting, I do seem to like a thick wet nib. I'm not quite sure what a double nib is though. I've also heard that Pelikans are very wet writers, but they seem pretty $$.

 

I could be persuaded to go a number of ways. Something really juicy that can keep up with drawing lots of long lines pretty quickly without fading at the end of the stroke would be cool. Also something that has more line variations like the flex nibs (but I will say I'm a little skeptical, but also tempted, by the Noodler's pens as they seem to get a very broad range of reviews - from leaky hate all the way to love it.

 

I see your icon is the smiley nib (Is that a Pilot Kakuna ? ) I've thought about those because I like my pilot Metro. but I don't personally want a smiley face on my nib lol.

 

I'm going to google Kaweco sport BB nibs.

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had good experiences with the gold-nibbed Pilots (I have a Custom Heritage 92 & a Custom 74, both with B nibs), and the nibs are very smooth. I haven't tried one with an M yet, and haven't tried any finer nibs, but they seem to be well-liked. They've been worth it to me--I'm not a fan of thin nibs, and the Metro only goes up to M. :) But value is extremely subjective.

 

In my experience, the Eco Bs are just as broad as the 580 Bs, and I actually like the Ecos better. I sometimes have flow issues with the 580s, but the Ecos perform a little better for me. Since you love your 580, though, you could always start a collection of the LE colors!

 

What I love about the Kaweco Sports (and Kaweco pens in general) is that the nib units are easily swappable. That's what I like about Lamy, too. It allows you to try out different things without having to spend as much as you would if you were getting multiple pens. I haven't tried a BB, but the F, M, and B Kaweco nibs I have are wonderful! (Though I admit I had to work on a couple of them to widen the tines, because they wrote a bit dry out of the box.)

 

Since you like the Lamys but not the grip, I would recommend trying out the Logo, CP1, or the Studio. They all have round grips that might suit you better. The Studio also has a really nice weight to it (but isn't heavy), which you might enjoy, seeing as you like the Pilot Metropolitan, which also has a bit of weight to it due to its metal body.

 

I have a Loom and I like it, though the grip can be a little slippery with the matte-finished metal that my version has. (Some people say the same about the Lamy Studio (that the grip is slippery), but I haven't found that to be the case with mine as much.) People tend to like the model because Faber-Castell has nice, smooth nibs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you interested in something like Parson's Essential? It's a great pen with many choices of nib sizes and it fits into your budget nicely. Or a used Lamy 2000/ Pelikan m200 from somewhere if you like piston fillers.

 

If you want to try out finer nibs, Pilot 74/ vanishing point or Platinum 3776 are all great choices.

Edited by woleizihan
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say spend 50-60 bucks on a Platinum 3776 Century 14k nib direct from Japan. A wonderful pen and serious value for money. J-Subculture.com the best vendor. If you don't want to spend that money a TWSBI Eco is lovely OR you can take an unorthodox route. Buy a Jinhao X750 and put a Schmidt K5 converter in it an replace the (fairly decent) standard nib with a Bock 6 which slots right in on the friction fit feed: a 60 second job. That is what I did and now have a great writer for about $15 all in. These guys in Scotland are where I got my Bock nib. My little Thai buddy on here (Pichak) did this with a nib I sent him and was delighted with the result. Those Jinhao brass bodies are super sturdy and can take a daily battering. You don't even have to change the nib but do change the converter as the Jinhao ones are gimcrack.

 

http://www.beaufortink.co.uk/

Edited by matteob
Link to post
Share on other sites

Pilot Custom 74 from Japan with 14K Soft Fine Medium nib can be had for under $100. it's a smooth, wet, responsive, pleasant writer that's hard to beat for that price.

 

I purchased 2 pens from Ebay vendor in Japan "Cool-Japan" last year (no affiliation), and pen arrived brand new and timely.

Edited by max dog
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. So many great replies already and with some cool ideas I wouldn't have considered. So thanks everyone. Some more questions and thoughts on the suggestions so far, if I could:

 

-The FPR Himalaya w flex nib seems pretty interesting - my brief checking on them, they seem a little fussy, like they may require some tinkering ? Is that fairly accurate ?

 

-Kaweco Sport BB is an option I'm considering

-Eco is still in

-Lamy Logo, CP1, and Studio - For some reason I hadn't considered these and it makes a lot of sense, because I do like my Al Star and Joy when holding normally. I think I'm having a bit of a hard time justifying spending double the cost of a Safari to just not have the triangular grip though. Maybe if I can find a good deal I'll pick one up.

 

-The Parsons Essential - Never heard of them until today - Look very interesting and the website makes them sound like a pretty high end pen for a cheap price. But most manufacturers kinda want you to think that way I think. Any experiences with these pens ? I'll look for some reviews but that could be an interesting way to go that I'll definitely think about. I like the piano gloss finish and if they really are custom checking the nibs and everything I feel like I'd be pretty assured to get a good quality nib ? And they say 30 days to return nib... sounds good. Any experiences with them and costs associated with importing to Canada anyone ?

 

I will probably check out the Jinhao mod ideas as I've been thinking of getting one to attach a (dip pen nib) G Nib which I already have. So cheap - I saw a 5 pack for $20 CAD. with converters - although 'mattob' says the converters are... 'gimcrack' lol. I don't know what that is but it doesn't sound good lol.

 

Last but not least - I was kind of hoping everyone would say --- the gold nib pilots aren't worth the $ lol, so I wouldn't be tempted to get one... I don't really need a $100 pen, but who does I suppose? Yet I kinda feel myself wanting one anyways. Are they that different than using a steel nib like a Lamy or a TWSBI ? I imagine they would be but maybe it's one of those things where you just think they're better because they're expensive and then find out they're not that much different. So the question : Not do you like them better I guess that's pretty subjective, more like are they that noticeably different and smoother and flexier ? Or are they just kinda a bit better ?

 

Thanks everyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the TWSBI eco, Lamy Safari, and Kaweco Sport. The Pilot 74 is a next level writer compared to these.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the TWSBI eco, Lamy Safari, and Kaweco Sport. The Pilot 74 is a next level writer compared to these.

Ok Thanks. I was afraid of that lol. Would most people agree with that ?

 

A Pilot 74 - (I remember when I was uncertain if I thought I should spend $30 on a pen-it seemed waay too much for a pen)

 

So if I decide to do something crazy like that -

 

1. It seems the Japanese Fine nibs are the best.. so does one go that route because that is kinda what they are best at ? Or...

2. I kind of really like wet writing pens, so are their Broads just as good as their fines, only broader?

3. Does the extra bit of softness/ flexiness or whatever you get out of a gold nib- make a fine gold nib thicker or smoother than a fine steel nib ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

-The Parsons Essential - Never heard of them until today - Look very interesting and the website makes them sound like a pretty high end pen for a cheap price. But most manufacturers kinda want you to think that way I think. Any experiences with these pens ? I'll look for some reviews but that could be an interesting way to go that I'll definitely think about. I like the piano gloss finish and if they really are custom checking the nibs and everything I feel like I'd be pretty assured to get a good quality nib ? And they say 30 days to return nib... sounds good. Any experiences with them and costs associated with importing to Canada anyone ?

 

I think I recommended this so it makes sense to add in more info. It's a solid pen and well built for sure. However, whether it's "high end" is questionable depending on what you like and will view as "high end". There's a little marketing factor in that. Personally, I rank it higher than twsbi and lower than Platinum 3776. If you choose a stub or cursive italic nib, it's going to be a custom grind. Not the best CI or stub I've ever had but good enough for out of box performance. I'm not sure about importing to Canada but for the US, I think you don't pay any tax for stuffs under $100. There's probably a similar thing for Canada.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gimcrack = cheap/ shoddy lol. I can't speak about Pilots but the Platinum 3776 I bought from J-Subculture for about $70 is worth every penny. It's the Bourgogne: beautiful burgundy colour but more importantly the nib (medium) is lovely: smooth but a unique feedback too.

 

Good luck with your decisions. You are spoiled for choice. Just as an afterthought. If you want something unusual and tough an Indian Ebonite pen with German nib from ASA is a good bet. The Daily with Schmidt nib is about 30 bucks: good value. Ebonite is tough and has a nice warm feel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A kaweco sport with a double nib. You mean like a double broad ? BB ?

 

No, it's literally a double nib:

 

http://bestchoice.click/WebRoot/Store3/Shops/c4bf5c24-c095-456c-b81f-08bd18e44a47/MediaGallery/1_Inicio_bestchoice/10_Catalogo/Archivos_en_descripcion/0551305209_Kaweco,_boquilla_Twin_C.png

 

You can pick up the nib unit at Jetpens: https://www.jetpens.com/Kaweco-Calligraphy-Fountain-Pen-Replacement-Nib-Double-Nib-Black-Body/pd/19519

 

I'm not sure where else you can find it or if you can find it already in the pen, but at least this way you can pick the Kaweco Sport in the colour and material of your choice (or maybe a different Kaweco if you want, I think they have other pen models that use the same nib units, but don't quote me on that).

Edited by SoulSamurai
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Thanks. I was afraid of that lol. Would most people agree with that ?

 

A Pilot 74 - (I remember when I was uncertain if I thought I should spend $30 on a pen-it seemed waay too much for a pen)

 

So if I decide to do something crazy like that -

 

1. It seems the Japanese Fine nibs are the best.. so does one go that route because that is kinda what they are best at ? Or...

2. I kind of really like wet writing pens, so are their Broads just as good as their fines, only broader?

3. Does the extra bit of softness/ flexiness or whatever you get out of a gold nib- make a fine gold nib thicker or smoother than a fine steel nib ?

The Japanese brands are known for their finer nibs, but that fineness brings extra feedback, which I dont find pleasant. That is why I got the Fine-Medium which is comparable to a western Fine. I also opted for the Soft nib, ie Soft Fine-Medium (SFM) over the regular FM just because I like the additional softness and easier line variation you can get with a little pressure if you want to bring out a little flair.

 

Here is some sample writing I posted last year when I got the pen.

fpn_1485241417__pilot_custom_74.jpg

fpn_1489290477__pilot_custom_74_mar_11_2

Edited by max dog
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are always vintage and semi-vintage options as well. Esterbrook, Pelikan, Parker (45 has a screw in nib unit in many sizes) among others.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

No, it's literally a double nib:

 

http://bestchoice.click/WebRoot/Store3/Shops/c4bf5c24-c095-456c-b81f-08bd18e44a47/MediaGallery/1_Inicio_bestchoice/10_Catalogo/Archivos_en_descripcion/0551305209_Kaweco,_boquilla_Twin_C.png

 

You can pick up the nib unit at Jetpens: https://www.jetpens.com/Kaweco-Calligraphy-Fountain-Pen-Replacement-Nib-Double-Nib-Black-Body/pd/19519

 

I'm not sure where else you can find it or if you can find it already in the pen, but at least this way you can pick the Kaweco Sport in the colour and material of your choice (or maybe a different Kaweco if you want, I think they have other pen models that use the same nib units, but don't quote me on that).

Wow! That's pretty intense. I've never heard of that before. Thanks for posting that pic. I'm using it mostly for drawing, so probably not super useful, but it looks pretty interesting for caligraphy or something.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are always vintage and semi-vintage options as well. Esterbrook, Pelikan, Parker (45 has a screw in nib unit in many sizes) among others.

I often see people talking about using vintage pens / semi-vintage pens. What's the difference between semi and vintage ?

 

Where would one go about buying one ? I feel like I don't know enough about pens to go this route but maybe that's not true. Do they require more work or tinkering, or are they less durable or reliable ? What is the advantage of getting one of these ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, i've been thinking and checking out all the suggestions from everyone so thanks again. What I think I have determined is that if I'm going to shell out for a gold nib I think the real reason for me to do so is to the the softness/ flex aspect of the nib. I'm sure they are nicer when writing in general than a steel nib, but really I have no problems with my steel nibs. So If I'm going gold, I think I'd wanna check out something that has some give to it. There's some reviews on youtube that show people using the Pilot 74 and 91 with a Soft Medium Nib. That seems to have some flex but it's hard to tell how had you have to push to get that variation. If my main goal is to get something with some decent flex that provides some control and not having to push down too hard to get some thickness - I don't want to have to make indentations in the paper when flexing- Would the SM nibs on a Pilot be sufficient or is a vintage pen a better route to take - if so I'll reiterate my previous question about vintage - where do you buy that stuff ? And how delicate are they ? I do have some dip pens with super flexy nibs but they are untipped and are not always ideal-the steel is very scratchy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest a robust vintage pretty Esterbrook (many fine colors), that can swap nibs. It how ever is a rubber sac pen, and supersatruated inks will eat the sac in weeks or months....I have read from reputable repair men..

I used regular inks, Pelikan, Herbin, MB and such....Parker and Sheaffer inks will do too. I don't know Japanese inks.

 

Cost some $30-40....other nibs (of which there are many) at now $15-20..............very pretty pens in a lot of nice colors.

Well balanced, if posted and still more than half a century later, very robust.

Take a a look in the Esterbrook subsection.

 

Once a decade ago when they cost $15, they were the first recommendation for any noobie; even before the Safari.

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.

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.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gold nibs aren't generally flexier or softer than steel nibs, and most are just as rigid as steel nibs, even if they (in my experience) tend to have better flow. You'd have to get something that's expressly soft / flexy. If you want flex, the modern flex nibs aren't going to give you nearly as much flex as one of the calligraphy nibs you've used, and you're going to have to use quite a bit of pressure, which will indent the paper and, more seriously, risks springing the nib. If you want some softness and a small amount of line variation and bounciness, a soft nib / modern flex can serve you well, but if you want true flex, you should look into vintage pens.

 

There are some online sellers of restored or NOS vintage pens (Indy-Pen-Dance and Peyton Street Pens come to mind), but it's never been anything I've been very into exploring, so hopefully others have suggestions for sources!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now







×
×
  • Create New...