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Experience With Penbbs



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I've run across the Penbbs store. The 309 looks like an Aurora Optima copy. My Optimas are some of my best. I find some of the colors attractive. What has been your experience?

 

Thanks!

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Hi, I have quite a few Penbbs pens including a 309. They are nice pens but I find the fine nibs

are more like extra fine and can run a bit dry depending on the ink.

 

I would recommend swapping the nib out for a medium if you can't order one with a medium nib. Overall nice well made pens and good value.

 

Hope this helps

 

Al

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Hi, I have quite a few Penbbs pens including a 309. They are nice pens but I find the fine nibs

are more like extra fine and can run a bit dry depending on the ink.

 

I would recommend swapping the nib out for a medium if you can't order one with a medium nib. Overall nice well made pens and good value.

 

Hope this helps

 

Al

do you think the 309 is an Optima copy ??

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Well each and every piston filler is a copy of the original Pelikan anyway, they have a knob at the back and a straight cylindrical barrel and a tapered / pinched / curved section and a cap which usually are finished same styling as the back of the cap ( but not always ) so styling vise I do not see anyone copying anyone else. Its generic enough today, whether the piston filling or the flat top styling.

 

As for the pen, PenBBS, all theirs, except model 322 use the same nib in a nib unit construction, well its an Asian fine as that its finer than European / US fine but not quite fine as Japanese fine. Its got the typical up turn tip which is catered to writing ( of course ) Chinese but can be put to good use in cursive writing ( depending on how one writes ). I've had no issue with ink flow, its well, neutral leaning towards constrained but not I would say dry

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I have a 456. Sturdy. Well made and excellent value. I replaced the nib with a Bock1.1 which writes wet.

For the most part I find the colours too gareish for my taste. I was fortunate enough to get a Niangao model. My feeling is that they would have a larger market share if they also offered more conservative colours as well.

 

The one negative is the delicacy of the feed fins. Be very, very careful when changing the nib.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I don’t see 309 as an Optima clone at all. The section shape and pen don’t look much like my Optima. The two PenBBS I have are nice pens, but not liking fine nibs I replaced mine with #6 Jowo B’s. Like it was said the fins are a bit fragile and easy to bend when pulling the nib so you would have to be careful if you change the nib.

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I've been about to buy a 308 or 309 and at the last minute something always happens, which made me think about how a $60 Pelikan can be an awesome deal and a $16 PenBBS a risk. Can't make my mind up on whether the "Southshore/South Sea" colour is nice or horrible! The other colours are either gawdy of meh.

 

Is the converter on the 308 really bad? Can this be solved by just buying another converter? Is the rest of the pen solid, by which I mean reliable?

 

Does the piston on the 309 work ok or is it wobbly?

 

I'd also rather buy a pen with a decent nib (even my Mujis are smooth), rather than swapping later.

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

 

B. Russell

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I've been about to buy a 308 or 309 and at the last minute something always happens, which made me think about how a $60 Pelikan can be an awesome deal and a $16 PenBBS a risk. Can't make my mind up on whether the "Southshore/South Sea" colour is nice or horrible! The other colours are either gawdy of meh.

 

Is the converter on the 308 really bad? Can this be solved by just buying another converter? Is the rest of the pen solid, by which I mean reliable?

 

Does the piston on the 309 work ok or is it wobbly?

 

I'd also rather buy a pen with a decent nib (even my Mujis are smooth), rather than swapping later.

 

I have 17 PenBBS pens and two more in the mail. All the nibs but one wrote perfectly well out of the box (that one was a little dry). All of the converters I've gotten work properly, as do the piston-filling units on my 309s. The two Vac-filling 456s I own also worked perfectly out of the package.

 

You really need to let go of some of these preconceived notions of the quality of Chinese made pens.

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both of my 309's have problems with the piston binding when I need to use it. every other one has been perfect.

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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I have 17 PenBBS pens and two more in the mail. All the nibs but one wrote perfectly well out of the box (that one was a little dry). All of the converters I've gotten work properly, as do the piston-filling units on my 309s. The two Vac-filling 456s I own also worked perfectly out of the package.

 

You really need to let go of some of these preconceived notions of the quality of Chinese made pens.

 

That's good info; I'm pretty open minded but 90% of what I've read seems pretty bad, although i will concede what's important to me might not be what others care for (e.g. reliability and peace of mind above a low price, while others might enjoy more tinkering); still, no reason to think progress is impossible.

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

 

B. Russell

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both of my 309's have problems with the piston binding when I need to use it. every other one has been perfect.

 

Darned; I'll probably focus on a 308.

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

 

B. Russell

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the vac fill of both of my 456 has been perfect - I really, REALLY recommend that pen.

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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Antenociticus

I have a bunch of them. Experience mostly fine. They are excellent pens.

 

In the beginning I was a bit dazzled by the materials – but that's a thing, collecting these pens in a host of different colours and gradients. PenBBS seem to release all the new colours in limited batches, which cunningly encourages this behaviour. Many of the pens are beautiful.

 

Now I'm done with surface dazzle. I bought a black 323 so I could appreciate the form rather than the lustre or hue. It also turns out to be really nice in the hand and something I can write with comfortably page after page.

 

The 309 is a really good pen, too. My favourite PenBBS pen for everyday carry. The clipless 323 is more of a desk pen.

 

I don't know why, but I'm not so fond of the 308 or 349. Perhaps I prefer a flat top on a 140mm-ish pen. The nib is the same on all of them.

 

You have to either get along with those (extra) fine nibs, or be prepared to switch them according to preference. For the most part I like the PenBBS nib, though it does seem to have trouble with certain inks. I've got a 308 inked with KWZ IG Blue #5 at the moment, and they are having a very dry relationship.

 

OTOH, though the nibs are fine and sometimes seem dry, they're no good for the Noodler's "bulletproof" inks I've tried with them, laying down a thick, spready, gloopy line with the likes of Bad Blue Heron, Monkey Hanger Blue, Empire Red. I switched the Monkey Hangar to a Delike New Moon 2 with an EF nib and the problem was gone.

 

I bought the 469 because it was an interesting object, but haven't inked either side of it yet. I'll wait a while before I try the 456. But I will try it. These are good pens.

 

Their inks are interesting too, though they're harder to get hold of.

Lined paper makes a prison of the page.

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Pretty good pens, though my 323 is a very dry writer. Love the colors.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Cross Peerless "F" nib running Fahrney's DC Supershow Blue

Moonman F9 "F" nib running Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses

Wancher Sekai Tsugaru Urushi - Kuro-age "F" nib running Pelikan Olivine

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I'm pretty open minded but 90% of what I've read seems pretty bad, although i will concede what's important to me might not be what others care for (e.g. reliability and peace of mind above a low price, while others might enjoy more tinkering)

I daresay that's because complainers are usually the most vocal group in every arena, compared to 'fan clubs' (so as to avoid using a more pejorative term) who enjoy promoting something – whether it's the apparent exclusivity or state of being in-the-know of the consumer choices to which they subscribe – and of course relatively very few consumers bother to write dry, clinical, analytical product reviews that simply tell things like they are, without any intent to do either the manufacturers or prospective purchasers any favours inherently.

 

I'm from a Chinese background, and I must say that even now, the single biggest issue with Chinese-made products is inconsistency married to poor quality control. Not inherently lack of original and innovative design, or use of cheap labour, inferior tools and/or substandard materials; you could have in your possession, or see someone else with, a Chinese pen that is well-made, functionally reliable, and cheap to acquire as a single item in the first place, but just don't expect to be able to replicate it with your next order. Defects tend to show up quite quickly, so if you use a Chinese pen for a week or two and don't notice anything wrong with it, it'll probably continue to be reliable and offer peace of mind in terms of user experience. Where you cannot have peace of mind is the purchasing process as a consumer, that your money will be well spent and that you won't need to try to seek recourse in the face of language barriers, poor customer service mentality, and perhaps border taxes and return shipping costs.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I daresay that's because complainers are usually the most vocal group in every arena, compared to 'fan clubs' (so as to avoid using a more pejorative term) who enjoy promoting something – whether it's the apparent exclusivity or state of being in-the-know of the consumer choices to which they subscribe – and of course relatively very few consumers bother to write dry, clinical, analytical product reviews that simply tell things like they are, without any intent to do either the manufacturers or prospective purchasers any favours inherently.

 

I'm from a Chinese background, and I must say that even now, the single biggest issue with Chinese-made products is inconsistency married to poor quality control. Not inherently lack of original and innovative design, or use of cheap labour, inferior tools and/or substandard materials; you could have in your possession, or see someone else with, a Chinese pen that is well-made, functionally reliable, and cheap to acquire as a single item in the first place, but just don't expect to be able to replicate it with your next order. Defects tend to show up quite quickly, so if you use a Chinese pen for a week or two and don't notice anything wrong with it, it'll probably continue to be reliable and offer peace of mind in terms of user experience. Where you cannot have peace of mind is the purchasing process as a consumer, that your money will be well spent and that you won't need to try to seek recourse in the face of language barriers, poor customer service mentality, and perhaps border taxes and return shipping costs.

 

Very well put ...

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I will confirm Dill's point of view that a happy customer usually doesn't need to go out of their way to say so, but an unhappy one will almost always do so.

 

The only real inconsistency I've found in any of my PenBBS models is the piston binding in the 309's (it's not really a functional problem, it's just a little annoying to a nitpicker like me) and I find the nibs on these pens to be a little inconsistent. Some are superb, others are not. But they readily accept most #6 nibs, so most of my penbbs pens have just had the nibs swapped. The barrel material and quality is absolutely superb. And they almost all make excellent eyedroppers.

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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do you think the 309 is an Optima copy ??

 

 

I don't know that is. Looking at the photos it appeared that way to me. So, I was asking about that and experience with them as pens generally.

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