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Experience With Penbbs



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I daresay that's because complainers are usually the most vocal group in every arena,

 

 

Very true; the only way to use this info is to know the product yourself well, and see if those opinions have any merits. If a penbbs is apparently dry to some people, I don't have a problem with that, as long as it doesn't mean starting or skipping issues. If a good percentage says a pen leaks (not the case with what I've read with penbbs), that would raise a red flag. There may be many more users who write in Chinese about this particular brand, which unfortunately I don't speak, that would give the whole thing more statistical validity.

 

I think some Chinese firms are still discovering the market system, taking into account the central government still calls the shots, and a small number will eventually learn the merits of competing on what customers appreciate, including reliability and consistency, while others remain stuck on competing on prices and controlling costs. I've made Brand Equity analysis for work, what strikes me is not how much Chinese firms have yet to go, but how poor some not pen specific "western" brands are actually doing in spite of their old style marketing and PR hubris.

 

I think I'll eventually try a completely clear 308, I was looking today at SF21 "vermouth", but I wouldn't be able to decide without more real world shots of this particular colour.

"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 gray Penbbs 308/266 I bought of Amazon from seller "Offices_Supplies_Pen_Bobby" came with a spare nib in the box that was much broader than the nib in the pen. The spare nib was not mentioned anywhere on the Amazon sale page when I bought the pen. The spare nib was not marked like the nib in the pen and it wrote more like a Western medium nib. The nib that came in the pen was extra fine by Western standards. I swapped out the extra fine nib that came in the 308 immediately. Then a week or so later I slipped in a German JOWO No. 6 1.1mm steel stub. The JOWO stub has been working very well in the pen. The opaque gray 308/266 looks like the gray Sailor 911 that was released not too long ago.

 

I also have a cloud white translucent 308/266 with a gold-tone nib and furniture. That one did not come with a spare nib. I bought the white pen from Goldspot Pens in the U.S. That 308 came with a defective leaking converter. The converter in the gray 308 from China which I purchased not long after the white one is much higher in quality.

 

Both of my 308's stain fairly easily. The only ink I've used in both pens is Pilot/Namiki Blue, which in my experience is a well behaved ink. Where it stands right now I use the gray 308/266 regularly but the white cloud version is parked - indefinitely. For the money I think the 308 is a good deal as long as you can find one that's opaque and (unless you like extra fines) you plan on swapping the nib out or grinding it to a stub.

 

My next Chinese adventure is going to be a Moonman M100 acrylic fountain pen. I bought one on Amazon for a decent price, but it is taking forever to arrive. The Penbbs 308/266 I bought from Amazon seller: "Offices_Supplies_Pen_Bobby" came comparatively fast, about 11 days to S.E. Florida including a weekend.

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The gray Penbbs 308/266 I bought of Amazon from seller "Offices_Supplies_Pen_Bobby" came with a spare nib in the box that was much broader than the nib in the pen. The spare nib was not mentioned anywhere on the Amazon sale page when I bought the pen. The spare nib was not marked like the nib in the pen and it wrote more like a Western medium nib. The nib that came in the pen was extra fine by Western standards. I swapped out the extra fine nib that came in the 308 immediately. Then a week or so later I slipped in a German JOWO No. 6 1.1mm steel stub. The JOWO stub has been working very well in the pen. The opaque gray 308/266 looks like the gray Sailor 911 that was released not too long ago.

 

I also have a cloud white translucent 308/266 with a gold-tone nib and furniture. That one did not come with a spare nib. I bought the white pen from Goldspot Pens in the U.S. That 308 came with a defective leaking converter. The converter in the gray 308 from China which I purchased not long after the white one is much higher in quality.

 

Both of my 308's stain fairly easily. The only ink I've used in both pens is Pilot/Namiki Blue, which in my experience is a well behaved ink. Where it stands right now I use the gray 308/266 regularly but the white cloud version is parked - indefinitely. For the money I think the 308 is a good deal as long as you can find one that's opaque and (unless you like extra fines) you plan on swapping the nib out or grinding it to a stub.

 

My next Chinese adventure is going to be a Moonman M100 acrylic fountain pen. I bought one on Amazon for a decent price, but it is taking forever to arrive. The Penbbs 308/266 I bought from Amazon seller: "Offices_Supplies_Pen_Bobby" came comparatively fast, about 11 days to S.E. Florida including a weekend.

 

Awesome info, was the spare nib also upturned? I'm curious about this pen, $16 looks like an acceptable risk but the only option for me at that price might be the clear one.

"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 have two PenBBS pens. I think that they are worth the price. The acrylics are spectacular and the pens are functional.

 

As I stated above, one pen was very dry - so dry that I had to press relatively hard to get it to write consistently. I have tinkered around with that nib and it is better, though not optimal yet. I am thinking of getting a Jowo nib for it. The good thing is that dry nibs are fixable and it's not that hard to improve the flow.

 

The other pen, a 309, wrote well out of the box and I had no issue with its Fine nib.

 

Try 'em! I think they are head and shoulder above the older Chinese brands where quality control is much more spotty. I see this brand and Moonman trying for a new level of quality.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

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

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

Narwhal Schuykill "F" nib runnunning Wahl-Eversharp Everberry

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penzel_washinkton

The other pen, a 309, wrote well out of the box and I had no issue with its Fine nib.

 

Try 'em! I think they are head and shoulder above the older Chinese brands where quality control is much more spotty. I see this brand and Moonman trying for a new level of quality.

 

Erick

 

I think Kaco is also one to watch from the Chinese brands, the Sky and the Edge has been quite fresh and performs well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm up to 5 Penbbs pens now and will probably buy another haul this week when another big sale hits in China. I can echo all the other comments of those in this thread who have tried a few. Let me assure you, Penbbs pens are not your standard Chinese pen fare made by some big stationary company only interested in making a profit. These pens are designed and produced by FP enthusiasts like ourselves. Any physical resemblance of Penbbs pens to other famous pens in mostly a coincidence; their pens are just standard shapes that work well and look nice. The only expection is the 322 Mianmian which even Penbbs admitted was made using Pilot 78G molds because that was the best way to keep the price down (the 322 is their economy model that costs $5-6).

 

My only complaints are those others have mentioned. It's annoying that every pen uses the same dry-writing EF nib. Out of my five, four nibs were so dry that I had to use the thumbnail trick to get them to lay down ink when the nib touched the paper. They all worked fine with pressure applied, but the reason I use fountain pens in the first place is to not have to use any pressure at all. Someone with a heavy hand would have no problem with any of the Penbbs nibs I've tried.

 

One out of two of my 308s had a faulty converter, but I swapped in a spare converter from a Hero 359 and now it's perfect. Don't forget that all of Penbbs' cartridge/converter pens have a ton of O-rings on the section so they can instantly be eyedroppered. My other complaint about the 308 is that not all of them can take other #6 nibs due to the cap length. My first 308 pushes to the side any JoWo or Knox nib I put in it. I haven't tried my second 308 yet because the stock nib works fine with BSB so I've dedicated the pen to that ink.

 

I also experienced the stuck piston on one of my 309s, but since the pen is so easy to take apart, it's quite easy to fix it and is just a slight annoyance from time to time.

 

The 456 is a whole new level of quality and works fabulously. If you don't mind a 30g pen, you really don't have any good reason not to grab a 456.

 

Despite the few quirks mentioned above, Penbbs pens have become some of my favorite daily writers and just feel fantastic in the hand. The ability to swap in my favorite JoWo stub or Knox OBB, means I can the pen I want with the nib I want for a very reasonable price.

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