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Ranga Model 3 (Custom) Review



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I ordered a custom Ranga Model 3 direct from Ranga in India. I have had it for nearly a year now and I must say I am quite impressed.

Design:

This Custom Model 3 is shortened to the length of the Zayante, with a slightly raised body above the threads, like that of the Zayante, and with a section like that of the Designer model with a tad added girth. The pen itself arrived relatively quickly with all my specifications accurately met.

post-145190-0-15436900-1544731385_thumb.jpg

The shortened length makes it more wieldy for easy carry and I can even clip it in my shirt pocket.

post-145190-0-28023400-1544731156_thumb.jpg

The clip itself is rather basic, but it does the job well, and is stiff with some spring without scraping.

post-145190-0-96663600-1544731426_thumb.jpg

The section I chose tapers to a flare providing an added secureness and comfort for the grip when held close. Since the section is so long it’s also very comfortable to hold higher up.

post-145190-0-83989100-1544731498_thumb.jpg

The 3-in-1 filling system includes a Standard international converter it comes with, can take standard international cartridges, and can be eyedroppered, which is an added bonus, IMO, and I do like this pen eyedroppered.

post-145190-0-47951300-1544731530_thumb.jpg

Ebonite Material:

The Ebonite itself is where the pen really shines IMO and makes it stand out among other pen models. It is well polished as any of the best machined pens I’ve tried, like those from Franklin-Christoph. It has a warm tactile feel with a grip that is just right and especially helpful for when your hands get oily and/or for arthritis. It is lightweight, but doesn’t disappear in my hand. All-in-all it’s optimal for writing, especially longer sessions.

Nib:

A Steel Jowo Nib Unit came with this pen. They are, as this one is, very dependable, smooth, have excellent consistency of flow, and a moderate wetness that allows me to use my inks reliably across contexts and paper types. I have had no problems with drying out, which I find very impressive for a hand made pen. I have this pen inked with Noodler's Heart of Darkness (a favorite of mine).

post-145190-0-97573100-1544731602_thumb.jpg

Extra replacement nibs can easily be ordered from a number of vendors. This pen came with an EF, which wrote very well OOTB, but I needed a Fine and so was able to pick up a few at Goulet Pens and they worked great OOTB.

Comfort/Writing Experience

TBH, I’ve tried basically every well known pen option under $200 that bloggers could suggest and more, and even after a couple of Franklin-Chistophs, a Pilot CH 92, from the Platinum 3776 to the TWSBI’s and back up to Pelikans x0x’s and the Lamy 2K… well, this Ranga is the only one I have stuck with. And that largely has to do with Ebonite material in conjunction with craftsmanship and design culminating to fit my hand very comfortably. This pen is a writer. My reason for choosing this pen over such expensive models is simple: I have substantially less hand fatigue using this pen, especially for longer writing sessions it is absolutely capable of handling. And there are not a lot of options for ebonite pens of this quality at this affordability.

post-145190-0-45353800-1544731648_thumb.jpg

How has it held up?

This has been a durable pen, reliable, and consistent, and I wasn’t expecting that. This pen is at least one of the best pens under $100 I’ve used and has proven to be my preference over quality popular pens triple its price. It works as well as the day I got it, and it’s held up very well giving me the confidence of future reliability.

Conclusion:

I think these Ranga Pens are gems in the fountain-pendom and I thought it would be important to share with you my appreciation for this pen. I have tried other Ranga pens and they are made to the same high quality as this Custom Model 3.

I have found the customer service with Peyton Street Pens, who sells Rangas and introduced them to me, and the individuals themselves from Ranga, to be of the highest quality. I highly recommend trying out a Ranga if you haven’t.

 

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Glad you enjoy your Ranga pen - I've got a few different models, and I agree, they're extremely comfortable to write with! I'm not a great fan of the clips (I find them too rigid, and not terribly attractive) - and I tend to prefer cartridge converter pens - so that's the configuration I typically ask for. But the materials, the craftsmanship, and their courteous communications all make the pens AND the manufacturers a pleasure to deal with!

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Glad you enjoy your Ranga pen - I've got a few different models, and I agree, they're extremely comfortable to write with! I'm not a great fan of the clips (I find them too rigid, and not terribly attractive) - and I tend to prefer cartridge converter pens - so that's the configuration I typically ask for. But the materials, the craftsmanship, and their courteous communications all make the pens AND the manufacturers a pleasure to deal with!

Yah, the clips are so-so or rather basic in design, but I haven't had a problem with them.

 

The one on my pen is somewhat stiff, but nothing compared to a Karas Kustoms clip. My Ranga clip doesn't damage anything I put it on and it does stay in my pocket and keeps my pen from rolling away.

--------------------------

I agree, I was surprised by the craftsmanship:

  • My pen doesn't dry out.
  • The threads on the cap/section are very smooth and the cap shuts securely.
  • And the dimensions and the entirety of the pen blend together very well to create a complete final product that has excellent balance, feels great in the hand, all crafted together to make a fine writing instrument.

I have two more on the way and I plan on stocking up on more of these pens, especially because they hit the bullseye for me and with how well made they are, I can't not get more.

 

I also like how you can get one's with bock nibs. I've been thinking about using a Titanium nib for a while.

 

----------------

I did get to try a friend's Ranga Davenport, the one designed by Peyton Street Pens, and I love that pen. The section is simple, but it's so comfortable. It tapers to a flare that's at a length and angle that really holds the pen well in your hand.

Edited by Mongoosey
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Great review. I have a regular number 3 model in molted green with the Jowo medium. (See signiture) It was my favorite pen before I got my Lamy 2K. Still a top writer and super smooth with excellent construction.

Edited by Mechayoshi

<b>Inked up:</b> Ranga 3C, Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74, Pelikan m205 , Platinum Preppy, Pilot Decimo<br><b>Inks currently using:</b> Troublemaker Blue Guitar, Nemosine Alpha Centauri, Noodler’s Navy, Aircorps blue black<br> Signature ink and pen: Noodler’s Navy + Lamy 2000

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I tried the L2K-M I borrowed from a friend and I really liked it and it's high on my list, but I never got the same comfort and secure fit I get from my Ranga.

 

I couldn't handle the L2K-F and that sweet spot.

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I ordered a custom Ranga Model 3 direct from Ranga in India. I have had it for nearly a year now and I must say I am quite impressed.

 

 

Design:

This Custom Model 3 is shortened to the length of the Zayante, with a slightly raised body above the threads, like that of the Zayante, and with a section like that of the Designer model with a tad added girth. The pen itself arrived relatively quickly with all my specifications accurately met.

attachicon.gif IMG_0017.JPG

The shortened length makes it more wieldy for easy carry and I can even clip it in my shirt pocket.

attachicon.gif IMG_0028.JPG

The clip itself is rather basic, but it does the job well, and is stiff with some spring without scraping.

attachicon.gif IMG_0022.JPG

The section I chose tapers to a flare providing an added secureness and comfort for the grip when held close. Since the section is so long it’s also very comfortable to hold higher up.

attachicon.gif IMG_0030.JPG

The 3-in-1 filling system includes a Standard international converter it comes with, can take standard international cartridges, and can be eyedroppered, which is an added bonus, IMO, and I do like this pen eyedroppered.

attachicon.gif IMG_0032.JPG

Ebonite Material:

The Ebonite itself is where the pen really shines IMO and makes it stand out among other pen models. It is well polished as any of the best machined pens I’ve tried, like those from Franklin-Christoph. It has a warm tactile feel with a grip that is just right and especially helpful for when your hands get oily and/or for arthritis. It is lightweight, but doesn’t disappear in my hand. All-in-all it’s optimal for writing, especially longer sessions.

 

Nib:

A Steel Jowo Nib Unit came with this pen. They are, as this one is, very dependable, smooth, have excellent consistency of flow, and a moderate wetness that allows me to use my inks reliably across contexts and paper types. I have had no problems with drying out, which I find very impressive for a hand made pen. I have this pen inked with Noodler's Heart of Darkness (a favorite of mine).

attachicon.gif IMG_0027.JPG

Extra replacement nibs can easily be ordered from a number of vendors. This pen came with an EF, which wrote very well OOTB, but I needed a Fine and so was able to pick up a few at Goulet Pens and they worked great OOTB.

 

 

Comfort/Writing Experience

TBH, I’ve tried basically every well known pen option under $200 that bloggers could suggest and more, and even after a couple of Franklin-Chistophs, a Pilot CH 92, from the Platinum 3776 to the TWSBI’s and back up to Pelikans x0x’s and the Lamy 2K… well, this Ranga is the only one I have stuck with. And that largely has to do with Ebonite material in conjunction with craftsmanship and design culminating to fit my hand very comfortably. This pen is a writer. My reason for choosing this pen over such expensive models is simple: I have substantially less hand fatigue using this pen, especially for longer writing sessions it is absolutely capable of handling. And there are not a lot of options for ebonite pens of this quality at this affordability.

attachicon.gif IMG_0026.JPG

How has it held up?

This has been a durable pen, reliable, and consistent, and I wasn’t expecting that. This pen is at least one of the best pens under $100 I’ve used and has proven to be my preference over quality popular pens triple its price. It works as well as the day I got it, and it’s held up very well giving me the confidence of future reliability.

 

Conclusion:

I think these Ranga Pens are gems in the fountain-pendom and I thought it would be important to share with you my appreciation for this pen. I have tried other Ranga pens and they are made to the same high quality as this Custom Model 3.

 

I have found the customer service with Peyton Street Pens, who sells Rangas and introduced them to me, and the individuals themselves from Ranga, to be of the highest quality. I highly recommend trying out a Ranga if you haven’t.

 

Dear Sir,

 

We are extremely thankful for your positive words on us. It is highly motivating which is billion dollars for Craftsmen like us

 

We are verr glad that your one year experience with Ranga Pen is very good. I'm sure it would be continuing for many more years

 

Regards,

Kandan.M.P

Ranga Pen Company

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And also, what makes me really happy about this pen is that it works well with Kiwa-Guro (My Desert Island Ink), and I haven't had drying out problems.

post-145190-0-68132600-1545349079_thumb.jpg

Kiwa-guro's worked well for me in the past with pens that use the screw in Jowo nib unit and have a good seal as this one does.

 

I have had some problems finding a pen I liked that worked well with Kiwa-Guro since it can be dry, but this Ranga has a very consistent and sufficient ink flow. And below are photos of Kiwa-Guro with a stock Medium Goulet nib the ink smoothens like a nibmeister conjuring a layer of velvet onto the tipping material that's just right.

post-145190-0-55210700-1545349003_thumb.jpg

And this is also a big deal for me because this allows me to take this pen outside FP friendly paper territory as highlighted with how well it works on Mead paper showing off the versatility of Kiwa-Guro even on a thicker Medium nib.

post-145190-0-15628700-1545349103_thumb.jpg

And here's the back of the Mead paper:

post-145190-0-00557300-1545349156_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mongoosey
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We are very pleased to be doing business with the folks from Ranga, it's been a very good experience for us and our customers.

 

It was a hard decision for us, but due to storage considerations here in Santa Cruz we have opted to discontinue the standard model 3 and focus on our Davenport model (a flat top version of the popular Zayante). Like Mongoosey, we wanted a slightly shorter pen. Here's a comparison photo (left to right is Model 3, the Model 3 Special, and the PSP Ranga Davenport):

 

flat_top_comparison_1.jpg

 

Happy holidays!

TERI

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Very interesting review. I am not familiar with Ranga pens at all, but will be researching now based on your review! Thanks!

 

You're welcome. I honestly wouldn't write a review unless I really like something, it stands out, and/or has a lot to offer.

 

The nib they use is a Jowo, which is the same offered on Franklin-Chirstoph and Edison pens and a number of other reputable pen makers. I don't want to depreciate Edison nor Franklin-Christoph both of whom produce fabulous pens with great customer service as well, but I did get the same quality writing experience from my Ranga, which IMO more attests to the handmade craftsmanship. It doesn't feel like a bargain pen at all.

 

If Edison made more affordable Ebonite pens or F-C made ebonite pens at all, both for the price of around $150 I would have had one by now if the dimensions were agreeable to my preferences, but they don't and there's not much in the market in terms of Quality Ebonite pens with Jowo nibs and I love Jowo Medium nibs.

 

Yes I can get an Ebonite Menlo with a C/C with a steel Jowo, which I'd love to have, but personally not for that price offered ($250-$275) any time soon, especially when Ranga's producing such pens with great dimensions and craftsmanship. On my way to $275 I can get a Ranga, a Lamy 2K, the highest quality paper (Nanami Seven Seas) and maybe have enough left over to pick up some Japanese made inks (Pilot, Sailor's) that can be so smooth and lubricated they make the nib feel like it's been tuned by a nibmeister.

Edited by Mongoosey
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi sir,

I ordered two Ranga 4S's and they are unwieldy for my female hand (which is a medium to large hand for a woman). Could you offer some advice as to how you arrived at the measurement of the grip and length given that you hadn't found a pen that worked for you?

I'm trying to see if Mr. Ranga can make one that's even shorter, with a grip that approximates that of the FPR Himalaya.

Thank you so much.

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Hi sir,

I ordered two Ranga 4S's and they are unwieldy for my female hand (which is a medium to large hand for a woman). Could you offer some advice as to how you arrived at the measurement of the grip and length given that you hadn't found a pen that worked for you?

I'm trying to see if Mr. Ranga can make one that's even shorter, with a grip that approximates that of the FPR Himalaya.

Thank you so much.

 

I don't know what you specifically mean by unwieldy. Do you mean the section was too thick? Or too uncomfortable a shape? Or the pen itself was too long? or uncomfortable a shape? I'm just not familiar with that model.

 

As far as getting the right sizings and pen specifications for yourself from a custom Ranga, I advise to be very specific and communicative and ensure corroboration. Know everything you prefer about a pen, every aspect and tiny detail, and what you don't prefer and communicate that to them and see if they can do that. You don't want to order a pen that you regret or have to settle for. I find the section to be so important in getting right for a pen as well as other small aspects that are right for me.

 

For myself, it was ballparking based on relative feel of other pens of theirs I was able to try. My specifications were what were mentioned in the beginning of the "DESIGN" portion of my review.

 

Have you considered other pens? If two ranga's haven't worked out for you, at that price + another one there are other pens that are very comfortable.

 

I also like the FPR Himalaya very much and would have used it daily if it had a #6 nib.

 

As a fan of the FPR Himalaya, I also really like the Davenport. The section isn't so thick and the length of the pen is shorter. The only problem I had with that pen was that it took 3 turns to unscrew the cap. I prefer as little as possible, though some don't care, so that's preferential.

 

As a fan of the FPR Himalaya I also found that the Karas Kustoms Decograph has the most comfortable section I've ever held. It's not thick, but not too thin and the shape felt like "home".

 

I love the Pilot Custom 74 I got for a good price as a Japanese Import, brand new, but like the Himalaya I wished it had a larger/longer nib and basically the dimensions of the Pilot Custom 823, which I recommend researching.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

I don't know what you specifically mean by unwieldy. Do you mean the section was too thick? Or too uncomfortable a shape? Or the pen itself was too long? or uncomfortable a shape? I'm just not familiar with that model.

 

As far as getting the right sizings and pen specifications for yourself from a custom Ranga, I advise to be very specific and communicative and ensure corroboration. Know everything you prefer about a pen, every aspect and tiny detail, and what you don't prefer and communicate that to them and see if they can do that. You don't want to order a pen that you regret or have to settle for. I find the section to be so important in getting right for a pen as well as other small aspects that are right for me.

 

For myself, it was ballparking based on relative feel of other pens of theirs I was able to try. My specifications were what were mentioned in the beginning of the "DESIGN" portion of my review.

 

Have you considered other pens? If two ranga's haven't worked out for you, at that price + another one there are other pens that are very comfortable.

 

I also like the FPR Himalaya very much and would have used it daily if it had a #6 nib.

 

As a fan of the FPR Himalaya, I also really like the Davenport. The section isn't so thick and the length of the pen is shorter. The only problem I had with that pen was that it took 3 turns to unscrew the cap. I prefer as little as possible, though some don't care, so that's preferential.

 

As a fan of the FPR Himalaya I also found that the Karas Kustoms Decograph has the most comfortable section I've ever held. It's not thick, but not too thin and the shape felt like "home".

 

I love the Pilot Custom 74 I got for a good price as a Japanese Import, brand new, but like the Himalaya I wished it had a larger/longer nib and basically the dimensions of the Pilot Custom 823, which I recommend researching.

 

Mr. Mongoosey,

Thank you for your kindness and patience. (I've been trying to find new housing so not checking in. As for unwieldy, I find the pen too long for long term use, and the feed is horribly dry, so that requires more work. I do prefer #6s, so that is my only critique of the Himalaya. Well, that and it can spurt ink with no warning. I wouldn't carry one around inked.

So yes, I wanted to give Mr. Ranga one more go. I love the opaque clear acrylic and thought that magenta ink would look smashing inside. But I have held off, fearing that I'm throwing more money away. Thank you for your detailed advice.

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