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How Smooth Is The Two Tone Jowo Steel Nib?



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Hi all,

 

I am eager to order a custom made fountain pen and from my research, there seem to be a lot of options around. For me, both the smoothness of the nib and the design of the pen are equally important. What is the use of having a gorgeous pen which gives a lot of feedback (in my case!) or have hard starts due to a "poor" nib?

I have seen that a lot of companies doing custom made pens offer the 2-tone Jowo nib (which is German made, I guess?) to fit into their pens. My question is: Are the 2-tone Jowo nibs as smooth as, say, the nib on a Faber Castell Ondorro?

If not, which nib (the smoother the better) would you recommend to match a custom made fountain pen? Also, any good companies you know which are into custom made fountain pens?

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Don't know............chase old used pens.....vintage. Not into butter smooth at all costs. Do have a few, but don't mean I reach for them all the time.

 

Most noobies, go overboard, looking for butter smooth at all costs.

#1, M will be smoother than F, much less EF.

 

What ink and paper you use matters to smoothness, near as much as one that has been smoothed to the max.

Be wary of baby bottom, happens mostly with over smoothed nibs.

 

Two toned mean's nothing to the 'iridium' tipping....If you are ordering a custom pen, you can have the nib customized by a nibmeister.....if you are going that far.

 

How many pens do your have?

What pens do you like for their balance?

(How many classic well balanced pens....so you can know what sort of balance you want on your custom pen?) Would suggest chasing established brands, if one don't have some 8-10 different pens, of different length, width and balance points.

 

Do you want a nail nib, a semi-nail nib or a rare springy regular flex nib?

Do you want a Stub? CI? Oblique? Or Architect grind on the nib?

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.

 

 

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So far have used only 2 Jowo nibs 1) a ordinary steel nib and 2) a gold-color-plated steel nib. And no, they are no way as smooth as my faber-castell nib. Though they do feel smooth and write well in their own way, you can't compare them to the smoothness of the faber-castell one.

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I expect you could swap the nib from an affordable entry level FC like the Basic (still a good nib a believe) into a Jowo housing (if you're limited to Jowo housings for some reason; not sure if the Basic has a removeable nib unit or not), and of course have the penmaker tweak the nib for optimum performance as desired.

 

I don't personally know of any reason why a Jowo nib could not be made as smooth as a FC by a nibmeister (since the pen is going to be custom made anyway), but I'm not very knowledgeable with these things. I would suggest discussing it with the pen maker as well, since he will better know what he is capable of doing with a nib.

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sirgilbert357

If I'm not mistaken, Faber Castell nibs are made by Bock. Not sure swapping a FC nib into a Jowo nib housing would work.

 

To the OP:

Anyway, the nib itself can be smoothed and worked to your heart's content, so that isn't really an issue. Focus on the pen itself and just know that whatever nib the pen comes with (Jowo, Bock, Schmidt, other) it can be tuned to your liking. Smoothness, wetness, feedback, etc can all be set to your preferences. Just know that ink and paper can affect how any nib feels and sometimes the best combo takes a little experimentation...

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sirgilbert357

Oh, I missed the other question...sources for custom made pens are:

 

-Shawn Newton (Google his name to find his website, but just know there will likely be a long wait)

 

-Edison Pens

 

-Franklin Christoph offers some nib grinds and customization of nibs, but they don't do full custom pens that I'm aware of.

 

I'm sure others will chime in soon with more options.

Edited by sirgilbert357
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The ability to swap nibs depends on both the manufacturer and nib size. You have to look at the radius of the nib, as well as its width and thickness.

 

To answer the OPs original question - I would not expect an inexpensive plated steel nib to write as smoothly as a gold or rhodium plated gold nib from a major manufacturer.

 

There are different grades of tipping material, effecting both hardness and smoothness (grain) of the tipping material, in addition to the care put into smoothing the nib. In general a higher value pen has a better quality nib. A high end Bock nib, or a gold Jowo nib, will be made with better material than the basic gold plated steel nib. Can they be polished to give a satisfactory writing experience? I think so, but as I say in one blog post, I think that many people have never experienced a really good nib. When you do, it changes your perspective... None of the Jowo nibs I've written with have come close to the 9461 nib in my Visumaster Esterbrook, or the 5-30 nib in the Sheaffer Balance in my pocket.

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Agree with everyone else here that you can smooth out the nib yourself, or ask the pen-maker to do it. But based on the OP's question I feel he prefers to get a smooth nib out of the box. And not every pen-maker is willing/or able to perfectly smooth out a nib the way I feel it in my faber-castell pen. But my experience is very limited with custom pen-makers and I may be wrong here.

 

Based on the OP's question I feel he is new to fountain pens and may not be interested in smoothing out his own nibs. So I'd suggest to clarify your nib preferences with the pen-maker before you place your order. Just my two cents :)

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Are the 2-tone Jowo nibs as smooth as, say, the nib on a Faber Castell Ondorro?

No, as reference you have picked one of the smoothest existing steel nib pens!...

I believe the Faber Castell steel nibs are made by Bock, but no doubt there is some additional fine-tuning to make them so smooth.

 

If not, which nib (the smoother the better) would you recommend to match a custom made fountain pen?

Bock and...Jowo.

Honestly, Jowo nibs are very smooth, even though they may not be as smooth as Faber Castell steel nibs (I have the Ondoro so I know) they are still pretty smooth.

I was using one today and was surprised, I did not remember how smooth it is.

 

Also, any good companies you know which are into custom made fountain pens?

Ranga. In fact I was using a Ranga pen today, which is threaded to mount a Jowo nib unit (nib, feed, collar), screw in.

Very convenient, you can change the nib when required, and fit a different size.

 

Note that the impression of smoothness is often given by the nib size.

Larger nibs feel smoother, because the surface touching the paper is larger, so they glide more easily.

The B nib I was using today glides even on nasty copy paper...

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Edited by sansenri
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Thank you all for your views on the matter. Really helpful. It seems it boils down to talking with the pen maker and see what is possible.

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Agree with talking to the pen maker, to what nib he suggests.

 

I would assume the modern Pelikan nib is often butter smooth. They won't be cheap, but a good pen maker can make you a screw in nib section. The problem with nibs that are ground to be butter smooth, is sometimes they are smoothed that little bit too much and have developed baby bottom.

 

I only have one modern MB and it is butter smooth...

 

Oddly I like nibs with a bit of give to them....so they really don't get as much use as they could.

 

What Ron says here, I've read from knife makers............practice makes the master. That and a lot of pride.

 

""""On several occasions I have gone back to visit a nib that I worked on several years before, and have been surprised that I was satisfied with the work at the time. This is one area where experience really does count.

It’s unlikely that I will use the same techniques today that I used even a year ago. Repair/nib guys are constantly growing and evolving. If we’re not, we’re dead. If I were to suggest just one key to learning how to do good nib work it is to observe…. the shape of the nib, the feel of the nib, and what subtle thing you did that made the difference and how you got there."""

I think experience would help you get a much better custom made pen...which for my wallet is not cheap, when you don't know what you want....what you need.......just the cachet my bespoke pen .......and let me tell you, many change radically their opinions of pens in a year or two's time.

Those who insisted in heavy metal pens, develop a liking for a light and nimble plastic pen. Those who want a nail nib learn to like a regular flex.

It's even been chiseled into stone, that right after the last full eclipse of the sun, someone who used only EEF Japanese pens, started using a Lamy B......Mythbusters are working on that.

I came in, went wide....ended up with a lot of F's and now like M's.

What width, what flex of nib do you want on your pen..............how can you tell?

What inks do you use....what papers do you have? You do need to think about that, when you decide what you want the nib to do.

What are the secrets of the Classic pens...........who can be smoothed to butter smooth, if not smooth enough for you and lots cheaper..............I don't know what you custom pen will cost....and how custom you want...........but think if you chase down 4-5 of the classic used pens, you would have a much better idea what you want, need if you still have I need a custom pen itch.

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.

 

 

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It depends upon the company selling the pens.

 

Italix uses JoWo nibs, but the nibs are polished or somthing by Italix so they are smooth.

 

I imagine other firms do the same.

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What are the secrets of the Classic pens...........who can be smoothed to butter smooth, if not smooth enough for you and lots cheaper..............I don't know what you custom pen will cost....and how custom you want...........but think if you chase down 4-5 of the classic used pens, you would have a much better idea what you want, need if you still have I need a custom pen itch.

Fully agree with this. I have been into fountain pens for more than a year now - if I don't count the 5-6 years during my school days - and even within this short duration my preferences have changed. At the start I preferred pens with small-size nibs, but I recently used a larger pen with size#6 nib and liked it immediately. Now I am more open to trying out bigger-sized pens than I was just a year ago. Though I continue to prefer smooth nibs like my Faber-castell ones, I am aware that this might change in future.

 

Custom-made pens can be expensive, depending upon where you live. In India, they are not that expensive, but your case may be different. So it would be a good idea to try out a few pens - with different pen sizes and different nib sizes and different types of nib - so that you can have a clear understanding about what type of pen you really want.

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