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Any Pen Suggestions For Kiwaguro?


Kasyll
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...or a list of pens that would cooperate with Kiwaguro?

 

I recently tried a sample of Sailor Kiwaguro nano pigmented ink and grow to love the way it handles the crappiest of paper with the added bonus of water resistance and the interesting graphite-like shine at a certain angle.

 

However, "most" of my pens (a very small collection of 4, shhh! it's slowly growing) refuse to lay down a consistent line when left overnight.

 

It doesn't seem to have an issue with it inked into my homo sapiens but combined with the higher maintenance of pigmented ink and the HS being a b- to flush... which is why I am looking to expand said collection.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink has never given me any trouble with hard starts, even when I kept my "EDC" Pilot Capless Vanishing Point pen inked with it for months on end, and Pilot Capless pens aren't known for being most effective in preventing dry-out when the nib is retracted.

 

On the whole, I've found Sailor pens — even the steel-nibbed ones such as the Procolor 500 and the Lecoule — to be more effective than Pilot and even Platinum pens at sealing the nib when capped, and having an airtight seal is key to countering potential downsides (clogging, nib crud build-up, etc.) of using pigment inks, super-saturated inks and the like. In contrast, I certainly wouldn't trust Pilot MR and Platinum Balance models to come near that level of effectiveness. Another brand I've come to trust, in spite of its models using slip caps instead of screw caps, is Rotring.

 

My Pelikan and Aurora fountain pens are pretty good too at preventing ink from drying out while capped. Whether you care to put kiwaguro in a piston-filler is a different issue.

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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This ink lives in my ebonite bodied (Jupiter?) Platinum 3776 with UEF nib. Even after many days off, it starts right up.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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Thank you Smug Dill and Lloyd.

 

I came to a conclusion at one point to turn to Platinum and/or Sailor... being that Platinum also had their own line of pigmented ink, as does sailor, figured cannot go wrong with loading their own inks into their own pens!

 

Been eyeing the Platinum 3776 (for something about a slip-seal I am reading?) and the Sailor 1911... this will probably open up a whole new debate or what not, (and hopefully this doesnt turn into one) if I had to pick one or the other, which would you recommend?

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Platinum #3776 is a product family that has easily two dozen models with different materials and finishes for the pen body. Four wooden models (light briar, dark briar, briar shell, and yakusugi), six celluloid models, one ebonite model and three kanazawa-haku models, about four models in the 'Nice' range, six or seven in the Fuji Five Lakes range, plus five gold-trimmed "basic" models in different colours and two rhodium-trimmed models in translucent black and blue, off the top of my head, and that list is far from exhaustive.

 

The Sailor Profit (often referred to as 1911 outside Japan) product family has three distinct form factors: Profit Standard (aka 1911 Standard or 1911 Medium), Profit21 (aka 1911 Large) and 'King of Pen' and just too many regular and limited edition models in each to list.

 

So I don't know where to start answering your question about picking "one or the other". Platinum #3776 Century models have the Slip-and-Seal mechanism, but some older #3776 models don't. Sailor doesn't advertise such a feature or any claims about how resistant its pens are to ink drying out while capped within twelve months, but so far every Sailor Profit and Professional Gear pen I have is superb in that regard, and rival the #3776 Century's performance for all intents and purposes.

 

Personally I prefer Sailor's nibs to Platinum's, and in turn I prefer Platinum #3776 14K gold nibs to Pilot's 14K gold nibs on the latter's Custom models. (Pilot Capless nibs, and nibs on such models as the Pilot Elite 95s, are a different kettle of fish.)

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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Personally I prefer Sailor's nibs to Platinum's, and in turn I prefer Platinum #3776 14K gold nibs to Pilot's 14K gold nibs on the latter's Custom models. (Pilot Capless nibs, and nibs on such models as the Pilot Elite 95s, are a different kettle of fish.)

Can you elaborate more on the nib itself? In regards to the feel, feedback (if any?), etc?

 

I really appreciate your help Smug Dill! All of the above info is amazing vs. spending hours perusing the boards piecing together tidbits of info here and there and still left with uncertainty.

 

EDIT: From the background reading (or quiet stalking of the forums) I noticed you write in both Japanese (or is it Mandarin?) and latin characters. I am most curious about Japanese/Asian writing nibs vs Western nibs in regards to character vs latin writing and if there is any difference in performance or rather if it makes any difference in the feel/ease of western nibs latin writing vs Japanese nibs character writing?

Edited by Kasyll
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@Kasyll

I have a strong preference for nibs that are capable of putting down narrow lines crisply. (Some nibs can do that as well as produce broader lines when oriented or pressed in some controlled manner.) Not that I've had issues with any of the six Platinum #3776 14K gold F nibs, but I have experienced some slight scratchiness with other narrow Platinum gold nibs (#3776 14K gold SF nibs, President 18K gold F nib, and a 14K gold EF nib on a PTL-5000A), whereas my dozen Sailor gold nibs have been invariably good, writing smoothly (without being "buttery") while giving a suitable amount of feedback to allow me to exert precise control. The "large-sized" Sailor nibs with the 1911 imprint found on Profit21 and full-sized Professional Gear ("Classic", as opposed to Slim) models tend to have slightly more give than "medium-sized" nibs in the same family.

I don't know that I can generalise across "Western nibs". Some of my Aurora 18K gold EF nibs put down narrow lines crisply, but my Aurora 14K gold EF nibs don't work equally as well in that regard, although still better than Pelikan 14K gold EF nibs. If you bring steel nibs into the picture as well, three out of four Rotring nibs I have write more narrowly than one would expect from "Western nibs" of their respective nib width grades; the EF nib on my Rotring 400 writes as fine as the finest Pilot Penmanship steel EF nib. The Delta Fusion EF nib and the steel EF nibs on my Diplomat Aero and Lamy Studio Lx All Black are also very good in that regard. The Schmidt F nibs on my six Moonman M100 and M200 pens would all easily rival EF nibs (without being scratchy).

I write in traditional Chinese kaishu script, which is what is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan but not mainland China or Singapore. I can put down Japanese kana on the page but I wouldn't necessarily understand what the text means. The glyphs are still instantly recognisable in the absence of line variation over the trajectory of a pen stroke, but (not unlike English writing) some appropriate line variation can be aesthetically pleasing and make the text more legible. However, a lot of "soft" or "flex" nibs just don't lend themselves to producing that kind of expected line variation due to a slow rate of "snapback" or returning to original shape after elastic deformation. It's not just a "Western nib" thing; I absolutely detested the #10 FA nib on the Pilot Custom 912, and I'm not that keen on both Pilot and Platinum SM nibs. Nibs that have significant room for elastic deformation but firmly resist it, thus requiring the user to exert quite a lot of pressure and modulation effort to get the desired swells within pen strokes, are in my opinion best suited to that kind of writing. Those same nibs can also be used effectively in producing cursive English writing that exhibits suitable line variation, but it just takes quite a bit of mental concentration and muscle strength, which means slower writing and shorter writing sessions.

Edited by A Smug Dill

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 left my Sailor Promenade inked with Sailor kiwaguro, and it's been at least two months since I last used it. No clogging, no hard starts, no nib creep, and the pen was ready to write as soon as I uncapped it earlier today.

fpn_1572307661__sailor_promenade_ef_nib_

By the way, I suspect that most people here would categorise that nib as a "nail". I think I get sufficient "expressiveness" out of it all the same, and my English writing in a cursive hand does not come out "monoline". In fact I found it very difficult to minimise line variation and "expressiveness" while writing the text at the top of that sheet.

Edited by A Smug Dill

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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A Smug Dill, I love your handwriting: both the printed style and the longhand below. Interesting illustration of "H-EF" nib. I have one such in my Sailor Pro Gear Slim and have not considered pressing down on it at all to vary the line thickness due to worrying about wearing out the tiny amount of initial tipping.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Thank you very much, Intensity.

I have one such in my Sailor Pro Gear Slim and have not considered pressing down on it at all to vary the line thickness due to worrying about wearing out the tiny amount of initial tipping.

  • I have some two hundred fountain pens here to share the burden and risk of nib tipping actually wearing out from writing, so to speak. ;)
  • The sheet of paper, and whatever is behind or beneath it, will most likely yield before the tipping material does. Getting the tines to spread laterally is not the only way to produce line variation; widening the contact surface between nib and page by very slightly bending, indenting and/or stretching the paper by pushing the tipping down will also contribute to line variation.
  • I figured it's easier to retrain one's hand to provide some spring in the mechanics of handwriting than simply demanding the metal body of a nib to yield and "snap back". In another thread on FPN, some other members talked about using one pen for an entire month to force oneself to learn to both accommodate and fully exploit the nuances and traits of that pen and nib. While I personally think that is somewhat misguided, as with weapons training there is merit in conceptualising the instrument as an extension of one's arm. If "spring" and pressure modulation is required in the ballistic writing motion, developing muscle memory to effect it is probably less limiting than restricting oneself to using soft and flex nibs only. Analogously, when used to block a hard strike a rattan fighting stick would inherently provide some shock absorption, whereas an ironwood fighting stick would allow the full impact to be transmitted to one's hand and jar the wielder's wrist — unless he has learnt and practised micro muscle movements to deal with that. Having that muscle memory makes one better, not poorer, at stick-fighting in general even when wielding rattan from time to time.

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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These are all pens I trust will seal the nib effectively against drying out when properly capped:

 

fpn_1572499973__two_styles_of_chinese_ka

 

fpn_1572500073__two_styles_of_chinese_ka

 

fpn_1572500098__two_styles_of_chinese_ka

 

and so putting Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink in any of them shouldn't cause any issues.

 

What I don't trust is the EF nib width grade as indication of the width of the lines the pens will put down on the page.

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 want to get some kiwa guro but I'm worried that it will just have the heinous feathering that platinum carbon black has. Have any of you tried both?

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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Have any of you tried both?

Yes.

Edited by A Smug Dill

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 usually have one of the two inked up in a Sailor 1911 or a Platinum 3776 respectively. I haven't experienced any feathering with either ink so my experience isn't going to be very helpful. But for what it is worth with fine nibs on standard exercise book paper (Spirax) and on postcards there is no functional difference. I've seen the ink smearing by running water over Platinum Carbon Black and my take is that on particularly heavily sized papers not much penetrates the paper and what doesn't penetrate will wash off and smear. It is especially noticeable on glossy postcards. I haven't directly compared the two inks in this regard but my experience from glossy postcards is that they are no different. Writing on glossy postcards is now my one ballpoint pen usage.

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Smug Dill:

 

That's pretty impressive (or very ballsy!) to keep iron gall inks loaded up for that long without flushing!

 

In your experience have you noticed any differences or similarities in regards to pen hygiene with iron gall vs pigmented inks?

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That's pretty impressive (or very ballsy!) to keep iron gall inks loaded up for that long without flushing!

 

My first Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz was inked with Platinum Classic Ink Khaki Black since the day I first inked it. All I did along the way was swap its gold-plated steel F nib with the 14K gold EF nib on the M400 White-Tortoiseshell I bought maybe six months later, not because I was afraid that the iron-gall ink would do anything bad to the steel nib (when there was no sign of such after six months), but because I think it's the better nib, and the M400 White-Tortoiseshell is the prettier pen with which I wouldn't fill any potentially troublesome inks because I vaguely remember someone complaining that the tortoiseshell binde on the barrel can be stained by the ink inside.

 

In your experience have you noticed any differences or similarities in regards to pen hygiene with iron gall vs pigmented inks?

 

You should think about what the "failure mode and effect" of each type of ink is. The cause may be the same, but the effects are different. The potential risk (i.e. effect) of pigment ink drying in the nib or feed is clogging of the ink channel and stopping ink flow. The potential risk of iron-gall ink drying is the increased concentration of acid. You can probably shake loose clusters of pigment nano-particles with an ultrasonic cleaner (filled with warm and dilute ammonia solution in the tank) and the flush them out, but you can't reverse the effects of corrosion of metal by acid. On the other hand, a solid gold nib is unlikely to get corroded (but 'features' such as ruthenium-coating might), whereas the feed can end up being clogged by particles irrespective of the materials used for the nib (primarily gold or steel) and feed (primarily plastic or ebonite). Whether the feed can easily be removed from the grip section or nib-and-feed housing, and of course whether you have access to an ultrasonic cleaner, are factors of consideration in the latter case from a risk management perspective.

 

All that said, a Platinum #3776 Century (by which I don't just mean the "cheapest" Black on Black, Chartres Blue or Bourgogne models) or a Sailor fountain pen with a gold-coloured solid gold nib would probably be equally resistant to ink drying out and also to corrosion by acid. I've happily kept my Pilot 'Hannya Shingyo' (think $900 pen) inked with Platinum Carbon Black pigment ink for months on end, and I didn't use that pen all that often. It hasn't caused a problem yet, and that pen hasn't ever dried out on me either.

 

p.s. Pens that don't seal the nib and feed effectively when capped usually end up requiring more maintenance effort, even when dye-based inks that contain no suspended insoluble particles and aren't acidic are used. This applies to both "expensive" pens (such as a Delta Sea Wood pen with a Fusion nib) and "cheap" pens (such as a Moonman M6). Try putting Monteverde Fireopal into those, and you'll find out what "high maintenance" means.

Edited by A Smug Dill

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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You should think about what the "failure mode and effect" of each type of ink is. The cause may be the same, but the effects are different. The potential risk (i.e. effect) of pigment ink drying in the nib or feed is clogging of the ink channel and stopping ink flow. The potential risk of iron-gall ink drying is the increased concentration of acid.

I figured as much based on very short experience and poking around on the boards but wasn't too sure to be honest =)

 

There seems to be a lot of people on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to iron gall inks and pigmented inks. Either they are over zealous or super chill and rarely ever flush without any clogging (pigmented) or corrosion (iron gall).

 

All the info you have provided has helped put my mind at ease and gave me more insight into what pens to look for in general. Not just for Kiwaguro.

 

On a side note; I am going into maybe my 6th or 7th month of R+K Salix in my homo sapiens and haven't had any ill effects -- and it definitely didn't need OCD/ADHD flsuhing/cleanse, though I am assuming being a daily writer and receiving a steady diet of fresh ink is what helps.

 

From my silent stalking of the forums; I bet Honeybadger would have a lot to say/rave about the HS 😁.

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I suspect that Rohrer & Klingner Salix and Scabiosa fall into the same category as KWZ Ink Aztec Gold IGL (Iron-Gall Light), and not KWZ Ink IG Blue-Black (the 'strongest' of the brand's iron-gall inks).

 

By the way, kudos for your "silent stalking" and having done your research/"due diligence". I admire that.

Edited by A Smug Dill

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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Last writing sample I'm going to post in this thread:

 

fpn_1572702558__two_styles_of_chinese_ka

 

I've had to work on that Delike Times fountain pen in a number of ways. Out of the box, the cap would rattle, didn't appear to seal the nib and feed well, and when posted on the end of the barrel it was loose and would eventually fall off. The nib was scratchy and the ink flow wasn't anywhere near optimal. It wasn't a $40 pen I could recommend in good faith. However, after I worked on it, the cap now posts securely (not that I usually post the cap on my fountain pen when writing), seems to seal very well, and the EF nib is smooth enough while still putting down very narrow lines. What hasn't changed is that the nib is a "nail" and has no give whatsoever; but I can still get two very different styles of kaishu out of it, and cursive English writing using it isn't monoline and devoid of character.

 

So, I wouldn't conclude which nibs are more ill-suited to Chinese writing — or English writing, for that matter — on the basis of Japanese versus Western (and versus Chinese), hard or soft, and so on. What matters is whether the nib's tipping is smooth yet sport a geometry that puts down precise lines.

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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