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What are everyone's favourite PenBBS pens that balance well when posted? (and have a high capacity)



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So I've been looking for a pen, one that has high capacity and posts well. The funny thing is that I never usually post my pens, but I've had enough of the frustration regarding where to put the cap while doing work in school. My Eco and 580 both have high capacity, and it's great, but he former becomes incredibly backheavy and uncomfortable to use when posted and the latter doesn't even have the possibility of posting.

 

The reason I say high capacity is that I love my Japanese fountain pens, I have a vintage Pilot with a wonderful nib as my main pen, but it only takes cartridges or the Con-40, and I just want an integrated filling system because I'm a little tired of dealing with either limited capacity converter or syringe filling, when the cartridge can't even handle a full milliliter. I've tentatively settled on PenBBS, as they have such a variety of models to choose, with some beautiful acrylics, and the prices are reasonable. So I ask what are your favourite PenBBS models with an integrated filling system (therefore higher capacity) that have a good balance when posted?

 

I've looked at the Model 268, one of their vacuum fillers, perfect if only for the fact that it only comes in clear and the plastic seems not as high quality as most of their other models. I know the Model 456 is also vacuum and comes in different colours, but I've heard from various Youtube reviews that it is a little unbalanced and backheavy when posted, and as far as I know it is the heaviest model they offer, and those facts in combination make me wary of buying it.

 

I'm willing to wait in case the best suggestion isn't in stock, so just throw all your recommendations at me!

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I guess I disagree that models with an integrated filling system have “therefore higher capacity”, when the PenBBS 308 used as an eyedropper-filled pen has a significantly higher ink capacity than its piston-filled sibling the PenBBS 309, precisely because there is no integrated filling system components to take up space inside the barrel.

 

As for having a good balance, what exactly/objectively do you mean by that? Where does the centre of gravity have to be, for a pen to have a good balance when posted, for your preferences? I'm talking about this kind of evaluation of balance:

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because I just tried posting the cap on my PenBBS 308, and it just made precise control of nib movements on the page take significantly more effort; but I know some other pen users (with larger hands and/or write more ‘expressively’, ‘flowingly’ or loosely?) prefer it.

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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3 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

when the PenBBS 308 used as an eyedropper-filled pen has a significantly higher ink capacity than its piston-filled sibling

I'll be honest I may have forgotten that eyedropper filling existed. I was comparing integrated filling systems to cartridge converter ones. I do like the capacity of eyedroppering, but I have had terrible luck with them. Admittedly it was with cheap pens, but still I'm a little hesitant. Have you experienced any burping/other significant problems while using PenBBS pens? Also, the two other eyedroppers I used were both very wet, almost uncontrollable, maybe not a problem for some people, but even when one wrote perfectly in the sense of no burping and other stuff for a good month, it was still very wet and not great to use in my opinion even with some tuning (for schoolwork on questionable paper especially). Both were from Fountain Pen Revolution, with a cheap clear plastic one that I got for free with my order not working and burping and leaking a little, and the other was when I tried using my FPR Himalaya as an eyedropper, as mentioned it had no specific problems, but just became too uncontrollably wet.

 

3 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

As for having a good balance, what exactly/objectively do you mean by that?

That's a good question, and I want to apologize for not actually explaining my idea of balanced in the post, so thank you for asking me to clarify it. My idea of a perfect balance is slightly front weighted without posting, so that when posting and putting on the cap, it becomes as close to even as it can throughout and the center of gravity is close as a possible to the middle. I'm okay with a little front weighting, it's preferable over being backheavy to me. I also realize that with metal parts and such in a filling system, it's very hard to have no backweighting, but minimal as possible is okay with me. I do have very small hands, and I definitely have a preference for preciseness over what you call expressiveness.

 

 

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No apology was necessary or expected, but thank you very much for clarifying.

 

I haven't tried using the PenBBS 308 pens I have as eyedropper-filled pens; I just don't like doing so with cartridge/converter-filled pens, except sometimes when the pen is cheaper than the converter that is not supplied by default, e.g. Platinum Preppy, or for 'special effects'. What I will say, though, is that the PenBBS 308 is expressly design to accommodate that mode of use, and there's an O-ring on the gripping section threads to provide improve sealing. (Ditto the Fine Writing International Planets series of pens, which are very well made but one major 'flaw', being how many turns it takes to uncap.)

 

I haven't used the freebie FPR demonstrator pen I was sent, but I have a bunch of FPR Himalaya (v1 and v2) pens here. Hmmm, I haven't used them as eyedropper-filled pens, either. I think it should be noted that the Himalaya has an ebonite feed, and that adds to the wetness. I don't find, for example, eyedropper-filling my Sailor Profit Junior or Platinum Preppy pens made them write wetter.

 

I don't think the slightly upturned F nibs that come factory-fitted on most PenBBS models are the greatest for writing with precision, so you may have to get an REF nib (supplied in an acrylic pendant) additionally.

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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Well, the OP wanting is for a high capacity and yet easy usage filling, so I figure eye dropper might not made the grade, in and among the PenBBS models, there is the 309 piston fill, the 456 vac fill, the 500 spring plunger piston fill, the 487 Magnetic piston fill, the 355 syringe piston fill , ad of course the ability to go eye dropper on a couple of models. AFAIK, eye dropper a 308 / 491 ( well 323 do not post ) will give the most capacity , but between the others it will be the 355 and the 487 which would had the highest capacity, then came 456, then 500 and 309 would come last, mind that the high capacity come with the price that you are looking at a fair sized barrel so posting made it even that bit more.

 

Depending on the specific pen / feed , eye dropper or high capacity fill can made a difference , I've had first hand experience with pens that write certainly with a more liberal flow when eye dropper vs using a converter, but not all pens are like that. PenBBS nib/feed are typically tuned towards dry flow for writing the home language so it might not be that bad an idea to had a wetter flow, and upon that I disagree that the upturned nib on PenBBS not good for precision writing , I've been writing for quite some time since this kind of nib turn up ( first on the Delike New Moon ) and I've found them pretty controllable , the motto though it require a technique tailored for that kind of nib and its more akin to using a Sailor Cross Point Naginata ( in calligraphy application ) or you can use it as typical Chinese Calligraphy nib style. It does limit its application on expressive style Cursive due to not much of a variation between the vertical vs the cross strokes and the nib themselves usually too hard to try to gleam some line variation with force.

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Passerine

 

Mech gives you a nice run down of the pens’ relative capacities. There are video reviews of almost all Penbbs models in this forum. Usually the ability to post is discussed. That should give you a good idea of which you might like

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
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My personal preference for a well-balanced PenBBS self-filler when posted would be a 456.  I didn't like it when I first got one, as it's a bit heavy and just sits like a lump in the hand.  But over time I've really grown to appreciate that the balance doesn't shift much when posted or not.  (Note that my balance comments are predicated on rather long fingers.)

 

Of the rest of the self-fillers, only the 309 really posts well, and it's very well balanced when posted.  But I've stopped recommending it as many people have difficulty dealing with the static friction lock of the piston.  (I just remove the blind cap and twist the piston one way or the other, but I can appreciate how that's annoying.)

 

The 268 is an absolutely brilliant pen, but I've had multiple sections crack within days/weeks of use, and won't use them again.  (These, the 494, and the 322 are their injection-moulded pens, and not of the regular quality associated with PenBBS.)

 

Failing the 456, I'd eye-dropper a 308.  It's an all-around great pen, despite not being a self-filler.  PenBBS pens come with very tight nibs and are miserly with flow, until/unless you spread the tines a bit, so shouldn't be a worry with it being too wet when eye-dropper filled.  As to burping, it does burp a bit.  I don't know how to objectively quantify it, though.

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16 hours ago, Ardakilic said:

How about 494 ? I write sometimes with it as posted and never had issues.

 

Now that you mentioned it, yes indeed, I was using one just today (with a broad-edged Pilot Plumix nib installed) and it's a pen I don't mind the shift in weight balance all that much when posted, quite possibly because of the absence of the cap ring to weigh down the cap; I just plain forgot it's a PenBBS. It also helps that it's a slender pen, so it doesn't feel as though there's a big chunk of pen rising above my hand when the cap is posted.

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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It would be the PenBBS 480 for me, a serial poster: 

  • PenBBS 355 - posts securely, but waay too long, slighty backweighted
  • PenBBS 480 - converter filled but can be eydroppered, looks like a Sheaffer Balance and balanced!
  • PenBBS 487 - posts securely but wobbles not as good as 355,  waay too long, unbalanced

I don't even post 480 nor eyedropper it!

 

Pro-tip: if you get a PenBBS pen, buy the part kits; it comes in handy for tinkering

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