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Hi guys, 

 

I am looking at this pen with a lot of of interest. But I don’t want to pay over £30 for a pen that will break on me. Has anyone been using this for a while? Can you attest to their reliability? I want to try a vacuum filling system and these have the nicest body by far. I am particularly fond of the Sherry Acrylic. I know the nibs aren’t the best on this brand, but I would be willing to change it if it’s possible. I am getting more interested in custom grinds... 

 

Any advice/experiences? 
 

thanks 😊 
 

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The pen's well built, it's not going to fall apart or anything and the filling system works fine too. I hated the stock F nib so swapped it with a Jowo nib. This wasn't as straightforward as I'd expected. The feed wasn't a good fit with the Jowo nib so I had to fine a different feed that fits better. 

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Karmachanic

PENBBS are reasonably sturdy pens. Vac fillers are notoriously difficult to clean. Not the best for serial ink changing. Don't know if things have changed, but the feed fins used to be very delicate, which could be an issue when changing nibs.

 

As for grinds, purchase a handful of inexpensive Jinhao #6 nibs and learn to grind your own.

http://www.marcuslink.com/pens/aboutpens/ludwig-tan.html

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Thank you! 
I might give it a go actually, at grinding my own nibs.... 👍🏻😊 thank you for the suggestion! I hadn’t even thought of that. I have noticed cleaning the pen would be a hassle mmm... maybe I should go for a more opaque finish XD 

 

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54 minutes ago, steve50 said:

The pen's well built, it's not going to fall apart or anything and the filling system works fine too. I hated the stock F nib so swapped it with a Jowo nib. This wasn't as straightforward as I'd expected. The feed wasn't a good fit with the Jowo nib so I had to fine a different feed that fits better. 

 

22 minutes ago, Karmachanic said:

PENBBS are reasonably sturdy pens. Vac fillers are notoriously difficult to clean. Not the best for serial ink changing. Don't know if things have changed, but the feed fins used to be very delicate, which could be an issue when changing nibs.

 

As for grinds, purchase a handful of inexpensive Jinhao #6 nibs and learn to grind your own.

http://www.marcuslink.com/pens/aboutpens/ludwig-tan.html

 

 

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Detman101

My first PENBBS pen was a 456. :)
It seemed great....until I sent it off to a nibsmith for work on replacing the nib.
While it was gone, I purchased a 487 and liked the larger ink capacity and ease of cleaning of the 487 much much better. I also learned how to grind and tune my own nibs and learned how to work flex nibs in that time.

When the 456 returned a month+ later, It leaked from every connection point (section, vacuum mechanism, end cap) and I had to order replacement parts for those areas just to get the pen working right again. It didn't feel like my pen anymore...it felt...alien...lesser.

No longer excited about the 456, it was put away in favor of the 487...which eventually led me to discovering my favorite pen of ALL TIME.....the PENBBS-355.
Summarily, the 456 will be sold soon as I have two more 355 models on their way. The 487 will be my loaner pen for any visitors wanting to experience flex or fountain pens.

The previous posters were correct, the 456 is the hardest to clean of all the PENBBS models. After experiencing the 487 and then the 355, there's no going back to the 456. It's gimmicky (to me) in comparison...
355 for life!

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It could be difficult to clean the pen out only using the vacuum mechanism. But unlike Pilot 823 or Twsbi Vac, the 456 can be disassembled at the barrel, so I don't quite get why it should be difficult to clean...? 

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Detman101
34 minutes ago, steve50 said:

It could be difficult to clean the pen out only using the vacuum mechanism. But unlike Pilot 823 or Twsbi Vac, the 456 can be disassembled at the barrel, so I don't quite get why it should be difficult to clean...? 

Compared to the other Penbbs models available...it is.
But you are correct...to clean it the pen has to be fully disassembled and cleaned...Then re-lubed and reassembled.

Whereas with the 355 you merely use the piston to force the old ink out, then suck up and flush out cleaning solution, suck up and rinse with clean water and flush out...then load the new ink.

Faster, easier, no disassembly required.

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Karmachanic

From the birth of readily available fountain pens in the early 20th Century, until the arrival of TWSBI, the vast majority of ordinary fountain pen users were happy to let their pens remain as they came from the shop. The 'net is now  awash with tales of cracked sections and barrels, as a result of this disassembly mania. Hopefully it will pass.

 

 

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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have had no problems with penbbs purchases so far, the improved 355 is much easier to clean without disassembly compared with the 456.  after a year of use, acrylic is sturdy and no staining, i have the misty mountains variant.  the feeds aren't made to be pulled in and out often, being too delicate.  Not as delicate as the feeds on the twsbi eco but relatively easy to bend them - if you intend to do some nib work yourself, dont forget to get a couple of the penbbs spare parts packages

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That’s a good tip! Honestly I’m mostly interested in the pen because of the novelty of a vacuum filler and well the acrylics are beautiful. But it does sound like a pen you have to enjoy tinkering with to clean and make it write nicely (I have a preference now for stubs and juicer nibs) 

 

So after reading all the comments I’m not sure 🤔 

maybe I should just get myself another pilot 78g+ and keep saving up for a gold nib pen at some point. 
 

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10 hours ago, lionelc said:

have had no problems with penbbs purchases so far, the improved 355 is much easier to clean without disassembly compared with the 456.  after a year of use, acrylic is sturdy and no staining, i have the misty mountains variant.  the feeds aren't made to be pulled in and out often, being too delicate.  Not as delicate as the feeds on the twsbi eco but relatively easy to bend them - if you intend to do some nib work yourself, dont forget to get a couple of the penbbs spare parts packages

 

 
I shall take all your points into consideration and take a look at the 355 as well. 
 

thank you fp friends. 

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Take a look at the Wing Sung 699, a "copy"of the Pilot 823 and a very nice pen. Plenty of reviews to read, too.

 

9 minutes ago, InkNsap said:

Honestly I’m mostly interested in the pen because of the novelty of a vacuum filler

 

“The proper definition of a man is an animal that writes letters.”


Lewis Carroll


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Karmachanic
1 hour ago, InkNsap said:

maybe I should just get myself another pilot 78g+ and keep saving up for a gold nib pen at some point. 

 

 

Choose wisely. Gold nibs are not necessarily better, or softer, than steel.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Detman101

* cough *
Just inserting some peer-pressurization with a few "355" pics...hehe.
😛


20201204_213601_Film1.jpg.19aefd123216d6322c697204397819cd.jpg20201204_221319_Film1.jpg.4cbeef37529cf7a2695945d4484dd58c.jpg1754462386_Wrongpen.thumb.jpg.552e8ed144ecb20c3a61e69bf999b19d.jpg

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I have! Not sure 🤔 about it. There’s something about the acrylics I don’t like. 
 

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On 1/12/2021 at 6:34 AM, OCArt said:

Take a look at the Wing Sung 699, a "copy"of the Pilot 823 and a very nice pen. Plenty of reviews to read, too.

 

 

 

 

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True. But I have my mind on a Pilot C. 74. That company hasn’t disappointed me yet... Only wish I could try my hand at actually writing with one before committing to the purchase. 
 

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On 1/12/2021 at 7:50 AM, Karmachanic said:

 

Choose wisely. Gold nibs are not necessarily better, or softer, than steel.

 

 

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Jajajaja I do love the look of them! And they look a bit more straightforward than the 456?  
 

what flex nib did you put in it? 
 

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On 1/12/2021 at 1:36 PM, Detman101 said:

* cough *
Just inserting some peer-pressurization with a few "355" pics...hehe.
😛


20201204_213601_Film1.jpg.19aefd123216d6322c697204397819cd.jpg20201204_221319_Film1.jpg.4cbeef37529cf7a2695945d4484dd58c.jpg1754462386_Wrongpen.thumb.jpg.552e8ed144ecb20c3a61e69bf999b19d.jpg

 

 

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Detman101
1 hour ago, InkNsap said:

Jajajaja I do love the look of them! And they look a bit more straightforward than the 456?  
 

what flex nib did you put in it? 
 

 

I agree!
I currently have an FPR UltraFlex nib in it that I ground down to a needlepoint.
Luckily, I was able to buy the last two "Blue Dew" nib-units that were available 2 weeks ago and they will arrive within the next week or two. I'll put one of the "Blue Dew" flex nibs into the Clear-Glass 355 when it arrives next week.
My custom Franklin-Christoph 14K Flex Nib won't be back from CustomNibStudio for another month, but that nib will take the place of whatever is in my Snowflake 355 at the time.
 

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Antenociticus

I'll echo Detman re. PenBBS 456/355.

 

I've no beef with PenBBS, I even like the nibs. And it's not an issue of build quality, which is fine; good for the price, I'd say. But the 456 (I have two) never sat that well in my hand. I vastly prefer the 355, which has quickly become one of my favourite pens.

Lined paper makes a prison of the page.

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Antenociticus

Realise I didn't address your actual question at all.

 

Although it's not my favourite PenBBS model, I do think it's a good pen for the money. It certainly won't fall apart in your hand. It might involve a bit of dismantling and reassembly if you need to give it a good clean – more trouble than I want to go to, despite having stained one clear-barrelled 456 by foolishly inking it with Noodler's El Lawrence. And lot of other people do say that it's their favourite.

Lined paper makes a prison of the page.

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JonSzanto

Good pen, well made, material quality seems above average. I have had... four ot these, I think? I am well used to vac-fillers, as much of my collection is vintage and I have in service a number of Sheaffer vac-fills from the 30s-50s. Once restored, they last for decades, I would expect reasonable longevity from these pens. Yes: this is not a pen for swapping inks regularly, that is what c/c pens are for. 

A vac-fill or bulk fill (355/Conid) are made for picking and ink and just writing for days with it - why else would you pick a pen with a large-capacity ink supply? Beyond that, the ergonomics of a pen are wholly dependent on the user's own hand, so to even bring those aspects into the discussion seems unhelpful. Finally, is it worth 30 pounds? Is a sandwich worth the price? A car? The 'worth' of something is such a sliding value that only YOU can say whether it was worth the price. I have certainly paid more for lesser pen experiences, and I also have not been disappointed in any of the PenBBS nibs. In the end, as with any pen purchase you make where you don't actually handle and try the pen: YMMV.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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