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Ok, I can’t believe it, I’m I’m already ready to buy a third gold nib pen.  I’m feeling a little less confident, I just got a Pilot Decimo and i was expecting it to be great - but it doesn’t have the same feel at all as the Sailor Pro Gear Slim I got last week. Not to mention, it skips, no matter what I’ve done....but even if it didn’t skip, I’m just not thrilled with it. I want a pen that has a more similar writing experience as the Pro Gear.  Smooth, light, nib just glides across the page with so little effort.  I was thinking a Pelikan M200, love the Pastel Green, but read that they have a steel nib, I’m not going to spend over $200 for a steel nib. I was also considering a Platinum 3776. I can go up to around $200.  You can get a plain black 3776 on Amazon for around $120 - but I’m worried about counterfeit - plus, I love the 3776 “Nice” line, there is a pink and a lavender, faceted barrels, both really pretty.  I’ve also seen a few of the more pricey Pilot pens on YT - the 74G, I think?  


I prefer smaller sized pens, but not necessarily pocket size.  Franklin Christoph pens are also on my very long wishlist - though getting one with a gold nib puts me at around $250, and they are always sold out of the pens I like (such as Antique Glass)....

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The Pelikan M200/5 makes for a great choice.  I currently have one inked and using.  Have you thought of a Lamy 2000?  I do like the Platinum 3776's a lot as well.  There are a lot of choices under $200.

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A Smug Dill

@Geslina So, on what specifically are you seeking advice? There was no particular question in your post.

 

We have more than ten Pilot Capless (of the ‘knock’ type, i.e. Vanishing Point and Décimo) pens here, most of them with Fine nibs that write smoothly (out-of-the-box, with no tuning required, and never had to inspect one under a loupe to fix some issue). I used one as my EDC (‘everyday carry’) pen for several years. An 18K gold Pilot Capless F nib that skips would be an anomaly if not outright defective; the only Capless nibs that may cause trouble for certain users are the Stub nibs, because they have to be ‘held’ and written with in a certain way. Did you flush and clean the nib with a dilute solution of detergent (followed with plenty of plain clean water) before use? Not that it's always necessary, and generally it hasn't been necessary for me, but who knows what the machining and handling processes are at the factory these days that may cause it to pick up some tiny amount of oil, grease or other substance that can wreak havoc on ink flow.

 

However, I wouldn't expect a Sailor 14K gold F nib to write or feel the same as a Pilot Capless F nib and vice versa, even though I like them both. I just ordered another two Sailor pens with ’medium-sized‘, 1911-imprinted 14K gold F nibs yesterday.

 

I think Pelikan M20x steel nibs are superior to the M40x gold nibs; so much so, my M400 Tortoiseshell-Brown and M400 White-Tortoiseshell pens now have M200 steel nibs fitted on them because they deserve better, and their original gold nibs (at least one of which I've since reground) swapped onto two M200 pens. There are plenty of pens factory-fitted with steel nibs with asking prices north of US$200, but I understand and even share the sentiment of not wanting to spend that kind of money on a steel-nibbed pen, never mind the pen body's material, finish and looks. However, if any M200 is asking more than US$200, then you're either looking for it in the wrong place, or looking for some ‘rare’ discontinued model of which opportunistic owners or traders are driving up the price. The globally accessible ‘street prices’ of the M200 Pastel Green are nowhere near US$200.

 

An entry-level Platinum #3776 Century has a MSRP of ¥13,000+tax these days, so US$120 is a perfectly plausible price for a new genuine unit (but I don't necessarily mean it's the price from your preferred retailers and/or on your preferred retail channels).

 

The current-model Pilot Custom 74 has a MSRP of ¥12,000+tax, is the bottom of the range in the Custom product line, and does not warrant a higher price than the Platinum #3776 Century. Personally, I dislike the Custom 74 (which I bought a couple of years ago, before Pilot raised the MSRP) and sold both of mine; but that's just me. No idea to what you were referring by “74G”.

 

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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Sailor Kenshin
1 hour ago, Geslina said:

Ok, I can’t believe it, I’m I’m already ready to buy a third gold nib pen.  I’m feeling a little less confident, I just got a Pilot Decimo and i was expecting it to be great - but it doesn’t have the same feel at all as the Sailor Pro Gear Slim I got last week. Not to mention, it skips, no matter what I’ve done....but even if it didn’t skip, I’m just not thrilled with it. I want a pen that has a more similar writing experience as the Pro Gear.  Smooth, light, nib just glides across the page with so little effort.  I was thinking a Pelikan M200, love the Pastel Green, but read that they have a steel nib, I’m not going to spend over $200 for a steel nib. I was also considering a Platinum 3776. I can go up to around $200.  You can get a plain black 3776 on Amazon for around $120 - but I’m worried about counterfeit - plus, I love the 3776 “Nice” line, there is a pink and a lavender, faceted barrels, both really pretty.  I’ve also seen a few of the more pricey Pilot pens on YT - the 74G, I think?  


I prefer smaller sized pens, but not necessarily pocket size.  Franklin Christoph pens are also on my very long wishlist - though getting one with a gold nib puts me at around $250, and they are always sold out of the pens I like (such as Antique Glass)....

 

 

If the Decimo is new and doesn't work right, can you not return it?

 

I have two Platinum 3776 pens, one a medium that is never, ever de-inked, and a broad that is a firehose and is still searching for the 'right' ink.

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If you want a Platinum nib that glides, I'd look at the broad option. The #3776 is slightly heavier than the Sailor Pro-gear I have. 

 

The other Platinum offering, if it is under $200, is the Platinum modern Make-i which comes with a delightful 18K nib. No slip & seal, but the nib and the beauty of the decoration is inspiring. 

 

I hav enot heard of many fake #3776 pens.

 

The other option is to look at the 2nd hand/vintage market. A decent Parker 51, (or vintage 40's-60's duofold) should be within your budget. But you really want to try them before you buy. 

 

Sorry to hear you have a problem with the Decimo. A wetter ink might help, or a different paper. I've had new pens and it can take a couple of weeks for them to "bed in" I don't know why - it might be manufacturing gunk working its way through the pen or whatever. I'd suggest 

writing with it for two weeks to see if it improves. If it doesn't contact Pilot or the seller and ask for a warranty repair/replacement.

 

Of course, the alternative is another Sailor. 

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Karmachanic

These days a gold nib does not necessarily perform better than steel.

Pelikan M2xx available at Endlesspens for $91, or £73 from Cult, shipping included. As per Smug, the steel M2xx nibs are superior to the M4xx gold.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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If you want an affordable gold nib that’s worth its money, you may have to go vintage.

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austinwft

I also prefer the M200 steel nibs to the current M400 gold nibs!

 

My daily beater pen is a 400nn with a M200 nib that I also prefer to most of the vintage 400 gold nibs I have.

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A Smug Dill
1 hour ago, OMASsimo said:

If you want an affordable gold nib that’s worth its money, you may have to go vintage.

 

Or Platinum (the Japanese brand). I can still get a now out-of-production Platinum Vicoh PTL-5000A pen, complete with a pretty good 14K gold nib, today for US$55 (including a converter added to the manufacturer's retail offering, so that's another >US$5 in value built into the deal) on eBay. I already have one from a couple of years ago, and after significant thought I passed on getting a second one when I was placing an order with the seller yesterday, on account of my not enjoying the feel of the slender plasticky barrel on the model, but that is no reflection on the nib.

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 have the Platinum 3776 Nice Lavande in medium.  I don't like it as much as I do my Sailor pens, precisely because it "just glides across the page" in a way that my Sailors don't.  It is also somewhat larger than the Pro Gear Slim, more similar to the size of the 1911S.

 

I don't have any gold-nibbed pen manufactured by Pilot, but my three Pilot steel nibs are all very smooth, far smoother than my Sailors.  You might want to contact the vendor from whom you bought your Decimo to see whether you can get a replacement.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've bought about 30 pens trying to land on what you are trying to resolve.  I care much more for writing experience than pen appearance.  For a while my preference was larger pens, which I do not think is what you seek.  As a result, my good writing smaller pens include only a Pelikan M120 (steel nib, but excellent), Geha vintage pens like the 790, and my Sailor 911 Large (which is small for me)... that is about all I have for good writing small pens.   I have a Platinum 1776 with Ultra-Extra Fine nib and it was a terrible experience.  I also have a Kaweco Brass Sport with gold nib upgrade... it is small but heavy... The EF gold nib is very firm, not what I consider an elegant gold nib writing experience.  Good luck with the search.

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36 minutes ago, Tseg said:

 I also have a Kaweco Brass Sport with gold nib upgrade... it is small but heavy... The EF gold nib is very firm, not what I consider an elegant gold nib writing experience.  Good luck with the search.

 

I keep looking at the Brass Sport.  I like the idea of a small, heavy pen.  But the Kaweco steel nib I have is the worst nib in my collection, and I have read that the gold nibs do not provide a significantly better writing experience.  Does your extra fine produce a fairly fine line?  My fine produced a thin, dry line for the first few years that I had it but recently and mysteriously became a wet nib producing a much broader line. 

 

  

 

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2 hours ago, ENewton said:

 

I keep looking at the Brass Sport.  I like the idea of a small, heavy pen.  But the Kaweco steel nib I have is the worst nib in my collection, and I have read that the gold nibs do not provide a significantly better writing experience.  Does your extra fine produce a fairly fine line?  My fine produced a thin, dry line for the first few years that I had it but recently and mysteriously became a wet nib producing a much broader line. 

 

  

 

I must have got lucky with my Kaweco, it’s an EF and writes very smoothly.

 

3 hours ago, Tseg said:

I've bought about 30 pens trying to land on what you are trying to resolve.  I care much more for writing experience than pen appearance.  For a while my preference was larger pens, which I do not think is what you seek.  As a result, my good writing smaller pens include only a Pelikan M120 (steel nib, but excellent), Geha vintage pens like the 790, and my Sailor 911 Large (which is small for me)... that is about all I have for good writing small pens.   I have a Platinum 1776 with Ultra-Extra Fine nib and it was a terrible experience.  I also have a Kaweco Brass Sport with gold nib upgrade... it is small but heavy... The EF gold nib is very firm, not what I consider an elegant gold nib writing experience.  Good luck with the search.

 

21 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

@Geslina So, on what specifically are you seeking advice? There was no particular question in your post.

 

We have more than ten Pilot Capless (of the ‘knock’ type, i.e. Vanishing Point and Décimo) pens here, most of them with Fine nibs that write smoothly (out-of-the-box, with no tuning required, and never had to inspect one under a loupe to fix some issue). I used one as my EDC (‘everyday carry’) pen for several years. An 18K gold Pilot Capless F nib that skips would be an anomaly if not outright; the only Capless nibs that may cause trouble for certain users are the Stub nibs, because they have to be ‘held’ and written with in a certain way. Did you flush and clean the nib with a dilute solution of detergent (followed with plenty of plain clean water) before use? Not that it's always necessary, and generally it hasn't been necessary for me, but who knows what the machining and handling processes are at the factory these days that may cause it to pick up some tiny amount of oil, grease or other substance that can wreak havoc on ink flow.

 

However, I wouldn't expect a Sailor 14K gold F nib to write or feel the same as a Pilot Capless F nib and vice versa, even though I like them both. I just ordered another Sailor pens with ’medium-sized‘, 1911-imprinted 14K gold F nibs yesterday.

 

I think Pelikan M20x steel nibs are superior to the M40x gold nibs; so much so, my M400 Tortoiseshell-Brown and M400 White-Tortoiseshell pens now have M200 steel nibs fitted on them because they deserve better, and their original gold nibs (at least one of which I've since reground) swapped onto two M200 pens. There are plenty of pens factory-fitted with steel nibs with asking prices north of US$200, but I understand and even share the sentiment of not wanting to spend that kind of money on a steel-nibbed pen, never mind the pen body's material, finish and looks. However, if any M200 is asking more than US$200, then you're either looking for it in the wrong place, or looking for some ‘rare’ discontinued model of which opportunistic owners or traders are driving up the price. The globally accessible ‘street prices’ of the M200 Pastel Green are nowhere near US$200.

 

An entry-level Platinum #3776 Century has a MSRP of ¥13,000+tax these days, so US$120 is a perfectly plausible price for a new genuine unit (but I don't necessarily mean it's the price from your preferred retailers and/or on your preferred retail channels).

 

The current-model Pilot Custom 74 has a MSRP of ¥12,000+tax, is the bottom of the range in the Custom product line, and does not warrant a higher price than the Platinum #3776 Century. Personally, I dislike the Custom 74 (which I bought a couple of years ago, before Pilot raised the MSRP) and sold both of mine; but that's just me. No idea to what you were referring by “74G”.

 

 

22 hours ago, maclink said:

The Pelikan M200/5 makes for a great choice.  I currently have one inked and using.  Have you thought of a Lamy 2000?  I do like the Platinum 3776's a lot as well.  There are a lot of choices under $200.

Everyone loves the Pelikan M200....maybe I should reconsider.  There are a few suggestions here about less expensive places to buy them, but I don’t see the pastel green color anywhere for less than $200....and yes, I have considered the Lamy2000.  I think there are just too many choices

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Sorry, I just meant to reply to one person and somehow replied to three.  I’m not very good with these forums, technical stuff, never been my area...

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2 hours ago, ENewton said:

 

I keep looking at the Brass Sport.  I like the idea of a small, heavy pen.  But the Kaweco steel nib I have is the worst nib in my collection, and I have read that the gold nibs do not provide a significantly better writing experience.  Does your extra fine produce a fairly fine line?  My fine produced a thin, dry line for the first few years that I had it but recently and mysteriously became a wet nib producing a much broader line. 

 

  

 

I have a Kaweco Sport.  I used the cartridge that came with it at first, hard starts and dry.  It seemed to write dry and unevenly with every ink I tried - until JHerbin Perle Noire....it writes perfectly with Perle Noire.  Mine is EF, but I think it writes more like a fine compared to the other pens I have.

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21 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

@Geslina So, on what specifically are you seeking advice? There was no particular question in your post.

 

We have more than ten Pilot Capless (of the ‘knock’ type, i.e. Vanishing Point and Décimo) pens here, most of them with Fine nibs that write smoothly (out-of-the-box, with no tuning required, and never had to inspect one under a loupe to fix some issue). I used one as my EDC (‘everyday carry’) pen for several years. An 18K gold Pilot Capless F nib that skips would be an anomaly if not outright; the only Capless nibs that may cause trouble for certain users are the Stub nibs, because they have to be ‘held’ and written with in a certain way. Did you flush and clean the nib with a dilute solution of detergent (followed with plenty of plain clean water) before use? Not that it's always necessary, and generally it hasn't been necessary for me, but who knows what the machining and handling processes are at the factory these days that may cause it to pick up some tiny amount of oil, grease or other substance that can wreak havoc on ink flow.

 

However, I wouldn't expect a Sailor 14K gold F nib to write or feel the same as a Pilot Capless F nib and vice versa, even though I like them both. I just ordered another Sailor pens with ’medium-sized‘, 1911-imprinted 14K gold F nibs yesterday.

 

I think Pelikan M20x steel nibs are superior to the M40x gold nibs; so much so, my M400 Tortoiseshell-Brown and M400 White-Tortoiseshell pens now have M200 steel nibs fitted on them because they deserve better, and their original gold nibs (at least one of which I've since reground) swapped onto two M200 pens. There are plenty of pens factory-fitted with steel nibs with asking prices north of US$200, but I understand and even share the sentiment of not wanting to spend that kind of money on a steel-nibbed pen, never mind the pen body's material, finish and looks. However, if any M200 is asking more than US$200, then you're either looking for it in the wrong place, or looking for some ‘rare’ discontinued model of which opportunistic owners or traders are driving up the price. The globally accessible ‘street prices’ of the M200 Pastel Green are nowhere near US$200.

 

An entry-level Platinum #3776 Century has a MSRP of ¥13,000+tax these days, so US$120 is a perfectly plausible price for a new genuine unit (but I don't necessarily mean it's the price from your preferred retailers and/or on your preferred retail channels).

 

The current-model Pilot Custom 74 has a MSRP of ¥12,000+tax, is the bottom of the range in the Custom product line, and does not warrant a higher price than the Platinum #3776 Century. Personally, I dislike the Custom 74 (which I bought a couple of years ago, before Pilot raised the MSRP) and sold both of mine; but that's just me. No idea to what you were referring by “74G”.

 

Thanks for replying with some very helpful information.  I’m just looking for advice on which pen I should buy next.  The Pilot Custom 74 was the pen I meant by “74G”...


I did soak the Decimo nib overnight in plain water.  The seller responded today to the email I sent about problems with the pen, and like you, suggested soapy water, which is what I will do today.  It seems the pen is writing a little better the more I use it, though I’m still getting dry upstrokes, and more line variation than I prefer.  I like pens to write smoothly and evenly.   I also find the Decimo to be too heavy....but if I can get it to write well, I will find some use for it.
 

The Pelikan M200 -  it seems a lot of people like that pen, and if I can find it at a lower price than the $204 retail most of the  online pen stores are asking, I will certainly reconsider it.  I have nothing against steel nibs, really.

It’s just so frustrating, buying online.  I went to one pen event at the start of my fountain pen journey, and was able to try a few pens in person - but the vender’s sample pens were all medium nibs, and I like fine or extra fine, so it wasn’t very helpful, and at the time, I had no real experience or preferences yet, so I wasn’t even sure exactly what I liked or what I was looking for.  It would be awesome if there were more pen stores, where one could try and buy in person...it would be really, really awesome to see an end to all this Covid mess so that pen shows could start up again!!

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21 hours ago, Sailor Kenshin said:

 

 

If the Decimo is new and doesn't work right, can you not return it?

 

I have two Platinum 3776 pens, one a medium that is never, ever de-inked, and a broad that is a firehose and is still searching for the 'right' ink.

I reached out to the seller, and they got back to me.  I am going to clean the pen again, this time with soapy water, and I need to provide them with close up photos of the nib and some writing samples.  I’m sure if the problem can’t be fixed, they will accept a return.

 
I hear a lot of good things about the 3776.  The limited edition versions are beautiful.  I originally planned on getting an ultra EF, but the more I use fountain pens, the more I’m liking the larger nib sizes.

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21 hours ago, sandy101 said:

If you want a Platinum nib that glides, I'd look at the broad option. The #3776 is slightly heavier than the Sailor Pro-gear I have. 

 

The other Platinum offering, if it is under $200, is the Platinum modern Make-i which comes with a delightful 18K nib. No slip & seal, but the nib and the beauty of the decoration is inspiring. 

 

I hav enot heard of many fake #3776 pens.

 

The other option is to look at the 2nd hand/vintage market. A decent Parker 51, (or vintage 40's-60's duofold) should be within your budget. But you really want to try them before you buy. 

 

Sorry to hear you have a problem with the Decimo. A wetter ink might help, or a different paper. I've had new pens and it can take a couple of weeks for them to "bed in" I don't know why - it might be manufacturing gunk working its way through the pen or whatever. I'd suggest 

writing with it for two weeks to see if it improves. If it doesn't contact Pilot or the seller and ask for a warranty repair/replacement.

 

Of course, the alternative is another Sailor. 

Oh noooo....I looked up the Platinum Make-I, they have one called “moon and rabbit”.......I was born in the year of the rabbit too - so it must be meant to be that I buy that pen!! 
 

What do you mean by the term “slip & seal”?  With the Decimo, I have tried several inks and every type of paper I have.  I currently have an Iroshizuku ink in it, but was thinking, as you said, a wetter ink...really wet inks have solved issues I’ve had with other pens.  I don’t own a lot of inks, but have two that I think are more highly lubricated, I’m going to try them after this second cleaning. I’m just annoyed in general with this pen.  My expectations were too high.  I heard that it was a “wet” writer...it doesn’t seem to be to me.  It’s heavy.  Buying it has made me nervous about buying more pens online.  I know one can always return things, but I HATE returning things.  And I don’t want to wind up with 50 pens I don’t use in my search for the “perfect” pen.

 

so yes, I agree with what you said - if I want a pen with a similar writing experience to the Sailor Pro Gear, my safest bet might be to just buy another Sailor Pro Gear!

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18 hours ago, Karmachanic said:

These days a gold nib does not necessarily perform better than steel.

Pelikan M2xx available at Endlesspens for $91, or £73 from Cult, shipping included. As per Smug, the steel M2xx nibs are superior to the M4xx gold.

Thanks for those links.  Other than Amazon, I didn’t know there were less pricey places to buy.  I agree about steel nibs, I actually love the steel nib on my Pilot Prera.

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4 hours ago, Tseg said:

I've bought about 30 pens trying to land on what you are trying to resolve.  I care much more for writing experience than pen appearance.  For a while my preference was larger pens, which I do not think is what you seek.  As a result, my good writing smaller pens include only a Pelikan M120 (steel nib, but excellent), Geha vintage pens like the 790, and my Sailor 911 Large (which is small for me)... that is about all I have for good writing small pens.   I have a Platinum 1776 with Ultra-Extra Fine nib and it was a terrible experience.  I also have a Kaweco Brass Sport with gold nib upgrade... it is small but heavy... The EF gold nib is very firm, not what I consider an elegant gold nib writing experience.  Good luck with the search.

This is my fear, that I’m going to wind up buying too many pens in the search for the “perfect” pen.  I’m also more about how the pen performs - but I do like the way they look too.

I’m glad to hear you didn’t care for the UEF 3776.  That was on my wishlist, and I do like fine nib pens - but I have a few inexpensive EF nibs and I don’t find myself reaching for them very often, so I don’t think an ultra EF would be very useful for me.

 

 

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