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Right pen for long writing session


The-Thinker

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Hi folks ! What pens do you use the most for long writing sessions and nib size ? How many a4 pages do you write daily on average ? 

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Hi Thinker,

 

Personally, here are my choices:

 

1. Parker 51, Medium nib

 

2. Esterbrook Estie, Journaling Stub.

 

3. Pelikan M600, Medium nib. I prefer the 600 to the 800 because the 600 is feather-light, (800 & 1000s have brass piston mechanisms).

 

 

- Sean  :)

 

ETA:

 

Excuse me, I neglected the second part of your question.  :o "How many a4 pages do you write daily on average ?"

 

It all depends. I'm very old school and I prefer sending friends, employees and tenants hand-written letters as often as I can. I'll only call or text when time is of the essence or when theres going to "back & forth" conversation. The only time I usually send computer generated form letters is when I have to letter bomb everybody with a general statement.

 

That said, it can range from one or two to 10-15, per day. (I should also clarify that they are not always full-size letters on both sides of A4 paper; some of them are, but sometimes its just 2 or 3 paragraphs on A5 paper or a quick scrawl on a Thank You card, or the like). If it's more than 12-15 letters, I'll usually resort to the computer/printer. Since I'm retired; I enjoy being able to take a more personal approach to things. :)

 

- SPC :)

Edited by corniche

https://www.catholicscomehome.org/

 

"Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven." - MT. 10:32

"Any society that will give up liberty to gain security deserves neither and will lose both." - Ben Franklin

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I used to absolutely adore my red FPR Jaipur V1 -- perfect weight, 10mm straight cylindrical section, large ink capacity piston filler with a large ink window, good flow (but not excessive), 1mm stub nib, handled any ink I put in it.  I have a translucent yellow one, too, but it has issues.

 

And my puppies got it off my desk (labs are pretty big at six months) and chewed it to heck and gone.  I was able to retrieve the nib and feed and install them in my brown ebonite Himalaya, which had behaved badly prior to that.  But it doesn't have quite the ideal girth of the Jaipur v1.

 

eta:  but that's what *I* like.  Your own preferences are yours, and I don't know them.  There are people who go all day with a Lamy Safari, but I absolutely can't stand one for more than half a page.  Same goes for the 36g Italix Parson's Essential -- plenty of fans, who love its many nibs, but I won't have a pen that heavy.

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Whatever pen is in reach and inked. I have such a wide range of excellent pens in my collection that it wouldn’t help much to list them. Most are vintage anyway. But in my opinion, writing style and a light touch matters more than the actual pen when you write for longer periods. For the latter, the balance of the pen and a good flow of nib and feed are decisive. Balance, of course, is subjective. The nib size doesn’t matter in this regard and is determined by other factors.

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I personally don't use very thin pens (such as my Parker 45s or Vectors) because I'll get hand cramps for long writing sessions or with heavy pens like my two TWSBIs (580-AL and 580-ALR).  But do okay with not horrible girth-y or heavy pens; for me a good size and weight are Pelikan M200/400 size, Parker 51s, and Noodler's Konrads.  (I especially like the 51 Vac with the EF nib if I have to take copious notes.)

I had my current fiction-writing composition book at hand, and took a quick look at what I've done so far just in 2021 (which, sadly, isn't quite the 7 pages/week goal I'd set myself).  But so far, it's 8 pages with the ebonite Konrad (two different writing sessions, nearly 10 pages with one of the Cross Solos, and then another 2 pages where I squeezed two lines per college-ruled line on the page with that that pen (effectively the equivalent of four pages).  That particular Solo (marked as "Made in Japan" has an F nib; the Konrad has a flex nib but I mostly just use it as if it were an F as well.

Finer nibs will be more stingy with ink, and pens that hold off lot of ink mean that you don't have to break your flow to refill as often.  But the important thing is to use whatever pen doesn't tire your hand out (so for me, light-weight but not skinny is what works best for my hand).  And, as OMASsino said, balance is also important: I'm a "poster", in general, but don't really have a lot of pens where posting the cap is going to throw off the balance and make the pen top/back heavy. 

For my morning pages journal, and daily writing 3 pages of what I think is A5 paper (my Miquelrius 600 page journals), it's whatever I feel like using that morning which is inked up and handy (I'm also squeezing 2 lines in per per line there).  So yesterday it was the M505 Stresemann, B nib; the day before was something else (don't recall precisely what -- might have been the 1911S Loch Ness Monster, MF nib).  Today?  The Cross Solo with the F nib.  Tomorrow morning?  Ehhh, I'll know when I reach for it -- other than it probably won't be the Green Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral, F nib (because it doesn't seem to take up a lot of ink at one time...).

But an M405 might be too small a pen for you; you might find that an M800 fits your hand better.  You might use a Japanese EF nib normally; or a broad stub.  You have to just try writing and see how long it takes for it to become uncomfortable to use.  And it doesn't have to be the Great American Novel -- it could be taking notes in a chemistry class, or transcribing a poem, or even just writing "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" over and over again to practice your penmanship.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I don’t really do writing sessions, but I can vicariously comment on my wife’s preferences 😜

 

She probably writes 8-12 full sheets of notes daily for work.  I have her do “pen reviews” for my vintage pens 😊, but she prefers the reliability of her new pens (I can tell when she shows me a decent ink blot or points out feed issues I’d never notice just signing my name!)


Her four “main” pens, inked with various pilot iroshizuki inks, are: wicked witch 1911s (M-nib), Pelikan m205 ruby (F-nib), Pilot vanishing point (F-nib), and Lamy safaris (M-nibs).... each of these get inked every couple of days

 

Her comments?
 Pelikan m205 is a favorite/preferred writer for longer sessions. The nib is the smoothest and extremely consistent, but she’s nervous about damaging the nib (noticeable “flex” in comparison to the others) because we’ve already replaced a sprung nib.

 

Sailor 1911s is a consistent workhorse that just inspires confidence.  Beautiful nib, gives some feedback, never lets you down.  Plus it’s a stunning pen and comprises half of a “his-and-her” duo we got for our anniversary ☺️ (Mine is a Loch Ness w-zoom nib...love it!  It’s my “sharpie”)

 

Pilot Vanishing Point is kinda opposite from what I would have expected (i.e. best for quick/small notes!) BUT she finds it to be a great writer for long sessions and paradoxically uncomfortable for quick notes because she has to adjust her finger position every time she picks it up.  Cartridges also make this pen the “go-to” option when the other pens run out of ink and I’m not around to fill them.

 

Lamy Safaris:  she says if you want a lower-priced pen that just plain WORKS, it’s Lamy, Lamy, Lamy.  Cartridges give a variety of ink colors, and the pens don’t have any issues or quirks (personally I truly dislike the triangle section, but she likes it just fine 😊)


Of the various vintage sheaffers I’ve sent her way, she can feel the quality, the nibs are extremely smooth and they consistently put down nice lines, but they feather a lot on cheap paper and sometimes they give a decent little blot every couple of pages...😝

never happens with her main four 

 

 

 

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A long writing session for me would span 8-10 pages of A5 paper.  I may do this once or twice in one day, but then I will not do it again for another week and instead do shorter sessions.   I've been on leave for the last 2 weeks so I've had more opportunity to write, test inks and acquire more pens.:crybaby: :lticaptd:

 

My writing is better suited to a typical Western F and usually, Japanese M nibs (Sailor, Platinum and Pilot).  The nib and ink combo need to provide a good ink flow with just light pressure.  I prefer more saturated inks since I've noticed that I tend to exert more pressure when using lighter coloured inks, subconsciously desiring more saturation or thinking the flow isn't good enough.  I currently prefer darker shades of blue and black inks.  They are less distracting for me.  I actually avoid specialty grinds, like italic or my F/M Stubs.  They too can be distracting although they are darned enjoyable for shorter writing sessions or when I wish for my writing to have more character.

 

In terms of ergonomics,  I prefer a lighter pen, though it doesn't have to be featherweight.  One that's not so light, has to be well balanced.  I've discovered that the smaller pens are more comfortable for long periods.

 

There are many pens that I have that will deliver on all these requirements, but when switching from one pen to the other, I do have to write for a while to 'dial into' or really become comfortable and without distraction.  It then becomes pleasant to snap out of my thoughts and writing, concentrating for a moment on the pleasure of the actual writing experience (pen and all), and then getting back to it.

 

Among my current favourites:

Pelikan M20x/40x F nib (posted)

Sailor 1911 Standard M nib (posted)

MB 146 F nib (unposted)

Leonardo Momento Zero Le Grande M nib (unposted)

 

Of course, there are others among my current accumulation of pens that would make for great pens for long sessions.  A few that come to mind:

 

Lamy 2000 M nib (unposted)

Pilot Custom 823 M nib (unposted)

TWSBI Eco or 580 with F/M nib (unposted)

 

Conid Minimalistica AVDA Phi (unposted) - this would definitely be fabulous but mine has a specialty grind and hence, I do not use it for long sessions.  I wish I could just swap nibs as needed, but this pen needs a feed with a metal rod that allows ink flow into the pens primary chamber.  The ideal would be to acquire another nib from Conid.  I know there are some who do just find with a regular nib/feed/housing switch, without needing the rod. 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, OMASsimo said:

Whatever pen is in reach and inked. I have such a wide range of excellent pens in my collection that it wouldn’t help much to list them. Most are vintage anyway. But in my opinion, writing style and a light touch matters more than the actual pen when you write for longer periods. For the latter, the balance of the pen and a good flow of nib and feed are decisive. Balance, of course, is subjective. The nib size doesn’t matter in this regard and is determined by other factors.

 

Yes.

This is a question that is almost impossible to answer, as there is no universal answer. There are simply too many variables. You'll get as many answers as there are posters here.

If you are going to write for a long stretch and a lot of pages, I suppose ink capacity should be a criteria. However, if you use a thin nib a cart will last you a good while also... 

The model that comes up the most when this question is asked is the Lamy 2000 and I agree, it fits the bill: mid-sized pen, quality construction, good nib, good ink capacity.

 

Hand size, posture, aesthetic taste, all of these are variables.

I routinely write about 5 to 10 pages daily.

I have a 2000 that gets regular action, as does a Wality 69. They are full sized pens and I find them comfortable (which does not mean you will). I've recently started using a Kaweco AL Sport daily - a lot of people will say these are not meant to be used for long writing sessions, but I find them fun to use and I do use them to write for extended periods.

 

Too short, too light, too heavy. It's all very supbjective...

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Pilot 823 with FA nib is probably my most comfortable pen. Not too big (compared to MB 149), not too small (compared to Parker Sonnet), not too heavy (compared to metal pens), not too light (compared to fully ebonite pens), not too hard (compared to all nonflex nibs), not too flexible (compared to some vintage flex). 

 

That said I write with all kinds of pens throughout the day from vintage pocket pens to a MB 149. Anywhere from 2 to 30 A4 pages.

 

I actually think choice of what you are writing on makes a bigger difference than what you are writing with. I find bigger note books with spiral binding (so they lay completely flat) significantly easier to write on than the more common staple bound and smaller sizes. Or just a stack of A4 sheets. 

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I find that I gravitate to my Platinum 3776 when there's a lot of writing to do. I syringe re-fill cartridges for it; the routine is so second-nature to me now, it all goes smoothly.

 

Off now to see what A4 and A5 papers are. My writing sessions vary drastically in length, so the average would not be representative of practice.

James

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at the moment have 2 pens inked - montblanc 3-44.g and modern pelikan m805.  both have forgiving nibs and are quite light, desirable for long writing sessions.  average around 5 a4 pages a day.

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I don't necessarily have a single pen dedicated to "long" writing, and simply use whatever is inked. Right now that is an Aurora 88 with a fine nib, and a Platinum 3776 in a medium nib. I write maybe 3-4 pages in A5 per day

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Like Dan in Montreal said, your question cant be easily answered. Because there are so many factors that make up your writing experience. What might work for you might not work for me, since I have some very specific needs due to medical conditions I suffer from.  Having said that, I have found that I prefer pens that are larger, and so, I have multiples of the MB 149 fp, 2 with medium nibs, and 3 with fine nibs, 2 Pelikan M1000 fps with medium and a fine nib, and 2 modern Parker Duofold Centennial pens, with a fine and a medium nib ground down to medium-fine. I also use 2 Pilot Vanishing Point fps, one with a fine nib and the other with a Japanese medium nib. With these pens, I end up writing between 12 to 15 pages at least every day( letter sized pages, 8"x11"). 

Best of luck.

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Mont Blanc 146, MB Shakespeare, Parker Sonnet, Parker Cross Townsend and Lamy 2k have all served me well. 

 

For 2,000 words a day (between 4-6 pages) I prefer pistons because they tend to need filled once every two weeks - with cartridge pens it's easier to pop a new one in before the feed runs dry - then I don't have to nurse the ink from the dried up feed. 

 

I have also used slimmer pens. After two weeks of writing continuously with a pen, I'm found my hand adapts. With ultra slim pens such as the Caran D'ache Madison, a lighter grip is needed - the fingers do not need to grip the pen tightly, which is what causes a lot of the cramp in the first place.

 

It is also important to get the right paper. I've got some pens that just clog every couple of pages because they take up fibres from the paper, or they can't deal with glossy paper. Changing the paper helps.  

 

    

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Personally--1. vintage (1950's) MB 146; 2. Pelikan 400; 3. OMAS paragon old style/1950's 557/F. All are capacious and comfortable with generous flow...

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I agree with Omassimo, you need good flow, otherwise your hand will tire dragging the pen.

I also favour the M600 for light weight and flow.

Recently I'm using frequently a Jinhao Centennial which has been tweaked with an Omas B nib, smooth, slight softness and incredible flow. I've been through an intensive note taking week, I filled the Jinhao converter 4 times!

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2 hours ago, ele said:

Personally--1. vintage (1950's) MB 146; 2. Pelikan 400; 3. OMAS paragon old style/1950's 557/F. All are capacious and comfortable with generous flow...


Vintage Pelikan and OMAS are among my top performers for long writing sessions but the latter are not widely available, unfortunately. These are lightweight pens with great ink capacity, excellent flow, and wonderful nibs. They are kind of typical for first tier European pens of that era. And in that era, using a fountain pen for long writing sessions wasn’t a hobby but a necessity for many people. I inherited my grandma’s pens, one from around 1925, the other from the early 50s. Both were used heavily for about 25 years each, so much that you can see it looking at the tipping of the nib. Those pens really were made for everyday writing.

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Parker 51 aerometric meduym, Montblanc 144 medium.  About equal, no flow issues, both are very smooth.  next, sometimes a Parker 51 aero with a Minuskin stub or a Parker Sonnet rollerball.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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When keeping notes about my daily tasks, I usually pick up my Relief 2-L h with the Fine 314 oblique nib or my newer Relief 12 with the F/M 314 oblique nib. Both are a pleasure to write with and have temporarily supplanted my Esterbrook Js.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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I write exclusively with a set of these:

spacer.png

 

HA!  HA!  Take that, you boardroom phonies with your puny MB149s!

And I didn't have the heart to tell her why.
And there wasn't a part of me that didn't want to say goodbye.

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