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$10 Retractable Nib Pen, Reviewed by Chrisrap52



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bugsydog55

Agree with all of the above.  Given a choice, the Lamy would be the better pen but it is priced well above the others.  That's where one would have a choice to make, the classic sleek lines of that Lamy or do take the same amount of money and go elsewhere such a a Pilot.  I really wouldn't know what I would do but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't spend the time requires to make the pen actually feasible to purchase.  That's why I could get the 3088.  I actually got the solid black one and it does look so much better, gives it a much more "civilized look.

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Mech-for-i

3 months might be asking too much and indeed pretty much every fountain pen factory user manual stipulated if not using the pen for some time you should drain and clean , dry it for storage and as well if left unused but want to continuously using it then at least a monthly cleaning out and cleaning done , not applied to continuously used pens though.

 

I stand that .. 3 months might be a bit too harsh but 3 to 4 weeks I say ..

 

Of course there were and there are pens that can do that but so far all the retractable nib models I had came across do not meet the criteria , Pilot or Lamy or others.

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59 minutes ago, Mech-for-i said:

3 months might be asking too much and indeed pretty much every fountain pen factory user manual stipulated if not using the pen for some time you should drain and clean , dry it for storage and as well if left unused but want to continuously using it then at least a monthly cleaning out and cleaning done , not applied to continuously used pens though.

 

I stand that .. 3 months might be a bit too harsh but 3 to 4 weeks I say ..

 

Of course there were and there are pens that can do that but so far all the retractable nib models I had came across do not meet the criteria , Pilot or Lamy or others.

How long do the expensive ones keep write-ready then? 2 weeks before they dry out? 1 week?

 

Imo anything under 1 week is bad, 1-2 months acceptable/normal, and 3 months and over is exceeding expectations.

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Mech-for-i
52 minutes ago, Licue said:

How long do the expensive ones keep write-ready then? 2 weeks before they dry out? 1 week?

 

Imo anything under 1 week is bad, 1-2 months acceptable/normal, and 3 months and over is exceeding expectations.

 

Well well that depends , I've had very expensive pens that consistently dry out and yet I've had cheap pens that far exceed the expectation. Most Visconti I had seems unwilling to hold ink for any length of time. My cache of Stipula are better but usually won't do if it's more than a month. Pelikan seems consistent in holding ink disregard but proper capping required. Montblanc seems a mix bag, and even varies on the same model. 

 

Some of my better Pilots do hold ink quite well. Old Platinum too , those without that slip and seal mechanism. Sailor sometimes give me trouble.

 

Hero's range of mid to up scale range perform well on that regard , but their lower end workhorse range is a mix.

 

The new breed of Chinese acrylic pens also perform ok but with a bit of wide variation regarding, my Fuliwan 016 just keep writing even after 4 months that I forget about it but the Moonman S1 I had seems to just dry out in less than a week on iron gall ink.

 

Those vintage slip cap hooded nib all just seems to hold ink straight and superlative , that mechanism clearly a winner.

 

The worst offender I had regarding this is contemporary Parker's. They just all seems unwilling to hold ink.

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3 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

 

Well well that depends , I've had very expensive pens that consistently dry out and yet I've had cheap pens that far exceed the expectation. Most Visconti I had seems unwilling to hold ink for any length of time. My cache of Stipula are better but usually won't do if it's more than a month. Pelikan seems consistent in holding ink disregard but proper capping required. Montblanc seems a mix bag, and even varies on the same model. 

 

Some of my better Pilots do hold ink quite well. Old Platinum too , those without that slip and seal mechanism. Sailor sometimes give me trouble.

 

Hero's range of mid to up scale range perform well on that regard , but their lower end workhorse range is a mix.

 

The new breed of Chinese acrylic pens also perform ok but with a bit of wide variation regarding, my Fuliwan 016 just keep writing even after 4 months that I forget about it but the Moonman S1 I had seems to just dry out in less than a week on iron gall ink.

 

Those vintage slip cap hooded nib all just seems to hold ink straight and superlative , that mechanism clearly a winner.

 

The worst offender I had regarding this is contemporary Parker's. They just all seems unwilling to hold ink.

Thanks for the answer - tho it's a bit more universal than what I was going for 😉

When I was asking I meant specifically the more expensive pens with retractable nibs (-> Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy Dialog, Platinum Curidas etc...).

(I bolded that part of your post in the quote, but maybe I should have made it more clear. Sorry.)

 

The point of my question was: Is quick evaporation something that generally all capless fountain pens - even the expensive ones - show? Or is it a problem of cheap knock-offs?

 

 

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Mech-for-i

No ts not just the knockoff , if left unused , both Pilot and Lamy lost their flow , though not within a week or so , but give it a month and you likely will see issues ( if they are stored nib up ) if you store them horizontal laying on the side that last a bit longer but run the risk of dripping. But then I do not consider that a issue after all as befit their mechanism they are mean to be used as daily writer thus the convenient click action mechanism. I had no experience with the Platinum nor this Lanbitou so I would reserve judgement regarding.

 

Personally I see very little value in this click mechanism on a fountain pen, its not like pulling a cap really are so difficult. Yeah if its a screw cap it might be something to avoid if needing that quick action. I used to had several Capless and two Dialog , do not find them exciting to use and not particularly that robust and care free either , you still need to care not to sling the pen around else ink come flying out, you still need some methodical care in utilizing it. Where a simple click action Ball Point, especially with todays' very quality gel refill just do the duty of quick jotting way better 

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A Smug Dill
2 hours ago, Licue said:

The point of my question was: Is quick evaporation something that generally all capless fountain pens - even the expensive ones - show? Or is it a problem of cheap knock-offs?

 

I can't answer the question for “generally all”, when we only have Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point and Décimo, but not any Fermo) pens here. However, from some user reports — including, notably, what dapprman wrote in his blog article titled, “Platinum Curidas – One Year On” (to which it would be against FPN rules to link directly; but you can just google “platinum curidas year dry”, and it should be the first returned match outside of videos and images) — the Curidas does not live up to what Platinum claims in its current English-language catalogue in that regard.

 

A full converter's fill of ink in a Pilot Capless (VP) pen will last somewhere between three to six weeks before drying out if unused, in my experience with several. The exact performance will depend on a lot of factors, not the least the specific ink involved; and I believe there is non-trivial variation in the sealing effectiveness from one pen to the next. Judging from Curidas users' comments, the model cannot match the Pilot Capless in that regard.

 

8 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

I stand that .. 3 months might be a bit too harsh but 3 to 4 weeks I say ..

 

Not so, according to Platinum; see this diagram and annotations in its catalogue:

 

1298273591_SlipandSealmechanismperformancechartinPlatinumscatalogue.jpg.cd6f3e2104acdec386cee5cbbef468ab.jpg

 

The Platinum Izumo Tamenuri (with a screw-cap, but no Slip & Seal mechanism) I have does indeed deliver to something close to what is indicated by the grey dotted line above; the Platinum #3776 Celluloid (with a screw-cap), Briar (with snap-caps), Vicoh PTL-5000A (with a snap-cap), and Balance (with snap-caps) models — all without Slip & Seal — all fail by a long shot to do so, in my experience.

 

Whereas most, if not all, of my pens (with screw-caps) in the Sailor Profit and Professional Gear product lines or the Pilot Custom product line will still write immediately upon uncapped, four to six months after being given a full converter's fill or new cartridge of ink.

 

Amazingly, the humble steel-nibbed Rotring 400 (with a snap-cap!) managed for years to deliver the same good performance when filled with Noodler's X-Feather ink (which is the only ink I use with that pen), although I think the (not spring-loaded) inner cap is starting to lose a little bit of its sealing effectiveness after four or five years of use.

 

9 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

3 months might be asking too much and indeed pretty much every fountain pen factory user manual stipulated if not using the pen for some time you should drain and clean , dry it for storage and as well if left unused but want to continuously using it then at least a monthly cleaning out and cleaning done , not applied to continuously used pens though.

 

Having to perform regular (say, monthly) maintenance on a fountain pen to keep it working perfectly whenever deployed is the least of my concerns; and I would not feel it to be onerous if the higher priority issues are not present (or could be prevented by regular maintenance).

  1. When I fill a pen with a particular ink, I expect the pen to dispense that onto the page when I write with it, not a significantly more concentrated form of it. In the absence of effective cap sealing, the appearance and performance characteristics of the ink coming out of a pen would be different in Week 4 compared to Week 1, even if the converter hasn't completely dried out in the meantime. That isn't what I want or what I expect from a good, fit-for-purpose fountain pen I pick to write with the ink of my choice.
  2. Ink evaporation also means that I'm losing or ‘consuming’ ink even when the pen is not being used for writing (or drawing), and that's a cost, especially if the particular ink is expensive and/or difficult to replace (such as a discontinued limited edition ink).
  3. Of course I also want the pen to be ready to write (in the expected colour and with the expected ink flow for the particular ink) when I pick it up to write with it; so the answer cannot be to only fill the pen from the bottle (or insert a new cartridge) minutes before every instance of actual use.

If a fountain pen was like a handgun, and ink like bullets, I'd be happy to remove the bullets, then disassemble, service, and reassemble the gun, then reload it with the same bullets, every so often as required, so that it will be ready for me to use to shoot someone through the lung or kneecap should the occasion arise. Time measured in mere months would not compromise the performance of the bullets (as consumables), and neither would taking them out of the gun during routine maintenance and then reloading the gun with them.

 

While I understand that pens and inks are not guns and bullets, I still expect one of the design goals to be readiness to write without continuously losing ink volume, or compromising the ink's fidelity to the actual product, when a pen is unused. Many brands and models have demonstrated that such is achievable.

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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18 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

I can't answer the question for “generally all”, when we only have Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point and Décimo, but not any Fermo) pens here. However, from some user reports — including, notably, what dapprman wrote in his blog article titled, “Platinum Curidas – One Year On” (to which it would be against FPN rules to link directly; but you can just google “platinum curidas year dry”, and it should be the first returned match outside of videos and images) — the Curidas does not live up to what Platinum claims in its current English-language catalogue in that regard.

 

A full converter's fill of ink in a Pilot Capless (VP) pen will last somewhere between three to six weeks before drying out if unused, in my experience with several. The exact performance will depend on a lot of factors, not the least the specific ink involved; and I believe there is non-trivial variation in the sealing effectiveness from one pen to the next. Judging from Curidas users' comments, the model cannot match the Pilot Capless in that regard.

 

 

Not so, according to Platinum; see this diagram and annotations in its catalogue:

 

1298273591_SlipandSealmechanismperformancechartinPlatinumscatalogue.jpg.cd6f3e2104acdec386cee5cbbef468ab.jpg

 

The Platinum Izumo Tamenuri (with a screw-cap, but no Slip & Seal mechanism) I have does indeed deliver to something close to what is indicated by the grey dotted line above; the Platinum #3776 Celluloid (with a screw-cap), Briar (with snap-caps), Vicoh PTL-5000A (with a snap-cap), and Balance (with snap-caps) models — all without Slip & Seal — all fail by a long shot to do so, in my experience.

 

Whereas most, if not all, of my pens (with screw-caps) in the Sailor Profit and Professional Gear product lines or the Pilot Custom product line will still write immediately upon uncapped, four to six months after being given a full converter's fill or new cartridge of ink.

 

Amazingly, the humble steel-nibbed Rotring 400 (with a snap-cap!) managed for years to deliver the same good performance when filled with Noodler's X-Feather ink (which is the only ink I use with that pen), although I think the (not spring-loaded) inner cap is starting to lose a little bit of its sealing effectiveness after four or five years of use.

 

 

Having to perform regular (say, monthly) maintenance on a fountain pen to keep it working perfectly whenever deployed is the least of my concerns; and I would not feel it to be onerous if the higher priority issues are not present (or could be prevented by regular maintenance).

  1. When I fill a pen with a particular ink, I expect the pen to dispense that onto the page when I write with it, not a significantly more concentrated form of it. In the absence of effective cap sealing, the appearance and performance characteristics of the ink coming out of a pen would be different in Week 4 compared to Week 1, even if the converter hasn't completely dried out in the meantime. That isn't what I want or what I expect from a good, fit-for-purpose fountain pen I pick to write with the ink of my choice.
  2. Ink evaporation also means that I'm losing or ‘consuming’ ink even when the pen is not being used for writing (or drawing), and that's a cost, especially if the particular ink is expensive and/or difficult to replace (such as a discontinued limited edition ink).
  3. Of course I also want the pen to be ready to write (in the expected colour and with the expected ink flow for the particular ink) when I pick it up to write with it; so the answer cannot be to only fill the pen from the bottle (or insert a new cartridge) minutes before every instance of actual use.

If a fountain pen was like a handgun, and ink like bullets, I'd be happy to remove the bullets, then disassemble, service, and reassemble the gun, then reload it with the same bullets, every so often as required, so that it will be ready for me to use to shoot someone through the lung or kneecap should the occasion arise. Time measured in mere months would not compromise the performance of the bullets (as consumables), and neither would taking them out of the gun during routine maintenance and then reloading the gun with them.

 

While I understand that pens and inks are not guns and bullets, I still expect one of the design goals to be readiness to write without continuously losing ink volume, or compromising the ink's fidelity to the actual product, when a pen is unused. Many brands and models have demonstrated that such is achievable.

 

OT: I was not aware that we are not allowed to link to pen blogs here 😦 🤨

I guess it's this rule?:

Quote

In a subject discussed on The Fountain Pen Network, links to other sites (including links to Blogs) may only be posted by approved and paying Premium Account Holders. Links, redirects or pointers to content, which duplicate content as found on The Fountain Pen Network, are not allowed. The Fountain Pen Network is a free service to our members, and The Fountain Pen Network maintains sets of rules, posting limitations, and a fee structure for those advertising goods, services, and external information sources such as blogs and sites which have similar content to the Fountain Pen Network.

Wow, I'm surprised - and not in a good way... Is this rule actually enforced?

 

Spoiler

Also kinda conflicts with another rule imo:

Quote

 Please do post helpful links. The Fountain Pen Network is part of the larger pen community, and we should all be assisting each other.

 

😶

 

 

As for the Platinum Curidas: I've read around a bit and it seems the Curidas is somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to evaporation. Apparently some prevent drying out pretty well, some at least so-so and a few seem to be doing really poorly - especially considering the price.

 

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A Smug Dill
21 minutes ago, Licue said:

Wow, I'm surprised - and not in a good way... Is this rule actually enforced?

 

I'm not sure; but, personally, I think the rule makes sense. The goal of FPN is not inherently to be a single portal or information consolidator for hobbyists, and there is no reason why it's incumbent on FPN or anyone else to make consumption of online information easier with fewer searches and clicks. I'm happy to keep providing pointers such that anyone interested can do the work (as in actually entering and executing the Google searches, for example) and get to the information through that.

 

32 minutes ago, Licue said:

Also kinda conflicts with another rule imo:

 

That sort of thing happens. After all, members would be encouraged to post links to, say, manufacturers' web sites and get information straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, but not if that is something a particular manufacturer specifically states it breaches the terms of use of the information and/or pages published on its web site.

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:

 

I'm not sure; but, personally, I think the rule makes sense. The goal of FPN is not inherently to be a single portal or information consolidator for hobbyists, and there is no reason why it's incumbent on FPN or anyone else to make consumption of online information easier with fewer searches and clicks. I'm happy to keep providing pointers such that anyone interested can do the work (as in actually entering and executing the Google searches, for example) and get to the information through that.

FPN not being obligated to consolidate information for hobbyists is not the same as FPN forbidding its users (well, most of them, apparently premium users are excepted) to make outside information more easily available on FPN.

 

I really hope that rule isn't meant and applied as harshly as it reads here, because if it is I find it quite off-putting.


 

3 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

That sort of thing happens. After all, members would be encouraged to post links to, say, manufacturers' web sites and get information straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, but not if that is something a particular manufacturer specifically states it breaches the terms of use of the information and/or pages published on its web site.

That would be a conflict with a third party's rules, not an internal conflict/contradiction within one rule-set.

 

 

 

Anyway, back to the Curidas clone: I'm still on the fence whether or not to get one. After learning that even the multiple times as expensive original can occasionally show severe problems with drying out, I'm kinda leaning a bit more towards let's-try-the-clone again.

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Not really many alternatives tho...😉

 

I'd like to have/try a "quick action" ballpoint-like fountain pen, but since I find them all rather fugly I'm not willing to spend much money on it 😬

And as far as I know the 3088 is the only low-price one.

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