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Best Modern Flex Nibs



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Happy Saturday to everybody! So have a question for the group. In general I avoided Flex nibs because I found them to be extremely scratchy. I'm kind of finicky about feedback. I don't like feedback, I don't want a nib that feels like it's cutting through paper if you're not using Rodia or another high-end stock. I'm not a noob and understand that fountain pens like to eat appropriate paper so I'm not talking about writing on rag or recycled 24 lb copy paper.

 

Recently acquired a mint vintage Waterman Super Flex F to 3X Broad.  Truly amazing experience.  Smooth on 34 lb HP laser, really nice nib.  Have tinkered extensively with the Drexel, jewlers saws and steel nibs to get flex.  They work but NOTHING like when Waterman.  It flexed with your natural pressure variation in normal writing.  Have Kanwrite Heritage Broad Flex, Noodlers Konrad Flex, multiple FPR Flex and ultrafast fitted to various pens in #5 and #6 configurations.  Of the FPR experience well they are very "finicky" and highly variable.  Himalaya Version 2 ordered with Flex out of the box did not write at all, splayed tines, had to jerk around for an hour or so to get it to write, then another hour to align tines and smooth all for a scratchy overall experience and have to "tell my hand" when to press harder to get flex.  Same experience with the Konrad, non started out of the box, aligned well and decently smooth but lots of pressure to get flex.  Osprey broad and medium ultrafast in Madisons, good line variation but prone to railroad and scratchy.

 

So, the question, is there a reasonably priced steel option for a preferably 2 tone gold flex nib in #5 or #6 options that will give smooth writing experience and reasonable line variation with normal variance writing pressure?

 

Assistance appreciated!

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Two suggestions come to mind.

 

The Montblanc Meisterstück with a bespoke Calligraphy nib. Everybody says it is great. But expensive.

 

The Pelikan m200 with its standard nib, it may not give enough line variation for your taste but is smooth, responsive and with enough flair to give your writing personality.

 

Then, maybe the Falcon nib from Pilot, or a nib tweaked by a nibmeister. This last may be the safest option, as you'll get exactly what you want if you go for a good one. There are many posts on FPN about people experienes with different nibmeisters. For the price, that may certainly be the best and cheapest option.

 

(corrected "weaked" to "twaked")

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The pilot FA nibs are the closest modern nibs to vintage flex I've tried. 

 

Notice that vintage flex nibs didn't have different geometry. The flexibility is all in the metal used, not the shape.

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There is inevitably some sacrifice of smoothness with flex nibs because the inner surface of the slit comes into contact with the paper as the tines spread under pressure.  If you want smooth and flex, i would suggest flex stubs.

 

At any rate, the modern Pilot FA #10 and the Montblanc 149 & 146 Calligraphy nibs are pretty good & generally smooth.  The stock feed on the Pilot is inadequate and needs to be replaced before the nib can reach its potential.  The MB feeds work fine as is.  However, the MBs are more expensive and typically require a wait.

 

Neither the Pilot FA nor the  MB Calligraphy nibs have the snapback of vintage flex nibs.  It’s easier to get the right weight for lighter strokes for roundhand etc. with vintage flex nibs.  

 

I have both the Pilot and the MB 149 Calligraphy.  I reach for the MB much more often.  One reason is that the MB 149 Calligraphy nib is somewhat finer than the Pilot FA and gives greater contrast.  

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Wow thank you for the quick replies and the great information, love this forum! Have 2 149s and can't stand them with standard nibs are calligraphy nibs a replacement option?

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I don’t think MB will replace your regular 149 nib with a Calligraphy nib even if you’re within the nib exchange window.  I’ve also heard that the new service contractor is a hassle to work with.  Seems unlikely.  

 

If you don’t like your 149s, you could unload them and put the proceeds towards a 149 Calligraphy. 

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bunnspecial
1 hour ago, gyasko said:

I don’t think MB will replace your regular 149 nib with a Calligraphy nib even if you’re within the nib exchange window.  I’ve also heard that the new service contractor is a hassle to work with.  Seems unlikely.  

Side note and sidetracking I realize, but do you know firsthand of anyone who has worked with them?

 

I'm dragging my feet on swaps on two LEs, and need to do one by January. I was ready to send them a month and a half ago when I realized the contract service deal. I've been debating about going to Hamburg directly. A "Jewelry Repair" service doesn't give me a high degree of confidence on getting a swap correct.

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6 hours ago, gyasko said:

I don’t think MB will replace your regular 149 nib with a Calligraphy nib even if you’re within the nib exchange window.  I’ve also heard that the new service contractor is a hassle to work with.  Seems unlikely.  

 

If you don’t like your 149s, you could unload them and put the proceeds towards a 149 Calligraphy. 

LOL that might be the plan one of them is the 75th anniversary with the diamond in the cap!  Anyone interested,🤣🤣🤣?

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Bo Bo Olson

Deleted in I only know of old nibs.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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After buying 50 FPR ultraflex nibs, modding nibs for flex, buying a vintage flex pen and trying many others...I've come to the following conclusion.

 

(My personal opinion)


A+ #1 Bar-None/Best-of-the-absolute-best - MB 149 W/Calligraphy nib (Buy once, cry a few times over 20+ years...but you won't need or desire another flex pen after it)

Very next best - FP Nibs (FPNibs.com) 14k Soft-Flex nib (delicious smooth flex, but gold flex nib is a gusher)

Third best - "Secretary of De Flex" (Their "Flex-stub" isn't the finest line, but smooth as butter and flexes like vintage. I own and love their XXF flex nib...photo below)

All else - Expensive Vintage flex nibs, etc...

 

Good luck on your path...

 

EDIT: if you're interested in seeing what the "Secretary of De Flex" can do, look up any of my "Flex-Pen Ink Reviews"

 

Perfection.thumb.jpg.20f52ff63ac7ffc0fe520cde3a59bf6a.jpg1419226005_PenRealm-SecretaryofDeFlex-4.png.367f48871d84cc29fa4eb7dafbc638ab.pngQuote-1.thumb.jpg.dc198c7a39c986c07f784eaa99c0c74c.jpg

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Gloucesterman

What about the Santini nibs (18K in-house flex and super flex) and the modern Wahl Eversharp flex/superflex nibs.

More direct comparison with these nibs would really be appreciated. On personal note, I am thinking of going for one of the Santini nibs in the near future.

Thank you for any additional info on the nibs.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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I don’t think my Santini is as responsive as the 149 Calligraphy nib.  However, you can get different widths with the Santini which is nice.  

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Karmachanic

In my limited experience best modern flex and steel nibs don't go together.  Try 14k.

Pablo Carrasco will grind one for you. Then there's Pilot 912 FA, followed by Santini 18k; softest to firmest.  My experience ends there.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I have been experimenting and tweaking pain so far have picked up a vintage Waterman with an ultra Flex nib. By far this is the best I have experienced. I really wish that I purchased both of my Montblanc 149s with calligraphy nibs but, oh well that's ancient history one of them is a 75th Anniversary Diamond Limited Edition.

 

One of the better results of my experiments was actually one of the most inexpensive. It is a Kanwrite Flex nib medium Point on a Jinhao X450. I was really concerned that the plastic feed was not going to keep up and that because it's just a little bit thicker than the Jinhao nib the tines would splay.  That couldn't be further from the end result, it's actually close to perfect, very smooth oh, very flexible with very good line variation and it keeps up in fast writing, it's actually a good daily writer.  While it is true that the nib cost as much as the entire pen the end result is quite pleasing.

20210911_154100.jpg

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10 minutes ago, DiveDr said:

I have been experimenting and tweaking pain so far have picked up a vintage Waterman with an ultra Flex nib. By far this is the best I have experienced. I really wish that I purchased both of my Montblanc 149s with calligraphy nibs but, oh well that's ancient history one of them is a 75th Anniversary Diamond Limited Edition.

 

One of the better results of my experiments was actually one of the most inexpensive. It is a Kanwrite Flex nib medium Point on a Jinhao X450. I was really concerned that the plastic feed was not going to keep up and that because it's just a little bit thicker than the Jinhao nib the tines would splay.  That couldn't be further from the end result, it's actually close to perfect, very smooth oh, very flexible with very good line variation and it keeps up in fast writing, it's actually a good daily writer.  While it is true that the nib cost as much as the entire pen the end result is quite pleasing.

20210911_154100.jpg

I experimented with Kanwrite ultra-flex nibs in the past as well. I knew that FPR got their stock nibs from somewhere in India and I found them!
They're actually stiffer than the FPR Ultra-flex nibs as they're thicker steel and I believe FPR has them ground down thinner and polished before selling.
At that point in my search is when I tried out gold flex nibs, one from Franklin-Christoph. I had it sent to Gena Salorino in Ca for further flexification and a needlepoint tip.
That thing is unbelievable...but requires a surgeon's touch to use properly. As I needed a daily-driver, I decided to put it away before I messed it up and that's when I bought my SODF nib unit. It's been smooth sailing ever since...I have found home.

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Gloucesterman
26 minutes ago, Detman101 said:

I experimented with Kanwrite ultra-flex nibs in the past as well. I knew that FPR got their stock nibs from somewhere in India and I found them!
They're actually stiffer than the FPR Ultra-flex nibs as they're thicker steel and I believe FPR has them ground down thinner and polished before selling.
At that point in my search is when I tried out gold flex nibs, one from Franklin-Christoph. I had it sent to Gena Salorino in Ca for further flexification and a needlepoint tip.
That thing is unbelievable...but requires a surgeon's touch to use properly. As I needed a daily-driver, I decided to put it away before I messed it up and that's when I bought my SODF nib unit. It's been smooth sailing ever since...I have found home.

SODF is what?

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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5 minutes ago, DiveDr said:

What pen is this we are looking at?

In my first post, my Opus-88 Demo is displayed...along with writing samples.
In my third post, I do not know...it is from another SODF owner.

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