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Best Modern Flex Nibs



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it looks like FPNibs only offer the full flex grind on their jowo BF 14k #6 nibs. which nib did you get from them?

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Christopher Godfrey

I still do not understand why there are not more users singing the praises of the Pilot Custom plus FA nib!  I have a Custom 743 with big FA 15 and I reckon I reach for it just as often as for any of my vintage Pelikans.  The combination <does> need the (cheap!) ebonite replacement feed from TFNF, for sure. 

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4 hours ago, Christopher Godfrey said:

I still do not understand why there are not more users singing the praises of the Pilot Custom plus FA nib!  I have a Custom 743 with big FA 15 and I reckon I reach for it just as often as for any of my vintage Pelikans.  The combination <does> need the (cheap!) ebonite replacement feed from TFNF, for sure. 

 

The feed issue is one reason.  Some people just don't want to mess with their pens.  I think pointed pen calligraphers want it to be at least be an extra-fine & would prefer better snap-back.  (Those folks wouldn't be using vintage Pelikans either, because as nice as an old Pelikan may be, they're not suited for that kind of use.)   Then there are the people who don't like c/c fillers or need purple swirlies on their pens or who aren't into flex nibs or whatever.

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Bo Bo Olson

Good post.

 

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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9 hours ago, Christopher Godfrey said:

Custom 743 with big FA 15

have one too - unmodified out of the box it is an excellent modern flex.  i was prepared to swap the nib for an ebonite one from flexible nib factory however didnt have to.  by chance/ink combination/paper - it just worked with the stock feed and i had no issues with constant railroading (by the way this would be chance/pilot black/tomoe river)

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JulieParadise

Pilot Custom 743 FA? -- I owned one and had no issues with the feed keeping up. I only sold it because I had three 912 FA, which I liked better as they were a tad bit softer. Also I currently have a 743 here with a lovely, juicy FA nib without any modification made to the feed. It only needed adjustment of the tines that I was asked to perform by its owner.

 

I would praise both the smaller and the bigger FA nibs all day long, but these nibs seem to be pretty sensitive to the writing angle, the rhythm of downward pressure and release and also hand oil residue on papers, which, I think, are the main reasons many people have problems with these pens. 

 

I have seen people use my own FA nibs and not being able to write a single word with these, whereas I or others, seconds later, have the most joyous experience. 

 

So, the problem with these often is neither the nib nor feed objectively being inapt or built badly, but a certain incompatibility with the user. I don't mean to say those who cannot use these nibs successfully do anything wrong, they just don't fit with what the pen seems to need.

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A Smug Dill
14 hours ago, Christopher Godfrey said:

I still do not understand why there are not more users singing the praises of the Pilot Custom plus FA nib! 

 

9 minutes ago, JulieParadise said:

So, the problem with these often is neither the nib nor feed objectively being inapt or built badly, but a certain incompatibility with the user. I don't mean to say those who cannot use these nibs successfully do anything wrong, they just don't fit with what the pen seems to need.

 

What @JulieParadise said. Let's think about it logically, and assume (or pretend) that your personal preferences as a user in completely independent from that of other users, i.e. just because you like something doesn't mean anyone else does or ‘should’, and on the flip side nobody treats it was outright disdain simply on account of your being a fan of something.

  1. Only a subset of users who enjoy, or are at least satisfied by, Pilot Custom pens fitted with FA nibs would actually praise those writing instruments (where you can see).
  2. Only a subset of users who have Pilot Custom pens fitted with FA nibs would enjoy or be satisfied by those writing instruments; and underpinning that would be their desiring their writing outcomes on the page to be what FA nibs can readily produce.
  3. Only a subset of fountain pen users who want writing outcomes that look like that would choose to buy (or at least try) Pilot pens, or Japanese pens in general.
  4. Only a subset of fountain pen users would actually want their writing outcomes to look like that.

So, in my view, your question amounts to, “Why is the subset in point 1 listed above not larger?” Perhaps its supersets mentioned in points 2, 3 and 4 are smaller than you imagined.

 

I had a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with an FA nib (and stock plastic feed), and its writing output (due partly to poor snap-back of the metal) frustrated me so much, I pulled it out of the gripping section and snapped it with my fingers, some three years ago.

 

Much later, a fellow Aussie FPN forum member had a Pilot Custom 742 with FA nib with an FNF ebonite feed for sale in the Classifieds. I wouldn't in a hundred years go to the trouble of ‘enhancing’ such a pen with what a nib that previously disappointed me — at the cost of a replacement ebonite feed, especially one made in USA, and pay for exorbitant (and, in my view, disproportionate and unreasonable) international shipping to Australia — but since it was already done by someone else, I thought I'd give the Custom/FA combo a second chance. I'm still not thrilled by it, and so after some brief testing, it'd been sitting uninked now for several months. Now, why would I praise that particular combo, when there are so many other pens that please me more and serve my purposes better? I'm confident I'm not alone in that opinion, either.

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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19 hours ago, Christopher Godfrey said:

I still do not understand why there are not more users singing the praises of the Pilot Custom plus FA nib!  I have a Custom 743 with big FA 15 and I reckon I reach for it just as often as for any of my vintage Pelikans.  The combination <does> need the (cheap!) ebonite replacement feed from TFNF, for sure. 

 

My limited opinion...

  1. plain-jane/boring-appearance pen body
  2. cartridge-converter...no thank you
  3. upgrade to ebonite required to do what I need
  4. difficult/expensive to modify/work-on
  5. I just don't like the "Hawk-Beak" shaped nib...it's ugly to me...like a Lamy...ugh
  6. too expensive/delicate for EDC

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

When speaking of the FA nibs, what sizes are you using? I’ve been told by a reliable source that the size 10 FA nib offers better flex than the size 15. 

 

Does modern mean modern pens with modern nibs, modern pens with vintage nibs, or merely flexy pens suited for modern ink use, in which case vintage eyedroppers or safeties would outperform modern offerings?

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the 823s and 743s come with a #15fa - sometimes it is just luck, i have 743 fa brought from a japanese stationery shop and it can go up against one of fpnibs flexible jowos/mb 149 calligraphy.  not as good as john mottishaws flex mod though.   

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A Smug Dill
10 minutes ago, tzee said:

I’ve been told by a reliable source that the size 10 FA nib offers better flex than the size 15.

 

I seriously doubt the size 10 FA nib offers more responsive spring-back than the size 15 FA nib. It's not just about how much writing pressure it takes to widen the line width by how much; otherwise I'd just use a brush pen that takes an ink converter in the manner of a fountain pen. In my opinion and for my manner of usage, a good flex nib would put down crisp lines in a way that a brush tip cannot, and the line widths within the range of its capability would be consistently predictable and precisely controllable by the user. The latter necessitates responsive and quick spring-back; I can increase the downward pressure quickly with my hand to force the tines to spread and widen the line, but I can't force the tines to come back together an put down hairlines for me just by reducing the pressure if the nib isn't sufficiently elastic and robust.

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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19 minutes ago, tzee said:

When speaking of the FA nibs, what sizes are you using? I’ve been told by a reliable source that the size 10 FA nib offers better flex than the size 15. 

In my experience the #10 FA offers greater total line spread and less total force is required to achieve it. But that is not necessarily a good thing. I prefer the #15 FA because it has a higher initiation force required (which makes it easier to maintain thin lines when desired) and much much better snap back (which means the pen returns to thin lines more quickly and therefore has better overall line variation). 

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A Smug Dill
Just now, loganrah said:

In my experience the #10 FA offers greater total line spread and less total force is required to achieve it. But that is not necessarily a good thing. I prefer the #15 FA because it has a higher initiation force required (which makes it easier to maintain thin lines when desired) and much much better snap back (which means the pen returns to thin lines more quickly and therefore has better overall line variation). 

 

Amen!

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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Bo Bo Olson

Those who can write prefer fast snapback, over how wide one can make the tines spread.

12 hours ago, tzee said:

Does modern mean modern pens with modern nibs, modern pens with vintage nibs, or merely flexy pens suited for modern ink use, in which case vintage eyedroppers or safeties would outperform modern offerings?

Is the way I read the thread.....not the Wet Noodles or the Weak Kneed Wet Noodles of yore.

There are three stages of superflex nibs, or how I break them down for those new to superflex. Easy Full Flex....have 5-6 only one was looked for.......have 3 Wet Noodles.......I do admit looking for them, one way or the other. The 52's I got from Mauricio *** The Soennecken (best of the three) was on a no name pen.

:puddle:...:drool:......having landed a pre'24 MB Safety Pen with a Weak Kneed Wet Noodle....has caused me a problem........:crybaby:...as soon as I get it re-corked; I'll have to learn how to write.

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The nib screws out of the pen.

Click picture to make larger.

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Nib says Simplo....not Mount Blanc

 

As far as I think, nibs with half moons ground out, or slits or nibs made in India that are more flexible than the Noodler Ahab nib, is what is called Modern.

 

*** Mauricio is right, the more superflex pens one has the more the borders blur.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

About six months ago I bought a Pilor Custom Heritage 912 with FA nib and I think it's fantastic. I replaced the original feeder with an ebonite one that they custom make at Flexiblenib.com to avoid railroading and ensure a good continuous inkflow.The truth is that I don't use the pen for calligraphy, so surely the original Pilot feeder was more than enough. What I love about the pen and the reason I use it so often is its smoothness, softness and springiness that I don't find in other nibs: the nib bounces in a way that I don't see in any other nib I own. In this sense the Pilot Falcon has a much less soft and springy nib than this CH 912 with the Falcon nib.

 

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1 hour ago, monologion said:

In this sense the Pilot Falcon has a much less soft and springy nib than this CH 912 with the Falcon nib.

 

I think the nib on the Pilot Elabo (aka Falcon) is far more springy than the FA nibs on the Custom 742 and Custom Heritage 912. When elastically deformed under pressure, the Elabo's nib will continuously fight to return to its original shape; that's springy, in that it has enough give but has a strong tendency to spring back, instead of yielding to pressure and stay relaxed until the user is ready to stop pushing the nib down.

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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