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Is the Platinum 3776 nib really as scratchy as people say?


E.H. Tersono
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I always see the Platinum 3776 on lists of great lower cost gold nib pens, but then I read more and find people saying it's really toothy, scratchy, or just has a lot of feedback. I personally want a nib that glides, as little friction as possible. What's your experience with the lower cost Platinum (and Sailor, et al) gold nibs? Are they really as scratchy as people say?

Edited by E.H. Tersono

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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1 hour ago, E.H. Tersono said:

I always see the Platinum 3776 on lists of great lower cost gold nib pens, but then I read more and find people saying it's really toothy, scratchy, or just has a lot of feedback. I personally want a nib that glides, as little friction as possible. What's your experience with the lower cost Platinum (and Sailor, et al) gold nibs? Are they really as scratchy as people say?

 

Personally I don't find PLatinum or Sailor nibs to be scratchy.  I do find them to write with a little feedback, which I personally like.  If you prefer nibs that are glass smooth, in a roughly similar range of pens I think you would find Pilot to be more to your liking.

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10 minutes ago, whichwatch said:

 

Personally I don't find PLatinum or Sailor nibs to be scratchy.  I do find them to write with a little feedback, which I personally like.  If you prefer nibs that are glass smooth, in a roughly similar range of pens I think you would find Pilot to be more to your liking.

 

Thank you. From Pilot I only have a Metropolitan and kaküno, and like them both, though actually prefer the kaküno. Those are the only ones I've tried.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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2 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

I personally want a nib that glides, as little friction as possible.

 

Since I ‘write’ with only fine-nibbed pens, I won't comment on what Japanese M and B nibs are like, even though I have a couple of those as well. If you want a butter on glass gliding all over the page writing experience, then Platinum and Sailor nibs in the finer width grades won't be well-suited to your preferences.

 

2 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

What's your experience with the lower cost Platinum (and Sailor, et al) gold nibs?

 

Which do you mean by ‘lower cost’, though? The entry-level gold-nibbed pens in the respective core product lines for the Japanese Big Three fountain pen brands — Profit (aka 1911) for Sailor, Custom for Pilot, and #3776 for Platinum — were all held at ¥10,000+tax for a long time. However, Sailor has now replaced its entry-level Profit Standard pens at that price point with the ‘new’ Profit Light, while regular production Profit Standard and Professional Gear Slim models have gone up in price. The MSRP of Pilot's Custom 74 and Custom Heritage 91 has also gone up, so now its Elite 95S is the lower-priced gold-nibbed model. Platinum's Vicoh line used to offer gold nibs on models starting from ¥5,000+tax, and so was always the lower-priced gold-nibbed option; even with the PTL-5000A having been retired, and the maki-e decorated models now re-numbered and repriced at ¥12,000+tax, the bottom-of-the-line #3776 Century models are now ¥15,000+tax, having just been bumped up last month from ¥13,000+tax, it remains the lower-priced product line.

 

2 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

Are they really as scratchy as people say?

 

Scratchy? No. But your tolerance of non-scratchy kinaesthetic feedback, and mine (which is no doubt very different) for that matter, cannot be assumed to be same as anyone else's.

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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1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Since I ‘write’ with only fine-nibbed pens, I won't comment on what Japanese M and B nibs are like, even though I have a couple of those as well. If you want a butter on glass gliding all over the page writing experience, then Platinum and Sailor nibs in the finer width grades won't be well-suited to your preferences.

 

 

Which do you mean by ‘lower cost’, though? The entry-level gold-nibbed pens in the respective core product lines for the Japanese Big Three fountain pen brands — Profit (aka 1911) for Sailor, Custom for Pilot, and #3776 for Platinum — were all held at ¥10,000+tax for a long time. However, Sailor has now replaced its entry-level Profit Standard pens at that price point with the ‘new’ Profit Light, while regular production Profit Standard and Professional Gear Slim models have gone up in price. The MSRP of Pilot's Custom 74 and Custom Heritage 91 has also gone up, so now its Elite 95S is the lower-priced gold-nibbed model. Platinum's Vicoh line used to offer gold nibs on models starting from ¥5,000+tax, and so was always the lower-priced gold-nibbed option; even with the PTL-5000A having been retired, and the maki-e decorated models now re-numbered and repriced at ¥12,000+tax, the bottom-of-the-line #3776 Century models are now ¥15,000+tax, having just been bumped up last month from ¥13,000+tax, it remains the lower-priced product line.

 

 

Scratchy? No. But your tolerance of non-scratchy kinaesthetic feedback, and mine (which is no doubt very different) for that matter, cannot be assumed to be same as anyone else's.

 

Indeed, thank you for that point. You're absolutely right to point out the experience of what constitutes acceptable friction on the [feedback] <--  -->[scratch] continuum is a subjective experience. 

 

As one example my kaküno EF is a favourite pen to write with, and I also loved the M gold nib Parkers I've used. But I couldn't stand the cursive italic ground nib on one of the Parkers because of the resistance and sound. 

 

I have a bit of sensory aversion to both feedback on the page and sounds made on the page, both of which translate as scratchiness to me. So I like pens that produce neither, as little as possible anyway. Since it's an interaction question I'll also add that I use ST Paper Tomoe River, Midori's MD notebook & Traveler's Notebook, and Smythson's Three Crowns and Featherweight papers.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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15 minutes ago, E.H. Tersono said:

You're absolutely right to point out the experience of what constitutes acceptable friction on the [feedback] <--  -->[scratch] continuum is a subjective experience. …‹snip›… I have a bit of sensory aversion to both feedback on the page and sounds made on the page, both of which translate as scratchiness to me.

 

My own definition of scratchiness in a nib is simple: it's the degree to which the metal actually lacerating the surface of the paper when I'm writing with normal handwriting technique and pressure. If I can feel points or tracks of ‘furry’ unevenness on the paper surface when I trace my finger along the ink marks on the page after the ink has dried, then the nib has unduly scratched the paper, and is therefore by definition scratchy.

 

There are different types and degrees of pleasant and unpleasant kinaesthetic feedback transmitted from the contact point between paper and nib up the pen and then to one's hand. Drag, for example, is unpleasant to me even when it's quite the opposite of a sharp, ‘scratchy’ kinda ride.

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 think the people who find that nib scratchy are either writing with too much pressure for fine or extra fine nibs, are using very dry inks, or have tine alignment issues... 

 

If you want a current Platinum nib that's ultra smooth, then the Vicoh branded models (now seemingly limited to Kanazawa gold leaf PTL-20000H and modern Maki-e PTL-18000M styles) are great, however to find anything other than a fine or medium nib, you'll have to shop for pens from at least a decade ago.

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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11 minutes ago, awa54 said:

If you want a current Platinum nib that's ultra smooth, then the Vicoh branded models (now seemingly limited to Kanazawa gold leaf PTL-20000H and modern Maki-e PTL-18000M styles) are great,

 

My Vicoh PTL-5000A's 14K gold EF nib was the scratchiest Platinum gold nib I've encountered out-of-the-box, even more so than my Izumo Akatame's F nib that turned out to have a slight misalignment.

 

The 18K gold F nib on my Vicoh Kanazawa-haku ‘Changing Autumn Leaves’ pen was OK out-of-the-box, but I wouldn't say it was any smoother than the F nibs on several of my #3776 Century pens.

 

By the way, there is also the Modern Maki-e ‘Soryu’ (model PGB-12000M) in the current line-up of Vicoh branded models.

 

24 minutes ago, awa54 said:

however to find anything other than a fine or medium nib, you'll have to shop for pens from at least a decade ago.

 

That's not true; I bought my EF-nibbed Vicoh PTL-5000A brand new (from an Amazon JP Marketplace seller) only in 2019.

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 just tested my pens at hand with the same paper. From Sailor EF to Platinum F to Pilot F to Sailor KoP M to Montblanc F to Waldmann M, they all make about the same amount of noise when writing.

 

I recommend to adapt your writing style to the pen, that is easier than the other way around.

And if you find a pen which writes the way you like, look no further. Grass is normally NOT greener with other brands!

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On 10/24/2021 at 2:12 AM, A Smug Dill said:

 

My Vicoh PTL-5000A's 14K gold EF nib was the scratchiest Platinum gold nib I've encountered out-of-the-box, even more so than my Izumo Akatame's F nib that turned out to have a slight misalignment.

 

The 18K gold F nib on my Vicoh Kanazawa-haku ‘Changing Autumn Leaves’ pen was OK out-of-the-box, but I wouldn't say it was any smoother than the F nibs on several of my #3776 Century pens.

 

By the way, there is also the Modern Maki-e ‘Soryu’ (model PGB-12000M) in the current line-up of Vicoh branded models.

 

 

That's not true; I bought my EF-nibbed Vicoh PTL-5000A brand new (from an Amazon JP Marketplace seller) only in 2019.

 

 

While you are correct that the PTL-XXXXX series pens used to be available in EF (and perhaps B as well, though it's been so long since the data changed on Plat's web site, that I'm not certain on B), they haven't been listed that way for quite a while now.

 

If you care to look at Plat's web site (Japanese) over the last five years or so, you'll find that the PTL-XXXXX series with 18k BelAge style nib (seemingly branded Vicoh in the Japanese market and now much diminished as far as total models offered), you will have seen F and M as the only offerings listed. The apples of which I spoke are not oranges.

 

I too own many Plat nibs in other configurations that are finer or broader than F & M, but *in the USA*, where I happen to live, the only nibs available new, through even remote approximations of *authorized resellers*, in the *five digit* Vicoh series are F and M.

 

It brings me much sorrow to know that you're so unlucky in your purchases of Platinum pens with this nib configuration...

Of the two dozen or so Plats I own in this series (if you include the BelAge type and slim Riviere variants), all of mine have had extremely smooth writing nibs, even the EFs.  This set includes everything from a 22k nibbed President, down to the cheapest steel nib Riviere-esque basic pens and many 14 and 18k variants in between.

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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On 10/24/2021 at 4:48 AM, mke said:

I just tested my pens at hand with the same paper. From Sailor EF to Platinum F to Pilot F to Sailor KoP M to Montblanc F to Waldmann M, they all make about the same amount of noise when writing.

 

I recommend to adapt your writing style to the pen, that is easier than the other way around.

And if you find a pen which writes the way you like, look no further. Grass is normally NOT greener with other brands!

 

 

Totally agreed on adapting to a given nib, for example, my modern Sailor nibs that are gritty when written with even a moderately heavy hand feel much smoother when written with a light touch (which is the "right" way to treat them anyway, since there is no great line variation to be had by modulating pressure).

 

As a general rule, different makers' nibs will have a characteristic feel, due to differences in design, materials and manufacturing processes, but there is always sample variation to contend with and for those who don't tune nibs (or pay experts to do so), you can be stuck with a nib that isn't as expected from time to time... I do however believe that Pilot wouldn't have a reputation for exceptional smoothness, or Sailor for "feedback" (etc.), if these weren't commonly displayed traits of their nibs.

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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On 10/16/2021 at 6:22 PM, E.H. Tersono said:

I always see the Platinum 3776 on lists of great lower cost gold nib pens, but then I read more and find people saying it's really toothy, scratchy, or just has a lot of feedback. I personally want a nib that glides, as little friction as possible. What's your experience with the lower cost Platinum (and Sailor, et al) gold nibs? Are they really as scratchy as people say?

Not scratchy at all. But they do have feedback. Think of the feeling you have when writing with a good pencil. Scratchy means there is a problem with your nib. Feedback just means that you can feel the nib, as opposed as smooth or buttery smooth. Platinium has some feemback, where Pilot n°5/10/15 nibs are glass smooth. I personnaly love Platinum's but really dislike Pilo'ts. Other people have other appreciations. 

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15 hours ago, mke said:

I just tested my pens at hand with the same paper. From Sailor EF to Platinum F to Pilot F to Sailor KoP M to Montblanc F to Waldmann M, they all make about the same amount of noise when writing.

 

I recommend to adapt your writing style to the pen, that is easier than the other way around.

And if you find a pen which writes the way you like, look no further. Grass is normally NOT greener with other brands!

 

Thank you for doing that test! I greatly appreciate it. And that's good advice.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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I pulled out my older #3776 gathered (M) and have been writing with it at work for the last few days, it definitely qualifies as having feedback, in fact it's very similar as far as feel on the page to my Sailor PG slim nibs, though it has a small amount of flex on tap for line variation (which is missing from the current 14k Sailor nib).  As others have mentioned, if you don't like the feel of writing with an HB or H pencil, then this kind of page feel will probably be a turn-off. That said, it writes well on smooth, or textured paper (the job cards I have to fill out are kraft paper), with no hint of tearing the surface or scraping sizing off of cheap notepad paper. The page "feel" is just that; a tactile sensation, not an indication of a dragging, poorly aligned, or sharp nib.

 

 

 

 

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't qualify my 3776s as 'scratchy' but I have learned to be careful which inks I use in them. If I use one of the drier inks, they write very dry indeed and it's not a pleasant experience. On the other hand Waterman Serenity or Pelikan Koenigsblau or any wetter ink works very well even in the fine nibs.

 

Whereas with my Pelikan m400s and m600s I can fill up with just about anything and they write like firehoses, and the same with my Lamys and Edisons.

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

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10 minutes ago, amk said:

Waterman Serenity or Pelikan Koenigsblau

I thought they are considered as dry inks.

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They are certainly on the drier side, but they are my go-tos for pen testing as they are very tolerant. Some of the Herbin inks for instance are really, really dry and just not nice in the 3776.

 

I may try a little tweaking with a tiny drop of surfactant in some of the drier inks...

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

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My Pilot 823 with gold nib is pretty smooth, smoother than my Sonnet with 18k nib. I just tested a few of my pens of various plumage on regular copy paper and the very smoothest nibs are still my Ystudio resin (~70 euros) and my Laban Skeleton (~200 euros). I don't have any Sailors or Platinums to compare them to, though, sorry. I personally prefer a smooth nib with a hint of feedback, so that's how most of the pens I use write. These two are definitely the ones that always surprise me every time I use them with how smoothly they glide over the paper. Ink also matters, of course, but these two never seem to care much whether it's wet or dry. I have no idea if it's been the luck of the draw with these nibs, but that's my experience with the 10 or so different brands of modern pens that I have, fwiw.

edit for clarification: all are Ms

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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