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Airmail 69T with Kanwrite Nib Swap... Why didn't They Made It Like This!!!???



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Aravind_2310

I was perusing through the fountainpen forums the other day and came across @mehandiratta's review of the Airmail 71JT. He described how the pen was magnificent, but the nib it came with was a mess... literally, as it burped on first write... and he then swapped with a No.35(International #6 for anyone wondering) nib and now it's his daily writer. I was so astonished by the fact that you can swap a no.35 nib on an airmail pen which usually takes No.8(a stubbier version of a #6) nib. 

 

Airmail No.8 nib vs International #6 nibs

 

So being the curious and idiotic imbecile that I was, I started to find out how to fit a No.35 nib to my pen... Forgetting the fact that my pen is the smaller 69T instead of the 71JT(Which literally means Jumbo Transparent) that I bought from The Pen Hospital in my city (Thrissur) a while ago. At first I was surprised that the nib didn't fit as the diameter for No.8 and No.35 feed was identical... while I found a way to coax it in there, the cap wouldn't close properly... after about two days I got frustrated and abandoned the idea and planned to buy a 71JT... but then...

          

          While I was watching youtube, a channel called Penatomy appeared in my feed and I saw that he was able to fit a Kanwrite No.35 nib in an Airmail 69T... and I got my guts back... And I watched the video and found out that evenly scraping off the ebonite feed bit by bit until the nib fits in place... and voila... a No.35 nib on a 69T... And I have so much to say about it...

 

Design And Build

 

     To be frank... this is one of the most beautiful budget pens I have (given that my pen collection only contains pens under ₹800/- at least for now). And it's the blend of a simple clear acrylic barrel that is hand turned with the randomness of the pattern of the plastic cap (that is made of the vegetal resin and it smells... but not as strongly as the converter in the Kanwrite PC was check that one here.), the chromed finish of the cap band and the simple clip to the clear crystal like portion on the back end... all come together to make a timeless and handsome looking fella...

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-24.thumb.jpg.86eb30ca6f1207bffa9450b59d0a67b6.jpg  photo_2021-10-19_15-02-23.thumb.jpg.5b9d485f5cc59a30fe30dc896743dffe.jpg

 

The  build is also... for the price... reasonable. Yes you won't get the heft and the metallic build of a Jinhao... but this is an eyedropper pen and if it were made of metal... then it would have not been an airmail/wality wouldn't it (at least in my opinion).

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-25.thumb.jpg.00caef906087b11047e6de28a8630fa0.jpg 1998101027_photo_2021-10-19_15-02-22(2).thumb.jpg.ad224d0f9ef0a84e58df991bae5d135c.jpg

 

The pen is long enough to hold comfortably unposted and it's light enough to write without any fatigue for a long time... Posting it though... unless you have gorilla sized hands... don't use it posted... I have a very thin and long hands (like a canoe oar... if you will) and for me unposted is the way to go... and you might find the backweight a little too much when posted...

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-38.thumb.jpg.0b69b7b3e9dcfa04251270452b16b87d.jpg  photo_2021-10-19_15-02-37.thumb.jpg.a83e720ae3756e9b09f10d4ceafa531c.jpg

 

The only sort of complaint that I have in regards to the looks is that for a pen with chrome trims, it comes with a sorta gold, sorta bronze type of plated steel nib (the nib shown above), and I'd rather have it a un-plated steel nib... thankfully the Kanwrite nib fixes that for me...(the picture shown below is of a Kanwrite No.8 swap that I did before I ventured into a No.35 swap)...

 

photo_2021-09-12_11-36-52.jpg.f92ea53b3067194ce0a975b7d40898ef.jpg

 

As for size comparison here it is next to:

  1. Kanwrite Desire
  2. Hero 336
  3. Pilot Hi-Techpoint V7(That I eyedropper converted)

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-22.thumb.jpg.f8c23a708ae3f5a35e2c033d9c23035b.jpg  photo_2021-10-19_15-02-20.thumb.jpg.64a19375a79b56e4d060d0d3c633bad3.jpg

 

Nib, Inking And Writing

 

As I mentioned, the standard 69T comes with a No.8 Steel Airmail nib... And I might have been one of the lucky ones from what I hear about Wality nibs because at first it was a bit on the toothy side, but a little polishing fixed that... to some extent... it had a bit of scratchiness in the leftward strokes and I wasn't experienced enough at the time to remedy it, so I bought a No.8 kanwrite nib and wrote with that for a short time... and it worked. Well... Kind of...

 

You see... Since it is an eyedropper, I was expecting some burping... but not when the ink is 7/8th of the barrel... and that issue pertained with both No.8 nibs... I then read about heat setting the ebonite feed... and that worked to an extent... but still about half full before the pen starts to burp is a bit too early in my opinion...

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-26.thumb.jpg.b8db654950e808521d4ba5202ba59277.jpg

 

So as per the intro, I started to try and fit the No.35 nib into the 69T. And suffice to say that I shoehorned it in there is an understatement It took a lot of trial and error but after bit by bit sanding off the feed, I was able to fit the nib deep enough that the cap can open/close in 2 turns... which was enough for me and that is how much the cap turned to open/close initially.

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-36.thumb.jpg.3f790c59ef7f891876629df283c787e1.jpg  81910812_photo_2021-10-19_15-02-26(2).thumb.jpg.87bacfaab1b6940e70edccc78c6091d6.jpg

 

But was all that trouble worth it? In short... Yes...

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-18.thumb.jpg.1b0d503037b8f3ce188fa49e6c24b271.jpg

 

The nib I fitted was a Kanwrite No.35 Fine nib in a steel finish... and I think it suits the pen better than the No.8 nibs that Airmail uses. that extra flare in the shoulder and the increased length really sets the proportions right for me... And when we come to the writing... Fine and smooth with a hint of feedback... Just the way I like it because it allows me to write fast enough without being too fast that my hand gets out of control... so I prefer pens with a slight feedback. But the feedback isn't intrusive and the pen just glides along the page. And remember, the amount of feedback depends on the paper used as well. On standard 70gsm copier paper like the one used in the writing test, the writing feels more pencil like. But if used in a higher quality paper like a Classmate or Rhodia, the feedback becomes, near as makes no difference, unnoticeable and the nib just glides over the page while putting on a generous, wet, fine line. The line is fine by western standards and a medium when compared to nibs like that from Pilot. But suffice to say that this is an upgrade that you should do.

 

photo_2021-10-19_15-02-27.thumb.jpg.d9f3fc6297836336dd97fffedf18af52.jpg

 

and with proper heat setting of the feed, there is absolutely no burping until the ink gets critically low, and by that time I would've refilled it anyway... All of these combined made my Airmail from never carry to daily carry. And for me, that's a win.

 

Conclusion

 

To conclude this for about ₹400-450/- for the pen and about ₹75/- for the nib which overall costs around ₹500-530/-(around $8 USD) this is a pen that punches way above it's weight and is a recommend from me... if you are not feeling that adventurous then a No.8 nib swap from Kanwrite can make you love your airmail even more... Trust me, if you have a Airmail/Wality 69/71 series,and you want to have an enhanced writing experience (and you're a bit frugal like me), don't buy another pen... just swap the nib with a better one. Your love for that pen will be enhanced... Just like my love for my 69T

 

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Enjoyed reading your detailed review of the pen. I know many people don't like the stock wality nib, but I still use my 69t with stock nib and it works great. 

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Aravind_2310

@K Singh It mostly has to do with their quality control... I have 2 wality nibs and one writes very well while the other is scratch city... they're not as consistent as say, kanwrite or ambitious...

 

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1 hour ago, Aravind_2310 said:

@K Singh It mostly has to do with their quality control... I have 2 wality nibs and one writes very well while the other is scratch city... they're not as consistent as say, kanwrite or ambitious...

 

Yes quality control is an issue with wality nibs. Mine were scratchy too. But now they write beautifully.

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Aravind_2310
13 minutes ago, K Singh said:

Yes quality control is an issue with wality nibs. Mine were scratchy too. But now they write beautifully.

exactly... One saving grace is that those nibs aren't horrendous like some chinese manufacturers... A little bit of fine tuning usually does the trick for them... It was mainly the burping issue that got me to replace the nib...

 

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Hi Well done on that. Did you know that Kanwrite sells no 8 nibs too? These are identical to stock WALITY nib in size. So you don’t have to jump through hoops to fit the nib. In your next WALITY fit a kanwrite no 8. It’s cheaper and an exact match. 👍

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Aravind_2310
9 hours ago, hari317 said:

Hi Well done on that. Did you know that Kanwrite sells no 8 nibs too? These are identical to stock WALITY nib in size. So you don’t have to jump through hoops to fit the nib. In your next WALITY fit a kanwrite no 8. It’s cheaper and an exact match. 👍

I do actually... In the 7th photo of the review, the nib is actually a Kanwrite No.8... And I'd actually recommend it for most people...As I said in the review I swapped to a no.35 because of the burping issues that I had...

 

Regarding price... I buy my nibs directly from kanwrite... And from them, the price of a No.8 and a No 35 nib are the same for a given size(F, M, B, etc.)

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1 hour ago, Aravind_2310 said:

Regarding price... I buy my nibs directly from kanwrite... And from them, the price of a No.8 and a No 35 nib are the same for a given size(F, M, B, etc.)

That’s right.  There seems to be no price difference since no 8 is offered only in F and M.  I am a BB stub buyer I missed this. 👍

 

for zero burping buy a sheaffer feed from Gem and Co. Tell him you want it for fitting to WALITY he will give you the proper one. This feed allows you to write your pen dry without any incidents. Good luck. 

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Aravind_2310
5 minutes ago, hari317 said:

That’s right.  There seems to be no price difference since no 8 is offered only in F and M.  I am a BB stub buyer I missed this. 👍

 

for zero burping buy a sheaffer feed from Gem and Co. Tell him you want it for fitting to WALITY he will give you the proper one. This feed allows you to write your pen dry without any incidents. Good luck. 

Can you give me their contact info?.. I'll definitely try it

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/19/2021 at 8:28 PM, hari317 said:

That’s right.  There seems to be no price difference since no 8 is offered only in F and M.  I am a BB stub buyer I missed this. 👍

 

for zero burping buy a sheaffer feed from Gem and Co. Tell him you want it for fitting to WALITY he will give you the proper one. This feed allows you to write your pen dry without any incidents. Good luck. 

This is absolutely true and thanks to Hari sir, two of my 69T pens have been completely burp free for the past 10 months. I have been able to write them dry multiple times. Amazing feeds! 

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Aravind_2310
On 10/20/2021 at 8:58 AM, hari317 said:

That’s right.  There seems to be no price difference since no 8 is offered only in F and M.  I am a BB stub buyer I missed this. 👍

 

for zero burping buy a sheaffer feed from Gem and Co. Tell him you want it for fitting to WALITY he will give you the proper one. This feed allows you to write your pen dry without any incidents. Good luck. 

I have a doubt... I contacted the dealer and they said they have plastic and ebonite variants... Do the plastic ones fit the airmail pens or should i go for the ebonite and adjust them as required like I did to the stock feed?

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5 hours ago, Aravind_2310 said:

I have a doubt... I contacted the dealer and they said they have plastic and ebonite variants... Do the plastic ones fit the airmail pens or should i go for the ebonite and adjust them as required like I did to the stock feed?

Both plastic and ebonite Sheaffer feed versions fit the airmail pens. 

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Aravind_2310
5 hours ago, bestillmysoul said:

Nice review. 

Thank you🙏

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