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More recommendations please, but only pens with MEDIUM nibs


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I've enjoyed trying a variety of Chinese pens over the past couple of years, my favourites so far being the Jinhao 100 and Kaigelu 316,  with the Jinhao X450 and Moonman M600S being not far behind.

 

Can anybody suggest any more, bearing in mind that my essential requirements are a medium nib, a nice wet ink flow, and a pen which will write first time after I leave it capped for two weeks?

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The vast majority of Chinese pens are not supplied with medium nibs.  In my limited experience many Chinese pens fitted with #6 nibs, Jinhao X450/750, for example will accomodate Jowo nibs, including M.   Kaigelu 316 will take a Bock nib unit if one knocks the existing housing out of the section.

 

I had good luck leaving X750 and K.316 capped and not dying out.  Others not so.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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(I am simply repeating in other words the suggestion of Karmachanic)

The vast majority of Chinese pens can easily be fitted with another brand of nib. You can buy a pack of #6 nibs of your choice, for example, from Jinhao or Kaigelu, and use them instead of the original nib. Just pull the nib, keep the feed.

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30 minutes ago, VillersCotterets said:

or Kaigelu

 

Dunno if it's changed, but the Kaigelu 316 I had was fitted with, I believe, a 5.5 nib, which neccesitated the linked operation to take the Bock housing/feed, in order to fit a #6 nib 😀

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I'm expecting the real experts to join in this discussion, e.g., @A Smug Dill, @Karmachanic, @Mech-for-i, but let me try to help until they are available. 

 

I have used several pens with M nibs from China. Nothing extraordinary in my experience, but decent pens with good flow:

  1. PenBBS has rather nice models, 491 (was under $20) or 456 (is ~$35) could be interesting and come with M nibs. 
  2. Kaco Edge M is very nice and does not dry out for even longer than 2 weeks. 
  3. Wing Sung has an enormous range. Their 699 (Pilot C823 homage) comes with M nibs that work and does not dry out.
  4. Delike New Moon 2 (Sailor Pro Gear homage) has a mini-fude that acts more like an M with Waverley tendencies.  
  5. Jinhao has many models with +/- M nibs, especially the 18KGP labeled. The x750 is juicy, their wood line 9056 (thick) and 9035 (thin) is also ok, their 159 (MB 149 homage) is both very wet and very cheap, etc. Many Jinhaos may dry out, but mileage varies among my samples of the same pen type. 

(I will side-step the discussion I saw on FPN about buying Chinese pens that seem to mimic others.) 

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1 hour ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

I'm expecting the real experts

 

 

That leaves me out.  My dalliance with Chines pens was 5 years ago and quite brief.  Delike and Kaco weren't visible on my radar at that time.  Several Jinhaos and Kaigelu. They've since found new homes.  I became aware of Wing Sung when they made a splash with the 698 and purchased one. Replaced the F nib with a Plumix F. It's been continuously inked since that time.  I became aware of Pen BBS in 2019.  Bought two and gave them away.  Recently purchased a Moonman A1. It's a keeper.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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1 hour ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

I'm expecting the real experts to join in this discussion, e.g., @A Smug Dill, @Karmachanic, @Mech-for-i, but let me try to help until they are available. 

 

Thank you! You flatter me.

 

However,

 

4 hours ago, Emver said:

… my essential requirements are a medium nib, a nice wet ink flow, …

 

I can only comment on Medium nibs being available for which Chinese pen models‡, and which ones I have inked and used that did not dry out after being capped and undisturbed for two weeks. “Nice wet ink flow”, especially the “nice” part, is something that I cannot and do not want to gauge, because it means I have to use a stranger's subjective frame of reference, instead of “Medium nib” being more objective going solely by the manufacturer's grading as marked, irrespective of actual performance when putting pen to paper.

 

Your suggestions are pretty much what I would have ventured anyway. I'd hate to think how the Kaco Edge's M nib, which seems to only be available on the black variant with the silver-coloured Schmidt-made nibs, would write, when the EF nib already writes a grade or two wider than the gold-coloured Schmidt-made F nib on the blue and brown variants; but that is not the O.P.'s concern, I supposed, as long as it is marked/sold as Medium nib. The ink flow on the black variant pen is wetter, and I can vouch for the pen not drying out within two weeks (but my black variant pen cannot last three months capped and undisturbed, which is my own criterion for “write first time”).

 

There are, or at least were, Medium nib units available for the Delike New Moon 2. Mine came supplied as bonus nibs when I ordered my Delike New Moon 3 pens (all pre-fitted with EF nibs).

 

 

The Majohn T5 is available to be ordered with M nibs, and my T5 pens (all fitted with EF nibs) do not dry out after being capped and undisturbed for two weeks. The ink flow is certainly adequate, but I don't care for (someone else's idea of) “nice”. The design and manufacture of the pen have shortcomings, but none that cause it to fail the O.P.'s stated essential requirements.

 

The Jinhao 992 can be ordered with any of these nibs:

H13f991cfb0e74f8eb056e672b95362832.jpg

but I can't vouch for whether the 0.7 nib (nominally Medium for Chinese pens) is made by Jinhao and/or carries the Jinhao brand. My Jinhao 992 pens don't dry out in two weeks.

 

 

Not framed the other way around, being which Chinese pen models are available to be ordered (easily or directly for delivery to foreign locations, irrespective of whether the purchaser is actually Chinese, Australian or European, etc.) factory-fitted with M nibs. In other words, were I to make suggestions at all, buying a standalone M nib (unit) of the same brand to retrofit onto a Chinese pen by self-service, at extra cost and effort, would still meet the criterion.

 

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, A Smug Dill said:

Thank you! You flatter me.

Hehe, it follows from my actual experience: I read and took notes from many (20+) of your posts on Chinese and Japanese pens. This is, objectively, a de facto recognition of expertise on the matter.

 

(Also, in my professional world - science -, you give credit when credit is due.) 

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32 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

The Jinhao 992 can be ordered with any of these nibs

Very interesting. Can the Jinhao 992 constantly feed a 3.0mm nib? Or even a 1.5mm? Afaik, the Lamy Joy does an excellent job with up to 1.9mm, so perhaps yes, but I don't know anyone who tried these Jinhao setups or their Wing Sung relatives. 

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Just now, OldTravelingShoe said:

I don't know anyone who tried these Jinhao setups or their Wing Sung relatives. 

 

I have a set of those (but not including the round-tipped nib options), but I haven't actually tried them. Sounded like a good idea at the time to get them, even though I have no real use for them. 🙄  In any case, if I were to ‘write’ with a 1.9mm broad-edged nib, it would be to produce calligraphy with a tall x-height at that; my understanding of the rule of thumb would be that the x-height for Italic script should be five times the width of the edge, and so the x-height would be 9mm to 10mm. Doing that would be painstakingly slow for me, and so there should be no problem with the feed keeping up, even if I were to try my Jinhao 992 pens with broad-edged nibs.

 

I sent @Mar_ a set of those pens last year to play with, and my understanding was that he was not interested in producing any formal script, but simply to write with them his own way. Perhaps he can answer the question of whether the feeds keep up?

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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Ah, well thank you for the ping @A Smug DillFrom my experience with the 992's They seem to feed ink pretty well in 1.9mm's and smaller. I never really ventured into the larger nibs due to the lack of use I'd get out of them. I will say I've had to adjust the nibs(seem to tilt off the true line of the feed) and tune them a few times. Usually no rough starts even after multiple weeks times unless nibs needed a look at. - Feed's solid.

One of my biggest Hmm moments is of recent few months (not by over tightening, screwing too often, or bad conditions) a line just above the threaded section of the cap would crack and eventually break clean. (Image attached) . I'm not too sure why.

IMG_20220110_192803.jpg

MAR Watermark.png
fpn_1502425191__letter-mini.png

Indiana . USA

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Thank you for the recommendations so far. Please keep them coming.

 

I couldn't resist ordering a Jinhao 992, and at £2.63 delivered I'm even going to break my own first rule by buying one with a 0.5mm nib!

 

I'm also very tempted by OldTravellingShoe's suggestions.  I was on the point of ordering  my first PenBBS until I picked up my Kaigelu 316 again and remembered just how well it writes (surely there's no need for a Bock nib when the standard one writes this well, Karnacanic?).  This prompted a minor panic when I noticed that most of the Kaigelus on sale now seem to be the newer, lightweight 316A model with that over-ornate cap band. So I've ordered a couple more of the original 316 model while they are still easily available. The Pen BBS and the  Kaco Edge will have to wait a bit longer.

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16 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Sounded like a good idea at the time to get them, even though I have no real use for them. 🙄

Heh, this applies to most of my pens, and I consider it a feature rather than an issue. (By real, I mean that is a necessary part of my work. It's a feature because I'm looking for something to do that is not work or work-related, on purpose.)

 

16 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

if I were to ‘write’ with a 1.9mm broad-edged nib, it would be to produce calligraphy with a tall x-height at that; my understanding of the rule of thumb would be that the x-height for Italic script should be five times the width of the edge, and so the x-height would be 9mm to 10mm.

Very interesting and useful. I did not know about these rules-of-thumb related to calligraphy. Thank you, @A Smug Dill.

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15 hours ago, Mar_ said:

From my experience with the [Jinhao] 992's They seem to feed ink pretty well in 1.9mm's and smaller. [...] I've had to adjust the nibs(seem to tilt off the true line of the feed) and tune them a few times.

Very useful. Added to my to-do list, which is getting ever-longer. The good thing is that time limits very well what I can and what I cannot cross off that list.

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23 hours ago, Emver said:

I've enjoyed trying a variety of Chinese pens over the past couple of years, my favourites so far being the Jinhao 100 and Kaigelu 316,  with the Jinhao X450 and Moonman M600S being not far behind.

 

Can anybody suggest any more, bearing in mind that my essential requirements are a medium nib, a nice wet ink flow, and a pen which will write first time after I leave it capped for two weeks?

Though I am late to the discussion, I might make a couple of recommendations.  I have a rather

large Chinese pen collection, and write primarily with Med. and F/M nibs only (apart from 1.1 stubs,

and occasional broad nibs).  Though some Chinese nibs are fine, they write like a fine/medium nib. 

Writing with Chinese pen nibs in an earlier time of collecting required me to learn how to micromesh

a nib for smoothing.  I have noticed in the last several years that the quality of pens coming out of

China have improved significantly.  The Jinhao 100 Centennial and Kaigelu 316 are big sellers, and

I have quite a few of both pens.  I will say that my Picasso Avignon 933 arrived at my door with a

buttery smooth nib, which required not one bit of smoothing.  There have been several others

on FPN who have had the same experience with that particular pen.  I'm not one who is interested

in the mechanics, but how the nib performs when I put them to paper and how they feel in my hand.

 

JINHAO:  186, 3000, 886, 777, 166, x450A, X250, 9056, 601, 750, 159, 51A

PICASSO:  Avignon 933 (buttery nib), 915, 975, 918

MOONMAN:  M8, P135, M2

WING SUNG:  3008, 698, 699

KAIGELU:  316, 316A, 336

CROCODILE:  377, 218

BAOER:  051 (silvery with black stripes), 501 8-Horses,

FULIWEN:  017, Rhombus

HONGDIAN:  1841

HERO: 901

DUKE: 552

LANBITOU:  3059

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Helen350 said:

JINHAO:  186, 3000, 886, 777, 166, x450A, X250, 9056, 601, 750, 159

PICASSO:  Avignon 933 (buttery nib), 915, 975, 918

MOONMAN:  M8, P135, M2

WING SUNG:  3008, 698, 699

KAIGELU:  316, 316A, 336

CROCODILE:  377, 218

BAOER:  051 (silvery with black stripes), 501 8-Horses,

FULIWEN:  017, Rhombus

HONGDIAN:  1841

HERO: 901

DUKE: 552

LANBITOU:  3059

Thank you, @Helen350, very interesting list. Don't know many of these models, outside of some from Jinhao, Kaigelu, and Wing Sung.

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6 hours ago, Emver said:

I was on the point of ordering  my first PenBBS until I picked up my Kaigelu 316 again and remembered just how well it writes (surely there's no need for a Bock nib when the standard one writes this well, Karnacanic?).

 

PenBBS sells ‘model 353’ nib charms that contain screw-in replacement nib units that will fit most of its models, so you could just buy a model 308 (c/c-filler) or 309 (piston-filler) pen that almost invariably come fitted with a SF nib (which I think means Standard Fine, and has a slightly upturned tip), then replace it with an RM nib (Round-tipped Medium) — ordered separately and at additional cost — if the limited number of models that offer factory-fitted RM nib as an option do not suit your tastes.

 

If you don't see the nib charm with RM nib available when you look, be assured that they do exist, but Beini only lists those in the PenBBS Official Store on Etsy from time to time as they come in stock.

 

Aside: I see PenBBS has jumped onto the bandwagon of selling own-branded (Chinese/Asian) ‘calligraphy’ replacement nibs (also encapsulated in nib charms) as well… at four times the price of a regular replacement nib, which isn't that far off from the premium of ordering a standalone, Kaigelu-branded 35mm ‘calligraphy’ or ‘long knife’ (which is what Togi, in Sailor Pen's parlance, means) nib, as a multiplier over the price of a regular Kaigelu replacement nib.

 

7 hours ago, Emver said:

So I've ordered a couple more of the original 316 model while they are still easily available.

 

Are they? The Kaigelu 316 pens I see listed new are second-generation, which I understand to have lighter (but still metal-cored) end finials than the original 316. I vaguely remember reading that there are other subtle differences between the original and the second-generation 316 pens, but I don't know for sure (and didn't take that much of an interest), when all I have are the second-generation 316 and also the new 316A models.

 

6 hours ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

I did not know about these rules-of-thumb related to calligraphy.

 

I got that from Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: The Basics and Beyond by Eleanor Winters.

 

695323444_EleanorWintersonx-heightforItalicinrelationtonibwidth.png.e66cb5f5165394156bb0f42e87dbc019.png

(I trust sharing that tiny amount of content from the book which I've bought for my Kindle, and properly crediting it, counts as Fair Use.)

 

I can't remember what The Calligrapher's Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them by David Harris says about it.

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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8 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: The Basics and Beyond by Eleanor Winters.

Thank you for this, @A Smug Dill, I have not yet read proper books on calligraphy.  This should be a good start. I look forward to it - (italic) calligraphy, even at a very basic level, is part of what I want to learn this year. 

 

The drawing makes it very clear and reminds me of the drawings in the Pilot Parallel booklets (I don't have a link ready, but they are the little booklets included in every Pilot Parallel case). 

 

8 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

The Calligrapher's Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them by David Harris

This I will have to find. 

 

Thanks again, so many things to understand and learn! 

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8 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

sharing that tiny amount of content from the book which I've bought for my Kindle, and properly crediting it, counts as Fair Use

I am convinced it is - tiny snippet, part of personal commentary, placed in a different context. Plus, I just bought the Kindle book, so your use of the snippet has already contributed to a direct sale. (That IANAL, it should be clear by now.) 

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On 1/10/2022 at 2:06 PM, Karmachanic said:

 

Dunno if it's changed, but the Kaigelu 316 I had was fitted with, I believe, a 5.5 nib, which neccesitated the linked operation to take the Bock housing/feed, in order to fit a #6 nib 😀

 

The biggest thing that happened in favor of the Kaigelu 316 is in fact Wing Sung 699. Surprisingly, not many people realize this. The Wing Sung 699 nibs, available freely on ebay and amazon for about $4 each, is a perfect fit for the Kaigelu 316. The nib is also of very good quality. A tiny bit of micromesh and you have a perfect pen. Available in EF, F and M. So if Kaigelu 316's M nib is too broad for you, switch it out to a 699 F nib and you are good to go. No section changes, no Bock Housing/feed hassle, just a simple $4 nib switch.

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