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Guider Zimbo in bluish ebonite.


Harish N V
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This is my first guider pen and purchased this pen after the suggestion of  @K Singh to try out guider pens. Iam not at all dissappointed and very happy with this pen. 

 

REFERENCES AND INTRODUCTION.

 

I got ample help from several posts regarding guider pen and i acknowledge some of those posts here. 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/246849-meeting-mr-lakshmana-rao-of-guider-pens-rajahmundry-india-again…part-2-the-guider-super-jumbo-in-white-acrylic/#comment-2691359

 

 

My idea of writing this review is not meant to be at cross purposes with earlier threads written on these pens. My intention is two fold. I write these reviews to communicate my thanks to the makers of these pens and to communicate my experience with these pens. 

 

THE PEN

 

This pen is a huge and fat pen. This aspect hits you from he word "Go". I have not had pens that have been these girthy. Even length wise many of the Ranga pens, gama supreme etc are matchable. But the sheer girth is unique to this pen. It comes in a lovely bluish ebonite. hari317 preferred to call this the Guider Jumbo Nilgai( Nilgai here referring to the blue bull found in India). I like this name and will go with that 

53644409_Guider2.thumb.jpg.7b613b7d32a5704135d93695e6a7272a.jpg

 

This pen has a lovely gold clip that is way below its size but very pretty and functional. Its a classic no nonsense design. 

 

THE PURCHASE PROCESS. 

 

Mr Lakshman Rao of Guider can be contacted through whatsapp and depending on the model, he will send you the available colours. You can choose from that and iam sure that customizing options regarding clip, nibs, filling system etc are available. He prefers simple whatsapp messages and also is helpful when talking over phone. He completely explained the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing an eye dropper and explained also the schmidt nib upgrade and then left the choice to me totally. I really liked this part. This is the website link which also has Mr Laksman Rao's phone number. 

 

http://guiderpen.com/

 

PACKAGING
 

Very minimal on this aspect. Comes wrapped in a newspaper cover and in an envelope. The paper box contains details of the guider company and this contains the pen and Mr Lakshman Rao added two spare nibs and an eyedropper along with the pen. Again as in the case of woodex pens, the pen speaks for itself. 

 

THE DESIGN AND APPEARANCE

 

The pen opens in about 2.5 turns and reveals a girthy section and a small guider nib in gold colour. The threads are single start threads. This came as a surprise to me as such a big pen had such a small nib. Having had a satisfactory experience with 35mm nibs from Kanwrite with woodex pens and #6 nibs with my Rangas, i was quite hesitant as to how i will take to these small nibs while ordering. 

 

However while writing I found this to be an extremely pleasant combination and quite enjoyed it. 

 

The writing section is black and the feed is has Prasad written on it. 

 

The cap of the pen is really huge and has lovely contours and a lovely black finial. The contours reveal excellent skill in making these pens. 

G5.thumb.jpg.70b30cce35b9544659fe62edb1f29c10.jpg

 

The pen even though huge is very well balanced although it took me time to get used to the girth. 

 

The external and internal threads are machined very well. 

 

Guider3.thumb.jpg.f6b81c7da411e4a03cda65474cb89b0d.jpg

 

CRAFT AND SKILL

 

I find the pen to be crafted very well. But it also has one minor issue. The polish on the pen is par excellence and is done with great detail. The contour is done extremely well and the certainly reveal nuanced crafting. The place on of the barrel has a few machining marks which could have avoided. But overall it is a robust and well made pen that can be used for years together. The clip adds to the aesthetics of the pen and has been chosen with good taste. 

G4.thumb.jpg.5fe7bc393df816054db1a20708b105c4.jpg

 

SIZE COMPARISON

 

The length is similar to many of the other handmade pens from Ranga and woodex. But the girth is large and quite a unique feature of this pen. I personally love the size and girth. 

Here are some pictures. 

IMG_20220518_105345_1.thumb.jpg.9525401b2c2f1c24a79149b51a9e973a.jpg

 

IMG_20220518_105510.thumb.jpg.03b54c25f01e7166ecdfb977dd994692.jpg

 

NIB AND WRITING

 

The nib was quite good out of the box. It needed no polishing or anything of that sort. The nib writes very well with a small feedback in some writing angles. But this is quite natural and pleasant. Its surely not a butter smooth nib and has a very unique quality to it. I quite enjoy it for journaling. It is written fine. But in reality it is more a medium than a fine. My experience with this nib has been good. I am not clear with the size of this nib but the photo below shows comparison with kanwrite 35mm nibs.

IMG_20220518_110659.thumb.jpg.424772915b9c0d26260ca7d4c9bda15a.jpg

 

 

However there is a unique thing to this pen. It writes a wet, saturated line and then i give a two hour break for the pen and while writing again, it takes a line to get the flow and saturation back. It's quite a slow starter and i took out the feed and cleaned it once and then heat set it. The slow start still continues but its not such a big problem to me. 

IMG_20220519_122521_1.thumb.jpg.68fd4e16418baed02666a07c3f37482a.jpg

 

CONCLUSION

 

I quite enjoy this pen. I like the finish, the workmanship, the girth, writing and the balance of the pen. This pen is priced at INR 2500 with the stock nib. I think its very reasonable considering the size and the amount of material and work that has gone into this pen. There are no shipping delays and the pen reached me in Chennai within 5 days. This is a very robust workhorse pen. The catch however is that, the person using this pen, should like large sized pens that are girthy. This pen is also available with a schmidt uograde for INR 4000 and with acrylic material also. 

 

I would surely recommend this pen for anybody. Thanks Mr Lakshman Rao and one and all at the GUIDER PEN WORKS. 

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Congratulations on your first Guider 👍 That nib is an Indian no.8 (28mm) nib and you can replace it with a Kanwrite no.8 nib if you want. Many of my Indian eyedropper pens use this size nib.

 

I know some people don't like smaller nibs on larger sized pens, but I am very comfortable with them. 

 

It seems you have installed Kanwrite nib on your Woodex now. Hope you like it now.

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Excellent review of a beautiful pen... Though I do love eyedroppers, I'm not that confident on the size of this guider. An airmail 71 is more my taste... Though I'm glad you liked the pen... looks amazing, and by your review writes amazing as well

If you wish to contact me you can via

Mail: aravindap@protonmail.com

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1 hour ago, K Singh said:

Congratulations on your first Guider 👍 That nib is an Indian no.8 (28mm) nib and you can replace it with a Kanwrite no.8 nib if you want. Many of my Indian eyedropper pens use this size nib.

 

I know some people don't like smaller nibs on larger sized pens, but I am very comfortable with them. 

 

It seems you have installed Kanwrite nib on your Woodex now. Hope you like it now.

Hi. Thanks for reading it. I absolutely love this pen. Iam planning another one with a citrus yellow/ green colour. However iam still not confident about girthier pens than this.is it too difficult a step up?

 

I have installed 35mm kanwrite on the woodex temporarily. But the 40mm nibs I ordered with woodex will arrive tomorrow. I will be swapping but iam also a bit nervous as to how the swap will work. Let's see. 

22 minutes ago, Aravind_A_2310 said:

Excellent review of a beautiful pen... Though I do love eyedroppers, I'm not that confident on the size of this guider. An airmail 71 is more my taste... Though I'm glad you liked the pen... looks amazing, and by your review writes amazing as well

Oh I can thoroughly understand your preference. The girth of the zimbo is intimidating for sure. Thanks for reading the review. 

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14 hours ago, Harish N V said:

However iam still not confident about girthier pens than this.is it too difficult a step up?

I can only share my experience in this matter. There was a time when I considered a Wality 69t to be perfect size for me. But since then I have moved on to bigger and girthier pens. It happened step by step, but today I prefer even bigger pens than the Zimbo when possible.

 

The pen size and girth also depends on your writing style I believe. Back when I used to write using finger/wrist movement I was comfortable using even lighter and slimmer pens like the hero-hooded nib ones. But then I moved on to arm/shoulder movement based writing, which I find way more comfortable for longer writing sessions. And then I started to feel more comfortable using girthier pens. 

 

Your Fountain Pen tastes will likely change with time, so just enjoy the pens you like today and at the same time also keep experimenting. It's only by experimenting that I have found the perfect size pens that work the best for me.

 

For example, in the below pic I find the Kim Jumbo to be most comfortable. That Black guider is also very nice but that's like the upper limit for me. 

 

large.IMG_20211126_111804952.jpg.9ad7ef29c12c3e03c860550687c79ba0.jpg

L->R: Lotus Shikhar, Guider Zimbo, Kim ACR Jumbo, Custom Guider Oversized pen.

 

Hope the nib swap on your Woodex goes out well 👍

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Thanks for the response. The step up seems to be an organic process. I can also connect to you when you mention the shoulder arm writing style. I have shifted to this quite a bit. Thanks to the ranga pens that gave such comfortable grip sections to work with. 

 

The zimbo that I have sort of has a grip similar to the Kim acr jumbo. Your zimbo has a slightly tapered section I guess. However iam quite envious of your Kim. It's sad that it's not available in India anymore. 

 

The nib swap worker perfectly and what a relief to have it working again. I enjoy it now. 👍

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19 minutes ago, Harish N V said:

Thanks for the response. The step up seems to be an organic process. I can also connect to you when you mention the shoulder arm writing style. I have shifted to this quite a bit. Thanks to the ranga pens that gave such comfortable grip sections to work with. 

 

The zimbo that I have sort of has a grip similar to the Kim acr jumbo. Your zimbo has a slightly tapered section I guess. However iam quite envious of your Kim. It's sad that it's not available in India anymore. 

 

The nib swap worker perfectly and what a relief to have it working again. I enjoy it now. 👍

Yes there can be some variations between our guiders as they are hand-made. I have seen zimbos that are similar to mine and also some that appear to be girthier than mine.

 

I myself wish I had started looking for Kim pens earlier when they were easily available. There are so many models of Kim, and Krishna pens too, that I hope to get some day 🙂

 

I only started looking for them since last year. I love the way they fit in my hands. You can search for old threads on Kim pens here on FPN. This is a great place to start in case you haven't read it yet: 

 

 

Glad to hear that your Woodex works now 👍

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Oh. It's a great post. Enjoyed reading every bit of it. Thank you for sharing

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the wonderful review.  I have loved our Custom Guider pens.  Guider used our materials and made the Capsuls for us with Bock nibs. I've enjoyed the pens for years now.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, amberleadavis said:

Thank you for the wonderful review.  I have loved our Custom Guider pens.  Guider used our materials and made the Capsuls for us with Bock nibs. I've enjoyed the pens for years now.

Oh that's nice to know. Also when speaking to Mr laxman rao, one gets a sense that he is very accomodative of customers needs. Can you share some pictures of possible? 

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This is another guider zimbo or rather super zimbo following my purchase of the earlier ebonite version. This time I went for the schmidt nib upgrade and on medium. The nib turned out to be one of the best i have and wrote fantastically. It had a sweet spot which I extended with polishing and otherwise had a great flow and was a wet and saturated writer from the start. 

 

It was packaged differently and came with a nice boxIMG_20220530_153650.thumb.jpg.7b2220ad190970eadccf5fd0979cb88c.jpg

 

Again Mr laxman rao was a thorough gentleman and he answered every query that I had before placing the order and was extremely accomodative. 

 

The pen is not very different in size from my ebonite model and seem to not have a very different girth and weight to the ebonite version. 

 

Decided to use this as an eye dropper and the inner parts of the cap and bottom of the pen had visible tooling marks. The outer part of the pen was thoroughly polished. The inner parts of the cap has a novel design with a lovely seating chamber for the nib. IMG_20220530_153823_1.thumb.jpg.5dc7ac81b058b0d9df9af6d4c3e0ae0e.jpg

 

It also has a semi matte finish on the inner side which is great. I have not seen this in many of my previous demonstrators. 

 

The size is very similar to the ebonite zimbo 

IMG_20220530_154236_1.thumb.jpg.81afd1ea724493c44c12d242701d5e25.jpg

from bottom to top: woodex 39, guider ebonite zimbo, super zimbo and wality 69t.

IMG_20220530_154047_1.thumb.jpg.87070fa1d3e0461fda95bc8c5bbf59d7.jpg

 

The highlight of this pen is the nib and such a comfortable writer it turned out to be. Really enjoyed the precision ofbthis medium point and had a lovely unhindered uniform flow and the feed is great. Has lovely fins and the nib is also quite soft compared to the kanwrite no 35 nibs. Performs really really well and in future I would go for schmidt nibs more as experience with the schmidt on my ranga model 3 also proved to be positive. IMG_20220530_153743.thumb.jpg.aa81195b377e748f265b4d759fe27344.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20220530_153800_1.thumb.jpg.5c0a2a68feaec0f7ecfe4ad5b73b18c2.jpg

 

All in all this pen was again great. Enjoying every writing session this pen with its unique girth and dimensions. It is priced at inr 4500 and I find guiders pricing to be very affordable. I would echo ksingh's opinion in another post that the finshing is second to none. 

 

IMG_20220530_153544_1.jpg

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Loved the detailed review of Super Zimbo 👍 Glad to see you too like your Guider pens.

 

With handmade pens there can be variations as we discussed earlier, otherwise the Super Zimbo should have been girthier than the regular Zimbo. But I guess this should be more comfortable.

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Yes. I actually asked about the variations and why the super zimbo is the same as the ebonite version. Mr laxman rao said that the machines have built-in parts and that his German machines are down and he is using another lathe that does not have the same capacity to make the extra thickness needed for the super zimbo. But at any cost I love this one and is very comfortable. 

 

I had two questions for you. 

1) what inks do you use with your Indian pens. 

2) do you have a ratnamson pen with you and if so, what is your take on them? 

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PXL_20220103_234629965.thumb.jpg.23e2c51166c416192707753e2e92c163.jpg

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, amberleadavis said:

PXL_20220103_234629965.thumb.jpg.23e2c51166c416192707753e2e92c163.jpg

That's a stunner. Looks so good. 

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16 hours ago, Harish N V said:

Yes. I actually asked about the variations and why the super zimbo is the same as the ebonite version. Mr laxman rao said that the machines have built-in parts and that his German machines are down and he is using another lathe that does not have the same capacity to make the extra thickness needed for the super zimbo. But at any cost I love this one and is very comfortable. 

 

I had two questions for you. 

1) what inks do you use with your Indian pens. 

2) do you have a ratnamson pen with you and if so, what is your take on them? 

When it comes to inks, I've never felt the need to try out any expensive inks. I am happy and content with my Waterman inks(I like the Blue, black and purple; the brown one feels too dry to me so I don't use it as much), Krishna Lyrebird Blue and Blue-black(Absolutely safe and very affordable too if you can get them in 100ml bottles), and Bril inks(I have them in all colours, but I mostly use the black one and sometimes the green one). Bril inks, or any other ink at that price range, will feel watery compared to the other costlier inks. Waterman and Krishna Lyrebird series inks are dark enough and safe enough for everyday use in my experience. What inks do you use by the way?

 

I have a few Ratnamson pens, but unfortunately I was not successful in buying these pens directly from them, even though I tried to contact them several times. But others had no issues so would suggest to call them directly if you need a pen.

 

I have written a full-post on Ratnamson 21 pen which you can read here 

I have a Ratnamson Supreme too with regular steel nib. You can search FPN for the pics. It's a well-made pen and very ergonomic too and if you can buy only one pen, that's the one I would recommend. They no longer make gold nibs for their pen so the only option is their generic steel nib, which is quite good in my experience though. They used to sell the Supreme for 4k, but they could have increased the pricing. Strictly based on pricing it's little hard to recommend them as you can have a similar pen with German nib and converter from other makers at that price. But I think they feel like a must-have to many of us, including me, especially because of their endorsement by Mahatma Gandhi. I like my Supreme and am happy that I bought it, rest is up to your own choice 👍

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Thanks for your detailed response. Much appreciated. Iam a very regular bril ink user. It suits my Ed s very well. I will try out krishna in near future. 

Thanks for your detailed response on the ratnamson. I will consider this and iam yet to make up my mind regarding the pen. But maybe sometime in future

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I find Pilot ink to be very good for the price (the normal blue/ blue-black/ black inks, not Iroshizuku), nice lubrication and flow. Perhaps you could try that.

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