When A Pen Falls Out Of Favor09/18/2011
Sooner or later most of us trade or sell fountain pens but which ones to keep can be tricky. So I’ll share my criteria if you’ll share yours. Deal?
No doubt my pen preferences are evolving. Over the past ten years my tastes have expanded from a fixation with tiny Asian nibs to an infatuation with chunky Western ones. Consider me an equal opportunity pen fancier. Lesson learned is to maintain a varied collection and hang onto the odd ones. With the right ink and paper, almost any pen can be fun.
Another criteria is size. Thin or short pens can cause fatigue and are best suited to brief sessions. A heavy pen must balance well or it will flip out of my grip making it a poor choice unless I don’t mind a little ink flung here and there. Medium to large, light-weight pens work best these days though there are exceptions.
Filler mechanism is important and with few exceptions, levers are out unless the nib pops out easily. I like getting a pen really clean when changing inks and lever fillers are too much work. Most of mine have been sent to more appreciative collectors.
How often I use a pen is less relevant than whether another pen is similar. If two nibs are virtually identical, I might let one go if I’m not thrilled with it. Not foolproof but helpful.
Here’s a case in point. A couple of years ago I gave up on Pelikan pens. Nothing wrong with them. Good build quality, swappable nibs, etc. When I sold or traded them, those nibs and exuberant flow didn’t suit me. Now that I’m exploring wide nibs, Pels are a much better fit and the few still here are getting renewed interest.
So despite modifying my criteria for re-homing pens, I still make mistakes. Put all that together and it makes a lot more sense to keep pens that have potential than it is to let them go.
A keeper, the navy gray Parker ’51’ Aero, though with Noodler’s Zhivago today…
Remember that deal we made? Now it’s your turn to share how you decide which pens to give the boot when they fall out of favor.