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Favorite Fountain Pens

In alphabetical order…

  • Lamy Vista with a 1.1mm italic nib (takes time to break in)
  • Montblanc 220 with an oblique broad nib (1960’s)
  • Namiki Falcon with a soft fine nib (takes time to break in)
  • Parker “51” Aero-metric Mark I in Navy Gray with a fine or medium-fine nib (1950’s)
  • Pelikan M250 with a fine italic nib
  • Pilot Elite Isaac Newton pocket pen with a fine nib (1970’s)
  • Platinum #3776 Century with a broad nib
  • Platinum #3776 with a music nib
  • Sailor Sapporo in black with rhodium furnishings and a fine nib

Note that all pens listed come with stock nibs. Pens with custom nibs are a whole ‘nother subject entirely.

27 comments

  1. Hi, I’m writing from Brasilia, Brazil. Your webpage is superb!

    Please help me: I am intending to buy a Namiki Falcon and would like to know what nib to buy: fine or medium. I heard the Japanese nibs are much finer than the ones in the US. Can you help me?

    Keep up the good work.

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  2. Hello and thanks for the kind words. What you have heard about Japanese nibs is certainly accurate. However, ink flow plays into performance as well. My Pilot/Namiki pens tend to write drier than my Western pens which adds to the perception that their nibs are finer. The brand and color of ink matter, too.

    To be fair I have no experience with the Namiki Falcon medium nib so can only comment on the fine nib of which I own two. They are quite different which really surprised me. One is closer to an extra fine and the other is almost a fine-medium. Both are soft and allow for some line variation though nothing on the order of a vintage Waterman.

    With attention to my letter forms, I can double the width of a line quite easily. I can also use minimal pressure and reduce the line by half. Writing with no attention to how much pressure I am using, produces a line comparable to a Western fine.

    Unlike a firm nib that does not give at all, the Falcon nib seems to change over time producing a slightly wider line with use. So consider buying the size nib you would usually enjoy. Then give your Namiki Falcon a little time to reach its full potential. It’s a great pen that I hope you will enjoy immensely.

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  3. Thank you so much for your time and attention. One last question: what ink you would suggest? I like black but I’m not sure what kind of ink would be the best for a Namiki Falcon. I will be in NYC next month and it is already time to start ordering.

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  4. So far every ink I’ve tried in a Falcon has worked very well so it really gets down to which color(s) would be suitable for you. It would be hard to go wrong with anything from Sailor, J. Herbin or Diamine. Waterman Blue-Black is very well-suited as is Namiki Blue. Sailor Brown might be my favorite ink in a Falcon but Sailor Blue-Black would be an excellent choice, too. Sailor Red-Brown and Diamine Monaco Red would be good if you need an ink that is in the red family but not a true primary color.

    There are so many to consider. Check out inks at fountainpennetwork.com for color swatches and suggestions. There are lots of friendly pen people there should you still have questions.

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  5. You have been so nice! Thanks indeed for all the trouble in providing me with this important information. If I can be of any help down here in Brazil, please let me know. You have really made a friend here.
    Your blog will continue being a must! Keep up this incredible tool.

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  6. Glad to be of assistance. Let me know how it goes.

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  7. LzRDG5 Thanks for good post

    Like


  8. [...] Favorite Fountain Pens [...]

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  9. [...] Favorite Fountain Pens [...]

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  10. Parker fountain pens these days just aren’t all that smooth…I bought one in the UK in 1998 thats very fine. But all the Indian models (Vector) are too rough for my liking…

    Any suggestions?

    Like


    • The best place to read about a great variety of pens is Fountain Pen Network. I just don’t have experience with enough brands and models to be much help to you. Still my Sailor pens are consistently smooth right out of the box with the Sapporo model winning the best marks. The Pelikan Souveran series comes in first for Western pens in my experience but there are many brands I’ve never tried.

      Another approach would be to buy from a dealer who will test the pen and make adjustments if the nib isn’t as it should be. It is a lot more risky to attempt your own adjustment but many pen users learn to do some basic repairs. That is something else you could learn about at Fountain Pen Network.

      Hope that helps, Gopi.

      Like


  11. I like some little older pens:

    – Waterman 52
    – Eversharp Doric
    – Omas Extra Lucens
    – Swan Eternal

    Mine all have wonderful flexible nibs and that’s the reason I love them

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  12. Now Fountain Pen comes in various style and quality select fountain pen gift for your friends.

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  13. Our favourite has got to be the Parker pen! :]

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  14. [...] Favorite Fountain Pens [...]

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  15. I just bought a Levenger True Writer and I LOVE this pen.

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    • So glad you like your TW, Lesley!

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  16. What converter works with the Lvenger True Writer?

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    • Levenger makes its own converters but they aren’t offered on the website. You have to call to order them. As of a few days ago, they were $5 each plus shipping.

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      • Thanks!

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  17. Just found your website and enjoyed reading around it very much – well done on a good job!
    I love fountain pens, and actually using them. I recently bought a Waterman fountain pen and the Nib is a constant problem. It skips all the time.I’ve put a converter in it, changed types of ink but it still seems to be skipping.
    I would normally have a solution but I thought maybe you might have a suggestion too.
    Thanks, Sean

    Like


    • Sean, that sounds like a nib issue. Fountain Pen Network has a repair forum that should provide a number of avenues you can pursue. Should you decide to post a request for help, include information about what triggers the skipping. Is it at the beginning of a word or does it only occur when you first put the nib to paper? The more data you provide, the better the answers.

      Margana

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      • Thanks for your reply Margana, the nib skips, or goes dry often on the up stroke when I attempt to bar a T or or write a capital. If I keep the letter size small so that the pen is in the same position, then it’s Ok.
        I’ll have a look on Fountain Pen Network,too. Thanks a lot.Sean

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        • That sounds frustrating. FPN should offer some useful suggestions for solving the nib’s problem. Fountain pens can be high maintenance, but in the long run, they are worth it.

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  18. Could you please tell me if Namiki Falcon has a flexible nib? I read different statements on the web about it and would like to know for sure before buying it.
    Many thanks!

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    • The Namiki Falcon has a slightly flexible nib at the fine and medium widths. The broad that I have has virtually no flex. The Falcon is labeled SF, SM and SB because it is a soft nib rather than flexible. Some of them will improve with use and produce greater line variation in time. Others not so much.

      There are a few other nibs that are supposed to be flexible, but I don’t have enough experience with any to recommend one. The two best options are to find a vintage pen like a Waterman that flexes truly well or get a modern pen modified by a nibmeister like John Mottishaw at nibs.com.

      Hope that helps!

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      • Thank you very much for a valuable advice, I really appreciated it! :)

        Like



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