Posts Tagged ‘best fountain pens’

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Sunday Reads: Pens, Memes, And Sherlock Holmes

11/18/2018

There is no connecting the dots between these links, except that they were some of the most interesting ones from this past week.

Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen With Apache Sunset Ink

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Nemosine Singularity On Sale

11/14/2018

Pen Chalet has the Nemosine Singularity on sale. Nemosine.com has them as well. If you’ve had an urge to try this model, grab it now. As they say, supplies are limited.

Links to a few of my posts about the Singularity:

Nemosine Singularity Stub – First Look

Nemosine Singularity Fountain Pens

Fountain Pens Are Cool

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Fountain Pens Are Cool

11/02/2018

Last week, HisNibs.com shared a link to a Bloomberg article about fountain pen ink that stated, “Worldwide, fountain pen sales are forecast to total $1.15 billion this year, up 3 percent from 2017 and almost 31 percent from a decade ago, according to market-research company Euromonitor International.” Yes, fountain pens are cool and so is ink.

An inkophile needs a stable of pens to test and compare several colors at the same time. A five-pen rotation works well for me and for a reasonable investment, these are some of my favorite models.

  • Pilot Metropolitan – My three are good writers, but might seem slender in a large hand.
  • Pilot Kakuno – Mine has a good nib and adds virtually no weight to my kit.
  • Platinum Plaisir – Good nibs and attractive colors. Slightly larger than the Metropolitan.
  • Kaweco Sport – Modern pocket pen works well in small spaces. Nibs can be swapped.
  • TWSBI Eco – Small nib and simple design, but folks swear by the Eco. The Diamond 580 is my preferred model.
  • Lamy Safari – Sturdy build, but the grip is awkward for some users. Nibs can be good if finicky about ink. The Studio is my preferred model for an everyday pen.
  • Nemosine Singularity – Good build for the price. My italics work best with well-lubricated inks.
  • Conklin Duragraph – The stub nibs are smooth and juicy. I liked the design and performance well enough to purchase two.

Although I have owned a few inexpensive Chinese pens that wrote well enough, most brands have been too inconsistent to recommend. However, for the modest investment, they could be worth the gamble. Amazon and eBay offer quite a few, but you might have better luck at His Nibs.

The Pilot Metropolitan has emerged as my favorite fountain pen for ink testing because it cleans easily and flows well with every ink. The Duragraph with its wide nib is good for general writing so it will often get filled with an ink I would use for a journal or correspondence. The Kakuno or the Singularity come out to play when aqua ink is on the menu. The Nova Orange Plaisir is happy with orange ink or sometimes a fill of Noodler’s Lexington Gray. Either way, it makes my desk look cheerful.

My current pen rotation for testing ink includes

  • Silver Pilot Metropolitan – green ink
  • Aqua Pilot Metropolitan, Kakuno, or Nemosine Singularity – blue/aqua ink
  • Plaisir – red/orange ink
  • TWSBI – purple/burgundy ink
  • Duragraph – black/brown ink

That makes five pens for under $150. Or a mix of Metropolitans and Plasirs could be put together for less than $75. Add a selection of ink samples and you are on your way to being a collector. Now wasn’t that easy!

Though I have never needed to make a return, do purchase where that would be easy. Low-end pens can be imperfect by some accounts though I suspect that is less common with the pens on my list.

Most of the links are to Amazon from which Inkophile receives a tiny commission when you buy within 24 hours of clicking the link. Thank you for your support.

 

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New Faves For 2016

12/18/2016

This past year I made some new friends. Links are to sources for the products.

Art Supplies

  • Silver Brush Black Velvet watercolor brushes – Acquired several this year. Supple, retain shape very well and hold lots of fluid.
  • Daniel Smith Prussian Blue and Transparent Red Oxide watercolors – Good additions to my transparent palette.
  • Aureolin by Winsor & Newton or Daniel Smith – Excellent yellow combined with Permanent Rose or Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Blue for mixing a full range of colors. This has become my “Less Is More” triad and a staple for my mini kit. (h/t Pat Weaver)
  • Pentel Touch Brush Tip Felt Pen – Good at line variation whether for writing or drawing.
  • Uniball Air marker – More durable than a felt marker and glides effortlessly across the page. Makes my hand happy.
  • Buddha board – Great tool for practicing strokes without wasting ink, paint or paper.

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Platinum #3776 Century Nice And Nice Pur Fountain Pens

11/23/2014

Platinum makes excellent pens that easily rank amongst my favorites. Thanks to the generosity of Carol at Luxury Brands LLC, I now have the #3776 Century Nice (rose gold) and Nice Pur (rhodium) to enjoy and review. Note that I placed “enjoy” before “review” which says a lot.

Century Nice pens have an unusual design that reminds me of cut crystal. The resin is not smooth like my Chartres Blue, but has diamond cut stripes along the transparent barrel and cap. The section is smooth and fits comfortably in my hand. The threads line up under my thumb which might be a problem for some users. However, with my light grip, this went unnoticed.

#3776 Century pens are medium sized and do not require posting to be well balanced. They have the “Slip and Seal” mechanism that keeps ink fluid despite long lapses in use. There is a brochure in six languages that explains how it works as well as how to maintain it. Just for the record, the five Century pens I’ve taken for a spin have all worked perfectly right out of the box. None have required special care and all have performed as well as any pen in my collection.

Here is where the two pens differ. The Nice has rose gold trim and a 14kt rose gold nib. The Nice Pur has a 14 kt gold rhodium plated nib with rhodium trim. If you are hooked on matchy-matchy, the converter has stainless bits that suit the Pur, but are slightly at odds with the rose gold Nice. The light reflective nature of the barrel reduces the contrast so that the color difference is minimized.

Note that there is no discoloration of the rose gold nib, but there is a significant reflection in the photo. It really is rose gold as you can see in the other photos. The diamond cut stripes are about the width of a finger nail and very smooth which makes them light-reflective. It’s an attractive effect.

The Nice came with a medium nib, my first on a Platinum pen. It is a bit wider than expected with very good flow and is a real treat on Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper. It offers good control over letter shapes and I found it a fine complement to my natural letter forms. The broad nib on the Nice Pur is quite substantial and very wet. Both nibs work best with a light touch. Digging in too deeply will cause the them to become chatty. With light pressure neither nib produces feedback though with a heavy hand, the medium will give a hint of it. They don’t skate over paper, but do provide orientation.

The Nice filled with the aqua colored Waterman South Sea Blue is a delightful addition to the various tools on my desk, but it is lovely with burgundy, blue and some greens as well. Catching a glimpse of colorful ink gives a lift to any writing task so the Nice adds a little inspiration to my day.

The clear resin body combined with rhodium furnishings makes the Nice Pur a neutral colored pen except for the ink visible in the converter. For those who match ink to pen, this model presents no restrictions. The writing sample is Diamine Emerald though any ink will suit and that’s the ultimate in versatility.

Want a little attention for your refined and discerning taste in pens? Just place a Platinum Century Nice on your desk and watch the reactions. Even in my fountain pen friendly family, these pens earned an unusual measure of comment and admiration. Pretty cool, eh?

(The Platinum #3776 Century Nice is PNB-20000R #5 ROSE and the Platinum #3776 Century Nice Pur is PNB-20000R #4 PUR just in case you want to order one from your favorite retailer.)

 

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Really Good Fountain Pens

01/02/2014

Comments and email queries often suggest subjects worthy of further exploration. Such was the case when a recent email cast my collection in the light of pens that hold up well and are worthy of recommendation. After restricting choices to pens that can be purchased online and whose nibs have not been modified, here are the models that made my list of

Really Good Fountain Pens

  • Platinum #3776 and #3776 Century – These pens rank at the top of my list. The build is slightly lighter than the Sailor pens I own, but that is good for my hand. No flow issues and the nibs are excellent. Someday I hope to get a medium for a real workhorse. It may not replace the #3776 music nib as my most used pen, but I would love to give it a shot at the top slot.
  • Lamy Safari and AL-Star – An entry-level pen that is one of my most durable and reliable writers. The extra-fine has been a staple here for years. I haven’t tried a fine or medium, but the broad might be a tad too wide and free-flowing for most people. The 1.1 mm can have an erratic flow, but the nibs are usually smooth. The nibs run a bit wider than most and they are quite stiff, but they are also easy to swap. Nibs come in stainless steel and black. The latter looks particularly sharp on a model with a black clip. Put one on a charcoal Safari to make a stealth model. Two of my Lamys have been so modified. The build is very good at the price which won’t matter if the oddly shaped section doesn’t fit your grip. My daughter and I found it to be comfortable after the initial sessions. The control afforded by the section shape is excellent and prevents slipping. That is a decided plus for me.
  • Pelikan M400 and M215 – These are very different pens, but equally well built. Both wrote well from the beginning. The M215 feels more sturdy, but it is a metal pen. I am extra careful with piston-fillers and run Noodler’s Eel ink through them from time to time to lubricate the plungers. The M400 was adjusted for extra flow several years ago and is now a terrific pen for long sessions.
  • Pilot Namiki Falcon – I have three of the resin model and that says a lot. The build is good and the section very comfortable for me. The nibs can be a tad scratchy, but a little use fixed that in one of mine. The other two were smooth from first use. The design is understated and puts the focus on what the nib can do. No flow issues with the supplied converter so the nib and feed are well matched.
  • Sailor 1911 and Sapporo – These pens have outstanding build quality. No flow issues and the converters are very well-suited to the nibs and feeds. My Sapporo is a fine nib and a nail. The 1911 is an extra-fine that is a bit soft. They are very different nibs, but both are very smooth.
  • Baoer Eight Horses – Not everyone has had the good luck I have had with a Baoer. However, I do have two that write remarkably well. This is a heavy pen, but well balanced. The build quality is excellent for the price. The converter even has a plastic ball to keep the ink flowing. I am not as thrilled with the Jinhao 750 which is made by the same company, but one of these days I’ll purchase a silver Eight Horses with a B nib if I can find one. That will make a full set.
  • Pilot Custom 742 – This one is a bit harder to recommend given my 742FA can be flow challenged. However, the build is excellent and the size perfect for me. I think it would be a terrific pen sporting a different nib. The FA is very smooth and does flex, but no ink so far has conquered the feed. There are five on my desk ready to take up the challenge so more testing is ahead. When I advance ink into the feed, it writes well enough with virtually no pressure. The slit is always inky, but this pen arrived used if not abused. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I think it has an imperfect nib on an otherwise very nice pen.

The price range for these pens purchased new is $6 to over $300. Message boards are the best place to buy used, but eBay can be good for inexpensive pens like Lamy and Baoer depending on your risk tolerance level. If you want perfection, buy from a seller who tests the nib and who has a good reputation for standing by his wares. As careful as I am, one in four pens arrives in need of assistance. That really isn’t surprising considering how a tiny mistake in the nib can make a pen write poorly. Basically, don’t get your knickers in a twist if you get a stinker. It happens to all of us. Get help from the seller immediately. Most will make it right one way or another.

So that’s my list. Is there a pen you would recommend without reservation?

Really Good Fountain Pens

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