Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan M400’

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The Best On My Desk Winners For 2017

01/12/2018

Whether penned on the back of an envelope, a scrap of napkin or in a classic journal, a list is my favorite organizational tool. The end of the year is the perfect time to make such a list, one that summarizes and compares my ever-changing pen, ink, and other tool preferences.

Rather than new faves, the focus for my 2017 list was which tools were used the most, those that rarely if ever left my desk. Products that arrived late in the year didn’t qualify even if they were noteworthy. The handsome journal from Central Crafts and two inks from Noodler’s will have to wait for the 2018 list.

(Links are to retailers and in some cases Amazon from which I receive a tiny commission should you make a purchase. Every little bit helps keep Inkophile alive!)

Tools for 2017

Pens

Pelikan M400 Fine – This pen has been in my collection for a number of years. The flow was increased by Chartpak to accommodate hand issues and proved to be a brilliant pen for my worst days.

Platinum Century Nice Pur Medium – Using different grip widths relaxes my hand while a smooth nib makes short work of any written task. The Plat provided provided both and was a good alternative to the Pel. Besides, what’s not to like about a clear barrel that shows off colorful ink?

Platinum #3776 Music Nib – Sometimes a wide nib gives me a little extra support when my hand is tired and at those times a music nib fits my needs very well. It also adds a little flair to the written word without catching on paper as an italic might and that makes writing more enjoyable.

Pilot Metropolitan Medium – When out and about, I carry a pen that can easily be replaced, but still writes well and looks sharp. The turquoise Met meets all those requirements.

TWSBI Diamond 580 Stub – This pen won the slot for a nib with line variation. It also added a pen to my rotation with a slightly wider grip circumference than the other pens. You already know what I think of a clear barrel and this design makes colorful ink sparkle.

Lamy Studio Fine – It is on the list but last due to its unpleasantly sharp cap and barrel edge. However, the nib and flow make using it worth the risk so long as I remember to grasp it gently. Unfortunately, this one has disappeared and missed the photo shoot. Phooey.

Ink

Waterman Florida Blue is mated to the Pel M400. The flow is perfect for the nib and though I may experiment with other inks, WFB always wins out.

Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan makes a luscious line with the #3776 and the shading can be quite dynamic.

Diamine Violet has been the choice of the TWSBI Diamond 580 stub and with good reason. Eye candy to be sure.

Platinum Mixable Aqua Blue suits the turquoise Met perfectly. My samples are now depleted, so it’s time for a full bottle. In the interim, Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare will do.

Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu was my dark green ink which was well suited to a silver Met. It isn’t Montblanc Racing Green, but it does have excellent flow as well as other charming properties.

Platinum Classic Lavender Black is a newcomer that made a splash in the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Color and performance made this an excellent choice for my everyday ink.

Paper

Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Staples Arc and anything made with Tomoe River paper. Enough said.

Watercolor Paint

Artist quality: Sennelier, Daniel Smith, American Journey, and Da Vinci are mainstays along with a couple of Winsor & Newton colors on occasion.

Student grade: Sennelier La Petit Aquarelle and Daler-Rowney Aquafine are about as good as student quality gets. They are not as saturated or lightfast as artist grade paints, but fine in a journal and are packaged conveniently for outdoor sketching. When I empty a palette of student paint, it gets refilled with artist quality paint.

Watercolor Paper

Arches 140# for paintings and Canson Watercolor 140# for color swatches. The best paper is 100% cotton. It will yield the truest colors and survive the longest. Arches is cotton and readily available. It is pricey but worth it.

Watercolor Brushes

SAA Gold Round #10 This was my favorite brush last year and easily got the most use.

Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #8

Escoda Versatil Rigger #2

Daniel Smith Platinum Angle 1/2″ (sable and taklon)

Isabey Petit Gris 6234 Quill Mop #0

Other writing and drawing tools

Pentel Pocket brush pen

Autopoint mechanical pencil

Pentel Sign Touch Pen

New Stuff

Noodler’s Legal Blue and Polar Purple

Romano Handmade Recycled Leather Wrap Large Journal (Paper is not friendly with all fountain pen inks. Handsome leather cover.)

What’s on your list? Use the comments to post your faves as well as most used tools for 2017. Or submit a link if you’ve already shared such a list elsewhere.

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Fountain Pens That Would Make Good Gifts

12/10/2016

This week my list of Favorite Fountain Pens received its annual update. A number of the pens have been inked since they arrived. That is a very good measure of user satisfaction when they go into rotation and remain there for months if not years. Kudos to those manufacturers who have earned my loyalty.

Once the list was set, it struck me that any of them would make a good gift. To make it simple, here is the list with links to Amazon for models that are currently available. Prices fluctuate so do shop around. If you purchase from Amazon, Inkophile earns a tiny commission that will be used towards the purchase of new products to review.

Happy shopping!

 

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Paper, Pens And Summer

06/13/2016

It only took a couple of 90 °F days to signal summer is on its way and it is time to reduce my writing tools to an uncomplicated few for the season. This is a simple feat I attempt every year with varying degrees of success. Annual modifications are often suggested by new products, but also by rediscovering good things from past summer kits. It is a mix of both this time.

This year it will be two Midori Traveler’s #013 Notebooks with Tomoe River paper, one as a journal and the other for ink and watercolor experiments. A grid pencil board will help with writing level and drawing squares for color swatches. I haven’t settled on a cover yet though a lightweight leather or a colorful fabric hold the most appeal. Last year I purchased a fabric cover from DesignsbyRamona107 on Etsy, but I’d like something different for the next few months.

For long term, keep forever notes, a journal from Paper for Fountain Pens will get pressed into service. The bound format is perfect for the purpose and it was a gift which makes it extra special.

My rotation will dwindle to five or so as the currently inked pens empty. However, testing new colors will fill several pens and no doubt the crew will return to a dozen by summer’s end. Incoming inks from Noodler’s will keep things lively and fresh along with several from last year that have yet to be reviewed.

The Platinum Century pens with the Slip & Seal caps endured the heat last year better than other pens and will see duty throughout the summer. A medium and a broad nib will provide variety. Though not in the same class, the TWSBI 580 and the Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm will represent the italic nib range along with the Platinum #3776 music nib just because it is my favorite.

Although they aren’t in the right pens yet, the inks most likely to be in the rotation are

  • J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
  • Sailor Peach Pink
  • Stipula Calamo Sapphron
  • Diamine Meadow
  • Diamine Aqua Blue
  • J. Herbin Vert Reseda

All are evocative of summer’s sun bleached hues, but a deeper blue might be needed for business. Noodler’s General of the Armies, Diamine Mediterranean Blue or Pilot Blue-Black are likely candidates. Platinum Pigment Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue or Waterman Florida Blue in the Pelikan M400 would be more conservative duos should the need arise.

To mix things up a bit, I’m going to order a set of Papermate Liquid Flair pens on Ed Jelley’s recommendation. Fountain pens may dry out in the summer heat, but these porous tip pens shouldn’t. Add to that an Autopoint mechanical pencil and a medium Sharpie Pen and my tool kit will be more than adequate for the months ahead.

Do you reorganize for summer? If so, how do you do it?

Resources mostly through my Amazon Affiliate link:

Macy interrupted the photo shoot to see what I was up to that did not include her.

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Handwriting Day And Five Good Pens

01/23/2016

It’s National Handwriting Day! What better way to celebrate the occasion than by using a few very enjoyable pens. My short list turned out to be varied in nib size as well as price. The inks were randomly selected for paper tests except WFB in the Pelikan. Those two have been dating for years.

  • Pelikan M400 Fine with Waterman Florida Blue
  • Platinum #3776 Music Nib with J. Herbin Terre de Feu
  • Platinum Century Nice Medium with Diamine Wild Strawberry
  • TWSBI Diamond 580 1.1mm with Diamine Violet
  • Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm with Noodler’s Apache Sunset

Which duo did you choose today?

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Pen Friends In Blue

11/14/2015

While putting together my November pen rotation, two old mates decided to hook up and what a pair they make. The Pelikan M400 might be a tad small, but the nib makes up for that minor inconvenience. Waterman Florida Blue not only matches the barrel, but flows perfectly. The duo even improves my handwriting. What more can you ask of pen and ink?

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Various Links From Pelikan To Marlen To Hobonichi

08/24/2014

Pens dominated this week, but there were a few other things worth mentioning…

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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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