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Fountain Pens! Love em' or hate em'?

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by KAMM, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Varmitslayer

    Varmitslayer Loaded Pockets

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    I got a Zebra V-301 the other day and I love it, when it works. I need to upgrade once I get my BK14 setup and a new bag.
     
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  2. PolygonalGuy

    PolygonalGuy Loaded Pockets

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    Tried a few different times. I do like for hobbyists use. But for daily use they are to problematic.
     
  3. UnlikelyEngineer

    UnlikelyEngineer Loaded Pockets

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    I strongly urge you to give the Pilot Varsity a shot. Cheap and hasn't given me any problems since disassembling and washing out the nib and feed and filling with Noodler's Bulletproof Black. Even before that it was almost perfect. I like my Jinhao x750 okay but for EDC use the Varsity is just about perfect. It writes instantly EVERY time and is super lightweight to boot. It seriously never lets me down. Honest-to-goodness more reliable than any Pilot G2 I've ever used.

    Such is my love for the Varsity. :)

    I'll make you a deal. Buy one and if it gives you problems, ship it to me and I'll clean her out, strip the paint (it's so nice to be able to see the ink level), and fill her up with Bulletproof Black. And if I have some 8000 grit sandpaper by then, I'll smooth the nib too (although mine did not need it) and then send it back. If you decide to take me up on that just send me a PM! I might be buying some more on my own soon, in which case we'll skip the ship to me part and I'll just fix one up and send it to you and you just cover my cost of shipping to ya plus a dollar or two to cover the pen! :cool:

    Note to mods: Please don't view that as an advertisement for a good or service; I profit nothing.
     
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  4. popedandy

    popedandy Loaded Pockets

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    The Platinum Preppy is another very inexpensive fountain pen (around $4). It takes cartridges (Platinum brand only), a converter so you can fill from a bottle, or can very easily be turned into an eyedropper (get rid of the cartridge and fill the pen body with ink).
     
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  5. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    No need for a converter or eye-dropper conversion. Any fountain pen that takes cartridges can be refilled by re-using the cartridge. Just fill up a small syringe from an ink-bottle, and then very slowly (to avoid air-bubbles) inject the ink into the empty cartridge.
     
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  6. Katjang1

    Katjang1 Loaded Pockets

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    I definitely like the looks and all but man I always make a terrible mess of things! Ink all over the place!
    So, no not for me. A rollerball is better choice for a "kluns" like me.
     
  7. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    I used a fountain pen for a while in the early nineties. It was some no-name pen that used generic cartridges.

    Just the other day I saw a 3-pack of Pilot Varsities (black, blue, and purple) at Staples for $7, so I picked it up to play with. They're kind of fun, but they force me to write slower and larger than I am accustomed to. I figure I'll use these three pens up and if I'm enjoying them by the end, I'll get myself a well regarded starter pen with a fine or extra fine nib like a Lamy Safari or something in that price range.

    --flatline
     
  8. PiperCub49

    PiperCub49 Loaded Pockets

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    I enjoy fountain pens. When you get the right nib style and size for you, combined with a quality barrel and decent ink, the writing experience is FAR superior to that of a regular pen. For me, each component is important and if one is off, the whole pen is. Far less pressure is required to write with a fountain pen and, therefore, longer writing sessions become more comfortable. There's also something about having a nicely flowing pen that helps your thoughts do the same. :)
     
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  9. Blak Smyth

    Blak Smyth Loaded Pockets

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    Brought my refill box into the office today to do some work!
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Bull Winkle

    Bull Winkle Empty Pockets

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    I have an extensive collection of pens, inks, nibs, representing many facets of that world, all the various filling types, limited editions, unique to the common. I must admit that my favorites include the German, Italian, and Japanese the most. My Pelikan 800 is a shear joy to use. The orange/black coloring that my Dolce Vita has is stunning, and my Raden VP are probably my favorites of the pens that I consider users. I have some others that exceed a value that even I won't take out of the house. They reside in my Study on my leather topped desk and live a very protected/sheltered life. Lamy makes several usable "Beginners pen". QC is usually acceptable concerning the nib. Nibs can be/are a very personal thing. They can look perfect under a 10x jeweler's loupe but maybe you weren't advised on the correct ink to fill the pen with. Maybe the nib has dry writing characteristics and the ink you choose wasn't "wet" enough or free flowing. Or the nib is a very "wet" writer and the ink flows too well and you saturate even good fp quality paper. I've been lucky most of the newer pens I've purchased in the last 18 years I've not had problems with. The vintage pens are another story. Get some advise before purchasing vintage pens, I found out the hard way (money) and paid my way through the learning curve. FPN is a great resource (fountainpennetwork) lots of good info, good people. Also their are Pen shows in different cities across America. the one in LA is usually in February, you can find some good deals, or get a pen's nib tuned up by a nib meister. Sorry for being so long winded.
     
  11. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    I'm attempting to decide if fountain pens are worth bothering with. I do most of my writing with 0.3mm drafting pencils with 2B lead. These pencils produce a clean line, glide smoothly across the page, and require no additional force to write.

    Just like a fountain pen.

    The things offered by a fountain pen that the pencils can't match:
    1. ink can provide much greater contrast than even the softest lead.
    2. non-ball nibs can provide line width variation
    3. colors

    I am having fun with the fountain pens I've recently purchased, but once the novelty has worn off, I don't know if fountain pens will remain interesting enough to me to justify the cost and bother. Maybe I'll decide to go back to rollerballs for my high contrast needs. I really have no idea.

    Worst case, I now have a couple of nice fountain pens that I can play with whenever I feel the urge.

    --flatline
     
  12. Stonerman33
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Stonerman33 Loaded Pockets

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    Now that you've made the high "initial investment," the cost to keep them going is minimal as long as you don't get addicted to the next best thing. My main bottle of ink is well over a year old and it's maybe half empty. The fine nib coupled with the fact that I rarely use it at work will stretch that $12 bottle of ink out over 2 years. On the other hand, I feed my work pen, a maxmadco, a parker or Monte Verde gel refill about every two weeks at about $2-3 each depending on how many I buy at once. Couple that with the "eco-friendly" benefit of not throwing all that packaging/empty refills/dead pens into a landfill, if that's important to you. I didn't buy into them for that reason, but it is a nice benefit.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. Russ Prechtl

    Russ Prechtl EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I think I like them a lot (OK, love them!): :p

    Pelikan M800 Blue Stripe
    Pelikan M620 Madrid
    Mont Blanc Legrande Black and Gold (3)
    Mont Blanc Classique Black and Gold
    Parker Duofold Centennial Pearl and Black
    Parker Duofold International Pearl and Black
    Parker Cisele Silver
    Parker Sonnet Chocolate
    Visconti Van Gogh Midi Vanilla
    Visconti Michaelangelo Black with Rose Gold
    Pilot Vanishing Point Black and Gold
    Waterman Carene Black and Gold
    Waterman Phileas (2) Green Marbled
    Waterman Harmonie Blue Marbled
    Sailor Professional Gear Realo Black and Gold
    Aurora Ipsilon
    Cross Townsend Medalist Chrome and Gold
    Cross Apogee
    Cross Matrix Silver
    Levenger True Writer Kyoto
    Sheaffer Silver Check
    Sheaffer Snorkel Filler Grey and Chrome

    Pilot Iroshizuku Ink Bottles for filling (3) - Kon-Peki (Deep Azure Blue), Shin-Ryoku (Forest Green), and Yama-Budo (Maroon).
     
  14. Arch Ronin

    Arch Ronin Loaded Pockets

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    Hello everyone. I need some advice. I have a Parker espirit, Pilot ( think it is a V-301), and pilot varsities. But I have been thinking about getting a Lamy and one of the Schrade tactical fountain pens. Does anyone have any experience with these?
     
  15. Stonerman33
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Stonerman33 Loaded Pockets

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    I have the ZEBRA V301, the stainless steel one from Walgreen's, and both a lamy safari/al star and the schrade. The v301 I got was junk. Proprietary ink cartridges, could only buy more by buying a new pen. Lots of skipping issues if I wrote more than a sentence or two. My lamy pens are nothing special, but they are a dependable workhorse. Some hate the triangular grip that helps you to hold the pen properly, but it never bothered me personally. The schrade I bought on a whim just to say I had a tactical fountain pen, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it a decent writer. Ergonomically it is terrible, but almost any tactical pen suffers from this. Its fine for jotting down notes here and there. If you can handle the triangular grip, I'd suggest the lamy. Great all around pen, fairly cheap, and you can buy spare/different sized nibs if you bend one or want to try a different size.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. Arch Ronin

    Arch Ronin Loaded Pockets

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    I completely agree on the zebra I love the design, but hate the functionality. It is good to here about the Schrade because I really like that design. And good to here about the lamy. Think I am going to have to pick those 2 up.
     
  17. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    Replying to myself (poor form, I know), but I just swapped the fine nib on my Lamy Safari with the 1.1mm italic nib that I purchased for experimental purposes and let me tell you, the effect on the appearance of my hand writing was profound! It's forcing me to write larger and a little slower than I am accustomed, but the result is very cool. This is not an effect that I can get with a drafting pencil.

    Clearly there is more experimentation to do.

    --flatline
     
  18. popedandy

    popedandy Loaded Pockets

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    One more pen to throw into the inexpensive but good mix is a $14.95 Yafa that Office Depot sells. I stumbled across it the other day when I was browsing their pen section. It was not with the other non-disposable pens, but was in a blister pack and was hanging with the other blister-packed pens. I bought one on a whim and was surprised to find that it is a pretty decent writer. It takes international cartridges. The barrel is about 1/4" too short to hold a spare cartridge and is also too short to hold a screw-type converter. The converter I tried is the same length as two short international cartridges, so that was no surprise. If I happen to run across a shorter converter I'll try it and post the results. The nib is a medium and did not require any smoothing. The ink flow was good, but not excessive. Overall build quality is good. The cap is a clip on. The grip area is some kind of rubber and is comfortable. The only two things I didn't like were the step from the body to the grip and the slight gap between the rubber grip/section and the body. The step, although noticeable, was not particularly bothersome when writing. The slight gap appears to be necessary for the cap to click on - as you slide it on, it compresses the grip a little bit, then snaps into that gap. It's a different approach that looks like it will work well over time. It is a fairly plain pen, but is certainly nice enough to use in an office environment.
     
  19. JP5

    JP5 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm a fountain pen amateur - enthusiastic but clueless. I have a Lamy that just won't run, wondering if the nib is bent or if I've just got a bad pen. I've tried the Lamy pre-filled refills as well as a syringe style filler - no luck with either.
     
  20. Stonerman33
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Stonerman33 Loaded Pockets

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    I'd suggest giving it a good thorough cleaning. Add a drop or two of dish soap to a glass of water and use a bulb syringe to blast water through the hole where the ink goes in and it'll come out the nib. Keep doing this till water comes out clear, it may take a couple glasses of water to get there. Let it dry completely (putting the nib down in a cup with a wad of paper towel in the bottom speeds it up by sucking the water out through the nib.) load up some fresh ink and give it a couple minutes to work through the section to the nib, and give it another shot.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
     
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