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View Full Version : Do I REALLY love Pelikans? Or just the hype?



Pensfan
April 30th, 2013, 12:57 PM
So long story short, I lost a bunch of pens in a house fire 18 months ago. No one was hurt, lost all of our stuff, stuff can be replaced. Good. :)

So now I am just starting to get back into FPs again, and of course Pelikans and Parker 51s are where I started since that was the bulk of my collection before. With finances being tight and looking forward to replacing several pens if possible, I am trying to not get trapped into the old collection mindset of wanting everything I see. I have been thinking a lot about my pens and what I really truly like.

The big question really came down to Pelikans... Do I love Pelikans because of the wonderful pistol fillers, smooth nibs, and beautiful tortoise stripped bodies? Or do I like Pelikans because of the heritage, history, and marketing? Or is it something else entirely? I really don't know. I want the best writing experience for the dollar. Everything else is secondary.

Are there any other piston filled, smooth nib pens out there that are on the same quality (or even better *GASP*, than my favorite birds? I have a vintage 1966 Lamy 2000 on the way, which I previously owned a similar pen and loved. Any others that compete with Pelikan in terms of sheer quality and writing experience?

drgoretex
April 30th, 2013, 04:03 PM
Hard to compete with the simple beauty and functional excellence of Pelikan's piston fillers. I absolutely love the ease with which I can remove nib units to clean and lube the ink chamber and swap nibs. Service is great, and the nibs are a joy to write with. Hard to go wrong.

Ken

fountainpenkid
April 30th, 2013, 05:05 PM
I think there are plenty of pens that compete with Pelikan in terms of writing experience, though combined with the piston filler and removable nib, as Ken said, probably not.

Pensfan
April 30th, 2013, 05:30 PM
The piston Filler is the number one thing I love, so that is a tough one to beat. While I love the interchangeable nibs, it was pretty rare that I had spares around. Most of the nibs can be bought for the price of a used pen, so I typically just chased the nibs on the pens.

What are some other options in piston fillers that write as well as the Pelikans, both modern and vintage?

manoeuver
April 30th, 2013, 06:14 PM
My TWSBIs write well. You could always go to Japan, plenty of options there...

drgoretex
April 30th, 2013, 06:31 PM
The piston Filler is the number one thing I love, so that is a tough one to beat. While I love the interchangeable nibs, it was pretty rare that I had spares around. Most of the nibs can be bought for the price of a used pen, so I typically just chased the nibs on the pens.

What are some other options in piston fillers that write as well as the Pelikans, both modern and vintage?

I am pretty fond of my Sailor Progear Realo. Sooth piston filler, excellent nib. But, harder to remove the nib to clean and lube the chamber.

And my Lamy 2k, but I guess that's already been mentioned.

Or looking beyond piston fillers, my Pilot custom 823 is an awesome vac filler, holds tons of ink, like a piston. Great pen, lovely nib.

Ken

Laura N
April 30th, 2013, 06:49 PM
I'd also suggest the Aurora Optima or 88 (in the latter only the large one is a piston filler). The nibs write differently than modern Pelikans, with a bit more feedback. The vintage Aurora 88 is also a piston filler; it resembles a Parker 51 but has a nib with some flex. I'm a big Pelikan fan and really have become smitten with the Auroras.

ransky
May 1st, 2013, 05:50 AM
Bexley has piston fillers. I have a Twentieth Anniversary model which is very nice. I don't have enough Pelikans to offer a comparison size-wise. I purchased it through Richard Binder and received a great nib. If a steel nib is okay with you, this is an economical option. For a gold nib, the pens are pricey IMO.

Pensfan
May 1st, 2013, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I have been looking at both of the Aurora 88 and the Pilot Custom 823 actually, so very good feedback there. Excellent to hear they are good pens as well. The Bexleys are new to me and I know nothing about them haha. I will definitely look into those too.

My EDC pen right now is a Pelikan M200 Green Transparent with a steel nib and it writes beautifully. I know steel doesn't really "flex" exactly, but this steel F nib will give some line variation with slight pressure. It is a great pen to stuff in my shirt daily. It is a tad small (I prefer the M600 size) but when posted it is nearly the same size as a P51 which I also love.

Pensfan
May 1st, 2013, 09:36 AM
I forgot to mention my TWSBI 580 1.1mm Stub! I bought one as my first pen "re-purchase" a month or so ago and my wife promptly stole it haha. She now writes with it daily.

I love the TWSBI pens for the money, but the beveled plastic bodies are not very comfortable for me. I greatly prefer the smooth bodies of the other pens I use the most; Pelikans, Parker 51s, Parker Doufolds, Lamy 2K.

Laura N
May 1st, 2013, 09:37 AM
Yeah, those Pelikan M200 steel nibs really do flex a bit, as opposed to the modern gold nibs.

Have you also considered a vintage Pelikan, say a 400? I really think the vintage nibs are special.

Pensfan
May 1st, 2013, 09:41 AM
My favorite pen of all is the Pelikan 400NN and sadly I lost several in our fire (Green, Tortoise, Gray, and a Black Striped).

I am focusing on good deals on pens right now as that is what I can afford. Getting another 400NN with a semi-flex Medium nib is the next pen I am saving for. Replacing an entire lost collection is both ridiculously expensive and eye opening as to how much one spends on this hobby haha. Which is why I was pondering what it is I really enjoy about Pelikans.

I am finding that I really do love the vintage pens more so than the current models.

:)

seffrican
May 1st, 2013, 11:12 AM
To be the contrarian voice, I'm going to disagree with some of the suggestions for alternatives to Pelikans.

First, my perspective: my favourite writing pens are Pelikans, Lamys, MBs, and Kawecos. (I'm not German so it isn't based on patriotism). And many of the others mentioned in this thread are wonderful.

But the Pelikan M2xx, M4xx, M6xx &c are extremely well-sorted designs, that have their own kind of balance and comfort. Combined with the fact that they are incredibly quick to clean and that changing nibs is so quick and easy, the Pelikan experience is difficult to replicate with something that is not a Pelikan.

I suppose I'm saying that if Pelikans are what you like, then there's very little else that can substitute for them.

Regarding replacement nibs, both Pelikanpens and Cult Pens in the UK list replacement nibs for a lot less than the price of a new, or even a secondhand, pen. (No connection to either.)

Laura N
May 1st, 2013, 12:07 PM
My favorite pen of all is the Pelikan 400NN and sadly I lost several in our fire (Green, Tortoise, Gray, and a Black Striped).

I am focusing on good deals on pens right now as that is what I can afford. Getting another 400NN with a semi-flex Medium nib is the next pen I am saving for. Replacing an entire lost collection is both ridiculously expensive and eye opening as to how much one spends on this hobby haha. Which is why I was pondering what it is I really enjoy about Pelikans.

I am finding that I really do love the vintage pens more so than the current models.

:)

Ah, well, I think you have answered your own question. Yes, you do really love Pelikans. :) Maybe, then, it actually would be better and cheaper to just get a 400NN, and not to buy stop-gap pens because they seem more affordable.

A green-stripe 400 or 400NN can be very reasonable, too. :)

pajaro
May 1st, 2013, 03:33 PM
+1 on not buying the stopgap pens. Eventually you will buy the real thing, and then you have a lot of stuff to dispose of, and it's not free.

jacksterp
May 2nd, 2013, 01:51 AM
It seems your favorite brand of pen gives you more pleasure than just being a pen.

I say, follow your heart.

Pensfan
May 2nd, 2013, 08:18 AM
This is why thinking out loud (or in a forum? haha) is so beneficial. I do love the vintage Pelikans and will definitely be saving for the 400NN as the next pen to be added to the very small collection again. :)

You are all very right about the stop-gap pens! I have a very bad habit of seeing a tray of 20 pens and wanting 25 of them haha. The Lamy 2K and the others are still nice to have and they serve a place in the rotation. However, for some reason I really do think every FP user should have a P51 or two just cause they are dang near bulletproof and amazing US made pens.

I appreciate all the feedback! Time to throw some change in the 400NN jar.

:)

drgoretex
May 2nd, 2013, 10:05 AM
Besides....do you really want to have to change your avatar?:shocked:

Pensfan
May 2nd, 2013, 10:25 AM
haha, no kidding Ken.

By the way... after I pick up my next two Pelikans, I am heading your way next. Have you started working on Piston Fillers yet? :)