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reprieve
July 13th, 2013, 02:50 PM
When Brian Gray of Edison Pens announced that he and Richard Binder would be collaborating to produce flexible Edison nibs (http://edisonpen.com/index.cfm/2013/6/27/Edison-Offering-Richard-Binder-14k-Full-Flex-Nibs), I immediately sent an e-mail to place an order. Like Pelikan nib units, Edison nib units easily unscrew and can be swapped around. (However, if you have a bulb filler, take note--the nib unit must be modified to make it compatible with the filling system and you will need to specify that you have a bulb filler when ordering spare nibs.)

These flexible nibs fit any Edison that accepts a #6 nib, which I believe is every model except the Mina, Pearlette, and Encore. There are several options to choose from: XXXF, XXF, XF, F, and M full flex, or F or M semi-flex. There are also a couple of duo-point options. You can see a full list, along with prices, on Richard's site (http://www.richardspens.com/?pens=nibs+flex).

I ordered a fine full flex nib. I imagine the XF and XXF full flexies would be better for those who want to do Copperplate or Spencerian approximations, as they would offer thinner hairlines, but I chose the fine nib because I wanted something that would add character to my everyday writing without sacrificing smoothness or the ability to write quickly. The flex is also nice for drawing.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9278978548_e9961cc4e8_o.jpg

When I received the nib, I immediately installed it in my "4th of July" (red, white, and blue mottled ebonite) Huron, and inked it up with Iroshizuku Ajisai. The nib is extremely wet and very smooth. It's delightful to write with normally (without any pressure), but it's phenomenal with moderate pressure on the downstrokes. It has not hesitated to start once, nor has it skipped or railroaded. It sat uncapped for about 10 minutes while I snapped some photos and it started up again immediately, no coaxing necessary.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2859/9276195045_29ddc7ecb7_o.jpg

The tines spread surprisingly easily so one should be careful not to spring the nib by using too much force. This is a nib that requires a light hand.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3818/9278978596_71fdd7d428_o.jpg

I (attempted to) photograph the nib so that you can see that its profile has been thinned at the shoulders, making the tines long and narrow.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5345/9276194825_c7a4f771c2_o.jpg

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3815/9278981478_11d01025c6_o.jpg

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5522/9278978470_01391e5b8f_o.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7443/9278978346_5be812a345_o.jpg


Its profile reminds me of a vintage flex nib, especially some wet noodle vintage Waterman nibs. This modern approximation is similar to some of my vintage nibs in terms of pure flexibility, but its snapback is not quite as quick which results in a slightly mushy feel. However, as far as modern flex nibs go, this one is one of the best I have tried. It certainly surpasses the budget options (e.g., Noodler's), but it also surpasses my much-loved Pilot Falcon with a super extra-fine nib and Omas Paragon with an XXF full flex nib. I am convinced that Richard sits all day in a secret cave in Nashua, casting spells to forge these magical flexies.

Obviously, I am thrilled with this nib, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants something special for his or her beautifully handmade Edison. My only caveat is that you should use a light hand and be very careful not to spring the nib. If you don't already have experience with vintage flex, I highly recommend that you practice with a dip pen (which can be had quite cheaply) before committing as it will help you get a feel for how heavy or light your hand is and whether or not you will enjoy flex. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely for me!

jbb
July 13th, 2013, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the review! Your red, white & blue pen sure is pretty.

MisterBoll
July 13th, 2013, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the great review and pictures Reprieve.

How would you compare this nib to a vintage flex nib (Swan, Waterman, etc.)?

reprieve
July 13th, 2013, 03:14 PM
How would you compare this nib to a vintage flex nib (Swan, Waterman, etc.)?

While it is similar to some vintage flex nibs in terms of pure flexibility, its snapback is not quite as quick which results in a slightly mushy feel. It feels a little more delicate, too, like it might be easier to spring (but I don't know if it actually is and I don't plan to find out :)). Like I said in the review, for a modern approximation of vintage flex, this is one of the best I have used.

MisterBoll
July 13th, 2013, 05:53 PM
for a modern approximation of vintage flex, this is one of the best I have used.

Good to know. Thanks!

earthdawn
July 13th, 2013, 06:47 PM
Great review and pics!

Wow he really shaved down the sides a lot.

A quick video of you writing with it would be awesome. Id love to see how the tines work while writing with it.

And that pen is awesome!

00Photo
July 15th, 2013, 10:05 AM
My wallet is going to be very angry at you for posting this.

Thanks for the review!!!!