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Thread: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

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    Default Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    We all heard it before. The argument that you should not let someone else write with your pen because it would change the writing characteristics.
    Since first grade this it what our teacher would tell us explaining to keep your precious writing instrument as a personal item.
    I have always subscribed to this line of thought without really questioning it but lately i do.
    I can think of many reasons why i would not lend out my pen but to be honest I can not think of a reason why it would write differently when someone else has used it.
    That is if they donít abuse it of course.
    If the user does not apply too much pressure and uses a fairly light hand i canít see how anything could possibly change.
    The nib should just spring back as it always does. Unless you have them write a mile worth of words no measurable amount of wear can take place.

    Whatís the big deal? I donít see it really...

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    In a nutshell the reasoning they give when they say don't... is a myth.

    Someone using it under normal conditions will not suddenly wear down the tipping any more than if you just leaned a little left one day.

    Only reason I wouldn't let someone just use mine all willy nilly is because I'm not sure they know what they're doing, and we live in a country (US) where the usage of fountain pens was not a typical upbringing, but rather most of us are accustomed to using ballpoints, and rather heavy handed at that. So the one thing they could do is spring the nib, and you can't exactly predict that unless you know they were previously a FP user.

    Granted most nibs now days are nails (they can still get sprung), it's not as problematic.

    But no, under normal usage conditions, you're not going to suddenly change the writing characteristics, the super hard metal alloy on the tipping isn't that weak.

    PS: If you do hand someone a pen, uncap it for them first (and keep the cap). Noticed way too many people either pull or twist when they shouldn't often being forceful about it, and likewise, screw the cap back on like a vice grip (as if for some reason you have to twist so hard like you're securing a pickle jar from leaking).
    Last edited by KBeezie; April 11th, 2020 at 01:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    There is no harm at LENDING your pen. The real problem is when someone TAKES your pen and hits the paper like he was holding a knife....

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Yeah, the problem is when the borrower tugs the screw cap off like it's a test of manlihood. (The sound still haunts!) (Montblanc 146. Survived, no damage.)

    Or after you've told the PEN PERSON, that's a rigid nib, very hard, it does not flex, it does NOT FL--- and he or she flexes.

    To hand over your pen to someone who wants to scribble a couple of notes or sign one's name (not overly fancy with shotgunned dots over the "i"s) is most likely fine. But to someone for whom everybody else's pen is an opportunity to test-drive the nib with one's penchant for calligraphy? Not again. Nope. Not ever again.
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Even when lending a ballpoint I've had experiences with people abusing them: banging them on the table while thinking what to write next, chewing on them, throwing them back to me instead of walking over and handing them back. And my ballpoints are visibly nicer than the usual disposable freebie with advertising on it. I'm not risking that with my fountain pens.

    I have let friends try out some of my easier to replace fountain pens, and even given a few away. But if someone just needs "a pen", and I'm not in a mood to say "well, you'd better buy one, then", I'll lend them a ballpoint. And ask them not to abuse it.

    But whether it's a big deal or not depends on you.
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    At our little pen meet everyone passes pens around. But we know each other and if a pen doesn't flex you will be warned!

    I don't lend fountain pens to people I don't know. But I find because I like colourful inks, I just have to say "You happy with purple ink?" and the answer is usually "Don't worry, I'll find a bic".

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    I don't loan personal items like pens, watches, knives, or firearms. I do keep several new inexpensive fountain pens to give away, but I don't loan my pens.

    There are exceptions of course and I'll probably make an exception one day.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Abuse and accidents aside, the main danger is they won't give it back.

    Consider vintage pens that work for you despite years writing for others. What are the odds that everyone wrote the same way?

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Abuse and accidents aside, the main danger is they won't give it back.

    Consider vintage pens that work for you despite years writing for others. What are the odds that everyone wrote the same way?
    This has long been my thoughts when these thread emerge. ^^^^^

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sumi View Post
    We all heard it before. The argument that you should not let someone else write with your pen because it would change the writing characteristics.
    Since first grade this it what our teacher would tell us explaining to keep your precious writing instrument as a personal item.
    I have always subscribed to this line of thought without really questioning it but lately i do.
    I can think of many reasons why i would not lend out my pen but to be honest I can not think of a reason why it would write differently when someone else has used it.
    That is if they donít abuse it of course.
    If the user does not apply too much pressure and uses a fairly light hand i canít see how anything could possibly change.
    The nib should just spring back as it always does. Unless you have them write a mile worth of words no measurable amount of wear can take place.

    Whatís the big deal? I donít see it really...
    It's no big deal. BUT, there is also the absolute truth of the Chuunibyou. And Chuunibyou of all ages.
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    I only lend my pens to other fountain pen users. The main reason is non-users don't know how to properly use a fountain pen or even realize the damage that may cause from excess pressure. I have a Hong Dian for those who might insist on trying one.
    B_

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    For a time the FPN had a program of lending Esterbrooks out to interested members. I personally lent out several Esterbrooks. The pens came back in fine shape, none the worse for someone else having written with them and giving them a good tryout.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by winslo View Post
    I only lend my pens to other fountain pen users. The main reason is non-users don't know how to properly use a fountain pen or even realize the damage that may cause from excess pressure. I have a Hong Dian for those who might insist on trying one.
    And some can be complete dicks thinking because it's expensive, it should be able to handle a "Strong hand", and that must be crap if it broke.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by pajaro View Post
    For a time the FPN had a program of lending Esterbrooks out to interested members. I personally lent out several Esterbrooks. The pens came back in fine shape, none the worse for someone else having written with them and giving them a good tryout.
    Not sure we're worried about the same target demographic when it comes to lending.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Just in case, I have a nice Pentel VBall to lend

    Unless itīs a FP person that I know, then, no problem.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Nobody can change the nib just from writing. They can drop the pen or press so hard, ballpoint-style, that they bend the nib, but just writing will not reshape the point.

    I have always loaned my fountain pens, especially because the loan might draw someone to get a pen for themselves. Of course, it's important to keep an eye on the pen, especially since people so often, today, write with throwaway ballpoints that they might not understand the value of a fountain pen.

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    When I associated more with others I lent my pens - happily to fountain pen users and with apprehension and cautionary advice to others. Having worked from home these many years the necessity no longer arises. That's a relief, really. I don't think I ever had a pen damaged but I did watch in horror as someone wrenched the cap off a screw-on pen, as someone above has also suffered.

    My husband says that when he was a registrar of births, deaths and marriages and was required to use a fountain pen for all entries and certificates, registrars used to lend each other their pens in their search for the perfect fountain pen. As registry offices were generally a good many miles apart there were usually a few fountain pens in transit. Vintage flex was most admired. He used a slender 1920s Onoto that gave good line variation. Registrars took pride in turning out a good marriage or birth certificate. Now it all comes out of a laser printer.
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Again, for me, the joy of sharing with family and friends outweighs the possible damage. Anyway, I only collect inexpensive pens. And, I give my grandchildren their own Pelikan Twists to use and destroy...ha!!

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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    When I associated more with others I lent my pens - happily to fountain pen users and with apprehension and cautionary advice to others. Having worked from home these many years the necessity no longer arises. That's a relief, really. I don't think I ever had a pen damaged but I did watch in horror as someone wrenched the cap off a screw-on pen, as someone above has also suffered.

    My husband says that when he was a registrar of births, deaths and marriages and was required to use a fountain pen for all entries and certificates, registrars used to lend each other their pens in their search for the perfect fountain pen. As registry offices were generally a good many miles apart there were usually a few fountain pens in transit. Vintage flex was most admired. He used a slender 1920s Onoto that gave good line variation. Registrars took pride in turning out a good marriage or birth certificate. Now it all comes out of a laser printer.
    Yea, now days it's pretty much printed on thick card stock (which is fortunately able to handle fountain pen ink it seems like), but the main County Clerk name is just printed, and the deputy clerk signs in a blue or black ballpoint. In the state of Michigan (or least Kent County within Michigan) there seems to be no specific requirement of ink color or pen type, not mention of permanence (though probably implied it should be permanent).


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    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does it really matter? Can someone else use your pen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    My husband says that when he was a registrar of births, deaths and marriages and was required to use a fountain pen for all entries and certificates, registrars used to lend each other their pens in their search for the perfect fountain pen. As registry offices were generally a good many miles apart there were usually a few fountain pens in transit. Vintage flex was most admired. He used a slender 1920s Onoto that gave good line variation. Registrars took pride in turning out a good marriage or birth certificate. Now it all comes out of a laser printer.
    They seem to still use FPs for signing and dating though. Alas, the registrar who dealt with my mum's death last year was saddled with a Parker Vector for the job. I asked her whether they used ESSRI or Diamine (because frankly I was pretty keen to think about anything else rather than why we were there) and she said Diamine.

    As to the original question, I wonder if it dates back to the dip pen, the nibs of which do tend to wear to a more appreciable extent. I've long suspected it was used in schools as an excuse to make children take more care of their stuff. I recall certain members of my class acquiring rather smart sets of colouring pencils for Christmas or birthday, and they came with the firm instruction that they could be sharpened only with a knife by the teacher. Of course you could easily have used a pencil sharpener, but I concluded loving parents didn't wish to see expensive pencils reduced to stubs by idle girls making "pretty shavings" just for the fun of it.
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