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Thread: Recommendation please

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    Default Recommendation please

    I'm trying to find a workhorse, well behaved, wet writing pen with a nib which doesn't tend to dry out quickly either while in use, or stored for a week or more in between uses. I have tried a lot of Chinese pens, and a few German made. So far my only ultra dependable pen is the Lamy Safari. Looking for something new used for about $40.00 so that narrows down my choices.

    Thanks very much for any thoughts on this.

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    UPDATE
    I have decided to sell a couple of current pens which have seen little use and beef up the budget a little higher to about 80.00. I use Noodler's Ink mostlyand write on heavy weight copier paper, comp books printed in Brazil, and some Staples spiral book made with sugar cane paper.
    Last edited by MTHall720; August 4th, 2019 at 11:02 AM.

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    Senior Member Linkinyeah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    Definitely consider a Parker 21 or 51 special. Great vintage workhorse pens. If you can get a 51 for this price then also a good option. A Faber Castell Loom is a good option, very smooth nibs and solid construction. These are just a few that come to mind first.

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    OP The first thing you would need to decide for yourself is whether you prefer to write with modern pens that have internal piston filling or cartridge/converter filling systems, or vintage pens that have internal rubber sacs.

    If you prefer to change ink colours frequently, then the former may suit you more than the latter. If you prefer to use the same ink then a vintage pen may work for you.

    If you want to leave a pen filled with ink for a week without necessarily writing with it, and then having it write straight off after a week, then, generally speaking, those pens with screw caps and internal piston filling mechanisms tend to do that slightly better than those with slip caps. However, they also tend to be more expensive to buy.
    Last edited by Chrissy; August 2nd, 2019 at 02:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    I carry an Esterbrook SJ pen in my shirt pocket every day. It is always ready to go and writes at first jot no matter how long it waits between uses -- a week, no problem. If a pen won't do that, its feed is misadjusted. An added benefit is that these pens have many nib units available (tens of them) and they just screw into the section. The ink sacs are easy to replace and last for many years.

    If you look around in flea markets, $40 will buy four of them.
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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    I have some pens that I consider my most reliable and which fit your description of staying ready to write after sitting around for a week and not drying out when uncapped while costing less than $40:

    Wing Sung 3008, piston, screw cap

    Parker 21, aerometric, clutch cap

    Parker 45, c/c, clutch cap

    Sheaffer Balance ca. 30's, lever fill, screw csp

    Esterbrook J series, lever fill, screw cap

    A&W Marquis by Mutschler, c/c, clutch cap

    Jinhao 51A, c/c, clutch cap

    I don't really like overly wet writersójust wet enough to lubricate the nib but not too wet to take more than 20s to dry on FP paper. All the above should be easy to tune wetter.

    My first 21 had issues but I bought several others and they are quite nice. A couple have become top workhorses.

    I hesitate to praise the 45 too much... because I don't want word to get out and prices to go up before I've acquired more. Mine are very reliable, always start, and withstand being uncapped for awhile. I've found them pretty easily for $20.

    My three Sheaffer Balance pens from first gen through late 30s have sat for weeks and started up easily with a variety of inks including iron gall.

    They're all capable of being very wet writers. They probably can't sit uncapped as long as hooded nibs but I don't recall any of them being prone to drying out as quickly as some pens. The screw cap on the first gen closes in a half turn so it is the most convenient. It tends to be drip prone as its older style feed has a massive ink channel.

    Admittedly a few of the Balances cost more than $40 but if you're patient and don't mind a rough user grade pen you should be able to find a deal on ebay or here.

    If you can get a 51 for the price by all means go for it. They are fantastic.

    I concur about the J pens. I have one loaded with red that I use only occasionally but it always starts. I haven't used my others in awhile but recall them being reliable. With an exposed nib they may not go uncapped as long as some.

    Virtually all my Esterbrook nibs (I've had many pass through my hands) are dry writers similar to my Metropolitan pens. They love wetter flowing inks. Iroshizuku Take-sumi and Quink work brilliantly in these.

    The Mutschler pen I had inked from Jan through Jun and it always started after sitting for days or weeks. I cleaned it just cause but it was still working fine. I don't know about uncapped as I don't take work notes with it. It has a nib roughly similar to lamy. And it tends to be a wetter writer. I was tuned into these by someone who had similar very positive experiences with theirs.

    If you can find a 51A with a good nib they also will sit for weeks and start up. Get the hooded variety and they should last uncapped for a reasonable time. I've had several and most had decent nibs. One I had to fix baby's bottom on.

    Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    In that price range:

    If you want modern recommendation, based on my personal experience: TWSBI Mini, Monteverde Jewelria (I have the pocket version), Jean Pierre Lepine Indigo.

    If you want vintage ones: Esterbrook J, Sheaffer Tuckaway, any good restored copy of Wearever (some Wearever models are excellent, not all of them are cheap junk), Arnold, Ambassador, Victa-pen, Parkette, Gold-Bond, Eagle, Eclipse, Diamond Point.
    - Will
    A new place to shop for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    Modern: Faber castell (loom/basic), TWSBI eco, FPR Himalaya
    Vintage: would be more of a gamble but I second the prior suggestions

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    I'm going to suggest the Wing Sung 601, a Parker 61 Vac lookalike, at about $15-20. The two I have write wonderfully smooth fine lines. If it matters, they hold a ton of ink.

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    OP The first thing you would need to decide for yourself is whether you prefer to write with modern pens that have internal piston filling or cartridge/converter filling systems, or vintage pens that have internal rubber sacs.

    If you prefer to change ink colours frequently, then the former may suit you more than the latter. If you prefer to use the same ink then a vintage pen may work for you.

    If you want to leave a pen filled with ink for a week without necessarily writing with it, and then having it write straight off after a week, then, generally speaking, those pens with screw caps and internal piston filling mechanisms tend to do that slightly better than those with slip caps. However, they also tend to be more expensive to buy.
    I definitely want a modern type pen.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    One make of pen I thought of that is hardly ever mentioned, but that I have found excellent at keeping ink ready to write over long periods is the Kaweco brand. Their Sport or Dia pens don't seem to dry out for me. In fact I eventually have to empty and flush them. Just a thought. Maybe the Dia would cost more than $40. And I know that many wouldn't like the 2 part set-up of the Sport, but it's certainly a handy pen.
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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    My current favorites are mostly somewhat higher than your max price, although by no means luxury pens. There are some vintage exceptions that I lucked into for lower than normal prices, but nobody can guarantee what prices you'll find. And with vintage, always consider whether it needs to be restored, whether you can do it yourself, and how much it would cost you to have it done.

    For vintage pens, though, you can often find a good bargain on a Parker 45. If you're lucky, you might find one with the old squeeze converters, otherwise they will take modern Parker cartridges or the piston converter. It's possible that you might find one with a gold nib for under $40, but it can be hard to tell on eBay if you're getting gold or gold plated. But I would think you should be able to find one with a steel nib for $20 or less, and it will probably write just as well. My experience with buying them is a few years old, so don't hold me to that. But if the nib and feed aren't damaged, and there are no other flaws, it may not need any restoration beyond a thorough cleaning, which is pretty easy to do for yourself.

    For modern pens that I've tried personally, I could recommend a Pilot Prera. It's rather small, which I like, but some people do prefer larger pens.
    Last edited by Kaputnik; August 2nd, 2019 at 04:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Recommendation please

    If there are dryout or reliability problems you may want to troubleshoot the ink. Iroshizuku inks are not as expensive as they used to be, and praised for being well behaved. But still it comes close to eating your budget. I have no experience at your price range except the metropolitan, which I'm sure you've tried. I found my metropolitans ran dry before modification. Maybe if you have dryness problems and don't want to spend money you can just mess with the nibs a bit.

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