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Thread: Flexible nib pens

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    Default Flexible nib pens

    Hi all
    I'm looking at buying my first flexible nib fountain pen and am looking for recommendations/advice. I've got some lovely non-flexi pens that I use day in day out and have some dip pens for modern calligraphy and copperplate (which I'm diabolical at!). I'm looking at Noodlers as an option but am happy to take any advice you can offer.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

    Chris

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Quote Originally Posted by FPchris View Post
    Hi all
    I'm looking at buying my first flexible nib fountain pen and am looking for recommendations/advice. I've got some lovely non-flexi pens that I use day in day out and have some dip pens for modern calligraphy and copperplate (which I'm diabolical at!). I'm looking at Noodlers as an option but am happy to take any advice you can offer.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

    Chris
    The Noodlers as well as the FPR flex nibs are an option and are beside dip nibs the cheapest option to get at least a semi-flex nib.
    But in their default state they are semi-flex not full flex nibs.
    They can be quite easily modified to increase their flex if you donít mind tinkering arround with them (you can search for EMF mod (Ease My Flex)).
    What FPR sells as Ultra-Flex is also a EMF mod.





    Quote 020 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    (FPR Himalaya - flex EMF ..... Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black)

    Also other nibs can be modified to add some flex:


    Quote 022 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    (Pelikan M205 Blue-Marbled - B EMF ..... Mystery ink #16 provided by Scooby 921)

    There are some other modern (more expensive) nibs which claim to be flexible or soft (e.g. from Pilot)
    I own none of these, but the reviews/feedback I read mainly say they are also more semi-flex than full flex nibs.

    An option is also to get a modified nib from a nib Meister.

    Not really long ago I would have told you there are no modern full flex nibs right out of the box.
    But recently I bought a Montblanc 149 with their Calligraphy nib, and I claim this nib can compete with vintage full flex nibs.
    But this is a really expensive option.



    (Montblanc 149 - Calligraphy ..... Montblanc Midnight Blue IG)


    Of course you can go also vintage and find a nice vintage flex nib.



    (Serwex MB - flex EMF ..... Rohrer & Klingner Salix)
    (Montblanc 149 - Calligraphy ..... Montblanc Midnight Blue IG)
    (Pelikan Ibis 130 - EF ..... Rohrer & Klingner Lotte)

    The 50s Pelikan above is a semi-flex (in general you can say the 50s Pelikan and Montblancs are semi-flex).

    As a rule of thumb: There are no flexible fountain pen nibs after WW2 (with rare exceptions).

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    This is with my limited experience:
    Ahab is alright. Though it's quite hefty. I like my pens on the slim side. It's also good for people who like tinkering. I have one continually inked up. But they are know for evaporation, if not used for sometime.
    Nib Creeper is too slim and stiff to my taste. It's alright at entry level.
    I have a Kanwrite Ultra flex, they are quite nice. And they are cheap.
    But nothing compares to a true vintage flex. It is something out of this world. The nib mimics the up and downstrokes, especially if you're a calligrapher, you know what I mean. Your handwriting becomes elegant and organic as the nib dances on the paper.
    It's all a journey. Start with the modern cheap ones, experiment and when the time is right go for a nice vintage flex

    Flex.jpeg
    Last edited by Yazeh; February 17th, 2021 at 03:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Quote Originally Posted by FPchris View Post
    Hi all
    ... and have some dip pens for modern calligraphy and copperplate (which I'm diabolical at!). I'm looking at Noodlers as an option but am happy to take any advice you can offer.
    If you're used to dip nibs like flexible ones from Hunt or Brause, you may be surprised at the amount of *additional* pressure you'd have to exert to create any line variation using "flexible" nibs from Noodler's.

    Having used both modern (not all of them) and vintage nibs that are considered flexible, my personal view is that looking for a satisfying and high-quality flexible nibs is a lot more fruitful and rewarding on the vintage side.

    This is one of many vintage pens that I've restored showcasing a no-name "Warranted 14K" vintage nib:



    Another nib from a known brand called "Salz Bros."



    Hope this helps.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    The Ahab's OK if you take the time to modify the nib -without that it's far too hard to flex properly. Same goes for all the noodlers pens IMO.

    The FPR ultraflex (which is the same as the Kanwrite ultraflex) is pretty good - and inexpensive - I have one on a Jaipur V2 that I'm surprisingly pleased with. I had to do a bit of work to get the feed right - but nothing more than a good scrub, opening up the channels a little (I like my nibs to be pretty wet) and some heat setting - no more than a few minutes effort. I've also recently got a Kanwrite Heritage that cost ridiculously little and looks as though it's going to be great - though I haven't had a chance to play much with it yet.

    If you don't mind running through nibs, you can fit a Zebra G dip pen nib to a fair range of modern pens - a cheap Jinhao 450/750 works fine, but the feed struggles to keep up, and nibs can last anywhere from minutes, to hours, to days, but not much more before they rust. The titanium version has better longevity, but isn't quite as flexible, and it's still not an ideal solution - and they definitely work better with an ebonite feed that's been adapted a bit rather than the stock plastic feed in the average Chinese bargain.

    I've not been lucky enough to try the new MB calligraphy nib, but what I've seen of it looks impressive. I'm just too mean to buy one yet. I'm sure I'll cave in the end though.

    In the absence of that, I still think the best flex comes from a vintage nib - but they're getting harder to find, and unfortunately, the bandwagon has been firmly jumped on and even very average semi-flex nibs are selling for a ridiculous amount of money. Many of these are damaged, and I wince when I see some of these beautiful old nibs being abused by sellers/users trying to make them perform tricks they were never designed to. Good vintage nibs don't have to be gold - there are some excellent steel nibs around (especially on some of the older German pens).

    You can still find them - but you may have to kiss a lot of frogs along the way.

    To go back to your question though, I'd get an FPR/Kanwrite ultraflex over an Ahab, especially if you don't want to spend a huge amount of time tinkering with your pen.

    I think you're in the UK, so a good option for you may well be to get something direct from Kanpur Writers. A Heritage (piston fill) with an ultraflex nib, works out at under £20 before shippng. Can't really go wrong with that.

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    https://gregminuskinpens.com/win he lists them


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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Wow! Thank you so very much for taking the time an effort to reply with really helpful information. It's very kind for you to to share your knowledge and experiences in such a comprehensive way. In my circle of friends and family I'm considered to be fairly knowledgeable about fountain pens, inks and such. However, I now know that I know next to nothing!! It's great to know that I've so much more to learn.

    I'm fascinated to learner that nibs can be modified and will look at having a tinker on that direction at some point. In the meantime I'll have a good think about what you have all suggested and let you know what I've decided. I might even be brave enough to post the results!!

    Again, thanks for the help.

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Quote Originally Posted by FPchris View Post
    Wow! Thank you so very much for taking the time an effort to reply with really helpful information. It's very kind for you to to share your knowledge and experiences in such a comprehensive way. In my circle of friends and family I'm considered to be fairly knowledgeable about fountain pens, inks and such. However, I now know that I know next to nothing!! It's great to know that I've so much more to learn.

    I'm fascinated to learner that nibs can be modified and will look at having a tinker on that direction at some point. In the meantime I'll have a good think about what you have all suggested and let you know what I've decided. I might even be brave enough to post the results!!

    Again, thanks for the help.
    You are welcome.
    I always enjoying when people post handwritten stuff, donít be shy, we want to see your writing.

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    Senior Member Ray-VIgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    I'd look at a 1910s-20s Mabie Todd, Waterman's, Conklin, or Eclipse.

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Look for a No. 2 nib in a Waterman 52. It is the classic good-value vintage flex nib for a modest price if you settle for an oxidized black barrel and cap with brassed clip and lever. A 52 1/2 or 52V will cut the price even more. Excellent condition, gold bands or ripple ebonite will drive up the price.

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    Default Re: Flexible nib pens

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post

    You can still find them - but you may have to kiss a lot of frogs along the way.

    .
    Well said.

    Bob

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