Nice/upscale pens and pencils

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rk6
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by rk6 »

Leemiller wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:03 am
rk6 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:40 pm Japanese-made Japanese-branded retractable pens/pencils are stylish and excellent deals for the money in addition to being cool gifts or conversation pieces. I use nothing but. You can do pretty well for $15-$20 USD each including shipping, get a few, pick the one(s) you like, give the rest away as gifts. You can search - in addition to Amazon there are various places selling import pens on line.
I was intrigued so I did a search. Any specific recommendations? I’m seeing lots of pens with cats....
this would be one that I like for feel:
https://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-EnerGel- ... e/pd/18524

ebay, jetpens, amazon in that order.
apex84
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by apex84 »

I mentioned the Uni Jetstream Prime Twist and Pilot Metropolitan. Here are links. I prefer using a Pilot Juice or Juice Up refill in the Metropolitan, these are available from Jet Pens.

https://smile.amazon.com/uni-JETSTREAM- ... 197&sr=8-1

https://uni-pens.com/product/jetstream-prime-twist/

http://pilotpen.us/brands/mr-metropolit ... el-roller/

https://smile.amazon.com/Pilot-Metropol ... 371&sr=8-1

https://www.jetpens.com/Pilot-LP3RF-Jui ... k/pd/27766
TomCat96
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by TomCat96 »

sunny_socal wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:48 am Another vote for Lamy! Excellent, comfortable pen for about $20. I think I have five now, one at work and several around the house. :beer
They have a huge color selection.

Image

The Lamy safari I believe won an award for best fountain pen under $100. I've purchased about 10 of them. No regrets

I wondered however if there was any objectivity to my subjectivity. I had another friend who doesn't care much for pens try it out. She remarked it was the smoothest writing experience she ever had.

At any rate, these were the conditions.

1. Lamy Safari, Black Fine Nib, (as opposed to the silver nibs which feel different)
2. Iroshizuku Ink
3. Rhodia pad.

psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm
2) I assume that there's little qualitative difference between whatever actual writing element (the ball point/gel tip/roller ball/etc) that's in a "luxury" pen versus what you can get in a nice $5 pen. Valid assumption? Are the cartridges generally widely interchangeable, so I can easily replace when my tastes change or it runs out of ink?
Not at all. Even among regular pens, you can tell quite a difference no? The uniball visions/micros write nothing like the classic BIC pens.
Some are gel, some are ink, some are a hybrid. Some are dry writers. Some are wet writers.

Among fountain pens, the difference is more pronounced. Pen makers put quite a bit of work in designing the writing systems. It defines the entire feel of the pen.
Tiger 385
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Tiger 385 »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:33 am
saveinvestbecomefree wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:41 am I've recently had a minor obsession with mechanical pencils. I recommend the Pentel Graphgear 1000 in 0.7mm or 0.9mm lead, especially if you're prone to press hard and break lead (common problem with 0.5mm or smaller) like me. 0.7mm is more common and a little cheaper but both are around $10 and are really nice to write with. It also has a retractable tip for long-term durability and if you put it in your pocket.

I also recommend trying a 2B hardness lead vs the standard HB lead. The softer lead writes nice and smooth although can smear a bit more (so probably not the best choice for lefties). I find 2B to be my favorite in terms of smooth writing and minimal smearing. A nice mechanical pencil can bring a nice bit of joy for a very low cost. Definitely a luxury and not a need but a low cost luxury that many people feel is a great enjoyment/$ value.
+1 on the .7 mm lead. Doesn't break as often. Easier to read.

I was doing architectural drafting (back in the days of "manual CADD") and had a set of german made mechanical drafting pencils. The end stem is long and even, not tapered, so they ride on the straightedges evenly. We used the softest lead we could find because it was easier to erase and didn't leave a dent on the thin velum paper.

j :happy
If you are like me and like to keep a mechanical pencil handy at all times, I cannot recommend the Alvin Draf-tec Retrac highly enough. It is a substantial pen at a fair price, and you can get it in all three primary lead sizes. But most importantly, it has a fantastic feature whereby a hard press of the top extends the lead handler/point and a light press advances the lead. Another hard press fully "retracs" it into the pen body. Long story short, you can't stab yourself or punch a hole in your nice breast pocket.

https://www.amazon.com/Alvin-DR07-Draf- ... GDCA13RHZP
ohai
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by ohai »

I recently bought the Cross Classic Century 2 in black and gold, just for the novelty, as it is the pen that the President uses to sign bills into law.

https://www.cross.com/cr_en_us/writing- ... century-ii

It's fine as a pen, and like other nice things, it is nice to have around. However, as a pure writing instrument, I don't think it's easy to beat the universe of sub-$10 mass produced plastic pens that have been ergonomically perfected by now. I cannot tell the difference between rollerball technology of say Pilot G2 and a pen that costs much more.
focusedonwhatmatters
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by focusedonwhatmatters »

This handcrafted in the US pencil has a very smooth write and a substantial feel. Engraved, it makes a nice a gift.

https://modernfuel.com/products/luxury- ... cal-pencil
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Bogle7
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Bogle7 »

Excellent thread which caused me to bring my Waterman fountain pen out of mothballs and into daily use.
quantAndHold
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by quantAndHold »

Surprisingly, I like my $11 Pilot Metropolitan better than my more expensive pens. Go figure. It’s comfortable, fairly light, and a smooth writer.

Pencils, I like the 0.7mm Pentel GraphGear 1000 for just carrying around in my pocket. For serious penciling, I like the Staedtler 780 lead holder. It has a 2mm lead that can be sharpened, and feels so very, very good to draw with.

I have a drawer full of this stuff.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
smectym
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by smectym »

rob wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:22 pm As you can see... this obsession goes deep :-)

I actually like this for around $20 and this for around double.
Yes, it’s an “obsession thing,” and those with obsessions are fortunate to have them, as they can afford a deal of pleasure.

But with pens, I stick to Uniball 207 Blue Impact Bold Gel for signatures (psychologists claim that a bold, flowing signature is actually an attempt to hide deep insecurity, and in my case that’s probably true; but I double down and scrawl a huge, scary signature anyway) and for annotations or other close script use Pilot G2 Black Fine 0.7 mm Gel Roller. Those two pens will carry anyone through all the exigencies of this life requiring the use of a pen, and boxes of 12 of each are economically available on Amazon.
craiggsean
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by craiggsean »

For those of us who are hanging onto real pens in the iPad age... :sharebeer
this is my source for drooling about different pens, fountain pens, etc.

Very informative reviews and guides:

https://www.jetpens.com/Pens/ct/4009

https://www.jetpens.com/Calligraphy/ct/4007


psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm Was recently in Las Vegas and stopped in a Montblanc shop - looked at some nice writing instruments costing a few hundred and up. Hadn't really been thinking about this issue, and didn't buy anything at the time. Now back from Vegas, so can't easily re-shop that same store.

I don't journal or do a TON of handwriting, but I do use pens and pencils a decent amount. For pens, I generally use rollerball or gel pens (have occasionally used fountain pens, but not a big fan). For pencils, either old school wood pencils or inexpensive mechanicals. i.e. What I use NOW *is* of the $0.20-$6.00 price range. Losing or breaking one is no big deal.

I have a nicer set I got years ago (graduation present maybe?) - I think Cross brand, gold-hued (probably not real gold), pen and pencil set. But they're pretty slim, and not actually that good to write with.

I prefer a fairly fat pen/pencil - easier to grip. But cheap/disposable stuff is mostly varying degrees of thin.

I would consider something nicer - Montblanc or the like, but have some Qs, especially for those who like this sort of thing.

1) Where does one find an assortment of reasonably nice pens to try out? Not sure it's a typical jewelry store thing. Big box office supply store seems to have only/mainly <$10 stuff (mainly ~$1-4 stuff). I'm in a decent sized midwestern city, but it ain't NYC or Las Vegas.

2) I assume that there's little qualitative difference between whatever actual writing element (the ball point/gel tip/roller ball/etc) that's in a "luxury" pen versus what you can get in a nice $5 pen. Valid assumption? Are the cartridges generally widely interchangeable, so I can easily replace when my tastes change or it runs out of ink?

3) I mostly haven't cared because what I use is cheap, but if I had something nice and I generally didn't take it outside of the house, I assume I'm not so likely to lose/misplace it, correct?

4) Pencils for me have been less satisfactory than pens. I *like* the sensation and the practicality of using a well sharpened pencil (or a mechanical with a relatively fine lead), and the ability to easily erase with a soft eraser on the top of the pencil. But in real-life usage, the leads dull quickly (if wooden pencil) or break often (if mechanical), and the rubber at the tip hardens fairly quickly and/or is used up. Perhaps I write heavily. Are higher end mechanicals better on these issues? (Maybe not the eraser, but at least holding the lead well and having it not break frequently).

Any other thoughts from those who like and use a nicer pen/pencil?

FWIW, while my Qs are mainly about functional issues, the aesthetic appeal of a nice writing instrument is not lost on me.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by sunny_socal »

ohai wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:38 pm I recently bought the Cross Classic Century 2 in black and gold, just for the novelty, as it is the pen that the President uses to sign bills into law.

https://www.cross.com/cr_en_us/writing- ... century-ii

It's fine as a pen, and like other nice things, it is nice to have around. However, as a pure writing instrument, I don't think it's easy to beat the universe of sub-$10 mass produced plastic pens that have been ergonomically perfected by now. I cannot tell the difference between rollerball technology of say Pilot G2 and a pen that costs much more.
Thanks! :beer Great idea for a $tocking stuffer :D
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Sandtrap
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Sandtrap »

smectym wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:21 am
rob wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:22 pm As you can see... this obsession goes deep :-)

I actually like this for around $20 and this for around double.
Yes, it’s an “obsession thing,” and those with obsessions are fortunate to have them, as they can afford a deal of pleasure.

But with pens, I stick to Uniball 207 Blue Impact Bold Gel for signatures (psychologists claim that a bold, flowing signature is actually an attempt to hide deep insecurity, and in my case that’s probably true; but I double down and scrawl a huge, scary signature anyway) and for annotations or other close script use Pilot G2 Black Fine 0.7 mm Gel Roller. Those two pens will carry anyone through all the exigencies of this life requiring the use of a pen, and boxes of 12 of each are economically available on Amazon.
Oh no!
I've been found out! :shock:


The Pilot G2's are excellent but I have trouble with them smearing if used to draw lines with a ruler.
Not sure if the "smear factor" is high on gel pens, lower on ball point.
I'm beginning to think it's the ink not the pen.
Sometimes the same pen in blue or black will have different "smear factors".

j :happy
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tm3
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by tm3 »

smectym wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:21 am
rob wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:22 pm As you can see... this obsession goes deep :-)

I actually like this for around $20 and this for around double.
Yes, it’s an “obsession thing,” and those with obsessions are fortunate to have them, as they can afford a deal of pleasure.

But with pens, I stick to Uniball 207 Blue Impact Bold Gel for signatures (psychologists claim that a bold, flowing signature is actually an attempt to hide deep insecurity, and in my case that’s probably true; but I double down and scrawl a huge, scary signature anyway) and for annotations or other close script use Pilot G2 Black Fine 0.7 mm Gel Roller. Those two pens will carry anyone through all the exigencies of this life requiring the use of a pen, and boxes of 12 of each are economically available on Amazon.
I'd like to try that Blue Impact Bold Gel, but like many pens nowadays it seems that there is no option for buying only 1 or 2. A dozen won't break the bank, but with all the pens I have in rotation many won't ever get used.
tm3
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by tm3 »

TomCat96 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:18 pm
sunny_socal wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:48 am Another vote for Lamy! Excellent, comfortable pen for about $20. I think I have five now, one at work and several around the house. :beer
They have a huge color selection.

Image

The Lamy safari I believe won an award for best fountain pen under $100. I've purchased about 10 of them. No regrets

I wondered however if there was any objectivity to my subjectivity. I had another friend who doesn't care much for pens try it out. She remarked it was the smoothest writing experience she ever had.

At any rate, these were the conditions.

1. Lamy Safari, Black Fine Nib, (as opposed to the silver nibs which feel different)
2. Iroshizuku Ink
3. Rhodia pad.

psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm
2) I assume that there's little qualitative difference between whatever actual writing element (the ball point/gel tip/roller ball/etc) that's in a "luxury" pen versus what you can get in a nice $5 pen. Valid assumption? Are the cartridges generally widely interchangeable, so I can easily replace when my tastes change or it runs out of ink?
Not at all. Even among regular pens, you can tell quite a difference no? The uniball visions/micros write nothing like the classic BIC pens.
Some are gel, some are ink, some are a hybrid. Some are dry writers. Some are wet writers.

Among fountain pens, the difference is more pronounced. Pen makers put quite a bit of work in designing the writing systems. It defines the entire feel of the pen.
As I stated earlier, my Lamy Safari writes better than most other pens that I have tried including some that are way more $$.

Another cool thing about the Safari is the nibs are easy to switch, and cheap (about $12). So it is easy to swap and try different size nibs or if one happens to get a bad one just replace it.

The main criticism that I have heard of the Safari is from folks who don't like the triangular shape in the gripping area. I actually like it, as fountain pens have a "sweet spot" as far as how they are positioned on the paper and the grip helps me easily keep the orientation consistent.

I highly recommend the Safari to anyone that wants to give fountain pens a try. Experimenting with different inks is a lot of fun. My current favorite is Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by LilyFleur »

This thread has got me watching youtube videos. I am interested now in flex fountain pens, stub fountain pens, brush pens, etc., and how they might work into my new abstract painting hobby. It's a whole new world... although I now recall that my son and I bought these beautiful little stainless steel fine point fountain pens at Harrod's in London last summer. I dug it out last night and it doesn't flow well anymore, so perhaps I need to shop :mrgreen:
dbr
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by dbr »

Amazon is a pretty effective way to shop for things, such as Conklin, if that is what one is interested in: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=pens+conklin ... _sb_noss_2
quantAndHold
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by quantAndHold »

If you don’t care what it looks like, the Pilot Kaküno is a great writer, comfortable, light, and can be had for about $10. It’s the best writer of all the dozens of pens I’ve owned. It’s kind of the My Little Pony of fountain pens, though. I use it at home, where the embarrassment factor is low.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Abe
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Abe »

It's hard to beat this mechanical pencil:
Pentel Sharp Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm, Blue Barrel, 1 PENCIL (P207C) $2.59 on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Mechanica ... 207&sr=8-2

I have several, but the first one I bought over 10 years ago still works fine, and I use it everyday. I would compare it to the Duracell bunny. It just keeps on running.

As far as fountain pens go, I like the old Parker 51's when I can find them at estate sales. I have several fountain pens and mechanical pens I've picked up over the years. The Pilot Metropolitan Retro is not a bad lower price fountain pen. I wouldn't pay $200 or $300 for a fountain pen.

Edit: I noticed the other day that Walgreens had the Pentel Mechanical Pencils in stock, but I believe they were $4.99 each there.
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TomCat96
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by TomCat96 »

This has been my favorite pen of the past year.
The Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black.

Image
BogleLearner
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by BogleLearner »

In college many years back, I was an avid note-taker and splurged
$5 on a Parker 45 classic fountain pen. That pen got me through
undergraduate and graduate school - would not trade it for anything!
If you can find one of these online - go for it!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Sandtrap »

TomCat96 wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:27 pm This has been my favorite pen of the past year.
The Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black.
Beautiful!!!!

Tried Sailor's but the cartridge/converter ink capacity (small) was an issue after awhile.
j :happy
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Caduceus
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Caduceus »

psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:10 pm
I prefer a fairly fat pen/pencil - easier to grip. But cheap/disposable stuff is mostly varying degrees of thin.
Have you tried the G2-07s? They are not luxury pens, but I was struck by your desire for a "fatter" pen. I know exactly what you mean - I've never been used to the thinness of pencils some pens. The G2-07 is cheap, but do give it a try. It's really lovely in terms of the feel as you are writing. Choose the non-fine pens (the ones with a thicker tip).

I have good handwriting and when I write cards and such using the G2-07, it all comes out beautifully.
Glamdring
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Glamdring »

Over the last few years I occasionally see a Vanguard advertisement with a pad of paper and a sleek, sculpted red pen. If anyone can remember the pen of which I speak; any clue to where I could get one?
Zdex
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by Zdex »

Uniball Jetstream 1.0 in blue or black. Fantastic working pens that write cleanly, smoothly, don't smudge. You get the best of both ballpoint and gel with these pens. After finding these, it's not worth the time/effort of fountain pens.
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neurosphere
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by neurosphere »

I've recently moved to fountain pens, and I love them. I limit myself to pens well under $40. My pilot metropolitan pens are a joy to write with, as are my scribe sword pens.

Question. Up until now I've only been using black ink. But I want to move to blue, but not just any blue. Can anyone recommend a blue cartridge ink which is as close to black as possible but is still unmistakably blue when compared to the black of, say, laser printer ink? Either a standard international cartridge or pilot brand? I like my ink to be very dark on the page. It's hard to tell from the images on the internet what the ink actually looks like. Most of the blue ink seems washed out and "light" if that makes any sense, including "blue/black" ink.
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bertilak
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by bertilak »

neurosphere wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:50 pm I've recently moved to fountain pens, and I love them. I limit myself to pens well under $40. My pilot metropolitan pens are a joy to write with, as are my scribe sword pens.

Question. Up until now I've only been using black ink. But I want to move to blue, but not just any blue. Can anyone recommend a blue cartridge ink which is as close to black as possible but is still unmistakably blue when compared to the black of, say, laser printer ink? Either a standard international cartridge or pilot brand? I like my ink to be very dark on the page. It's hard to tell from the images on the internet what the ink actually looks like. Most of the blue ink seems washed out and "light" if that makes any sense, including "blue/black" ink.
I used blue-black ink many years ago and I remember it being blacker than the link you give. Here is a link with a variety of different blue-black samples: https://www.mountainofink.com/blog/blue-black-ink. (Scroll down.)
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H. E. Pennypacker
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by H. E. Pennypacker »

Jags4186 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:31 pm Somehow this is even more ridiculous to me than the watch thread.

My favorite pens are the ones given out free at TD Bank.
The Bic Cristal is probably a better model pen than any named here.
finite_difference
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by finite_difference »

I agree that the paper makes a big difference.

Is there a high-quality, reasonably inexpensive printer paper that works in a pinch?
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HawkeyePierce
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Lamy Safari is an excellent pen. A solid introduction to fountain pens. Pick up some Rhodia paper to go with it. I have a slight preference for Pilot pens. Available for about the same price but preferable if you like a finer nib. Japanese nibs go much finer than American or European nibs, generally. (Pilot is a Japanese brand)

If you're willing to part with about thirty bucks, here's a great starter set: https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/ ... 1704806443

In addition to a Safari and a few different Pilots, I also have a Kaweco Sport in raw aluminum. It's a small fountain pen that easily fits in a pocket when capped. I don't recommend as a starter though—takes some tuning to get it to write smoothly as Kaweco (frankly) has poor quality control. This is my traveler pen. Writes beautifully and the raw aluminum acquires its own patina over time.
soxfan10
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Re: Nice/upscale pens and pencils

Post by soxfan10 »

I'm a fan of karas kustom's work. Their pens range from ~$50 to ~$150 so are more pricey than mass produced but substantially cheaper than Montblanc and the like.

I've been using the brass Bolt V2 with Pilot G2 inserts for the past two years or so and love it. The brass is quite heavy which is helpful for my tendencies. The click lock feature also makes it easy to carry in a bag/briefcase without worrying that the pen will explode and ruin the bag.

https://karaskustoms.com/pens/bolt-v2.html
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