Archive for April, 2012

I’ve given up buying cheap fountain pens simply because they’re cheap and unique looking.  These are, mostly, Chinese fountain pens and I haven’t had a spit of luck with them.  There’s a Baoer Eight Horses, a pen with an attractive metal (silver, gold or copper finish) barrel decorated with the images of running horses.  Cheap at $6.99 plus shipping, it hasn’t written well since it came in the door.  There’s a Baoer 388, a knock-off of a Parker Sonnett–$6.39, if I remember correctly.  It writes well, once the nib is primed, but that can take some work.  The pen drawer holds a couple of Hero fountain pens which are more stubborn than a tax collector.

Veering away from the Chinese pens, there’s a Noodler’s flex pen, which might flex if I could get it to write well and a pretty little pen from Danitrio’s bargain basement department that’s so stingy with ink, it won’t let a drop go.  There are a couple of Pilot 78G’s, which would write well enough I guess if I bothered to use them, but really, why use them when I have fine-nibbed pens that write better and are of better construction? (I don’t count the Pilot 78G broad nib, which has a stub/italic nib that is really neat and worth more than the $15 I paid for it.)

I haven’t spent a lot of money on these pens, but the fact is I could have saved the money and put it toward one pen of much better quality, whether it was a vintage Sheaffer, a TWSBI or a user grade Parker 51.  When I started collecting fountain pens I was attracted by anything/everything. I’m more focused now.  Fewer pens are coming in the door, and those are pens that will write well and mean something to me.

Latest purchase:  a matte black Sheaffer Targa, fine nib.  Cost: not much more than all the pens above that I just can’t use.


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