05 August 2019

A Pen Is A Pen

A pen must write well in any country. That should be a given, but not all pens perform correctly.

When a Japanese pen is at fault, the different writing scripts –Kanji and kana in Japan, alphabet in the West— have been used by some to explain why it did not work properly, and even to justify how suitable a pen is for certain market.

These are some examples:

Some years ago, it became well known that the size #10 Falcon nib by Pilot (present on the models Custom 742 and Custom Heritage 912) did not always behave properly (::1::, ::2::). Many units tended to railroad under almost any pressure. But to this obvious fault some in the West invoked the special way of writing (Japanese, that is) to explain and justify that failure.

Pilot Custom 742 with a Falcon nib.

More recently, Davidoff argued –at least in Japan-- that their nibs were perfectly suited for Japan because their nibs were Sailor's... Like if Pelikan and Montblanc pens were so bad at that and had a hard time in the Japanese market.

Davidoff pens.

The case of Naginata Togi nibs has already been discussed on these pages. In the Japanese market, Sailor brags about how suitable those nibs are to write Japanse (::3::, ::4::), but that does not prevent Sailor from selling them in the West...

Sailor Naginata Togi nibs.

All those examples are nothing but bland excuses and cheap marketing. A pen is a pen and must write well in any script. And Pilot claimed this long time ago:

A Namiki ad from 1927 in the UK explained that the Japanese writing was the perfect benchmark to ensure the correct performance of their pens under any circumstance... such as writing in alphabet!

The Bookseller & the Stationery Trades Journal, July 1927. Page 27. As seen at the Pen Station, Tokyo, in April of 2013. Japanese as the perfect test for any pen!

Japanese are not from another planet. Neither are Westerners when seen from Japan.

Sailor Profit Naginata Togi – Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

Bruno Taut
Nakano, July - August 2019
etiquetas: mercado, Japón, japonés, Pilot, Sailor, Davidoff, plumín


Anonymous said...

Your post is timely, it is exactly one year ago that I purchased and installed an Ebonite feed in my Pilot 743 with a No.15 size FA nib. BTW, the No.15 FA nib is only available on the 743 even though it will fit perfectly on the 823 and 845 pens - for some reason Pilot allow that straight from the factory.

From the day I purchased the 743/FA it was troublesome due to the lousy plastic feed. The 742 and 912 pens with the smaller No.10 FA nibs suffer from the same problem. And no, the excuse about the FA flow problems being suitable for "Japanese" writing is nonsense. Out of the box a Pilot pen with an FA nib is just a pen with a great nib that is starved by a bad feed.

I could use my 743 with the plastic feed, I just had to be careful and write slowly to avoid railroading. The choice of ink is important too. I stuck with Pilot/Namiki Blue and got passible results even when flexing.

Then came the Ebonite feed... The difference was like night and day! That feed represents the best $25.00 I have ever spent. Now I can flex to my heart's content. The performance of the Pilot 743 with the FA nib and Ebonite feed rivals some of my best vintage flex pens.

You can buy an Ebonite feed for your 743 from the manufacturer Joey Grasty here:

Flexible Nib Factory LLC
1448 Halsey Way #114
Carrollton, TX 75007

Ebonite replacement feeds are also available for the JoWo No.6 nib and the Zebra Comic G dip pen nib. My only association with the Flexible Nib Factory LLC is as a satisfied customer.

Here are my detailed instructions on how to swap the feed in the 743:


Have Fun, David in Florida

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, David, for the information, even though it looks like advertisement.

However, some of the ebonite feeds by the Flexible Nib Factory are not that well finished, and their fit in the section as well as their performance are far from optimal.


Anonymous said...

@Bruno Taut: In reply, all I can say is the one example of the Ebonite feed for my 743 from the Flexible Nib Factory was excellent, even under magnified inspection and comparison measurements with a digital caliper versus the original Pilot injection-molded plastic feed and section. The new Ebonite feed fit perfectly. I would not have even attempted to put the Flexible Nib Factory replacement feed into my CH743 without careful inspection and measurements. I cannot speak for what you claim as: "However, some of the ebonite feeds by the Flexible Nib Factory are not that well finished, and their fit in the section as well as their performance are far from optimal." That is NOT my experience at all! But to be fair, I'm working from a sample of ONE replacement feed in ONE CH743. If you have evidence to backup your claim that the replacement CH743 feeds from the Flexible Nib Factory are bad - please provide the link(s) so we can all see them. Also, if you have any problems with a product from the Flexible Nib Factory, contact Joey at the info provided in my above post. Thank you for your reply post Bruno - and Best Regards, David in Florida.

Bruno Taut said...

My complaints are about the ebonite feed for the Jowo #6 nib.


Anonymous said...

@Bruno Said: "My complaints are about the ebonite feed for the Jowo #6 nib."

Ah, I have not tried the ebonite feed for the JOWO #6 nib. I can understand why the ebonite feed for the JOWO #6 nib might not seat well in some pens, there are lots of different pens that use the JOWO #6 nib so tolerances can vary. In contrast, I would expect the manufacturing of replacement ebonite feeds for one specific high quality pen like the Pilot CH 723/FA to yield consistently good results - like mine.

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