Anyone with a recommendation for a ? I've been considering getting one and just completed my self-imposed two-month test run with a disposable Pilot Varsity with satisfactory results. Here's what I'm looking for:

Something fairly slim, say 11mm barrel or less
Vacuum/plunger fill, piston would be a reasonable alternative
Flexible nib would be a plus

So far I think my best option might be a used Conklin Nozac Vest Pocket or perhaps a Sheaffer Balance Slender. I don't mind a little DIY effort, but if it'd take expensive specialised tools to maintain an old pen, then maybe I'm better off looking at newer models. What can the Fediverse recommend?

@khird You are speaking my language! I am a huge fountain pen collector and every day user.

So for starters you can fit a vacuum/plunger converter in virtually any fountain pen, so that doesnt need to be a criteria... slim shouldnt be too hard (though to be fair im not sure the exact sizes)... Where you might run into some issues is the flex nib.

Modern flex nibs are either very expensive (~500 USD), or very poor performing (to the point of being useless)... Your best bet is to either give up on flex, accept just a small amount of flex (we wouldnt really call that a flex nib usually), or buy vintage if you really want good flex.

In fact, vintage pens are a great idea overall if you really want the best writing instrument possible for the price.

Whats your price range/?

@freemo I've found three candidates in the models I mentioned above for less than 100USD. From the descriptions, they need some work, but unless someone pipes up to say that such repair isn't feasible as a DIY project, the price to beat currently stands at 75USD. At 30USD I can impulse buy.

I'm happy with it being only semi-flex - my understanding is that there's a negative correlation between robustness and flexibility in nibs, and as a relatively new fountain pen user it's probably wisest not to get anything that I'd damage unintentionally (especially if it's some collectible vintage item). I'd just like to get a bit of line variation.

@khird Flexible nibs are more delecate, its true, and you will hear people caution you... but I wouldnt let that stop you. I had absolutely no writing skills and my first pen was a wet noodle (as delicate and flexible as you can get).. as long as your mindful its fine, i have yet to bend a nib. Just be mindful.

That said, its more about writing style.. A flexible nib is for signing and requires a type of writing style very different from a firm nib. So it simply may not be a fit for that reason. Generally a flex nib wont be great for fast note-taking like writing. But its amazing if you want your writing to look good.

What sort of work do the pens you have your eye on need, maybe I can give you some idea as to how doable it is, I've done some minor repairs on a few pens.

By the way if you just want a nice standard firm nib pen that is a workhorse, lamy is a relatively cheap but very reliable pen.

I was going to suggest Lamy but realised @khird asked for a slimmer body or that’s how I interpreted it. This is fantastic advice, @freemo.



Lamy is a great choice, and I think the body is probably slim enough for him.. only down side to the lamy is you wont be getting any flex at all, as stiff as they come.. .great pen for a stiff nib though as an everyday writer.

I use lamy for my flat-nib work. Love them.


· · 1 · 0 · 1


I just bought a lamy demonstrator liek 2 weeks ago on a whim :) I rarely use it though because im such a flex nib addict, outside of the flat nib work.... but i know a quality pen when i see it :)


Sign in to participate in the conversation
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.