What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘Fountain Pen Revolution’

Pens, Man.

Posted by Dirck on 15 May, 2015

Today’s film interlude is someone else reviewing a pen I sort of want but haven’t quite gotten around to yet.  See?  I still care about the pens!

A small comment, though; I think Mr. Brown is putting a lot of stress on his fingers, if not the pen.  Relax!  It won’t run away!

Today’s gently-gripped pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Chelpark black

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Battle of the Flexes

Posted by Dirck on 1 October, 2013

Perhaps a mere skirmish, but after last weeks pallid offerings and yesterday’s unexplained absence (one shouldn’t be surprised by the appearance of stomach flu after attending a one-year-old’s birthday party, but one may still resent it), I thought I’d actually talk about the relative merits of a couple of pens.  Flex pens, too, and yet pens with even I can honestly afford.

Let’s have a look at them:

The Noodler’s Ahab, of long acquaintance.

The FPR Dilli, just signed on.

The FPR Dilli, just signed on.

Both are (if we accept rumours) from India, the Dilli being the in-house pen of Fountain Pen Revolution, a company which I have an unaccountable affection for.  A little while ago they were offering the Dilli at an even lower than the usual low price, and by way of quieting the pen-monkey on my back I ordered one.  It is an interesting comparison with the Noodler pen, which is not only of the same national origin but also seeks to occupy the “almost everyone can afford this” zone of the pen-pricing spectrum.

In looking at ways in which the Ahab is superior to the Dilli, one comes quickly to ink capacity.  As can be seen through the barrel, the Dilli has a piston for filling, and it’s a strangely large one.  Unlike most modern piston fillers, in which about half the barrel is occupied by mechanism, this pen loses something nearing three-quarters of its interior space to the works.  Leaving aside the eyedropper conversion on the Ahab, which challenges some ink bottles for total capacity, the Ahab has about a 250% greater volume of ink available to it.  The only real balance to this comparison is that the Dilli is a true piston filler, and doesn’t require quite as much dismantling to run through a filling cycle.

Functionally, they should be much alike, as both achieve flex through a slit which extends right down to the section, and indeed in the grossest estimation, this is the case; those who have dabbled in the authentic flexibility of vintage gold points and dip pens won’t really call it any more than a semi-flex, but it’s there for a little effort.  However, I give the Dilli higher points for its ability to get ink onto the page than the Ahab.  The FPR pen’s feed is a more modern item, with plenty of vanes for buffering, while the Ahab’s is a pretty simple old-style hard-rubber stick with a V-shaped channel cut in it.  One of the primary complaints about the Ahab, when people are complaining, is that it takes a lot of messing about with the relative and absolute positions of the feed and the point, sometimes with alterations to the channel, to get it to work properly.  The Dilli, in my single experience of it, writes as well as a much-messed Ahab right out of the… well, not box, as it comes wrapped in an instruction sheet and no more, but ab initio at all events.

I also find the Dilli a more comfortable pen to write with, as it’s at a more human scale than the vast Ahab.  This is a highly subjective matter, of course, as is one’s response to the Ahab’s smell– it puts me somewhat in mind of Silly Putty, and that makes me not mind it.  The Dilli is apparently not made of a vegetable-based material, and lacks any noticeable smell.

The one other thing I want to mention before getting back to the pile of Regular Job that accreted yesterday is the solidness of the Dilli.  This is not the usual distinction between cheap plastic and good, as I would be making in a comparison of Parker “51” and Hero 616, but rather a design matter.  The section of the Dilli is not a separate part, as far as I can discover, but is of a piece with the barrel.  I hear that the filling mechanism is glued in place, too, and it is no small matter to get the point and feed out.  This means that any maintenance on the Dilli is going to be tricky, while the Ahab reduces to its component parts with very little effort.  It is apt to appeal to the DIY enthusiast rather more than the Dilli.

Both, in the end, will show feed starvation if put to writing at full possible flex for too long at a stretch, and both will thus frustrate the user somewhat.  With that caveat in mind, I think I recommend the Dilli more readily than the Ahab for those wanting to put a to in the waters of flex-writing, as it goes somewhat longed between frustrations.  But it’s the Ahab that I’m going to be trying that plastic nib trick with when I finally have a moment.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M30
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »