This week’s Q&A talks about Pelikan m600 vs m800, cost effectiveness of fountain pens vs. rollerballs, pen shopping, and more. Enjoy!

1) @y2bd- Twitter (5:46):
I’ve found that inks that are sheen-heavy tend to smear easily even days after “drying”. Is this just to be expected?
  • That’s definitely been my experience
  • Sheening basically only happens when excess ink is sitting on the surface of the paper
  • Maybe not ALL sheen inks smear, but most do

2) Jasper B.- Facebook (8:53):
I’m thinking about getting a Pelikan pen in their “M” series, but i don’t know if it should be a M600 or M800, I’m afraid of the size of the pen, it looks like the 600 is mostly cap and not so much pen, but i hear alot of people say that the 800 goes in the totally other direction and that it is much bigger than you would espect. I love the size of my Namiki Falcon and my Aurora Style, and the 18k nib is pulling me more towards a 800 than the 14k nib on the 600, what are your thoughts?
  • the nib on the m800 does feel a little softer, hard to say if it’s because of the 18k or just the bigger nib overall
  • going from a Falcon to an m800 is a pretty big change in size
  • check out Nib Nook for comparison
  • m800 is not just bigger, but heavier because of metal ‘guts’
  • i personally like the m800 more, because I like big pens
  • the size and nib on the m800 are pluses for me, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you
3) Ben C.- Facebook (12:18):

Hi Brian, I recently got asked this by a colleague and wanted to know your thoughts on the issue. Is it less expensive, more expensive, or approximately the same expense to own and use a fountain pen vs. a roller-ball pen (a Pilot G2 or similar)? I said it was less expensive based off the usage of my TWSBI 580 and Noodler’s black ink after about 30 weeks. I know it’s dependent on a lot of different variables so we assumed a roller-ball lasted 2 months and that the fountain pen needed refilled bi-weekly.

  • It’ll REALLY depend on how much you spend on your fountain pen
  • just ink alone, the most expensive is gel, then ballpoint, then fountain (usually, depends on the ink used)
  • if you’re like me and get totally hooked on fountain pens, then it will DEFINITELY not end up being cheaper! ;)
4) Andrew H.- Facebook (15:14):

Brian, thanks again for these wonderful Q&A sessions, they are very informative. Small question, context first: I am using the Lamy Safari charcoal with the EF nib. I will in the next few weeks, be buying another Lamy Safari from your company. I want to start using bottle ink, because I’ve noticed that using a cartridge each week, is not very cost effective. Now the small question: you talk about saving money, using bottle ink vs cartridges.If I am only using up a cartridge each week, and then move up to use bottle ink, how much money will I be saving each month? The amount of writing will very from time to time, but I average one cartridge per-week. How long will a bottle of, let’s say, X of 3oz, last me? Thanks again!!:)

  • Lamy carts $4/5-pack
  • you’re paying $0.80/week now
  • $12 (cost of Noodler’s 3oz ink) would equal 15-weeks of ink cartridges
  • 1 cartridge ~ 1-ml of ink
  • 3oz bottle ~ 90ml
  • 90 weeks of ink for you
  • 90 weeks of cartridges costs $72
  • total savings over the life of 1 3oz Noodler’s bottle ~ $60


5) Emily P.- Facebook (19:40):

The cap to my Pilot Plumix got stuck and refuses to twist open. Help?

  • twist harder!
  • use rubber glove/band
  • break it if you have to, it won’t do you any good closed anyway, it’s only $9 to replace
6) Exequiel L.- Facebook (20:37):
Hi Brian, what is your favourite pen made by Noodler’s Ink?
  • it *will* be the Neponset once I get it in!
  • so far, the Baikal Acrylic Konrad
7) Edgar H.- Facebook (21:54):
What is your favorite Lamy ink color?

Also, I have an idea for the Q&As. It seems that you have not enough time to answer all the questions you want to, so, I was wondering that It might help if, instead of just Open Forum videos every week, you make something like specific “Paper forum” “Ink forum” (etc.) videos.

  • Lamy Turquoise, by far
  • did the topic-based Q&A’s for a while, look on Ink Nouveau
  • I actually like getting ‘too many’ questions
8) Laura P.- Facebook (25:14):

What pen would you suggest for someone who loves fountain pens but is basically terrified to purchase let alone use one? That would be me!

9) Christine D.- Facebook (27:00):

Is there a listing of De Atramentis “people” and “flowers” inks as they correspond to the standard line? I’ve been poking around a bit and don’t believe that the name on the side of the bottle is always the standard color (for example Alexander Hamilton says aubergine on the bottle – but it’s not clear if that is Aubergine the ink or if De Atramentis is just saying that Alexander Hamilton ink is aubergine, the color).

  • no, we don’t have a master listing
  • we’ve been asked about putting that together, honestly it’s confusing for us too
  • definitely some overlap
10) Rob P.- Facebook (29:21):

(paraphrase) How soft is the Falcon nib compared to the Nib Creaper under normal writing pressure? I use moderate pressure and find that the Nib Creaper will not flex if I write normally. Is the falcon nib much softer? I know you have a slightly heavier hand so I would be interested in your opinion. Thanks!!

  • I think they’re somewhat close, Falcon is probably a little softer, but the Noodler’s flexes further
11) Kien N.- Facebook (32:02):

I have some issues with my Konrad that has the Goulet 1.1 stub nib on it. When I inked the pen up, there was ink inside the part where the nib and feed fit into the pen. Even though I only screwed the cap half way through, the cap became too tightened onto the body after 1-2 days. However, despite the tight cap, the ink inside still dried up and I had flow issues afterward. I am not sure if the issues are connected or if they are independent of each other. What should I do to get it working well?

  • I don’t think the ink had anything to do with the cap being tight
  • what ink? That matters
  • try heat setting
  • wide open feed on these pens, they will dry up in a shorter-than-normal timeframe
12) Aaron D.- Facebook (35:45):

If you could add any dealer to your line which would it be and why?

  • several I’m considering, can’t say who
  • nothing firm in the works at the moment
  • working on some other cool stuff right now
  • who would you want to see me pick up?
13) Mate F.- Facebook (38:26):

What do you think is the best cartridge out there? Also, what pen would you recommend for no more than $50 that can take standard international?

14) Garrison G.- Facebook (40:00):
Hey Brian I love your company and thank you and your team for all you have done my question is I am in middle school what pens do you think are great for me ? Once again thank you

15) Melanie S.- Facebook (43:25):

Is the TWSBI Diamond 580 in red white and blue a myth? Why does it keep getting pushed back? Been waiting since at least August for it.

  • TWSBI 580 USA is not a myth! It’s been in the works since spring
  • should just be a couple more weeks
  • one-shot deal, you’d better jump on it if you want it
16) Kari S.- Facebook (48:03):

I know it is possible to special order pens. Is it possible to order a specific ink as well?

  • anything is possible, but usually not practical
  • we stock most ink regularly
  • only special order requests are usually for De Atramentis
  • tough because it takes 2-3 months to get shipments in, so we don’t do special orders anymore for them
17) Lori P.- Facebook (52:15):

When will Lamy announce the new colors for 2015?

  • Lamy Studio Wild Rubin is the only thing I know is in the works (mid-October)
  • I’m sure there will be more colors next year
  • Don’t know what yet
18) Shawn D.- Facebook (54:23):

Any chance if you’ll be getting in the Rhodia No. 80 pads? If so, when and what will the price be?

  • yeah, we will at some point but not right away
  • should be available now
  • price is around $10
Thanks to everyone who asked me questions this week. Be sure to say hey on my personal Twitter handle @BrianGoulet_. If you have any rando pen questions for next week, just ask below! And check out any old Q&A’s here if you’ve missed them. Have an awesome week.
Write On,
Brian Goulet