Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.


Comparing one fountain pen vs. another can be tough, even with our Pen Plaza and Nib Nook comparison tools, so this week I’ll help a few folks decide which pen may be right for them based on what they’re seeking. Of course, it’s a lot easier for me to recommend the right TWSBI for you then to choose my own “Holy Grail pen,” as you’ll see. Finally, as we troubleshoot the final few bugs of our new website — fingers crossed — I’ll answer a question about the future possibility of a Goulet Pen Company app.

1) Caitlyn P.- Facebook – (6:00)
If you had to choose between a TWSBI Vac 700 or the 580, which would you choose (filling system aside) I know the Vac can take Goulet and Edison Nibs, but (believe) the 580 can swap with the mini.

  • Personally, I like the Vac better
  • I just love the way it fills, and it’s more comfortable posted
  • More versatile with the nibs
  • Used to be a higher price gap, but now it’s really close

2) Zdez Z.- Facebook – (8:17)
I’m interested in buying a soft nib, my main 2 contenders are the falcon and the justus 95. I’d like to know the pros and the cons of buying one over the other other, or should I just look at another brand?
  • If it’s your first, the Justus is a big investment and it’s not THAT different than the Falcon
  • Not quite the same experience, but a Noodler’s pen is far less of an investment to see if soft/flex really works for you ($14-20)
  • Pilot Custom 912 is another option, in between Faclon and Justus prices

3) Denise R.- Facebook – (10:51) 
Can you use the Pilot Mixable Inks (that are made for the caliigraphy pen) in any pen? Say I have two Metros–can I use them in those?
  • Oh yeah, go for it
  • They say for use in the Parallel, but that’s just for the ‘mixing’ effect, it’s fine to use in any Pilot/Namiki pen
4) Phillip Delaney- YouTube – (12:47)
Between the Faber castell basic, monteverde artista, and conklin duragraph, which would you recommend for someone who likes a softer nib?
  • Duragraph will be softest, definitely largest nib
  • none of these are really that soft though
5) davidhunternyc- YouTube – (14:36)
Oh, (by the way) if you had to choose just one pen, what is your one-and-only desert island Holy Grail fountain pen? Why? (All ink would mysteriously wash ashore in Coke bottles.)
  • just asked these on Facebook!
  • gosh, that’s impossible, honest truth is I don’t have one
6) Jeff- Blog – (17:51)
(1) are there any other pens as minimalist as the CP1 out there? (2) If so, do any of them have a finer nib than the german EF?
  • to get finer, you’re really looking for a custom grind or a Japanese EF
  • Lamy 2000 is pretty minimalist
  • Black Matte VP
  • depends how you define minimalist!
7) Robert H.- Blog – (21:49)
Hello Brian ~ would you please let us know what the differences between the materials that are used to create pens (celluloid, acrylic, ebanite, resin) and which may be a better substance than the others…in your humble opinion?
  • acrylic/resin, same thing = plastic
  • there are variations like injection-molded vs. cast resin, sometimes hard to know which is which
  • cotton resin- blend of plastic and natural materials
  • celluloid- made of wood cell walls, slightly absorbent, slicker and very expensive to make, comfortable to hold for long writing sessions
  • ebonite- hard rubber, slightly absorbent and more expensive to make, comfortable to write with for long sessions
8) Chris W.- Facebook – (33:33) 
I’m not sure which video(s) in which you offer an explanation as to why such brands as Montblanc and Visconti are not interested in having Goulet carry their products, but it seems as though they may be less than honest with you. I’ve seen many online only retailers who carry these pens and claim to be authorized retailers. Seems as though they aren’t completely truthful in their reasoning behind not allowing Goulet to carry them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
  • I can’t speak for others’ agreements
  • I was told they don’t want to sell to online *only* companies, it could very well be the other companies selling online have a physical storefront
  • Maybe they just don’t like my company, that could be! That’s their right, I might not represent the image they want to portray
9) Oliver F.- Facebook – (36:56)
Is the Neponset eventually going to be a pen offered in the normal cellulose version as the rest of the models by Noodler’s – or is it going to be a special edition (ebonite/acrylic) versions only? On the flip side – will Nathan ever make a ebonite version of the Ahab or N.Creaper?!
  • I would be surprised to see that happen
  • all other Noodler’s pens started out in resin, only the Konrad moved up to acrylic or ebonite
  • I don’t think the NC or Ahab designs are conducive to these materials

10) Mahesh H.- Facebook – (41:10)
The knob at the end of my Lamy2k that operates the piston seems to be a little loose. It does not move the piston, it’s just stays within the region when you first unscrew it just before the piston actually starts to move. This bothers me because it breaks the seamless continuity of the pen. Have you seen this? Is there a fix?
  • I know exactly what you’re talking about
  • I have seen it, not super-common but common enough where it doesn’t shock me
  • Most common issue is it doesn’t stay twisted on, so it leaves a gap
  • give it a firm twist, and it should be okay

11) Jonathan B.- Facebook – 
Are there any future plans or possibilities for a Goulet Pens app?
  • Sure! Why the heck not?
  • That’s part of why we moved our site, to be able to build out this kind of stuff
  • we’ve talked about turning our comparison tools into apps, I have other ideas, too
  • we need to get our site fixed up first, then we can dream big
  • what are some of your ideas?
QOTW: What features would you like to see in a fountain pen app?

Write On,
Brian Goulet