03-31-2015, 04:32 AM
#1
  • SRNewb
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  • No. Va, USA
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I have been considering a fountain pen because, from what I read about them, they require almost zero pressure to use. I have what is now probably a mild case of arthritis, plus some nerve damage in my hands, that causes writing to be painful. Was wondering what people think, and would love to hear from members who have experience re arthritis and writing. Has a fountain pen made things a bit easier? Thanks.

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 03-31-2015, 10:11 AM
#2
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thank goodness I do not have arthritis or nerve damage but I can appreciate what you say.

When fountain pen ink is flowing, almost no pressure is needed to write and it is a most pleasant experience.  Be aware, though, that sometimes pens will have ink flow issues that can be caused by the nib or feed in the pen or the ink used.  To some degree there is a certain amount of trial and error.  However, once that sweet spot is found, almost no pressure should be needed to write.

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 04-01-2015, 05:26 AM
#3
  • Obie
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  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Gentlemen,

I am a novelist and use the fountain pen for the first draft before switching to the laptop for the subsequent drafts. That means a lot of writing in longhand. My arthritis is in both hands, especially in the right thumb. I also use the straight razor and switch hands. Much like the straight razor, the fountain pen, if in good working order, requires little or no pressure. The pain I experience, therefore, is manageable — I will not give up the straight razor or the fountain pen.

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 04-01-2015, 10:22 AM
#4
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freddy, Obie, thanks.
Obie, I'm a straight razor user as well. There are days when my hands are  swollen, or I have a bit of tremor, so I reach for a DE or SE on those days. But similar to your position, I will do everything that I can not to give up my straights. I understand the idea of "manageable pain", and am hoping that the light touch of the FP will make that possible.
I bought a cheap Sheaffer Viewpoint Monday at Staples. The pen is horrendous, IMO. The flow of ink is not very consistent, and the nib is like scratching things out with a stick. But I bought it just to "see the possibilities". When the ink flows well, despite the scratchy nib, the pen writes with nearly zero pressure. I will have to relearn technique after decades of using a ball point. The biggest difficulty is not to squeeze the pen with a death grip, lol. I really did not realize how hard I was gripping my pens. I believe if I can get that sorted out it will eliminate a great majority of discomfort.
I am not looking for another hobby to collect and spend on. My shaving hobby is more than enough for that. What draws me to the FP is the smoothness of writing, lightness of touch required , and frankly,the beauty of the lines these pens put down. I'm looking to get one or two pens that write really well, find a couple of different inks I like, and some good paper, and then enjoy myself.
I have been looking online. This site, and particularly the vintage Bulows on this site.
http://www.xfountainpens.com/collections...untain-pen

Does anyone know whether these pens write well, with good ink flow, etc? I realize they are sub $20 pens, but I like the look, and am really not looking to spend a great deal of cash.

The other alternative I am thinking of is the Cross Aventura. My local Staples have them on sale for $20. They come with 6 cartridges, but they only take cartridges. I do not think I can get a converter for them, so I'd be stuck with their cartridges and ink. Additionally, the few reviews I have been able to find on them indicate that the nibs are a bit scratchy. I can live with those limitations, but they would really not be my first choice.

Or, i could go with one of the Jinhao, Noodler's, or Pilot Metropolitans from Goulet.
 I really like the idea of vintage. The majority of my razors are vintage, and I did what was necessary to restore them to working condition, gladly. But I know zip about FPs, and am not keen on a vintage pen that costs way too much, or in the case of the one I posted the link to, a pen that looks inexpensive, but is so because there is the possibility it will be way more trouble than I want to deal with.
Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

Edit: On further examination, the Bulow look suspiciously like some of the Jinhao pens. I do not believe they are vintage, and the fact this site is calling them that has me wondering. Any input on this site from anyone?

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 04-01-2015, 10:39 AM
#5
  • Obie
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  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Mike,

Think of the fountain pen, or the straight razor, as a bird: that if you squeeze it too hard, you'll kill it, and that if you hold it too loosely, it will fly away. This method helps me considerably with the fountain pen, since I use it so much, and the straight, since I use it for about an hour daily. Yes, on the shaving days when the arthritis acts up, I, too, switch to the double edge. 

I am not familiar with the fountain pen in the link. To me, the ultimate fountain pen is the Pelikan. It has been so since the first time I held one in grammar school in Tehran. My modest collection — and I use every one — includes Mont Blanc, Waterman, two Parkers and three Pelikans. I recently bought the Pelikan M800 for my new novel. It's a big pen, but light enough to make it exceptionally comfortable for my hands.

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 04-01-2015, 12:09 PM
#6
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(03-31-2015, 04:32 AM)SRNewb Wrote: I have been considering a fountain pen because, from what I read about them, they require almost zero pressure to use. I have what is now probably a mild case of arthritis, plus some nerve damage in my hands, that causes writing to be painful. Was wondering what people think, and would love to hear from members who have experience re arthritis and writing. Has a fountain pen made things a bit easier? Thanks.

What's worse then a pen is the damn computers.  I have to soak my hands after using my computer for 6-8 hours a day.  When your shaving, and have hot water in the sink, try putting your hands in the water for 3-5 minutes.  Helps me when I am shaving.

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 04-01-2015, 01:12 PM
#7
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Mike, I have used xfountainpens for several orders and find their service to be excellent.  I have not used the Bulow but I have used the Nemosine pens (the Singularity model) and truly enjoy them.  I have the demonstrator: http://www.xfountainpens.com/collections...untain-pen as well as the same model in ivory and cardinal red.  There is a choice of nibs, which I like.  I have the extra fine, .6 calligraphy, and .8 calligraphy nibs and all three are smooth and pleasant writers.  While these pens are plastic, they are well made, look good, and for the price of $14.99 each are well worth the investment. I have pens that cost more but don't write nearly as nicely as these.  When I ordered mine, a converter was included as were some cartridges. Here are my three pens with writing samples.  I hope this helps:

[Image: eRWpuxB.jpg] 

[Image: tOAcl0I.jpg]

[Image: hRmpGKa.jpg]

These are obviously not vintage pens but they will give you something to compare with what you already have.

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 04-01-2015, 01:36 PM
#8
  • SRNewb
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A CUT ABOVE, that is a really great suggestion. I will definitely do that. It cannot harm, and I think it's a great idea.
freddy, thanks for the link. I like the Cardinal.  I think I will give that pen a try. I am considering the Metropolitan as well.

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 04-01-2015, 02:23 PM
#9
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Mike, I have the Metropolitan in medium and was quite disappointed in it.  I found the pen had ink flow issues and I am not crazy about medium nibs (a personal choice, obviously).  HOWEVER, when the fine nib Metropolitan was offered, I took a chance and, for me, there is a world of difference.  I found the fine nib Metropolitan much much better than the medium.  I think I still prefer my Nemosine pens, especially the styling, but the Metropolitan is metal while the Nemosine is plastic.  Nemosine does make a metal version and it should be on the xfountainpen site.  In the end, writing with a particular fountain pen is as personal as shaving with a straight, DE, or SE.  There simply is no one-size-fits-all.  Good luck with whatever you decide and keep us posted. Smile

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 04-01-2015, 05:08 PM
#10
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freddy, thanks. I like the metal in the Metropolitan, and the anodized look of the finish. I know it has a good rep as a starter pen of decent quality.
The Nemosine, however, has a really good nib, as far as I can tell from what little research I was able to do. I think probably a better one than the Met. But whichever pen I get will be my only one for at least several months. I wear a suit 3 times a week, and a good pen is part of that suit(preacher, Sunday School teacher). The pen is a necessary tool for what I do, but honestly, the look is really important to me as well. Most of the people I know couldn't care less; to them a pen is a pen. But even with a ball point, I carry either one of my Cross pens, or my Quill. Cannot find that at the moment, but it will turn up. But I cannot abide a cheap, plastic looking pen. As a beginner pen, or one that I would use around the house, the Nemosine looks like a great option. As part of a suit, I could not bring myself to clip that into the pocket of a dress shirt.
I have thought about the Sheaffer VFM. It recieves good reviews, but it is cartridge based, with as far as I know, no converter option. I am trying to stay under $50 for pen and converter, and a bottle of good, really black ink(shipping included), keeping aesthetics of the pen in mind. I know that's a tall order, but that is what I am capable of right now.

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 04-01-2015, 08:17 PM
#11
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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How about a Sheaffer 100?  Mine is an incredibly smooth writer, it has a metal body, and it comes with a converter and a couple of cartridges.  I noticed my review of it is up on the Goulet site, though it was written a few years ago, not 5 months ago.  The price has also gone up.  When I purchased it, it was $26.00 and worth every penny.  At $45.00 now, it may come out to more than your under $50.00 requirement, especially when a bottle of ink and shipping is added to the total.  Anyway, for what it's worth, here it is:

http://www.gouletpens.com/SH9306/p/SH9306

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 04-01-2015, 08:38 PM
#12
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That's definitely worth consideration. It comes with two carts and a converter. A couple of cartridges will last me a little bit(I went through one cartridge in a day with the cheap Viewpoint I bought, but that was practice. I am on the blue cartridge now, and it is writing smoother now), and I can get Parker ink to get me by locally until I do a bit more research and decide what inks I might like. I know I'm interested in the Noodler's X Feather, as it has a good rep for being a black, black ink.

http://www.gouletpens.com/n19046/p/N19046

 I will have to decide what type of blue I might like a bit later.
I have a bit of time to decide. I don't have to have it tomorrow. 

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 04-02-2015, 12:20 PM
#13
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Best of luck in your choice of pens, Mike and good luck with the writing and the arthritis!

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 04-02-2015, 12:39 PM
#14
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Whatever the pen you decide upon, a very nice blue is Noodlers Libertys Elysium. It's very nice. I use it and it's fairly bullet proof.

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 04-03-2015, 04:42 PM
#15
  • SRNewb
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Celestino, Charlie, thanks.
 I bought a Franklin Covey Freemont today. I like it. It writes fairly smoothly, has decent ink flow. It was local, so I could not resist, lol. It skips a bit, but I really believe that is my technique at fault. I've only written for a couple of days with a Fountain Pen, and only a few minutes with this one. I think the bit of skip will diminish with a bit of use. It takes cartridges, but I believe they will take a "Standard international" converter. I will order one when I make my ink order.

[Image: 100_2341.JPG]

[Image: 100_2342.JPG]
[Image: 100_2343.JPG]

Thanks for all of the help. Much appreciated. I'm sure I will need more help later on.

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 04-03-2015, 07:52 PM
#16
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Congratulations, Mike! Remember, no pressure!  Biggrin

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 04-03-2015, 08:39 PM
#17
  • freddy
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Mike, I really like the style of that pen.  Use it in the best of health. Smile

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 04-03-2015, 09:21 PM
#18
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Celestino, freddy, thanks.
I am working on the no pressure. It will take a while, but I don't think too long. This pen is a tiny bit scratchy if you use a bit of pressure, but back off and it's smooth as silk. Anytime I feel a bit of scratch, it's a cue to back off the pressure.
freddy, the style is what made me buy it. I think it's got a kind of classy, old school kind of look to it, and I love black pens, especially with the chrome accents. I think we will be good friends.

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 04-04-2015, 01:00 AM
#19
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Mike, I too like "Obie'   have arthritis in most of my joints & Ra and having had joint replacements in both hands (fingers & thumbs) I still use and enjoy my FP's.......... some of which have been part of me for so long, including: MB meiserstsuck 149 & 146 as well as Pelican M1000 and M800. Both are quite heavy which I do like as I get good feedback.

I also have in my collection a couple of vintage FP's Waterman Man 100's which are my ToGo FP's............... My only advise would be try as many as you can, they do not have to be expensive just as long as your comfortable & ease of use.


Charles  U.K

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 04-04-2015, 07:33 AM
#20
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   Congrats, that is a sharp looking pen. Use it in good health.

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