OK, I finally got the Nahvalar Original Plus, a nice value, and then the pen of my dreams, the Pilot C843. One came from NJ (near where I grew up) and the other was from Japan. Plus I finally got the Cortex Sidekick. So some reviews of this amazing stuff..
Vacuum Filling Pens: Mysterious in its simplicity
The main thing that was different is the so-called vacuum filling which seems pretty mysterious, but the video kind of explains it well. But the main trick is that it is very simple, you unscrew the back and then put the pen into the ink. And then push all the way down. There is going to be a click at the end, where the ink that is drawn in, is going to hit a little opening and move to the back, it's very tactile
The interesting thing is how it works:
- You unscrew the back
- Put the pen into the ink
- Push down and you should see bubbles as air is forced out
- At a specific point (there's a line), there's a point where the ink fill "behind" the plunger
This will fill up the pen halfway. That is normally all I need since I don't take these things around. But if you want to fill it up all the way, then:
- Turn the pen upside down so the ink goes against the back
- Make sure you've got plenty of towels
- Now you carefully pull back on the rod
- Push the rod back up until all the ink is towards the front of piston (it's leaving the back)
- Then repeat the put it into the ink well
- And then push it all the way
For nerds, here is what is really going on, it's very simple the top of the barrel is narrow but at some point it widens, this means that when you push it in there's a tight rubber gasket, so what happens when you push it in, you are pushing air out, but when it passes a point, it widens and there's a click and the ink because there's a vacuum in the back just goes to the back of the pen. Pretty clever.
While Writing: When you use it, screw it all the way down and then up a little every so often
Then when you screw it all the way down it fills the center part and it is sealed off, so that it closes the reservoir and keeps things from leaking, so every few pages, you have to unscrew the back a little let some ink in and close it up again.
I've been listening to their podcast for a while and I have to say while expensive at $39, the Cortex Sidekick Notepad is pretty incredible. The paper is actually made in London of all places and it substitutes really well as a wrist pad. It is just the right size and has a to-do list on the side. So really nice for taking notes during Zoom meetings. This is one of those, you have to see it to understand it. It's definitely a luxury, but really nice for those of us who work at home a lot.
Pilot Custom 843
Wow, I can see that this is the top-rated pen at Pen Addicts, I have the Sailor Slim Pro and the LAMY 2000 both of which are great, but the smoothness of the Pilot Custom 843 is pretty incredible. It has a gold nib which is really nice and although prices have risen, its about 10% or so compared with 2020 (when Grace got a nice graduation gift).
I got the medium nib and I have to say that is actually pretty wide. I was expecting something more like the Sailor where the medium is more like a fine, but the ink flows really well and the vacuum filler works really well.
Nahvalur Original Plus
This is an amazing value for the Nahvalur Original Plus at about $50 to get a steel nib pen which seems like it has a very nice flow and a medium sized nib. I'm amazed at how good a lower cost product like this but the flow of the Pilot Custom 843 is incredible.
Another wow, I can see why people love this mechanical pencil from Rotring, the system is just so precise on everything from drawing the lead works really well. I'm using the HB12 lead and this works really well.