Over the years I have enjoyed several different styles of nib. At one time, several years ago, I used flexible nibs despite an inability to write well with them. Not for me the wonderfully controlled flourish that I admire in the writing of those more talented than me. Nonetheless it benefitted me in that the varying line covered a variety of errors.
I no longer use flex very much though I have some flexible nibs to remind me of my shortcomings. I still occasionally use broad and oblique stubs to the same purpose but many years ago I decided to try to improve my handwriting. To that end I bought fine firm pens which do not conceal the errors of inattention to letter forming or a shaky hand. Through trial and error (more error than trial!) I found that the rigid nibs that best suited my hand came from Japan. Of course it’s perfectly possible to take a nib that doesn’t suit my hand and work on it with abrasives until it does. To be honest, though, I could find better ways of employing my time. I rarely, if ever, have to work on the vintage or modern Japanese nibs that come my way.
Whether Pilot, Platinum or Sailor, these pens suit me well. My usual nib is fine or extra fine but I wanted a change, perhaps an Oriental medium. I poked around the Internet looking for something that would fulfil that wish at little cost. The pens some call “entry level” suit my pocket well and last just as long as more expensive ones.
I settled on a Sailor 1911 Profit Kurogane, a plain and low-priced cartridge/converter pen with a steel nib. Plain black with no bling or folderols, it’s in the cigar shape so popular in some European and many Japanese pens. It has a chrome plated clip and cap ring that are adequate for their purposes. The cap screws on with two and a half turns. Many pens today have engraved or stamped curlicues but this one is plainer, having only the Sailor anchor and the letter “M”. The nib is well nigh perfect for me with its pencil-style feedback. I detest a slippery nib! The feed is transparent. I’m not sure why, perhaps so you can check the colour of ink if you’re forgetful!
For the painless price I paid it comes with a converter. I often read that Sailor converters are not held in high esteem but this one works perfectly well. I’m pleased about that as I’m not a great fan of cartridges, expensive and limited in colours. I prefer not to have the ink I use dictated by the manufacturer of the pen.
The pen is moderately sized, weighs practically nothing and has a section that isn’t too small – an important point for my arthritic hand. You don’t have to grab the threads either. Though it isn’t something I do the pen posts deeply and securely. It’s a very good pen for the money. It doesn’t equate with my Swans or Parkers but it’s a more than adequate writing instrument.