Monday, April 19, 2021

Review: Esterbrook Journaler Nib

Esterbrook Journaler nib by Gena Salorino

Two weeks ago, I reviewed and featured Esterbrook's MV (modern to vintage) Adaptor, a pen accessory that allows collectors to enjoy vintage Esterbrook nibs in modern Esterbrook fountain pens. The MV Adaptor is a brilliant accessory, but the Esterbrook Pen Company's efforts to continue the Esterbrook story do not end there. 

To keep on with the tradition of providing good quality specialized nibs, the company launched the Esterbrook Custom Nib Program to highlight exceptional American nibmeisters. Gena Salorino of the Custom Nib Studio in Los Angeles has created the first edition nib in the series, and I am so excited to try it.

The Journaler nib is a medium nib modified into a medium stub.

Gena's nib work for Esterbrook Pen Company is called the Journaler. In her own words, the Journaler is a “medium stub grind, based on the vintage Esterbrook 9314M nib. The idea is that it’s smooth and friendly enough for everyday use, gives your writing some flair, all without being too huge for practical writing.”

The vintage Esterbrook 9314M nib is a Relief medium stub. Gena produces a similar nib by grinding a modern No. 6 Esterbrook nib into a stub. The result is the Journaler, a smooth medium stub nib. 

The Journaler fits the Slim, Standard, and Oversized Estie fountain pens, as well as the new Camden. The Journaler nib is available for US$50 from Esterbrook and is purchased with a fountain pen. It will be a replacement for any standard nib, and the pen will come with the Journaler and not as a second nib unit. 

The Journaler is a reproduction of the vintage Esterbrook nib 9314M, a Relief Medium Stub.
A comparison: nib on left is a regular 1.1, the nib on the right is the Journaler.

I love broad and stub nibs, and I have several stub nibs that were modified from broad nibs. After trying the Journaler, it has become the perfect medium stub nib for me. The modern steel nib is firm, but not hard, and writing with it produces modest line variation. It makes my block letters look great with wider vertical strokes and slimmer horizontal lines.

To try the Journaler nib, I chose my favorite Robert Oster Orange Zest, a wet and expressive ink. There wasn't much shading, but the strokes and lines were uniform and consistent. I did not experience any skipping or hard starts and the stub nib wrote smoothly.

The Journaler's line variation is perfect for my shape art. The combination of wide and slim strokes is so beautiful!
I'm so happy with the Journaler nib and I think it's been made perfectly for my slim block print writing style, but I bet it can also be used for sketching, cursive writing, or even freehand calligraphy!
Gena did an excellent job with the Esterbrook Journaler nib.

Gena and Esterbrook Pen Company have done an excellent job and the Journaler is a great nib. This nib would be a great companion to a new Esterbrook fountain pen. It's like writing with a vintage medium stub using a modern No. 6 stub nib! Get one for your writing pleasure now!


Rants of The Archer thanks the Esterbrook Pen Company and Kenro Industries for providing the Journaler nib for this review. The nib is available at Esterbrookpens.comTo learn more about the Esterbrook Pen Company, where to buy their pens and accessories, and for other details on purchasing  their products, visit their website at https://www.esterbrookpens.com/ or follow them on social media:

Monday, April 12, 2021

Fountain Pen Review: Sailor 1911 Profit Junior, Profit Jr, and Lecoule


Don't you love it when you get fountain pens that surprise you? Using fountain pens to write notes, journal, sketch, and calligraphy is a lovely experience especially when one finds beautiful pens with excellent nibs. Like most fountain pen users, I have nib preferences, and I am also conscious of my pens' length and width. I like broad nibs, and I love big pens. 

When our premier local pen seller Scribe.ph sent three entry-level Sailor fountain pens for review, I was not so sure how the medium fine nibs will perform, or how comfortable it would be to write with medium-sized pens. Imagine my joy—and surprise—when I tried all three pens and they wrote so well! These pens are now in my current daily writers and I am excited to change ink colors as soon as I use up their current contents.

Sailor 1911 Profit Junior (Transparent Red)

The Sailor 1911 Profit Junior fountain pen, also known as Sailor Compass 1911 in North America, has a clear red body with chrome trims (clip and cap ring). The pen's barrel, section, and cap are made from the same clear resin. The shape of this entry-level pen is similar to the 1911 fountain pen series. The clip also follows the 1911's design, and the cap ring is engraved with Sailor Made in Japan. It can be filled with ink using proprietary Sailor cartridges or converters and comes with two black ink cartridges only. The Sailor 1911 Profit Junior is available in different colors: red, pink, purple, blue, yellow, olive, green, brown, and clear. 

This pen is very light, but it doesn't feel fragile or that it would break easily. The screw-on cap posts easily, and I can write with the cap posted. It feels comfortable in hand and the firm medium fine (MF) steel nib made in Japan writes smoothly. I am surprised at how well it wrote out of the box with a consistent ink flow. At PhP995 (~US$20), the 1911 Profit Junior is an excellent entry-level fountain pen to the Sailor brand with the same high quality and excellent writing experience as their high-priced pens. 
  • Length, capped: 5.25 in (13.3 cm)
  • Length, body only: 4.6 in (11.7 cm)
  • Length, posted: 5.75 in (14.6 cm)
  • Weight: 13g

Sailor 1911 Profit Junior fountain pen in transparent red
This pen shares a similar shape to the 1911 series, and its barrel, section, and cap are made from the same clear resin. The cap's chrome trims match the steel medium fine nib.
This pen's medium nib is firm but writes smoothly. The steel nib is made in Japan
The clear feed on this pen is cool and fun!
I filled this beautiful clear red fountain pen with a matching red ink—Diamine Poppy Red—one of my favorites, and the MF nib wrote very smoothly. I love how this nib is so perfect for writing my stick fonts!

Sailor Profit Jr (Cyan Blue)

The Sailor 1911 Profit Jr fountain pen in the new pastel series is available in six colors: cyan blue, light gray, coral pink, lilac, aqua green, and chrome orange. These fountain pens have pastel barrels and caps with gray sections and chrome trims (clip and cap ring). The pastel blue color of this pen is charming and a perfect complement to the chrome trims. Similar to the clear Profit Junior series, these pens share Sailor's 1911 pen design. The clip also follows the 1911's, and the cap ring is engraved with Sailor Made in Japan. It fills with ink using proprietary Sailor cartridges or converters and two black ink cartridges are included in the packaging.

This cyan blue fountain pen has the same length and weight as the clear red Profit Junior. It is very light, but it feels solid in the hand. The screw-on cap also posts easily. It feels comfortable in hand and the firm medium fine (MF) steel nib writes smoothly. At PhP1,125 (~US$23), this pen is another excellent and well-balanced entry-level fountain pen to the Sailor brand.

Sailor 1911 Profit Junior Cyan Blue
The pens in this series have a gray section which is different from the barrel and cap color.
I inked this pen using a black Sailor cartridge. The nib wrote smoothly out of the box, and it's a joy to write with for my thin stick letters/fonts!

Sailor Lecoule (Teal Green)

This teal green fountain pen belongs to the Adult's Dark Color series of Sailor Lecoule. Unlike pens from the previous Lecoule series with bright and transparent bodies, the pens in this group have dark and subdued colors. These pens also do not have the Lecoule name printed on their caps, which was done in the previous series. The Lecoule shares the same shape and design as the Sailor Pro Gear Slim including the pen clip.

There are six colors in this series, including teal green, ruby red, pale brown, safari beige, iron blue, and all black. The first three colors have gold trims, while the remaining pens come with nickel-chrome plating. The cap ring is engraved with Sailor Made in Japan. The Lecoule fills with ink using proprietary Sailor cartridges or converters and two black ink cartridges are included in the packaging. 

This teal green fountain pen is a great choice not only for beginners but also for experienced users. It is lightweight, but a durable pen for daily carry. The screw-on cap also posts easily. It feels comfortable in hand and the firm medium fine (MF) steel nib writes smoothly out of the box. At ~US$30, the Lecoule is an excellent Sailor fountain pen to keep.
  • Length, capped: 4.8 in (12.3 cm)
  • Length, body only: 4.3 in (10.8 cm)
  • Length, posted: 5.5 in (13.9 cm)
  • Weight: 13g

Sailor Lecoule Teal Green
The Lecoule shares the same shape as the Sailor Pro Gear Slim.
This pen's firm MF nib is smooth and reliable. No hard starts or skipping.
I also inked this Lecoule using a cartridge. Again, the nib wrote smoothly, and it wrote so well in my Traveler's Notebook's inserts with MD paper.

I already have two Sailor Pro Gear fountain pens, and I wasn't really expecting so much when I received these three pens, but I am surprised at these offerings from Sailor. I find writing with the MF nibs comfortable despite my preference for wider and wetter nibs, and these are excellent pens for those who want to try such nibs or to start using fountain pens! These pens may not be the same as other entry-level pens from Lamy or TWSBI with interchangeable nibs, but they are good value fun pens and an excellent introduction to the brand and their high-end selection of pens. If you want to try fountain pens or looking to add Sailor pens into your collection, get these three!


Rants of The Archer thanks Scribe.ph for providing the Sailor fountain pens in this review. Scribe offers Sailor fountain pens in their stores and online through Scribe.ph. Visit their website to learn more about their products, promos, and new brand offerings. Scribe.ph now offers worldwide shipping. For more updates, follow them on social media:

Monday, April 5, 2021

Review: Esterbrook MV Nib Adaptor

Esterbrook MV Nib Adaptor and proprietary ink converter

When I was new to fountain pens in 2008, I saw many pens from the senior members of our local pen group. There were colorful modern pens and unique vintage pens that fascinated me then. Two brands—Lamy, a modern, and Esterbrook, a vintage, really stood out for me and it's quite interesting how the two pens share a common feature that is practical and useful: their interchangeable nibs. I got several Esterbrook Js then and had a couple of nibs to fit into the pens. It was fun! 

However, modern pens with easier filling mechanisms suited my daily writing habits, and I placed my vintage Esties in storage. The vintage nibs that I love also went to storage, including the smooth 1551 medium Student nib and the wet and smooth 9968 broad nibs. But then something wonderful happened. The new Esterbrook Pen Company invented a tool that takes modern to vintage in just a couple of turns—the Esterbrook MV Nib Adaptor. Now I can enjoy writing with my vintage Esterbrook nibs again using my modern Esterbrook pens! Brilliant!

Esterbrook and their retailers sold the MV Nib Adapter including one vintage Esterbrook nib chosen at random. Mine came with a 1550 firm extra tine nib, a vintage nib used by accountants and bookkeepers. Also included in the package is a proprietary converter that fits the vintage nibs better than regular standard international converters.

The MV (modern to vintage) Nib Adaptor was designed and engineered by the Esterbrook Pen Company to allow new and modern-day Esterbrook fountain pens to accept vintage nibs from more than 200 different points/widths. Designed as a replacement section, the MV Adaptor has a similar shape as the vintage Esterbrook grip sections from the 50s and 60s. It is threaded to fit the shape of vintage Esterbrook nibs and feeds and allows seamless ink flow using a proprietary converter. The Adaptor is available only in black, though, but this is fine as there are many pens with different sections and barrel colors. 

The MV Nib Adaptor fits the Estie, and allows a vintage nib to be used in modern Esterbrook fountain pens.
The MV Adaptor is also a replacement section for the Estie.
The Adaptor is threaded to accept vintage Esterbrook nibs such as this Master Duracrome Point 9968.
Did you know the MV Adaptor fits Estie Oversize pens, too? It fits my Rocky Top OS perfectly!
Contrary to the belief that vintage Esterbrook nibs are only available in extra fine and fine points, they are also available in firm broad and flexible widths.

My vintage Esterbrook pens may not be in my daily carry as frequently as I want them to be, but with the MV Nib Adaptor, I can use my vintage nibs all the time! I only wish that the MV Nib Adaptor can also fit the Esterbrook JR pens for the perfect reimagined/revisit look! For now, I am glad that I can use my vintage Esterbrook nibs again in my beautiful modern Esterbrook fountain pens. Do you want to have a modern and vintage pen experience? Get an Esterbrook Estie and MV Nib Adaptor now!


Rants of The Archer thanks the Esterbrook Pen Company and Kenro Industries for providing the MV Nib Adaptor for this review. The MV Nib Adaptor is available at Esterbrookpens.com where it retails for US$40. 

To learn more about the Esterbrook Pen Company, where to buy their pens, and for other details on purchasing their pens and accessories, visit their website at https://www.esterbrookpens.com/ or follow them on social media: