If you have followed me for any length of time then you know that the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm is one of my all-time favorite gel ink pens. You also know that I rarely, if ever, recommend it. It is fine almost to the point of obscene, and extremely finicky. It hard starts and can be uneven, but when it is going good, it makes my handwriting look amazing.
These words are exactly how I feel about this nib grind.
Mark Bacas, the man behind NibGrinder, sent me this nib after the 2018 Atlanta Pen Show. It was one of those experiments that I get involved in frequently. “Hey Brad, I think this is right up your alley.” My friends know me well.
Mark called this a micro architect grind, but it is no different than any standard architect nib grind. It just happens to be on a finer stock nib than most architect nib grinds. An architect grind generally works the best on broad nibs to give the nib grinder a larger area of manipulation, while giving the consumer a smoother writing experience. Since this is a North/South angled grind, as opposed to East/West like a stub (see the previous link), the wider the nib, the smoother the writing experience.
What would the results be if you applied this grind to a finer-nibbed pen, like this steel Jowo F nib? For me, the results are amazing, but not without challenges.
First and foremost, the nib is sharp. This means there is a small sweet spot on the nib, and your writing angle better hit it. You run into this with standard architect nib grinds as well, but you have more wiggle room. Angle of attack matters with this pen more than any other pen I own.
Writing pace matters, too. I’m a fast writer, and to get the full effect of this nib grind, I had to slow it down. I’m ok with this because the results are worth it, but I dug the tip of the nib into the page more than once on a south to north stroke. That stroke should be eliminated with most architect grinds, but even more so with one this fine. I have to slow it down.
If you have a bad writing angle and incorrect pace, your results will be inconsistent. The ink flow will be poor, as will the line consistency. You will also end up with paper fibers stuck in the nib, so keeping my brass shim handy was important.
Bringing this full circle, I feel like my comparison is correct. What I get from this micro architect grind is the same thing I get from the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm gel ink pen. It can be a troublemaker if you aren’t ready for it, but when it goes right, it is fantastic.
(NibGrinder provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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