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[Guest Post] Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

[Guest Post] The Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Another awesome guest post by Susan Pigott! You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Sailor 1911 Large Matte Black Fountain Pen with an incredible Naginata Togi MF nib. Enjoy!


Review Ink: Diamine Ancient Copper


Description:  A Sailor 1911 Full Size in Matte Black with rhodium accents fitted with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Nib:  21K Gold Naginata Togi MF

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: 23.7 grams

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: Black with gold trim; Black with rhodium trim, Burgundy with gold trim, Black luster, Matte Black with gold trim, Matte Black with rhodium trim and metal section, Naginata-Togi Gin-sensuji with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Gold Trim,Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Burgundy with Rhodium Trim, Black Realo with gold trim, Burgundy Realo with gold trim.

Handwritten Review Scans:





I’ve been eyeing Naginata Togi nibs for quite some time now. I’ve always been fascinated with Sailor specialty nibs, and the Togi is the most basic (and least expensive) of the specialty nibs. I bought this pen from a seller on FPN for about $100 off the price listed at Classic Pens ($416). The seller had bought it from Classic Pens, so the nib was tuned by John Mottishaw. I was thrilled because I almost bought this very pen at the full price.


Ed already reviewed a Sailor Professional Gear 1911, so I’m not going to focus much on the pen itself, though my model is a bit different. This review is all about the nib.

Appearance and Packaging: 

My Sailor 1911 came in a blue, rectangular clamshell box with literature about the pen and Sailor’s specialty nibs. Included were one ink cartridge and a converter.

The matte black version with rhodium trim is subtle and beautiful. I usually like gold-trimmed pens, but the rhodium matches the matte black perfectly. I honestly have too many black, cigar-shaped pens in my collection, but the matte black makes this pen stand out from the crowd. It’s classy, like Bond, James Bond.


Nib Performance and Filling System:

The nib is what truly makes this pen something special.




The Naginata Togi nib allows for a great deal of line variation depending on the angle of the pen to the paper. It is an unusually-shaped nib (see photos), and it has a longer than usual tip. It’s a 21K nib and is pretty rigid. You’re not going to get any flex while writing with this nib. The line variation comes from how you hold the pen. In the written review, I held the nib in my normal writing position, which is about 45 degrees, and I found the nib wrote beautifully. You can see differences in line width when I held the pen at a 90 degree angle, a 45 degree angle, and a super low angle (as close to the paper as I could hold it).


Most of the Sailor specialty nibs are made for Japanese-styles of writing and calligraphy. But I wanted one for writing Hebrew since the horizontal strokes need to be thicker than the vertical strokes. (In real life I’m a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew). Even though I have a Hebrew nib from Richard Binder, it’s got a very narrow width and, unless I write tiny, I can’t see much variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The Naginata Togi does quite well, though I still need to practice making the Hebrew look good. I sure wish I could do Hebrew calligraphy.


I admit I was nervous about buying a Sailor specialty nib. When you go the page on Classic Pens, the specialty nibs are almost overwhelming. They are amazingly intricate, and I was afraid I would find the Naginata Togi to be ridiculously broad. I even called and asked about the nibs and was told they are not for everyone. But I am a believer in this nib. I’m amazed at how smoothly it writes. I love the versatility it has depending on the angle you’re writing.

One concern I had is that the Naginata Togi nib puts down lots of ink when you’re writing broad. I was afraid the feed and the converter wouldn’t be able to keep up. So far, everything has been perfect, though I expect to refill this pen more often than most.



The Sailor 1911 full size feels great in the hand. It’s not a heavy pen. It is smooth as silk but not slippery. I don’t post my pens, but I tried writing with it posted and, for me at least, posting ruins the balance. If you want line variation, you have to hold the pen at different angles. Some angles are quite uncomfortable (such as trying to write super fine at 90 degrees). Other angles are easier on the wrist, but the lower you go, the slower you have to write.




  • The 1911 in Matte Black is a gorgeous pen. It is sleek and elegant and the rhodium trim complements it perfectly.
  • The pen feels good in the hand and is neither too heavy nor too light.
  • The Naginata Togi nib is a useful departure from a typical nib. I can see artists using this nib for sketching since you can get such wonderful line variation. For me, it works great as a general writer and it enhances my Hebrew printing.


  • I prefer piston filler pens. The Sailor converter only holds .5ml of ink. You can get the Sailor Realo instead, but it only holds .9ml. Currently the Realo only comes in Black and Burgundy with gold trim. So, if you want the matte black, you have to go with the 1911 or Pro Gear.
  • The pen looks rather ordinary and plain. I like colorful pens. But the matte black makes it stand out from other black, cigar-shaped pens and the rhodium trim is different from my other pens, all of which have gold accents.
  • The Naginata Togi nib may not suit everyone’s tastes. If you can try one before you buy, that’s the best thing to do. I definitely wouldn’t go larger than the MF Togi. I’ve read that the medium and broad versions are like writing with Magic Markers.




All in all, I am very pleased with my Sailor 1911 Naginata Togi. My fears about the nib were unwarranted and, in fact, I am crazy about it. I love how it looks, how it writes, and that it is versatile enough that I can write in my journal or write Hebrew or both (because I totally write in Hebrew in my journal . . . not).




Banditapple Carnet Handy Notebook – Handwritten Stationery Review


Paper: Banditapple Carnet Handy Notebook

Pen: Lamy Al-Star, Fine Nib

Ink: Diamine Grey

Notes: When GouletPens.com announced these notebooks, I was intrigued. They were really cheap, and usually Goulet Pens does not steer me wrong with fountain pen friendly products. In this case, I disagree with the “friendliness”. When I got this pad, there was one thing I noticed right off the bat. It’s a pretty weird shape. I don’t know if I would consider it “handy” like the name says. If it was called the “odd” notebook, I think I might agree more with the nomenclature. I could get past the shape if the paper was great. Turns out, it wasn’t. I found it to be very toothy, even with nibs that perform very well on a wide range of papers. The paper is pretty thin too, making even Diamine Grey show through to the back of the page. The construction of the notebook is pretty decent, and it does lay almost all the way flat, which isn’t always the case with stitch-bound notebooks. The only decent writing experience on this paper was with a Bic ball point pen, which I normally don’t use unless I have to. If you happen to be someone who likes a LOT of feedback from your paper, then maybe check out Banditapple Carnet. If you’re like the majority of fountain pen users who like a smooth, nice paper, it’s best to steer clear. I decided to get scientific with this review. The last two picture I took through a loupe, and the difference in lines between the Banditapple Carnet and Rhodia are definitely noticeable.


Thanks for reading!



The only pen that was decently smooth was the Bic ballpoint. Yikes.

Close up, you can tell that the paper is rough. Nothing has a really crisp edge, especially the brush pen.

Bottom line says it all. I really wasn’t a fan of this notebook.
Got scientific with it. Using this loupe, you can see that the edges of the letters are quite rough. The next picture shows the Rhodia dotPad, where the edges of the line are noticeably smoother.

Rhodia dotPad – Much smoother lines than with the Banditapple Carnet

The Black n’ Red by Hamelin A5 (8.25″x5.875″) Notebook – Handwritten Review

Hamelin Black n Red Collage

Paper: Hamelin Black n’ Red, A4

Pen: Pelikan Souveran M605, Binderized Fine nib

Ink: Vintage Sheaffer Peacock Blue

So, here’s the thing about Black n’ Red notebooks. I love them and I hate them. It’s like a grab bag, you could reach in and pull out a totally sweet prize, or you can pull out a total piece of garbage. That’s exactly what it’s like buying these notebooks. My first experience with the Black n’ Red was at Staples. I came across this high quality paper, and immediately recognized it’s fountain pen friendliness. The paper was bright white (good for ink sampling), just as smooth as Rhodia, and had grey ruling instead of the purple that Rhodia uses. On top of that, it had a plastic cover and an elastic band to keep it closed. Awesome. This thing was going to be great. It was! I couldn’t wait to get home and order some more online. BOY was I setting myself up for disappointment, and I didn’t even know it.

Hamelin Black n Red Review - Page 1

I noticed that Amazon had a pretty solid selection of these pads. I was stoked. They were cheap, looked professional, they were black, and they were fountain pen friendly. So I ordered two of them, one A5 and one A4. When the notebooks arrived, I immediately checked them out. Here’s the disappointment. Totally same notebook, totally different paper. The paper in the one I had ordered online was more textured. There was no sheen to it and ink feathered more so than it did on the last one. Overall, it wasn’t bad paper, it just wasn’t what I was buying it for. Moral of the story: If you’re going to buy Black n’ Red notebooks (I still recommend them), do so in a brick and mortar store so you can verify that it’s the nice paper, not the textured, feathery stuff.

Hamelin Black n Red Review - Page 2

Like I said, check them out if you happen to see them in an office supply store, but be weary when purchasing online. Out of the four Black n’ Reds I have, two are the ones I like and two are the ones that I wish were the ones I like.

Hamelin Black n Red Review - Closeup

Be sure to check out the rest of the Stationery Reviews for more fountain pen friendly paper!

Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine – Handwritten Ink Review

Pen: Lamy Safari Limited Edition 2012, Green Apple – 1.1mm Stub Nib
Ink: Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine
Paper: Rhodia dotPad

Notes: I bought this ink to go with my Pelikan M605. I hadn’t tried out the ink before buying a bottle, but I really lucked out. It’s a beautiful shade of green with great lubrication, flow and shading properties. It’s my ink of choice for the M605 as it matches the green ink window in the pen. Enjoy the review.

Weekly Loadout – 10/16/12

This week, I have a few more Goulet Pens’ November Ink Drop colors in my daily carry pens.

This is my first time trying out Diamine Ochre and Rohrer & Klingner Morinda. I’m typically not a fan of brown inks, but this one has some nice shading properties to it. The R&K Morinda is a nice orangey-red. I find this ink to be a little bit on the dry side, but it could also just be in this pen/nib combo. Also worth noting, I swapped the nib on the TWSBI from the TWSBI fine to a #5 medium that came with my Franklin Christoph Collegia. It’s much smoother than the TWSBI nib and fit onto the feed perfectly. I also ordered a bottle of Diamine Grey, this is the second week it’s been in rotation, and I like it enough to own a bottle.

Left to Right:

Pelikan Souveran M605, Black & Rhodium – Fine nib – Sheaffer Peacock Blue (Vintage)

Pilot Vanishing Point, Matte Black – Medium nib -Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron

TWSBI Diamond 540 – Medium nib – Rohrer & Klingner Morinda (Ink Drop Color)

Lamy Al-Star, Coffee Brown – Bold nib – Diamine Ochre (Ink Drop Color)

Lamy Accent, Matte Black & Palladium – Fine nib – Sailor Kiwa Guro Nano Black

Lamy Safari Limited Edition 2012, Green Apple – 1.1mm stub –  Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine

Lamy Safari, Red – Fine nib – J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite

Lamy Safari, Charcoal – Medium Nib – Diamine Grey

Note: The following loadout is on Rhodia paper, an A4 Elastibook to be exact.

Close up.

The Writing.

Writing Closeup

Getting slanty with it.

Writing Diagonal