Following my recent post A peek at the Perkeo; first impressions of the new Kaweco cartridge pen. I wished to add a few comments after my first week of ownership.
The good news and the main message to take away, is that the performance of the Bock, stainless steel medium nibs on both of the pens that I bought is quite superb, with a lovely smooth writing experience far beyond what you might expect at this price level. Yes, perhaps the size 5 nib is a little more firm than a larger, size 6 might have been but overall I am delighted with it.
My biggest gripe had been with the faceted grip section. After all it is probably targeted by its price tag as being a beginner’s pen or close to it. But having medium to large hands myself, I have very quickly found that I automatically grip the pen higher up the body than the facets (save for the third facet on the underside, where the pen conveniently rests on my second finger) and so the facets were not an issue for me in practice. Within a few days of use, I barely noticed them.
On the downside, I have received one comment from a work colleague, who saw my Old Chambray coloured Perkeo on my desk, and said that it looked like an insulin pen. Admittedly, the colour scheme, size, shape and material of this pen do give it a slightly clinical look.
This week I did try removing the nib and feed. I had expected them to unscrew, as a unit (as on the Kaweco Al sport). However this is not the case. The nib and feed of the Perkeo are friction fit and push directly into the coloured section.
As I tried in vain the unscrew them, I was simply rotating them in the section.
There is no flattened edge of the circular opening, to give any guide to locating the nib and feed. To replace them you just seat the nib on top of the feed, align them with a centre line between two facets and then push them home.
For the benefit of anyone new to the art of nib removal, (a noble and relaxing pass-time which I whole-heartedly recommend) then there are few rules which I have gleaned online and from experience:
- take care to grip the nib and feed together firmly, between thumb and the first joint of your finger (with thumb over the nib) using some grippy material or else a tissue or cloth;
- for nib and feeds which are friction-fit (as with the Perkeo), grip firmly and then pull in a straight line, taking care not to bend or distort the nib or damage the delicate fins on the feed;
- if doing this over a basin, do have the plug in place, in case the small nib or feed drop down the plug hole;
- once removed, it is very easy and satisfying to rinse the nib and feed and the section in water and dry them, before reassembling;
- the nib can be examined under a magnifying glass or loupe to check that the tines are aligned and adjustments can be made (very gently and by hand) before reassembling;
- for nib units which unscrew, (such as the Kaweco Al-sport, or Pelikan M series, for example) then grip the nib and feed as described above but rotate the barrel, not the nib, to unscrew;
- It is good practice to clean a nib and feed from time to time, particularly before changing inks. A short cut, rather than removing the nib and feed, is to leave the entire nib section to soak in water overnight and then rinse under a tap or use a rubber squeezy blower to squirt water through it, until it runs clear.
Coming back to the Perkeo, since there is no set position to align the nib and feed in the section, this means that you are free to align them how you wish, in relation to the facets. You can offset the nib if you wish. There is no need to feel that you are forced to have the nib centred between two facets. With trial and error, if the centred nib does not conform to your preferred grip, you can customise your pen – rather than feeling that you have to adjust your grip to suit the pen.
In conclusion, I think that the Perkeo is a pen that I shall use and enjoy, for its excellent stainless steel nib and writing performance, if not for its looks.