Line variation is a subject that has always been of interest to me.  Recently Aurora announced a limited edition flex nib pen that made my heart flutter, but so did the price!  So I decided to explore options that I already own.  Since I recently bought another Nakaya, I figured I would start there.

Both of my Nakaya pens feature “Soft” nibs.  These nibs are definitely soft, but I read mixed reviews of people using them for flex/line variation.  It seemed worth it to explore a little while also comparing two popular models, the Naka-ai and the Portable Cigar.  I had a bit of trouble deciding which to get first and my hope is that this will push some of you over the edge and there will be many more Nakaya in the world!  ^_^

Naka-ai:  Awai-Murasaki (Purple/Pink) Soft Medium
Portable Cigar:  Heki-Tamenuri Soft Fine

First lets explore the size.  Despite being Portable, the Portable Cigar is a full sized pen.  In fact, capped there is hardly a difference between it and the Naka-Ai.


Uncapped they are similar in length but the grip sections differ in size.


Nib Units:




I opted for both of these pens to be free of clips or roll stoppers, which so far hasn’t been an issue.  No table rolls!  It is a bit hard to position them for photos though lol.  I also opted for a Maki-E converter on both, however when my Heki-Tamenuri came I was informed that they were out of stock so that converter is still on backorder.

This is the tadpole, the one I am waiting for has goldfish on it ^_^.

As far as I can tell, both of the nibs write the same but of course with varying widths.  I was surprised at how much variation could actually be achieved, especially with the Soft Fine.

Looks a bit scary, but I promise its not as much pressure as it seems!

Here is a still of low, medium, and high pressure lines.


They both give an ok amount of variation, but I felt that the Soft Fine was easier to control, and shows the variation more prominently.  It is no where near as flexible as my Pilot Falcon SF, but it works well if you’re just trying to have a bit of nib fun.  99% of the time I am using these pens for regular writing, which they do a splendid job at.

I leave you now with a photo of a Nakaya/Pelikan sandwich ^_^