As more and more people try to upgrade their current fountain pen to a luxury, premium price point model, we see more and more people reaching out for advice on a huge range of popular models. With the huge popularity of the Pelikan range as well as the Sailor range rapidly expanding their popularity in Europe and North America, we have seen more and more people asking for a dedicated Pelikan m800 vs Sailor 1911 comparison.
Due to this, we have decided to dedicate today’s article to the m800 and the 1911 in the hope of helping as many of our readers as possible. Now, with these particular pens, budget constraints may come into play and with both pens being excellent options, if you are on a budget, you may have to go with the lower price point Sailor 1911 but if you have the budget available, we would recommend that you go with the Pelikan m800 as it does tend to be a much better fountain pen.
As per usual, we have our comparison table between the two featured fountain pens below going over their core features for any of our readers who are short on time. Below that though we have an in-depth, detailed look at both pens going over the advantages and disadvantages of both for any of our readers who have the time to read the whole article. This tens to be the best approach as it ensures that we cover all bases and provide as much information on the pens for our readers as possible.
Pelikan M800 Vs Sailor 1911 Head To Head
As we touched on, as you can see in our Pelikan m800 vs Sailor 1911 comparison table above, both pens are excellent and offer great quality. The Sailor 1911 does lack a real piston filler but you are able to opt for the Sailor 1911 Realo if you are dead set on having a piston filler in your pen as we know a number of our readers will only use fountain pens that have a piston filler.
Now, the Pelikan m800 on the other hand comes with one of the best piston fillers ever created in our opinion and offers a number of features only found on a luxury fountain pen that many premium price point fountain pens miss off. In our opinion, the performance of the m800 is better too and tends to offer you a much better writing experience than the Sailor 1911 but compared to most other pens, the Sailor 1911 can definitely hold its own.
The Nib Of The Pens
For the majority fo people, the nib of their fountain pen is the most important part of the pen as it is the feature that will have the most effect on the writing experience that the pen is able to deliver during use. Now, one common misconception with the m800 and 1911 is that the Sailor pen will have a better flex in its nib due to it using a 21 carat gold nib where as the Pelikan uses an 18 carat gold nib.
Although in many cases, this would be correct but when put up against a Pelikan nib, this does not factor in the specific design of the Pelikan nibs. Pelikan are well known for their nib design offering additional spring and flex rather than the more traditional rigid writing experience that most fountain pens stick with. This is why although the 1911 does have a higher gold carat rating than the m800 that usually means more flex in the nib, the m800 actually has the more flexible nib of the two.
On the flipside of this though, some people do tend to prefer a more rigid nib on their fountain pens when writing and this mistake can work in the other direction as they see the higher carat rating on the Sailor 1911 and instantly think the m800 will be more rigid. As we just explained, this is not the case so if you do prefer a rigid nib on your pen then go with the Sailor 1911 and if you want a more flexible nib go with the Pelikan m800.
Please also keep in mind that the nibs on the Pelikan m800 are replaceable so you can switch your nib out for a more rigid nib or for a different nib size if required without issue. When it comes to the Sailor 1911, the nibs are set and although you can technically replace the whole front end of the pen all the way up to the section, this will be out of budget for the majority of people.
When it comes to the stock nib sizes, the Sailor 1911 is available with a nib size of extra-fine, fine, medium-fine, medium, broad, zoom, and music with zoom and music nibs not being common amongst other brands. Although the majority of people will use a fine, medium-fine or medium nib with the 1911, the zoom nib is growing its user base. It is based around a flex based nib so you are able to change its default nib size by applying more pressure to the nib when writing but many people are not a fan of the system and prefer a traditional nib.
When it comes to the Pelikan m800 stock nib size options, you have a choice of extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and double-broad direct from the Pelikan factory. As we touched on earlier though, due to the nibs on the Pelikan m800 being quick and easy to switch out, most local stationary stores will offer additional nib options including oblique nibs as well as others.
One differentiating feature of the featured pens is that the Pelikan m800 does tend to have a wetter nib when writing resulting in a smoother writing experience for you. On the flipside of this though, this can cause potential problems with feathering, bleeding, and ghosting when writing with the pen, especially when writing on thinner paper putting some people off it.
Although the Sailor 1911 is definitely not a dry nib, it does tend to be closer to a standard nib than a wet nib while offering a decent writing experience with minimal scratch. Although this does help to prevent the issues with feathering, ghosting, and bleeding when writing, it can have a scratchier writing experience than the m800, especially with the extra-fine and fine nib sizes of the pen.
The Pens Barrel
Although both pen barrels are made from different materials with the Pelikan m800 being made from premium celluloid acetate and the Sailor 1911 being made from high-quality PMMA resin offering slightly different advantages to each other. That said though, both materials are premium quality offering a very tough and robust fountain pen while being as lightweight as possible too.
The majority of our readers will probably not even be able to tell the other differences between the materials so we won’t be going into it. Even though the Sailor 1911 is a cheaper pen than the Pelikan m800, they are just about as touch and light as each other so we will call it a draw when it comes to the pen barrels.
As you can probably guess from your years of experience even using cheap disposable pen, it is highly likely that your pen will be involved in accidents and get dropped or have things accidentally place on top of it. Ensuring that both of our featured fountain pens is as tough as possible, especially due to their price tags is important to try and prevent the pen you settle on from breaking on its first accident.
The lightweight build for both pens ensures that you are able to use either option for long periods of time without issue and that your hand will not fatigue or cramp for any longer sessions. Although this may sound simple, there are still some very popular fountain pens on the market that use brass for their barrel and cap and are very heavy causing these issues where as neither of our featured pens should cause cramping or fatigue problems.
The Cap Of The Pens
As you would expect from both pens, their caps are made from the same materals as their respective barrels. This is pretty much industry standard in this day and age with the vast majority of capped pens on the market right now taking this path too.
Thankfully, due to the barrels of both pens being made from high-quality materials, the caps are also made from high-quality materals as you would expect from this price point in the market. Although having a tough pen cap is always nice, the main benefit of the materials in the pens is the lightweight nature of their materials.
This helps ensure that if you do want to post your fountain pen when writing, you are able to without issue as back weighting simply is not a problem with the Sailor 1911 or the Pelikan m800. This keeps the pen balanced when writing with your cap posted and as so many people do like to keep their pens posted when writing it lets you write to your preference while keeping the best possible writing experience.
Both the Pelikan m800 and the Sailor 1911 use a twist to lock threaded system for their caps too that we always recommend our readers look for when paying this much for a fountain pen. Although push to lock systems are fine for cheap pens, they can age badly and cause your barrel to fall out of the cap and go missing or break where as the threads on a twist to lock system like the one on the feature pens prevents this.
The Pens Ink Reservoir
When it comes to the maximum ink capacities for each pen, the Pelikan m800 comes in at 2ml where as the Pilot 1911 comes in short at 0.9ml. Although 0.9ml of ink may be enough for most people, it is below average and depending on what you are wanting to do with your fountain pen, it may cause issues in the future.
Thankfully though, the Pilot 1911 is quick and easy to refill with a spare cartridge when needed or you can go with the piston filler variant of the pen, the Sailor 1911 Realo that does have a lager maximum ink capacity. That said though, due to the price hike of going with the Realo, you will probably be better off going with the Pelikan m800 and getting all of the additional features that it offers you for a very similar price point.
One of the main drawbacks of the Sailor 1911 is the fact that it does not have an ink view window making it impossible to quickly and easily check your current ink levels in the pen. This coupled with its low maximum ink capacity really is a pain and can cause many people to instantly lose interest in the 1911 in favour of the m800 or another competing fountain pen.
That said though, the Pelikan m800 does have an ink view window but it can be a pain to see through in poor lighting making it a pain to use too. Thankfully though, the m800 also has double the maximum ink capacity of the Sailor 1911 meaning that you don’t have to refill the pen as often so the importance of the ink view window is lower.
That brings our ultimate Pelikan m800 vs Sailor 1911 comparison article to a close and we hope that we have managed to explain why we feel that the Pelikan m800 is the better option unless you are on a tighter budget then the Sailor 1911 can still make a great addition to your stationery collection. Both pens really are excellent writing utensils, it just comes down to what you need, your budget, and what you will be using your pen for.