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Jowo Update #2

Posted in Fountain Pens

Once again we interrupt our scheduled programming on the 2021 DC Pen Show for a special bulletin on Jowo issues.

After my last update, I received comments and messages about the too-tight housings. So many, in fact, that I decided to measure my nib housings. Clearly, I’m not the only one who’s experienced the super-tight housings.

So, being the data nut that I am, I carefully measured some of my housings. The results were inconclusive at best. Let me start with disclaimers.

  1. I can’t give manufacturing dates for my housings. The best I can do is say a housing was manufactured before I received it.
  2. I don’t recall precisely which nibs were in cracked housings when I did my big cleanout a few weeks ago. With the obvious exception of the two cracked housings listed, I don’t THINK any of the ones I measured were. But I’m not 100% sure.
  3. I did my best to measure everything in the exact same location. But, I’m human, and humans are neither perfect nor precise. So consider that when looking at the results.

How I Measured

To measure the housings, I used a digital caliper. I don’t know if it’s exact, but, since I used the same caliper to measure all of the housings, any anomaly in measurement would be consistent. I chose locations on the interior and exterior that would allow me to ensure I measured in the same spot every time.


UPDATE 8/23/21, 6:15pm: I received several comments and messages mentioning I should have measured at the middle step, rather than at the housing’s smallest point (short of where it plugs into the converter). So, I’ve done that and have included the results below. They don’t really add to my conclusions. BUT, I did have another nib crack in the last 24 hours while it was sitting out, not in a pen. How fun is that? *note the sarcasm*

Date ReceivedExterior BodyExterior LipInterior
3/20187.4mm8.3mm, 8.4mm6.3mm
2/20207.4mm8.3mm, 8.4mm6.1mm
3/2020 (Cracked)7.3mm8.4mm^
4/20207.4mm8.3mm, 8.4mm6.2mm
5/2021 (Cracked)7.3mm8.4mm6.1mm
8/2021 (Newly Cracked)7.4mm8.3mm6.1mm
8/2021 (Replacement)7.3mm8.4mm5.9mm
8/2021 (Replacement)7.3mm8.4mm5.9mm
For nibs with two values in the Exterior Lip column, the first number is the measurement from nib to feed, the second is the measurement from side to side. If only one measurement is included, both measurements were the same.

* Caliper kept jumping between 6.0 and 6.1, so I split the difference.

^ Housing was cracked at the upper lip, so I couldn’t get a correct internal reading.


As you can see, the exterior measurement variation doesn’t seem to have any correlation with the likely manufacture date.

There isn’t a definitive correlation between interior measurement and likely manufacture date, either. EXCEPT for the to replacement housings. However, I don’t know how “new” those housings actually are. Judging by the length and noticeability of the “weak spot” lines — see my first Jowo post if you don’t know what I’m talking about — I’m guessing that the replacement housings are fairly recently manufactured. In any case, those are definitely the most snug of all of my nibs, and the measurements show it.

The last two nibs in the table are Jowo’s unmarked nibs, which I know are fairly new, since — to the best of my knowledge — Jowo only recently began making them available to Indie makers. So, clearly the super-tight housings aren’t the new normal.

The problem with drawing any kind of conclusion from this data is that there are too many unknowns:

  • Are housings sent out with nibs as soon as they’re manufactured, or do they sit around at the factory for a while?
  • How long does any pen maker hold onto nibs before they get sold?
  • Do pen makers separate their new and old nibs, or just throw them all together so that someone buying a pen today could, theoretically, get a nib that’s several years old?

And those a just a few of the questions that remain unanswered.


So, the ultimate takeaway? Jowo housings are inconsistent. That’s the only thing I can truly say with certainty. But I think we already knew that.

What do you think about all of this? Are you more disappointed or angry with Jowo for their lack of response? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Trang Shirley
    Trang Shirley

    Very disappointed and angry that JoWo is disregarding customers and pen makers alike, still denying any issue with their product, now trying to lay the blame on pen makers not making their section correctly or assembling them correctly.

    August 23, 2021
    • I am, too. At the very least, there should be some kind of statement saying “we’re looking into it, and will have an update by XX date.”

      August 23, 2021
  2. I thought you had to measure the housing a bit higher. There would be a difference in the thicker part between good and bad ones

    August 23, 2021
    • I didn’t really think about that. I kind of just assumed that since the cracks have been happening on all of the housing areas, it wouldn’t matter where on the housing I measured it. I’ll have to measure a few and see if I find any anomalies.

      August 23, 2021

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