Posts filed under Pilot

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

The main reason I keep a product wish list is to keep track of product prices and know when to pull the trigger when I see a good deal. The orange Pilot Custom 74 had been on my radar for ages, and when Pen Chalet had a good deal on them on the podcast back in November I bought it live on the show. $135 to the door made me a happy camper.

The Custom 74 lived up to every expectation I had, and then some. The decision to go with the orange barrel was an easy one. I love demonstrators, and this one is a beauty. The smoke colored section and rounded ends were a surprise too. I obviously knew it came like this, but I had no idea how much I would enjoy this feature.

As easy as the color choice was, nib selection was another thing. Medium nibs normally aren’t my first choice, but recent experience with two other Japanese M nibs led me down this path. This size may be the perfect all-around writing nib. The ink flows as the line remains sharp and clean. Start writing and you can just disappear into the flow.

The 14k nib is a beauty too. I’m a huge fan of Pilot nibs, both in the looks and performance department. This Custom 74 was perfect right out of the box. The large capacity CON-70 converter it ships with is a nice added bonus.

The best thing I can say about the Pilot Custom 74 is I already want another one. That seems to be a recurring theme with me and Pilot. The Violet barrel is now on the wish list, just waiting for another good deal.

Posted on February 16, 2015 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-gaki Ink Review

I finally take the favorite ink of Myke Hurley for a spin, thanks to a kind reader (Hi Lori!) who sent me a sample of Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-gaki many moons ago. I'm a fan of orange, and orange inks, but Fuyu-gaki isn't going to make my primary ink rotation any time soon.

My feelings on this ink are hard to pinpoint. It's a nice, perfectly fine ink. It behaves wonderfully, as every Iroshizuku ink I have tried does. The orange is bright, but doesn't exactly pop. Nor is there much shading. It moves from medium orange to red, but it's not hugely obvious. It's good, but doesn't knock my socks off.

This is where ink samples come in handy. I'm glad I got to try it before committing to a bottle. Myke drinks the stuff, but my little vial will keep me stocked for a while. Oh Sailor, why did you have to discontinue Jentle Apricot with no valid replacement???

Posted on February 13, 2015 and filed under Ink Reviews, Iroshizuku, Pilot.

Pilot V5 Hi-Tecpoint Cartridge System Roller Ball Pen Review

Image via JetPens.com

Image via JetPens.com

(This is a guest post by Johnny McClung. Find more from Johnny at the awesomely-titled blog Johnny Anypen and on Twitter.)

The Pilot V5 Hi-Tecpoint is the latest in the Pilot V5 line of pens. I have enjoyed these pens since I bought my first capped Precise V5. I was so excited when I first saw the new Hi-Tecpoint had a cartridge! Now, I could use practically any color in my favorite pen.

The standard black that comes with the pen seems to be the same ink as I have come to know and love. It may not be exactly the same, but the performance was equal, if not better than the Precise V5 retractable.

I'd like to thank Mr. Dowdy for agreeing to send me a Pilot CON-20 converter to see if it would work with the Hi-Tecpoint. In addition to the Pilot cartridge, I put ink in the standard cartridge to see if that would work. Although I have yet to try it, this pen could be converted into an eyedropper. The O-rings available at Goulet Pens fit around the barrel of the Hi-Tecpoint. And the barrel held water. With a little Silicone grease, I think this pen would work.

I had some trouble cleaning out the black ink which may be inexperience on my part and not a reflection of the pen. I received my ink order before the converter arrived so I tested out the standard cartridge first. I did have some trouble getting the ink down the feed, but eventually, the wonderful Diamine Emerald ink shown on the paper. When the converter arrived, I transferred the ink over to the converter and used it. With this push converter, I found it much easier to get the ink down the feed.

This is an excellent $3 pen and with another $3 you can pick up a CON-20 converter and have a superb pen in any color you choose. Since Pilot's cartridges are proprietary, this converter should work in most other Pilot cartridge pens.

I have seven more sample vials of fountain pen ink that I am just dying to try out in this pen. Highly recommended.

Posted on February 5, 2015 and filed under Guest Post, Pen Reviews, Pilot, Hi-Tecpoint.

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Design Series Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

To be honest, I haven't used an erasable pen since 5th grade, and at that time they were horrible.

Apparently, a lot has changed. Erasable pens don't have to be incredibly difficult to use and marginally useless when it comes to writing and erasing. The Pilot FriXion is a gel ink pen that uses friction to remove the ink. I don't even pretend to understand how it all works, but I do know that the experience is much more pleasant than the previous generations of erasable pens. If I had these as a student when erasable pens were mandatory, I wouldn't have grown to hate the phrase "erasable pen" so much. Even now, I'm trying to use that phrase frequently in an attempt to rid it of the awful taste it leaves in my mouth.

The FriXion ink is surprisingly smooth when writing – very similar to other Pilot gel ink pens (but not quite) like the G2. The particular model I'm using is called the Ball Knock Design series, and it features a 0.5 mm point. When you first write with the pen, you can detect a slight drag from the point, but if you can remember to press very lightly then that issue almost disappears.

Writing with the pen is effortless. It doesn't take much pressure at all to put ink on the page, and I haven't seen any skipping or gunking that was extremely common with the old erasable pens. This part still blows my mind. I'm impressed by how well it writes for an erasable pen. It doesn't beat a Pilot Juice or an Acroball or any other permanent gel or hybrid ink, but this is an erasable ink and it's done pretty great so far.

So, it writes fairly well, but how does it erase? Well, I would sum it up as, "Meh." Erasing is easy – one or two strokes across the ink usually does the job, but it never completely disappears. You can always see the trace of what was written before, and that makes me a little perturbed. If it's supposed to be erasable, then I expect it to be erasable like a pencil. Sure, you sometimes can see the writing from an erased pencil mark, but it's much harder to detect than the FriXion ink. This is obviously a personal problem that I need to deal with; if you're in the market for an erasable ink pen, then the FriXion gets the job done with no hassle or frustration. It's a great erasable pen.

The top of the pen contains the rubber tip used for erasing, which is convenient and works well. I was stumped when I first used the pen as to how to operate the retract mechanism. Pressing on the rubber tip (where a knock normally is) doesn't do anything. After a few seconds of looking around the pen, I realized it's the clip that acts as the knock. Takes a bit of retraining to use the clip instead of the top of the pen, but it works well when I remember to use it properly the first time.

There is a tip on JetPens about the temperature-sensative nature of this ink. Apparently, erased ink will reappear if it gets cold enough (lower than 14 degress Fahrenheit), which could be fun to play with but unfortunate if you didn't want that to happen. Just something to keep in mind. I didn't test it out – I take their word for it.

Overall, this is a great pen and I'm really impressed by how far along erasable ink has come in a few years. If you're looking for an erasable pen, this is a great place to start.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on January 7, 2015 and filed under FriXion, Pilot, Pen Reviews.