Posts filed under Pilot

Pilot Vanishing Point Gun Metal Black Matte Fountain Pen Review

I didn't need another Pilot Vanishing Point. I already had two: the famed Black Matte, which became one of the "pens who shall not be named" on the podcast, and a retro Black Faceted model, which is a mainstay of my collection. So why did I NEED this new Gun Metal Black Matte Vanishing Point? I rarely need any new pen, but this one I had to have.

It took a while for me to get on the Gun Metal bandwagon. I wasn't sure of the color scheme at first, but after seeing multiple pictures of it and checking it out in person I went for it. The barrel is slightly different than the full black matte version, with the grey area being smooth as opposed to a satiny matte feel, which is reserved for the tip, clip, middle band, and knock. It's quite a stunning look, especially in person.

It also sports one of the recently introduced black nib units, which I am in love with. I went for the EF nib, which is ridiculously small, even for me. I never recommend this size to anyone but I love it. Paired with a well lubricated ink like Sailor Nano Black, this nib writes wonderfully smooth and consistent. But boy is it fine. You really need to manage your writing angle with this one to make sure you are hitting the sweet spot.

Many people have asked what fountain pen best compares to the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm/0.4 mm gel ink pens. Pilot's EF nibs, as found in the Penmanship (which can be swapped into the Metropolitan or Prera) and the Vanishing Point, are the closest I have found. Looking at the writing sample in my Field Notes it is closest to the 0.28 mm Uni-ball Signo DX and 0.3 mm Hi-Tec-C, so that seems like a good range. Ink and paper will cause this to vary of course.

But back to this whole idea of needing this pen. Although yes, I got this pen for free as part of my JetPens sponsorship, I still couldn't justify it without selling one of my current Vanishing Points. I didn't see myself actively using two similar pens, so my trusty black matte VP, one of my first big fountain pen purchases, has found a new home. More than any other fountain pen I own, the Vanishing Point is made to be used, anywhere and everywhere. That is this pens job, so having one sitting around collecting dust would be doing it a disservice.

My friend Mel found the words I was struggling to find about my Field Notes Butcher Orange, and it applies here too: "By using it, it is now truly yours and you've fulfilled its purpose." Words to live by.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on July 21, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Pilot, Vanishing Point, Fountain Pens.

Pilot Letter Pad for Fountain Pens Review

I was smitten with the Pilot Letter Pad for Fountain Pens from the moment I took it out of my banged up package from JetPens (thanks USPS!). The blue cover with the white and gold writing gives off a classic, sophisticated look, and that logo - wow. I don't know what it is about that logo that gets to me, but it is funky and I love it. The real story here is the paper though, so let's get to it.

In the grand scheme of things, the paper quality is elite. It is as smooth as any paper I have used with no bleed and no feathering at all. It is incredible to write on. It gives the same nib-to-paper feel as something like Tomoe River or Rhodia R but with the added durability of a thicker page. In my written review I used a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Stub nib loaded with Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw and it performed wonderfully.

Where the rub lies with the Pilot Letter Pad is the value. If you consider that this is a special occasion pad used for written correspondance (it has envelopes to match even) then I'm somewhat ok with the 30 cents per sheet cost. Even then, you are going to need to mind the exceptionally wide line ruling (front side only) to not end up with a 10 page letter. I think this pad would be better suited with blank pages personally, or else try to fit two or three written lines between the ruling, which is easily doable.

To sum it up, this is a high quality pad that performs exceptionally well and is a pleasure to use. Is it worth the high price of admission? It depends on how much you like your friends. I wouldn't use this as a desk pad but rather to impress a pen pal halfway around the world. Maybe I should write Myke a letter.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on May 22, 2014 and filed under Notebook Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Biz Gel Ink Pen Review

Erasable pens don't often make my daily rotation, but when one does it is guaranteed to be a Pilot FriXion. Other companies have tried to compete with Pilot in this realm but none have come close. When you think erasable pen all you need to think about is FriXion.

The Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Biz Gel Ink Pen is the latest to come across my desk, from my friends at JetPens of course, and it it may be the best barrel yet. It falls in their high end FriXion line, like the Biz Point 0.4 mm, and others, before it.

The metal Ball Knock Biz barrel has a great weight to it and the retractability of the tip (using the clip as the knock) is a huge plus. From a design standpoint, the only thing that may take it down a notch is that you have to unscrew a cap at the end of the barrel to get to the eraser. Several other models leave it exposed for quick access. Otherwose, it is a very sharp looking pen.

For those who are not fans of the FriXion line the issue with the pen always comes down to the same thing: The gel ink colors are too light compared to their non-erasable counterparts. I agree with this, but I am willing to pay that price for erasability. The black ink is my least favorite, so I keep the blue 0.4 mm needle tip refills handy, which I enjoy. Yes, the ink is lighter than traditional blue gel inks but this one works for me.

For $33 the Ball Knock Biz does not come cheap. If you are a fan of the FriXion line it may be worth the barrel upgrade to you. If you are wanting to test out a FriXion to see what the fuss is all about I would recommend going with the standard Ball Knock retractable (reviewed here). Regardless, Pilot has the erasable pen market on lock down and the FriXion is the only model in this category you should consider.

For more on this pen, check out the recent review at From the Pen Cup

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on May 16, 2014 and filed under FriXion, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai Ink Review

What qualities make Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai my favorite fountain pen ink? It is one of the very few inks that works in any pen with any nib on any paper and in any situation. Plus, it is blue black, which I have a well known affinity for. I never hesitate to use it, which is not something that can be said about every ink I own.

Shin-Kai translates into "Deep Sea" and I would say that is pretty accurate. It is the perfect combination of blue and black with no stray colors you see in other blue black inks like green, teal, purple, or grey. It does have a slight red sheen on wetter lines, which is a nice touch. In the pantheon of blue black inks I have tested it falls smack in the middle in darkness. There are lighter and darker blue blacks to be found.

The Pilot Iroshizuku line is notoriously well behaved. It works with any size nib, from extra fine and firm like my Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO nib to 1.5 mm stub nibs. It is also easy to clean, leaving no trace behind in any pen or converter I have used.

If there is a knock on Shin-Kai - or any Iroshizuku ink - is that it is not waterproof. It will run or fade if it gets wet so if that is high on your ink requirments list you may want to look elswhere. For me, it is not a consideration at all for the type of writing I do so its not a negative on my list. Other than that it is flawless in my mind.

You have one ink that can be your favorite. Just one - no hedging your bets. What is it?

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on May 12, 2014 and filed under Ink Reviews, Iroshizuku, Pilot.

You Win, Pilot Metropolitan

The Pilot Metropolitan is the best fountain pen for beginners. There. I said it.

Ever since it was released, the Metropolitan has been gaining steam. I liked what I saw when I reviewed the original medium nib model, and now that the fine nib model has hit mass release I think it is the fountain pen to choose for beginners over my previous favorite, the Lamy Safari.

I still love the Safari, so what changed? The Pilot Metropolitan nib is superior. Japanese nibs are finer than their counterparts from the rest of the world, and the fine Pilot nib is amazing. I love it in the Pilot Prera, and now it is available in a pen less than half the price? I'm sold. The sharper edge on the step-down from the barrel to the grip is still present, so that flaw puts it even with the molded grip on the Lamy Safari. No pen is completely perfect, right? And while the Safari line has many more stock nib options, the Metropolitan is easily modifiable with the EF nib from the Pilot Penmanship or the stub nib from the Pilot Plumix, all for approximately the cost of the Safari.

What do I want to see next from the Metropolitan line? No more Python or Leopard patterns, that's for sure. Since it is a metal body pen and Pilot is doing some interesting colors in their Vanishing Point line, how about some colored barrels? Get on that Pilot - don't let the Kakuno line have all the fun.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on May 8, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Metropolitan, Pen Reviews, Pilot.