A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fun you can have with Pilot's affordable Petit3 brush pens. It was my introduction into the world of brush pens, and I'm glad that Pilot offers a pen of such value at such a great price.
Well, I feel pretty much the same way about the Petit1 series, the fountain pen version. The Petit1 pens have the exact same body as the other Petit line of pens, as well as the same unique color options. I know everyone has different opinions about what fountain pen is best to start with, but I think you can't go wrong by recommending a Petit1.
The Petit1 wasn't my first fountain pen purchase, but it was toward the beginning of the whole slippery slope (Thanks, Brad). I bought a couple of Petit1 pens along with a couple of Platinum Preppies to try out the Japanese nibs that Brad and Myke were talking about so much. Looking back, I won't recommend either of those pens for people who are trying to get a good feel for standard nib sizes of Japanese pens. They just vary too much in size, probably due to the price and lack of more stringent quality controls. Long story short, I didn't care for the Preppies, but loved the Petits. They were fun, easy to write with, and could go anywhere.
I've had my share of dud nibs so far, and I've even learned how to work on them to resolve minor issues. But I'm always impressed by the Petit1 pens because so far I've had a 100% success rate from the factory. No adjustments necessary—just clean, smooth, effortless writing from the beginning. I've spent a lot more money on other pens that have been so frustrating due to nib problems. When I think about the Petit1 and the quality I've seen from Pilot, I just can't fathom how other manufacturers can let so many problems out of the factory and onto the shelves. But, I'm starting to rant.
The Petit1 is a small, pocket-sized pen that is very similar in size to the Kaweco Sport line. Very small when capped, but ergonomic when posted. The range of colors you can get with the Petit1 is one of the most attractive features of the pen. Each pen comes with one cartridge of ink that matches the color of the pen. Surprisingly, Pilot even sell extra cartridges for these pens. Yes, they only fit in the Petit1, but it's still a nice option considering these are priced as disposable pens (actually, they look like standard Pilot cartridges that have been shortened). I'm sure you could even convert these pens to an eyedropper system, but I haven't tried it yet.
One of the things that delighted me about this pen when I first got it was the clear feed. When you pop the ink cartridge in, you can watch the ink creep its way up the small wick inside the feed, and the color spreads to the outer edges of the feed. I enjoy it...maybe a little too much.
These pens write well. They're smooth and dependable. In my experience, even though these are listed as a "fine" nib, they vary from (Japanese) fine to medium in practice.
Despite being thin plastic, I've never had one of these break, which is definitely a major selling point over the Preppy. Every Preppy I've owned has cracked from normal use.
Overall, I can't recommend these pens enough. At $3.80 a pop, you can even go crazy and order all eight colors at once.