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Pilot Penmanship


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#1 ehebert

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:22

Brief introduction: I mostly use cheap pens (Preppies & a Lamy Safari), so I canít compare the performance of this pen to finer ones. The pictures were taken with a very old digital camera, so I apologize for some of the blurry shots.

I first noticed this pen, called the Pilot Penmanship, on Jetpens. It was sold out, so I googled it like crazy. I couldnít find it anywhere else, including Pilotís (U.S.) website. I got a few when they were back in stock.
Hereís the wrapper:


Design/Appearance: This pen comes in two colors: clear & black. Itís long and slender with a tapered barrel. From the tip of the nib to the end of the barrel, it measures 5 & 5/8 inches. Thatís about 3/4Ē longer than an uncapped Preppy. The section is shaped very much like that of the Lamy Safari, with a rounded triangular grip. The small cap screws on tightly. It can be posted, but looks a little silly. The ďearsĒ on the cap keep it from rolling around.




This image from Jetpens site of the black version really shows the shaped grip:


Construction: This pen feels much more substantial than my Preppy pens. I have had one or two Preppy barrels crack. Currently, I only use one as an eyedropper (I usually refill their cartridges with a syringe). On the Pilot, the threads that hold the two parts of the pen together are very tight. The parts screw together without any wiggling. There arenít any air holes at the end of the barrel. To convert to an eyedropper, simply cover the threads with silicone, screw the pen together, and wipe off the excess. No O-ring necessary.


Nib: These pens are only available in extra fine. The printing on the nib says, ďPilot/ Super Quality/ Japan/ EFĒ I wouldnít say itís buttery, but it writes extremely well. I was taking notes with this pen and I had very few problems with it starting up after leaving it unused & uncapped for 15 minutes or so. I have filled my two pens with Noodlerís Eel inks, so that may have added to the smoothness.



Hereís a writing sample:


Filling system: The pen comes with one cartridge of blue ink that is unlike any others I have seen. Jetpens does not sell any separate cartridges for this pen. I have not tried using the included cartridge yet. Who needs a cartridge when you can fill the whole pen with ink? I have no idea if a converter would work in this pen.

Cost/Value: For 7.50 USD, I think this pen is a great bargain for people who want to try an extra fine nib and/or an eyedropper. For me, the main drawback is the teeny, invisible cap that easily disappears on a cluttered desk (guilty). Luckily, it seems to work well when left uncapped for a little while. For others, drawbacks may include its filling system & limited availability.

I have really enjoyed reading all of the ink & pen reviews here since joining FPN about seven months ago. I hope you enjoyed my small contribution!


#2 celthana

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:42

The included cartridge looks like a standard pilot/namiki cartridge. Also don't forget the drawback of not having a clip for those who carry their pens clipped to something.

Thanks for the review, I might have bought one of these if I had heard about them before I ran out of budget...

#3 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 14:57

Great review---the body kind of looks like the Plumix body but the nib is obviously different.

#4 El Mocho

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 15:12

QUOTE (Sailor Kenshin @ Jul 6 2009, 07:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review---the body kind of looks like the Plumix body but the nib is obviously different.


I have one of these: The gripping section is about the same as the Plumix-- different nib, though-- but the cap and body are different.

I hadn't considered using this as an eyedropper. I had a Plumix with a hole in the body and things didn't work out so well. However, different body, clear pen...

#5 Pengrump

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 15:50

A con-50 converter fits the Pilot Penmanship. Most likely a con-20 would fit as well. I have in black and one that's clear. Will try some Noodler's eel in it since the last ink I used made it scratchy as all get-out. I've had four Preppy pens crack on me, and one cracked that I had given to a friend. These look more substantial. There's a little indentation on the end of the barrel and I thought that might be an air hole, so I hesitated to use the pen as an ED filler. But now I just poked it with a pin, and it's not a hole at all. So an ED conversion may well be in the works. Thanks for the review!

#6 andy1m

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 16:33

Without a clip! Not a good pen to carry around in pocket. But it looks great, I prefer EF and transparent ones.

#7 johnnyies

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 18:03

how does the con-20 converter work?

Edited by johnnyies, 27 July 2009 - 18:42.


#8 imau

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 15:39

I bought one of this pens and I like it, it writes very thin line thou it's a bit scratchy.
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#9 Pengrump

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 18:08

QUOTE (johnnyies @ Jul 27 2009, 02:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
how does the con-20 converter work?


The con-20 does not form a good seal no matter how hard I push it in. It sits too loosely in the section. The con-50 worked fine though. I had it in the pen for two weeks and no leaks or problems--other than the pen's scratchy nib, which had nothing to do with the converter.

#10 silverjen

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:48

Your review convinced me to order one. Not that it was a hard sell, since I prefer ergo grips, demonstrators, and eyedroppers! This is the only pen I've seen (so far) that has all three.

Anyway, it's in the mail. Fingers crossed it isn't too scratchy...


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#11 ismellarat

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 20:00

I got a pilot plumix for $6 from target and it looks strikingly similar to this pen. The only difference I see is that all plumix's that I saw were transparent and the nib. The nib on the plumix is a beautiful, buttery smooth, medium stub smile.gif it's my first stub nib and this pen has all the qualities I look for in a pen. Cheap, durable, wet writing, smooth, and cheap. Also, the blue ink cart that came with the pen has the nicest blue ink I have ever seen in it smile.gif I bought the pen on Monday and wrote it out in 3 days smile.gif

I might do the eyedropper conversion for my plumix because of the transparent body and the lack of holes.

This looked like another pen that I would buy because I love the plumix so much but once I read all the scratchy nib comments that idea went out the window.
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#12 steveh6883

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 00:43

Anyone know where I can get a Pilot Penmanship in the UK?

Getting it from JetPens USA doubles the price!

Thanks

Edited by steveh6883, 10 August 2009 - 00:44.

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#13 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:08

Anyone know where I can get a Pilot Penmanship in the UK?

Getting it from JetPens USA doubles the price!

Thanks


Hmm... arrange a trade with a US member ... for a Pilot Pluminix? ;)

#14 kirianth

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 19:23

I <3 this pen... it's my first fountain pen that writes as thin as my favored gel pens. I'm not as fond of the grip, but for $7.50, it's a toothless complaint. Plus I can put the nib/feed into my Prera.

I'd be up for doing an over-the-pond trade with this pen (I'd send a new one, 'course ;) ) ... those ASDA notebooks look intriguing!

#15 Gran

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 21:56

Ismellarat, if you've had a chance to do it, how did you eyedropper conversion work out?

May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!

#16 HenryLouis

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 22:04

I was thinking of ordering one but I don't have any silicon grease to use on the threads... Would Vaseline work? Sorry if it's a stupid question.

Also, should I go for the black or the clear?
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#17 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 13:39

I'm no expert but I would NOT use petroleum jelly on a pen. I have a Recife eyedropper pen that uses a simple O-ring sealer. You can get O-rings at the hardware store for pennies.

#18 MOVIESTAR

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 15:50

QUOTE (andy1m @ Jul 6 2009, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Without a clip! Not a good pen to carry around in pocket. But it looks great, I prefer EF and transparent ones.


I agree
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#19 HenryLouis

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 18:54

QUOTE (Sailor Kenshin @ Sep 8 2009, 09:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm no expert but I would NOT use petroleum jelly on a pen. I have a Recife eyedropper pen that uses a simple O-ring sealer. You can get O-rings at the hardware store for pennies.


ah do you know why for I am curious
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#20 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 20:59

Why no petroleum jelly?

I'm just guessing, but it has a really low melting point and can probably creep into all the parts of your pen you don't want it in. Maybe even clog the nib or feed.

#21 HenryLouis

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 22:33

QUOTE (Sailor Kenshin @ Sep 8 2009, 04:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why no petroleum jelly?

I'm just guessing, but it has a really low melting point and can probably creep into all the parts of your pen you don't want it in. Maybe even clog the nib or feed.


Sounds reasonable. Maybe I'll just refill the cartridges until I can actually pick up some silicone grease
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#22 runadog

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 17:17

Without a clip! Not a good pen to carry around in pocket. But it looks great, I prefer EF and transparent ones.

A Sakura SumoGrip mechanical pencil clip fits it perfectly.

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#23 hecya

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 21:44

Where did you buy it? I have seen one on ebay that goes under the title "New Pilot Human Engineering" and is white in color. Even when it looks like a giant sperm cell I like it but the biding always finishes close to US$30.00.

#24 runadog

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 01:29

JetPens.com $7.50 plus shipping
http://www.jetpens.c...roducts_id/4008

#25 dwong

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 16:34

I might have to add this onto my next Jetpens purchase. It looks like writes a very fine line!

#26 amateriat

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:33

After buying both a Custom 823 and Custom 74 Demonstrator, I guess Pilot Fever got the best of me, and I ordered a black Penmanship, and CON-20 converter, from JetPens a little under two months ago.

The CON-20 fit just fine from the get-go, so I never bothered with the included cartridge. First time I inked it up, the pen seemed a tad too scratchy for my taste. Some very minor and mild tweaking smoothed things out to the point where it feels just south of scratchy, but still obviously less-smooth than either my 823 or 74. It's very good for quick, short notes, having tons of line control, even on relatively lousy paper. Yes, not having a clip reduces this pen's take-along utility, but I bought it to keep at home, and as an alternative to a dip pen (couldn't find a dip pen I liked).

Currently, the pen is filled with Pilot's "Signature" ("For Documents") permanent-black ink, and the combination has reasonable smoothness/flow.

For well under ten bucks, it's an interesting and worthwhile little pen.


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#27 bluemagister

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 14:55

CON-50 and -20 fit perfectly into the Plumix (US version) and Penmanship. I have CON-50s in two Penmanships and they function perfectly with HoD and Lexington Gray. My Plumix has a CON-20 and a 50/50 dilution of Nakahama. All 3 are flawless writers.

#28 cocojj

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 14:39

I'm sold! :)


Does anyone have any idea how much these pens (Penmanship and Plumix) sell for in Japan? I'm trying to decide whether to buy from Jetpens or ask a family member who's going to Japan to get them for me.

Edited by cocojj, 26 September 2010 - 14:40.


#29 GooseDeluxe

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 18:44

Great review---the body kind of looks like the Plumix body but the nib is obviously different.


I <3 this pen... it's my first fountain pen that writes as thin as my favored gel pens. I'm not as fond of the grip, but for $7.50, it's a toothless complaint. Plus I can put the nib/feed into my Prera.


Wait, I am a little confused. I know the nibs in the Plumix and Prera are interchangable. So if Kirianth can put the Penmanship nib in the Prera, then shouldn't the nibs for all three pens be the same?

Ah, or... Kenshin, did you mean the nibs are different in that the Plumix nib is a medium italic while the Penmanship is a regular extra fine?

I am tempted to get one and see what a Pilot extra fine nib is like.

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#30 ehebert

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 00:21

Wait, I am a little confused. I know the nibs in the Plumix and Prera are interchangable. So if Kirianth can put the Penmanship nib in the Prera, then shouldn't the nibs for all three pens be the same?

Ah, or... Kenshin, did you mean the nibs are different in that the Plumix nib is a medium italic while the Penmanship is a regular extra fine?

I am tempted to get one and see what a Pilot extra fine nib is like.
[/quote]


The nib of the Plumix, Penmanship, Prera, and the 78G are all interchangeable. For some reason, an extra fine nib is only available on the Penmanship. An italic/broad nib is only available on the Plumix or 78G. So if you like a certain penís body, but the nib width you want doesnít come with it, you can swap nibs from another pen. I think the Pilot Knight might also have the same nib.

As for the extra fine nib, itís great if you can match it with the right ink. Iíve had about 50/50 chance of good performance with the inks I have tried. Iíve also found these nibs to be very forgiving when ďworked onĒ. Iíve used a razor blade to open up a few fine 78G nibs that refused to write. Iím far from an expert at altering a nib, but all of my hack jobs resulted in great writers. So even if you donít like the extra fine nib, you can widen it with a razor.