Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Pilot 78G Broad (Stub) Long-Term Review

pilot pilot 78g stub

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 Mister John

Mister John

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Location:Walnut Creek, CA USA
  • Flag:

Posted 21 May 2013 - 17:01

This is a long-term review meaning that it is based on roughly 18 months experience with the particular pen. 

 

Pilot 78g Broad (stub):

 

After enjoying playing with my 1.1mm Lamy Joy, I thought it would be nice to add some other italic pens to my collection. The Lamy 1.1mm nib is smooth and pleasant to write with, but lacks sharp line variation and is, perhaps, a touch too broad for extensive notetaking. Based on my experience with Japanese nibs running thinner than western, I gambled that the Pilot 78g might serve this purpose better. So I bought a green one from Speerbob (great eBay seller, no affiliation) for $20 hoping that I would be happy. The pen arrived in a Pilot labeled cardboard box enclosed in a ziploc bag, also labeled Pilot. This is about what I was expecting, so I was not fussed by the utilitarian packaging. The pen did not come with a cartridge but did come with a Con-20 converter--a very nice touch for a pen at this price point. The Con-20, as most know, is not one of the better converters on the market, but it works well enough. 

 

Rant: Why are western pen companies so stingy with converters? It drives me nuts that when I buy a Safari, Vista, or Joy I have to plunk down an extra $6 for a converter--more than the cost of many Chinese pens that come with converters. To me, a converter is an essential part of the pen. I want to use bottled ink and that requires a converter. It's like selling a car and not including headlights since, after all, you don't have to drive at night. Lamy is not the only company guilty of this. Pelikan provides no converters for their inexpensive pens, nor does Parker or Sheaffer. The worst offender is Cross: I recently bought their Special Edition Year of the Dragon pen. It's a beautiful pen and not especially cheap, but they didn't bother to include a converter!! 

End of Rant

 

The moment of truth--inking the pen up and taking it for its maiden voyage--was something to look forward to. I filled it with Pelikan Konigsblau and gave it a go. The 78g broad is a wonderful pen. It produced a finer line than the 1.1mm Lamy and good variation. Smooth and effortless to use, it is a medium writer in terms of wetness and worked well for the cursive italic style that I favor. (Thank goodness for the Dubay and Getty book Write Now that taught me how to do this as my previous handwriting was spectacularly awful.) I also tried out foundational and half-uncial with good results as well.

 

What I want out of italic pens is the ability to use them to liven up my everyday handwriting. This means they must work when writing at speed, and they cannot be too fussy about the location of the sweet spot nor too sharp that paper gets torn when writing quickly. In those terms, the 78g is masterful. Of course, the compromise is that the thin part of the line is not as thin as what one can achieve with dip pen nibs nor are the wedge serifs in half-uncial as crisp as they might be, but for someone looking to pretty up their basic handwriting, it is excellent. 

 

This pen took its place in the #1 slot of my travel rotation. These pens live in a small case in my backpack and travel with me wherever I go. To be effective in this role, a pen needs to be cheap enough that it can be replaced if lost, which occasionally happens. It needs to be tough enough to get bounced around. It also needs to be continent enough that it does not leak when jostled. An ideal pen for the role should also be able to fly without problems. The 78g has performed well in all of these dimensions. It does not leak when jostled and flies extremely well--I've never had an ink explosion while flying with it many times and at various levels of fullness. It does, however, have one drawback for traveling: because it uses proprietary Pilot cartridges, it requires its own supply of cartridges for long trips apart from the usual supply of international carts I regularly carry.

 

Having used the pen for more than a year, it has acquitted itself extremely well. No signs of surface wear or other problems. The plating is still fine both on the furniture and on the nib itself. No functional problems with the nib or converter despite active use of both. The pen shows no tendency to dry out or become a hard starter even with weeklong periods of lack of use. 

 

For $20, the pen is an exceptional value for those looking for an easygoing italic/stub nib and some modicum of classiness. Cheaper italics, including the Pilot Pluminix can be had, though the weird shape and design of the Pluminix make it questionable for business use. The biggest drawback will be felt by those looking for extreme line variation, say running from EF to BBB. The 78g cannot supply this variation--it is more like F to BB (i.e. a stub). For those looking for the ultimate in fit and finish, the pen will also disappoint. The plastic is neither the most lustrous nor the highest grade. The furniture is functional but not spectacular. At its core, it is a utilitarian pen, comparable to the Lamy Safari and the like. Finally, for those who want their pens to have heft, it will disappoint, The all light-plastic construction makes the pen feather light. I find this to be perfectly fine and, indeed, a design plus for long writing sessions without fatigue. But others may prefer something a bit heavier.  

 

 

 



Sponsored Content

#2 wastelanded

wastelanded

    No affiliation.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,118 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 21 May 2013 - 17:11

Thanks for an informative and insightful review. I have had a B-nibbed 78G for over a year, and it's rarely not in rotation: mine likes Tsuki-yo. I always say, best sub-$20 pen there is.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#3 Fabienne

Fabienne

    Et nunc, aliquid plene diversum!

  • Remembered Fondly
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,765 posts
  • Location:Some super sexy place in the Midwest.
  • Flag:

Posted 21 May 2013 - 17:17

A tremendous pen. I love my B and my BB.



 It's for Yew!bastardchildlil.jpg

 


#4 fiberdrunk

fiberdrunk

    Fibery and Inky Goodness

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,749 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Flag:

Posted 21 May 2013 - 17:51


Rant: Why are western pen companies so stingy with converters? It drives me nuts that when I buy a Safari, Vista, or Joy I have to plunk down an extra $6 for a converter--more than the cost of many Chinese pens that come with converters. To me, a converter is an essential part of the pen. I want to use bottled ink and that requires a converter. It's like selling a car and not including headlights since, after all, you don't have to drive at night. Lamy is not the only company guilty of this. Pelikan provides no converters for their inexpensive pens, nor does Parker or Sheaffer. The worst offender is Cross: I recently bought their Special Edition Year of the Dragon pen. It's a beautiful pen and not especially cheap, but they didn't bother to include a converter!! 

End of Rant

 

 

I so agree!  I hope pen manufacturers everywhere will take note!

 

Great review.  This is one of my favorite pens.  :thumbup:


Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

#5 Gloucesterman

Gloucesterman

    Transformation Coach

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,339 posts
  • Location:Gloucester, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 21 May 2013 - 19:22

I have seven (7) 78Gs, two with the "B" nib. I love using them. Easy to use, clean, carry and fill. In addition, I transplanted the nib into a Pilot Metropolitan that I bought from Staples. As the 78G nib is gold colored it goes well with the gold colored "Met". Because the Pilot nibs are swappable in some other Pilot pens, I could also transplant the "B" nib into an older Pilot Knight.

 

Kudos on the review and in total alignment - even with the rant.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#6 Tom Traubert

Tom Traubert

    Mint - both Linux and pens :)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Location:Lancashire, the Glorious North
  • Flag:

Posted 20 October 2013 - 15:05

Based on this review, my desire to own another fountain pen and my budget limitations (I spent £70, which I believe to be around $100 on a Cross Apogee which is delightful, but that'll be my only pricey pen for a good many years, I reckon) I bought a Teal coloured 78G with the broad nib from eBay.  It's currently shipping from Hong Kong and cost me all of £7/$10 including shipping.  It'll probably take the best part of half a lifetime to arrive, but at that price, I couldn't care less!

 

I'm going to fill it with Diamine Oxblood and use it as my creative writing pen, and keep my Cross for the day to day task of marking students' work.


Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.


#7 Clancy

Clancy

    - Toasted Head -

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,661 posts
  • Location:northern California

Posted 20 October 2013 - 15:49

Thanks Mister John; a fine review. I have long embraced the 78g as one of the best values in fountain pens. Even with many pens in my collection I will frequently have one of these great workhorses inked and in rotation. The 78g is a pen I often recommend to others.


"Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause." - Gandhi -
 
 


#8 Gloucesterman

Gloucesterman

    Transformation Coach

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,339 posts
  • Location:Gloucester, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:26

78G for $10.50 with free shipping over $20.00!

 

No affiliation with www.jstationery.com.

 

Have bought several from this vendor and been very happy with them. He carries the "F, M, B" in all of the colors unless out of stock.

 

As stated in previous post I really like this pen, especially got the money.

 

Because I live in the same state, if I order earlier in the day, I sometimes receive the pens the next day, now THAT is the kind of free shipping I like!


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#9 Drone

Drone

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,446 posts
  • Location:Miami > Me < Ft. Lauderdale
  • Flag:

Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:57

78G for $10.50 with free shipping over $20.00!

 

No affiliation with www.jstationery.com.

 

Have bought several from this vendor and been very happy with them. He carries the "F, M, B" in all of the colors unless out of stock.

 

As stated in previous post I really like this pen, especially got the money.

 

Because I live in the same state, if I order earlier in the day, I sometimes receive the pens the next day, now THAT is the kind of free shipping I like!

 

Thanks for that jstationery link. I wonder if they're affiliated with this Hong Kong pen dealer:

 

http://www.stationeryart.com/

 

They have 78G's for less than $8 USD with a couple bucks shipping by Hong Kong post - which I've found reliable. Unfortunately, the 78G stock at stationeryart has been getting a bit spotty lately.

 

I have four 78G's with various nibs. The B nib (stub) is my favorite and that pen has seen a lot of use over the years. The painted-on trim is coming off; but that's not an issue, it polishes away. No clip brassing, no rusting on the nib. The only complaint is with the converter - it is inkophilic with some inks, making for poor flow. I dumped the converter and refill cartridges. A minor inconvenience yes, but at least now I can see the ink level.

 

I've posted elsewhere about this... I have used the Pilot Parallel Pen colored ink cartridges in the 78G with no issues at all. In-fact the cartridges themselves are worth picking up because they have a metal ball inside to aid ink flow. If you travel with your 78G's, pick up a mixed color pack of Parallel Pen cartridges for fun on the road.



#10 Gloucesterman

Gloucesterman

    Transformation Coach

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,339 posts
  • Location:Gloucester, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:25

 

Thanks for that jstationery link. I wonder if they're affiliated with this Hong Kong pen dealer:

 

http://www.stationeryart.com/

 

They have 78G's for less than $8 USD with a couple bucks shipping by Hong Kong post - which I've found reliable. Unfortunately, the 78G stock at stationeryart has been getting a bit spotty lately.

 

I have four 78G's with various nibs. The B nib (stub) is my favorite and that pen has seen a lot of use over the years. The painted-on trim is coming off; but that's not an issue, it polishes away. No clip brassing, no rusting on the nib. The only complaint is with the converter - it is inkophilic with some inks, making for poor flow. I dumped the converter and refill cartridges. A minor inconvenience yes, but at least now I can see the ink level.

 

I've posted elsewhere about this... I have used the Pilot Parallel Pen colored ink cartridges in the 78G with no issues at all. In-fact the cartridges themselves are worth picking up because they have a metal ball inside to aid ink flow. If you travel with your 78G's, pick up a mixed color pack of Parallel Pen cartridges for fun on the road.

 

Obviously you have not been to sationeryart recently. They have few fountain pens and have not had many for several months. In fact, it looks like they are selling out of pens completely and may eventually be going out of business completely (but I do not know anything for sure.

 

As for "jstationery" I doubt that he has any connection. His FP selection is pretty minimal (although) the prices look good on some. He has practically no inks or converters or paper, etc. He seems to have reasonable gel pens and such though. Again, no affiliation -FYI!

 

Good luck

-S-


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#11 swanjun

swanjun

    (Not really a lamb.)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,019 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:43

I've posted elsewhere about this... I have used the Pilot Parallel Pen colored ink cartridges in the 78G with no issues at all. In-fact the cartridges themselves are worth picking up because they have a metal ball inside to aid ink flow. If you travel with your 78G's, pick up a mixed color pack of Parallel Pen cartridges for fun on the road.

 

I have only used one of these "Parallel-exlusive" cartridges in a 78g so far but I, too, experienced no issues whatsoever.  In my case, it was in the pen for months and never failed to start up right away.



#12 BookCat

BookCat

    Crazy Cat Lady

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 395 posts
  • Location:Birmingham UK
  • Flag:

Posted 27 October 2013 - 16:24

After reading these reviews, I've come to the conclusion that I was sent a bad pen. My 78g doesn't work at all in the way described. Initially, it was very dry and unuseable, so I opened the tines slightly by resting the nib on a pen barrel and applying a little pressure while keeping a finger on the part of the nib which touches the feed. (As shown by Stephen Brown in his videos.)

 

This increased the flow a little, but did nothing about the terribly scratchy nib. I don't write in a style which slants to the right, but one which is more vertical, so everytime I made any circular motion, the nib scratched the paper.

 

I love the lightness and the body of the pen (black with gold-coloured trimmings), but don't like the nib at all. With so many positive reviews for it, I can only deduce that either I have a bad nib or my vertical writing affects the sense of scratchiness.



#13 Rosser

Rosser

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 27 October 2013 - 21:13

After reading these reviews, I've come to the conclusion that I was sent a bad pen. My 78g doesn't work at all in the way described. Initially, it was very dry and unuseable, so I opened the tines slightly by resting the nib on a pen barrel and applying a little pressure while keeping a finger on the part of the nib which touches the feed. (As shown by Stephen Brown in his videos.)

 

This increased the flow a little, but did nothing about the terribly scratchy nib. I don't write in a style which slants to the right, but one which is more vertical, so everytime I made any circular motion, the nib scratched the paper.

 

I love the lightness and the body of the pen (black with gold-coloured trimmings), but don't like the nib at all. With so many positive reviews for it, I can only deduce that either I have a bad nib or my vertical writing affects the sense of scratchiness.

Hi BookCat,

My experience mirrored yours with a stub nib.  Awful, dry and unusable.  I have a medium and fine which are good though.

Ross.



#14 ThirdeYe

ThirdeYe

    Snail Mail Addict

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,749 posts
  • Location:Walker, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:47

I liked my Pilot 78G B in terms of smoothness, but I found it to be too dry to be used comfortably. With more flow, it could've been a keeper.


Derek's Pens and Pencils
I am always looking for new penpals! Send me a pm if you'd like to exchange correspondence. :)

#15 Tom Traubert

Tom Traubert

    Mint - both Linux and pens :)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Location:Lancashire, the Glorious North
  • Flag:

Posted 04 November 2013 - 14:31

Wow!  Mine arrived today and I can't believe how good it is!  It cost less than 1/10 the price of my Cross Apogee and, whilst it doesn't feel as nice sat in my hand, it is smooth and I get some amazing variation thanks to the stub nib.  I love the teal colour as well - it looks like a piece of bad 1960s stationary.

 

I'll use it to write my Christmas cards, I think.


Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.


#16 bobaroo

bobaroo

    My dog has a sock on its nose, and is very happy about it.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts
  • Location:England
  • Flag:

Posted 04 November 2013 - 15:04

Wow!  Mine arrived today and I can't believe how good it is!  It cost less than 1/10 the price of my Cross Apogee and, whilst it doesn't feel as nice sat in my hand, it is smooth and I get some amazing variation thanks to the stub nib.  I love the teal colour as well - it looks like a piece of bad 1960s stationary.

 

Lol! That's 'classic' straight out of the box!



#17 Tom Traubert

Tom Traubert

    Mint - both Linux and pens :)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Location:Lancashire, the Glorious North
  • Flag:

Posted 04 November 2013 - 16:18

Yeah, genuinely can't believe my luck. £6.90 too. It'll probably behind my everyday pen, and my Cross can sit in my pen holder with a cob on because it's being neglected for some cheapo plastic thing!

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.


#18 discopig

discopig

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts

Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:45

Thanks, that was a great review.



#19 Anabasis

Anabasis

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:01

I have one of these and enjoy using it often.  The only issue I have is that it runs pretty dry.



#20 mbcollector

mbcollector

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:16

I have one of these and enjoy using it often.  The only issue I have is that it runs pretty dry.

 

That's true, mine is pretty dry to... but it is still very enjoyable at school to takes notes!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pilot, pilot 78g, stub



Sponsored Content




|