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Pilot Vanishing Point Review

pilot vanishing point review

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27 replies to this topic

#1 volkswagenfox21

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 02:40

Pilot Vanishing Point, Broad Nib
 
I wanted a pen for quick note taking, a gold nib, and not be too flashy in the visual department. I did some research and it looked like the Pilot Vanishing Point would meet my requirements. 18kt gold nib (broad, in my case), great for taking notes, because of it's retractable nib, and it looks nice and understated.
 
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The Pilot branding is not subtle.
 
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It's cool that you can put two more pens in the box.
 
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Lift up the "floor" to reveal the literature and that metal thing you need to put over the cartridge. Not in the picture are the converter and cartridge.
 
Appearance & Design (9/10)
 
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I think the Vanishing Point, overall, is a very elegant, classy, and balanced looking pen. I chose the Gun Metal Gray version with rhodium accents. I don't think it's particularly flashy (not in this colour anyway) and that suits me just fine. The gray colour looks nice and deep, like the paint on a car, and narrow nib looks quite unique.
 
It essentially looks like a retractable ballpoint pen with the clip on the wrong end. Some people might not like the positioning of the clip, but it makes sense, since this way the nib is pointed upwards rather than downwards when clipped into a shirt pocket. I like the clip's location, because it insures that I will never accidentally rotate the pen around while I am writing, which I do.
 
Construction & Quality (10/10)
Upon first fondle it's quite evident that this is a quality item. Nothing to complain about here.
 
Weight & Dimensions (9/10)
The pen for me is pretty heavy compared to some of the other ones I own. I don't write with a heavy hand, so the added weight pressing the pen down onto the paper makes it feel like the pen is doing all the work for me! It feels pretty balanced to hold, though people who like to post might find it not back-heavy enough. I never post the cap, so I'm fine with it.
 
Nib & Performance (8.5/10)
The nib 18kt gold and rhodium plated. I chose broad, since I figured it would be the closest to the Lamy medium nibs I'm used to. This nib is super smooth. Best feeling nib I've ever used, but it's also the only gold nibbed pen I've ever used, so I can't really say how well it performs compared to other gold nibs. Not only is it smooth, it also writes well holding the pen at a very vertical angle, which is how I prefer to write.
 
There are a few issues, however. The pen starts out wet and gradually becomes a little drier the more I write, which is annoying sometimes. Occasionally there are hard starts and skips, but they aren't frequent enough to spoil the fun. I noticed that I'm getting the wetness and hard start/skipping problem mostly on Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper, but not with my Leuchturm notebooks.
I tried Diamine Majestic Blue, Iroshizuku Ku-Jaki and Tsuki-yo, and Sailor Jentle Yama-dori with the pen. I had an issue with the pen drying out in less than 12 hours with Diamine Majestic Blue, but I've had similar problems with that ink in other pens. My experience with the other inks was great.
 
Filling System & Maintenance (7/10)
It is a cartridge/converter pen. The supplied converter doesn't hold much ink, which doesn't bother me since I switch inks before the pen is empty anyways. When using cartridges you have to use a weird metal thing and place it over the cartridge before reassembling your pen.
 
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When filling from a bottle, the combined feed/nib unit is pretty convenient, because it's easy to wipe excess ink off of it. There is one thing that annoys me about this pen when cleaning it, though. There sometimes is a bit of ink that get's trapped by the door where the nib comes out of. What I do is take a syringe and blast water into the tip.
 
Cost & Value (?/10)
I paid $140US for it at Goulet Pens. Since I don't have experience with other pens at this price range, I'm not quite sure how the Vanishing Point would compare to them.
 
Conclusion (Final score 8.5/10)
I love this pen. It's my go to pen for most of what I do. It's elegant, feels great, and is just so smooth to write with. Sure there are a few issues with it, like the pen starting out wet and going a bit drier as I write, and the few skips and hard starts, but that's not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this pen. I like it for what I do, I'm glad it is now part of my collection, and it sees frequent use.


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#2 Trom

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 09:14

Thanks for the review. I bought one as well and look forward to use it.

Maybe you could clean the nib for a better flow (warm soap water). Maybe it helps.



#3 doggonecarl

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 13:54

The Vanishing Point is a wonderful writing instrument.

 

 Sure there are a few issues with it, like the pen starting out wet and going a bit drier as I write, and the few skips and hard starts, but that's not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this pen. I like it for what I do, I'm glad it is now part of my collection, and it sees frequent use.

 

Drying out as you write and skipping could be a flow issue, and with the VP, that can sometimes be traced back to the converter and surface tension preventing the ink from getting to the feed. Does your converter have the little metal piece in it?

 

I tend to use and refill the cartridges rather than use the CON 50.



#4 volkswagenfox21

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 22:42

Thanks for the review. I bought one as well and look forward to use it.

Maybe you could clean the nib for a better flow (warm soap water). Maybe it helps.

 

Worth a shot. Thanks

 

The Vanishing Point is a wonderful writing instrument.

Drying out as you write and skipping could be a flow issue, and with the VP, that can sometimes be traced back to the converter and surface tension preventing the ink from getting to the feed. Does your converter have the little metal piece in it?

 

I tend to use and refill the cartridges rather than use the CON 50.

 

Converter has the metal thing. If the soapy water doesn't work, I'll try and refill a cartridge. Too bad I don't have any right now...



#5 graystranger

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 20:11

You will love this pen. I have used a Pilot VP for nearly 16 years. It went to work and home with me every day for over 14 years before I retired. I prefer to refill the cartridge as I use bottled ink, but used Pilot cartridges for the first year or two. Then went to Noodler's Black exclusive for work for the permanence, as some of our documents had severe government requirements. Never had skips or hard starts, but this pen has a M nib. Looks brand new after all those years. Bought a F and B nib units from Goulet a while back and now enjoy switching back and forth. I have made several nib caps for these that let me keep the assemblies inked up between use. My M nib was more like my Lamy Al-Star EF nib. The M is closer to my Waterman F nib. The B is very broad and wet, I use it for writing checks, and other things where I want the broad line and don't mind a long dry time. My VP has sat unused for 2 to 3 weeks on several occasions without drying out or being hard starting. The Copper Limited Edition VP was too much temptation! I orderd one within minutes of Goulet Pens announcing them. So beautiful, a magnificent looking pen. One word of caution, my VP got a tad scratchy just before I retired in 2013. When I learned about nib tuning from Goulet Pens I determined that one tine was slightly above the other tine. I think I got the nib caught when putting it back into the barrel once and bent it a little. Easy to straighten the lower tine, but it made the pen write just a bit wider than it had, not enough to bother me. By the way, in all those 14 years using this pen at work, I never flushed it out or did any maintenance on it until after I retired. Never faulted at all during those years of use.

 

When I get a new pen I usually flush it out with pen flush (ammonia containing) then rinse well in clean water. Just in case. Also, there could be some trace of oils or residue from the machining, polishing, etc. steps at the factory. If you continue to have start/skip issues I would contact Goulet Pens for help.

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Edited by graystranger, 01 November 2014 - 22:47.

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#6 Tasmith

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 20:53

I use the Con 20 in my Vanishing Point.  Always starts right up even after several days of not being used.



#7 Koyote

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:42

I have the exact same pen: same nib size, same color.

 

For the skipping and hard starts, I suggest you try some of Pilot's excellent cartridges, just to see if perhaps the problem goes away (and hence comes from the converter). Some people have reported more reliable writing with carts in the VP. I prefer carts as (1) Pilot's blue and blue-black inks are superb, and (2) it just feels right in such a convenient note-taker to use cartridges, which can be swapped on-the-go.



#8 volkswagenfox21

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 16:40

I'll definitely try a cartridge once I get some. Also, I just remembered that I left something out in the review: sometimes I get a little, high-pitched, squeaking from the nib. I can even feel it squeak. Not really annoying, just peculiar.

#9 Koyote

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 03:28

I'll definitely try a cartridge once I get some. Also, I just remembered that I left something out in the review: sometimes I get a little, high-pitched, squeaking from the nib. I can even feel it squeak. Not really annoying, just peculiar.

 

That is apparently pretty common with the VP nibs, particularly the broads; mine did it initially. Some old posts indicate that it goes away after just a little use, and mine did stop squeaking after perhaps one or two cartridges' worth of ink.



#10 graystranger

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 16:07

 

That is apparently pretty common with the VP nibs, particularly the broads; mine did it initially. Some old posts indicate that it goes away after just a little use, and mine did stop squeaking after perhaps one or two cartridges' worth of ink.

 

My original VP with its original M nib (16 years ago) never showed this squeaking at all. A while back I ordered B and F nibs, and the B had that squeaking. Depended on the paper, only smooth papers had this effect. I kind of like it, like the nib is humming a nice tune or whistling, but so very faint you have to be in a quiet room to experience it. Then when I got the new Copper LE with a its brand new M nib, it showed the squeaking also. Now that I have two VP's, I just ordered a new EF nib from Goulet Pens. I keep the spare nib units inked up with nib caps I made for them inside the nice centrifuge tubes that Goulet Pens ships the VP nibs in. This way I can switch back and forth. For now both VP's are in my EDC. On Goulet Pen's Nib Nook it looks like the Pilot VP EF nib writes a bit thinner than my Metal Falcon SEF nib, that tipped me over to ordering the EF VP nib. When did we ever need something to tip us over? I should have it next Wednesday and anxious to see how it writes. I know it will be ALL WRITE!


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#11 Brian

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 19:58

OK, so everyone or almost everyone would agree this is a great pen with a too small ink supply. So if I were Pilot I'd either reengineer the VP to take the Con-70 or make a new model VP. Could be another hit for them with the application of new engineering and design work. What do you think?

Sorry if someone already thought of this.

#12 graystranger

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 22:19

OK, so everyone or almost everyone would agree this is a great pen with a too small ink supply. So if I were Pilot I'd either reengineer the VP to take the Con-70 or make a new model VP. Could be another hit for them with the application of new engineering and design work. What do you think?

Sorry if someone already thought of this.

I don't agree about the capacity, I refill Pilot cartridges with bottled ink, so easy to do, and I get nearly as much ink than my Con-70 holds. The cartridge holds 0.9 ml, the Con-70 holds about 1.0, not much difference. If they engineered it to hold the Con-70 it would be a lot longer pen than it is. I am very happy with refilling cartridges. I will use the Con-50's or Con-20's when I want to switch ink more often.


Edited by graystranger, 09 November 2014 - 22:22.

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#13 Mongoosey

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 23:39

I keep on thinking about getting the vanishing point, but I wish they made a lightweight Resin version.

 

A 30g pen is quite heavy.



#14 gulfcoastgal

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:10

Decimo is pretty light but takes the sane inner nib /ink system as a VP

#15 Mongoosey

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 21:12

Decimo is pretty light but takes the sane inner nib /ink system as a VP

 

The Decimo is a good suggestion.  I tried one, but I didn't it that comfortable.  I prefer the width and the sweet spot of the section of the Vanishing Point where the clip contours to the grip.

 

If it was Resin it would be a perfect EDC pen:  Lightweight for easy carry and better suited for long writing sessions.  Otherwise for me it's a really expensive Jotter.

 

And furthermore I'd love to see them make a Resin version of the Vanishing Point/Capless Fermo, the twist cap version, which doesn't have that loud Click to it that can be disturbing during a meeting, class, or seminar.



#16 Mongoosey

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 03:24

The Decimo is a good suggestion.  I tried one, but I didn't find*** it that comfortable.  I prefer the width and the sweet spot of the section of the Vanishing Point where the clip contours to the grip.

 

If the Vanishing Point was Resin it would be a great EDC pen:  Lightweight for easy carry and better suited for long writing sessions.  Otherwise for me it's a really expensive Jotter.

 

And if they made the Vanishing Point with the Twist Cap like they have on the Capless Fermo so that it doesn't have that loud Click to it that can be disturbing during a meeting, class, or seminar...  that would be perfect.



#17 dan in montreal

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:03

 

The Decimo is a good suggestion.  I tried one, but I didn't find*** it that comfortable.  I prefer the width and the sweet spot of the section of the Vanishing Point where the clip contours to the grip.

 

If the Vanishing Point was Resin it would be a great EDC pen:  Lightweight for easy carry and better suited for long writing sessions.  Otherwise for me it's a really expensive Jotter.

 

And if they made the Vanishing Point with the Twist Cap like they have on the Capless Fermo so that it doesn't have that loud Click to it that can be disturbing during a meeting, class, or seminar...  that would be perfect.

 

The weight of the pen does not bother me at all. However, this is not a model I would use for an extended writing session. I mostly use it to take notes on the go. I've used mine for years for that purpose, most of the time with a con-20. I find these aerometric converters rather good.

The metal housing is reassuring - the pen is robust.  Mine has been through all kinds of situations, and the finish is still fresh (mine is the black lacquer / chrome version, with a steel nib).

 

I actually like the click action! It's no more distracting than a Parker Jotter or some other retractable ballpoint pen.  In fact, I find it's one of perks of this pen!



#18 Intensity

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:58

I have an odd love-hate relationship with my solitary Vanishing Point (mostly love). 

 

I love how it looks: mine is a slightly vintage looking yellow (not the darker mustard yellow kind with "special alloy" nib) with chrome color hardware. 

I love the clicky extension mechanism. 

I love the discrete, small size nib and how the nib writes: it is a Fine and a very smooth one at that, with only a small amount of feedback.  The flow is pretty good, it is not a dry writer.  It can write really well with the nib upside-down, matching my Sailor EF nibs in line width that way. 

 

I hate the slightly-too-wide girth of the section and wonder if I would have done a bit better with a Decimo. 

Also the clip is totally in the way of my normal, incorrect but familiar grip.  So it's a battle between just managing it as is and training myself to do a proper grip, which is a slow and shaky process, relearning how to hold a pen.  But also I'm oddly fascinated by the thickness of it, same as with my Montblanc 149.  It's a matter of being used to larger sections or not.

I hate how ink can dry out faster on the nib when unused for a long time unless I'm very careful about reassembly very thorough post-cleaning.


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#19 Intensity

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 05:04

 

The Decimo is a good suggestion.  I tried one, but I didn't find*** it that comfortable.  I prefer the width and the sweet spot of the section of the Vanishing Point where the clip contours to the grip.

 

If the Vanishing Point was Resin it would be a great EDC pen:  Lightweight for easy carry and better suited for long writing sessions.  Otherwise for me it's a really expensive Jotter.

 

And if they made the Vanishing Point with the Twist Cap like they have on the Capless Fermo so that it doesn't have that loud Click to it that can be disturbing during a meeting, class, or seminar...  that would be perfect.

 

 

There are wooden barrel versions of Vanishing Point which are a bit lighter.  26g for wooden version, ~30g for standard.  Red Cherry and Black Bamboo.


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#20 Mongoosey

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 05:30

 

There are wooden barrel versions of Vanishing Point which are a bit lighter.  26g for wooden version, ~30g for standard.  Red Cherry and Black Bamboo.

 

26g is a hefty pen.

 

I'd love to see something about 16g or less, which may be a challenge to engineer,

 

because of the metal components needed for the Nib Unit and the Twist/Click mechanism, and to keep it durable.

 

The biggest downside to fountain pens is that you have to cap/uncap them, which in its own right is a ritual I like, but it significantly lacks the practicality of the Twist/Click mechanism.

 

I think if Pilot was able to make a Resin Vanishing Point about 16g or less, either with a Twist or Click Mechanism, but especially with the Twist Mechanism, then you have a much more practical pen that can also be used for long writing sessions expanding the pens usability across contexts and preferences of consumers and potential consumers.







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