Pilot 78G, Medium Nib
I wanted a pen that was inexpensive and consistent each time I used it—one I could take with me in my pocket or backpack and not be too worried about losing at school or work. I purchased this pen on eBay from "ssquare_gifts", $9.97 + $3.50 shipping. About five days later, a package arrived from Tokyo. I gotta admit, that's the fastest I've ever received a pen from Japan!
Call me OCD, but I appreciated the packaging that the seller put together—most inexpensive pens I get from Asia are usually wrapped in newspaper or cheap plastic sealant and that's about as much protection as they'll get. I could tell the seller paid attention to the shipping, which I take note of as an eBay seller myself. : )
As you can see, it came with a box of 5 Namiki Blue ink cartridges. : )
Okay... now on to the pen...
Appearance & Design
I really like the appearance of the 78G; it's simple yet looks like it cost more than I paid. I do wish it came with a chrome finish though—I tend to like chrome over gold on many pens, especially if they are not with real gold plating.
Construction & Quality
There are no marks or scuffs on the clip, the barrel is a nice smooth plastic finish, and the cap screws securely in place. The threads are not sharp to touch, and the grip section is quite comfortable. This pen is $13 including shipping. I think that its quality far exceeds the price—in my opinion, it shows the same construction quality as that of my Safari, which I got for $35 (almost three times the price of this 78G).
I purchased this pen over other Chinese fountain pens specifically because of its weight. Given that I needed something to take with me and use for long periods of writing notes, I wanted a pen that wouldn't be heavy or uncomfortable to hold. The Pilot 78G achieves just that. It is lightweight and comfortable without feeling like it will break easily if I accidentally dropped it. Also, the screw-on cap gives me some assurance that it won't come off in my pocket (as opposed to the Jinhao 599 that I've been using for a while now, which opened in my pocket and marked my pants with ink).
I don't usually post my pens, but I do for this one. Unposted it feels just a little too light—however, with the cap on it feels well-balanced.
Nib & Performance
Out of the box, this pen started writing immediately. After I flushed the pen to rid any oils, I wrote the reviews below (there are three papers used: Rhodia graph pad (21.3 lb), copy paper (20 lb), & drawing paper (70 lb). The nib wrote smoothly on all of the papers I used, especially on Rhodia (go figure). It does write a little dry, which I think is the result of the skipping that you'll see in the pictures. There is a hint of feedback but it is in no way unpleasant; I think once I adjust the nib to make it more wet, the skipping will go away and the feedback will decrease as well.
Regardless, the nib is very pleasant to use and is quite impressive for the price! I've found that Pilot continues to produce consistent nibs that far exceed their price point (I have a Metropolitan - M, Crystal - F, TOW - F, and Custom Heritage 91 - SM).
Along with the gold trim, I also don't like the gold nib appearance. Given that it is a stainless steel medium (which writes more like a Western fine, characteristic of Asian nibs) I would much rather have a silver nib over a fake gold one. Again, it's just my own preference.
Filling System & Maintenance
I seem to read a lot of people disliking the Pilot squeeze fillers—I actually like it (especially over the CON-20, which costs more but holds less ink). This pen comes with a squeeze converter, which is pretty awesome! Again, my Safari required that I purchase one separately, which added $7 to the cost (so it really is over 3Xs the cost of this pen!).
Cost & Value
By now you should already know what I think about this. This pen is a steal, hands down. Really glad I purchased it!
After adjusting the feed, I have a wetter pen that writes very smoothly and is light enough for long periods of writing. I don't regret purchasing this pen at all and would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering buying their first fountain pen or just wants to add to their Pilot collection (alongside a Metropolitan if they wanted something a little heavier).
- Side comment: this is my first review, so I'm sure there are plenty of things I left out or didn't explain as well as others could have. I totally welcome your feedback and critique about the pen or the way I set up my review.
Thanks for reading this!