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Pilot Metropolitan (Cm Nib) Review


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#1 smileypen

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:26

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We take a break from our usual programme of reviewing my pens in order of how nice they are to bring you something special. No, by special I don't mean something really expensive, but something... special. Just to preface this review, I'm not going to go over really anything except the nib. This is literally a Pilot Metro with a bit of a special nib on it, and if you want a full review of this pen, look elsewhere!

 

RATING:

How well does it write?

  • We begin with an interesting question. This is a steel nib on a pen worth like $20 AUD (probably). There is no tipping material and it feels just like dragging a piece of metal across a smooth (Rhodia) page. Somehow, ink gets put on the paper. It's really really dry but somehow the nib makes my handwriting just look better. The line variation is beautiful and you buy this pen not as an everyday writer, but for something truly... special.

How well is the pen built?

  • -Insert paragraph talking about how great the construction and build quality of the Metro is in this price bracket-

How nice is the material the pen is made out of?

  • -Insert paragraph talking about how great the metal (brass?) body of the Metro is in this price bracket-.

How nice is the filling system of the pen?

  • Cartridge/Converter

Is this pen good value?

  • Now this is an interesting question. Obviously, this is not for beginner fountain pen users. If someone wrote with this for the first time it'd probably feel like chalk on a blackboard for them with how uncomfortable this nib feels on paper. This is an italic cursive/stub nib really ground for people who want to add a little flair to their writing.
  • I honestly don't know how to answer this question. A quick Google search for this pen doesn't really bring up much and you'll have to answer this yourself, depending on which country you live in and how much it will cost for you to buy it. 
  • If you enjoy writing with this type of line variation and you don't mind a pen that, honestly I would not use very frequently, then this is a great pickup!

 

GENERAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PEN

This is the Pilot Metropolitan, a pen tied with the Lamy Safari as the most recommended 'first starter fountain pen'. However, this model here comes in a special steel nib, the CM nib. Standing for what I believe to be 'Caligraphy Medium', this nib has no tipping material and is essentially a stub nib (as thick as a medium). As seen in the writing samples below, this leads to some beautiful line variation from the way the nib is shaped.
 
I won't be talking about any other parts of the pen except the nib, because the nib is the real fun. Extremely thin cross strokes. Thicker down strokes. This is line variation heaven. No, you can't flex the nib at all, but you get a beautiful ribbon-effect to your writing.
 
Now what are the problems with this nib? Firstly, there is no tipping material. I don't know how they could have done this differently but BOY is this nib uncomfortable to use. Stainless steel vs paper is not a smooth experience in the slightest. There's no scratchiness (because there is nothing to scratch the paper) but it is on the other end of the spectrum of "smooth". Moreover, if you misalign the pen or if you flick your letters (i.e. the up-loop of the lower case g, j, or y), the pen can catch and even dig into the paper causing a tiny tear on the surface. This pen is essentially unusable on bad paper as it catches everything and anything.
 
The second problem with this pen is that it is dry. Dry as Melbourne under Steve Bracks (Australians will get that joke). Dry as California (Americans will get that joke). If this pen has even a bit more flow going on, I think the ink would lubricate the writing experience and really take this pen to another level. Due to the dry inkflow, it is very hard to bring out the shading of nice inks.
 
Overall, this is a specialty nib, for a special purpose. Give it a try, it's not the most expensive thing in the world, but be warned - I don't think this pen is an everyday writer!
 
PHOTO GALLERY
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#2 escribo

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 14:49

It's one of my faves. Nice review.


I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.


#3 minddance

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 15:17

Yes, I find many Pilot pens very dry on Rhodia. I have this nib in a Pilot Prera, this nib i not about shading but rather, it 'scrapes' (not in a bad way as scratch) the ink evenly onto paper, giving the ink a consistent and even look, with mid-light values (and sometimes evenly transparent look, depending on ink and paper) of the ink. I am not sure how fast the feed flows but certainly the nib restricts the flow and as a result, not much ink gets onto the paper.

Great with dark inks when you want only the mid-light values of it instead of solid, almost-black lines.

Not a shader, not a sheener, especially on Rhodia. But fun :)

#4 pseudo88

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 15:42

Interesting, but I like wet pens, and don't want to feel anything dragging across paper; I wish they made a regular nib that was the next step up in size to their medium.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

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#5 smileypen

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 00:44

It's one of my faves. Nice review.

 

I'm very surprised to hear that! What are your thoughts on other stubs out there? I understand that this pen has one thing better more than normal stubs, being that it's only a medium. A lot of people love the ribbon effect of stub nibs but don't want to write in 1.1mm lines.

 

 

Yes, I find many Pilot pens very dry on Rhodia. I have this nib in a Pilot Prera, this nib i not about shading but rather, it 'scrapes' (not in a bad way as scratch) the ink evenly onto paper, giving the ink a consistent and even look, with mid-light values (and sometimes evenly transparent look, depending on ink and paper) of the ink. I am not sure how fast the feed flows but certainly the nib restricts the flow and as a result, not much ink gets onto the paper.

Great with dark inks when you want only the mid-light values of it instead of solid, almost-black lines.

Not a shader, not a sheener, especially on Rhodia. But fun :)

 

My other Pilot Metropolitans and Vanishing Point aren't the dry-est of nibs, but they're definitely not gushers compared to my Visconti, Lamy 2000 and Pelikan M1000. There is a difference in regional preference I guess!

It's very true, in a way you are scraping ink evenly across the page, that's a great way to describe it! I think the thing I am most sad about is the "saturated" look of inks that I prefer never really come out when I use this pen!

 

Interesting, but I like wet pens, and don't want to feel anything dragging across paper; I wish they made a regular nib that was the next step up in size to their medium.

 

For sure, I definitely prefer wet nibs, but this is a special stub because I don't know if any other company makes a stub-medium nib! Especially if you have smaller handwriting, this might be a nib you want to try for the beautiful ribbon-line variation that stubs offer without writing like you're making a poster.



#6 minddance

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:05

For a slightly wetter experience, I find Pilot Pluminix Broad rather satisfying with certain inks.

I love wet nibs :) Of the Pilots I have, Custom 74 sfm, ms, bb, 912sm, Kakuno M, 78B, I would say only 74ms and bb are reasonably wet enough for me. 74sfm is ok, but not a saturated writer. 912sm is extremely dry, but can go wet with writing pressure.

#7 escribo

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:22

 

I'm very surprised to hear that! What are your thoughts on other stubs out there? I understand that this pen has one thing better more than normal stubs, being that it's only a medium. A lot of people love the ribbon effect of stub nibs but don't want to write in 1.1mm lines.

 

BINGO! The reason is that I normally write pretty small, and 1.1s or even a very wet western F nib forces me to write larger to maintain my letter loops. Impossible with a lot of the paper pads available that are lined at 7mm or less.

 

So I find I prefer 0.8mm stubs which are maybe a tad wider than a CM. I have a 0.6 in an Ahab which is soaking; sorry I don't remember how much I liked it. (Bad pen steward, letting a pen dry with ink in it, bad bad) 0.6mm should be like a CM, maybe a touch smaller.


I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.


#8 AmandaW

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:24

 I have a couple of Metros with CM nibs and find them difficult to use in the Clairfontaine books I use as journals. Yet, they write perfectly on cheap notepad paper. It's annoying because I really like the line ratio they make - not too wide going down vs nicely fine going sideways.


It's all about the greys...


#9 dadoody

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 14:30

I love these Italic <CM> nibs from Pilot. I've purchased 3 of them just because of how much I use them now. 

For quick notes, I use Medium nib ball tips, but for journals and handwriting practice, I've switched to CM nib, and my writing looks prettier than I've ever seen in my life and has given me so much more confidence. 

Other people compliment me on my writing, and this has never happened before. 

I'm not even close to being the prettiest writer around this board, but compared to my old scribbles and many people around me, it's pretty dang good looking script now. 

30740444_10155827283953171_7479257831665


Edited by dadoody, 16 April 2018 - 16:47.


#10 LanceSaintPaul

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 14:44

Spread those tines! maybe that will help the drought. If you've never done that before search on YouTube for some instruction. Or Google it to find some experts' suggestions. I don't know how wet the Diamine can be. But I'm betting you can improve the flow.



#11 dadoody

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 16:49

And just to add: There is a huge psychological boost when you like to write, because of the tactile feel of a smooth ink on good paper from a nice pen, and when your own script looks good to you, it's a psychological boost to get you to continue writing and practicing. 

It's the whole "look good, feel good" concept 


Edit: Don't Spread those tines! Don't do it!!! Get better ink! 

I had slow flow from my x-feather, but I cleaned it and switched to Pilot Iroshizuku inks, wow! Smoooooooth flow.


Edited by dadoody, 16 April 2018 - 16:51.


#12 minddance

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 00:29

Don't spread tines on Pilots, the inner tines are not well-finished/rounded and might produce a scratchy writing experience, depending on the angle at which you write. Change inks and/or paper :)

Many undesired things can happen when tines are spread, nibs can get misaligned, tines can be felt clanking against each other, scratch can be felt etc.

Pilot nibs are usually well tuned out of the factory, particularly the stainless steel ones.

Edited by minddance, 17 April 2018 - 00:33.


#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:43

I found both CM nibs I own to be intolerably scratchy. After I took some 1800 grit sandpaper and turned them into crisp italics, I love them.








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