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I Got My First Pilot Varsity The Other Day

pilot varsity

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23 replies to this topic

#1 sub_bluesy

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:23

This is really a nice pen! Im impressed! I got this pen as a freebie on my Montegrappa Blazer order from Goldspot. Ive been interested in trying one of these Pilots for a while now but kept forgetting to throw one in the basket on other orders. Now I finally got to write with one and its very nice!

It wrote right out of the bag with a nice medium line. Not scratchy at all but a nice quality feedback to the nib. I even like the blue ink in the pen. It looks like it has a cap liner too so I imagine it wont dry out super fast. The most amazing part, reverse writing is just as good as normal writing. Ive never had a pen like that or had the patience to grind a nib to do it. Seriously if I had the nib upside down, I wouldnt know it unless I looked at the pen. Maybe the line is a micron thinner......maybe, but its just as smooth as regular writing. The nib even looks kind of cool.

Overall I dont have any complaints about the pen. I got nothing here! Its really a good pen and Im thoroughly enjoying it. Ive heard there are ways to refill these. Ill be doing that for sure. I cant see just tossing this pen when its out of ink. Call me crazy, but this one is really entertaining me.
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#2 benbot517

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 15:15

To me, the Varsity is proof of pilot's outstanding quality control. It costs about $3, and it would be so easy to let the quality slip, but every single one I've tried has written a smooth line right away. The Varsity is the pen that got me into fountain pens, and there's a good reason: pilot gives it the quality control attention of it's higher end pens and it shows, making a great writing instrument.

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#3 BradGad

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 23:24

I'm a die-hard Pilot fan... about 90% of my pens are Pilots. 91, Falcon, 823, and many many Metropolitans. Vanishing Point in the mail, on the way to me. 

 

I don't think I've tried a Varsity -- I'm sure I should -- but in that space/niche, I'm having a hard time imagining something better than the Platinum Preppy: great writer (even if overly "feedbacky" sometimes in the finer nibs), super cheap, and eye-drop-able. 

 

You can't refill the Varsity, right? (I could Google; I'll ask here instead)  ... The Preppy costs about the same, and you can do so much with it. You can go wild making eyedroppers. You can give it to friends and make them fountain pen converts. You can have 20 of them and experiment with inks.


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#4 Torrilin

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 23:52

Varsities aren’t intended to be refilled, but there’s many ways to refill them if you are familiar with how fountain pens work.

#5 sub_bluesy

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 05:53

I'm a die-hard Pilot fan... about 90% of my pens are Pilots. 91, Falcon, 823, and many many Metropolitans. Vanishing Point in the mail, on the way to me. 
 
I don't think I've tried a Varsity -- I'm sure I should -- but in that space/niche, I'm having a hard time imagining something better than the Platinum Preppy: great writer (even if overly "feedbacky" sometimes in the finer nibs), super cheap, and eye-drop-able. 
 
You can't refill the Varsity, right? (I could Google; I'll ask here instead)  ... The Preppy costs about the same, and you can do so much with it. You can go wild making eyedroppers. You can give it to friends and make them fountain pen converts. You can have 20 of them and experiment with inks.


I have a few Preppy’s as well but the nib just doesn’t seem to be as good as this Varsity. Also I suffered from the “cracked cap” fiasco on one Preppy so far of 3. The Preppy is much easier to refill though. It looks like you need to pull the section on the Varsity to refill it. Have you guys worked on a Preppy nib to smooth it out? That might be a fun project.
Someday the mountain might get em but the law never will.........

#6 Ergative

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:22

I am a big fan of the Varsity too. They write immediately after spending a year in a drawer, and you can refill them by pulling out the nib and feed. (I've also heard that if you dip the empty pen barrel in hot/boiling water and then remove it and submerge the nib in ink, the cooling air in the barrel will contract, creating a suction that pulls ink in. I've never tried this, myself, but it sounds like a fun rainy day project).

 

The blue ink in the varsity is a very nice color, and when I used mine up I refilled it with a sample of Baystate Blue, and it wrote beautifully.



#7 chromantic

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 13:16

​Someone gave me one of those blue ones. While it's a great color (though not the type of blue I'm overly fond of), I was surprised and delighted to see the dark red sheen - well worth using it for that alone! I keep it in my bag as a back-up.

 

I bought the 7-color set but, sadly, none of the others is comparable to the blue.


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#8 Dip n Scratch

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:57

Is the Pilot varsity sold under a different name in Europe?

There is the Pilot V Pen (in the UK) & that is why I wondered. Retail price of this was four UK pounds locally, but online they can be had for less.

They would be an accessible alternative if you had left your usual pen of choice at home.

As to bothering to refill them... I don't know why you'd attempt that.

Unless they are better than the offerings from China to be had at the same price point.



#9 hari317

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:18

There is the Pilot V Pen

V pen is the same pen as the Varsity. Varsity is the name for the USA market. In Japan and India and other places it is known as the V pen.

 

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#10 AAAndrew

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 11:51

Great school pens as well. They never seem to dry out, no matter how long left. They start every time and are cheap enough if your student loses them. They’re a little wide for my writing, but still fun to have around.

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#11 jobodine

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 17:49

 

,,,,,They never seem to dry out, no matter how long left. They start every time and are cheap enough if your student loses them......

 

 

I am just amazed how this Pilot keeps itself ready for action every time I use it !  It is the only pen I have that remains wet after even a few weeks unused !

 

I wish it should be a refillable pen ....  It's an outrageous waste to toss it after the ink runs out !

 

BTW, do you have any trick to refill it manually (apart from pulling out the feed + nib assembly) ?


Edited by jobodine, 27 March 2018 - 17:51.


#12 Ergative

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 18:02

I've also heard that if you dip the empty pen barrel in hot/boiling water and then remove it and submerge the nib in ink, the cooling air in the barrel will contract, creating a suction that pulls ink in. I've never tried this, myself, but it sounds like a fun rainy day project.



#13 jobodine

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 18:07

I have a few Preppy’s as well but the nib just doesn’t seem to be as good as this Varsity. Also I suffered from the “cracked cap” fiasco on one Preppy so far of 3. The Preppy is much easier to refill though. It looks like you need to pull the section on the Varsity to refill it. Have you guys worked on a Preppy nib to smooth it out? That might be a fun project.

 

I am quite disappointed with the Preppy !  For the 3 Preppies I used , they all suffered from sporadic ink flow, difficult to start and dry out if not in constant use ! I'll go for the Varsity anytime . Alas .... The Varsity is officially non-refillable !



#14 Noihvo

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 18:31

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#15 Corona688

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 19:01

If their QC department pays proper attention, it's possible to achieve extremely high quality levels in mass production, much better than you get with short runs. Statistics works in their favor. They can't possibly test every single pen, but they can test 150 random pens and from that know with 99% certainty how many manufacturing errors of what kinds are occurring in the rest.

Edited by Corona688, 28 March 2018 - 19:02.


#16 LiquidInk

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 00:13

 

I am just amazed how this Pilot keeps itself ready for action every time I use it !  It is the only pen I have that remains wet after even a few weeks unused !

 

I wish it should be a refillable pen ....  It's an outrageous waste to toss it after the ink runs out !

 

BTW, do you have any trick to refill it manually (apart from pulling out the feed + nib assembly) ?

I use the tube+syringe method and have no issues with it. I've heard people saying it "blew up" in their face? I use a longer tubing and push it on further so it won't come off.

 

The pilot v-pen comes in fine nib, the varsity is only medium. I've been trying to find empty pilot vpen/varsity pens to play around with but I can't find any on ebay. I know it is disposable but people resell used bottle caps damn it. I should be able to buy a pile used pilot varsity pens too.



#17 jobodine

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:27

I use the tube+syringe method and have no issues with it. ....

 

 

 

Thanks for the tip .  One more question :  what type of tubing do you recommend ?  Clear plastic tubing or rubber tubing ?  I imagine rubber tubing could be more flexible , adaptable & accomodatable to the Varsity pen .  Please comment . 



#18 LiquidInk

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:40

 

Thanks for the tip .  One more question :  what type of tubing do you recommend ?  Clear plastic tubing or rubber tubing ?  I imagine rubber tubing could be more flexible , adaptable & accomodatable to the Varsity pen .  Please comment . 

Mine is clear tubing from Lowes, it's the vinyl tubing. The rubber/black ones would probably work (I don't have any to test it however), but I picked the clear one since it was cheaper and I could see the ink inside to see what was going on. I took my pen to the store and picked the one that it fit inside, so I don't know the "size" of tubing to suggest.


Edited by LiquidInk, 29 March 2018 - 02:41.


#19 sub_bluesy

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:34

I am just amazed how this Pilot keeps itself ready for action every time I use it !  It is the only pen I have that remains wet after even a few weeks unused !
 
I wish it should be a refillable pen ....  It's an outrageous waste to toss it after the ink runs out !
 
BTW, do you have any trick to refill it manually (apart from pulling out the feed + nib assembly) ?


I just can’t see taking a good pen and pitching it no matter how cheap it is! Really, I’m very impressed by this nib. It’s a fun nib without any buyers remorse or work needed. The light feedback is nice and the flow is spot on for me. I would almost say it’s too good for the price and people who like to fiddle with things will refill one pen many times before tossing it and ordering more.
Someday the mountain might get em but the law never will.........

#20 TSherbs

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 10:32

Is the Pilot varsity sold under a different name in Europe?

There is the Pilot V Pen (in the UK) & that is why I wondered. Retail price of this was four UK pounds locally, but online they can be had for less.

They would be an accessible alternative if you had left your usual pen of choice at home.

As to bothering to refill them... I don't know why you'd attempt that.

Unless they are better than the offerings from China to be had at the same price point.

 

Yes, same as the V-Pen.

 

We refill them to get better inks in a great, cheap portable pen. The blue is good, the black is ok, but as someone noted above, the rest of the colors kind of stink.







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