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A Comparative Review - Pilot Custom 823, Justus 95, And Falcon


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I recently posted two topics requesting suggestion for a new pen and I finally decided to get a Pilot Justus 95, with a F nib. I promised to do a comparative review after I get my hands on the Justus, and here it is. Here are the links to those two reviews just incase if you want to see all the great suggestions I received:

1. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/345205-seeking-suggestions-for-my-next-pen/?do=findComment&comment=4189695

2. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/345550-which-pen-should-i-get-justus-95-or-custom-743/?do=findComment&comment=4195283


Here are some pictures of my Justus 95:







First, let me talk about the appearance of this pen. I like the design. The black body and the gold clips/rings of this pen is a perfectly classic design that I enjoy very much. I enjoy classic style and I don't like any thing with a big brand logo on it. When it comes to the nib, I enjoy its clean and sharp design. In short, it is elegantly understated. As mention in my other topics, a very big reason that I don't want to commit to a Montblanc is because of that white star. Since I am a college student, I will not feel comfortable taking it out to take notes with.


Next, let me talk about the writing experience. I was specifically looking for fine nib that can be used as a daily driver and this nib certainly fulfills my recrements.

1. The hardness can be adjusted for a different writing experience. I find the hardness adjusting nob very interesting to use. I agree that you will get approximately the same line variation no matter you set the pen all the way to hard or soft. However, you will also need different amount of pressure to flex the nib - it requires much less pressure to flex when set to soft, and the hard setting is really helpful when you don't want to have too much line variation in the writing. Also, the ink flow is directly proportional to the hardness setting - soft setting gives a much wetter nib and the hard setting restrict the ink flow. Both of the extreme points of the settings gives very pleasant writing experience and it allows me to switch "the feel" after a long writing session so that I can always find it interesting to write with.

2. If you are concerned that this is too soft a nib and it is hard to control therefore not good for daily (fast) notes taking - please don't. It is not meant to be a flex pen. It is really just giving you a very springy writing experience - more springy than a Pilot Custom 823 (M) but definitely much easier to control when compered to a Pilot Falcon (SEF). Yes, if you slow down (Iroshizuku ink makes it much less prone to railroading), then you can get some decent line variation to make things looks fun once in a while. Please remember though, this is NOT a FLEX pen. In my opinion, its is a fantastic BOUNCY academic (science oriented) notes writer/daily driver.

3. Smoothness. It is not as smooth as the Custom 823 (M) but much smoother than the Falcon (SEF). It has a very slight feed back that I enjoy very much. This also makes it not having any hard-starting issue.

4. Thanks to the Con-70 converter, the ink capacity of this pen is great! I always have enough ink in it, and I do not have worry about running out in the middle of my writing session. I had problem with the Falcon, when falcon was my only gold nib pen, I had to carry additional Con-40 (not 50) converter filled with ink(sealed with a little cap I made out of a used Muji roller ball refill).


Now I want to show you my current daily carries with some beautiful pictures of them:


1. Pilot Custom 823 (M)













2. Pilot Falcon (SEF)








3. Lamy Al-Star (EF)








4. Finally, some comparative pictures:







5. Writing samples (sorry that the color of the ink is inaccurate since my scanner is my iPhone)


I will include generic writing samples and things I writes a lot. These pictures will explain to you why I enjoy finer nibs.












REMARK ON PILOT FALCON: It is a fun pen to use but I will not recommend using it as a daily driver for science oriented writing. It is too flexible that I always get distracted from the things I am trying to learn. I had to put a lot of attention on controlling the nib.


You might noticed that I did not talk about the Lamy steel nib. I also go two Pilot Kakuno pens (F & M). They are both great pens but . I find the Kakuno M nib to be as thick as the Lamy EF by much wetter than it. The Lamy is smoother than both Kakuno, though I enjoy the pencil-like feed back of Kakuno very much. I believe they are all great entry level pens.


I have to say, though, that I enjoy a 14k gold nib much more than any the steel nibs I have (I also had a lot other steel nib pens throughout my academic career). This is probably because that I started with fountain pen very early (elementary school) but never had my own gold nib pen until college. I am just kinda tired of the steel nibs. This is what holds me back from the Italian pens that are in the same price range as the Japanese pens. Please PROVE to me if you think I am worrying too much. I am also not sure about the how quality of the pens differ between a Japanese pen and an Italian pen in the same price range. I do care about the design (appearance) of the pen. But as I said in the beginning, I actually love the classical understated design! Therefore the design of Italian pens will not be an excuse that can let me ignore how they differ in writing. For me, WRITING EXPERIENCE OVERRIDES EVERYTHING.


Now, I am officially looking for suggestions for my future pen. Should I try Sailor? or should I go for an Italian pen? Which pen do you think will fulfill my needs the best?


Thank you all!


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