Monday, July 11, 2022

New pen review: The Pilot Capless fountain pen

Sunday was Odysseus' and my eighteenth anniversary.  Yep, married for eighteen years, as of about seven p.m., Sunday afternoon.  

He woke me up Sunday morning with coffee in bed...then gave me a new fountain pen.  It's one I'd been eyeing for a while: the Pilot Capless,* in blue, with silver trim.  

Like the Platinum Curidas he gave me last year, the Pilot Capless is a retractable nib fountain pen.  Like the Platinum, the nib and section must be removed from the pen entirely to be inked.  

Unlike the Platinum, the Pilot came with a cartridge--the Platinum can't really use one, since there's nothing to keep the cartridge from being damaged by the click mechanism.  The Pilot has a metal sleeve that fits over the back of the cartridge (but doesn't need to be used if there's a converter in place).  The Platinum is a translucent plastic; the Pilot's solid metal.  The clip on the Platinum is removable, while the clip on the Pilot isn't.  So, if you don't hold your pen like this,** you might not like the Pilot, but might like the Platinum.

Pilot Capless Fountain Pen Black -Medium Nib - Smooth Pens

I do hold my pen that way, so it doesn't bother me at all.  

The nib is sold as "special alloy," and is a Japanese fine (call it European EF).  It's buttery smooth, with next to no feedback from writing.  It's a very comfortable size for me--chunky, which doesn't make my hands hurt--and the weight and balance are excellent.   

And Pilot sells nib sections separately.  So, should I have a nib-related catastrophe (it happens--I've dropped pens nib down, and scrunched them before), I can get a new nib section.  Platinum really needs to take a clue from that--I'm always afraid I'm going to FUBAR one of my favorite pens in a way it can't really recover from.   

Really, though, I love both pens.  I use the heck out of the Platinum, and keep it inked with a Noodler's bulletproof ink for use on checks (and have re-inked it...four times?  I think).  I'll likely use the Pilot at least as much, but probably won't use a waterproof ink, since I've just got a cartridge to refill instead of a converter. I really don't want the hassle of trying to clean a waterproof ink out of a narrow plastic tube with a syringe. 

*Pilot sells the same damn pen with a gold nib, and a different name--the Vanishing Point.  

**Not my hand, not my pen.  My pen is blue, and my hand is a lot smaller. 


  1. Replies
    1. I'm not entirely sure. My other half ordered it for me, and I don't keep track of what he pays gifts he gets for me. I've seen it as low as $75, and as high as $100. When I put it in the Amazon wish list, it was about half what a Vanishing Point costs. I checked my other source on nibs & sections for the pen model, and...yep. About half the cost of a Vanishing Point is in the gold nib.


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