Best Pilot Fountain Pens 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

January 15, 2021-Kirk Hale

Our Top Picks

Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen
PILOT Varsity
  • Medium point stainless steel nib’
  • Available in black, blue, green, red, pink, purple and turquoise ink
  • Pre-filled and disposable 7-pack fountain pens
uni-ball ONYX Rollerball Pen
PILOT Metropolitan
  • Fine nib for precision
  • Brass barrel with stainless steel accents
  • Comes in an elegant gift box
  • Timeless retro design
INC R2 ROLLERBALL 0.7 MM Tip
PILOT Vanishing Point
  • Refillable and retractable fountain pen
  • Comes in an elegant gift box
  • Different nib sizes available such as extra-fine, fine, medium and broad nib

Fountain pens are known for their timeless stylish design that gives you a feel of classical times. They are also one of the smoothest pens you can use for writing, sketching, journaling, and so on. With only a minimum exertion of pressure on the paper, you can achieve smooth and free-flowing handwriting with most fountain pens.

While there are various brands that manufacture some great fountain pens, Pilot is a brand that has dominated the fountain pen industry ever since its inception. In this article, we provide you with a brief analysis and review of some of the best Pilot fountain pens. You can then decide if the brand is worth your money or not, but we can vouch for the former. 

Pilot - About The Brand

Pilot, is a Japanese corporate company known for its excellence in manufacturing writing tools, jewellery and stationery. However, the company has made its mark for the evergreen pens they make. Ryosuki Namiki, a professor from Tokyo Nautical College, paired with Masao Wada to form the Pilot Pen Corporation in 1918. By 1926, they had expanded to various other countries like Boston, Malaysia, Singapore, London and Shanghai. 

The Pilot Corporation was the pioneer in creating capless fountain pens in 1963, at a time when most other fountain pens did not have  a fully retractable nib like this one. Over the years, as the brand grew in terms of resources, fame and manufacturing capabilities, it introduced many new technologies in fountain pens like the entry-level fountain pen, which gained a lot of popularity. 

Something to truly appreciate about Pilot pens apart from  its innovative technology is the ecological initiatives it has taken by making pens from recycled bottles. Other than the fountain pen, it has also produced ballpoint pens, gel pens and others; which are all of exceptional quality. 

Top 5 Best Pilot Fountain Pens 2021

1. PILOT Varsity, 7-Pack Pouch

Top Pick

PILOT Varsity, 7-Pack Pouch Best Pilot Fountain Pens
  • Medium point stainless steel nib’
  • Available in black, blue, green, red, pink, purple and turquoise ink
  • Pre-filled and disposable 7-pack fountain pens
Check Price on Amazon!

Pilot brings to you this set of 7 fountain pens that are ideal for everyday use and pre-filled with ink for your convenience. You can use them easily without any extra work and dispose them once the ink is exhausted. The nib is a laser-cut stainless steel one that provides fine writing and any other task that you might use the pen for. 

Ranked as one of the best pilot fountain pens, this one requires very little maintenance and hence, appeals to most people. The pens have an elegant and stylish design with a timeless touch. The ink  tank is visible so that you can keep a check on it and stay alert when it is getting empty. 

The pen has been designed to delight and provides you with the ultimate writing satisfaction. Be it the design or the quality, you will not come across a better pen for all your needs; be it for taking notes or writing in a bullet journal. 

Pros
  • Disposable and ideal for one-time use
  • Visible ink tank
  • Free-flowing writing
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Smudges easily
  • Ink might dry out in the beginning but once you are in the flow, it gets better

2. PILOT Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen

PILOT Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
  • Fine nib for precision
  • Brass barrel with stainless steel accents
  • Comes in an elegant gift box
  • Timeless retro design
Check Price on Amazon!

The Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen is here to blow your mind away with its design as well as quality. Manufactured to deliver you with an excellent writing instrument, this writing tool is available at a mid-range price and guarantees remarkable features. One such feature is the barrel made of brass that has stainless steel accents. 

The classic elegant design of the pen is what will appeal to you at the very first glance. It has an ergonomic grip that ensures convenient and easy writing. However, the pen is not just suitable for regular writing purposes but also for sketches and other tasks. The pen is designed to be thick in the middle and tapering towards the ends and this gives it a unique touch. 

The pen also comes with a fine nib that makes every word you write precise and legible, even if your handwriting is not that great. Lastly, this pen is the perfect gift for occasions like birthdays, graduation ceremonies, a promotion as it comes in an elegant gift box. 

Pros
  • Brass barrel for the perfect grip
  • Convenient to use e over a long period
  • Suitable for gifting
Cons
  • Clogging is common
  • People have complained of leakages at times

3. PILOT Vanishing Point Collection

PILOT Vanishing Point Collection
  • Refillable and retractable fountain pen
  • Comes in an elegant gift box
  • Different nib sizes available such as extra-fine, fine, medium and broad nib
Check Price on Amazon!

Pilot’s Vanishing Point Collection offers it’s customers a refillable and retractable fountain pen. This ensures that when you are not using the pen, its rhodium plated 18k gold nib retracts into the stylish barrel and this prevents the ink from drying out rapidly. This also makes the pen an ideal writing tool to be carried along, on your travels as there will be  a lesser chance of leakage. 

This Pilot pen comes in an elegant and sophisticated gift box that you can present to individuals on special occasions. The package also includes an ink cartridge along with a CNT40 converter for refilling the pen.

You can trust this pen to be by your side all the time; be it for taking notes or signing an important document. The excellent quality of the Pilot Vanishing Point Collection pen undoubtedly makes it one of the best Pilot fountain pens.

Pros
  • Refillable and retractable
  • Portable and great for travel
  • Fine tip for precise writing
Cons
  • Tip becomes blunt due to overuse

4. PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection

PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection
  • Refillable fountain pen
  • Adaptive with both converter and cartridge
  • Packaged in a stylish gift box
Check Price on Amazon!

The last one on the list of the best Pilot fountain pens is the Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection fountain pen. This refined fountain pen is easy to use and is long-lasting as it can be refilled whenever the ink dries out. It provides for a smooth and free-flowing writing style that benefits you in accomplishing any task be it in school, office or at home. 

The brass barrel with stainless steel accents and the fine nib of the fountain pen guarantees a memorable writing experience every single time you use the pen. The pen is compatible with both cartridges as well as converters. The Pilot Con-70 converter is included in the package itself. You can use the Pilot IC-100 ink cartridges with this fountain pen. 

Available in a beautiful turquoise shade, what we found most appealing about this pen is its simple and sophisticated design. It is the ideal pen to be gifted on various important occasions and credit goes to the elegantly designed gift box in which the pen is presented. . Use the pen once and you will agree with all that we have said in this review.

Pros
  • Available in different shades
  • Refillable and retractable
  • Premium-quality brass barrel
  • Ergonomic
Cons
  • The nib is too fine and hence, becomes scratchy
  • Expensive

5. Pilot Varsity, Purple Ink

Budget Pick

Pilot Varsity, Purple Ink
  • Pack of 12 disposable fountain pens
  • Comes with a retro-style barrel
  • Real fountain pen nib for smooth writing
  • Advanced liquid ink system with a visible ink tank
Check Price on Amazon!

Here is yet another set of disposable fountain pens by Pilot that is an all-time favourite with the users. This one has a retro flair to it, which is given by the retro-style barrel in the pens. The pack of 12 pens is fashionable and has an elegant classic design. 

Added to all of this, is the advanced liquid ink system that the pen features. It offers a  smooth and uninterrupted writing guaranteeing 100% customer satisfaction. Your handwriting is made to look and feel even better with the unique Real fountain pen nib that has a fine tip, which  eliminates the chance of smudging. 

Lastly, the pens have a visible ink tank that you can keep a watch on so that you are alerted when the ink is about to dry up. This ensures that your tasks remain undisturbed and unhindered.

Pros
  • Retro-style barrel for a classical feel
  • Advanced liquid ink system for smooth writing
  • Visible ink tank
Cons
  • None found

Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Pilot Fountain Pens

1. Nib Material

Among the most essential factors to be considered before buying a fountain pen is the material of the nib. There are primarily three kinds of nib materials- stainless steel, iridium tip and solid gold. All three materials have different characteristics that can favor your style of writing and must be chosen accordingly. 

Nibs made of stainless steel tend to be strong, sturdy and easily replaceable. This makes the pen ideal for children and for everyday use.

Iridium nibs are almost similar to the stainless steel ones and merely reinforces it as premium-quality fountain pens. Lastly, the solid gold nib is a sign of luxury and it requires a certain amount of usage before one becomes comfortable with its style. 

2. Nib Width

The nib width is yet another crucial factor you should look into before buying the best Pilot fountain pen or for that matter any fountain pen. Once again, there are different varieties of nibs to be found such as extra- fine nib, fine nib, medium nib and broad nib.

If you are looking for precision and neat handwriting, the extra-fine nib is the ideal kind, especially if you tend to use the fountain pen for drawing. The fine nib pens can be used for drawing and have been specially designed for people with small handwriting. 

Among the four types of nibs, the medium nib is the most popular.  It is the standard type of nib that is used by most people, as it is ideal for any task. Lastly, the broad nib is best suited for  those with  large handwriting and it is less economical owing to its  ink consumption. 

3. Grip

A pen is nothing if it cannot offer an ergonomic grip that makes writing easy and convenient. Grips are usually made of rubber, plastic or metal and it purely depends on your preference. There are people who prefer the rubber grip as it offers adequate friction and prevents slippages. 

The shape of the grip is yet another aspect that you must look into. For the most ergonomic grip, it is advisable to go for fountain pens with a ridged or shaped grip section. There are people who struggle to hold the pen properly like children and this kind of grip makes it easier for them.

4. Fountain Pen Refilling

There are three primary types of refills that are available and we will briefly discuss them here for your benefit when you choose the best Pilot fountain pen. These are the cartridge, converter and reservoir refills. The cartridge refill is more convenient to use since it's quick and clean. However, it is also more expensive. 

With the converter refills, you can use bottled inks and this offers a variety of colors as well. However, this refill is not very portable. Lastly, the reservoir refill which is  more common in the conventional fountain pens has a large capacity. However, it is more difficult to maintain and also quite expensive. 

5. Pen Barrel

The last factor that we shall discuss in this article is the barrel of the pen. The barrel can be made of base metal, sterling silver, plastic or resin/celluloid. The first kind makes for improved engravings. Sterling silver barrels are also efficient but can be heavy for many users.

Plastic barrels are the most common as it is lightweight and affordable as well; not to mention its durability.. The resin/celluloid barrels offer more options in terms of patterns and colors. 

Conclusion

We hope that this article provides you with the basic help that you might require to buy the best Pilot fountain pen. We have not only reviewed the top 5 products available but also briefly discussed a few important factors that need to be considered. Make sure you do some research of your own before making the final decision.  

   

Kirk Hale


Kirk developed a passion for writing since the age of 8, since then, he has been collecting pens and then extended the hobby to collect stationery and art supplies. An extension of that hobby resulted in this blog about pens, pencils and everything in between.
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