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Average Customer Review
 4.7 (24 customer reviews)
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12 out of 12 people found the following review helpful
  I'm going to have to..., March 2, 2009
I'm going to have to join the chorus of praises on this page and sing another one for the Pilot Parallel.

It's a bit of a paradox. The Parallel is cheap - very cheap. And it's overtly plastic, and it's not even that elegantly put together. Its plastic parts have seam lines all over the place, the silver color of the body isn't 100% even... And yet, it doesn't matter one lick, because the Parallel is simply the best writing calligraphy fountain pen I've ever used.

The secret, of course, is Pilot's "parallel plate" nib. The name is a little ambiguous; After all, every calligraphy fountain pen nib consists of two "parallel" plates, one next to the other with a split down the middle. The Pilot pen, on the other hand, has two plates sandwiched on top of each other. Ink flows between them and because of the comparatively massive capillary surface area it's kept flowing smoothly and is remarkably resistant to drying out in the nib.

The end result works surprisingly well. The Parallel is somewhat sensitive to how flat you hold its nib against the paper, moreso than traditional calligraphy pens, but when used correctly it produces the cleanest, crispest, most even lines I've ever experienced. It's nib-to-paper feel is likewise excellent and is usually an indicator of how you're handling the pen. If the feel isn't silky-smooth it's a surefire sign that you're not holding the nib flat.

That said, the Parallel is a very wet writer (as repeatedly mentioned by others) and because of this you have to be a bit careful about how fast you write and what kind of paper you use. The Parallel is undoubtedly capable of being used on just about any paper (except maybe paper towels, or tissue paper) if you get the lead out and don't let the nib stay stationary for long. On coarse or porous paper, though, that huge capillary surface area can whip up an inkblot the size of a quarter in seconds if you just poke the nib into one place and leave it there, so don't do that. If you have a habit of resting or tapping the nib against your paper while you ponder your next sentence, do yourself a favor and knock it off.

The only ink I've tried in mine so far is the stock Pilot branded stuff that came with it, so I can't comment on how thinner versus thicker inks will work with the Parallel. Reports indicate that thicker inks will be more controllable, and I can certainly see how that would be true. When it's moving, at least, the Parallel is about as wet as the customized (ground nib) Sheaffer I'm used to using, so I would imagine it'd do just fine with ink similar to Sheaffer's "Skrip" stuff and equivalents.

Towards that end, the Parallel comes with a couple of goodies of varying utility. There's a nib cleaning card, for a start, which is meant to be used to floss dirt and paper swarf out from between the nib plates. You get one measley black cartridge and one red with the pen, and they're proprietary to Pilot pens and functionally unavailable in the US except by mail order. You get a converter cartridge with the set but it's a rubber "squeeze bulb" design that's got miserable suction and worse capacity. Pilot insists that the converter cartridge is only intended to be used to clean the pen (by sucking up and backwashing water or cleaning fluid through the nib) and I'd just as soon take their word for it. If you want to refill the Parallel, get a syringe and just refill an empty cartridge instead.

My only other complaint is that the Parallel doesn't come with any sort of pocket clip. It makes sense, because the pen's body is longer than your usual pocket-pen, but it makes life difficult for those of us who use our calligraphy pens for day-to-day writing. (The dingus that sticks out of the Parallel's cap, if you're wondering, is just a flap of plastic that's meant to keep the pen from rolling away.) There's also no way to affix the cap to the tail of the pen, so you'll have to find someplace else to stick it while you're writing.
8 out of 8 people found the following review helpful
  Excellent Pen! I have..., April 5, 2011
Excellent Pen! I have 22 years experience as a calligrapher, and this is my new favorite pen. It is smooth and comfortable to write with. Highly recommend.
6 out of 6 people found the following review helpful
  Bought all four! These..., August 19, 2010
Bought all four!

These things are perfect for the pro and the novice alike! The flow is strong and very consistent. The tip glides smoothly over the page, and can be used flat for a wide line, or on the edge for a monoline.

If you love calligraphy, and hate dipping, you really have to try one of these!
5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
  Awesome pen! Bought the..., December 26, 2010
By sim...
Awesome pen! Bought the 1.5mm and fully intend on picking up a second, and then doubles of the other three sizes. Truly a joy to write with. Also, Jet Pens was a pleasure to buy through. Showed up in literally a matter of a couple days. Definitely going to order through them again!
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful
  This pen is okay, and..., April 18, 2011
By gee...
This pen is okay, and its my first time using a calligraphy pen. I tried it out on light weight printer paper and the ink blots really small when writing (but im sure its just the paper).

The barrel is plastic and i was hoping itd be a little better quality. The ink dries super fast tho. I didnt realize that youd need two pens to mix the ink so thats kind of a downer. But i'll be buying the other pens as well.
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  This is one ultimate..., November 29, 2010
This is one ultimate tool. this is my first time to calligraphy. really its impressive. on time for Christmas cards.

simple to use for a beginner like me.

highly recommended!!!
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  rf2444, this isn't properly..., February 26, 2010
rf2444, this isn't properly speaking a forum, but I'll offer some information: the effect shown above is obtained by transferring ink from one pen's nib to another by gravity and capillary action.

Use two pens, inked in different colors: one in (say) red, the other in blue. Hold the red pen upright with its nib up. Briefly -- *briefly*, no more than a few seconds -- touch the blue pen's nib to that of the red pen. (Cap the blue pen and set it aside.) When you write with the red pen now, it will briefly write in blue; it will gradually change through shades of violet and plum until you are writing entirely in red again. This is a wonderful effect and well worth the price of the pens!
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  I absolutely LOVE this..., November 28, 2012
I absolutely LOVE this pen. I use it every day to write in my journal, to make lists, or whatever I want to feel good about. I got the 1.5 (my favorite) and the 2.4, which writes nicely but quite large. I'm back for the other two though as I like to make my own cards. I don't know how you could wrong with these pens--they write easily and look beautiful on paper, plus they're relatively cheap for calligraphy pens. I'll admit that I'm not a calligraphy expert, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  Very picky regarding..., July 30, 2012
Very picky regarding the angle of the pen.

When I was about 6, my dad's idea of a good summer activity was have me systematically practice exercises through his drafting textbook...free hand, with no compass or precision angles. While I hated it, it provided me with a very strict guideline on how to hold a pen/pencil when I write.

Unfortunately, this is a bit shallow of an angle for this pen.

Like others have remarked, this pen provides very good lines with great dynamic range.
However, I find that I have to hold the pen at least at 60 degrees to the paper for it to work for me.
Otherwise, I have a very dry, scratchy writer.

I won't blame the pen, but it's not my favorite.
For what it is, it's very well priced.
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  AMazing pen. This is..., May 21, 2010
By jul...
AMazing pen. This is my first calligraphy pen and I can't say enough great things about it. Well worth the cheap price!
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  I really liked this pen,..., January 31, 2013
By fel...
I really liked this pen, but I wasn't entirely satisfied with its performance. I have several calligraphy/fountain pens, and this one is definitely the wettest! I bought a smaller nib because I don't write super-fast (or slow, for that matter) and it is still quite wet. It dries fast, however. I can't dock too many stars for the wetness issue because of the way I use the pens. I am a student and I love to take notes with colorful and interesting inks/lines. I literally went through an entire ink cartridge in a timespan of four hours. If you get one of these, I would recommend not using it as a daily writing utensil. I have a very cheap calligraphy pen that doesn't even have the brand printed on it and I believe that it may work better!

Pros: very crisp lines, bold color, lightweight, dries quickly, secure cap
Cons: extremely wet, can't place cap on back of pen while in use, awkward shape, no clip

All in all, it's a great pen if you use it only for fancy writing tasks.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  I'm a little unclear..., September 25, 2009
By rf2444
I'm a little unclear about this "gradated lines and mixed colors" business--my understanding is that you must remove and discard the original color cartridge before switching colors (they advise against reusing half-full cartridges). I'm not sure what magic I was expecting, but that's that.

The other caveat is that the 1.5mm nib is 1.5mm--too large to use in daily correspondence. This are both terribly unfair criticisms, but I thought you might be interested. I wish the nibs magically mixed colors, and I wish they had a .5mm nib, but that's not what they were selling.

Aside from that, I heartily agree with everyone--it writes wonderfully well, both flat along the nib and on the edge (which actually gets a line that's pretty close to .5mm, come to think of it).
  I actually bought this..., February 5, 2014
By ani...
I actually bought this in a long time ago, but I love it!
It's super awesome and definitely epic!!!
  I tossed my Sheaffer..., August 26, 2013
I tossed my Sheaffer calligraphy set when I saw the reviews of these pens online and I absolutely do not regret my decision. These pens definitely do not have the flow issues of my old set. The only problem I can see is that they are WET. I have not found a suitable paper stock to use with these that doesn't feather, though I'm sure I will soon. Bleed-through is actually not that big of an issue except on the thinnest papers. I do have to note that the nibs are much bigger than I thought. This one (the smallest of the four) is just a little smaller than my Sheaffer M nib. I can't imagine what you would use the 6.0mm pen for!
  I have been using the..., March 4, 2013
I have been using the Shaffer calligraphy pens with my high school students up to now...they've given us some problems with reliability, however, these Pilot Parallel Pens have blown me away. This is certainly a technological improvement for those that wish to go the cartridge calligraphy pen route!
  It is great!!!))) I..., January 18, 2013
By san...
It is great!!!)))
I love it!!))))
  Well, everyone seems..., June 5, 2010
By ipf...
Well, everyone seems to love this pen~!~

I wanted a pen to show of with at school, this will do it!

Very good pen, considering the price.
BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY
  Since most of what needed..., April 13, 2009
Since most of what needed to be said has been said I just want to add to the love.

They are very wet writers - smooth as silk and for people like me with very non-steady hands I was able to accomplish lovely smooth sweeping lines like I was never able to do before. These pens are amazing for both beginner and experienced artist.

The mixing of inks is so sensitive - you literally have to barely touch the pens together to get your blends.

I haven't experimented with getting a converter to fit, but I'll try the syringe method - I just have a thing about disposables. I bought two sets - one to play with and one to keep pristine.

I cannot say enough good about these pens - they are one of the most precious pens in my collection now.
1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  My 5th JetPens Review!..., January 18, 2009
My 5th JetPens Review! Hip Hip Hurray!

Everyone here just seems to love these Pilot Parallel Pens. Well I must admit, I do too! These pens are, FREAKING AWESOME!

Now don't get upset JetPens, but these are so much more responsive than the Lamy Joy Calligraphy pens or Safari Italic nibs. I've ground my Lamy nibs and could not get the crisp line and smoothness of pen to paper as the Pilot Parallel Pens had right out of the box. But, I have to admit a predilection for the Lamy's ink flow, even if they do have a hard start problem.

Now there is one little thing, these pens are the wettest writers that I've ever used. That means you'll have to be extra persnickety when it comes to your paper and ink selection. On the right papers with the right inks these pens are a dream to use. On the wrong papers the amount of ink these pens lay down could be one of the most frustrating experiences in your calligraphic studies. And NO, I ain't telling what papers or inks (maybe) you should try, that's part of the fun of good penmanship.

Now for those of you who haven't read my previous 4 reviews, of 4 of the best products worth checking out on JetPens (You gotta search them out for yourself), I won't hold you in suspense when it comes to my choice of color to put in this pen, BLACK. Noodler's to be exact. Noodler's BulletProof Black to be right and proper. Noodler's BulletProof Black which is one of the thicker inks available today (It's right up there with Platinum's Carbon Black, also available at JetPens). Now if this pen flows like the great Mississippi with Noodler's BulletProof Black just imagine what it will do with a thinner ink like Noodler's Polar Black (I did say I liked black and Noodler's). That means I think this may be a fast writer's pen of their dreams. This pen spreads ink that'll keep up with the fastest writer in the west!

Now it also comes on good authority, from Lily of JetPens, that for those of us who write through ink faster than we can fill our pens, and prefer even more colors than cartridges alone will allow, that there are 2 other converters available for this pen, the Pilot CON-20 and CON-50. Unfortunately the Pilot CON-70 converter is not available and will have nothing to do with this pen. I hear the CON-70 has even produced a restraining order against the Parallel Pen's friendly advances. But the cleaning converter (wink wink) can also be used as an ink converter and holds a goodly amount of ink as well. So try yourself a larger ink capacity, if you think you can handle it, just be sure to thank Lily of JetPens for the good advice.
  This is a great calligraphy..., October 22, 2008
This is a great calligraphy pen! It is perfect for writing all styles of calligraphy. I really like that you can use the edge to write with, which is perfect for doing serif details and scroll work. It can be used whether you are right and left handed, because the nib is straight, unlike most traditional calligraphy pens, which are cut at an angle. I also like that there are cleaning tools included with the pen, to prevent ink from clogging the pen. I will have to get another to try out the colour gradation method they described in the instructions.
  I loooooooooooove this..., April 4, 2008
I loooooooooooove this pen, i don't think i ever loved writing sooo much . I took it to practice kana alphabets with it and is marvelous. It feels like my hand is flying when i use it . I just LOVE it !
  This is a gorgeous calligraphy..., August 29, 2006
This is a gorgeous calligraphy pen. Its ink flow is even and much more steady than the traditional calligraphy pen nib. The feel of the pen is smooth and it does not bite into the paper. The only disappointment is that the ink tends to bleed into normal notebook paper, so you will want to either get different ink or use good-quality paper.
0 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  how can i order more..., July 3, 2007
By katg17
how can i order more parallel pens?
0 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  I have no idea what type..., July 22, 2006
By sliu
I have no idea what type of pen this is. There is no description. Its possibly a calligraphy fountain pen but who knows.