Overall, I'm enjoying this pen greatly. While the refill which came in the pen
is fine (excellent—if not water-proof/-resistant—ink, generous flow, smooth
ball that produced a consistent line; IOW, exactly what I expect from a Pilot
gel ink refill) I did search around and find 0.5mm Pilot refills since I do
prefer finer lines (mostly because I tend to write small).
I like the substantial feel of it in spite of it being predominantly plastic.
The distribution of that weight is biased greatly toward the section (the "grip"
portion of the pen).
The only real down-side I've found to this particular pen is that I occasionally
find myself trying to write with "nose cone" because I unintentionally gave the
barrel a twist as I was writing.
I've only had the pen for a couple of months, but I've used it daily and
probably will until it breaks.
I've had excellent experiences with Pilot pens. A number of times, I've wondered
if the fragile-seeming plastic will last, wondered when it would become brittle
and begin disintegrating—hoping that it won't happen while I'm trying to
write. Those fears have proved groundless in the past. Of the only Pilot pens
I've owned about which I thought that, the only ones I don't still have and use
on a regular basis were lost or suffered trauma which even steel-bodied pens
wouldn't have survived. I'm hoping this one will continue that trend, but I'll
be sure to update this review if that proves not to be the case.
I'm a long-time user of Cabon and other pigmented inks in my fountain pens. I
keep Platinum Carbon in my Pilot Vanishing Point (F), which is my daily-carry
pen, as well as my Pelikan Souverän M1000 and Omas Ogiva fountain pens. The
Pelikan and Omas have customized extra-fine nibs and optimized feeds for those
nibs, but Carbon flows just as freely through them as any Noodler's, Omas,
Iroshizuku, or Pelikan inks I've used in them. I've had Carbon sit idly in my
Omas for weeks at a time and had no hard starts nor feeding issues with it.
Bear in mind that I'm rather meticulous (feel free to call me anal retentive if
you want) when it comes to cleaning my pens: I flush with cool, clean water
until it runs mostly clear; flush with a mild amonia solution two or three
times; soak the entire nib and feed section (yes, I disassemble my expensive,
piston-fill pens too) in the same kind of mild amonia solution overnight; flush
three or four times with cool, fresh water; leave nib and section to dry
Using that procedure, I've never had flow nor clogging issues.
In terms of the properties of this particular ink, it is quite completely
waterproof AFTER IT'S HAD A CHANCE TO DRY FULLY. If you're going to be going
over the lines with a wash or markers, I'd strongly suggest giving it a full
hour to dry even though if you've only done line work with Carbon it ought to be
dry enough after five or so minutes (tops).
The color is rich and dark enough, depending on how "dry" or "wet" your feed is.
This is not an ink intended for use with dip pens (although I've used it with
pointed pens after mixing in some gum arabic with excellent results). I will say
that with my drier pens, the color isn't quite as saturated as a few of
Noodler's blacks, but to my eye it seems at least as dark as Noodler's most
popular "Bulletproof" black; and without the smell of his "Bulletproof" inks!
As I mentioned before, I always keep my daily-carry pen filled with this Carbon
ink and plan on continuing to do so until Platinum stops making it, which I hope
never happens in my lifetime.
I've kept a set of these pigment markers in my "man purse" for years and have
often been exceedingly glad of it.
The case makes it very convenient to carry around and while the easel top is
nifty, but the pressure it puts on the pens makes it somewhat awkward to slide
one out. The lid does fold back and present the pens, but it also places
pressure on the pen caps. This isn't that big a deal if you're fairly dexterous
and can pull on a pen while pushing lightly on the closed and folded lid, but
I've always seen it as a design flaw; great idea, not-so-great design.
The markers themselves have been handy for everything from labeling CDs/DVDs to
jotting notes on the run. I don't actually use them that often for drawing since
I prefer to use a customized fountain pen with an exceptionally flexible nib or
rapidograph pens, but they've been my go-to alternative to Sharpies ever since I
first discovered them.
As with other fiber-tip, pigment markers, you do have to be mindfull of possible
tip glazing but a few swipes on a piece of scrap paper usually takes care of any
The ink itself is dark (with respect to the line widths) and I've never had any
complaints about it or its permanence.
As for longevity, keep in mind that it varies depending on the width of the tip.
The .7mm marker will run through ink about seven times more quickly than the
.1mm marker. This hasn't often been an issue for me since I'm most likely to use
the .1 or .3mm but having the .7mm handy has been very convenient on more than a
Another slight issue I've had is that the clips aren't really that sturdy. I'm
not sure how long the anchoring "tabs" are on the inside of the caps, but I've
had more than one loosen up outrageously after only moderate use. It's not
really that big a deal since I most often keep them in the case, but it might be
an issue for others.
In response to a couple of previous reviews regarding crumbs/dust sticking to
I've also noticed this happening but I've found that lightly pressing the eraser
to those clumps lifts them with almost no effect on any graphite that might be
under those crumbs. There is some but I'd have to break out a loupe or
magnifying glass to notice.
On the other hand, I tend to only do non-"production" sketches so I might not be
the best authority.
For me this eraser works very, very well and is (in my opinion) a step up from
the round click-sticks by which I used to swear. I like the shape much more
since I find it to be much more versitile.
I recieved this eraser today and thought I'd share my initial impressions:
After more than 30 sketches today, and a good deal of erasing for both
correction and toning, I've found this to be a very usable eraser if somewhat
smaller than I was expecting. On the other hand, compared to the MOMOs I usually
use, it's not that small.
I tend to work with a very light hand and while this block produces more dust
than my other Pentel (round click-stick eraser), it's not any worse than my
previous experience with MOMOs. That being said, I just killed off my last MOMO
and thought I'd try these instead of just going with what I've always used. I'm
planning on getting more with my next order so I thought I'd do some
side-by-side comparisons and do my best to remember to write a review.
This is where this block really seems to excell. It seems that it takes half as
many strokes to erase a mark compared to my MOMO but I won't know for sure until
I've had a chance to get some more MOMOs and do a SxS comp.
This block feels a bit softer than I remember the MOMO being. In spite of that
softness, it doesn't seem to wear out any more quickly. The nice part of the
consistency is that it feels like it does a better job of grabbing the paper
without wearing away at it... if that makes sense. It seems to slide over the
paper itself without too much abrasion, but the softness makes it feel like it's
getting a good hold of the graphite.
I've only used it on graphite so far but it's done a good job. The performance
is uniform without any unexpected snags so I can say that the manufacturing
seems to be quality. (Now I wish I could say that for my last batch of kneeded
erasers, but don't get me started.) Since this block's already black, I'm not
sure if there's any loading going on but even after a lot of work which would
typically load any of my previous white polymer erasers, this block is quite
I'll have to save performance with Prismacolor pencils and charcoals for the
next time. HTH....
I recieved this pencil today and thought I'd share some initial impressions:
I was rather leery at first about the sturdiness of this pencil, given my
expectation that the guide pipe moved in and out of the body but was more than
plesantly surprised. It isn't the guide pipe which moves but the entire assembly
from the knurled gripping area to the outer sleeve which protects the guide
I was attracted to the fact that you could vary the amount of exposed guide pipe
and the fact that you can adjust the amount of lead advanced per button push.
I've long since gotten used to double-clicking a pencil and then tapping in the
lead to adust before resuming so I've been wating one of the Steadler
Regulators. The only down-side to getting the Steadler was the fact that they
had fixed guide pipes. While the fixed GP promotes strength and durability, I've
had too many incidents which caused damage to those oh-so fragile components
from drops or bangs. This in spite of the fact that I tend to be very cautious
with my pens and pencils. So a retractable GP has always been pretty high on my
list of desirable features for any pencil. The fact that I can advance the point
guard and grip instead of retracting the GP means I don't have to face the
compromise of strength for the sake of protection.
While the lead adjustment was initially somewhat inconsistent, it soon "wore-in"
and provides uniform feeding now that I've used it for a little while.
Since its arrival, I've given it a real workout. I've used it to complete over
thirty sketches and have gone through two leads. Overall, I'm very pleased.
A previous reviewer mentione that the build quality seemed to have suffered
compared to a previous version of this pencil. While I can't make any such
comparison myself, I have to say that I was expecting something a bit sturdier
than this struck me as being when I first began familiarizing myself with this
pencil, but so far it has impressed me.
Another previous reviewer commented on the oddity regarding the hardness
indicator and I have to agree that it's rather annoying that I can't indicate
anything softer than "B" since I usually use HB, B, and 2B leads but it's not
something that's going to make me absolutely insane.
The price is rather steep for most people, but I look at pens and pencils as
tools since I use them on a daily basis for work. Given that the cost of one of
these is 1/10th as much as I paid for any one of most of my pens, it seems quite
reasonable to me. The cost involved doesn't bother me so much since I look at
them as work-related investments... and tax deductable. ;-D
I'll try to remember to write a follow-up after I've abused this machine for a
While not purchased from this site, I've been using this converter on a regular
basis for years.
I own two converters from Platinum: a plain (like the one pictured/offered) and
another with painted koi around the transparent portion of the barrel. Both
operate identically and both work very well. I've never experienced any problems
whatsoever with leaking or seepage.
Since I was tipped off to refilling cartidges with a syringe, all of my
converters have been relegated to cleaning duty. This is where they really shine
and show their true worth, in my opinion.
Regular maintenance is essential to the performance of any decent writing
instrument and it's impossible to clean a pen (brush or fountain) thoroughly
without a converter. A piston-style converter (again, in my opinion) is the best
choice since bulb and press-plate types don't offer as much suction nor the
level of control you can achieve with piston-actuated converters.
If you own or are planing the purchase of a pen which you hope to keep for
years, I cannot recommend the importance of a good converter highly enough. HTH.