Review: Pilot Capless, Medium


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I’ve had this pen for just a couple of days, and I’ve been using it to write… write… and write some more! I’ve had this pen in my wishlist for seven months, but it was not locally available until this month. I promised myself I would get it sometime next year. I was very much surprised to get it as a gift from a good friend. It’s hands-down, definitely one of the coolest and sweetest gifts I ever got.

My friend had an idea what color I liked, but she brought a few different pens in a box so I could pick out the color that I liked most. Honestly, I thought I was hyperventilating in my quiet excitement. I was torn between the glossy black decimo with the rhodium trim and this other pen which had a color that really caught my eye. I thought at first that it’s black, but when I took it out the box, I noticed it’s like dark teal, or very dark moss green with gold trim. I noticed that in some photos that I took, it look mostly green, and in some it looked mostly blue, depending on the light. I picked it because it’s beautiful and the shade reminds me of the kind of dark green that seems to be very popular in vintage pens, like my Wahl Eversharp Skyline (in marine green) or Parker’s Nassau and Forest Green.

My first VP! Dark teal with gold trim. :)

I thought the color was quite unusual. It’s one of those colors that can be a bit hard to describe. A little research on this pen and apparently it’s just “green with gold trim”, but really, it’s more like the color of Sailor Miruai (seaweed indigo). It certainly complements the gold trim very beautifully.

My first VP! Dark teal with gold trim. :)

I can still remember researching this kind of pen over and over online, and now here it is in front of me. The Capless (or more popularly known as Vanishing Point) has a good heft to it. I honestly didn’t think that the weight or girth of the pen would be what it is. I thought it would be smaller. The Decimo is a great fit for smaller hands, I think, but I like the chunkiness and the weight of the Vanishing Point better. It’s certainly no lightweight, which is great. I like using pens that feel substantial, like I’m actually holding a pen in my hand. The body is made of glossy lacquered metal, and it’s pretty well-balanced. It’s not top-heavy at all, and the weightiest part of the pen feels like the area where the clip is.

My first VP! Dark teal with gold trim. :)

When I first heard of this pen, I thought that the clip would get in the way of writing because it’s in the area where the section usually is. However, the general consensus of users is that the clip isn’t intrusive to the writing experience at all. Now that I’ve tried one myself, I can say that it’s definitely true. I used this pen for long hours of writing and I hardly noticed the clip at all. I only notice it when I’m beginning to rotate my pen, which I shouldn’t be doing anyway. Haha. So at least it keeps me from rotating my grip while I write. I guess if you don’t have a tripod grip, you may find the placement of the clip problematic. For me, it doesn’t take away from the pen at all.

Fountain pens are already quite fascinating in terms of how they are engineered. That being said, the mechanism and design of the Vanishing Point is just amazing. Being “capless”, you can retract and extend the nib by clicking on the end of the pen.

Dark Teal with Gold Trim

Aside from the Lamy Dialog, I am not aware of any other manufacturer of pens with retractable nibs. There’s a little trapdoor that opens and shuts as the nib is extended and retracted.

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This way, the ink doesn’t dry up on the nib while the pen isn’t being used. The clip is at that area of the nib so that you can keep the nib up when you clip it on your shirt or pocket (which I will never do, of course). This way, you can avoid staining your shirt with ink if it drips from the nib.

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The middle of the pen is divided by two gold rings which twists off to open what’s inside. By comparison, the Decimo has narrower bands that separate the two parts of the barrel.

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Opening the pen reveals the nib unit (which you can pull out when you need to ink it or change nib units). If you’re not familiar with how to ink a Vanishing Point fountain pen, here’s a good tutorial from Ink Nouveau. As you can see, the nib unit is quite narrow and the feed is long. This pen uses a proprietary converter (which is what I’m using above) or you may also use a proprietary cartridge with a metal cap. It’s pretty easy to assemble and disassemble. The converter can easily be pulled out of the nib unit. It’s not very intimidating to take apart and put back at all.

When I got home, I inked it up with Sailor Miruai because the color of the ink compliments the color of the pen wonderfully. I already expected the nib to work flawlessly out of the box, but when I first used it, I was blown away by how ridiculously smooth the nib is. These Pilot nibs truly do not disappoint!

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Inked with Sailor Miruai, on my Elias Journal. Perfect combination.

It certainly feels like writing on butter, which is similar to my writing experience with the Pilot 78G. The nib feels excellent. It lays down a generous amount of ink, shows off the shading so effortlessly, and practically just glides on paper. I used it on all my fountain-pen friendly journals (and even on notepads that aren’t very FP-friendly) and the writing experience is just amazing. I tried it on my Elias journal and I’m just blown away even more.

Here is a video of the writing sample:

It writes effortlessly, with just the slightest pressure. It doesn’t hard start or skip. The feed keeps up well with fast-writing. Here’s a scan of a longer writing sample. The nib is not flexible, but it is a little springy. It offers a bit of line variation, but it’s certainly made for regular writing.

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Overall, I am very happy to add this pen to my daily carry. I’ve shortened my list of favorite pens, and this one is certainly at the top of that list. It looks good, it’s like carrying a piece of well-engineered fine writing instrument in your pocket (which you can clickety-click on for fun), the nib writes like a dream, and of course, one of my favorite person in the world gave it to me. So yeah, I’m pretty much in love with it. 🙂

It’s a great pen and I would certainly recommend it to any person looking for a good fountain pen to add to their collection and use on a daily basis. Such a wonderful writer.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Pilot Capless, Medium

  1. Jeff Pearson says:

    Hi, and thanks for your review.
    I’ve been hovering over a capless for months now, but the way I hold my pen makes the Safari/vista tripod grip quite ungainly for me to use as my index finger sits right on top of the Lamy. Rightly or wrongly, I equate the Lamy tripod section with the capless clip, and worry that it might prove uncomfortable.
    I notice that you hold your pen either side of the barrel, do you think I’d find the capless less than comfortable? With no local stockist where I can try one, I need all the help I can get.
    Thanks.
    Jeff, England

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    • Pao says:

      Hi Jeff! I’m afraid for the capless, you really need to try it to see if you’ll like it. I have friends who have similar grips as yours and some don’t find the clip intrusive, some do. Perhaps you’ll find the Decimo to be more comfortable since it’s smaller and the clip is less pronounced than the capless?

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      • Jeff Pearson says:

        Thanks for getting back so quickly Pao, I’ve found a seller here in the U.K. who will let me try it “dipped” and if it doesn’t suit me I can return it uninked.
        So this morning I’m going back to order one – plus a bottle of that gorgeous Miruai ink you’re using! Thanks again Pao, I’ll pop back with an update in a few days if that’s OK.

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  2. Pao says:

    Wonderful! Good for you. Miruai is a wonderful choice. I also love Sailor Jentle’s Tokiwa Matsu. That red sheen is so pretty. Those two are my favorite Sailor Jentle inks. 🙂 Hope you like the capless you’re trying.

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  3. Jaz says:

    Good review Pao. Need to start saving as I have been keeping an eye on those pens for a long while but for some reason havent been convinced so far. Your review convinced me. You are costing me a fortune.!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Pao says:

      I can’t complain about this pen, really. It’s reliable, a smooth writer, and it’s pretty. I tried the factory stub for this pen, wowza, it went straight to my wishlist haha. Too bad it’s not available yet in the Philippines. The converter holds an annoyingly small amount of ink, though. So I use a cartridge refilled through a syringe.

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