Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Gel Ink Pen – (0.4mm Black & 0.3mm Clear Blue)

9 03 2012

After "Slim Knock," I was going to write the colors and tip sizes. And then, as I posted this picture, I realized I forgot to do that. woooopsss

I’ve had the vague intention of reviewing the basic Hi-Tec-C/G-Tec-C4, but when you’ve got a plate full of pens, some of them fall by the wayside. I’ve been especially hesitant due to how underwhelmed I was by the basic body—given that there are so many other micro-tip options with nice bodies—and wasn’t eager to jump into some Hi-Tec-C-bashing. It’s a popular pen. Don’t want to get on the bad side of the most popular pen in school. They’ll Avery-label me a social outcast, and I’ll have to eat lunch by myself in the cafinkteria.

Look at these precious li'l guuuys!

I liked the look of the Slim Knock enough to pick up a black one, and ended up liking that so much that I went back for a clear blue. Note: these pens aren’t just slim, they are downright diminutive—unless you have delicate little carny hands, you will feel like a giant around these pens.

Fee-fi-fo-fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman? Be he clean, or be he stink, I'll grind his bones to make my ink.

For some people, slim pens are prohibitively uncomfortable. Usually, that’s me. Not on this one. I cannot figure out how the Pentel Slicci feels too thin, but the Slim Knock (which seems to have approximately the same diameter) doesn’t. Maybe it’s the long rubber grip? It’s a mystery. All I know is I often find myself throwing a Slim Knock in for my daily arsenal, while the Sliccis stay home.

Hi-Tec-C Prime. The pen that spurred a thousand redesigns.

A star to Pilot for body design. I’m not going to use this pen to write the next great American novel (or even the next great American novella), but it looks slick, and it’s more than comfortable enough to keep around for everyday note-jotting in the office.

Never run with an exposed-tip pen, kids. You could put your eye out.

I preferred the 0.4mm for writing, and the 0.3mm for sketching. Both have good, consistent ink flow; no blobs or other inkly aberrations. For writing, I had no scratchiness with the 0.4mm. (disclaimer: smoothness at the microtip level is not the same as smoothness in normal and bold pens. If you’re used to above-0.5mm pens, you may think a lot of microtips are scratchy. You just need to accept the fact that not every pen can be like a bowling ball slathered with canola oil) The 0.3mm, however, skirts the line, and has moments, when writing, that it dabbles in a touch of scratchiness. Don’t go for the 0.3mm if you’re getting these pens to write with. However, if you’re looking for a little sketch pen to lay down your preliminary construction lines, then we’ve found a winner, especially with the clear blue. Sketching doesn’t magically transform it into an ever-smooth pen, but for some reason, I just didn’t seem to have much of a problem at all with the 0.3mm when drawing. If there’s scratchiness while I’m dropping down these doodles, I’m not noticing it like I was with the writing.

Let me needle-point out the Slim Knock's main flaw

Minus fifteen points from Pilot for post-dry smudge. None of the lines themselves are smudged, but even though the ink was dry, it was picking up onto the side of my hand, and getting redistributed onto the page (especially noticeable in the white areas). I’ve had the same problem with the Pentel Energel. Pens, why? You have to stop doing this to me.

Branding is informative, without being obnoxious, showy, or boring

Hopefully, Pilot will continue adding more colors to the Slim Knock line. I’d like to see every regular Hi-Tec-C color in Slim Knock style.

Unfortunately, just about every color of the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock is sold out at the time of this writing. So, put it on your wish list, and snap some up as soon as they’re back in stock.

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Gel Ink Pen – 0.4 mm – Black at JetPens

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Gel Ink Pen – 0.3 mm – Clear Blue at JetPens

Pilot Petit 1+2+3 Mini Pens

9 07 2011

I see great promise in these pens!

Another exciting sample package of complimentary goodies arrived in my mailbox recently from Jetpens! :D (this little face is obviously shorthand for “one thousand thanks unto JetPens”) I would never have guessed a few years ago how exciting a white Jiffylite bubble envelope could be.

The Pilot Petit is back, and true to cliche it's better than ever

I was pretty bummed when I saw that the old Pilot Petit1 was being discontinued. It wasn’t the best fountain pen; at the time I found the nib to be a bit too wet of a writer for my tastes, but I really liked the principle of the thing. Luckily, I already owned about six Pilot Petit1 pens, and a whole bevy of ink cartridges to go with them.

So naturally I needed more Pilot Petits when it burst back onto the scene. I always wondered what the “1” in the name was about; seems like Pilot was planning this product expansion all along (or at least, they can pretend that’s what went down).  You’ve got the Pilot Petit1, a fountain pen just like the original; the Pilot Petit2, a sign pen/marker pen (for very small signs, I presume); and the Pilot Petit3, a fude/brush pen.

Note the clear underbelly on the fountain pen; a thoughtful touch that lets you see just as easily as you would with the brush and marker pen exactly what color you have loaded.

We’ll stick to numerical order, for sanity’s sake, and start with the Pilot Petit1.

Hey there old friend!

I don’t know if this is just a variation in quality control or what, but the new Pilot Petit1 seems to actually be a fine nib this time, which is great considering that’s what it’s branded as. Maybe it’s just the one I got, I don’t know, but if the new Pilot Petit1 models really are true fine nibs, that’s great news for the future of these pens when drawing (and writing on multiple types of paper; finer nibs tend to fuzz and bleed less).

Why stop at one round of drawings when I can continue directly overboard with two?

I can’t really see a difference in the nibs, but I felt like the new Pilot Petit1 was better. If anyone knows why this might be, please let me know. Otherwise I assume it’s just wizardry and penmagic.

To the left, an old Pilot Petit1 color-coded to the nines, lest you forget what color originally came in the pen. To the right, the new Pilot Petit1, colored only by the ink within.

The entire body of the new Pilot Petit1 is the same translucent color (mine is purple), including the clip and the cap, in contrast to the old Pilot Petit1 which had a clear cap instead. Another minor difference is that the body of the new Pilot Petits have four very small bumps around the end of the pen, so the cap clips on when you post it instead of just being pushed onto the end until it goes no further.

The sign pen has a clear cap and a translucent clip and body, making it easy to see the marker tip's color

I don’t really do much work with signs or markers. And this marker tip is really a bit too small to be making actual signs. I did test it on some small, glossy, sign-like paper:

The theme was "Why am I trying to get away with NOT having obscene amounts of writing/drawing samples?"

What I’m starting to see is the potential for these three pens to work together in an artistic capacity. Use the Petit1 for doing fine, detailed work, as well as sketching out guidelines and such, then use the Petit2 for coloring in larger areas, making thicker lines, etc. And then use the Petit3 for fun and profit.

Pilot Petit pens 2 & 3 seen here in the wild, sizing one another up before battle(/mating; the rituals of pens are unclear)

Finally, the Fude/brush pen. This is the only compact brush pen I have, certainly the only one I know of, and undoubtedly the only one clocking in at anything less than prohibitively expensive. Coupled with the ability to choose between various ink colors/refill/change ink colors without having to buy a new pen, I think the Pilot Petit3 stands out as a very fun intro option to brush pens. Line variation was great, and the only complaint I have is that I find the solid colored clip to be a little gauche. Maybe do a clear clip instead? It just doesn’t match the rest of the set, or even the rest of its own body.

Pilot may come out with some crappy products, but they make up for it with hits like these.

Pilot’s done a good job improving upon the Pilot Petit. Care was taken with the details—like adding tiny bumps so the cap would click securely when posting, or making the underside of the fountain pen nib out of clear plastic so you could easily see the ink color—and it’s paid off. My hope is that they’ll come out with more ink colors (at least all the ink colors they had with the original Pilot Petit1; several of my favorites are missing), more body colors (currently the only body colors available are in the theme of girlsplosion springtime pastel bonanza), and perhaps even more models (like, say, a Pilot Petit4 rollerball? Petit5 highlighter??).

Thanks again to Brad and JetPens for these samples!

Pilot Petit1 Mini Fountain Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit2 Mini Marker Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit3 Mini Brush Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit Pen Refill Cartridge – Clear Blue – Set of 3 at JetPens