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

Pilot Fineliner – Black Ink

18 01 2011

While clicking will enlarge this image, it won't do a single thing about how crappy my scanner is.

Imagine, for a moment, our intrepid pen-reviewer out with a few pens (and friends) in a dim and hip little bar. As she approaches the bar for drink number …3?, one of the patrons catches her eye–or rather, she is drawn to what the patron is holding. A pen! Conversation is initiated. The owner of the pen–one Risden McElroy (or so I wrote on a napkin), tells me his father swears by this pen, as an artist, and Risden offers to let me have said pen! I promise Risden such delights as a forthcoming review of this pen, firstborn offsprings, etc. And here we are. Risden, I apologize for not remembering what your face looks like; we will, for simplicity’s sake, assume it somewhat resembles your name, as drawn above.

It caught my eye due to its 1950s kind of simplicity. IT CAUGHT MY HEART DUE TO ITS 1950s KIND OF OBEDIENCE

The body itself is of little note–lightweight plastic that feels neither super cheap (like a Bic Stic) nor super fancy (or even regular fancy…maybe subfancy).

This is what it looks like when you tell a really cheap pen to clean up and look respectable for the company. It's still a cheap pen, deep down, but it's not the cheapest.

The cap posts without problem, fanfare, complication, technicality, or difficulty, and more importantly it stays there.

The clip looks sturdy, but I never clip pens onto anything. It could be absolutely awful and I wouldn't know.

For writing, this pen is nothing outstanding; felt-tip pens aren’t my favorite for writing purposes. For drawing, however, this pen has excellent line variation. In the hands of a talented individual, I bet this pen can do great things.

I have probably spent most of my life shortchanging the capabilities of felt-tip pens.

Even being pretty novice-level at using felt-tip pens, I found it easy to adapt to the possibility of holding the pen at different angles to get different line widths. It was also easy to consistently achieve the kind of lines I wanted, which was part of what made using this pen so fun. Even not knowing what I wanted to draw, I knew I wanted to keep making different marks with this pen. I like when a pen is fun to use; obviously, I end up more likely to use that pen and then get better at the particulars of its operation.

Using a photo to accurately represent the color of the ink would be more effective if I bothered to take my photos in good lighting conditions.

Two things to note about the ink: it’s not pitch black (in spite of how my images look), and it isn’t even close to being waterproof. However, the ink creates a lovely cool grey look when subjected to water; undoubtedly exploitable for artistic applications.

I like this pen, and I’m glad I got the serendipitous chance to review and use it. If I create any new, neat artwork with it, I’ll get a link up here, because I definitely plan on working more with the Pilot Fineliner.

Unfortunately, the Fineliner isn’t available through JetPens. Here’s the Pilot Fineliner on the Pilot Pen Online Store; I haven’t looked into where else it’s available yet.

Before we close this off, let’s take a look at the set-up involved today in taking the pen pictures. I took them in a weakly-lit cafe using a very low ISO, and had to come up with some precarious improvisations to keep the camera still enough to get a clear shot.

Timer for the French press coffee / decorative pen support

Tripod / cup of coffee. Yes, there's still coffee in there. No, this probably was not my wisest decision.

Thanks again, Risden! :)