Pilot Falcon – Red – Rhodium Trim – Soft Extra Fine Nib

30 11 2017

Am I trying to accomplish feats of miniature, or am I just being lazy about making a written portion of the review?

For a pen I’ve kept quite regularly inked, I haven’t said much about the Pilot Falcon. I wasn’t looking for a Pilot Falcon when I bought it last year. Pretty sure I was helping Crazy Alan set up the tables at the Baltimore Washington International Pen show last year when I saw this bright red pen I hadn’t seen before and went, “What is this? What do you want for it? Put it on my tab.” I haven’t been much of a fine/extra fine fountain pen user of late—I want big bold nibs that really show off my inks. But I went for this soft extra fine anyway.

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Look at it! How could I not?

Fantastic, warm, firetruck red

I’m always a fan of the Pilot aesthetic. Solid, attractive colors with minimalist decoration, dependable pens that are well made. The clip is sturdy; the rhodium bands on the body, cap, and grip look sharp; and the decorative cap band gives it a subtle, unique flair. And the metal disk on top of the cap doubles as a mirror.

Admire my blue-ringed clip-on iPhone macro lens

This weird nib. Let’s talk about this weird nib. I was hoping the Pilot website would have some sleek explanation of how the curvature of the 14K gold nib exactly creates the physics required to produce a soft, semi flex writing experience, but no. So, to make one up, the angle of the metal creates a quantum tectonic microshear in the fabric of space, time, and human decency that makes for a nice, springy nib. There’s line variation to be had for you lucky ducks blessed with the ability to write all flexxily, but for the rest of us it’s just nice to write with.

And periodically attempt to make fancy flexxy writing with

What has made this pen so essential to my life is how well it pairs with my Hobonichi. The monthly spread pages have small boxes. Small boxes require small writing. Perfect for the soft extra fine nib. The Falcon is lightweight and comfortable, with threads that don’t get in the way of my grip style. My go-to ink choice has been Rohrer & Klingner Salix iron gall ink, but I might get in on this Scabiosa and Salix mixing I see the cool kids doing online.

I gaze at myself in my fountain pens until I become one of the cool kids. Is it working yet?

The only thing I’d like to see from the Falcon is Falcons in colors besides red and black. Dark purple? Turquoise/aqua/minty blue green? Warm cheesy yellow? Feel free to make any of these, Pilot. You know where to find me.

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Pilot Juice Gel Ink Pen – 0.38 mm – Dark Red

15 08 2013
Dark Red Juice, extracted from the Spills-On-Your-White-Carpet Fruit.

Dark Red Juice, extracted from the Spills-On-Your-White-Carpet Fruit.

Let’s come right out and say it: this bad little boy is an obvious clone of the Zebra Sarasa Push Clip. I don’t know which came first in Japan, but JetPens only recently began carrying the Pilot Juice so I assume it’s the derivative model. But perhaps ‘derivative’ isn’t the right word, because derivative sounds negative, and this pen is a definite positive.

Basic beauty

Basic beauty

I love the design. It’s covered in little touches—the dots on the translucent grip, the gentle wave of the plastic around the knock, even the design-conscious label printed on the clip (a clip which has TWO holes, one for lanyards and one for charms, or heck, double lanyards! double charms! go nuts!).

I wonder if they sell pens from vending machines in Japan. The answer should be ABSOLUTELY OF COURSE AND HERE IS YOUR FREE ROUND TRIP PLANE TICKET TO JAPAN TO GO SEE SUCH A VENDING MACHINE!

I wonder if they sell pens from vending machines in Japan. The answer should be ABSOLUTELY OF COURSE AND HERE IS YOUR FREE ROUND TRIP PLANE TICKET TO JAPAN TO GO SEE SUCH A VENDING MACHINE!

It just looks good. Not dollar-dropping, work-of-art writing utensil good, don’t be silly. But it’s darn satisfying. Pilot, tell your people that designed the Juice “good job” and give ’em gold stars all around.

It looks like it should open more. Believe me, it won't.

It looks like it should open more. Believe me, it won’t.

I don’t think the clip capacity is as great as the Zebra Sarasa Push Clip, but I’m not too worried. I’m not looking for a binder clip with a pen attached.

No blobs here. Lookin' at you, Uni Signo DX Bordeaux-Black. I still remember your blobbery.

No blobs here. Lookin’ at you, Uni Signo DX Bordeaux-Black. I still remember your blobbery.

When Pilot can make a gel pen that writes as nicely as the Juice, as attractive as the Juice, why do they even bother with the unreliable ogre that is the G2? It boggles the mind. The Juice performs well, laying down sharp lines without skipping or blobbing, and isn’t scratchy, provided you don’t write with a hammerhand (but then, no pen writes smoothly when you’re trying to bore a hole in the table through your paper). It comes in a bevy of colors, 0.38mm and 0.5mm tip sizes, and is technically refillable (though I don’t see any refills currently for sale at JetPens, the pen opens and the ink cartridge does come out).

DARE TO COMPARE! DOUBLE DOG DARE!

DARE TO COMPARE! DOUBLE DOG DARE!

The closest comparable tip size for the Zebra Sarasa Push Clip is probably the 0.4mm. A brief run-down of the differences, besides being 0.4mm vs. 0.38mm: the Zebra barrel is a few millimeters thicker, the Juice, a few millimeters taller. The Zebra clip appears to be a type of hinge and opens wider than the Juice, which relies on a coiled spring in its clip. When clipped onto something, the Juice sits higher. How does the writing compare? Honestly? Switching from one to the other, they’re practically twins. But the Juice costs less. SCORE.

Life would be better if I were an octopus and if all these wonderful pens worked underwater so I could write with more than 1 or 2 pens at a time.

Life would be better if I were an octopus and if all these wonderful pens worked underwater so I could write with more than 1 or 2 pens at a time. The world is just full of fine pens!

For a look at the 0.5mm model, I recommend you check out The Pen Addict’s write up. He’s also got the link to the Japanese marketing site for the Juice, which is…something very special indeed. Just like the pen.

Pilot Juice Gel Ink Pen – 0.38mm – Dark Red at JetPens