Pilot Penmanship with Ergo Grip Review

This Japanese Import is available in Europe and Japan and I bought mine off of Amazon for less than $10 as part of my Battle of the Budget Pens article.


  • Price
  • Good Starter Pen
  • Posts Well
  • Ergo Grip is Comfy

  • Looks funny posted
  • Cap is tiny
  • No Clip
  • Line is EF, (EEF for me) some people love that

My Short Video:

Pilot Penmanship Fountain Pen Design

Rather Phallic. This is one funky looking pen. It has a bulbous cap with two red wings that protrude off of the sides and narrows into the end of the pen. That’s regarding the black model, there’s also a clear demonstrator available.

The triangular grip is much like the Lamy Safari and has three indents for positioning the nib perfectly between thumb and forefinger. This is GREAT for beginners to fountain pens who are used to ballpoints and don’t normally have to position a pen to get it to write.


Steel Nib or K Gold Nib Nib:
Nib Width:
Nib Length:
Piston Cartridge/Converter Fill:
Pull/Screw Cap:
Capped Length:
Posted Length:
Uncapped Length:
Mid-Grip Width:
Cap Band Width:

Total Weight:
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pilot penmanship cap and grip

I didn’t think I’d enjoy using this pen, but I do. I love the comfortable grip and although it looks ridiculous posted, I do write with it posted. It’s lightweight and that almost weightless cap floats on the back with no concerns. I like the wings on the cap that keep it from rolling off the table, and since this is marketed to students, I imagine those red wings also allow for children to grip the cap more easily to unscrew it from the body for writing.

This comes with one Pilot cartridge for writing and that’s what I’ve used in the writing sample. It appears to only be available in an EF or extra-fine nib. I’ve never used a Japanese EF, I didn’t realize just how fine of a line that really is. Because an EF is naturally going to restrict inkflow down to a hairline or needlepoint line, it almost feels scratchy, but more feedback than scratch. I don’t love that about it, but that EF line does allow you to write tiny little letters that you can’t achieve with a medium nib.

Probably because this is a pen designed for students who leave it on their desk or in a backpack, this pen does not come with a clip. So if you’re looking for a pocket pen you can clip upright, this may not be for you. But if you carry it in a bag or leave it in your desk, this is a great option.

There’s a lot of room in the body for a converter or you can syringe-fill cartridges if you don’t want to buy a pack. I’m sure you could convert this to an eyedropper if you’re brave and want a body full of ink floating around the whole pen. With the hairline that this thing writes, I’m sure an eyedropper body full of ink would last forever in this pen! I have yet to convert a pen to an eyedropper. Some day… maybe it will be this one. That would be fun with a demonstrator so you could see the ink.

How Does The Nib Perform On Different Papers?writing sample pilot penmanship

The EF nib writes well on smooth paper. As with any needlepoint nib, it struggles on rough paper because there’s just not enough ink to compensate for rougher fibers. Most people don’t use rough paper, but just as an FYI if you have any handmade paperstock, this is not the pen for it.

What it IS the pen for is for people that write in little tiny lettering. This nib can handle any tiny flourish, sketch, character, fine-line, any marking that requires the tiniest amount of space, this is your pen.

The Pilot Penmanship isn’t scratchy, but it’s a drier writer and you’ll feel some feedback. It’s certainly not as smooth as a wet writer is. It writes GREAT on notebook paper, it’s intended medium for students. I didn’t have any hard starts or skips, it’s definitely an everyday fountain pen for writing practice or sketching. You won’t experience any bleedthrough or feathering on this pen, and you can make intricate markings on your paperwork or notes.

The Cap – Screw/Pull/Post and What That Means

pilot penmanship capped

This is a screw on and off cap. It’s a tiny little cap so it looks really funny posted but it’s also extremely comfortable due to its lightweight. The red wings are odd but they help you unscrew the cap and keep the pen on your desk from rolling off onto the floor. A rather ingenious design actually.

lamy v pilot penmanship triangular grips

Lamy Safari (bottom) and Pilot Penmanship (Top) showing triangular grip sections

Pilot designed the Penmanship to be well balanced for children and it fits well in the hand for adults as well. You can write for days with this pen with no hand fatigue.

Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?

pilot penmanship cartridge

So… who’s the Pilot Penmanship for? ANYONE that loves an EF nib.

If you know anyone that likes to use very fine lined gel pens, this would be a great gift introduction into fountain pens. The triangular ergo grip tells the user exactly where to position their grip without words and it’s designed for kids so this won’t be a complicated introduction. I think the most complicated part of this pen is realizing it’s a Japanese import so the entire packaging is printed in Japanese… so if you haven’t used a Pilot before, you might think the narrow side of the cartridge points down toward the section when you load it. Having already experienced that with several Pilots I own, I knew the wide side attaches to the section and I was off and running quickly.

Great pen with an extra-fine nib at an amazing price, get the price of the Pilot Penmanship now on Amazon. You’ll love this little guy!


To enter a free raffle for #1 in a series of 500 Xezo Maestro 925 fountain pens, just “like” my Facebook Page and follow the instructions on the pinned post at the top! Raffle ends soon, happy holidays!