Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Review
Is the Pilot Vanishing Point capless comfortable? Does that retractable click mechanism make sense in the VP? Let’s take a look and answer your questions…
My Short Video on the Pilot Vanishing Point :
Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Design
18K Gold Nib
Nib Width: 4mm
Length:135mm (open) 138mm (retracted. Nib is shorter than knob)
Total Weight: 30g
Oh, I was burning with curiosity about this pen.
If you were to piece together a perfect fountain pen of your own what would it look like? How would it work? I was imagining all of this while it was being shipped because it’s so different from most fountain pens.
When I received the pen in its case, I couldn’t wait to tear it out of there, it was like Christmas as a child. I literally could not do anything else until I unsheathed the VP.
Does this pen impress people? Make you the envy of your neighbors?
Of course not. It’s not a statement, it’s a pen.
But it does engage people’s curiosity. If not for the loud clicking that draws attention during quiet meetings. More on that later…
The Pilot Vanishing Point attempts to carve out an identity that is distinct from the rest of the fountain pen market. After using it, it’s a fantastic transitional pen. A retractable pen for someone who wants to leap into the world of fountain pens but craves the convenience of ballpoints or doesn’t want to lose a cap.
The clip is placed up near the nib so you place it in a pocket nib-up. The knob of this retractable pen is long to allow for the movement inside that pushes out the nib. The first 10% or so of the push engages a spring in the base that pushes the nib toward the cover. The rest of the movement requires more force to pull down the hatch and launch the nib out for use.
The clip and accents on this Metallic Series Pilot Vanishing Point are matte black plastic. The clip is thinnest at the point it crosses what would normally be the section of the pen. It gets in the way as I write. My forefinger and thumb can’t touch and I had to get used to them riding on the clip as I wrote.
The fine nib I’m reviewing here is made of 18K gold with black ion plating to blend with the matte black accents. If I were to get this pen again, I’d buy a medium or broad nib however as this fine puts down a VERY fine line. The nib allows for extremely precise writing, but I like a little thicker of a line and more ink-to-page as I write.
The only logo or model information is printed in gray lettering on the body next to the black joint ring. It says PILOT JAPAN in all caps but it’s barely noticeable as shown in the photo on the right:
This Pilot Vanishing Point pen uses Pilot ink cartridges (one is included with the pen) or an included converter to draw bottled ink.
I’ve paired it with Iroshizuku Ink – Lady Murasaki Shikibu (Purple) Ink (pictured in the writing sample below) for this review.There are several finishes available. The metallic series, including the one I’m reviewing pictured here has matte black trim, the regular colors have rhodium trim. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are the different colors readily available the day I wrote the review:
Pilot Vanishing Matte Black
Gun Metal Gray
How Does The Pilot Vanishing Point Nib Perform?
So here’s where the rubber meets the road: performance. I was already in doubt about this little engine that could. I mean it’s a click pen, I wasn’t expecting much.
My first thoughts (sadly) were that this was a gimmick and that the performance wouldn’t meet expectations.
Boy was I wrong.
The nib keeps up with everything you write and doesn’t lag or skip. The fine point produces a hairline that borders on extra fine. I’d personally prefer a medium or a broad nib but the fine writes a line on the thin side of what you’d expect from a fine.
The nib is smaller than most and feels nail hard despite it being solid gold. I think this is because it’s so small, the tines are so short, there’s just not a lot of room to give a little or separate at all without a lot of pressure. It is smooth but provides some feedback, similar to an Aurora Ipsilon. You can feel the fibers in what you’re writing on but it’s not a rough ride.
I love that you can scrawl quickly across the page and it keeps up.
One oddity that I didn’t expect isn’t really in the “performance” of this pen but in how it sounds. Now, I was the kid in school who didn’t want to use a Trapper Keeper folder when it was “in” because the Velcro opening was too loud. So is the retracting mechanism in the Pilot Vanishing Point . I realize this may only apply to me, but I did notice it was louder than most click pens. It has to be because there are just more moving parts inside this pen than a standard retractable pen.
So, why would you want to switch from their pen to this one?
Because of convenience. It is SO PRACTICAL. It retracts without you needing to recap it. The clicking of the knob is lightning fast so you can stop and start writing in a flash. Sure, you lose some of the ceremony of writing with a fountain pen when you want to relish uncapping your beauty, but if you want quick and dirty… you’ve found it. You can save your heirloom pens for writing to Grandma, this will stay with you all day long.
The fine nib is a dry-ish writer. I used it on everything for almost two weeks before writing this review and my FAVORITE find is that the fine nib will write on my calendar planner pages without bleeding through. I NEVER find fountain pens that don’t bleed through those thin pages so this is HUGE! It also works on notebook paper, but using Murasaki Shikibu ink there is some minor ghosting on the backside of the page, but not true bleedthrough.
Because the line is so fine, the Pilot Vanishing Point Fine nib has some trouble with grainy paper. The line is just too thin to stay continuous over bumps in the writing road. It skips on my handmade paper from Nepal that isn’t finished well, it still has large chunks of product within the paper sheets and fine pens tend to always struggle with it. (But it’s heaven with a broad point!) The VP writes well on heavy paper without significant grain.
Verdict: this is an Every Day Carry pen if I’ve ever used one. So practical and useful, and stylish to boot. The most practical and convenient fountain pen I’ve used to date.
Okay, But How Does It Feel?
The Pilot Vanishing Point is bottom heavy. There is added weight where the retracting mechanism is around the nib and you can feel it when you’re not writing. When you are writing, the added weight near the paper just pulls the pen to the paper and doesn’t feel heavy.
The only version of hand fatigue I felt wasn’t really fatigue, it was irritation at the clip where my forefinger and thumb weren’t allowed to touch because it’s in the way. I did get used to it over time, but the first few days it was a constant reminder that the clip was there.
Well, there isn’t one folks! But, there is an inner white plastic piece that rides up and down on back of the converter to transfer the movement of the knob to the retraction mechanism.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
Earlier on, I asked you if the retractable mechanism makes sense in the Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen. Yes, yes it does. It not only makes sense, it’s UBER-convenient. I mean it’s so practical it’s almost the ease of writing with a ballpoint.
What I prefer about this to a standard click pen is that you don’t have to push the rollerball across the page. You may grip your pens differently than I, but the clip placement between my grip is the only drawback about this pen. The nib touches the paper and the ink flows without any pressure from you. This saves your hand some effort and is great for long writing sessions.
You would want this pen because you enjoy using fountain pens but want an everyday carry pen that is convenient and saves you time on the go. You don’t have to worry about lost or wobbly caps with the VP, it’s practical and stylish.
As you read this, I’m sure you’re thinking you could just get a ballpoint and save some cash. No, they’re not the same. You’ve read this far because this pen has piqued your interest. A ballpoint cannot replace the feeling of a fountain pen as it glides across the page (just get a medium or a broad nib if you want that juicy feeling rather than a fine.) A capped fountain pen cannot replace it’s practicality and convenience.
Pick your finish… Come on, you know you want to!
Get the price now on Amazon:
Pilot Vanishing Matte Black
Gun Metal Gray
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