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Thread: Pilot Capless: Any good?

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    Default Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I have been looking at these on J Sunculture for around £60-£90 they are much cheaper than the near £200 that Cult Pens charges in the UK. I got a Platinum 3776 there at a huge saving too. Are these pens any good though? Are they all gold nibbed? The £60 ones donít say but the £80 - 90 say 18K. I just worry the clip where you grip the pen might be awkward in the hand.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    Yes they are great but you zeroed in on the main issue. Some find the pens unsuitable due to the clip placement.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    As you already spotted they don't all have 18ct nibs. I have one and the clip doesn't affect me at all. I find that when I hold the pen the clip slots in very well between the thumb and forefinger. You could always try one out before you decide. Pens Plus in Oxford sells them, if you're ever out that way. Also you may find a pen shop nearer to you that might sell them.
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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I've had a couple, and now have a Decimo that I bought already ground to a needlepoint nib. I had been under the impression that the Decimo is smaller in size-I don't think it and what's sold as the Vanishing Point in the US is terribly different in size, but the VPs I've had are mostly metal and the Decimo has a lot of plastic. I find that I actually like the lighter and more nimble Decimo better, although I've not owned it and a VP at the same time.

    For me, I'm not terribly bothered by the clip placement and in fact find that it tends to help me lined up correctly for the tiny nib(although how big of a deal that actually is I don't know-I have zero issues writing with Parker 51s and other fully hooded nibs).

    To me, they have two big drawbacks. The first is that I find Pilot converters universally terrible. Current pens ship with the CON-50 converter, and I find it difficult to get the claimed .5mL of ink in it. I do have a CON-20 squeeze converter now, which I haven't used but need to try. A lot of people recommend refilling cartridges-the Pilot cartridges have a very wide neck(which avoids the airlock problem you sometime see in things like international cartridges) and hold a lot of ink. New, the pens ship with a cartridge "guard" that is supposed to be put over cartridges so that the retraction mechanism doesn't push down directly on it-if buying used be sure you are getting this. With a CON-50 converter, I find that even my ink-sipping needlepoint(again, aftermarket grind and much finer than a standard EF) can go through a fill in 2-3 pages.

    The other downside is that I find they don't seal overly well. I tend to use mine with Iroshizuku inks, and find that some of the more saturated colors can be problematic if the pen is left for a couple of days. Most recently, I didn't use mine for a week or so(I use it to make a lot of notes on work documents and such where I don't have a lot of space) and when I tried to use it I found that I couldn't get anything out of it until I flushed it and cleaned it completely. This was with Iroshizuku Ina-Ho, which isn't overly saturated. I consider the darker Noodlers and PR colors basically off limits. I've had worse sealing pens(looking at you, Parker Sonnet), but of course it's nowhere near the Platinum 3776 or other Slip-n-seal Platinums, or even a lot of other modern screw or even snap cap pens(Montblancs, Pelikans, etc). I'd put sealing on par or maybe a little bit worse than your typical vintage celluloid pen.

    So, I'd say I have a love hate relationship with it them. I seem to not hold on to one for a long time, but then I also seem to not go long without one. I think my current one is probably a keeper.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I have three: a raden, one of the obscure LS models and 90s model. The older body style is much easier for me to use.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I've had a couple, and now have a Decimo that I bought already ground to a needlepoint nib. I had been under the impression that the Decimo is smaller in size-I don't think it and what's sold as the Vanishing Point in the US is terribly different in size, but the VPs I've had are mostly metal and the Decimo has a lot of plastic
    The Decimo is slimmer than the regular Capless, and has a different shape to it's clip. Other than that the construction is identical - the Decimo is a metal pen, just like the regular Capless.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    That's what I get for assuming and not having them side by side.

    The Decimo feels lighter to me than I remember the VPs I've had feeling. Perhaps my mental calibration is off...

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I usually use Pilot Namiki Blue ink cartridges in my VP (as they call them over here) and reserve it for addressing envelopes to my pencils. I've read on here that Pilot Namiki Blue (and Blue-Black and Black) are very good water resistant inks and they fit that purpose adequately. I've considered buying a bottle of Pilot Namiki Blue but haven't pulled that trigger yet.
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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    Thanks for the feedback iíll chew it over. If I buy it will be from Japan as the mark ups here in the UK are huge

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    If you want to see if you get on with the shape and mechanics, you could just get a Majohn A1, which is a near identical clone at a fraction of the price. At least you can find out if you like it before committing to a larger purchase.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I used a mid-1990s facetted model in grad school and really liked it. I still have it, but don't used in...too many others in the line up.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by matteob View Post
    Thanks for the feedback iíll chew it over. If I buy it will be from Japan as the mark ups here in the UK are huge
    Please be sure to calculate all of the potential charges that might be added onto the parcel before it arrives in the UK. If your Japanese seller isn't signed up to pay UK VAT then you might be charged a slightly higher service charge by the carrier. As a good starting basis if you add 20% onto the total (inclusive of shipping price) for VAT that will be reasonably close.
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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    @mizgeorge Iíll have a look at the Majohn A1 thanks. I am a bit ambivalent towards cheap Chinese copies though as have had mixed results with them.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by matteob View Post
    @mizgeorge Iíll have a look at the Majohn A1 thanks. I am a bit ambivalent towards cheap Chinese copies though as have had mixed results with them.
    As am I most of the time. In spite of myself, I find this one very usable, and a good way to see if you like the style. There's also a clipless version, which can suit some people better.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I find the pen overly heavy, the nib will sometimes splash ink when you press the mechanism, the mechanism itself is very loud, and it's quite prone to leaking. Furthermore, the converter is horrible; hard to fill and holds little ink. The clip I had no issues with.

    I had 3 VPs and 1 Decimo. I really, really, really love the idea, but the execution is simply not what it should be. Just my 2 cents.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    I prefer the slimmer Decimo to the VP as I find the clip placement less obtrusive on the former. But design-wise the modern VPs pale in comparison to the mid-90s faceted version (that Lloyd mentioned above), IMHO.
    Last edited by dualshading; February 14th, 2022 at 03:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Pilot Capless: Any good?

    You might want to check out the the entire plethora of retractable pens like the Dialog and Curidas. They are all vastly different.

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