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06.29.06

Pen Junkie, Part 7: Pilot FP-50R

I think I’ve expressed before my love for Kinokuniya, the Japanese bookstore/stationary store attached to Uwajimaya in downtown Seattle. Well they also have stores in New York and San Francisco, and also in Palo Alto near where we were staying when we were in San Francisco in April (although that one is called Mai Do).

I found this pen at Mai Do. I don’t know if it has a name but the Pilot site has it listed as the FP-50R, so that’s what I’ll go with.

The first thing I noticed about this pen is that it looks like a cross between the Lamy Safari and the Rotring Art Pen. Very slick, I thought.

The second thing I noticed was damn did this thing have an extra, extra fine nib. And for $8, I was convinced.

So for style points it’s a winner, but how would it write?

Well, as it turns out, that extra fine nib might be a bit too fine as it’s a bit scratchy to write with and the ink flow is fairly dry. So it’s probably not a pen I would take on a trip to journal with, but it works well for writing in my every day catch all moleskine as there is no bleed through at all.

This pen takes the proprietary Pilot cartridges and I have to say this annoys me a little. Not just with this pen, but any pen that has special cartridges, I mean, why not just use the international standard. I mostly use cartridges and I resent being confined to the colors offered by the pen manufacturer, which are often limited to the standard red, blue, black, and, if you’re lucky, blue-black.

So would I recommend this pen? Well, perhaps for the person looking for the type of fine point that you really can’t find on American and European pens, but otherwise, try something with a little bit larger nib. Like maybe the Pilot Pettit1, which is a very fine writer for the money. I really will have to do a review of that one sometime soon.