So a second Pilot cheap pen review this year!
A discussion on the UK Fountain pen Facebook group on favourite pens had an interesting entry by my friend Liam. He has older pens but relies on disposable Pilot Varsity pens for the bulk of his writing. Cheap, reliable and can be thrown into a bag or pocket. I was intrigued. Sadly while I couldn’t source a Varsity on Amazon I did get a ‘V-Pen’.
The V-Pen is a simple plastic body pen like many in the sub £3 range. I chose one with blue ink but other colours are available. It claims to be ‘erasable ink’. At first I thought it may be heat removable like the Frixxion but after experimenting I looked online and found it is actually erasable using a special Pilot eraser pen. The ink is a slightly purple blue, a bit of a ‘ballpoint’ colour. The notable thing is it has a very string smell; nothing noxious, but it smells strongly of ink.
Unlike the V-Ball pens the body of the V-Pen is not totally filled with ink. Holding it up to a light shows it is about half the capacity. But the pen feel wider than the other pens in the V-series so I’m sure it is fine. There is a large transparent ink window which clearly displays the remaining capacity. I’ve used about half in my work rotation.
The nib is plain stamped steel with just ‘Pilot’ and ‘M’ on it. I’d call it a typical medium line and it is hard. Not scratchy but nowhere near as nice as the Kakuno. The line is solid and not very wet. The section is transparent so you can see the feed baffles like on a rollerball. The grip is smooth and slightly tapered.
I hear good things about the Varsity’s ability to go months, even years without use and still work. I wonder if the V-Pen is the same?
Overall I think it’s a fair performer for the low price. I’d rather use my ‘nice’ pens at work. But if it has a long unused life span it could be a cheap carry fountain pen for people who don’t need to write often on their travels. This one will go back to work with me and get used up to free up inventory space. But I’m not discounting picking up a Varsity to try if I ever get the chance.