Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen with Italic Nib

I wanted something thick and stylized (to add title to some of my stupid drawing) so I picked up Pilot Plumix at  because at the time, it seemed easier than ordering a broad 78G from Hong Kong (and let the US custom hold it for a whole week).  I mean, the nib on the two are supposedly the same...or not. 
If I am not mistaken, Pilot Plumix is a range that's available only in the west (found it on Target's site but didn't see them in store yet) as I have never seen or heard about it in other Chinese discussion boards or even on Pilot's main page. So far, I have only seen them in medium italic nib personally but I have seen double broad on Youtube (the person is based in Poland).

As soon as I received the pen, my first impression is that the pen looked and felt (still does!) rather cheap, as the plastic is lighter and thinner compared to their ink gel pen. Small internal crack appeared within one day of use, which didn't really surprise me...
The ergonomic grip section of Plumix is exactly the same as that of the Penmanship (love that one, will review later). With a good nib, it's comfortable and lets everything fall into places naturally but becomes somewhat of a nuisance on this particular pen. The drier-than-usual nib requires harder grip and the distance from the center of the grip to nib is a little long so it just feels awkward. (The ink flow on Penmanship is so good that I can just resort by holding near the thread).
 The Plumix's medium italic nib was very dry, requiring a lot of force for any ink to come out (semi-consistently) and I only get that bit of consistency when I write in a up-and-down vertical motion. Since I naturally write thing slanted, it's awkward and make my handwriting uglier (to me, defeats the purpose of a fountain pen and broad nib)...The flow has gotten better after several pages of (uncomfortable) note-taking but it still is an awkward writer to me. Maybe I shouldn't complain this much, consider it's actually smoother than the Lamy Safari FF nib (after 3 whole months of breaking in).
A writing sample of Pilot Plumix with J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune (the pretty ink distracts me from the hideous writing a little)- done when I was literally digging on the paper. If I use my standard writing pressure, this would be much uglier...

Overall: Maybe it's just my bad luck the quality control or my writing style but I dislike almost everything about the Plumix :  the design (always thought the squid body is alien-like and in a completely non-cute way), construction, material (light and cheap), nib (dry and inconsistent) ...I should have gone for the 78G in Broad instead.

P.S. I bought it at Jetpens, where you can also read other (negative customer) reviews (that are similar to mine). 


  1. I love your blog it is so fun. Thank you for sharing. I just discovered the Plumix last week and LOVE it. It is loaded with Iroshizuku Kosumosu ink and I love the ink and the pen together. I have enough expensive pens after 20 years of collecting so it is fun to discover a fun cheap pen. Actually I like this italic nib better than any of my Lamy's. Just ordered (3) more Plumix pens from "Jet Pens" Who knows maybe it is the ink that makes it so fun. Keep up your fun posting.

  2. Seems like there are some duds now and then. Of the ten reviews on the page you linked to, only two were negative. There have been similar issues with the Zebra v-301, another inexpensive fountain pen. I had read about hard starting, skipping, not writing at all, etc.

    I bought one recently after reading a number of discussions about it on FPN, including one where the reviewer had discovered that installing the cartridge had not dislodged the ball from the opening of the cartridge. I had the same thing happen when I got mine but, having read that thread, I was able to find the main source of my pen's issues quickly. It also seems to have a very specific sweet spot and rotating or tilting the pen the slightest bit causes occasional skipping. Probably could be fixed with a stone or very fine grit sandpaper, but I'm not sure it's enough of a problem to bother right now.

    I'm hoping to be able to find a Plumix without having to order it online, and find out for myself what this pen is like.

  3. After struggling with the Plumix B and the BB nibs (not found in USA) I found using a Moleskine book solved it. The paper makes a difference in difficult pens. My medium Flumix was transferred to a Pilot Metroplotin where it flows wet and fluid. The Metro it heavy though...I'm looking for an alternative (lighter) body to put some of the other nibs into.

    The fine is also an italic (not a stub) while the extra fine is a needle sharp sketching pen.