Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Pilot 78G Green Fountain Pen - Broad Nib

The Pilot 78G is an inexpensive, lightweight fountain pen with a few nib options that is great for beginners but also enjoyable for experienced fountain pen users as well. Thank you to JStationery for sending this pen over for review!
Pilot 78G Writing Sample

Brand: Pilot
Model: 78G
Body Material: Plastic
Trim: Metal
Length (capped):  5.32"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.74"
Length (posted): 5.87"
Barrel Diameter: 0.45"
Section Diameter: 0.34"
Nib type: Japanese
Nib material: 22K gold plated steel
Weight: 13 g/0.5 oz
Barrel design: Round, torpedo
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: $10.50
Where to buy: Jstationery


There is no packaging for the Pilot 78G. At this low price, I'm not surprised. I don't mind - I only have so much space for pen packaging.

Pilot 78G
The Pilot 78G is a simple fountain pen. This one is the green bodied version, complemented quite nicely by the gold metal trim and the gold on the nib. The gold cap bands around the base of the cap are painted on with only a small flaw in the work. The clip is actually metal though and is engraved with "Pilot". The ends of the pen are rounded. The cap is wider than the body of the pen and screws on to the body. From afar, this pen makes me think of a Namiki Falcon.
TWSBI Diamond 580 & Pilot 78G & Namiki Falcon
Pilot 78G Nib
The nib is gold in colour because it is a 22K gold plated steel nib (yeah, for ~ $10!). It is engraved with Pilot Super Quality Japan, as well as the nib size. The nib on this particular Pilot 78G is a B for broad, although it is actually an italic nib! I was very surprised and pleased to see this.

I inked this pen with Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, having just received a new bottle of it. The nib puts down a really nice, consistent, smooth line of ink. There is a small amount of feedback but to a level that I enjoy. I really like to hear the sound of the paper and sometimes I like to feel the paper, particularly with italic/stub nibs, usually because I use them for calligraphy-type writing and I tend to go slower when using them. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it's just my personal preference.
Pilot 78G Writing Sample
I believe the width of the line is about 0.85mm (but I could be wrong). I did measure it using calipers know... don't quote me on that. The ink flow does not skip, even with fast writing. It is a very pleasant pen to use. The nib performs very well. I am quite pleased, especially considering the price of the pen.

Pilot 78G Posted
To hold this pen capped, you'll be surprised at how light it is. Posted, its balance barely shifts but I find it quite comfortable to use. I do not like top heavy pens at all because they are difficult to use for extended writing sessions. I enjoy using light pens, especially those with consistent ink flow. The Pilot 78G is nice in hand. Plastic doesn't really have the yummy warmth that acrylic pens have, but it isn't uncomfortable in any way.
Pilot 78G Insides
  • Comes with an aerometric converter
  • Converter can be removed if you prefer Pilot ink cartridges.
  • Lightweight plastic pen.
  • A few body colours are available. 
  • Functional, sturdy clip.
  • Nib and feed section can be removed from the pen.
  • Plastic barrel looks like it can be converted to an eyedropper, if you are so inclined.
  • Barrel is easy to scratch.  
  • Not available in a rounded broad nib. 
  • Small ink capacity.

For the price of the Pilot 78G, you can't really go wrong. It is a nice, light, attractive pen that is available in several body colours and with interesting nibs. The broad italic writes really nicely and reminds me of the Pilot Plumix, although I feel it writes even nicer and is a nicer pen overall. I highly recommend this pen to new users and even to experienced users who are looking for a fun nib or a knockabout fountain pen, or just something new and different to add to your collection.

Enjoy some more Pilot 78G reviews
Ink of me Fondly

Pilot 78G Writing Sample
JStationery sent this Pilot78G for review but I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions you see here are 100% my own!


Jackie Parkins said...

That's quite a lovely pen for only $10!

Randy Schwartz said...

Azizah, My Friend,

We must share some sort of mind link, because two days ago I received four Pilot 78Gs, each with a cartridge and a converter. I think I paid $20 for the lot on eBay. I had heard good things about them, but that they had been discontinued. In any event, these pens (even at the $10 list price) are one of the best deals around. The nibs I got were M and B --two each--and the bold nib is wonderful to work with. The problems, as you mentioned, is the short ink supply for each fill and themessiness of the converter. I've been using the bold nib for a couple days; it's delightful.

The new Pilot Metropolitan seems to be an upgrade on the 78G. Its metal barrel replaces the plastic 78G, It has,, the same ink filler and takes the same Pilot cartridges. It is available, though, in only black and metallic colors, and with a medium nib. prefer the 78 G in the end.

Your Fan,
Randy Schwartz


Mina said...

Ahh, thanks for the link! I actually really like how expensive-looking the black one is (from a certain distance of course) and even though the non-plated steel nib on Penmanship writes better. The construction of this is much more solid. I think I need to give this some love next month, after I finish all my current inking.

Azizah Asgarali said...

It is! $10 = two Starbucks drinks, right? This pen - much better choice.

Azizah Asgarali said...

WHOA! $20!! Nice deal! I am loving this B nib, it's just so nice though I hate the converter indeed hehe. The Metropolitan is quite nice (still hate the converter on that one) but this nib is way cooler still. I believe they're interchangeable though so maybe I should try doing that, then my Metro would be even cooler :D What colors did you get?

Azizah Asgarali said...

Hmm I wonder if the Penmanship nib is interchangeable with this one? As I mentioned to Randy in the other comment, perhaps it's interchangeable with the Metropolitan... but to swap it with the Penmanship would be interesting as well!

Randy Schwartz said...

I got teal, green, red, and black. The teal and green are almost indistinguishable. That converter, though, is really a drawback. I may have to resort to Pilot cartridges. Oh, well--for what I paid, who can complain? Have you heard whether the 78G has in fact been discontinued? That would be a shame. The Metropolitan is almost everything a starter pen should be--but, oh, again, that converter!

Azizah Asgarali said...

That's awesome! I may resort to the cartridges as well... they are sadly preferable to these darned little things. I must go look up this teal now...!

I had not heard these were discontinued... I wouldn't be surprised if they were discontinued here in the US? They still seem to be available from Japan though.

Randall Harris said...

I concur wholeheartedly with your review (which is excellent, by the way!!). I have a couple 78Gs, and I have been very pleased with them -- they are a good value for the money.

Mina said...

I think it is (well, they look the same size) and the one on penmanship was yanked out easily, but I just can't take the abomination of gold trim + steel nib combo (yeah yeah, the OCD thing again) so I am leaving the 78G alone.

Currently I am having the penmanship nib on a plumix (mine was dry and uneven) and they fit each other perfectly.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank you! Pilot is pretty good at making inexpensive, decent fountain pens!

Heather said...

For that low price, I may have to check this pen out! Price is probably the main factor that stands between me and most other fountain pens. And that bold italic nib looks great. I love your handwriting!

Azizah Asgarali said...

I wish I could test out a whole batch of them so I could speak for their quality control in batches, but if they're all like this one - fantastic. It would be so fun :) And thank you :D It's a work in progress hehe

William Eagleburger said...

Great review on a great pen! I have one in each of the fine, medium and B italic. All great writers, but the fine seemed a little too fine for my liking so have put that one to bed for a while. My daughter liked my medium nib one so much she bought a Metropolitan, which are the same nibs. Thanks again.

forthenonce said...

That's a lovely hand Azizah. What's your best guess as to how many pages like the above you could write between refills, and do you think you'd get more from Pilot's cartridges? Your broad italic certainly appears to lay down a generous and easy flowing line, very crisp in the corners, and yet you don't say anything about the nib catching the paper! Remarkable pen, at any price, to produce such pleasing results.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank you William! I imagine the fine must be quite tiny, being a Japanese nib. But I looove the B :)

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank you! I can't guess how many pages you could write between refills using the converter but I suspect the cartridge would last longer. The converter is a little thing. I will pay attention next time I use the converter for an idea of how much it writes :)

I don't know if all the B nibs are like this one, but this one is great. It's not sharp at all, the nib didn't catch the page at all. of course, I am writing on Clairefontaine so that could have helped.

Bobonymous said...

The 78G has not been discontinued. It's no longer imported into North America (I'm not sure about Europe), but is still available in eastern Asia.

The 78G and the Metropolitan/ MR use the same converter

Azizah Asgarali said...

Ah excellent to know, thank you!

peter said...

For my metropolitan, I just use an eyedropper to refill the cartridges. Works great, holds plenty of ink and easy to check the ink level.

Azizah Asgarali said...

That definitely works :) I refill my cartridges too, but when I have to empty them, it's so much work lol

Olivia said...

Late to the party, but just wanted to say this review led me to buy two pens on the spot -- one for me, one for my sister. Even got the broad italic nib for fun (and testing new ink's shading qualities!). Thanks!

Azizah Asgarali said...

Olivia! I'm so glad you have given them a shot - I think they're great pens, especially for the price. The broad italic is the best of the bunch, in my humble opinion. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know. Keeps my spirits up :)

Manalto said...

I like the clarity of your review. (Other reviewers compare the pen to other pens, with which the reader may not be familiar.) I feel that I was swindled, having paid $21 for my 78G. I didn't see any (with B italic) for cheaper, though. Maybe they've gone up in price?

Azizah Asgarali said...

Hey there! Thank you for your kind comment :) I'm glad you enjoyed my review - that's helpful to know for future reviews!

Don't worry, $21 is actually pretty decent. When I reviewed this, it was several years ago and they were still available. They're not discontinued so to get one at that price is not too bad at all :)

Manalto said...

I just found one for $12.50. Oh well, c'est la vie!

Jayendra Pandya said...

Kudos for the review of Pilot's 78G calligraphy fountain pen. But its availability in India is difficult. However, I have been lucky to have two with B and M nibs calligraphy nibs. Its pleasure to hold and write with 78G compared to other expensive pens. The only similar pens which I came across was Lamy Safari or Joy with 1.1mm nibs. But the grip, size, and hold while writing is better with Pilot 78G than Lamy.

Moreover, it also writes when held in reverse and gives sharp lines too....

Thanks for review with specimen which too is very pretty....

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License
GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at