Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA

Looks like a Falcon, writes like a Falcon... but it's an Elabo! Same thing, different name.
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (6)

Body Material: Resin
Trim: Rhodium-plated
Length (capped):  13.6 cm
Length (uncapped nib-end): 12.3 cm
Length (posted): 15.0 cm
Barrel Diameter: 12 mm
Section Diameter: 11 mm
Nib material: Rhodium-plated 14KT Gold
Weight: 20 g
Fill type: CON-50 Converter/Cartridge
Price: $179.00USD/$142.00USD
Where to buy: JetPens/Amazon/Amazon (Red/SEF)

Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (2)
This Pilot Elabo looks like the Falcon. It has a black resin body, round, with blunt, slightly tapered ends. The finial is black, matching the rest of the body. The section is also black, and tapers towards the nib. As I said in my Falcon review, overall, the appearance of the pen is pretty classic, until you see the nib! The trim is rhodium and looks great against the black resin body.


This nib is a rhodium-plated 14K gold nib. The extra-fine is very thin and the tines are long and narrow out towards the tip. It has a single slit and breather hole. The nib is engraved with several details, including 14K-585, Pilot, and SE. There is the same hooded, arched shape as found on the Falcon. It's very interesting!
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (1)
Given that it's an extra-fine nib, you can expect it to be quite fine and offer some feedback, but I did also find the nib a little scratchy. It was surprisingly wet for such a fine line. With normal writing, drying times were around 30 seconds. With mild to moderate pressure, the nib could be "flexed" to its max, but I had to pay attention to pace so as to not dry out the feed. Even if I did manage to dry out the feed by applying too much pressure too fast, the ink would pick up quickly. The flexed lines are very wonderful - the nib put down a wet line, which made inks shade really well and helped sheens stand out.
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (9)
The nib performed really well. It is not a true flex nib, but it has a great, bouncy feeling, and not much pressure is required to achieve line variation.

Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (3)
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (4)
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (5)
The clip is easy enough to use. The section isn't outstanding, but it doesn't bother me. It's a lightweight pen so there isn't much that is required from the section. Unposted, the pen is very light, and slightly on the slender side. It's well-balanced, even though it's light. The cap does post by friction and it does feel secure. I don't find it uncomfortably heavy once posted, nor is it top heavy, but for ultimate control with applying pressure to the nib, I prefer to use it unposted.
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (12)
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (11)
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (10)

The Elabo is imported by JetPens, but you can expect it to look like and perform like a Falcon. I really enjoy using these nibs. At first, I didn't really "get" the appeal, but having used both the soft-fine and soft extra-fine, I thoroughly enjoy using them now. They're quite light, easy to use, and a nice foray into springy/semi-flex nibs.
Review Pilot Elabo Fountain Pen - Soft Extra-Fine @JetPens @PilotPenUSA (8)
Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)


Adam Wolf said...

Please do a Pilot stargazer review. Thanks so much

Kenny Cross said...

So stoked that you got to use the soft extra fine and do a review. This is definitely the fountain pen I have been on the fence about, I love my soft medium Falcon and I'm sure I'll really like the soft fine, but wasn't sure on the extra fine. It is scratchy though? Hmmm. I'm definitely planning on getting soft fine Falcon at some point, perhaps I'll just stop with that one.

Great review as always and always appreciated. Have a great weekend Azizah.

jay said...

Good review, matches my experience. As i commented on after your review of the SF nib version (which is a daily user for me, like this and the SM and SB. My SEF took a bit of use to "break in" it seemed. As you said, a surprisingly wet writer for an EF. Again, i use these Falcons for regular writing, love the "bouncy" expressiveness of them.
I am note sure on this, but the Falcon (Elabo/Namiki//Pilot) was apparently designed with input from Japanese pen shops. The aim was not to create a "flex" pen. Rather, it was a designed to be a everyday pen for writing Japanese characters, which requires a soft, expressive manner.

jay said...

Pilots nib they say is flex/semi flex, Pilot's FA (falcon nib,not to be confused with the falcon pen nibs....) was, i have read, designed for Kanji (spelling?)/Japanese Calligraphy.

Clifford Hughes said...

Great review, as always. I haven't used a Falcon/Elabo as yet. But the nice line variation is tempting me. Whenever vintage flex pens show up on auction sites there's always a mad scramble to buy them. Given how desirable they are, I'm surprised no manufacturer has tried to recreate vintage flex. Can it be that no one knows how to do it and that it's now one of the forgotten arts?

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