Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA

One of my favorite pens with a really fun nib! Thanks to Goldspot for sending this over so I could play with it! Here's what Goldspot says about this pen:
As an artist, calligrapher or letterer, the perfect tool is one that can accurately express the powerful emotion behind your thoughts and ideas. That's why many folks have turned to using the folded nib for calligraphy and artistic lettering. Allowing the randomness of the ink to perform on the page gives an artwork the sense of "controlled chaos." 
The only problem with folded nibs is that you would have to dip them constantly in order to write. Enter the Pilot Parallel nib modification, which we have dubbed "Naifu," which translates to "knife" in Japanese. The Parallel pen holds its own reservoir of ink, which means you never have to dip to keep your nib flowing. 
The radial cut of the nib allows for a free flow of ink that works best on paper with a bit of tooth. Short flicks and rapid strokes produce a rough edge to your lines and letters to provide a raw, textured look to your work. 
Please Note : Nib modification voids the manufacturer's warranty, but we guarantee satisfaction on all Pilot Parallel nibs that are modified by our company for up to 1 year from purchase.

ABOUT

Body Material: Plastic
Trim: Plastic
Cap: Screw on
Posts: No
Length (capped): 169.8 mm/6.68"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 161.9 mm/6.37"
Length (posted): N/A
Barrel Diameter: 7.1 - 11.0 mm/0.28" - 0.43"
Section Diameter: 10.1 mm/0.39"
Nib material: Steel
Weight (all): 10 g
Weight (cap): 4 g
Weight (body): 6 g
Fill type: Pilot CON20/CON50 converter, Pilot cartridge, eyedropper
Price: $24.95USD
Where to buy: Goldspot
Goldspot Pens
PACKAGING
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 1
The Pilot Parallel is packaged in a simple clear plastic container. Given its price, the pen comes with a lot! Included with the pen is: two Pilot ink cartridges, a small shim for cleaning the plates, and a small plastic bulb for cleaning, as well as a little pamphlet with a lettering guide. The guide is basic but is great for new users. It shows a few simple fonts and flourishes, and has a little bit of information about the pen.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 2
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 3
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 4
This is pretty solid packaging for an inexpensive pen.

APPEARANCE
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 5
The Parallel is a plastic pen. The barrel is grey, and thins out to a long, rounded off point. The cap is blue, with a 6.0mm sticker on the finial. You can identify the four Parallel sizes by the stickers on the finials, and by the colors of the caps. There is no external clip but the cap is pinched into a fin, so the pen cannot roll off your desk when it is capped. The section is short, and it is clear and round. You can see the feed through it - this is helpful for identifying what color of ink is in your pen!

This is a very simple pen and it likely will not be an heirloom. It's not a work of art. It is well made though, as simple as it is. No rough edges or sharp bits. However, I own multiples of each size because they're just that great!

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The Pilot Parallel is named as such because the "nib" is actually two parallel steel plates held in a plastic collar. There is a very small gap between the two plates where ink is suspended. The tip has fine teeth that hold a little bit of ink as well, and helps to maintain a consistent, steady ink flow.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 11
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 10
This particular Parallel is unique because instead of having a straight 6.0 mm tip, this one has been modified to a Naifu folded nib by Goldspot Pens. It is curved down one side, and is shaped like a folded nib to offer more line variation and smoother edges. Folded nibs do not have ink reservoirs, but this one does!
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Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 22
Unmodified Parallel 6.0 mm writing sample (above). Yes. It's terrible. But you get the idea.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 21
The Parallel in general performs really well - it is easily one of my favorite pens. Ink flow is wet and consistent, and line variation is achieved by changing the stroke of the pen. It creates wide downstrokes and narrow cross strokes, and very fine lines on the corners. The Modified Naifu nib gives more rounded letters and lines, but still has narrow cross strokes. If you enjoy hand lettering and typography, a modified Naifu Parallel is definitely something to add to your arsenal of lettering tools. The tip has been ground, so it's slightly rougher than the unmodified tip. You will feel some feedback, but it doesn't scratch across the paper.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 17
If you use the straight corner of this nib, you can draw EF - F lines, so although this is a wide, modified nib, it is quite versatile. I love how the letters look, and how you can use different parts of the nib to achieve different effects.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 19
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 20

The nib performs like a folded nib in the way letters are formed. It is not as wet as a dip nib folded nib, because ink flow is more regulated with the reservoir (cartridge/converter/eyedropper). It shows off the shading of an ink really well, so if you want to see what an ink can really do, give it a test with one of these! Like the unmodified Parallel pens, this one can also be used to create an ink gradient. This is done by holding the tips together - the one on the bottom will draw ink from the one on top. The gradient effect will last depending on how long you hold the tips together. It's a lot of fun to experiment with, and it's another excellent feature that makes these great for lettering and calligraphy.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 23
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 15
Cleaning is a cinch. You can easily disassemble the pen for thorough cleaning, which means it's also easier to use more dye heavy/pigment heavy/saturated inks. You can also use this pen as an eyedropper by applying some silicone grease to the threads.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 14
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 8
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 13
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 12
IN HAND

This pen does not have a real clip, but the fin on the cap prevents the capped pen from rolling away. The section design and shape is very simple - it's just a clear plastic section with no indent. I do not find it uncomfortable, but it is featureless.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 6
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 7
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 8
The cap cannot be posted, and the long, thinned out barrel is quite comfortable in hand. This is a very light pen, but I don't mind so much. I'm mostly focused on the letters I'm creating. It works well, and it's all about the tip! It feels like a long dip nib holder or a light desk pen - the shape makes up for the weight, in my hand.
Review Pilot Parallel Modified Naifu Folded Nib @GoldspotPens @PilotPenUSA 16
PROS
  • Affordable.
  • A lot of fun to experiment with - great for hand lettering, typography, art, and more.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Great gift.
  • Works well with highly saturated inks.
  • Comes with a bulb and shim for maintenance, and a guide to get you started.
CONS
  • A little rougher than unmodified Parallels - but one could smooth that out.
  • Not the most gorgeous pen ever.
  • Section may not be comfortable for everyone.
OVERALL

No brainer. If you have not already done so, you must try a Pilot Parallel. If you have tried the Parallels and want to have even more fun, and if you enjoy lettering, typography, art, and having fun with inks, you definitely need a Modified Naifu folded nib Parallel!

Thanks so much to Goldspot for sending this over, and for making these available to others - especially for those who are not entirely comfortable grinding a nib like this!


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I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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