Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen Review

When I went on a late-night stroll to Target, I saw the Pilot Plumix fountain pen on the shelves. Thinking that I already have a Platinum Preppy with a medium nib, the Plumix might end up being redundant. However, I liked the style of the barrel, which looks like a clear, plastic desk pen. So, I splurged and spent $6.37 on the Pilot.
Pilot Plumix, disassembled
            When I got home and opened the package and uncapped the pen, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t have just an ordinary medium nib. It had a medium italic nib! I had been wanting to try one for a while, so I was very pleased with my choice. Nowhere on the package did it say that it had an italic nib. It simply stated “Real Fountain Pen!” along with “Blue Ink, Medium Nib” and “Fine Writing” at the bottom of the package.
Pilot Plumix, Capped
            The pen is available in the following barrel colors: black, light blue, and purple. I opted for the black/clear barrel. The pen’s cap has little “wings” on it to prevent it from rolling around since it lacks a pocket clip.
            All barrel colors come standard with a blue Pilot cartridge, but I opted to use one of my black Pilot cartridges I had lying around instead. As far as I know, the Plumix sold in the U.S. can only use Pilot’s proprietary cartridges and cannot use international cartridges. However, I believe there are some sold overseas that can use international cartridges. One nice feature about the Plumix is that it can be turned into an eyedropper pen without much trouble. Just make sure yours doesn’t have a hole on the end of the barrel before filling it! I’ve heard it can be a 50/50 shot of having one with a hole or not. It can also use one of Pilot's converters, such as the CON-20 or the larger CON-50.
Pilot Plumix Italic Medium Nib
            I have been testing this pen extensively since I purchased it, and I have fallen in love with the italic nib. It makes my ordinarily bad cursive writing look amazing (to me, at least). However, there is one minor annoyance I have with the barrel design. It bulges slightly in the middle and causes my hand to hurt a little after a while. Usually though, this is just reminding me that I am gripping the barrel too tight and I need to relax my hand and just let the pen do the work.
            The nib on the Plumix is interchangeable with the nib on the Pilot 78g, however I don’t think I will be switching them because the 78g’s nib is gold plated, whereas the Plumix’s nib isn’t gold colored. If it was gold colored, I would probably make the switch on one of my 78gs.
            In conclusion, the Pilot Plumix is an excellent pen for the price, especially with its fantastic italic nib. Even if you already have a Preppy or a 78g (my other two favorite <$10 pens), those do not come with an italic option. Definitely put this pen on your list, especially if you’ve been wanting to try an italic nib. If you don't have a Target store nearby, you can also purchase it on Amazon: here.

From the back of the package:
-Advanced Ink Feed System for smooth writing
-Visible, long-lasting ink supply
-Available in Black, Light Blue and Purple barrel colors with Blue Ink
-Refillable-Use Pilot Ink cartridge UIC50BLU-K

-Derek (ThirdeYe)


  1. Cool! I have three of these pens. I'll have four if Target ever restocks with the clear one. For a super cheap pen they are sturdy and write very well. I got converters for them, too.

    My next ink will be the Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses to use specifically in these pens. Can you just see the shading in your mind?

  2. Regarding the BSIAR, I haven't tried it in the Plumix or an italic nib for that matter, only in a firm medium Esterbrook. I do notice some shading with it, so I'm assuming you'll see it in the Plumix as well.

  3. I have to say I purchased 2 from the Plumix range and 1 from the Penmanship set and these are terrible. Very dry and scratchy. From multiple reviews it seems like these pens have terrible quality control.

  4. Regarding its scratchiness, I've found that it really depends on the paper. On sometimes toothy 20lb. copy paper, it is a bit scratchy. On smoother paper though, I don't really notice it as much if at all. I think it might just be the nature of the beast, since it isn't a stub but more of a crisp italic. I have noticed over time though is if I store it nib up, the feed dries out, so I have to keep it stored horizontally if I want it to start properly.

  5. Hello,
    I bought one and would love to use it, but the ink wont come out afetr i placed the ink in the pen. Silly, but I cant get it to work. Could you help?
    Thank you,

  6. Marjan -- Did you press the ink cartridge onto the section hard enough to break the seal? Also, sometimes I find that it takes a good few minutes before the ink starts flowing in a cartridge pen. Squeezing the cartridge a bit to help get it flowing sometimes helps. Let me know if that works. :)

  7. I have one of these pens and it seems very dry and scratch. The ink flow does not seem very good. I have done some reading and I have heard that dry writing pens sometimes can be improved with lighter or "free flowing" ink. The article mentioned Quink ink from Parker as being a good ink to use for this purpose. I happen to have Quink in blue-black, so I will try that. I could get a converter, but am thinking it will be more fun to make the Plumix an eyedropper pen instead. I will let you know how it all works.