I had hoped for a brushpen that featured a larger, slightly stiffer nib, something between a Fudegokochi Regular and a Pilot Pocket Brush Soft. What I received was a fude pen roughly the size of a Fudegokochi in terms of nib, but much stiffer than I had expected.
Not surprisingly, the Pilot Pocket Brushes look very similar. Both are made entirely of plastic and feature a felt nib. The Pilot Pocket Brush Soft has a black plastic body, while the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard has a dark blue body. You can't tell the difference by sight, unfortunately, unless you're in a well lit room.
The Pilot Pocket Brush Hard has a little more writing on the body, but as you can see, even in this fairly well lit photo, the body looks almost black. As a pen, the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard looks pretty similar to other fude pens such as the Kuretake Fudegokochi.
|To the left the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard. To the right, Pilot Pocket Brush Soft. For those like me who are not literate in Japanese, these pens are very easily mistaken|
The Field Test
It's difficult to get expressive lines out of the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard. It could be that this brushpen needs some breaking in, but sometimes with breaking in brushpens, your efforts wreck the pen and turn it mushy instead, as you've ruined the fibers that make the tip work as a brush.
While I'll defend the Pilot Pocket Brush Soft's $5.00 pricetag, it's much harder to justify that price for the Pilot Brush Hard. Jetpen's reviews for this pen are all glowing, but considering that many other brushpens are at least a dollar cheaper, it's hard to see what the reviewers see in this pen.
I found the Pilot Pocket Brush Firm much harder to handle than the Pilot Pocket Brush Soft. If you're looking for a small nibbed fude pen with a lot of flex, look elsewhere, because the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard is a firm fude pen that doesn't have much give. If you're heavy-handed and looking for a firm pocketbrush that'll fight your heavy handed inking, the Pilot Pocket Brush Hard may be worth your while, although I'd also recommend Kuretake's Fudegokochi in Super Fine, which $1.50 cheaper and much smaller.