Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Brush Pen Review: Pilot Brush Pen - Small Soft Tip - Fine- REVISITED

Apparently I already reviewed this pen on August 25, 2015.  No matter, I'm going to tweak the archives a little bit so that both entries show up one after the other, because I apparently reviewed this pen twice, and did two different field tests, took different comparison photos, and wrote different body text.

This was one of the batch sent to me care of Jetpens not too long ago, selected from my Wishlist of goodies I wanted to review for the blog.  Although all of the items sent were items from my wishlist, I had no idea what they were sending, which I really enjoyed.  I've always been a sucker for blind boxes and lucky dip, and you can't go wrong when all of the mystery items were items you've been eyeballing for awhile anyway!

The Pilot Brush Pen-Small Soft Tip-Fine is a narrow, red bodied brush pen from Pilot, one of my favorite pen companies at the moment.  This pen isn't designed to be an inking or writing pen in the the Western sense- it won't fit in your pocket or purse, and the narrow body is a bit difficult to hold if you're trying to hold it like a pencil.  This pen is meant for writing kanji, and it's meant to be held vertically, and that's probably where it excels, but that doesn't mean we can't use it for inking!

The Packaging

The Pilot Brush Pen- Small Soft Tip- Fine comes in a minimalist plastic envelope, which is hugely refreshing after an endless sea of plastic and cardboard blister packs from my Walmart Art Supply Review Series.  It's easy to open, and full of information I can't read.

The Pen

From Left to Right:  Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip, Multiliner SP, Sailor Mitsuo Aida brush pen

Left: Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip-Fine
Right: Pilot Pocketbrush Soft
 The Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip-Fine and the Pilot Pocketbrush Soft have basically the same brush in very different bodies.  The Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip Fine is more like a traditional calligraphy pen, and is meant to be held vertically, whereas the Pilot Pocketbrush Soft is more like a traditional writing pen that Western writers are accustomed to.  Both cost $5 from Jetpens.

Brush tip is about the same size as my Pilot Pocketbrush Soft.  The Jetpens description for this pen says that it's slender body is meant to mimic an actual calligraphy brush, so I guess that explains why Pilot would offer two pens with basically the same nib.  Jetpens also sells a Medium, which I'll probably order sometime soon, because I'd like to see how it stacks up.  In my deal brushpen world, someone will manufacture a brushpen that features a nib like the Copic Super Brush that is Copic (and ideally water) safe.

Given that there are no nobs or bumps or sides to the Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip, this brushpen is REALLY prone to rolling.

The Field Test

I have some difficulty drawing with this thinner pen, mostly because I'm so used to handling larger pens.  I have little hands, so you'd think this wouldn't be an issue, but I also tend to choke up on my pens and clench them too tight, so the smaller size may be an issue for you if you have larger hands, don't hold your brushpens like calligraphy brushes, or tend to choke up on your pens.  As with the Pilot Pocket Brush Soft, I really like the soft flexible brush, and there's plenty of line variety without the nib going mushy.

The Verdict

I like this pen well enough, and when my Pilot Pocket Brush Soft runs out of ink, I'll probably reach for the Pilot Brush Pen Small Soft Tip, but I won't be ordering more of them, given the fact that I have difficultly managing such a narrow pen.  If you're looking for a smaller bodied pen that performs well, I highly recommended, but if you have similar issues to me, and you choke up on your pens, grip too tight, or need a larger brush pen, I recommend you go for the Pilot Pocket Brush Soft.  Both are sold through Jetpens, and both have really nice brushes.  They both cost $5, so it's really a matter of your preference.