The Pilot 78G is one of my favourite pens in shop. It’s reliable, it’s inexpensive, it’s good-looking and – it’s one of the only pens in the tester tray we haven’t had to replace because of more “enthusiastic” testing.
There are four colours: black, red, green and teal. The green is a hunter green and the teal is kind of a greenish teal – very similar.
This is a light pen, as in not very heavy. Sometimes this can be mistaken for lower quality, but it’s not the case here. However, if you are looking for a heavier pen, you may want to look at something else.
The 78G comes with a squeeze converter, the same one in the Metropolitan. It’s not super – it’s not clear so you can’t see how much ink you have left, and it’s hard to tell when you’ve gotten a really good fill.
The best technique is to give it one full squeeze, and leave it: it’ll take a few seconds for the bladder to draw up the ink, so squeezing multiple times will not do much good.
However, you can also get a replacement Pilot Con-50 converter, which is easier to fill. It doesn’t hold too much, though, so if your priority is getting as much ink as possible, you may have to resort to refilling Pilot cartridges, which are proprietary.
There is a broad stub available, but unfortunately we can only order it in the fine and medium.
The fine is one of the finest nibs you can get in this price range, or even double it. It’s a very, very fine nib. If you like writing with 0.3 or 0.4 gel pens and are looking for the jump to fountain pens, a 78G with a fine nib is a good bet for you.
The fine nib is so fine that when we fill it with a lighter colour ink, like an Alt Goldgrun or J. Herbin’s Bleu Azur, it can almost seem like it’s dry. Of course there’s a chance it is actually dry or out of ink, but chances are it’s just that fine. You may need to consider using a darker ink so your writing is more visible.
This pen is $16.50, and will serve you well for many years. It has been a tester pen for over a year in our shop, used by people who may have never used a fountain pen before; the fact that it’s still marching is certainly a testament to its durability.