I’ve had the Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black pen since late March and it’s been in my shirt pocket as a daily carry since then. I’m using a fine nib which is my preference for a every day writer.
Why I Bought It
It’s a Vanishing Point. It’s a deep black which makes it elegant in my book,
Where I Bought It
I purchased it from Richard Binder so the nib would be tested and adjusted (“binderized”) before delivery, ensuring a good writing experience out of the box.
How I Use It
This pen demands black ink so that’s what I’ve given it. Vanishing Points have a notoriously small ink capacity and this one is no different. This advantage of this is the built in excuse to change inks frequently. But this pen is a daily writer so I wanted capacity, therefore ended up picking Pilot Black Ink cartridges as a standard ink for this pen. The 1 ml. cartridge capacity is larger than the available converters.
The cartridges are easy to store and they make refilling the pen in the office quick, easy, and safe. This has been a good combination, luckily I like the Pilot black ink.
This has become my daily “note taker”. I carry it from meeting to meeting and use it at my desk for quick notes. It’s also the pen most likely to be in my shirt pocket when I head out of the house. Other pens get used only if I want a different ink color or feel like a change of pens.
The Vanishing Point is the most practical pen I have so I always have at least one inked, and frequently more than one. Easy to use with one hand and no cap to worry about.
This review will be a little different than future reviews. The fountain pen geeks, Dan and Eric, did one of their “awesome reviews” of this pen. I can’t improve on their review and pretty much agree with it, so I’ll just add my own thoughts and comments.
I’m usually torn when it comes to custom packaging. It adds to the pen’s allure when it’s first unboxed. But since it doesn’t make the pen a better writer I don’t like any cost it may add. The Matte Black’s “picture frame” packaging wins on both counts. It’s original but doesn’t seem like it was expensive to make.
I enjoy the experience of writing with this pen. The finish makes this pen more comfortable for me than the other Vanishing Points that I have. It’s not the same old metallic or acrylic feel. The size is right for me and I have no problem with the clip location.
The ability to swap nib units among Vanishing Points is a bonus, but I’ve stuck with the the “binderized” fine nib I received with the pen. The ability to swap the nib units is not one I’ve taken advantage,
The pen has been extremely durable. I don’t abuse the pen, but I don’t pamper it either. It’s rolled around my desk and my bag and it’s still scratch free and pristine. The nib is also durable. I had a tendency to fiddle with the pen and clicker. I broke that habit when I “clicked” on the extended nib rather than the clicker. The nib was unscathed, unlike my thumb. Although my thumb had recovered the next day. I didn’t actually draw blood.
Cleaning the Pen
I hate cleaning pens, so this is important to me. A complete cleaning of the Vanishing Point takes about 2 minutes and is a simple process. This is one more reason I like this pen.
Cleaning is simple. I remove the nib unit and remove the cartridge or converter. I rinse out the bottom barrel of the pen so any ink that splattered onto the trapdoor can be cleaned out. I give the nib unit a quick rinse under running water then I use a generic drugstore ear syringe to force water through the nib. The tapered syringe seals nicely against the nib unit allowing some nice pressure to force the water through the nib.. The syrings is relatively small so it takes a couple of flushes. Then I shake the nib unit into a paper towel and make sure no ink residue is on the paper towel. The Pilot ink flushes easily, some other inks take a couple more flushes but it’s never a pain.
I read about using car wax on the nub unit to prevent nib creep but the nib creep itself doesn’t bother me. The intent here being to prevent nib from getting on the trapdoor and fouling it. Flushing the pen this way has kept the trapdoor working fine in all my Vanishing Points so far.
The Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black is a unique combination of convenience, quality and good looks. I don’t think any other pen in my accumulation combines all three of these traits so well.
The best endorsement I can give it is that it’s been inked and used consistently since I received it over 5 months ago. But in the interest of full disclosure – I’ll be giving the pen a couple weeks off so I can give another pen some use.