Ink & Pen Notes: Pilot Custom 823 and Pilot Blue-Black Ink

Pilot Custom 823 fine nib with Pilot Blue-Black Ink

The Pilot Custom 823 has been one of my favorite fountain pens since I got it. It;s currently number two on my Favorite 5 Modern Fountain Pens list. For some reason I’ve grown accustomed to using Pilots own inks in the pen, and I’m not talking about their Iroshizuku line of inks. Pilot Blue-Black was my most recent choice.

I filled the pen with Pilot Blue-Black ink way back on April 5th, so the ink has been in the pen a long, long time. Even though I truly like this pen & ink I often reach past it for another fountain pen. This, combined with the large ink capacity is why it took so long to write this pen dry.

The Custom 823 and Pilot Blue-Black ink combine to provide a pleasing writing experience, although it does lack excitement. The pen is very comfortable in my hand and it’s a light pen despite its size. I can write endlessly without my hand getting fatigued.

Despite the ink being in the pen for over four months the there wasn’t any staining. The vacuum filling system can make this a tedious process, but this time around it was quicker than I expected. Less than 10 minutes to get all traces of the ink out.

I’ll probably ink the pen up again in the next few days. I may go for an ink that’s slightly more exiting than a blue-black. On the other hand, based on my history, I’ll want an ink that can safely stay on the pen for months.

4 thoughts on “Ink & Pen Notes: Pilot Custom 823 and Pilot Blue-Black Ink

  1. This is a very fine write up you have here, Ray. Lately, I am appreciating inks that can remain in a pen for a longer period of time without staining or any other type of fuss. Also, I the fine nib on your Pilot 823 looks great. Not too fine, not too wide.

    • Thanks KP,
      I really do like the pen. And you’re right, the nib is great. In addition to the perfect width, it has a nice spring to it to make it nice and soft on the paper.


  2. Is the nib and feed friction fit like other Pilot pens? Popping out the nib would make flushing more straightforward.

    Thanks for a nice write-up, and for your excellent ink reviews!

    • Hi Gerard, I’m not sure if it is friction fit (it does seem to be, but I’ve never tried removing the nib). Pilot does make the statement that the nib/feed “cannot be removed” so that would void any warranty. Plus, I just don’t like the whole idea of disassembling a pen to do routine cleaning. Eventually friction fit parts could loosen, even if I didn’t get careless and break something. I’m willing to do a little extra manual labor (despite my complaints). I try to stick with easy to clean inks in all my piston fillers, but if I was to get some stains I’d be more inclined to take a pen apart.

      Thanks for reading,

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