Today’s review is a new look at an old pen. And it’s a pen that I am sure most of you have seen before: the Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint! It is my typical school pen which I always used when I was still schooling. And by that I mean -ALWAYS-. I used this pen for taking down notes, writing on slips of paper to pass around behind the teacher’s back, draw on my friends’ arms for fun, doodling during boring lessons…
Despite being such a frequently-used pen, I have never delved into the details about it. A quick search on Google brought me to Cult Pens, which gave a very short description about it. It was first launched in 1983 (wow, that is way before I even existed in this world!) and it is a needle-point rollerball. Cool, I didn’t know needle-pointed pens are rollerball pens. I always called them “ink pen”. Now I wonder why that term came out. Probably because before the use of rollerballs became popular, everyone in school used ballpoint pens. So when these needle points increased in popularity, everyone just grabbed one and probably called it the “ink pen” due to the smooth, consistent inky flow.
I don’t know why the picture came out not so nice. It looked totally perfect on my phone’s camera, but when I transferred the file to my Macbook, the colours aren’t so striking.
The blue 0.5mm one has a nice cheerful blue. To me, it is a very “Hey there, look at me and I take no nonsense” kind of blue. The light blue seems almost turquoise. Almost. But not quite. The colours of the inks remind me of the Pilot Super Gel’s colours – bright, interesting and captivating. All of them are no-nonsense colours. You just can’t fight with them saying “the blue looks more like a purple to me”, because they are just… so… typical. “Typical” may not always be seen as a positive word, but in this case it is a good thing. I really love Pilot for letting their pens drink inks of such beautiful colours!
Despite being a 0.5mm tip, it writes rather fine and I would put it more as a 0.4mm tip – like the Fine nib of Japanese fountain pens. The ink flowing out is saturated and dries fast on paper too – a bonus point for lefties like me, who won’t have to be worried about smudging while scribbling notes fast!
The two pens measure 13.6cm capped and 15cm posted. That’s not such a bad length for a pen. The diameter of the pen barrel is 0.9cm, so you can have a rough idea of the pen thickness. It’s strange, because I always thought that the Pilot V5 hi-tecpoint was fatter. Did they shrink in size of did my hands grow bigger? If you ask me, I really think it’s my own illusion. The pens didn’t seem to have changed much over the years. Still the good old trusty ones!
What I like about the pen is not only the ink flow, but also the ink window at the side. Looking at the above picture, do you see a dark rectangular box on the pen barrel? That is the ink window. I loved saying hi to the ink and watch it slosh around inside the pen. And come to think of it – one improvement made to the design which I have just noticed is the additional dark section that joins the barrel to the cap. Previously I don’t remember having such a part. This second window allows you to continue monitoring the ink level when it is reaching low. That is a thoughtful improvement! It’s just too bad I don’t have one of the older designs to compare with. Now there is only one thing left to improve: a way to REFILL the pen. I would love to use this pen in all my other ink formulas, but there is no way to refill the ink! Please let me know if there is a hack to this!
As you may know, I don’t usually review clips, but this is one clip I would like to briefly talk about. Let me talk about the negative aspect, which is really such a small issue that you won’t even find it necessary to mention. They are metal, so they bend. I have used V5’s before with slightly bent clips, probably from intensive use (clipping too many papers at once?). For these new pens, I’m not sure this is improved. But there is also a plus point about the clips: they are made of metal, thus will not break off the cap like those plastic ones! The clips spring back to position when I flick them, and they seem pretty sturdy too!
Now an important aspect: the nib. Is it smooth? Yes. Any ink flow problems? None so far. Although I may get some skips when gunk gets stuck on the nib. Speaking of which, these needle points seem to be dust-a-philic. Dust seems to be attracted to them. These pens need some constant care and cleaning to keep them perfect for use.
I found a mini surprise about this pen on paper. On normal copier paper, the pen is nice and smooth, with a slightly tactile feel like the Stabilo pointVisco that I reviewed a couple of days ago. But on Rhodia paper, which is super smooth, the tactile feeling is more pronounced. Is this pen specially designed for commonly-used papers then?
No line variation is exhibited with the pens. Which isn’t a big deal, since I wasn’t expecting line variations anyway.
I’m sure most if not all of you have used or at least seen the Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint before. If you haven’t, what a sinner you are! Go get yourself one now! Cult Pens sell them. They seem to sell any pen under the sun! And this pen comes in seven colours, just take your pick! I saw that Tiger Pens sell them too, and the description confirms my observation that the pen writes thinner than labelled.
If you’ve used a Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint before, how did you find it? Was it also one of your favourites before?