review: pilot 78g

318  IMG_7871Boy oh boy. I really wish I had hopped on the Pilot 78G train earlier, because it’s been a real struggle finding this pen.  Of course, it may have been easier if I wasn’t so particular: it had to be teal, and it had to have the broad nib. The broad nib  is actually an italic nib, which I thought was really cool!

This pen has been discontinued by Pilot, so anything you find now is pretty much new old stock. It’s not difficult to find in the fine and medium nibs, but it’s definitely getting difficult to find in the broad nib.  It’s approximately 5 1/4 inches (13.5 cm) long capped and 4 3/4 inches (12 cm) uncapped. The pen is very light, only a few grams, but the all-plastic construction is sturdy. It doesn’t flex in the hand at all, and it definitely feels like a pen you can throw into a bag without worrying about it. The pen is a cartridge/converter but it comes with a Pilot squeeze converter (I think it may be proprietary, although I’m not sure). It holds a fairly decent amount of ink.IMG_7873The nib on the fine and medium offerings is very similar to the nib of other Pilot pens, like the Pilot Metropolitan and the Pilot Prera. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the Pilot Metropolitan was introduced to replace the Pilot 78G. On the broad, however, I’m fairly certain it’s exactly the same as one on the Pilot Plumix, only gold-plated. I personally think the only difference is the aesthetic. You can definitely find this exact nib in other offerings that aren’t difficult to find. Plus, you can swap out the nibs, which is one thing you may want to keep in mind–the Plumix does not offer italic nibs in gold, only the plain steel color. But I think this pen has a very classy look that I don’t think you could find in the other pens. Obviously the Metropolitan and the Prera are very good looking pens (the Plumix is… well, it’s definitely something), but the 78G definitely filled a sort of Montblanc-y gap while also being inexpensive. IMG_7876The good thing is just like most Pilot nibs, this pen writes very well. The writing is very smooth and surprisingly forgiving. I thought that an italic nib like this would be a little hard to use and would take a little learning curve, but I was out of the gate and running without problems. An italic nib is different from the normal nibs you may find because there is no tipping material: you write with the stub-like part of the nib. There is, however, a type of nib called a stub nib: these ones do have tipping material. The main difference between an italic nib and a stub nib is that an italic nib is “sharper”: a stub nib is more forgiving but doesn’t have as much line variation because the tipping material is more square than rectangular. An italic nib will give you a lot more line variation (from very thin to very thick) as you write normally because of the tip’s rectangular shape, but it’s more likely to catch on paper. I was a bit wary of using the italic nib because I’d never used one before: I’m glad to know my worries are completely unfounded. Keep in mind that Japanese nib sizes are generally finer than those of their European counterparts: I’d say that the italic nib runs between a European medium and a broad. I love how this pen makes my handwriting look: pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

Here’s a writing sample if you’re interested:Scan10002

I found this pen on eBay for about $20 with free shipping. Unfortunately, you can’t find the Pilot 78G in many places anymore. His Nibs has them with the stub nib in dark green and black. eBay is also a great place to look, and you may just be able to catch a stub nib. Good luck!


I’m not affiliated with His Nibs, but I have ordered from them previously and they’re a great company. Do check them out!

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “review: pilot 78g

  1. Pingback: Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest

  2. You must use the Fine Nib 78G ! What a delight to write and draw with!!!! Boy oh, boy! You must review it!

    • Oh gosh, I used to love fine nibs, but I’m on a huge medium/broad nib kick right now. The way they bring out the shading in inks is incredible. Although if the fine nib is anything like the Pilot Metropolitan medium, it’s gotta be incredible!

      • 4RLuck

        I agree, so do vintage flex nibs either fine, medium or broad. I like all types of shading, specially those coming from vintage Pelikans.

      • Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to use vintage flex nibs; the closest experience I’ve gotten is with the use of dip pens, but you have to finagle with fountain pen ink to get it it to flow properly with dip pen nibs. Perhaps one day I’ll get my hands on a vintage flex–that’ll be a treasure for sure!
        I’ve heard that vintage Pelikans are just a dream to use. I hope to be able to have one in my pen arsenal one day!

  3. Pingback: review: pilot metropolitan | ink between the teeth

  4. IronHelixx

    I love the Pilot 78G as well – so much so that I bought four of every nib size in Fine to Double-Broad (one of each color). They write terrifically, and I bought them all on eBay for $10 each (the BB were $20 each). They do require the use of the proprietary Pilot CON-50 converter, but you can also use them as an eye dropper without much effort at all. And the B/BB really make my block print look great. 🙂

  5. 4RLuck

    I have since reading this article used a 78G
    BB and I am in love with this one also. I use it daily to write in a special journal about my new pet, cat Mia. In pink Yama-Budo because she is a girl.

    • Isn’t the broad 78G just wonderful? It’s still one of my favorite pens.

      How do you like Yama-Budo? I haven’t been able to use any Iroshizuku ink (I personally can’t justify the price for myself, especially with my budget) but I’ve heard it’s a great, great ink to use. Yama-Budo looks like a gorgeous color! And I’m sure Mia loves it too 🙂

      • I love Yama-Budo the most. Did not find Kon-Peking that great, prefer Noodler’s Blue Eel over it. The other Iroshisuki ink I Like is Fuyu Gaki, but for a lot less I discovered Diamine Blaze Orange which is similar. Thee are other oranges I have seen that are similar also. I wouldn’t buy Kon Peki again, but I would buy Yama Budo all the time. It is a soft color that nevertheless looks good in drawings and writing.

  6. BTW, I buy these inks in Amazon because they are less expensive there, but will not buy anymore since there are similar others at much less. Sometimes eBay…

    • I personally can’t justify paying nearly $30 for a bottle of ink, and I absolutely agree with you: there are colors that are very close in hue or even exactly the same for much less! Perhaps one day when I find out I’ve amassed a large fortune, I’ll go ahead and buy the entire line of Iroshizuku–but until then, I’m gonna have to buy the dupes 😅

  7. 4RLuck

    It’s interesting to Know that this has been discontinued, as I have the the B and BB and I adore them. I am using the B size as my desk pen most of the times now and the BB for fancy practice and for highligting important notes. I also ude the F for sketchig anddrawing since it is EF , or is it EF? Love them! Thanks for the review.

    • According to Wonder Pens, this pen actually hasn’t been discontinued, but is simply difficult to find! However, I can’t seem to find the pens at any United States-based pen shops, so maybe it’s only still brought to Canada? I’m not sure…

      I adore the BB too! I didn’t expect the smoothness but it really blew me away. I haven’t had a chance to try any of the other nib sizes, but I do have a medium Pilot Metropolitan (they use the same nibs, I believe?) and I love that one too.

      No problem! Glad you enjoyed!

      • 4RLuck

        Medium Metro is not the same as the B of the 78G which is an Italic. I think I got mine from eBay, checking that It had a good rating,above 99% with many sales.

        The BB is not smooth, but my B is and so much I can compare it to a Conklin Duragraph stub and even to TWSBI 1.5 stub or Goulet Stubs. Nice flowing all of them. The BB, not so much but workable and b-r-o-a-d.

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