Fountain Pens Can Be Intimidating
When you think about fountain pens, you probably imagine a rather classy fellow writing a fancy letter in neat Spencerian script. However, fountain pens aren’t just for the wealthy. These old-fashioned pens may feel luxe, but they are perfectly accessible for any person who’s a fan of fine writing. But where do you jump in? I’d say that a Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is an excellent launching point. Let me share my full Pilot Metropolitan review so you can see what makes this an excellent fountain pen for beginners.
My Pilot Metropolitan Review
My very first fountain pens were from Pilot, but they weren’t actually the Metropolitan. In fact, they weren’t even refillable! I bought the disposable Pilot Varsity fountain pens, which were cute, but didn’t satisfy my fountain pen itch. I wanted something a little richer and more luxurious in the hand. Flimsy plastic just didn’t do it for me. That’s when I moved up the Pilot ladder and discovered the Pilot Metropolitan. I snapped it up as soon as I could and immediately got started.
Where to Find Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pens
Pilot is an enormous brand with a ton of reach, so it’s no shock when you see this brand in your local art or office supply store. However, most of the Pilot products you will see won’t be fountain pens. If you’re lucky, though, you can spot a Metropolitan on the shelf of your local store. I’ve seen it before, but brick and mortar stores aren’t the most dependable source for your fountain pen needs. Instead, I personally like to turn to Amazon. I know they will always have the full range of colors and nib sizes to suit my needs. In this review, I will be discussing my Pilot Metropolitan fine nib pen.
There are a lot of factors that make the Pilot Metropolitan an excellent choice. Let me count the ways!
If you’ve ever shopped around for fountain pens, you’ll know that some of those pens can get pricey. Like, really pricey. That is something you don’t have to worry about with the Pilot Metropolitan. This fountain pen can typically be found for $15-20 (excluding any special designs). While that may sound expensive for a pen, remember that this is a pen you can refill again and again indefinitely. Plus it’s much nicer than a typical disposable pen, so it’s worth a few extra bucks on that front alone. Compared to most fountain pens, the Metropolitan is very budget-friendly.
I love how the Pilot Metropolitan feels in my hand. The brass body is cold and weighty while you write without becoming a burden to use. Despite its low cost, the look and feel of this pen will be sure to leave an impression on your friends and coworkers. Just make sure they don’t steal it!
This lovely fountain pen comes in a myriad of different colors and designs, from more moderate to downright funky. You’ll be sure to find a Metropolitan that matches your style!
The draw of a fountain pen is in the ability to refill it. You can use all kinds of brilliant and colorful inks to create exactly the effect you are aiming for. Personally, I enjoy Diamine Ancient Copper, Noodler’s Apache Sunset, and Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts. If you don’t want to get any bottles of ink, you can grab some ink cartridge refills easily. Either way, you can always switch up your ink and try something new with this fountain pen.
I’m a bit of a green enthusiast, so I have to point out the benefits to a fountain pen over a disposable plastic pen. When you buy a pack of cheap disposable pens, you will use, abuse, and lose those pens over time. When the pen goes dry, it goes into the trash pile. However, a fountain pen is much different. When you buy a nicer fountain pen like a Pilot Metropolitan, you will treat it kindly. You will keep an eye on your fountain pen and be more likely to prevent it from falling into the couch cushions. And a single bottle of ink paired with your Metropolitan can last for years and years. I have never run out of any of my inks, and I use a fountain pen nearly daily. When it comes to protecting the environment from disposable plastic, a fountain pen is a tiny gift to yourself that you can feel good about.
The Pilot Metropolitan might be a great fountain pen for beginners, but it isn’t without its faults. Here are some of the things I didn’t like about the Metropolitan.
I actually own two Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens — one is yellow and one is purple. I don’t really use the purple Metropolitan anymore because that one continued to give me some inkflow issues. Sometimes the ink wouldn’t flow right away when I began writing and sometimes it would plop a fat drop of ink on the page while I was writing. Most of the time, I found that the pen just wrote rather scratchy. Just like the yellow Metropolitan, the purple one had a fine nib. The yellow one hasn’t given me any issues, so I can’t help but wonder if this problem was just a manufacturing error. Whatever the case may be, I wanted to point out this issue.
The bladder that holds ink in the Pilot Metropolitan is rather small, which means you will run out of ink with less writing. It’s not a huge deal, but it can be inconvenient to refill the bladder so often. I use my fountain pen for my Morning Pages (which equals three longhand pages each day), and the Pilot Metropolitan would only last about four days before I had to refill it.
Among all the varieties of converters, I must say I like the squeeze converter the least. This converter is a small rubber bladder that you squeeze to expel air and suck ink into the nib of the pen. While it certainly does the job, I prefer a piston converter, which is less messy and easier to control. Again, this isn’t a huge con, but it’s not my favorite feature of the pen.
An Ideal Fountain Pen for Beginners
This pen is easy to write with and easy to refill — plus it’s pretty easy on the eyes. If you’ve been wanting to dive into fountain pens, then the Pilot Metropolitan is an excellent springboard. No matter your experience level with fountain pens, the Metropolitan will suit your needs and leave you satisfied.
I hope you have found this Pilot Metropolitan review helpful! Let me know in the comments section what product you want me to review next, and head to the My Supplies page to see some of my other favorite materials!
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