Pilot 74 Edited 5

[Guest Post] Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
Handwritten Review

This is the first guest post by Blake S. You can find Blake on Twitter and Instagram by the name @penjonesing. I love his photography and review style and want to thank him for answering my call for guest posters. I had the pleasure of meeting Blake at the Miami Pen show and was excited when he offered to do some guest posting. Let Blake know how he did in the comments!

Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai
Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Dot Pad

Pilot 74 Edited 1

Handwritten Review Scans:


My first real fountain pen purchase was from Goulet Pens. I also watched hours of Brian Goulet’s videos. He always praised, and still does, the Pilot Custom 74 with medium nib. I purchased this pen about 2 years ago along with a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

Pilot 74 Edited 3

Appearance and Packaging:

The Custom 74 comes in a decent, matte black, Pilot branded clamshell box. The inside is really fake velvet lined and has a “Secret” compartment that houses a CON-70 converter and the pen’s paperwork. I opted for the clear smoke color with rhodium trim. It’s definitely a looker and strikes a nice balance between professional and fun. The pen boasts several rhodium trim rings, including a Mont Blanc-ish cap band that reads “Pilot Custom 74 – Made in Japan”. The clip is also rhodium and reads Pilot vertically. The clip has a ball at the end, which is a little different, but I like it. It’s a pretty firm, tight clip. I wear my pens horizontally on my shirt placket, under a tie, so it works well for me, especially on thin shirts.

Pilot 74 Edited 8

Nib Performance:

My smoothest nib, bar none. I’ve owned a couple (German) $1,000 MSRP fountain pens and neither of them came close to this pen. It glides across even cheap paper and is my perfect round nib width. It has a beautiful spring to it which I don’t experience much with other 14K nibs.

Pilot 74 Edited 6

Filling Mechanism:

The Custom 74 is a cartridge/converter filled pen. The included CON-70 converter is high quality and decent capacity. It fills by push button vs. twist/screw mechanism, which is also cool.

Pilot 74 Edited 5


This pen is pretty light, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While its length makes it comfortable to hold posted or unposted, I prefer posted for the added weight. I could stand for the grip section to be a bit larger as I have larger hands, but that’s personal preference.


  • Classic, but fun design
  • The nib smoothness
  • Cool converter type


  • Could be a bit wider

Pilot 74 Edited 7


My first gold-nibbed Pilot and a great one. The 74 has me considering a Fermo and Custom 912. I’m also looking to pick up a Sailor pen to settle the best Japanese nib debate!


About these ads
DC Pen Show 2014 2

I’ll be at the DC Pen Show this Friday – Sunday!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to throw it out there that I will be at the DC Pen Show this Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Premiere in Tyson’s Corner. For more information about the show, check out their website here:

The Washington DC Pen Show

I’ll be working at the Kenro table all weekend, as well as walking the show. Please make sure to come by, introduce yourself and say hello! I look forward to seeing more familiar faces out there and meeting new ones.

See you there!

DC Pen Show 2014 1
**bonus picture of Fahrney’s in downtown DC**
Seven Seas Writer Tomoe River Journal Review

Announcements / Guest Posts / Upcoming Reviews!

Hey everyone!

First, I’d like to thank everyone for visiting the site, reading the reviews, leaving comments and being a part of the community that revolves around our favorite writing instruments. Your continued support makes it fun to write the site.


Admittedly, there’s been a lack of posts around here and I feel as though I owe a bit of an explanation. I’ve been trying to post at least once a week, but it hasn’t always worked out. Part of this is due to me starting a new job in the pen industry. I’ve been working for Kenro Industries for the past month and a half – we are the US distributor for Aurora, Omas, Montegrappa and Sheaffer pens. My new career is completely separate from edjelley.com, they didn’t buy the site and they don’t pay me to write reviews. However this may lead to some more pens being reviewed that I may not have otherwise been able to get my hands on, but like any of the reviews where the pen is provided, all opinions are my own. It’s been a great few weeks so far and I can’t wait to go to the DC Pen Show. If you’re going, make sure to stop by the Kenro table and say hello!

Guest posts?

I’ve been writing reviews for this site since November of 2012 with little to no break in posting, and this past month or so is the least frequent posting schedule I’ve had so far. I’ve been throwing the idea around for a while and think it could be cool to see if anyone wanted to do any guest posts. Not only would it add some reviews to the site of products I don’t have, but could be a fun way for guest writers to promote their site (if they write for one) or even to just give pen reviewing a shot. If you are interested, please send me an email – ed@edjelley.com

Upcoming Reviews:

I have a pretty long review queue at the moment. I’m working on finishing up the photography on them and wanted to give you an idea of what reviews to expect in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for Tactile Turn’s new materials for the Mover / Shaker, the Karas Kustoms Bolt, the Monteverde Invincia Stealth, the Aurora Ipsilon, the TWSBI 580AL, Field Notes Arts and Sciences, Doane Paper Large Idea Journal, some Kaweco inks, the BigiDesign Ti Post Pen + Stylus, and more! In the mean time, check out my review archive page – The List – to read the back catalog of reivews!

Social Media:

I’ve been much more active on social media than I have been on the site. If you’re looking to get a pen picture fix – follow me!

Instagram – @edjelley
Twitter – @edjelleydotcom
Facebook – facebook.com/edjelleydotcom




Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 5

Kokuyo Neo Critz Transformer Pencil Case – Review

Kokuyo Neo Critz
Transformer Pencil Case

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 2


Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 10



Since the Nock Co. Kickstarter reward arrived, I have had pen cases coming out of my ears. However, I’ve been eyeing the Kuretake Neo Critz for a while due to its unique ability to stand up on a desk when unzipped. It’s an awesome feature that makes all of your writing utensils easily reachable and viewable. Not only is it functional, the Neo Critz is solidly constructed from nylon with a nice premium feeling zipper. I have the case loaded with about 15 different pens / pencils and some replacement leads.

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 7

The case does a great job and doesn’t take up a whole lot of room. There’s no doubt that I’ll get a ton of use from this case, especially when transporting my pens back and forth from work. It’s great to be able to have them nicely displayed on my work desk, then zip it up and the end of the day and bring everything home. The case is very reasonably priced at $14.50, making it a great value.

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 5Thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending the case over for review!


Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!




Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 9

Kaweco Aubergine Purple – Ink Review

Kaweco Aubergine Purple Ink Handwritten Review

PenKaweco Dia2 – Fine nib
Ink: Kaweco Aubergine Purple
Paper: Kyokuto FOB COOP Dot Grid – B5 (Available at JetPens.com)

Kaweco’s Aubergine comes in both cartridge and bottle form. It’s a pleasant shade of medium purple that I like quite a bit. It doesn’t fall into that wonderful “dusty purple” category I love so much, but it’s pretty darn close. Like all of the Kaweco inks I’ve tried, it’s very smooth and has great flow. There’s a surprisingly nice amount of shading considering that I did the review with a fine nib, I should really check this ink out in something a bit wider to unleash its full potential. I’m very happy about the new bottled ink format because I think it will really open the ink line up to more people, as their inks were only available in international short cartridges. Big thanks to Sebastian over at Kaweco for sending this bottle of ink over for review!


  • Nice medium purple shade
  • Smooth writing experience with good flow
  • Nice mild shading


  • None!

Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 1 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 2 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 3 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 4 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 5 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 6 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 7 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 8 Kaweco Aubergine Fountain Pen Ink Review 9




A pen blog, focusing on high quality reivews of fountain pens, ink, mechanical pencils, and stationery.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,361 other followers