Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 1Pilot Petit1 in Black
Fountain Pen

– Handwritten Review –


  • Description:  A pocket fountain pen that can be converted to an eyedropper…for $4.00
  • Nib: Pilot Steel, Fine
  • Material: Plastic of varying colors
  • Filling Mechanism: Pilot short cartridges or eyedropper conversion
  • Measurements: 4.2″ closed, 5.2″ posted, .5″ diameter
  • Ink Capactiy: Pilot Short Cartridge / 2ml eyedropper conversion

Handwritten Review Scans:



Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 2So this is going to be a quick one. Why? Because it’s a sub-$4.00 “disposable” pen that’s totally worth buying. This pen was sent to me by a reader of the site (thanks Faith!) and I’m glad it was. The Petit1 writes shockingly well, given its price and demeanor. If you’re in any way on the fence about it, pick one up. They’re great for throwing in a bag, or pocket, and it’s not the end of the world if it gets lost.


Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 4The Petit1 is small. It’s a pocket pen that really needs to be posted in order to comfortably write with. The nib is nothing special in the looks department, but it performs quite well. The body is made of a clear plastic, some of it completely clear, and some tonally matched to the color of ink that’s inside. I have the black model, so the plastic is clear and a smokey grey. The Petit1 is pretty much the same size as a Kaweco Sport when posted or capped, but it’s a good deal smaller when uncapped / unposted. Overall, the pen is on the shorter side of comfortable for me, but I’m okay with it.

Nib Performance:

Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 3I loaded the Petit1 with the included Pilot black cartridge that came with the pen. It appears that there is some felt or cloth material running through the feed to help the ink get to the nib quickly after putting in the cartridge. It really does work. The second I popped the cartridge in, I saw the ink run down the channel, and the pen was ready to write within seconds. This is great for the first time using it, but if you were to flush the pen out and put another ink in, I would be afraid of residual ink in there. I’ll have to try and report back when the cartridge is empty. The ink flow is good, and the nib is surprisingly  smooth, especially for something that’s not meant to be around for years and years. The nib is similar to the Pilot Varsity (if not, the same – I didn’t have one handy at the time) except this one is Fine, as opposed to the Varsity’s default Medium. The Pilot Fine nib lays down a nice line that’s very smooth. Overall, it writes like a much more expensive pen.


Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 5Not too much to say here. The pen is made out of cheap plastic, and it’s very small. Size-wise, it’s about the same as the Kaweco Sport, but feels cheaper. The long cap on the Kaweco posts perfectly and there is no wiggling. The cap on the Petit1 doesn’t post quite as securely, and there is some give if you grip the pen tighter.

Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 6

Once again, keep in mind that the Kaweco is $25-$30, and this pen is under $4. It feels nice in the hand, and people with smaller hands, or fans of the Kaweco Sport will really enjoy this one. The clip on the pen does not appear to be the most sturdy, so take caution when clipping it onto thicker pockets, notebooks, or bags. The plastic is a nicer than the Platinum Preppy though. I was always worried about mine cracking in my bag and I have read horror stories. The plastic on the Petit1 is less brittle, and I think it will hold up better.


  • Did I mention that this was $3.80?
  • Smooth
  • Small
  • Eye-dropper convertability


  • It’s a tiny bit small for me

Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review 9


For a cheap pen that writes as well as this one, it’s super easy to justify purchase. It’s sturdy enough, comes in a variety of ink and body colors, can be made into an eyedropper…and the list goes on. It’s a great pen that everyone should try. It’s nice having something that writes this well without having to worry about losing or breaking it because of it’s low price tag. I really can’t complain about a $3.80 pen that is as fun to use as this one.

Recommendation: Just get one. Or two, or three. You won’t regret it.

19 thoughts on “Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen Review

  1. I have 4 of them and will probably buy more. I’ve converted one into an eyedropper and it is a bit of a pain to flush it out completely but it can be done.

    1. I still need to try it out, waiting for this cartridge to run dry first. I’m still a bit apprehensive about carrying around eyedroppers, especially cheaper ones.

  2. I am probably missing some important piece of pen lore here, but why would one want to convert a pen into an eyedropper? What would one use it to drop? Sorry if that’s a dumb question, but inquiring minds want to know! 😉

    1. It’s not really an eyedropper, but it refers to what you can fill the pen with. Basically, you put some silicone grease on the threads, add an o-ring, and fill the body of the pen up with ink. You don’t need to use a cartridge or converter, because the body of the pen is full of ink. Some other pens that can be converted are the Noodler’s Ahab, the Stipula Passaporto, the Platinum Preppy, and the Kaweco Sport (plastic model only!). Here’s an article from JetPens about converting a pen into an “eyedropper” http://www.jetpens.com/articles/Article:_How_to_Do_an_Eye_Dropper_Pen_Conversion

      1. Huh, how clever. Well, I am embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of such a thing until today. Now I kind of want one. 😉

  3. How long does it take for the ink to dry? I’m looking for a pen to go with my pocket notebook, but I’d hate to be waiting 30 seconds for my notes to dry, every time I jot something down.

    1. Shouldn’t be too long, it really depends on the paper that you use as well. It’s going to take a while to dry on Rhodia, but if you’re using something like Field Notes, you should be fine.

      That’s not to say there might be some bleeding or feathering though.

      1. I use the pocket-size Apica notebooks. I should’ve mentioned that earlier. Did you get around to seeing if this pen will convert to an eye dropper?

  4. Important to note: the Pilot ink cartridges that are compatible with Pilot’s Petit series have a plastic disk inside that acts as a seal until you insert the cartridge and the plastic feed ‘breaks’ the seal, but if that disk ends up touching the feed, ALL of the ink will deposit in the internal chamber and cause leaking at the nib. To avoid this, either convert it to an eyedropper as suggested, or move the disk farther down into the ink by CAREFULLY removing the entire cartridge just after breaking the seal and using a toothpick or similarly slim non-absorbent item to push the disk nearer to the middle. After reinserting the cartridge, you’ll find the ink in the pen’s reservoir near the nib will empty back into the cartridge and your pen will not leak nor write as wetly. I have had to do this with the entire series, but they’re still worth buying for the convenience and fun of interchanging the cartridges and colorful barrels/caps between the fountain pens (Petit1), sign pens (Petit2 – has a nice marker tip), and fude pens (Petit3, with sturdy brush tip). Petit2 & Petit3 are $2.90 and Petit1 is $3.80 at JetPens.com, my favorite for great customer service & fast shipping.

    1. Great tip! I haven’t had that problem, however I haven’t used the pens too much. I went through one ink cartridge with no problems in the fountain pen, and admittedly put the pen aside after that. Maybe I’ll have to break it out and do an eyedropper conversion now!

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