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I wanted to share my experience with the Pilot Parallel Pen set of 4. My goal is to show you what I’ve learned so that you can get a better idea if you want to add them to your calligraphy/hand lettering tool kit.
I think we can agree, calligraphy and hand lettering is more popular than ever. Seeing this ancient and magical art-from all over Instagram and in modern branding inspired me to learn calligraphy from scratch. I started following a well-known calligraphy master, Seb Lester, who recommended the Pilot Parallel Pen. He said they are great for any skill level and affordable. I took his advice and picked them up on Amazon. In this review, I will give you my impressions of the Pilot Parallel Pen set of 4.
Pilot Parallel Pens for Calligraphy
Pilot Parallel Pens give you the ability to produce thick and thin lines with sharpness and consistency. This is possible because of the nib design that consists of 2 metal parallel plates with serrated edges that allow ink to flow out of the tip of the nib. Pilot Parallel Pens come in four nib widths: 1.5, 2.4, 3.8, and 6.0 mm. I prefer the 3.8 and 6.0 because they give the best thick to thin combination. If you pick up the Pilot Parallel Pen set of 4, you will have the flexibility to create the letter size you want depending on your medium. But more importantly, you will have fun using them!
Unboxing The Pilot Parallel Pen
- A plastic pen, with metal nib, that twists apart for easy ink replacement.
- Two mixable ink cartridges. One black and one red.
- Nib cleaner.
- Bulb syringe/pipette for cleaning.
- Instruction booklet featuring a calligraphy guide.
- All held within a plastic/pvc box.
Pilot Parallel Pen Set is available on Amazon for less than $30.
How to Use The Pilot Parallel Pen
You will get the best results from Pilot Parallel Pens when the angle between the nib and the paper remains consistent during use. This is something I struggled with at first. But over time got used to keeping a consistent pen angle and even nib contact to paper, which results in solid lines. You really got to feel this for yourself. But for now, check out the examples below.
How to Refill Pilot Parallel Pens
You can easily refill the Pilot Parallel Pen with ink cartridges that are made for the pen. These cartridges are affordable and can be bought separately. Check Price.
You will find refilling the Pilot Parallel Pen is easy. First, grab a new ink cartridge. Next, twist the barrel off the pen unit. Inside the pen unit features a plastic half circle that is there to puncture the ink cartridge when you firmly push in. That’s it!
I found out a couple things about the cartridge design that you should keep in mind. The only downside of these cartridges is they are small and run out quickly. As a result, you are constantly changing these cartridges. Since the ink is cheap it’s not a big deal. But if you don’t want to be constantly changing cartridges you can get into some customization. I have heard of people converting the barrel to an ink holder. I didn’t try this myself. But in theory, it makes sense. The barrel can hold a lot of ink. The only problem is ensuring you can tightly seal barrel without any leakage.
You can definitely use other ink. However Pilot recommends only using calligraphy inks that are very wet. Wetter inks flow better and give better consistency. Dryer inks can have problems flowing through the nib which can lead to unpredictable ink distribution. If you want to use different inks, a blunt syringe can be used to put ink into the existing cartridge.
You can switch ink cartridges while another colour is in the nib to create gradated color lines. Another method is to dip the pen in a different colored ink, to acheive per live color gradation.
- Thin and thick lines.
- Good sharpness.
- Easy to maintain.
- Ink runs out quickly because of small cartridges. So you are frequently switching cartridges.
In conclusion, if you are a beginner or a calligraphy master, Pilot Parallel Pens are a tool you want in your arsenal. You can produce thick and thin lines with precision. Pilot Parallel Pens are easy to maintain and they are affordable. But more importantly, you will have fun using them! If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below.