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260 Reviews
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161 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you rate the best !?
Some of the reviews I've written required much research. This is the exception. The Namiki Vanishing Point Fountain Pen really does have a nib (point) which fully retracts inside the pen-- It is the finest fountain pen I've used in 30 years of being totally immersed (no pun intended) in the world of "Écriture d'Élégance" (ie elegant writing)...
Published on September 1, 2006 by K. Mahood, Ph.D

versus
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convenient fountain pen, but not good for lefthanders
This pen's really nice for anyone who loves writing with a fountain and who does a lot of writing. The vanishing point lets you easily retract the nib (unlike other pens that you have to cap/uncap as you write or take notes. The pen doesn't work very well for anyone who's lefthanded--while it lays a lovely line if you "pull" the nib across the page, it lays a ragged line...
Published on May 6, 2007 by Voltaire Miran


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161 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you rate the best !?, September 1, 2006
By 
K. Mahood, Ph.D "musikdok" (Northern Virginia, United States) - See all my reviews
Some of the reviews I've written required much research. This is the exception. The Namiki Vanishing Point Fountain Pen really does have a nib (point) which fully retracts inside the pen-- It is the finest fountain pen I've used in 30 years of being totally immersed (no pun intended) in the world of "Écriture d'Élégance" (ie elegant writing). Yes, I know all about the "other brands" like: Montblancs (not good for heavy handed persons such as myself). Same for Parker (too drab), Dupont (too pricey), Cross (cheap), Pelikans (they leak-even the pricey ones), Waterman (so-so). I've tried all of the aforementioned, but always came back to Namiki, which is why I now have three of them, all with different types of nibs. And speaking of nibs (the point which actually does all the work). Although Namiki makes a wonderful flexible gold nib, I love italics and calligraphic writing styles. The beauty of the Namiki is that custom nibs for this pen are far easier to obtain than others. There are several very excellent pen craftsmen with websites access who will actually measure exactly the way you write and fit you with the proper custom machined Namiki nib. Why Namiki? Ah, that's the beauty of it all. Because this is the ONLY fountain pen which has all of it's "guts" in one small affordable package. The pen is over $100. but that is actually inexpensive compared to some of the brands which run well over $1,000 for ONE fountain pen. However, the entire nib assembly--everything, can be replaced for between $30-$40. That, in my opinion, is well worth the price of this pen. Also, I have NEVER had this pen (in any of my three Namikis) leak. Replacing the cartridge or filling from a bottle is exceptionally carefree and easy . I would advise using the wonderful Namiki cartridges which can be changed in a few seconds easier than ball points. I'm ambidextrous, but favour my left hand. The Namiki is wonderful both for left or right handed writing. In short, don't just sit there--go out and get one of these great fountain pens--and yes you can still write through carbonless copies.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is it like to use this pen?, April 5, 2007
The pictures of this pen don't do it justice--I'll try to describe in words what it is like to hold this pen in your hand. I have the blue carbon fiber model, and the dark navy blue next to the rhodium finish indeed looks very sharp. The bottom of the pen, where the nib comes out, has a vague hint of art deco about it, whereas the rest of the pen, with its unfamilier, yet totally logical geometry and layout, has a fashion-forward air. But the styling of this pen is neither retro nor futuristic. The combination of a (lets face it) archaic writing technology combined with advanced materials like carbon fiber makes a dramatic styling statement--but without a hint of irony. And yet, the look is anything but contemporary---what is it?

The best way to describe it is that this pen looks like an artifact from an alternate world history--it looks like what a high-end fountain pen would look like today had the ball point pen never been invented. It fits, unselfconsciously, into your lifestyle as if you had been using fountain pens all your life. The retractible nib makes for a very practical writing instrument--it is so much quicker to whip the pen out of your pocket and press the clicker to jot something down that you do it much more naturally than uncapping a regular fountain pen. Another click and the nib vanishes just as fast, ready to be cliped back into your pocket.

I bought the model with the fine nib, and I really like the ultra-precise line it can draw, but I can't really recommend the fine nib model to casual or first-time fountain pen buyers. I had to adjust the nib by (very carefully!!!) inserting a razorblade to spread the tines out a bit, in order to get the kind of ink flow I desire. And fine nibs can be finnicky. It is a fountain pen, after all. So newbies please get a model with a medium nib.

But I really love this pen, and can't imagine what I did without it.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to go right after opening the box but ..., April 20, 2012
By 
Depreciation (California, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was expecting to take at least a week to receive my order. However, it only took three days. I placed an order on the 17th, then it was shipped on the 18th, and I finally received it on the 20th. Cool!

The product includes a conversion cartridge. So, if you already have a bottle of ink, then just fill it up and it is good to go. If not, it also includes a disposable cartridge. A sheet of user's manual accompanies this product.

Pro: No cap to worry about. Click -- the nib comes out. Click again -- the nib retracts. Its built-in pocket clip makes it very easy to carry around.

Con: Because of the way the pocket clip is located, it can become a source of discomfort since your index finger will be pressing against it.

I have been using two other fountain pen: Waterman Phileas medium nib and Waterman Moonlight Hemisphere fine nib. It took me a while before these two became responsive to my touches. Pilot Vanishing Point, by contrast, did not need to be broken in at all. I was able to write smoothly right after I filled up the conversion cartridge for the very first time. Therefore, insofar as getting started: Pilot Vanishing Point fine nib > Waterman Moonlight Hemisphere fine nib. While Pilot Vanishing Point costs more than Waterman Phileas and Moonlight Hemisphere, I would recommend the former over the latter two.

******
Update: 04/24/2012

The twist converter cartridge included with the package can become a source of irritation: It does not hold that much ink. An additional source of irritation is that the transparent portion of the converter cartridge is obscured by the metal cylincer surrounding it. I have noticed that some fountain pen merchants do carry squeeze cartridges for Namiki/Pilot brand fountain pens. Based on user reviews, squeeze cartridge is superior to screw converter cap. Unfortunately, Amazon.com is not one of them.

Update: 05/02/2012

5 stars minus 1: The twist converter seems to be more than a minor nuisance. Not only its capacity is rather limited (Waterman twist converter capacity is better, but cannot be adopted to Pilot), it does not seem to fit securely. I have noticed that my pen has been leaking (although not severe enough to stain objects outside the outer casing). I plan on purchasing a squeeze converter (Con-20) and see if this would solve two problems -- capacity and leaking -- in one go. I will update this entry as soon as I start using it.

Update: 05/11/2012

Installed Con-20 squeeze converter. No more leakage. Better reservoir capacity. Pilot should include Con-20 squeeze converter instead of Con-50 twist converter as part of its Vanishing Point package. Why include a substandard converter while there is already a superior counterpart to otherwise a fine writing instrument?

As for the difference in the reservoir capacity between Con-50 and Con-20. This has to do with the fact that it is next to impossible to completely remove the pocket of air lingering in Con-50 twist converter even after several consecutive draw/purge actions. In short, its ink reservoir stays underutilized.

Update: 07/26/2012

Upon closer inspection, there are some leakage from the nib groove. Although, I think this has little to do with mechanical problems. I have been using Noodler's Black Eel ink and I remember reading something about other Noodler ink users having similar issues. This leakage is nothing to worry about; it merely coats a part of the nib and does not lead to staining papers. I wonder if other ink brands have this issue as well, although I will not be shopping for new ink any time soon.

Update: 12/11/2014

Good news: if you are looking for Con-20 converter, it can be found in Amazon.com.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss!, July 10, 2005
This is the best pen I have ever owned. The line from it's nib is incredibly fine and dries quickly for documents free of smears and streaks. Cartridges and converters make refilling incredibly easy and the ink reserve lasts through the prodigious amounts I write thanks to my company's rather luddite leanings. I have bought several of these pens as gifts for friends and can only give my highest recommendation.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift, October 25, 2005
By 
A. Kemel "AKemel" (Highland Park, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I got this pen as a gift. It writes well and looks good doing it. It fact it is a premium pen I use everyday. It developed a "clicking" problem, after all I did a lot of it, to show how it works. I had it send in for repairs. It was covered by warranty, without receipt. It came back repaired with a new ink cartridge, a nice touch. Great pen. Classy company.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love all my VP's! Easy to use, A++, November 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have a very eclectic collections of pens, from old restored gorgeous vintage pens to very high end, expensive Montegrappas and Omas. I have been using Vanishing Points for well over 12 years now and for some strange reason, although I love my other pens, I always seem to come back to the Vanishing Points. I simple love the VR's and the black and blue Carbonesque are truly beautiful colors. Even with all my high end pens, I always seem to find myself reaching for one of my VP's. I think the reason is the VP is just so simple to use, does not leak, I do not walk around with ink all over my hands and cloths, and I can use bottled or cartridge ink. Its just such an easy pen to use, and I love that if you press the top of the pen, the fountain pen nib comes out when you click it again it just retracts, just like a regular pen. What a wonderful concept. I also feel safe flying in a plane with them, as I have never had one leak. I have found all my VP nibs smooth (Japanese sizes are a bit smaller then American though).

However, if you want the best writer possible, get your nib specialized for you by just contacting Richard Binder (Richardspens.com) or John Mottishaw (nibs.com) and you will get a nib to die for (I have no affiliation with these men, but they have both fixed a few nibs for me in the past I love!).
In conclusion, get a VP...they are fun and a great writer!
If my review was helpful, please click "yes" below. Thanks. :)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late to the party. Read anyway., August 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am late to the party of Amazon reviews and to be honest I wonder if yet another review for an already extensively reviewed product could possibly be useful for anyone.

My theory is that it is not the content of the review which is most important, but rather that what signs and symbols you can discern of the writer give you insight into their personality, and you think: certain parts of this reviewer's personality clearly align with mine. I will read this review in the hopes that my experience will be similar to theirs.

In any case, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing with this pen. I use it at my work in a professional environment and usually keep it clipped in nerd-style in my front shirt pocket. It looks good, feels good, and writes well.

I bought the fine nib. Please consult other reviewers' observations regarding the fineness of this nib: it is pretty narrow. On paper it sounds scratchy, which some people find displeasing. It lays down plenty of ink for writing, but quick flourishes on paper will leave some dry spots behind.

It leaves a solid but thin line, never leaks, has a solid mechanical click, and is easy to maintain and refill.

Unlike other reviewers, I have not received any compliments on the pen, curious or jealous inquiries from coworkers, or amazed and stupefied glances as I walk the corridors of my office. No one has done a double take as I passed by. Cars have not crashed while their drivers were trying to discern what type of shiny gray instrument was protruding from my shirt pocket. But it is a good pen which I enjoy using each day and am glad I bought.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pen - but the fine nib is really extra fine!, January 9, 2011
By 
Andie (Albany, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pilot Vanishing Point Collection Retractable Fountain Pen, Gun Metal Gray with Rhodium Accents, Blue Ink, Fine Nib (60433) (Office Product)
I received this pen as a gift and I love it! The gunmetal gray is beautiful with chrome accents. It looks very classy. The weight of the pen is nicely balanced, and there's no cap to worry about - you just click the nib out, like you would a ballpoint! Inside there's a bit of metal that closes over the nib when it retracts to protect it from dirt or damage. It writes very smoothly as well - I've used Lamy black and Noodler's Forest Green inks in this pen so far; both worked very well.

You may notice from the picture that the clip is in an odd spot - down the barrel toward the nib. I am right-handed and hold the pen in a pretty "normal" way so this isn't a problem - the clip sits above my fingers and out of the way. However, for those who write with their fingers kind of wrapped around the pen, especially lefties, this may present an issue.

The only other thing to be aware of is that the fine nib is very, very fine. It's more of an extra fine. I have a Waterman and a Lamy Studio and use a fine nib on both of those, but this Pilot/Namiki fine is so fine that it felt kind of scratchy to me, so I exchanged the nib for a medium, which works well. The medium nib draws a line only a tiny amount broader than the Lamy fine nib, and feels incredibly smooth to write with. Those who like extra fine nibs, such as those with tiny handwriting, will love this fine nib. If you're accustomed to Western fine nibs, I'd go with medium on this pen. (I've heard the extra fine "fine" is a quality of Japanese pens, but this is my first one so I can't say for sure).

Overall impression: Great pen!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best writing experience ever!, August 6, 2008
Have had one of these for 3 yeas now. I will never write with anything else. I got tired of ball points, because writting for too long hurt. Switched to gel pens, but you still have to put a little pressure to get them to work, and eventually it hurts. Plus, gel pens are streaky and inconsistent.

Finally, I decided to get a fountain pen. You barely have to touch the paper to write. Based on 8 months of research, I got a namiki/pilot vanishing pen. I love the clickable nature of this pen, no cap to lose, no uncovered tip to leak.

The pen is awesome! Never leaked. May have squeked a little, but it went away. I got the bold tip for big bold writing. Awesome!

I will never, ever write with anything else ever again. The experience can't be explained. I look forward to writing every day!

2010 Update:
Still have the same pen in the bold tip. Still the best writing experience ever! Everyone always asks me, "What kind of pen is that? Can I try it?" They always are shocked at first to see that it's a fountain pen, then once they figure out how to use it... they love it!

Still the world's best writing experience. Can't say enough about this. I am so glad someone invented this. Very few things in life are life changing or life altering. This is one of them. I WANT to write and find any excuse to write!

Awesome!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convenient fountain pen, but not good for lefthanders, May 6, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This pen's really nice for anyone who loves writing with a fountain and who does a lot of writing. The vanishing point lets you easily retract the nib (unlike other pens that you have to cap/uncap as you write or take notes. The pen doesn't work very well for anyone who's lefthanded--while it lays a lovely line if you "pull" the nib across the page, it lays a ragged line when you're "pushing," and the positioning of the clip restricts the ways in which most of us who are lefthanded will reposition our grip to compensate.
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