I noticed that I had never written a review of the Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen so I thought I’d add it. Let me start by saying that I bought this several years ago and was very unhappy with its performance and stuck it in a drawer. It actually took quite some time before I was willing to venture into fountain pens again because of the experience. To be honest, at $3 per pen, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting.
To a newbie though, the Varsity seems like a reasonable way to get into fountain pens. Its not. The most expensive part of a good fountain pen is the nib and feed, and this one, available in a medium width only, is not good at all. Its a plain steel nib. Steel nibs can be good but not at $3, I think.
If you look at the writing sample above, the pen skips and whole letters will not appear while the ink flow readjusts. It squeaks on the paper, actually squeaks. If you have an aversion to the sound of nails on a chalkboard, you best give this pen a wide berth.
I’m not inclined to write reviews for products that I genuinely dislike and think are terrible. I’d prefer to let me silence speak for itself. However, I get enough people asking about the Varsity and other sub-$10 fountain pens that I felt I should be honest.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll put up reviews of the other entry-level priced fountain pens. Maybe there is a gem among them.