Review: Platinum Maki-E Nylon Bristle Brush Pen

Platinum Maki-E Brush Pen

Platinum Classic Brush Pen with Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossoms Pattern ($52) is a nylon fiber brush pen with a beautiful slender black body. It features a gold toned clip and gold accents and a painted Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms designs. Its one of the most traditionally Japanese motfi pens I’ve ever owned and I’m surprised how tickled I am with the overall aesthetics of the pen. The overal shape of the pen is a smooth torpedo shape and the cap has a smooth, pill-shaped clip which is simple and understated.

The pen came in a simple black paperboard box with gold foil lettering and graphics on the exterior and red velveteen paperboard on the inside with a simple ribbon band to hold the pen in place. The packaging was elegant without being extravagant, if that makes sense.

Platinum Maki-E Brush Pen

Platinum Maki-E Brush Pen

But the real feature of the pen is the brush tip rather than a fountain pen or rollerball under the cap. The brush tip is made up of nylon fibers like a paintbrush but inside the aesthetics of a fountain pen. The pen works with a cartridge or a regular Platinum converter.

Platinum Maki-E Brush Pen Close-up

The bristles on the nylon tip come to a crisp point and the nylon fibers spring back quickly with a nice bounce. I decided to test the pen on both my usual Rhodia paper as well as some Strathmore Mixed Media drawin paper which is a toothier stock and found both the pen and the stock ink cartridge to perform quite well. The toothier Strathmore paper made it a little bit easier to control the brush pen versus the silky smooth Rhodia paper making me feel a little more confident in my mark-making.

Platinum Maki-E Brush Pen Writing Sample

The pen comes with a black cartridge with Platinum Black ink and the  Platinum converter ($7.50) will fit as well which will allow a range of inks to be used. The Platinum Black ink is not waterproof but its definitely water resistant. I’m inclined to keep only black ink in this pen for the duration as I expect it would be difficult to ever get all this black out of the bristles and feed. I’d also be cautious about leaving this pen sit too long without using it in case the ink dried in the brush. It might be difficult to get it cleaned completely if the ink were to dry. Altenately, the Platinum Black is a rich, dense black that looks fantastic so it appears to be worth the trouble it might cause if you like a good solid black line for drawing or calligraphy.

Overall, I really like this pen. As its one of my first brush pens over $10 (by a long shot) I don’t have a huge basis for comparison. However, the quality of the brush tip itself is a big upgrade from the budget-priced nylon bristle brush pens I’ve purchased in the past. Add to that, the overall feel of the pen and the beautiful Maki-E painting and I feel like I have a real treasure on my hands.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Boutique for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I wonder how one of those “Shimmering” inks would work in a brush pen like this? Would the flakes in the ink clog the bristles, or would they flow with the ink? Thanks for the review…

    1. I think the flow would be great but my concern would be getting the sparkles to rinse out when I tired of them. I might try syringe filling a shimmering ink into a slightly less expensive brush pen like the Pentel Pocket Brush (about $10) in case it never rinsed clean. I will definitely try rinsing the Platinum Maki-E completely when I finish this ink cartridge to see how completely I can get the ink out of it, just as an experiment and let you know.

      1. Hi Ana, You can try cutting back the end of a bulb syringe so it fits over the business end of the pen (in this case that would include the brush). This specialized tool will allow you to back-flush a pen. It isn’t a bad solution IMO given the good results I’ve seen and the fact that a bulb syringe costs only $2-$3.

  2. This is definitely a beautiful brush pen. I always get weary when it comes to the more expensive types, but I think this one just might be worth it, at least from your review and demo.

    Also, I don’t think you did too bad of a job with that drawing of yours. Very neat lines and pretty cute.

  3. Help! received this pen as a gift, but all instructions are in Japanese. How do I start the flow from the cartridge to the brush?

    1. Just push the refill onto the barrel until you hear a click which is the barrel piercing the plastic. Then just hold it with the bristles down until you see gravity carry the ink down. It might take several minutes. Waving it in figure 8s might help but don’t shake or force it or you might end up spraying ink everywhere. I hope that helps!

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