Fountain Pen Review: Pilot Metropolitan Calligraphy Nib

Review by Laura Cameron

When I was working at the Vanness table at the Chicago Pen Show, I noticed that the Pilot Metropolitans ($18.50) had an additional nib option that I hadn’t seen before, the calligraphy nib.  I resolved to order one to try and write up for the desk, since I do love my Metro Pops.

The Pilot Calligraphy Medium nib (marked CM on the nib itself) is a 1.0 mm stub nib that is a bit thinner than the typical 1.1 or 1.5 mm stub nibs.  It provides for some nice line variation without being too unwieldy.  Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that Pilot makes a nice nib and the Pilot Metropolitans are very affordable, so you get a experiment with a fun nib at a reasonable price.

I found the calligraphy nib took a bit of getting used to.  It was a bit scratchier than the F and M nibs that I have from Pilot, and I haven’t used much in the way of stub nibs, so adapting my writing so I could make use of the line variation was an interesting experience. I have lots of practicing to do!

That said, I had fun writing the alphabet, trying to do a wee bit of illustration (my art skills are definitely not up to snuff!) and just playing with the nib in general and I’m going to be adding this one into my EDC for a bit so I can get more practice.

I don’t have a Pilot problem. Nibs L to R: Fine, Calligraphy Medium, Medium

In summary, if you like Pilot Metropolitans and want to experience a slightly wider nib, I’d give this one two thumbs up.

Written by

16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for the review. I love the Pilot Metropolitans and have 6, all with a fine nib. I have a few more on my JetPens wish list but was having trouble justifying buying more just because they are pretty and I want ed to have one of every color…sad but true. Alas, thanks to your review, I can now justify adding to my collection because I have to try out this new nib.

  2. Thanks for the review. I HATE the Pilot Metropolitans and have 3, all with a fine nib. I had no further interest in the Metropolitan and was having no trouble justifying not buying more, in spite of their attractiveness and good price. Alas, thanks to your review, I can now justify adding to my collection because I have to try out this new nib–I love the stub.

    (my dislike of the pen: HEAVY, slippery, nibs no better than their disposable FPs)

    Thanks to Shelley, 😉

    1. Update: I did get this pen and I enjoy it as much as I expected to.
      I also picked up some Plumix models (with the same nib) and they are
      much easier for me to use.

  3. Nice review. I got one when they first hit and it quickly has become my pen to test ink with. It writes well, lays down a good line to see what is going on in an ink, but isn’t so expensive I am going to miss it if the ink eats it.

  4. They’ve been available with the calligraphy nib for a while now, and definitely are worth it if you like the metro body. I don’t so I haven’t tried that combo, but it’s easy to swap the nib between Pilot’s various steel nib pens. So I have a Kanuko with the calligraphy nib stolen from a Plumix.

    The reason I mention this is because the molded grip on the Plumix/Penmanship body is so severe in stock form for lefties that it’s sure to be painful. But if you rotate the nib it becomes usable. And it’s easy if you can rotate the nib to move up to nib swaps.

    And it’s a really nice crisp nib, with good hairlines. Most “calligraphy” nibs are ground more like a stub so they are easier to use. This one is on the crisp and sharp end, which is good if you’re trying to write a particular script like italic or blackletter. So it’s maybe not a nib for everyone or everyday but if you like calligraphy you will probably love it. Not bad for a nib made for $8 pens.

  5. Pilot actually makes a a few more italic steel nibs, even narrower, that fit the same pens.

    The Pilot Plumix Enso box set comes with three different Pilot Plumix pens, one in F, one in M, and one in B; all three of them italic. The range is something like 0.44 mm to 0.78 mm, or thereabouts.

    I have the F italic nib on a Europen Pilot Metro (European metro takes standard cartridges), the B italic nib on a Pilot Kakuna with a Con-70 installed, and I’m still waiting to find the right pen to put the M italic nib on. They are a lot of fun, though, if you want to have some line variation but you don’t want super thick lines.

  6. If you are going to review a caligraphy nib it would be nice if you did some actual calligraphy with it to show off the capabilities. Just doing a line of cursive is not calligraphy by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately non-calligraphers seem to love reviewing calligraphy nibs and calling them a success without even testing it for that specific application. Which of course means I end up with a bunch of junk articles when typing ‘stub nib’ & ‘caligraphy’ into a search engine.

    1. Not everyone is gifted with the skills to do calligraphy. The writers and reviewers here do their very best to show the tools and what line qualities pens are capable of creating. I do hope you find a calligraphy expert willing to test out this pen to your liking.

  7. I love Pilot Metropolitans. I own pens that are way more expensive but for whatever reason I find myself using my Pilot retro-pops more often than the more expensive pens. I do have a belief that many times higher price is not proportional with higher quality, this goes for any type of product. This turquoise stub nib is phenomenal. Mine performed great out of the box. The nib is great and my writing looks really great when using this pen. I recommend it highly.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.