Pilot Petit 1 Review


I was very surprised with this pen. I was told by one of my friends that this is actually a throw-away (disposable) pen meant to give people a taste of writing with a fountain pen. My first thought was, after I’m finished with it, I would throw it. I had yet to try it until then.


After trying it for the first time, I was a little skeptical, as it was one of the hardest starts I’ve ever had, comparable to the Pilot Hi-Tec C. So I started slowly squeezing the cartridge, in a hope to saturate the feed and get the ink flowing. This took a while, leaving me a little frustrated. After overcoming the hard start, I extensively tested it on my Rhodia DotPad.


The nib alone made me question whether this pen was indeed disposable. The Petit1 comes with a standard Pilot F nib. I have always steered clear of Japanese F nibs, as they are often the equivalent to Western EF nibs, which are too small for my writing style. Pilot is one of my favorite pen companies, because of their nibs. While in the past, they weren’t very consistent in terms of quality, the same cannot be said now. They instituted a completely new and extensive process for QC in the recent past, and it has transformed my experience with any Pilot fountain pen I came across since. the nib is smooth out of the box, and lays down a consistent line once the feed is properly saturated.


When Pilot uses a variation of the word “petite” as the name of one of their lines, you can be assured these pens indeed exhibit this quality. They have found a very balanced shape that is neither too long nor too petite. While the pen is small and can fit into my pocket, it can also comfortably post, allowing a person with larger hands (me) to effortlessly use it.


Simple, low-key branding helps keep the overall minimalistic feel to this pen. You can take off the sticker in this picture, but I was too lazy to do so. DSCF8279

Overall, this pen managed to really surprise me with its balanced form, minimalistic looks, and amazing nib performance. While it is technically a disposable pen, I don’t see myself throwing it out anywhere in the near future. If you want to experience writing with a fountain pen in a variety of vibrant colors, or want to give someone else such an experience, don’t hesitate to give them one of these.

8 thoughts on “Pilot Petit 1 Review

  1. i have always wondered about these little guys. i’ve seen them in the stationary section of japanese bookstore Kinokuniya. i noticed they are labeled the F nib 0.3mm, while the M nib 0.5mm. i feared that the M nib might be too broad for my liking, while the F nib end up very scratchy. and that pilot’s con-20 and con-50 converters may not fit. so i didn’t get one.

    • I don’t think that this pen is able to use converters, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. As for the nib, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was. Nowadays, Pilot’s QC is the best in the industry. I recommend you try it out. I’m a fan of broader nibs, but it was fun trying out a Pilot fine. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. I’ve had a similarly good experience with the Petit1 – a great, consistent writer, and for such a low price! I enjoyed the Fine, but the nib is pretty much identical to the VPen (or Varsity) which comes with a M nib standard – I’m sure they would be fairly easily interchangeable.

    The other thing to consider with the Petit1 is how easily it can be converted to an eyedropper – or so I’m told. Not sure I’d want to carry one around in my pocket with that much ink, but it’s an option! Or you can syringe-refill the cartridges, which are smaller than the standard Pilot refills but made of very sturdy plastic.

  3. Petit is just the masculine form of “petite” – I guess Pilot view the pen as a Petit Stylo, rather than a Petite Plume 🙂

    I always fancied picking one of these up (along with the little brushpen that was part of the range too) as the basis of a very portable sketching kit, but they used to be quite difficult to find in the UK.

  4. i have always wondered about this little guy. and came close to buying one. but the fact that i can’t use my con50 converter with this pen is what turned me off.

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