Any way you splash it, the Pilot Plumix is an ugly pen. So it’s a good thing I don’t judge pens by their blubber, because I’d be missing out on one of the cheapest ways to try a cursive italic nib.
The Pilot Plumix is a plastic fountain pen with unusual proportions. I’d call it “high-waisted” but a marketer would probably spin that as “streamlined.” The pen has a short, stubby cap that screws onto the section. There is no clip, and the cap has two protruding wings on either side which prevent it from rolling away on a desk. While it’s possible to post the cap, it results in a pen that looks even more comical. (You’ll see a photo of that later on.)
The barrel is long, slim, and asymmetrical in shape, much to the annoyance of every pen blogger who’s tried to photograph this critter.
This is a long pen, especially when capped or unposted. When posted, it’s the second longest pen in my collection after the Lamy Vista/Safari.
Like its cousin the Pilot Kaküno, the Plumix has a triangular-shaped section. However, its edges are more rounded than the Kaküno’s section, and I found the Plumix to be the more comfortable pen after writing several pages with my standard tripod grip.
In terms of width, the Plumix’s section is comparable to the Kaküno’s, which in turn is slightly wider than the Pilot Metropolitan’s. Due to the presence of cap threads, the section on the Plumix is pushed further back from the point of the nib, so those of you who like to grip your pens as close to the paper as possible might find it disconcerting. The Plumix definitely forced my grip a little higher than I’m used to, but not enough to be a dealbreaker. The pen is very lightweight, but balanced when unposted. As always, I must mention that I have smaller hands, so your experience may differ.
Like most modern Pilots, ink is stored in a Pilot-proprietary converter or cartridge. The barrel is watertight so an eyedropper conversion is possible, though I haven’t personally tried it. The Plumix comes with a cartridge of Pilot Blue ink to get you started. I used up the cartridge that came with my pen long ago, so in this post, you’ll see a cartridge I filled with Diamine Ancient Copper.
The Plumix is available with a variety of nibs, but the star of the show is the “1.0mm medium stub”, which is closer to a cursive italic in practice.
It’s a Pilot steel nib, and this one is up to Pilot’s usual excellence, as it’s a smooth writer with no flex. However, all the cursive italic (CI) caveats apply: your experience will largely depend on your grip and writing angle. If you don’t hold a CI pen just so, you’ll find the nib to be scratchy and it’ll catch on the paper. But once you find that sweet spot, this nib really sings.
I forgot to take a picture of a good writing sample before I went overseas (doh!) but here’s a partial one. The words “Packing has begun!” and “Pens are being cleaned!” were written with the Plumix. You can see a clear difference between the Plumix’s CI nib and a typical F nib.
I’ve seen the Plumix on sale for as little as $7.25, which makes it the most inexpensive entry point to cursive italic nibs I know of. Even better, the Plumix shares the same nib as the Pilot Metropolitan, Kaküno, Prera, and Penmanship, so if you have one of those pens you can do some nib swapping and try a CI nib on the pen you like.
The Pilot Plumix isn’t the cutest critter in the inky seas, but it’s a great way to get a nice CI nib on the cheap, and for that it gets my stamp of approval.
Updated Friday, Jan 19, 10:50am EET: Added Pilot Penmanship to the list of pens that the Plumix’s nib can be swapped into. (Thanks to Julie Paradise for the info!)
This Pilot Plumix was paid for with my own funds. My opinions on this blog are always my own. Please see my review ethics statement for more details.