Friday, April 26, 2013

Pilot Justus 95 With an Adjustable Nib

When I started this blog, I had no intention of it being a "pen blog." I just had an itch to write and get my writing out there somehow. Well I guess it is now a "pen blog." And it may look like that it is becoming a "Pilot Pen Blog" which it is not. I've been very fortunate to receive Pilot and Namiki pens from my personal friend John Lane, general manager at Pilot Pens. He told me he sends those pens after "cleaning out his desk." But a few weeks ago he told me he was sending a pen for me to try and give my opinion on before he brings the model in from Japan to the US. So this post is kinda different for me as it is not my thoughts or my mana`o, but trying to help out a friend.

I received a Pilot Justus 95.

Oh umm click on the pictures to see a larger preview.

It has an adjustable nib. When John first told me about it, I immediately remembered a vintage Wahl Eversharp Doric I had with and adjustable nib. I had bought it from the one and only pen show I have ever attended on the mainland, the inaugural San Francisco Pen Show. Well that pen is gone, but my Twitter friend Gourmet Pens featured one in her blog posts.

This is a bit different, actually a lot different! There is an adjustment at the bottom of the body, H (hard) and S (soft)...obviously. You can see a stiffener bar that supports the nib or not.

Hard setting

Soft setting

I filled it with Iroshizuku Ama-iro.

It is not what I expected. It is not a flexible nib by any means even in the soft setting. There is no line thickness variation that you get with a Falcon.

On a side note, when I use the term thickness variation, I think of disc brake rotors on automobile brakes. Still a Grease Monkey I guess. Ok sorry...side tracked!

However when writing, you can definitely "feel" a difference. I liken the the difference in "writing feel" to writing with a stiff Sheaffer nib compared to a nice soft Pelikan or Montegrappa nib. On some papers you can see a difference in line thickness between the two settings. Maybe not so much on the Rhodia paper, but again no line variation.

I first filled it with Irhoshizuku Take-sumi, but changed to the Ama-iro hoping for better results. I do love the shading with the Ama-iro though, may be a good companion to Kon-peki.

John did later tell me that it is not a "Falcon wannabe." I personally don't know a reason to have a stiff nib. Can anyone explain please as I am not really a pen aficionado? However I do enjoy writing with a nice soft nib.  If there is a reason to have both kinds of nibs, this pen would work out perfectly as you have both and only need to carry one pen. Also it is not just hard or soft, there is almost infinite adjustment in between.

I appreciate that John trusts my judgment and opinion with this pen. We go back quite a few years first meeting at then annually at the Pen Fairs that the Honolulu Pen Shop used to hold. I think we sold out of Falcons the first time we met when no one knew the term flexible nib yet. I did write a post about it last year.

So, would you purchase this pen? I think it'll retail for around $300. Thank you and I or we will value any opinions sent.



  1. I too like a soft nib, even more than a flex nib. So much nicer to write with.

    I guess some folk like a hard one, though I can't think why.

  2. Hello! Thank you for the mention :) I would certainly consider buying one of these, if at least to add something nifty to my collection. Sometimes I need a stiff nib for floppy paper. I know, that makes almost no sense, but it does happen that occasionally the need for a stiff nib comes up. I'm so terribly curious... I'd love to try one of these one day!! A gal can dream in the meantime :)

  3. Thank you for this review. I stumbled upon this pen on my favorite store for japanese pens and I had no idea how it worked. You certainly cleared that up :)

    Also, I came here from Azizah's blog. Greetings :)

  4. Your handwriting samples are nothing like what I'm seeing on Youtube reviews for flex in the soft position. My personal Justus 95 has considerable line variation depending on the adjustment of the stiffener.

  5. Your writing samples are not at all typical of the line variation I've seen with the Justus 95 reviews on Youtube, or the significant line variation that I'm seeing with my personal new Justus pen. There is much more line variation.

    1. I think it would depend on the ink and paper also. Maybe I should do a side by side comparison with Iroshizuku Ina-ho and my Falcon on the same paper. Thanks for you comment and input.