Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Pilot Envelope Address Writing Gel Ink Pen

Quite a long and relatively boring name for a pen, considering that there are pencils that go by "Mirado Black Warrior". I am not yet able to read enough Japanese to give a translation or a better name otherwise. I purchased an EF and F from Jetpens.com last year and have been using them for quite some time. It is a pen whose use is based on an interesting concept, which is detailed on the Jetpens website, which has this little blurb about them:

Though they may look different on the outside, they're basically twins!
"Often time holidays become a marathon of calligraphy writing as elders send out postcards and letters to family and associates. The older one gets in Japan, the longer the list of friends and acquaintances that require a postcard during the holidays (many times over 100 people). For such an endeavor one requires nothing but the best writing instruments to fulfill the task, for writing beautiful kanji is appreciated by others. This Pilot pen series is designed specifically for kanji writing and is available in extra fine, fine and broad points. The oil based gel ink dries super fast and produces very dark and shiny lines." (Link)

After using this pen for a while, I noticed that the tip was very similar to the Pilot Precise V-7, so I decided to compare the two.  I have to say that my results are disappointing overall:

The tips are different, but they feel similar.
While the ink in the Envelope pen does dry slightly faster, I could really find no difference in the actual line laid down by the pen.  As far as the shine of the ink goes, I was also disappointed because the V-7's ink actually had a bit more sheen to it. The ink in the Envelope pen has a distinctive odor similar to that of a Sharpie, because it is oil based.  My test on Moleskine paper was a wash between the two, with there being only a slight difference in line thickness (The Envelope pen is just a hair thicker). I could barely differentiate which pen was used for which set of lines. I found that on a smear test, that the envelope pen was much more resistant to smearing. Both pens write equally smooth on Moleskine paper, while on anything rougher, especially cardboard, the Envelope pen is a clear winner in smoothness and appearance.  Even though I wasn't able to find my envelope pen in fine (F) thickness, I can say that there aren't too many pens that lay down as thick and dark of a line. I personally prefer the smaller tips, but as far as the wider version goes, I was pleased. My overall verdict on this pen is that it is unnecessary in the extra fine version (EF), even though it may fill an interesting little niche, the difference between it and other pens already out there is for the most part negligible.

It was only after the third group of words that I started writing with the Envelope pen. ιστημι was the first group with the it, and the only difference is a slight variation in thickness.
If you write on rougher, pulpier papers quite often, then this pen will perform wonderfully for you.



  1. I saw these at Jet Pens some time back and figured that if they are especially for envelopes, they must be waterproof. I emailed Jet Pens to ask, but they did not know. Did you test water resistance?

  2. They are water resistant after the ink dries. The Precise is not at all. I didn't submerge the sample in water and pull it out, rather I dripped some water on it and tried to smear it, but to no avail. The ink stayed where it was put :)