I have loved Pilot’s Precise line of pens since I started using them in college. Pilot’s V5 Precise was the one pen that required no pressure to write, and could keep up with my incredibly fast (and small) note taking style. Up until I got my Parker Sonnet (my first “real” pen), the Pilot V5 Precise was my go-to writing tool.
I’m not alone in my love for the line; the popular pen review site The Pen Addict commented “if you care about your writing instruments at all, then at some point in your life you have used a Pilot Precise.”
When I told JetPens I was interested in reviewing refillable rollerballs, they offered to send me two Pilot Hi-Tecpoint pens — one V5 (extra fine tip) and one V7 (fine tip), and after spending some time with them I can safely say the two Pilots are on track to be my new favorite rollerball pens.
The Pilot Hi-Tecpoint use the same tip as the standard Precise V5/V7, but replace the Precise’s fixed ink supply with a body that accepts standard Pilot ink cartridges, the same ones used in Pilot’s fountain pen line. Even better, it also accepts Pilot’s converters, so you can use bottled fountain pen ink.
I am happy to report the Hi-Tecpoint V5 writes almost identically to the standard Precise V5, which is exactly what I wanted. Like its disposable cousin, the needle-like tip requires almost no pressure, doesn’t skip, and the pen feels great in your hand.
As a reviewer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention drawbacks. The pen, like the refillable Herbin we reviewed earlier, doesn’t place as much ink on the page as a fountain pen, so inks may appear a shade lighter than if used with a fountain pen. Also like the Herbin, inks with suspended particles, like shimmering inks, may clog the rollerball ball mechanism. Flushing the pen to change colors is unpleasant and time-consuming. But, these are drawbacks that apply to all refillable rollerballs, not just the Pilot.
Additionally, while you can change the ink, the pen is still “disposable,” as Pilot only guarantees it for 10 ink cartridges worth of writing before the smoothness degrades (note: that’s a considerable amount of writing, and I was unable to come close to that for this review). But… the pen is $3.20 (for reference, a standard disposable Precise V5 is $1.90, and a pack of 12 ink cartridges is $4). Admittedly it doesn’t come with a converter, but you could double the price and I’d still sing its praises.
Ultimately, the Hi-Tecpoint is exactly what I was looking for in a refillable rollerball. While I don’t think it will tempt me away from my fountain pens, it’s an excellent pen that allows me to use the wide variety of inks I have at home, while being inexpensive enough that I can bring it to work and not worry about misplacing it. Now if only Pilot would make a nicer body for it…