The Pilot 78G is an affordable, plastic fountain pen with a classic design. It’s still available for sale but is not longer in production.
The Pilot 78G is a mid-sized fountain pen at 13.4 cm capped and 15.0 cm posted with a classic torpedo shape. The pen has a steel nib that is plated in 22K gold, so it’s a deep gold color. The Pilot 78B includes a Pilot CON-20 converter but lacks an included ink cartridges (which most fountain pens ship with).
With the 78G being of limited availability most people interested in an entry-level Pilot fountain pen tend to opt for the Metropolitan or the newer Explorer. The 78G was officially discontinued in 2016 and replaced with the 78G+, which is most commonly sold in China.
Pilot 78G Review
The Pilot 78G was one of the most useful pens in Pilot’s fountain pen family for a time. It was like a cheaper, larger version of the Prera, with a lot of similarities to that pen as well as the Metropolitan.
Aesthetically the 78G is a good looking pen, with a classic shape and a similar profile to the Namiki Falcon. It almost looks like a smaller, plainer version of the Justus 95.
One of the useful features of this pen is the nib can be swapped with the nibs from Pilot’s Metropolitan (or MR), Cocoon, Plumix, Prera, and Penmanship pens. All these pens — except the Prera — cost about the same amount of money so this won’t be too useful, but does mean you can customize your pens or swap out any damaged nibs to a preferred pen.
The 78G is an affordable pen that thats the rare choice to use gold-colored hardware. I can’t say this is something I normally like, but the 78G manages to pull it off, especially on the green colored body. The gold is 22K plating so it has a nice yellow colors.
The nibs of the 78G are steel, and they are sold primarily in a fine and medium, but can be found in a stub as well. The nibs are stiff and utilitarian, and turn out to be not quite as smooth as those on the Pilot Metropolitan/MR pens I’ve used.
The pen, when in use, feel a bit cheap and lightweight. The body picks up scratches easily and pretty quickly can look rather worn, which is not something I’ve typically found with Pilot’s pens.
Overall this is a good fountain pen but with so many alternatives and the fact that the 78G is a Chinese-market pen that takes months of shipping to get to the US, this isn’t a pen that I’d recommend people track done, despite it being a solid offering in the sub-$20 range.
Pilot 78G vs. Pilot 78G+
The 78G+ is a newer version of the Pilot 78G. They two pens are the same size and shape. The 78G+ has a clear demonstrator and a new blue color, but has retained all the colors of the original 78G.
The 78G+ now comes in an Extra Fine (EF) where the 78G only went down to a Fine, and the “+” model ships with a Pilot CON-40 converter as opposed the outdated CON-B squeeze converter.
Pilot Metropolitan vs. 78G
The Pilot Metro and 78G were, for some time, direct competitors and have some interesting difference between them. This conversation likely peaked around 2014 but now the 78G has been discontinued and the Metropolitan has lost favor to the Kakuno and Explorer. Almost all fountain pen enthusiasts prefer the Metropolitan to the 78G thanks the nicer metal body and better durability.
- The Metropolitan has a snap-on cap where the 78G has a screw-on.
- The pens have essentially the same steel nib but the 78G’s is gold-colored not silver
- The Metro is sold in an EF but the 78G wasn’t (until the 78G+ was released)
- The 78G uses a gold clip and bands where the Metro always uses silver
Pilot 78G Fountain Pen Information
|Street Price||Check Price|
|Pen Type||Fountain Pen | Cartridge/Converter|
|Barrel Color||Black, Red, Blue, Green|
|Grip Color||Black, Red, Blue, Green|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Capped? Retractable?||Capped - Screw-on|
|Length Capped / Retracted (cm)||13.4|
|Length Posted (cm)||15.0|
|Length Uncapped (cm)||12.1|
|Nib Sizes||Fine, Medium, Broad|