I have no clue why it takes me this long to try out Pilot Parallel, perhaps because I have lots of dipping pen nibs.  These pens have plenty of potentials and in my opinion, great for anyone who is learning calligraphy.

The set comes with two mixable color cartridges (black and red), a converter for cleaning, nib cleaning sheet, and the pen.

I purchased two nib sizes I do not have:  3.8mm and 6.0mm.  For a nib that is consisted of two small pieces of sheet metal, it writes very smoothly.  To my surprise, they are also very wet writers so they do have higher ink consumption, especially with larger nib size.  The nib actually looks a bit like poster nib for dipping pen.  The difference is that the slots on Parallel nib is narrower and shorter.

3.8mm nib

One very cool feature of Pilot Parallel is the gradation effect you can create, simply by letting two nibs “kiss.”  One ink color from one pen will transfer to another.  Just make sure the ink you are going to mix have similar properties.  For example, it might not be a good idea to mix water-based ink with a shellac, since the two have different chemical properties.  However, Parallel is extremely easy to clean, since the set comes with a cleaning sheet that you can insert between the two metal sheets.

Seal with a “kiss”!

.. and this is what you can create.

Gradation effect

Another great feature of Parallel is that if you turn the nib to its side, where the “Pilot” or nib size imprint is facing you, you can write normally.


The writing on the left is using nib on its side, and the stroke on the right reflects the actual nib size.  According to Pilot, the nib width is about .5mm (looks like writing of a fine nib).  Pretty handy if you are using Parallel for craft and calligraphy.


Parallel is capable of writing a variety of type face, such as italic and gothic.  For some reason I immediately associated the nib with Gothic font, so I ventured out and started learning something new.

my Gothic practice 

Granted the plastic for the pen body feels thin, but the versatility of the pen outweighs the overall appearance.  If learning calligraphy is one of your goals in the new year, Parallel is definitely a good choice.

Where can I buy?

Still unsure whether these pens are good for you?  Check out a video tutorial done by Goulet Pens.

2 thoughts on “Pilot Parallel

  1. I love the Pilot Parallel pens! but hate the ink, lol. I couldn't wait to be done with the default cartridge so I could fill it with my own inks. They work great with FP ink and liquid watercolors (like Talens Ecoline).

    Your gothic looks great so far too! 🙂


  2. For once, I did not dislike the stock cartridges, since they write more smoothly than I expected. Once I empty the cartridge, I will try out gouache mixture with these pens and see how it works!
    Thanks on your compliment; obviously I still need to learn all the 26 alphabets :p


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