19 November 2011


Pen review: Pilot Prera Demonstrator.

The Pilot Prera is one of the inexpensive pens marketed by the Japanese company. In fact, there are two basic variations for this model. The first one is made in nine different solid colors (model FPR-3SR). Its catalog (MSRP) price is JPY 3000 (plus tax) and it does not include any converter. A later arrival (Fall 2010) is the transparent Prera (model FPRN-350R). This model comes in seven variations based on the color of cap and barrel ends. The price, JPY 3500, is justified by including the converter CON-50 (MSRP JPY 500) with it. It seems, though, that some online traders ship this pen with the cheaper CON-20.

This transparent model is the one under analysis today.

1. Appearance and design. (8.5/10)
The Pilot Prera is a small pen. the cap snaps on the section and fits tightly on the barrel when posted, The colored details make it quite appealing. This is a functional pen with an attractive look

2. Construction and quality. (9.0/10)

Typical Pilot construction—everything fits well despite being a relatively inexpensive pen.

A fair concern in all demonstrator pens is how resistant to scratches the plastic material was. It looks good on this pen, but only time and use can give a final answer.

Therefore, so far, 9.0/10.

3. Weight and dimensions. (8.0/10)

Short pen without being a pocket pen. It is on the light side and is well balanced. Most users would post this pen given its short length when open.


Diameter: 14 mm.
Length closed: 120 mm.

Length open: 108 mm.

Length posted: 135 mm.
Weight: 14.0 g.

Ink deposit: ...Cartridge: 0.9 ml

......................Converter: CON-20: 0.8 ml.
........................................CON-50: 0.7 ml.

......................Eyedropper: 3.4 ml.

4. Nib and writing performance. (9.0/10)

Preras come with two rigid steel nibs: F and M. They are very similar –but not the same— to those used in the already reviewed Pilot Vortex. The M nib of this review is very smooth and delivers a sweet wet line.

This pen shares the nib and the feed with the Plumix/Pluminix (abroad) or Penmanship (in Japan) models. They are easily extracted from the section by pulling. Therefore, it is easy to get an EF Pilot Prera –such is the nib of the Pilot Penmanship— or a 1 mm italic Prera –the Plumix/Pluminix nib.

The EF nib and feed of the Pilot Penmanship.

All in all, the nib performance is excellent for an inexpensive pen like this. The possibility of interchanging nibs (Pilot does not sell spare nibs) with other models adds variation to the available points.

5. Filling system and maintenance. (9.5/10)
Preras use Pilot-proprietary cartridges and two of the Pilot converters (CON-20 and CON-50). The transparent Prera is sold with the piston converter, CON-50, more apt for a demonstrator than the all metal CON-20. With either of these possibilities, the ink deposit fits no more than 0.9 ml.

However, this pen can easily hold a lot more ink. Remove any cartridge or converter and fill the barrel with ink. By transforming it into an eyedropper pen, the ink deposit increases up to 3.4 ml. No gaskets or grease were used. The section-barrel threads are thin and tight and do not leak at all.

Cleaning the Prera is very easy, as is the case on most cartridge/converter pens. And being nib and feed so easily removable, the cleaning is even easier.

6. Cost and value. (8.5/10)
JPY 3500 get a very nice looking pen, with a smooth nib and with a great filling versatility. Hard to beat indeed.

Price wise, though, this pen costs twice that of the Vortex. Are those JPY 1500 worth the better looks and the possibility to remove nib and feed easily?

7. Conclusion. (52.5/60=87.5/100)

Very high marks for an informal looking pen. It performs really well and allows for many variations in the way of filling it and, even, on the writing points.

Maybe it is the experimentalist in me who truly enjoyed this pen

(Pilot Prera Demonstrator, M nib, eyedropper – Senator Regent Royal Blue)

Bruno Taut
November 19th, 2011
[etiquetas: Pilot, soluciones técnicas]


Peninkcillin said...

I have a yellow Prera M and it's a really nice pen. It was one of my first fountain pens when I first started this fountain pen obsession. The nib is very smooth but it also depends on the ink. It feels very delicate but well made.

I have been neglecting it for a while because lately I've become more attracted to broad nibs. Too bad they didn't have demonstrators back when I bought mine. But I still love the yellow color.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks a lot for your comment.

I think you could experiment swapping nibs to get a broader nib. Try getting a Plumix/Pluminix with a stub nib. Maybe a Pilot 78G could also work (I have never had one in my hands, though).



Nölff said...

I know this is an old post. I was wondering if the eyedropper conversion of your Pilot Prerra held up. Did you have any problems with it. I'm thinking of converting mine.

Bruno Taut said...

I had no problems re leaks of ink. My problems were those of many eyedropper pens--ink blobbing when the deposit is on the last third of ink capacity.

Thanks for passing by and commenting.



Anonymous said...

Hello. There must be something about September and eyedroppers. Googled Pilot Prera eyedropper and found this helpful post. Thanks

ReyCazador said...

How would you rate the nib on this against a Sailor Young Profit?

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