Fountain Pens, Ink, Paper & More

Pilot Capless vs. Moonman A1

SPOILER ALERT: Moonman A1 wins.

I think I understand why the Pilot Capless is apparently no longer being made. The “special alloy” fine nib offers a joyless writing experience that feels dry with more feedback than I would like.* With a fine nib producing an extra fine line, the ink lacks any character whatsoever. Admittedly, this is based on the included black cartridge, but even black ink can have character. At a price tag of around $80 on Amazon, at the time of this writing, I expect better.

By contrast, the extra fine nib on the Moonman/Majohn A1 dishes up a fine line that actually lets you see the ink. With the option of a clipless version, as well as a handful of colors, the A1 has a leg up on the Capless. Not to mention the $41 price tag on Amazon, or sub-$30 on eBay.

To be fair, it’s not all bad with the Capless. The way the parts fit together is buttery smooth. The nib unit appears to be more ink-tight. And they come stocked with nibs ranging from extra fine to medium.

But with an extra fine nib on the A1 that writes so well, do you even need any other nib options? Okay, it would be nice. Like really, really nice. But I’m good for now.

* UPDATE Perhaps after “warming” the Pilot Capless in my shirt pocket, the ink seems much more fluid! Still lays down a super fine line, but a much better writing experience. The A1 remains my preference, though.

This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. Your purchases give me a small commission which supports this blog and the YouTube channel. Thank you!