I love my Pilot Parallel pens. I have a dip pen but for what the Parallels are and do for beginners even a dip pen can’t beat them in my opinion. These pens are specialty pens made for calligraphy. They have purpose built nibs that lend themselves to this task very well and to other task quite poorly. The name of the pen is also the description of the nib, it uses two parallel metal pieces with different width tips depending on the model. There are four sizes of Pilot Parallel pens but I am going to only talk about the 2.4mm version here. The Parallel comes in 1.5, 2.4, 3.8, & 6.0mm.
I have bought the 6.0mm and the 2.4mm around the same time and I used the 6.0mm much more in the beginning but as I have had more time with them I reserve the 6.0mm for things closer to final products and use the 2.4mm for everything else. I have used black, red and blue ink in these pens and I must say I greatly prefer black. I go back and forth between several blacks, usually Pilot black in the cartridges, Aurora Black and Noodler’s Black or X-feather and all have worked well. The darker it is the better though in my opinion as the less distinction there is between a single pass stroke and a stroke that doubles a line the better.
In my opinion the 2.4mm version is the perfect choice for calligraphy practice. I have the 6.0mm and love it as well but I can empty the ink within just a few pages. The 2.4 is big enough to get a good sense of style and look you are trying to achieve without being too large and wasting ink or being to small and thus not having the desired width differences between the thick and thin lines.
The pen feels good in the hand. It is a bit cumbersome for transport but fits in my Delfonics Pen Roll ok. I don’t know if the longer pen is simply an aesthetic choice as it might possibly resemble a quill a bit more than a short pen but I can say that it hasn’t hurt me. Each of the different sizes carries a different color cap that is simple labeled with the size on the end. The 2.4mm is orange.
I’m no pro as it is obvious to see but I think having these pens has made practicing calligraphy much more enjoyable. I also use these pens when writing the name on the outside of an envelope or at times to start a letter. The added weight of the line seems to add a sense of ceremony and gravity at least to the point that the person receiving your note will know that you spent extra time on these parts. I also will write specific words when I am copying quotes with this pen. It adds to the presentation and to the point of copying the quote to begin with.
I highly recommend these pens to anyone that has even the slightest desire to try something new. They are easy to find online and I have found them in three stores where I live which likely means you’ll be able to find them as well.
Please excuse my penmanship in some of these photos but I wanted to give a sense of what you might use these pens for.
Below are all the pictures from this review in a single gallery.
-So, do you have a Pilot Parallel? We’d love to see how you are using them!