By most accounts, the Pilot Metropolitan is a pen that provides a lot of bang for the buck. It writes smoothly, feels good in the hand, and it’s simply the best looking $15-20 pen I’ve seen. It’s a metal-bodied pen which allows it to resemble a more expensive pen.
There’s one problem with it. You can only buy it with a medium nib. It’s unclear why as Pilot typically provides the fine and medium options for their pens and you can even get a stub italic Prera.
While the Pilot medium is finer than most European medium nibs, it’s not fine enough for my sketching needs. It occurred to me that there might be a solution to this in the form of the Pilot 78G, which can be had via eBay for almost no money and it’s sold with fine, medium, or broad nibs. And guess what? These nibs are compatible with the Metropolitan feed, right down to the little indexing pin. All you have to do is pull the 78G nib out and put it in the Metropolitan and, voila, a Metro with a fine nib.
So, why not just use the 78G? There’s nothing wrong with the 78G that a better, heavier plastic wouldn’t cure. But I can’t help shake the feeling that I’m using a really cheap pen when I’m using them.
It’s convenient that Pilot nibs are interchangeable. I was struggling with my Pilot Prera (fine nib) because of poor ink flow, to the point of almost giving up on the pen, but I realized that I also have a Pilot Penmanship (extra-fine nib) that flows very well. I wondered if I could use the nib and feed from the Penmanship in my Prera (accepting that I might lose use of my Penmanship), so I swapped nib and feed between the two pens. Solution! Now I love using my “extra fine” Prera, and ironically the nib & feed from my Prera works great in my Penmanship (which I use as an eyedropper).
Great idea to take the Penmanship nib and put it in a Prera. I might have to do that myself as I like the nib but not the ‘stick’ pen format. BTW, I’ve learned that I can adjust how wet/dry the Preras write by how far the feed it pressed into the pen body. This isn’t always possible with pens but it seems to work with the Preras. Thanks for the tip.
Cheers — Larry