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Pilot Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom Heritage 91 Fountain Pen Review

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Are you searching for the rarity known as the Pilot Custom Heritage 91?

Not everyone can own this pen. It’s made for a true fountain pen aficionado.

Why do you need to get your hands on this fantastic instrument?

Not only for its prestige, but the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 is the consummate fountain pen: high caliber, versatile, and resolute - a pen you can count on.

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91 is a true champion.

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91: A Writer's Best Friend


*Notice: Mobile devices - scroll right to see the entire table.

Image

Pen

Nib Choices

Nib Feel

Weight

Feel in Hand

pilot-custom-heritage-91-custom-heritage-91-comparison-chart

Source: fountainpennetwork.com

9

Springy, soft, smooth

17g

Lightweight, comfortable for prolonged use

pilot-custom-heritage-91-custom-heritage-92

Source: pilotpen.us

4

Flexible but stiffer than Pilot Custom Heritage 91

20g

Large but comfortable, moderate pressure is needed

pilot-custom-heritage-91-sailor-professional-gear-slim

Source: sailorpen.com

2

Skinny, finicky

19.7g

Large cap, more comfortable to write with when capped

pilot-custom-heritage-91-waterman-perspective

Source: waterman.com

2

Medium nib is smooth, yet Fine nib is scratchy

35g

Heavy, 3-tiered step section can push against fingers

pilot-custom-heritage-91-platinum-3776-century

Source: platinumpenusa.com

7

Stiffer than Pilot Custom Heritage pens

20g

Comfortable grip, but noticeable step

Standing apart from a majority of fountain pens on the market, the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 offers an extensive selection of nibs. This pen goes above and beyond the standard Fine or Broad tip choices by offering nine options. Yes, ​nine​,​​​​​​​ including three soft nibs.

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91 also features a considerate interior barrel space. It can handle a significant amount of ink, without adding any extra heft to this pen. Lightweight feel coupled with substantial ink capacity make this fountain pen optimal for extended and comfortable use.

pilot custom heritage 91 fountain pen

​Source: pilot.co.jp

A Comparison to Other Pilot Custom Fountain Pens

In 1992, Pilot began developing a higher-end line of pens bearing the names “Custom” and “Custom Heritage” with an accompanying number. The “Custom” series features the common cigar-shape while the “Custom Heritage” fountain pens have a flat cap and base. The number at the end of each name is representative of the years the company has been in business. The Pilot Pen Corporation was founded in 1918, and their Custom Heritage 91 was introduced in 2009 - 91 years after the company’s commencement.

Often, potential buyers compare the Custom Heritage 91 to other Pilot Custom models in order to find the right fit. Here is how these fountain pen models stack up:

*Notice: Mobile devices - scroll right to see the entire table.

Image

Model

Weight

Length (Capped)

Nib Size (Physical size of nib)

Body Material

Color

pilot-custom-heritage-91-custom-heritage-91-comparison-chart

Source: fountainpennetwork.com

17g

127mm

#5

Resin

Black

pilot-custom-heritage-91-pilot-custom-74

Source: fountainpennetwork.com

17g

142mm

#5

Resin

Black, Dark Blue (Dark Green, Deep Red not as readily available)

pilot-custom-heritage-custom-823

Source: pilotpen.us

28g

131mm

#5

Resin

Black, Amber Brown

pilot-custom-heritage-91-custom-845

Source: fountainpennetwork.com

28g

146mm

#15

Ebonite and Roiro-lacquer finish

Black (Vermilion commonly only available in Japan)

pilot-custom-heritage-91-pilot-custom-heritage-912

Source: pilotpen.us

25g

140mm

#10

Resin

Black

pilot-custom-heritage-91-custom-heritage-92

Source: pilotpen.us

20g

136mm

#5

Acrylic, transparent demonstrator

Clear (Blue, Orange, and Smoke commonly only available in Japan)

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91 offers a flat-topped cap and barrel, as opposed to the rounded cigar-shape of the Custom models. It is lighter than most others, with the shortest length of all. Often pitted against the Custom Heritage 912, the 912 is certainly heftier and longer. The Custom 845 and Custom Heritage 912 also feature large #15 and #10 sized nib, respectively. (Nib size refers to the physical size of the nib, not the tipping size (such as Extra Fine, Fine, or Broad.) A higher nib size number signifies a larger nib.)

Although the Custom Heritage 91 and 92 does feel quite similar in the hand, the body material is often how potential buyers make a final determination. Some writers lean towards the modern look of the 92’s transparent demonstrator. Others are drawn towards the traditional and everlasting appearance of the black resin of the Pilot Custom Heritage 91.

pilot custom heritage 91 fountain pen

​Source: pilot.co.jp

Pilot Custom Heritage 91: Stately and Utilitarian

Fountain pen users repeatedly use the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 as their everyday writer - praising it as the “perfect pen”. Aspiring authors, junior scribes, business professionals, and leisure writers can all find joy in the smooth, exquisite feel of this luxury pen. With an above average ink capacity, lightweight feel, and flexible nib, the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 can comfortably be utilized for extended writing sessions.

​Pros

​Cons

  • check
    Nine nib options
  • Durable
  • High-quality nib
  • check
    Easy to refill
  • check
    Reliable
  • Converter sold separately

Timeless

The classic black resin body of the pen radiates an unspoken essence that speaks volumes about its user. With its chic look, the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 exudes professionalism and finesse. The smoothly polished black body will not suffer from staining, whether from an inky finger or trapped ink in the barrel. The cap on this pen screws on when capped. Yet when posted, an effortless push is all it takes to provide a balanced feel in the writer’s hand. If choosing to write uncapped, the Custom Heritage 91 still proves to be comfortable. A simple silver band is near the base of the cap, engraved with the name “Pilot Japan Custom Heritage 91”. There is a gradual step between the section and barrel, enabling a favorable grip. This fountain pen will not only leave a lasting impression while in use, but makes a statement by simply resting on your desk or storing in your pocket as well.

pilot-custom-heritage-91-fountain-pen-review-notebook

Source: fpgeeks.com

Seamless Refill and Maintenance

Refilling and maintaining the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 pen is no hassle. If you love vintage flex nib fountain pens, but aren’t fond of their flushing process, then the Custom Heritage 91 is an ideal writing instrument for you. Just a simple twist unscrews the base for reloading ink and cleaning.

​For more detailed information on inking or charging a fountain pen, read our article:
“​How to Put Ink in a Fountain Pen

With significant barrel space, this pen accepts any of the Pilot converters, and easily holds a large capacity converter (such as the Pilot CON-70). Users won’t replenish as often with approximately 1 ml of ink stored inside. When a refill is required, only a few seconds are needed to charge the ink before you’re off and writing again.

Nib Options

Unlike a majority of fountain pens on the market, the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 offers nine nib options.

Stiff Nibs

Soft Nibs

  • Extra Fine
  • Fine
  • Fine Medium
  • Medium
  • Broad
  • Broad Broad
  • Soft Fine
  • Soft Fine Medium
  • Soft Medium

On the market today, nearly all fountain pens use stiff nibs that lack flexibility. However, some companies (like Pilot) do offer nibs that feel springier against the paper. These stock flex nibs are often labeled “Soft”. This name refers to the fact that the nib tines are designed to flex easier than their stiff counterparts. When comparing to a vintage fountain pen flexible nib, newer soft nibs are only considered to be semi-flexible. They don’t provide the same springy feel that older models do. Users opt for these nib tips for calligraphy, artwork, or simply for the feel that they provide. Soft nibs may take some time getting used to and are not meant to be smooth, everyday writing nibs.

Being Japanese manufactured, Pilot nibs are approximately a half-size smaller than Western nibs. If you are accustomed to a medium Western nib, you may want to experiment with a fine medium or fine nib on this fountain pen. No matter which nib size is opted for, the experience of the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 eases fatigue, allowing the user to write for hours uninterrupted.

High-Quality Nib

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91 features a highly sought after gold nib. Tending to be softer and springier than steel, gold nibs are often preferred by fountain pen writers. They will not tarnish and are more robust than their stainless steel counterparts.

pilot-custom-heritage-91-fountain-pen-review-nib-compressor

Source: fpgeeks.com

The Pilot Custom Heritage 91 features 14-karat gold on all nine of their nib sizes. The high-quality tips of this pen ensure you can get the optimal stroke each and every time you put the pen to paper. Simply adjusting the pressure applied while writing will adjust the flow so writers can instantly achieve their desired line weight. Users acclimated to Western nibs may find the Japanese nibs slightly scratchier. Implementing wet ink and quality paper can improve smoothness. The Custom Heritage 91 nib is stiff enough for jotting down a quick note, but doesn’t have a great deal of line variation. Soft nibs are more sensitive to the pen’s position in the writer’s hand and can feel scratchier on paper. This is due to the tines on soft nibs moving independently and being more exposed than standard rigid nibs.

Purchasing this Pen

The most challenging aspect of the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 is actually getting your hands on one. This pen can be purchased through the Japanese Pilot Pen Company website, as it is not available on the North American, South American, or European site versions. The Japanese product page offers this fountain pen in black, red, blue, and brown. Some users have picked up the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 while traveling to Japan. Others report that they have ordered this pen through secondary dealers, however, this experience can be unreliable.

pilot-custom-heritage-91

Source: fountainpennetwork.com

There’s no guarantee you’re getting a true Pilot Custom Heritage 91. Instead, we encourage you to purchase from Pilot through a dependable source. This pen does not come with a converter, but does include one ink cartridge and an instruction manual. The dual-hinged, hard black clam shell case of the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 can keep your pen safe in a briefcase, or stored securely when not in use.

A Final Word About the “Perfect Pen”

Fountain pens are used by writers across the globe for special occasions or simply for everyday use. And when opting for a quality brand like Pilot, you can rest assured that your writing instrument is one that will stand the test of time.

While there are numerous fountain pen choices available, writers prefer the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 for its seamless refilling process and substantial ink reservoir. Offering a wide variety of nib sizes, it will surely fit any user’s preference. The innovation of the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 continues to please both novice and veteran fountain pen writers.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on them. Please read the full disclaimer here.

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