Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pilot Decimo Capless Fountain Pen

Capless, or Vanishing Point, fountain pens are an interesting cross breeding of ball point and fountain pen. You have the feel of the ballpoint when you push the plunger down and start writing--with a fountain pen nib.

I was looking around for a vanishing point and came across a very good deal at the Fountain Pen Network, a pink fine point with an 18k rhodium coated nib, a Con-50 converter and a cartridge cap included. Loved the color, the fine point nib, and the whole idea of a retractable fountain pen, so very shortly the pink one arrived in the mail.

It's a lot of fun, pulling out this rose pink ballpoint (very muted color with a soft shine) and then pushing down a fountain pen point. I've gotten a few looks, mostly trying to figure out just what kind of pen I was using.

The Decimo is a lighter version of the Pilot Capless, and a very thorough review of the two can be found at at the Fountain Pen Network. For me, it's an interesting pen that combines a fountain pen point with a ballpoint body and system. It's also a very nice writing instrument and keeping to the Pilot standard I've really come to expect. Definitely a nice addition to my fountain pen collection.


  1. I bought a vintage Pilot Capless a while ago and find it's a great pocket pen and very handy. I like the light weight (the older ones have plastic barrels) and no cap to fumble with when you're in a hurry. Lamy just introduced the Dialog 3 which is a retractable point FP although I haven't heard much about it.

  2. I haven't heard much about the Dialog 3 either. I was surprised that capless fountain pens go back to the 1960s, although when I think about it they would have been edgy and "now" at that time.

  3. That is a beauty. At, David Nishimura has an interesting discussion of so-called safety pens. (I'm not sure how to link.)

    It's not clear to me from the FPN review: is the nib completely concealed when it's retracted?

  4. Yes the nib is totally concealed and the pen looks like a ballpoint with an oddly shaped hole.

  5. Love your review and pictures. I really love this fountain pen. I have several 'normal' versions (I mean not the decimo). Great writing pens.

  6. I love the subtle pink color of this pen. Do you find that it is more difficult to keep the pen oriented the correct way for writing with the hooded nib? Or is it about the same as using a fountain pen with a regular nib?

  7. Cheryl, the pen orients just like a regular fountain pen or ballpoint and no problems with writing. It just seems a bit strange retracting the nib.

  8. Perhaps I'll give mine another try. My nib is medium and I really don't like it, way too fat for my handwriting, I'm thorn between selling the pen or getting a fine nib.

  9. I have used vanishing point pens for several decades and love the "vanishing point" feature. On the other hand, I continue to be surprised at the cheap plastic and metal quality of these pens. The Decimo is virtually identical to the vanishing point pens sold in the U.S. before they started selling only the fat version. I can only imange that Pilot/Namiki just assumes that if its bigger, Americans will want it. Nontheless they still sell for about $135-165 each (after inflation adjustment and they continue to be made from the same cheap plastic and metal parts. Surely the patent on these things is over and someone can start making them of higher quality.

    1. It has begun ... in China this year (2014) I spotted Decimo vanishing point copies offered for around US$30... very good quality too...


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