Paper World

Pigma Micron PN Pen

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A great pen for journal writing

I have used Sakura Pigma Micron pens for years (decades, actually) as my go-to illustration pens. Microns can’t be beat for ink density, precise line widths, color variety and archival quality. When it comes to illustration and sketching, there is no better tool. But Pigma Microns are just plain lousy when it comes to writing. The point easily splays, the pen is awkward when held at a writing angle, and the line tends to skip when the pen is moved at writing speeds.

I am very particular about what I want when it comes to writing in Moleskine or other journals. The line must be precise – neither too broad nor too narrow– but still expressive. The ink must be dark, but not so dark that it bleeds through the page. And the pen must write smoothly at a writing angle, and writing speed. As a consequence, my go-to writing tool is an obscure Japanese technical pen, which are difficult to find and have problems of their own, like a tendency to dry out if not promptly re-capped. I thus have always wished that Sakura would offer a pen that did for writing what the Pigma Micron was for illustration.

Well, Sakura has just delivered. The new Pigma Micron PN (“PN” stands for “Plastic Nib”) fills this void — it is a brilliant pen for writing that exceeds even my ridiculously high expectations. Same ink density, same color choices as the traditional Pigmas, but the new plastic nib works perfectly as a writing instrument. No skipping, even when the tip is moved quickly across the page, and it writes as well when held at an angle as when held in a near-vertical illustrating position. And best of all, the plastic nib is virtually indestructible, so no problem with splayed tips like the traditional Pigmas.

The PN gives a medium-width line that is perfect for writing in journals and wherever one needs to write with precision but no loss of expressiveness. It is also a terrific illustration pen that complements the line feel of the traditional Pigmas. I’ve been looking for the right journal writing pen for over two decades — the Pigma Micron PN might just be the end of my search.

-- Paul Saffo 10/9/17