Review: Pilot Hi-Tec-C Pen

After proudly displaying my setup a while back, I wound up striking up an online conversation with Brad over at JetPens. Seeing that I’m a bit of a pen/pencil/paper junkie, he sent me some stuff to play with.1 The second item I’m going to offer up for review is the Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel ink pen I received. As a lefty, I find that there a certain pens that I just can’t use. I remember giving those old Papermate erasables a whirl when I was in high school and finding blue ink smeared across the heel of my hand even after just a little bit of use. So I was pretty particular about what pens I used then, and even more so now. I don’t just want a pen that doesn’t mark up my hand, but I want one that is lightweight and yet substantial, flows effortlessly and leaves a great impression on the paper I’m writing on.

The Pilot Hi-Tec-C does not disappoint. It is currently my pen of choice and it will take a lot to unseat it. All that despite the fact that Brad at JetPens said the following about it regarding left-handers:

“The Pilot Hi-Tec-C may not be quite as left friendly, but it is one of the best pens going…”

But I didn’t find the pen to be unfriendly at all.

My Impressions

The Hi-Tec-C appears to be fragile upon first glance. It has a clear shell that doesn’t feel as durable as one of the old Bic pens I used to use back in school (they became my go to pen when the Papermates didn’t work out. They also were handy alternates to the hex keys used to lock portables from the inside.). I was kind of afraid to motor around with the Hi-Tec-C in my pocket for fear of cracking, but that never happened. The pen may look “cheapish” from the outside, but this pen is a prime example of how looks can be deceiving.2

The writing action is as smooth as silk. The 0.4 mm black Hi-Tec-C writes better than any other pen I’ve used – at any price – in terms of fluidity. The gel ink flows consistently and precisely with each and every stroke.

On the above Helvetindex card, I wrote with different levels of pressure applied throughout, and the Hi-Tec-C made its mark with even the slightest touch.

My Wife’s Impressions

She barely got to use it. I’m pretty protective of any writing instrument that I’m particularly fond of. That said, she remarked how she thought I’d been writing with a fine pencil when she saw how the ink looked on paper. So there’s that.

The Verdict

Rarely do you find a writing instrument that makes any bit of paper look better having been written on with it. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C is such a writing instrument – and it won’t break your bank to have one, either. I can’t recommend it enough.

1 Full disclosure: I get to keep the wares sent my way and received no other compensation for this article. And thanks to Brad again for sending them. And if you haven't checked out his blog yet, go do that after reading the next footnote. 2 Lloyd Budd reminded me of a Kickstarter project that was funded called Pen Type-A. The goal was to build a more elegant and durable casing for Hi-Tec-C pens. Very pricy, but very cool.