The Petit is a line of mini-pens that are small when capped, but reasonable in size when posted. They are made of lightweight plastic in fun colors, and they all use ink cartridges in similar fun colors.
There are three Petit writing points.
In the middle is the fountain pen, the Pilot Petit, sometimes called the Petit 1. The nib is a fine. Mine is pink and came with an ink cartridge in light pink. I bought these at a local store, where the fountain pen cost $3.95. They are also available online.
On top is the Petit 2, in blue. It’s labeled a “sign pen”; and I’d call it a broad felt-tip marker. Mine came with a cyan-blue ink cartridge. The Petit 2 cost $2.95.
On the bottom, in orange-red is the Petit 3. That’s the Fude Pen, a brush pen that lets you vary the width of the line using pressure. Mine came with a red ink cartridge, and cost $2.95.
Here is a quick writing sample. The Petit 2 Sign Pen, using blue ink, is first; then the fountain pen, using light pink ink; then the Petit 3 Fude Pen, with red ink. I didn’t use any pressure with the Petit 3, to convey its normal line width.
The Petit fountain pen writes a standard fine line. The Petit 2 Sign Pen is noticeably broader, which makes it more expressive than I’d expected.
The Petit 3 Fude Pen writes a juicy line, too. Mine isn’t particularly flexible, and doesn’t have a lot of variation, but it may loosen with time. It’s more a fun pen, in my opinion, than a serious fude pen. If you’re serious about lettering, you probably want a more technical fude pen. But the Petit 3 is fun to use, because it’s colorful and allows a little flair.
In terms of the size, I find the Petit pens very workable. Capped, they are portable: small enough to throw in a bag or clip to a notebook. But when you post the cap to write, the Petit becomes a standard-size pen.
Here are the three Petit pens posted, next to a Pelikan M400 and a Lamy Safari, unposted.
Looking at the Petit fountain pen in more depth, it seems to share a lot with one Pilot sibling, the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen. These two inexpensive Pilot fountain pens use the same section, feed and nib, though my Petit has a fine nib and my Varsity has a medium nib.
You’ll note that the sections of the Varsity and Petit fountain pens are fairly long. That makes both fairly comfortable. I would give the edge in writing comfort to the Varsity, because its pen body is thinner and sleeker; the Petit has two pronounced ridges, one where the cap posts, and one where the pen body steps down to the section. The Petit is perfectly comfortable for shorter writing sessions, but it wouldn’t be my first choice to write a novel.
But the Petit has the edge in allowing ink refills. All the Petit pens use ink cartridges, while the Varsity is designed as a one-use disposable pen.
Petit cartridges come in eight colors, and are sold in a package of three for around $2. Alternatively, you could refill the empty cartridge with any fountain pen ink, using a syringe. You could even use the Petit as an eye-dropper, I think.
When it comes to writing, the Petit fountain pen has the same smooth performance as the Varsity, but with a slightly finer nib.
Here’s a writing sample comparing the Pilot Varsity medium nib (with the Varsity’s darker pink ink), the Pilot Petit fine nib with light pink ink, a Lamy Safari fine with Pelikan Brilliant Black ink and a Pelikan M400 fine with J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir.
I love pink, but I’m not crazy about the light pink ink in the Petit. On the plus side, it performs well on poor paper: I see no feathering, though there is some showthrough on very thin paper. But I don’t love the light pink color; I wish they’d used the Varsity pink.
No worries: I’ll use a different ink when the cartridge runs out. The blue and red inks in my other Petits are very nice; and I’ll try the other colors, too.
The stickers are removable, by the way. I’ve kept mine on for now because I like how they look.
I also like the Petit pens. They are fun way to spice up your writing without a big investment.