Pilot Con-50 Converter Improvement

Pilot Con-50 converters, new version on top with metal piece, old version on bottom

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed some little metal pieces inside the Pilot Con-50 converters that were coming in. The Con-50 is a converter used for most Pilot and Namiki pens, and is notorious for ‘holding’ ink up in the body, which causes a break in ink flow. No doubt, this new metal piece coming in the converters is an effort to cut down on this. I personally never really had much of a problem with my ink flow with the ‘old’ converter, but I know many have.

Time will tell if this improvement does the trick. The one drawback is that the little metal piece rattles around in the converter a bit, which can be annoying (at least in an empty pen). With ink in it, it’s not nearly as noticeable.

What are your thoughts?

2017-10-11T03:20:32+00:00 March 22nd, 2012|Other Reviews|30 Comments
  • I'm on the fence on this. On the one hand I admit that ink can stick to the insides, cutting off the flow, but on the other hand, a foreign object in there will just trap some of the ink, wasting it in the process. The converter on my Jinhao X750 has something similar, a spring, but I didn't like it much, for the reason I mentioned above.

  • Marc Bloom

    Namiki Responded to customers and tried something to solve the problem, so good for them. Now we need to see if it works. I had the little balls in my X450 converters and I didn't find that they trapped ink in serious amounts but I didn't find that they helped the flow any.

  • Noah

    I actually like the old converter better. I really like being able to disassemble converters to clean them out with a cotton swab, so the CON-50 was the easiest to clean since there was nothing to remove. The new style looks like it is going to trap ink in it. 

  • Daniel Smith

    I have a hard time believing Pilot would 

  • Ryan

    I haven't been a fan of the CON-50 converter in the past. They just didn't seem to work that well and only hold a small amount of ink. Luckily, an empty Pilot cartridge is extremely easy to refill with the help of a syringe.

    I may, however, end up trying one of these new ones in the future.

  • James

    I used to have an old style Con-50 with a Pilot Prera and looking back, that was probably the reason why I always had ink flow issues to the point that I got rid of both the pen and converter.  Maybe this will be a good thing…time will tell.

  • Isn't the improved CON-50 called the CON-20? It seems to me given the dinky capacity, something squeeze would be much better. I mourn that I forgot to add one to the order I made for a nib unit for my VP. Oh well — next order. 

  • David

    Pilot/Namiki had to do something about these horrible converters. I have a matchbox full of them, none work.

  • Time will tell if the tradeoff is worth it! I can't remember since it's been a long time since I tried, but I'm pretty certain the Con-50 can be taken apart and that piece can probably come out of there…

  • I guess we'll see what people think as more of these get out there!

  • I still think this will be pretty easy to clean, since the piece in there it's fixed in place. Give it a good shake with some water in the converter and it'll clean just fine. 

  • A lot of people prefer to refill cartridges than use these converters, it'll be interesting to see if this little change will win people back…

  • You're not alone in your thinking. I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks of the new ones!

  • Time will tell indeed. I imagine you aren't the only one who gave up on a Pilot because of the converter. 

  • The Con-20 and Con-50 are two different converters, both are presently available. The 20 is a squeeze (like you mentioned) and the 50 is a piston. There's also the 70, but that only fits the Custom 74 and the Metal Falcon (that I know of). 

  • Well, they did something! 

  • Finally! 🙂

  • I have the older style one in my Vanishing Point and I've noticed that it does tend to hold ink up into it until you shake it down (sorta like the old Parker cartridges that you had to tap to get the "reserve" out). It's embarrassing pulling out your pen at work with someone watching you, only to have it not write when there's ink in it, clinging to the converter. I may have to get one of these new converters. 🙂 Are these currently the ones for sale? I notice that the picture of the CON-50 on the website is still of the old one without the insert.

  • I was waiting to change out the picture on our site until we cleared out of all the old ones, which we just did not long ago. I'll get the pic changed tomorrow when I get to the shop 🙂 All the ones we have now are the new ones, though there may still be old ones shipping in some of the pens.

  • Is it removable? (unscrew metal sleeve)

    I do have the ink sticking in three of my preras. They're all demos, though, so if I have more than a line to write its very easy to see if I need to give it a finger thwack to free the ink. I was gonna just put an int'l cart ball in there. This seems a bit overkill. maybe.

  • Bill Wood

    Hi Brian. My problem with converters is not with Pilot. Its with the Schmidt for Edison pens. I'm constantly opening up the pen and turning the knob to increase ink flow to my Limited Ebonite Edison.  Hopefully other manufacturers can take the Pilot idea and use it in their converters. Rather disappointing actually.

  • Sometimes ink can be a factor too. What ink are you using that's causing a problem in your Schmidt converter?

  • Sjefx

    I see a lot more opinions than actual experiences; time to share my fresh experience with the new converter. Received a Namiki Falcon with con-50 converter this week. When I heard noises of loose parts I thought something was broken and discovered a strange metal part in the converter. I never saw it in other converters so searched and found this discussion bout the con-50. I have no multi yeas experience (and frustrations) with older versions but a few fillings and studying the inflow in the converter teaches me that I have no trouble filling ink and I see the metal part does a good job in each time taking the last drop of ink with it. Works well and based on experiences read, must be an improvement.

  • Thank you so much for your input! There's nothing like practical experience 🙂 I wasn't trying to make a HUGE deal out of the new converter, especially because they just made the change, it's not like you can get the 'old' ones if you want them, you can only buy new ones now. But I am thrilled to hear that in use, the new converter is an improvement. 

  • breck

    I want one! Do you see them? I'll have to see ————–

  • Parth

    How much does the converter hold? In numbers.

  • about .5ml, give or take.

  • It may be removable somehow, but it's not made to be taken out. The metal sleeve turns but it just rotates indefinitely, it's not threaded or anything. It's about like trying to take apart a Lamy converter…it can be done, but isn't easy.

  • Mike Speegle

    Have been using a Vanishing Point for years with the old converter, and never really had a huge problem with it hold back ink; I just refilled it when it ran out. BUT: now that I purchased a new matte black VP, I have noticed that the new converter does in fact deliver more ink for longer. That said, I could do without the rattle…

  • I'm with you, I like the flow, but could do without the rattle. C'est la vie.