Sailor Hi-Ace Neo Fountain Pen Review

29 August 2016 By ian

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo review

Sailor are best known for their rather wonderful gold-nibbed pens but an increasing number of their more affordable steel-nibbed pens are becoming available outside Japan. The Hi-Ace Neo is about affordable as a fountain pen can get, coming in at under a tenner. Is it any good?

I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions.

Price: £8.40 (UK) $16.50 (USA)
Nib options: steel, fine only
Barrel options: red, blue, green or black
Filling system: Sailor cartridge/converter (converter not supplied)
Size: 1.1cm diameter; 12.4cm unposted, 15cm posted
Weight: 11g

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo uncapped

The Hi-Ace Neo (where do these names come from?) is available in four different colours, all with a black section, but with only a fine nib. It’s a Japanese fine which means it’s narrower than most European extra-fine nibs. The nib on my pen was pretty smooth (considering how fine it is) and had a good flow. I was quite impressed.

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo nib

The pen itself doesn’t try to disguise its budget nature. It looks like a cheap pen and the hard plastic feels cheap in the hand, too. However, it’s light and it’s a reasonable length and so doesn’t feel out of balance (posted or not) and is fairly comfortable to write with.

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo posted

The clip is fairly strong. The cap pushes on to close and to post with a satisfying click.

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo capped

Sailor have their own sized cartridges and converters. A converter, which isn’t included, costs almost as much as the pen but cartridges are reasonably affordable.

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo in pieces

The only other pen I’ve tried at this price with a nib this fine is the Platinum Carbon. (The Platinum Preppy’s nib isn’t as fine and the Pilot Metropolitan is a lot pricier here.) That pen has a really great nib but is very much a desk pen due to its length. This is a much more practical pen for every day use.


Excellent value
Good very fine nib


Can’t hide its budget nature
Proprietary cartridge/converter system adds to cost

Sailor Hi-Ace Neo handwritten review