Pilots: True A.Q. (awesomeness quotient)?

OK, I see Pilots listed on eBay for trillion$, and many people seem to want a Pilot or nothing. What gives? Are they really and truly *that* much better than anything else out there, or are they just the model the cool kids have decided is the one you’re “supposed to want”? :-)

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Pilots are indeed quite nice presses. While I don’t own one personally, I know quite a few folks who do…. and they love ‘em. Pilots have a few advantages that make them great beginner’s machines:

1. They are tabletop machines, which makes them easier for folks who have limited space available.
2. They are less likely to bite one’s fingers off than a powered press
3. They seem to last forever
4. They put down a very nice printed image
5. They appear to be well supported with rollers and so forth.

I’d rank them as the second-nicest tabletop presses out there and wouldn’t be surprised if someone else thought they were the best. Their popularity does not seem to be a fad….. it’s well deserved.

I have to comment that I agree with Winking Cat Press.
I have been in letterpress a lifetime, and can tell you that if you have worked on a Kelsey (for example), and then work on a Pilot, you’ll know the difference. I suggest anyone looking for a Pilot try to obtain a “new series” (later model). They are both good presses.
Many beginners have problems with letterpress basically for one reason only…..LACK of knowledge!

Goldings and Sigwalts are probably the best table top presses made. They are harder to find hence cost more. I used to think Hohner presses were good but now that I’ve run mine a bit, I’ve found some irritating little things about it. Still a good little press but I like the Sigwalts and Goldings better. Pilot platens are too steep when open making it more difficult to set gauge pins. Some Pilots had stirrup handles, some had straight handles. The straight handles will do a job on your elbow and wrist.
Do yourself a favor and get a nice 8 x 12 C & P with a variable speed motor that goes real slow. Will cost less and do a better job than any table top press.