Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pentel Slicci 0.25: A Review

The Pentel Slicci is marketed as an art pen.  While it writes beautifully narrow lines and can give the most delicate detail to your drawing, it can easily function as a regular writing pen provided you stick to the darker colors.

Pentel sent me the black and the pink pens.  From their website:

Journal and draw in fine detail with ease thanks to the smooth-flowing gel ink and precise metal tip. Personalize paper, cardstock, labels, tags, chipboards, and die-cuts. 0.25mm, extra-fine precision tip. Available in black, red, blue, green, orange, pink, baby blue, and violet colors. 1 pack or 8 pack assorted colors.
This image has been enhanced so you can read the pink paragraph.
As you can see, the line of ink is NARROW yet the pen writes very well.  As I wrote in the copy above, I have to slide on a cushion for the grip on this pen and the pink is a drawer-dweller for being too faint to read. 

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being "meh" and 5 being "awesome", I'd have to give the Slicci line a 2.  Points for being a good writing pen and points away for being too thin, pale ink, and nonrefillable.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pentel HyperG 0.7: A Review

I’m almost in love. The color of the blue HyperG pen is that tropical blue that sends you into dreams of white sand beaches, palm trees, drinks in coconuts, hot sun and seductive breezes. **ahem** Sorry ‘bout that.

From Pentel’s website:

Ultra Smooth, Triple Safe Ink: - People Safe (AP non-toxic, acid-free, quick drying) - Check Safe (permanent, archival, quality ink) - Earth Safe (Part of our Recycology line and made from 57% recycled content). 0.5mm fine line delivers ultra smooth writing performance with durable metal tip. Sophisticated sleek diamond cut design with silver barrel accents. Comfortable, latex-free grip provides added comfort and control. Conveniently retractable and refillable with Pentel KLR5 refills.

Anyway, these pens are mostly fantastic. They feel good in my hand for short writing bursts but I must confess that the grip and that raised ridge on the front of the tip are a problem. The rubbery part is too far up the barrel for my grip and my index finger is not happy with the ridge. This might be an excellent pen to steal the innards out of and hack it into a more comfortable barrel, for it is the ink that makes this pen.

I’m not a “pink” gal due to an overload of Barbie in my childhood and later my daughter’s. But this pink isn’t Barbie by any means. It is intense and I wouldn’t use it for pages of writing but I would write a book with that blue!

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “meh” and 5 being “awesome”, I’d have to give the HyperG 0.7 a 3.95. Points for the great ink, made with recycled material and refillable and points away for being uncomfortable for my particular grip style.

Update 07/24/2011:  I purchased a dozen blue HyperG 0.7 pens from the online office supply store, Quill.  I did not get the tropical blue pen like I had in the review but a standard blue pen.  While it writes just as beautifully smooth as the pens in the review, the blue color is darker and, well, just blue.  **sigh**

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pentel Rolling Writer: A Review

The Rolling Writer has been around for a long time. That’s a clue right there that this is a good pen. Pentel sent a purple pen in the first batch and a green one in the second.

From Pentel’s website:

The original and best-known roller ball pen! 0.8mm Cushion Ball Tip™ adjusts to user's writing style and produces 0.4mm medium lines at any angle without skipping or smearing. Smooth, expressive ink is ideal for notes and general writing. Barrel color indicates ink color. Nonrefillable. Stationary tip and fixed sleeve.

I must admit that when I tried the purple pen I was hugely disappointed. It required effort to write with it – even on the Rhodia paper. That’s not good for people like me with carpal tunnel issues. I knew that this pen would be tossed in the drawer and forgotten. But, when I tried the green pen, my faith was restored. THIS is the pen that I remember. It glides like silk across the paper. I guess the purple is just one of those flukes that happen now and then.

The Rolling Writer is not on the Pentel Recycology list nor is it refillable. For that reason alone, when these pens are used up I won’t be buying any more. However, since the green pen writes so beautifully, I will be rationing its use to try make it last as long as I can.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “meh” and 5 being “awesome”, I’d have to give the Rolling Writers a 2.5. Points for being easy to write with and points away for being made out of new materials and nonrefillable.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pentel EnerGel 0.5 and 0.7: A Review

The good folks over at Pentel must have read my post mentioning how my family absconded with my Whatever blog giveaway winnings and took pity on me. They sent me a second batch. When I found them in the mailbox I checked that no one was watching, then stuffed the package in my purse before going into the house. Behind my closed bedroom door, I opened it. A squeal of delight betrayed my booty. A quick snarl of “keep your paws off this batch or you’ll be doing your own laundry for a month” kept them at bay.

My reviews of these pens, markers, highlighter and automatic (mechanical) pencils will be based on no scientific analysis whatsoever. I’ll call ‘em like I see ‘em. All written reviews are done on Rhodia paper, cropped and somewhat enhanced for clarity. (I think my scanner is starting to hit the old dusty trail of no return.) Also, please note, while the writing samples are scanned, the pen images are pirated from Pentel’s website because my daughter cannot find her camera charger. **sigh**

First up, Pentel’s EnerGel pens. I scrounged up the original pen and lined it up with the newest arrival. From Pentel’s website:
EnerGel 0.7: Sleek and stylish barrel design for the ultimate writing experience. 0.7mm metal tip produces smooth, medium lines. Part of the Pentel Recycology line of products and made with 54% recycled material. Capped Barrel. Nonrefillable.

EnerGel 0.5: Sleek and stylish barrel design for the ultimate writing experience. 0.5mm needle tip produces smooth, fine lines. Part of the Pentel Recycology line of products and made with 54% recycled material. Capped barrel. Nonrefillable.

Both pens are solid and retro-futuristic in design. They remind me of the old Jetsons cartoon. They both write smoothly and effortlessly and feel comfortable in my hand. Both are made of 54% recycled material but since they are nonrefillable I probably won’t buy them on my own.

The black ink is nicely dark and the red isn’t too glaringly red but I’d only use it when making notes on articles and reports that I read. I tested the red 0.7 for smearing but neglected to test the 0.5. Smearing doesn’t matter much to me unless it takes longer than 10 or 15 seconds to dry. As long as I’m aware that it smears I can work around that.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “meh” and 5 being “awesome”, I’d have to give the EnerGels a 3. Points for being easy to write with and points away for being nonrefillable.