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Rollerball Pen Reviews

01/16/2010

• BIC® Grip Rollerball Pens

Cheap, fast and out of control! Competes with Sanford roller pens for the title of The Saturday Night Special of rollerball pens. I have a bunch of these with a white barrel and I hadn’t used them in quite some time. I was surprised at how dark the ink was and impressed with the relatively crisp line. However, these do tend to smear quite a bit if you’re not patient enough to wait for the ink to dry. I find these to be the least scratchiest rollerball pen – the chief reason I shun rollerball pens – but would probably only use these for writing note cards or index card listing.

• uni-ball® ROLLER™

These pens are like wire hangers; they multiple for some inexplicable reason. I started off with ONE DZ purchased from Office Maxx and despite tossing a couple when they dried up and not purchasing any replacements, I have managed to acquire several more, bringing the total to 17! These are usually my go to pen if I am looking to be antagonized by roller ball ink. I like the fine line, the smooth dark ink, the all black barrel and the vastly superior writing experience. Still a bit on the scratchy side and since I don’t like to hear what I’m writing scratched out in code, I can’t use these pens for a long period of time.

• Pilot® Precise V-7® Rollerball Pens

I don’t have a lot of experience with Pilot pens, but I am well of aware of their cult status among pen junkies. I liked the barrel, the ink flow and the rich pigment of the ink, but I didn’t like how thin the line was. I have chubby writing and this was like trying to stuff my size twelve ass into a pair of size four pants. That said, it wasn’t scratchy!

• Zig Memory System Archival Ball Writer

EK Success created a perfect roller ball pen in their Archival Ball. I don’t like the busy barrel design, but I do really like the ink pigmentation, the smoothness of the line and how it was the only one I tested that did not require ten seconds of twirly twirl on scratch paper.

• Staples® OptiFlow™ Rollerball Pens

The absolute worst of the bunch. Scratchy like whoa, inconsistent ink flow and ashy pigmentation. When I put this pen to paper, I have to hold it so delicately in my hand or else I poke a hole in my paper. Granted, this is more my issue than the fault of the pen, but it definitely did not endear this one to me.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    01/16/2010 4:47 am

    I use the Pilot Precise V-7 exclusively. It’s a great everyday pen. For speciality writing I generally use a fountain pen. Great site, btw.

  2. dred miles permalink
    01/16/2010 4:48 am

    i don’t like rollerball pens much either. found you through office supply geek.

  3. 01/16/2010 6:33 pm

    I’ve noticed the scratchiness of the UniBalls (why does that sound faintly impolite?) but thought it was just the way I held the pen.

  4. LizGrey permalink
    01/16/2010 8:18 pm

    Came here through Shapely Prose; I think your writings are thoughtful, inspirational, and awesome.

    I loooove Pilot Precise pens. I have teeny-tiny handwriting and prefer writing utensils with finer tips. I used purple through high school and switched to blue in undergrad and grad – dig the rich color and smooth flow. I keep several in the car and shoulder bag to have plenty at hand for everyday writing – for fancy stuff I’m lucky enough to have gotten a matched set of lacquered bronze Cross pens from my dad years ago, one fountain tip, the other changeable between rollerball or felt tip. Good God I love writing utensils.

  5. Shalayla permalink
    01/19/2010 12:31 am

    LOL@the James Caan picture. Nice touch, Snarky’s Machine.

  6. Tia permalink
    01/24/2010 6:01 am

    The absolute worst of the bunch. Scratchy like whoa, inconsistent ink flow and ashy pigmentation. When I put this pen to paper, I have to hold it so delicately in my hand or else I poke a hole in my paper. Granted, this is more my issue than the fault of the pen, but it definitely did not endear this one to me.

    I could have written this review. This was so my experience with these pens. They are the worst.

    Personally, I am partial to Bic Rollers, as they were my first rollerball pens.

  7. Charles Not in Charge permalink
    01/24/2010 6:03 am

    Pilot is the way to go. The rest all have some flaw, be it performance or design that render them inferior. You’re absolutely bang on regarding teh Staples roller ball pens. One of my coworkers used to like those a lot and then I lent her one of my V7’s and she realized what she had been missing out on using those cheap Staples pens.

  8. Rory permalink
    01/24/2010 6:04 am

    Big ups on the Jimmy Caan pic. Use Sharbo X and nothing else. Best pen around, multi or otherwise. Great blog you have here. Definitely making it a daily read.

  9. 01/24/2010 6:15 am

    @Charles Not in Charge – I agree with you, buddy with the exception that those Staples pens – at 6 bucks a set – aren’t what I would call “cheap” and further feel like a rip off since they look like crap and perform quite poorly.

    @Rory – I am waiting for the arrival of my first Sharbo X!

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