Posts filed under Acroball

Pilot Acroball 4 Multi Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

It took me a while to give the Pilot Acroball a shot. I'm a fairly committed Uni-ballb Jetstream fan, and I just didn't have a need to try anything else. Fast forward a bit, and I'd heard enough good things about Pilot's hybrid ballpoint offering to give it a fair shake.

What I love about the Jetstream is how smooth and dark the ink is. It's a fantastic experience for a ballpoint, and it's also my go-to pen for ballpoint situations. They're work horses — dependable and well-made. So, that leaves Pilot with a lot of work to do from the start.

I decided to try one of the multi pens first so I could try several colors at once without having a lot of extra pen bodies lying around. Yeah, I could have ordered one pen with several different refills, but the multi pen is way more exciting. They always bring back the nostalgia of using a Bic 4 pen from childhood, except these write much better.

Look and feel

Let's take a look at the outside of the pen first. My first observation is the clip on the Acroball 4. It's a sturdy, spring-loaded clip that feels really nice. That's one thing about the Jetstreams that I don't care for: they have weak clips (especially in their multi pens). When I clip the pen to something, I don't want to worry about it falling off, and the Acroball makes me feel nice and safe.

Another thing that I love about this body is the grip. It's a fat, textured grip that feels good in my hand when writing. It also does a really good job of resisting lint and dust.

The "knocks" for each color are a bit weak, but that's normal for any multi pen. There just isn't much space to include high-quality, sturdy knocks for each cartridge. Yes, some more expensive multi pens have much more sophisticated designs that feel and work great, but they don't cost less than $10 like the Acroball 4.

I went with a clear body, which I'm really happy with. I have a soft spot for demonstrators, and this one fits the bill. There are a few other color options, but most of them feature a partially clear body. The colors only take over the grip and clip pieces on most options. The black one is, and the blue one has a blue transparent body.


The Acroball is a great writer. Pilot has a really great cartridge here, and I'm happy to use it. But, it just isn't as nice as the Jetstream cartridges. In my experience, the Acroball skips a bit too much when compared to the Jetstream. The colors work well, but the black is a little lighter than I prefer.

To be honest, I can only notice this difference when writing with them on the same page. When I'm just using the Acroball, I don't notice any differences.

Another thing to note in my pen is that the green cartridge is exceptionally scratchy compared to the other 3. I'm not sure if I have a dud cart or if this is normal because of the color and properties of the ink. Who knows. All I know is that I don't use the green cartridge because of the scratchiness.


The Acroball is a fantastic pen that I highly recommend. Fortunately, this is a pen that most big-box retailers sell, so that means more people are being exposed to it. I'm happy it's out there, but I'm also more happy with my Jetstreams.

I chose the clear model of the Acroball 4, but there are also several other color options.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on September 16, 2015 and filed under Acroball, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot Acroball Color Ballpoint Pen - 0.5 mm - Light Blue and Orange

One of my favorite pens keeps on getting better as Pilot has added color to its excellent Acroball ballpoint pen line.

The Acroball has picked up steam since I first reviewed it in 2009. At that time they were only available in Japan, but soon started showing up at importers in the US like JetPens. Nearly four years later, Pilot decided to put the Acroball on the store shelves and at least by the chatter surrounding it, it seems to be doing well.

Why does it take a popular Japanese pen from a major manufacturer four years to hit the market in the US and other countries? I'm still searching for that answer.

Back to the Acroball Color before I go completely off the rails. It's great - as good as any Acroball I have used in fact. If you have never used one or heard of it, what sets it apart from most ballpoints is the use of a hybrid ballpoint ink, similar to the Uni-ball Jetstream that is so loved. This gives it a smooth, clean ink flow that is as good as you will find in a ballpoint. It allows for a vibrancy in color too, which is shown in the writing sample below.

The use of the Miami Dolphins color scheme is unintentional, but it kind of works, doesn't it? Both light blue and orange are difficult to get right in ballpoints but Pilot pulls it off here. I could use both of these colors on their own without pause. And the grip? Why this hasn't propagated through Pilot's offerings (especially the G-2) is beyond me. It is fantastic.

The Violet model is in my future, and if they come out with a good blue black it might be game over for the Jetstream.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on January 13, 2014 and filed under Acroball, Ballpoint, Hybrid, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot Acroball 2013 US Version

Pilot Acroball

A few weeks back I was discussing the results of my Field Notes Expedition Edition ink testing on Twitter. The conversation covered the pens that were working well, and of course, the ones that were not. I didn't test every pen at my disposal but tested at least one sample of most ink types. I mentioned that hybrid ballpoint inks worked the best, and that caught the eye of @PilotPenUSA, who touted the Pilot Acroball as a great fit.

Being the fan of the Acroball that I am I inquired if that meant it would finally be making its way to the US. The answer was yes, and soon - March of this year to be exact. They also offered to send me some samples, which you see pictured above.

Fortunately for the US market Pliot decided to keep the barrel design and grip used in the original Japanese model. I am a fan of both, and wish some of these elements would find their way into the old and stale Pilot G2 design. The white barrel/pastel accent color scheme leaves a little to be desired (all are black ink) but at least they are offering the 0.7 mm tip. The black barrels you see in the pic are marked with an "M" on the clip as opposed to the 1.0 mm which they are. I'm not sure why that isn't consistent across the product line.

Regardless, this is a great pen that hopefully more people will have access to in a couple of months. I highly recommend it and thanks to Pilot Pen for providing me with these samples.

Here are a few of my previous Pilot Acroball reviews if you want to read why I enjoy this pen so much:

Pilot Acroball 0.7 mm Blue

Pilot Acroball 0.5 mm Blue

Pilot Acroball 3 Color Multi Pen

(P.S. - I'll pass out if the 0.5 mm or Multi Pen ever make it to the States. Your move Pilot.)

Posted on January 10, 2013 and filed under Pilot, Acroball, Pen Reviews, Hybrid.

Top 5 Pens - Fall 2011

Pilot Hi-Tec-C

Time for an update to my current Top 5 pens list. As I always state about this particular list, it is a snapshot of the pens I am currently enjoying the most, not a list of what I think are the best pens of all time.

One thing I am finding now that I am working from the house full time is that I haven’t been using multi pens as frequently. I’m not exactly sure why, but for my daily note taking requirements, there isn’t as much of a need to mix up the colors as there was when I was in the IT field. My pen needs have definitely morphed to fit my work needs.

On to the list…

1) Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Grip Black

This pen (and #2) have far and away made the most appearances on this list. I keep going back to the well time and time again - why is that? Quality never goes out of style. From short notes, to page after page of details, I never get tired of how this pen writes. Black ink, micro fine 0.3mm tip, and a rubber grip. I reach for this pen constantly. It’s crazy how often I use this pen and don’t have a review on The Pen Addict of this exact model. Same with #2 - I must correct this asap!

2) Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38mm Black

As much as I enjoy #1 on the list, this is the pen that leaves the house with me the most. It is a more durable and less sensitive to the environment choice. I don’t have to worry about banging it around, and it writes great outside when I’m watching soccer practice. I have said it a million times, but this is the pen I recommend the most to new micro tip users.

3) Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Super Fine

The lone shocker on this list. I never would have thought that a brush pen would be good for note taking, but this one is extremely versatile. I find myself reaching for it more and more, and while I keep waiting for it to break down, it is showing no signs so far. If you want to mix it up a bit, this is the way to go.

4) Pilot Acroball 0.7mm Blue

My lack of color ink use is disturbing. I have historically been a fan of writing with non-standard colors, but I have gone back to basics recently. The Acroball not only has supplanted the Uni-Ball Jetstream as my go to ballpoint, it is the lone non-black ink pen I have been using recently.

5) Uni-Ball Signo 207 Micro Needle Tip Black

A long time standby, now in a not so easy to find needle tip. If the exact same pen comes in both a conical and a needle tip, I am going to pick the needle tip 100% of the time. The only problem you might have with this 207 is finding it. Some readers are able to find them in their local office supply stores, I have only been able to find them on Amazon.

Posted on September 14, 2011 and filed under 207, Acroball, Hi-Tec-C, Kuretake, Pilot, Signo DX, Top 5, Uni-Ball.