Posts filed under FriXion

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Design Series Review

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

To be honest, I haven't used an erasable pen since 5th grade, and at that time they were horrible.

Apparently, a lot has changed. Erasable pens don't have to be incredibly difficult to use and marginally useless when it comes to writing and erasing. The Pilot FriXion is a gel ink pen that uses friction to remove the ink. I don't even pretend to understand how it all works, but I do know that the experience is much more pleasant than the previous generations of erasable pens. If I had these as a student when erasable pens were mandatory, I wouldn't have grown to hate the phrase "erasable pen" so much. Even now, I'm trying to use that phrase frequently in an attempt to rid it of the awful taste it leaves in my mouth.

The FriXion ink is surprisingly smooth when writing – very similar to other Pilot gel ink pens (but not quite) like the G2. The particular model I'm using is called the Ball Knock Design series, and it features a 0.5 mm point. When you first write with the pen, you can detect a slight drag from the point, but if you can remember to press very lightly then that issue almost disappears.

Writing with the pen is effortless. It doesn't take much pressure at all to put ink on the page, and I haven't seen any skipping or gunking that was extremely common with the old erasable pens. This part still blows my mind. I'm impressed by how well it writes for an erasable pen. It doesn't beat a Pilot Juice or an Acroball or any other permanent gel or hybrid ink, but this is an erasable ink and it's done pretty great so far.

So, it writes fairly well, but how does it erase? Well, I would sum it up as, "Meh." Erasing is easy – one or two strokes across the ink usually does the job, but it never completely disappears. You can always see the trace of what was written before, and that makes me a little perturbed. If it's supposed to be erasable, then I expect it to be erasable like a pencil. Sure, you sometimes can see the writing from an erased pencil mark, but it's much harder to detect than the FriXion ink. This is obviously a personal problem that I need to deal with; if you're in the market for an erasable ink pen, then the FriXion gets the job done with no hassle or frustration. It's a great erasable pen.

The top of the pen contains the rubber tip used for erasing, which is convenient and works well. I was stumped when I first used the pen as to how to operate the retract mechanism. Pressing on the rubber tip (where a knock normally is) doesn't do anything. After a few seconds of looking around the pen, I realized it's the clip that acts as the knock. Takes a bit of retraining to use the clip instead of the top of the pen, but it works well when I remember to use it properly the first time.

There is a tip on JetPens about the temperature-sensative nature of this ink. Apparently, erased ink will reappear if it gets cold enough (lower than 14 degress Fahrenheit), which could be fun to play with but unfortunate if you didn't want that to happen. Just something to keep in mind. I didn't test it out – I take their word for it.

Overall, this is a great pen and I'm really impressed by how far along erasable ink has come in a few years. If you're looking for an erasable pen, this is a great place to start.

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

Posted on January 7, 2015 and filed under FriXion, Pilot, Pen Reviews.

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Biz Gel Ink Pen Review

Erasable pens don't often make my daily rotation, but when one does it is guaranteed to be a Pilot FriXion. Other companies have tried to compete with Pilot in this realm but none have come close. When you think erasable pen all you need to think about is FriXion.

The Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Biz Gel Ink Pen is the latest to come across my desk, from my friends at JetPens of course, and it it may be the best barrel yet. It falls in their high end FriXion line, like the Biz Point 0.4 mm, and others, before it.

The metal Ball Knock Biz barrel has a great weight to it and the retractability of the tip (using the clip as the knock) is a huge plus. From a design standpoint, the only thing that may take it down a notch is that you have to unscrew a cap at the end of the barrel to get to the eraser. Several other models leave it exposed for quick access. Otherwose, it is a very sharp looking pen.

For those who are not fans of the FriXion line the issue with the pen always comes down to the same thing: The gel ink colors are too light compared to their non-erasable counterparts. I agree with this, but I am willing to pay that price for erasability. The black ink is my least favorite, so I keep the blue 0.4 mm needle tip refills handy, which I enjoy. Yes, the ink is lighter than traditional blue gel inks but this one works for me.

For $33 the Ball Knock Biz does not come cheap. If you are a fan of the FriXion line it may be worth the barrel upgrade to you. If you are wanting to test out a FriXion to see what the fuss is all about I would recommend going with the standard Ball Knock retractable (reviewed here). Regardless, Pilot has the erasable pen market on lock down and the FriXion is the only model in this category you should consider.

For more on this pen, check out the recent review at From the Pen Cup

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

Posted on May 16, 2014 and filed under FriXion, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot FriXion Ball Slim 0.38 mm Orange Review

Pilot FriXion Ball Slim

If you didn't know this already I am a big fan of orange. Orange pens, orange barrels, orange inks, orange detailing, pretty much anything orange. There is no real reason why, other than the fact I am not a fan of red, so I use orange as my red replacement.

What I have never been a huge fan of is the Pilot FriXion line. They are completely fine pens, but usually not for me. They are growing on me though, especially as the product line matures. I think the turning point for me was the FriXion Biz, which is the only FriXion I use regularly, but the recently released Pilot FriXion Ball Slim may join the club.

The Slim has two things going for it: An ultra-fine 0.38 mm tip, and a slim but comfortable barrel design. I like these slim single cartridge barrels more than I ever thought I would, starting with the Uni-ball Style Fit. The FriXion Slim feels great in the hand and is very manuverable. The knock is placed subtly on the side of the barrel allowing for the eraser to be placed properly on the top of the pen.

I think the 0.38 mm tip is even finer than that. It writes more like a Uni-ball Signo DX 0.28 mm to me. That means there is some scratchiness when writing, which should be expected on a pen this fine.

Where the FriXion runs circles around other pens in this category is erasibility. No other company can hold a candle to Pilot in this area, so if an erasable gel ink pen is what you need, look no further than the FriXion.

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

Posted on April 18, 2013 and filed under FriXion, Pen Reviews, Pilot, Erasable.

Pilot FriXion Light Fluorescent Ink Erasable Highlighter Review

Pilot FriXion Erasable Highlighter


I get a ton of highlighter questions, but I haven’t provided many answers of late. Let’s knock one of them out today, shall we?


The Pilot FriXion Highlighter has been around for a while, but I only just recently got my hands on one to test out. Like all of the Pilot FriXion pens, this one sports a very well designed barrel. It is sharp looking and comfortable to hold. My initial reaction to the ink color is that it is darker than I like to use regularly in a highlighter, but in the photo it doesn’t look so bad.


Since the main feature of this pen is its erasability, I tested it out over a few different inks. The top line shows the Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.7mm gel ink pen, and you can tell pretty quickly it doesn’t play nice with gel inks. I tried to let the ink dry a bit, but still jumped the gun I think. The friction based eraser got into the ink too much and came out looking terrible.


The other two inks did much better. The pigment ink of the Uni Pin worked very well with this highlighter, as did the hybrid ballpoint ink of the Pilot Acroball. You can see a little bit of ink spread in those two samples, but they are more in line with my expectations.


What I didn’t test, and where I foresee no issues, is with textbooks. It doesn’t take much effort to erase the ink, so I don’t believe it will be a problem erasing over printed text.


The Kokuyo Beetle Tip remains my favorite highlighter, but the Pilot FriXion is a nice option if you are looking for erasable ink.

Posted on October 26, 2011 and filed under FriXion, Highlighter, Pen Reviews, Pilot.