Posts filed under Bic

Baux Pen Review

Baux Pen Review

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

We're all familiar with the classic Bic pens. We probably grew up with them, did homework with them, and they're probably stocked in your office supply closet. They're ubiquitous, cheap, and pretty reliable. On the downside, they also don't perform to the level of more expensive gel pens like the Pilot Juice or Uni-ball Signo, not to mention the hybrid ballpoints like the Uni Jetstream and Pilot Acroball. Even though the Bic doesn't produce crisp, dark lines with zero skipping and hard starts, it does a really good job for the price. There aren't many pens that can boast a $1.50 price point...for ten of them. My point is, the Bic certainly isn't the best pen you can buy, but that doesn't mean it's the worst. It certainly has a place, and some people really adore them. So, why can't we have a little custom-machined love for this ubiquitous ballpoint? Well, thanks to Baux Pen Company, you can have a premium Bic experience.

Baux Pen

Baux Pen Company is the joint idea of two brothers — Brian and Dan — who launched the initial version of the Baux (pronounced "box") pen back in 2013 on Kickstarter. The initial version was successful, but they saw room for improvement, and I'm glad they did. The Baux Pen 2 launched on Kickstarter in 2016, and it was another success. Today, you can buy the Baux Pen 2 on their site and even have it customized.

Baux Pen Refill

So what is the Baux Pen? It's an aluminum machined body that takes the generic Bic ballpoint refill (the Bic Stic or Cristal, not the retractable versions). The refill slips into the front nose of the pen and is secured with simple friction. The grip section and the barrel are separate components that screw into each other, which opens up opportunity for fun color schemes.

Before we talk about color schemes, it's important to understand the difference between the standard Baux pen and the premium Baux pen. The standard pen is all aluminum, while the premium version has a titanium or brass grip section. I only have the standard versions, but I'm guessing the titanium pens are a bit lighter and the brass version is a few ounces heavier. Most importantly, they provide a different aesthetic from the anodized aluminum.

Baux Pen Grip

Now, when it comes to color options, there are so many to choose from. You can pick the color/material of the grip section, the barrel, the end plug, the refill collar, and the cap. On top of those options, you can choose the default Baux logo for your pen or a custom text engraving. If you opt for custom text, you have a number of typefaces to choose from as well as a couple of sizes.

Baux Pen Cap

I opted for a blue barrel with lime green grip and end plug. I love the color combo! At checkout, there was an option to add on another "mystery" Baux pen for a few bucks more. I couldn't pass this up, and I'm glad I didn't. The gray and purple color combo is also stellar.

One of the main reasons I decided to try these pens out was to understand if it made the writing experience of the Bic ballpoints any better. I personally have a soft spot in my stationery heart for the Bic, so I was cautiously optimistic that this could do the job. For me, the Baux pen takes the Bic refill into the next level. I really love using these pens during my day. It's tough, colorful, has a reliable refill, and is still fairly affordable at the end of the day.

Baux Pen Bic

The Baux Pen starts at $9.50 and goes up to $15.50 depending on the options you pick. With the custom engraving and color options, these make great gifts as well as personal treats. I can't recommend these enough if you enjoy the classic Bic refill!

(Disclosure: Brad partnered with Brian Conti to create the Spoke Pen.)

Baux Pen Writing
Posted on May 22, 2019 and filed under Baux Pen, Bic, Pen Reviews.

Bic Cristal Ballpoint Pen Review

For a blog that reviews pens you would have thought I would have reviewed one of the most famous pens in the world by now. But I hadn’t, despite many, many calls to do so. Why has it taken so long for me to review the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen? I have no idea.

The fact is, this is a good pen, if not a great one. Released to the public in 1950, it has had a 65-plus year run and shows no signs of slowing down. The design is revered too, with its clear hex-barrel being featured in the Museum of Modern Art. A design classic that has stood the test of time? Sign me up.

From a performance perspective it has a wide variety of uses. The oil-based ink writes well on many surfaces, is smooth, and dries quickly. It is also water-resistant, making it a good choice for outdoor use as well as waterproof paper such as Rite in the Rain.

What I find the most impressive is that the Bic Cristal has been the choice of designers, engineers, architects, and artists for decades as well. Just look at the detail someone like Andrea Joseph can get with a balpoint pen. Google “ballpoint pen drawings” and your jaw will drop.

I don’t have the artistic chops to appear in those search results, but I do enjoy writing with the Cristal. It’s lightweight, smooth, surprisingly clean - no globs or mess from the ink around the tip - and you can get shading variation depending on the pressure used. There is some white space in the lines, which is the primary downside. It’s not as solid or deep in color as a Uni-ball Jetstream or Pilot Acroball for sure.

The best part about the Bic Cristal? It will cost you about .20 cents per pen. Grab a dozen or two, throw them around the house, car, office, gym - anywhere a pen might come in handy - and know that you are covered in a pinch. You may discover that it ends up in your writing rotation more than that.

Posted on January 18, 2016 and filed under Bic, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Field Notes Bic Clic Review

Bic Clic 1.jpg

Ever since high school, I've always had a soft spot for this particular style of Bic ballpoint pen. I imagine it's the exact same refill as all the other retractable Bics, but I love the form factor and feel of the Clic body for some unexplainable reason. Believe me, I've tried to kick the attraction.

In my college years, I had a brown and tan Bic pen with a UPS logo on it. I didn't have any special feelings toward UPS, but I loved that pen. It didn't make sense to me then, either. How can a free pen feel better to me than the ones I bought from the store? Love doesn't always make sense.

Bic Clic 2.jpg

When I discovered Field Notes, I was immediately attracted to their Bic Clic pens. I'd tried to find this style of Bic in all my local stores, but failed to find any. With one of my first Field Notes orders, I added a 6-pack of Bics to my cart on a whim. Needless to say, I was happy with my purchase.

I've moved up in the pen world, and I don't appreciate the Bic refill nearly as much as I did (if at all), but I still love the look and feel of the classic Bic Clic body. Does it write like a Jetstream? Nope. But it has character. And the black and white color scheme and Field Notes branding definitely add to that character.

In a general sense, it's a pen that writes. What more do you want? I admire the utilitarian vibe of this pen. I rarely take it out with me, but I use it every now and then to bring back the nostalgia. To me, these pens from Field Notes are perfect "loaner" pens for people who have no idea what Field Notes are. It's a good method of spreading the pocket notebook love.

Bic Clic 3.jpg
Posted on December 6, 2013 and filed under Bic, Field Notes, Pen Reviews.