Posts filed under Bic

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.

Bic Intensity Fine Permanent Marker Review

Bic Intensity

While I catch up on some of the new products I need to review I do have a few older reviews (with requisite hideous photography) I completed a while back that I want to share. This Bic Intensity review is one of those, and the pen was quite a surprise.

I generally try to pick up anything new I see when walking the aisles at Staples, and this 4-pack of Bic's made it home with me at the same time I bought the Pentel Finito! back in July. I was not a fan of the Finito!, but the Intensity is much better.

One thing that both of these pens have in common is there is very little information about either. Neither manufacturer lists them on their websites, and despite the fact that I purchased them right off the shelf at Staples there are not listed on I find that endlessly frustrating when I am trying to communicate more information than I can gather on the back of the package.

I did find a listing for the Intensity at Office Max (under the ballpoint section mind you), but there are no real details there. This is not ballpoint pen by any stretch, and in fact looks to be Bic's version of the Sharpie Pen. The Intensity is a marker-type pen with a plastic tip and features permanent on paper, waterproof ink that doesn't bleed. Sounds very Sharpie Pen-esque to me.

Fortunately for Bic, the Intensity writes a lot like the Sharpie Pen, which I very much approve of. The green ink is too light for my tastes, but the black, blue, and red are right on the mark. The barrel is nice looking and comfortable to hold, and the clip is strong as well. Overall, there aren't any standout negatives, which is a rarity coming from Bic.

Add the Intensity in with the promising Triumph line and Bic looks to be making headway on the office supply aisle.

View all sizes of this photo on Flickr.

Posted on November 7, 2012 and filed under Intensity, Bic.