Posts filed under Erasable

Uni-ball R:E Erasable Gel Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The Uni-ball R:E Erasable Gel Pen seems to be aiming to create some competition for the Pilot FriXion with this new line of erasable gel pens. There are a lot of similarities between the two. Uni improves the body design in some ways, I think, but hasn't improved on the overall ink quality. The FriXion pens have been fairly popular, and fans of Uni-ball may like these as well--but I have a lot of issues with them.

The feel of the pens is great. It's a sturdy, good build and doesn't feel like it's too delicate or flimsy. It has a nice rubber grip, decent clip, and a satisfying click mechanism. The eraser is located under a clear plastic cap on the click button. Uni has devised a special system that prevents the pen from clicking when it's inverted, so you can erase without retracting the tip. I noticed it sometimes takes an extra shake to disengage the lock mechanism. It also means that if you're in the habit (like me) of flipping your pen to click it against your leg or the desk, you'll have to adjust. The clear plastic cap that covers the eraser also has a short life expectancy. Being tiny and clear, if it rolls away, it may be difficult to find.

The ink is where my real issues with the pen come in. It's very unsaturated, as all of the erasable gel inks I've tried are. The black is really grey, and all the colors have a muted look to them. Uni accounts for this by calling the color "Off-Black", but I think that's marketing speak for "as close to black as we can get it". The muted tones are pretty, if you're expecting muted tones. I don't dislike the colors--I even love the orange in this set--but I'd love to see some more vibrant tones in the line.

Like the FriXion pens, the ink is heat-reactive. It's the heat from the friction of the plastic eraser that causes it to disappear. The eraser never wears down and doesn't leave a messy residue or dust. It does an okay job at erasing. It doesn't leave totally clean paper, but it's close. However, after about ten seconds, some of the ink begins to reappear. The pink and red did this the most--after about ten minutes a large portion of the erased area had reappeared, even at room temperature.

Because the ink disappears at temperatures over 140 degrees, and reappears at temperatures under 14 degrees, it's not recommended for important documents, signatures, or addressing envelopes. With ink that might disappear at any time, I can't think what it might be good for except for magic tricks and espionage. Every time I try to write with an erasable gel pen, I end up putting it back because of this volatile trait. I can't help but think of it as unreliable ink.



It's totally fun, though. As an experiment, I wrote a test page, and then I held it over a warm toaster. The ink vanished in seconds--though when I held the paper at an angle to the light, I could still see the texture of it on the page. Then I stuck it in the freezer. All the ink returned in less than three minutes, though even more muted than it had been before. It's a cool trick, but I wouldn't want it happening to my class notes or journal pages. While you can always freeze your page if your ink disappears in a hot car, if you've erased your work and then written over the same area--and then your page gets cold--you may have trouble reading the text. It can't be un-reappeared.



If you love erasable gel pens, and you love the Pilot FriXion, you might want to give these a try. They're a great version of a product that a lot of people enjoy. But the unreliability of the ink is a deal-breaker for me. It might be because I live somewhere that spends a good portion of the year below 14 degrees, but it all sounds too risky. I'd only use them to write something fleeting and unimportant, but I don't need 8 colors for that. Would be swell if I had black, though.

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

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Posted on June 1, 2017 and filed under Uni-Ball, Erasable, Gel, Pen Reviews.

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.

Review: Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable 0.5mm Black

Pilot FriXion

I give Pilot a lot of credit for continuing to tweak and improve their FriXion line after first introducing it a couple of years ago.  The original FriXion was a good not great pen, but as far as erasables went, it led the pack.  The fatal flaw with the pen in my opinion was that the eraser part of the pen was on the butt of the pen, meaning that if you write with the cap posted, you would have to take the cap on and off to access the eraser.  That was endlessly annoying to me.  They corrected that with the Color Pencil-like FriXion, putting the eraser on the tip of the cap (duh!) making it far easier to access.  The ball knock retractable seals the deal with the eraser on the end of the pen, and having the clip of the pen as the knock mechanism.

The design of the pen steals a lot from the Pilot VBall RT, with the barrel size and shape, grip, and tip being virtually identical.  The barrel finished is more of a brushed style than a glossy style, giving this pen a very sharp look.  A look I wouldn't mind seeing in some of their other products as a matter of fact.

Of course the big selling point of the FriXion is the ink, and this may be Pilot's best effort yet, at least from a darkness standpoint.  The original ink had nearly a gray tone, which was too light for my tastes.  The Color Pencil-like had a much darker tone, and this new FriXion knock has matched that.  From an erasability standpoint, it works almost exactly like any of the other FriXions.  The ink comes off the page for the most part, but there is stil some shadow left behind.

<rant>Seeing how freely Pilot feels it can change up the FriXion line, you would think they would throw their G2 fans a bone every now and then.  The original G2 is in desperate need of an update, but I assume since it is an office supply cash cow, they don't want to be too quick to upset the status quo.  The GKnock recyclable G2 is a fair option (I actually prefer that barrel), but they could do so much more with one of the most popular pens around.</rant>

Click here for the XL review.

Products used:

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen - 0.5 mm - Black from JetPens

Writing Pad from Doane Paper

Pilot FriXion

Posted on October 25, 2010 and filed under Erasable, FriXion, Pen Reviews, Pilot.