I'm no stranger to the Pilot Frixion pens, but I hadn't tried the multi-pen version of this refill until just recently. While not much different from the regular Acroball multi-pen platform, the Frixion does feature a small friction eraser on the top of the pen. As an added bonus, there's also a unique version of the Ball 3 multi-pen based on the Kiki's Delivery Service film from Studio Ghibli. The pen features a small drawing that shows JiJi, KiKi's familiar. If you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend you check it out. While the original is Japanese, Disney released a re-dubbed version in English in the late 90s.
I have two different versions of the Ball 3 multi-pen, but the only difference aside from the unique Kiki's version on the black pen is the refill tip sizes. The Kiki's version only comes in the 0.5mm size, while the silver pen featured here has 0.38mm refills. Obviously, you can customize these with whatever size refills you want in the future, but this is how they came from the manufacturer. If you love the Kiki's pen but want a smaller or larger refill (or even other colors), you can easily swap them out later.
Now, I've used plenty of Frixion pens in the past, but let's do a quick refresher in case you're new to this unique offering from Pilot. The Frixion is an "erasable" pen that uses the heat caused by friction to erase the special ink. The cool thing is that you can actually cause the ink to reappear if you place the paper in the freezer for a while. This is a great solution for using a pen in applications where you might need to erase, but where you also don't want to use pencil. I don't have any particular need in my use cases, but it's still a really cool trick. Obviously, if you leave your notebook in the sun or throw it in the microwave for a bit, the ink will also disappear since it's activated by heat. Just know that the ink is definitely non-permanent and act accordingly.
Starting with the 0.38mm variant, I'm continually surprised how smooth these hybrid ballpoint inks are. The line is incredibly thin — closer to a 0.25mm line once it's on the page, but it's still incredibly crisp. Despite the thinness of the line, Pilot still managed to make the writing experience really smooth. It does feel a bit like you're writing with a nail, but it still feels smooth if you remember to only apply light pressure on the paper. This isn't a specific thing regarding the Frixion refills, but more of a general rule with micro-tipped pens. In all, it's incredibly smooth considering the size. The colors are vibrant and pop off the page.
Moving on to the 0.5mm, the lines are a little bit larger (similar to a 0.4mm gel pen line) but just as crisp. Given the extra surface area on the tip, it's also quite smoother when writing. To me, 0.5mm is the sweet spot when it comes to the hybrid ballpoint refills. 0.7mm is also great if you want the extra line width, but both are incredibly smooth and fun to use. Again, the colors match up perfectly with the other size refills and feature bold, fun colors.
The bodies on both pens are nearly identical once you factor out the custom Kiki's artwork, but the Kiki's pen does have a larger ridge between the soft grip section and the nose cone of the pen. I'm not sure if this is intentional as part of the custom version for the Kiki's film or if this is just a manufacturing variation, but it's hardly noticeable when using the pen.
The grip section is a nice width and is soft to the touch. There's no "squish" or give on the grip, but the soft feel is very comfortable and easy to control. The plastic bodies are sturdy and feel like they'll survive a pretty rough jumble in a bag. Like the Pilot Acroball, you select ink colors with small push tabs on the top of the pen that are equidistant from each other and the clip. To retract a refill, simply press on a different color tab halfway until the active refills pops back in.
The clip is also similar to the Acroball multi-pen in that it's spring loaded and incredibly sturdy. I really like this clip system, which is also very similar to the Zebra Sarasa Clip, because I can clip these pens anywhere (upside down, for instance) and they just stay put. Multi-pens are intended to be incredibly versatile and utilitarian, and the clip just adds to that usefulness.
In all, the Frixion is just another variant of the excellent Acroball line from Pilot, but with an extra erasable trick up its sleeve. With plenty of color options and tip sizes available, you can customize your multi-pen to suite your every writing need without breaking the bank.
The Kiki's Delivery Service only comes in one color and only with 0.5mm refills installed, but you have so many other options if you go with the standard lineup. The standard 0.38mm version featured in this review is about 10 bucks less than the Kiki's version, and that is likely due to the additional licensing required to use the Kiki's artwork. If you're a fan of the film or book, then it's an excellent choice! If not, the standard Frixion multi-pens are stellar.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!