Posts filed under Rollerball

Ohto Fude Rollerball 1.5 mm Color Series Review

Ohto Fude Rollerball 1.5 mm Color Series 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. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Fude usually indicates a brush tip pen, but what Ohto has with the Fude Rollerball is create a rollerball mechanism that behaves a bit like a brush pen. They've achieved this primarily by making it super huge. These are not your everyday writers. They were designed for bold statements. And while I didn't quite get the brush pen effect, I did have a lot of fun.

Even if you prefer fine tip pens, these are worth a try. They're great for sketching, outlining, journaling, addressing envelopes, or writing loud things. They worked okay for coloring books, but would not do well in the popular adult coloring books that have very small spaces. The bold lines may also overpower the smaller pages in pocket notebooks and may not stay inside the boundaries of grid or lined paper.

Ohto Fude Rollerball 1.5 mm Color Series

In addition to making thick lines, this liquid ink is very wet. It's a water-based pigment ink that behaves similarly to fountain pen ink or marker, and it may bleed through uncoated papers. The flow can be a bit inconsistent and I noticed they have a tendency to gush ink, though some colors did this more than others. Because of this gushiness, there is a longer dry time for this ink, and it can be a bit smeary for a while. I also wonder how quickly it will run out of ink supply. I imagine it would go even faster than a gel pen, and these are not refillable--so while these are inexpensive at roughly $16 for a set of seven, they're probably going to need replacing quite regularly if they're put to good use.

Ohto Fude Rollerball 1.5 mm

The set comes with green, light green, orange, pink, sky blue, violet, and wine red. I did find myself wishing for a few more colors, but this is overall a good variety. They're well made with sturdy plastic bodies, a flexible metal clip, and a strong conical tip. The cap snaps and posts securely. There's a clear feed, so you can watch the ink in action.

I'm not sure if it's because of the size or the quality of the tip, but this is one of the smoothest writing pens I've ever used. They really are fun to write with, and even though most of my work is done with fine tip pens, I find myself looking for excuses to pull these out. And if you prefer bold tips, these are going to delight you.

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


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Ohto Fude Rollerball 1.5 mm Drawing
Posted on June 13, 2019 and filed under Ohto, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Review

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Review

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

In my never ending quest to find better rollerball pens, I somehow totally missed the Tombow Zoom 505. I know I've seen this pen on JetPens many times, but it just didn't register in my searches or the aesthetic requirements at the time. Over the past few weeks, I've finally given this pen an honest try, and I can't believe I didn't try it sooner.

The rollerball market has always been a little slim on choices, and that's still largely true today. With the popularity of the Schmidt P8126 and similar refills, the rollerball market has boomed recently. The Tombow Zoom 505 takes a different route, though. The included refill is a 0.5mm replaceable rollerball cartridge. When it runs out, just swap it out for an entirely new cartridge. These cartridges just look like miniature Pilot Precise V5 pens, and that comparison goes a little farther than in looks alone.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen

A common downfall for many rollerball pens is the writing experience. It must be difficult to design and manufacture a reliable rollerball refill that also lays down a crisp line and feels smooth while doing so. I've had my fair share of disappointments over the years, but the Zoom 505 is not one of them.

The Zoom 505 refill is incredibly smooth. It's an absolute pleasure to write with, and it also managed to lay down a stunningly crisp line. There's hardly any bleed or feathering, and I haven't noticed a single skip or stutter while writing. It's an incredibly dependable and smooth writer. I compare it in my mind to the Schmidt P8126, but it has a finer line and feels a bit drier than the former. Still, it's a great performer and I really enjoy using it. The refills aren't terribly expensive either, and that opens your options up to colors (ahem, just blue) and other sizes as well. You can pick 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 1.0mm tips, but the only color options are black and blue. This is a shame! If only the Pilot Precise pens actually fit inside this Tombow body...

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Barrel

The exterior of the pen is shiny and elegant. It reminds me of the Pilot Metropolitan with a shiny lacquer on top of it. It's a little bland for my tastes, but the writing performance helps me get past that issue very quickly. Despite the bland exterior, it's still classy and well-made. This pen has no problem blending in during an executive meeting, but it also works great for jotting down notes while waiting in line to catch a bus into town.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Grip

The refill is excellent, but the grip section is what really sells me on the overall experience with this pen. It's a delightfully soft and contoured grip that seems to hug my fingers without being so soft that it becomes hard to accurately control the pen as I write. It's a hard line to walk, but the Zoom 505 does it brilliantly. Long writing sessions are not a problem due to the grip, but it also has some help thanks to some small weights in the bottom of the pen that provides the perfect balance while holding the pen in writing position.

The cap is the same metal material as the body, and it fastens to the grip section securely. I've never felt like this will uncap by mistake in my bag. The clip is also strong enough to get the job done without being annoyingly loose or tight. The goal of any clip is that "just right" zone, and this pen falls into that category.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Comparison

Overall, the Tombow Zoom 505 is a fantastic rollerball pen that writes a smooth, crisp line and feels great in the hand. It makes a great gift for those who aren't sure about the idea of paying more than $3 for a pen, but it's also a stellar everyday writer. The Zoom 505 is available in black and brown and can be yours for about $20.

(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.

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Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Writing
Posted on April 24, 2019 and filed under Tombow, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.

Karas Pen Co. Galaxie XL Rollerball Pen Review

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball 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 new Reaktor line from Karas Pen Co. is zooming all over the world right now, and for good reason. They're affordable, durable, reliable, comfortable, and fun. I got to try out the Galaxie XL model, and since they sent four, I gave one to my tween and one to my husband to try as well.

I call my husband "the pen destroyer". Your standard ballpoint won't last a day in his pocket. Over the years I've bought him several tough and seemingly indestructible pens only to have him hand them back to me in pieces, smooshed, bent beyond use. So when I say he's been using this pen every day for over a month and it's still in excellent condition, I'm saying these pens will outlast us all. There will be Galaxie pens sticking up from the sand and ashes of civilization.

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball Pen

Karas Pen Co. created the Reaktor line to be simple and affordable. The Galaxie, at $45, is more than fairly priced for what you get. The pen comes in black, tumbled, or silver with either blue or red sections. All are machined aluminum.

They're fairly small pens--not quite pocket sized by my reckoning, but shorter and slimmer than most machined pens. They're shorter than a Retro 51 Tornado, though similar in width. The aluminum makes them fairly light, but hefty enough to feel like a substantial pen. I had no fatigue when writing with them, even for long stretches, and even with the pen posted. It's a very well balanced pen.

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball Pen Grip

The cap closes with a satisfying click and the rings at the back end of the pen are designed to help it post securely and deeply. Because the parts are metal on metal, the cap does rattle a little both when closed and posted. I prefer not to post it when I'm writing for that reason. If you don't like that rattle and you have larger hands and prefer posting, this might not be the pen for you.

The clip is the classic bolted-on stainless steel "bulletproof" clip that Karas offers. This is the only part of the pen suffered in my husband's care. He managed to bend it sideways quite a bit--bulletproof is not David-proof, it seems, or perhaps I married Superman.

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball Pen Barrel

The grip is nicely contoured and very comfortable to hold. It didn't ever get too slippery or cramp my hand. The metal warmed up nicely as I wrote.

The Galaxie XL takes G2 style refills, which are easy to get in a variety of colors and tip sizes, so your options are well-covered.

The design is inspired by 1960s space race and automotive aesthetics, and it definitely has that vintage rocket feel to it. It's a very simple design, but elegantly done. My tween has declared that it "looks awesome". This is exceedingly high praise.

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball Pens

Probably my favorite thing about the Galaxie XL has been watching my dudes get attached to theirs. They aren't Pen Addicts. They think I'm nuts. But when I see my tween has a special spot on his desk just for this pen, and my hubby asking if he can have his pen back yet when I had to borrow it to take pictures of his poor clip--I know they really do understand how a pen can be special.

(Karas Pen Co. 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!

Karas Pen Co Galaxie XL Rollerball Pen Box
Posted on August 30, 2018 and filed under Karas Pen Co., Rollerball, Pen Reviews.