Posts filed under Rollerball

Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball Pen Review

Lamy Safari Powder Rose 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.)

Every year, it's exciting to see the limited edition colors and options that companies roll out for their various product lines. In the case of the Lamy Safari line, we have the lovely Powder Rose color, which is a light, light pink that has no trouble sparking a smile. While I'm normally more of a fountain pen user when it comes to the Safari line, I have to admit that the rollerball version is a close contender to which I like more. I'm not stranger to the Lamy M63 rollerball refill, but it has been a while since I've used one.

Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball Pen

The Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball is the latest in my Lamy collection, and I've been really enjoying my time with it. With as awesome as fountain pens and inks are, I have to sometimes force myself to use other pens. With the Safari, it's been a really easy task. The grip section is completely familiar to me since it is identical to the fountain pen Safari, and the weight and handling are also instantly recognizable once it's in my hand. If you've ever used a Safari, I imagine the same will be true for you — it just feels right. Similarly, if you've used a Safari and didn't care for it, the same will hold true here as well.

Lamy Safari Rollerball

Aside from a few minor differences from the fountain pen version (like the single notch in the top button of this pen versus the cross-hatch notch button in the fountain pen cap), the rollerball variant is a strong performer. The rollerball refill that Lamy use in this pen is a behemoth — there's just so much ink in here. While you might think that it will last a really long time, don't forget that this is a liquid rollerball refill, which tends to go pretty quickly compared to ballpoint or even gel refills. Still, the extra capacity in this refill is definitely appreciated — especially considering the price. At $5 per refill, it's a little on the expensive side, but not by much considering the brand and the size. It definitely lasts a long time, but that price is still a little cringe-worthy.

Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Refill

Mostly, I've been really happy with the rollerball refill, but there are plenty of times where I'm also wishing to replace it with a trusty Schmidt P8126 or similar refill. Why? Well, the M63 does have some issues with skipping mid-line. To its credit, it usually starts writing like a champ, with zero stuttering no matter long it's gone unused. But, it suffers from an unpredictable issue that causes the line to skip or disappear entirely, meaning you have to scribble somewhere to clear whatever blockage or issue that is causing the skip. It always recovers, which is great, but it's something I wish didn't exist in the first place, especially considering the price of the refill. For example, the Schmidt P8126 is similarly priced, but it operates like a charm. You get a similarly bold and smooth line, but none of the skipping issues that the Lamy exhibits. Like I said, the Lamy refill mostly behaves, but the skipping occurs a little too frequently for my tastes.

Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Comparison

Everything else about the Safari rollerball is perfectly in line with the rest of the Safari line. The build quality is fantastic, the color is gorgeous, and the cap and clip system are strong and secure. If I had an abundance of extra obscure refills, I'd definitely try to find a replacement for this one! But I'm not getting my hopes up as this is a unique length for a refill — especially a rollerball. If only the quality and dependability were just a little higher on the M63!

The Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball is available from JetPens for $20 as a limited edition color. If this is your thing, grab one before they're all gone!

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


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Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Review
Posted on June 26, 2019 and filed under Lamy, Safari, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.

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.)


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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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.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

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