Posts filed under Rollerball

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.

Alfred Dunhill Sentryman Art Deco Rollerball Review

Alfred Dunhill is a premier luxury brand, recognized around the globe for it’s classic menswear and accessories. In fact, the parent company of Dunhill, Richemont, owns Montblanc as well, along with more than a dozen other high-end brands.

As a company, Dunhill became popular in the early 1900’s by tapping into the world’s newest fascination: automobiles. Dunhill didn’t make cars, but rather accessories for those who drove them. Goggles, coats, even a wind-proof pipe.

The pipe, and smoking accessories in general, was how I first became aware of the brand. Not that I have ever smoked, but there wasn’t a mall in the 1980’s or 1990’s where you didn’t see some sort of Dunhill presence. That market has changed over the past two decades, and Dunhill has changed right along with it, while remaining true to its origins.

The Sentryman Art Deco Rollerball is the embodiment of the Dunhill brand in a writing instrument. A glorious one at that. You can’t look at this pen and not think, or say, “Wow.”

You also cannot look at the price of this pen and not think “Wow” as well.

At $790, this is far and away the most expensive non-fountain pen I have ever reviewed. I was actually nervous when Dunhill reached out to me to review this pen, and paused for days, if not weeks, before committing to accepting this product from them.

I’m glad I did.

I’ve spoken for years about what I call the “Montblanc Problem”, which is the phrase I use when you are paying for everything about a pen besides the writing experience. The refill is the least expensive part of the equation, which anyone can afford. The refill also fits in many other pen barrels, giving you the Montblanc writing experience without the Montblanc cost. The Montblanc/Pilot G2 hack is famous for this.

As I tell readers all the time, you have to understand what you are paying for in the luxury pen market, and decide what is important to you. Are materials, style, branding, and marketing your primary purchasing factors? Or is it the writing experience? There is no wrong answer, of course, but the most impossible question for me to answer is “I have x dollars to spend on a pen for a gift, what should I buy?”

If money is no object, I would consider the Sentryman over any Montblanc rollerball I have seen. It is absolutely stunning. It feels great to write with. It looks great sitting on my desk, or clipped to a shirt pocket. It writes wonderfully (Unposted, that is. It is too heavy posted.) with the included Dunhill-branded Schmidt EasyFlow refills (International G2/Parker refill compatible). Price excluded, this is a 10 out of 10 pen.

But price can’t be excluded when making a purchasing decision. I’ve spent more on fountain pens, but my opinion is that I get more too. Do you get more when spending this much on a rollerball? That is for you to decide.

My thanks to Alfred Dunhill for sending me this pen at no charge for purposes of this review.


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, which I am very grateful for.

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

Posted on November 14, 2016 and filed under Alfred Dunhill, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.

Lamy 2000 Rollerball Review

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

Back in 2014, I wrote about the iconic Lamy 2000 fountain pen, and talked about my love for the design and the writing experience of the pen. Well, here we are in 2016 and I've expanded my Lamy collection to include a Lamy 2000 rollerball. A lot about the rollerball is the same as the fountain pen version, but this one is obviously a bit more simple since it only has a rollerball cartridge inside. Even though there are a lot of differences between this and the fountain pen, it's a great pen that would be perfect for a lot of people looking for an elegant, classy, and reliable pen for daily use.

Aesthetics

In my original Lamy 2000 review, I wrote about the design of the pen:

The Lamy 2000 is unique. There isn't another pen like it in design. It's sleek, modern, and welcoming at the same time. It looks like a pen meant to write, but classy at the same time. It works with casual and dress clothes splendidly. It always gets comments out in the wild.

I don't think it's fair to call this a "different" pen, since the exterior is completely identical aside from the nib area. When the pens are capped, it's difficult to determine which is which. From what I can tell, there's only one way to tell from the outside: the top of the cap has a small dimple in the rollerball version, whereas the fountain version is completely flat and smooth. The fountain pen version also feels like it might weigh a few grams more, but not much.

Obviously, it's pretty easy to tell them apart once the caps are off, but the differences are limited to the nib area only. The grip section is identical, the cap fitting is identical, and even the piston knob is identical. But, why does the rollerball version have a piston knob? Well, it's not actually a piston knob — just a section that screws off to give you access to the cartridge. But, the thing is the back cap is the same length and location as the piston knob, and equally difficult to notice when closed.

Saying that the attention to detail that went into the rollerball version of the 2000 is impressive almost does it justice. Lamy went above and beyond to ensure this looks every bit as classy, timeless, and modern as the older, more sophisticated cousin.

This is a rollerball that can stand its ground in any board room.

Writing experience

That's great that it looks just like the fountain pen version, but the fountain pen version writes so well (provided you don't have a faulty nib), right? Right, but that doesn't mean that the rollerball version has a bad writing experience. Quite the opposite, actually.

From what I can tell, Lamy sourced the cartridge through Schmidt, and we all know what that means. This is a smooth writer. Coming from the same company that provides the ever-so-glassy-smooth Retro 51 refills, this Lamy 2000 refill is no slouch. Lamy dubs it the M63, and it retails for $5.

Like the Retro 51 stock refill, the Lamy 2000 is also a 0.7mm size, and it is smooth and well-flowing. I'm a huge fan of Schmidt refills of all kinds, and this one is no exception. There really isn't anything I dislike about the way it writes — it's smooth, it always starts right away, never skips, and lays down a dark, crisp line of inky pitch black.

My only gripe is the line width, which is the same "problem" I have with the Retro 51 stock refill. To get a smaller size (like a 0.5 or so), you'll have to find the refill directly from Schmidt. While this is fairly easy for the Retro 51 refills (Schmidt P8127), the Lamy version can be a bit difficult to locate. From what I can tell from reading this Schmidt catalog (pg. 25), the Schmidt SRC5888F (0.6mm) and SRC5888M (0.7mm) refills would work in the Lamy 2000 if you had a small extension for the base — about 2mm long. Still, the price is about the same, so unless you want the slightly smaller tip size, I'd stick with the Lamy-branded refills.

Conclusion

If you're a fan of the Lamy 2000 design, but are looking for a non-fountain pen version, the rollerball is perfect for you. It's a bit cheaper than the fountain pen version, just over $100. It's not "cheap," but it's also a price that I feel is fair given the attention to detail, prestige of the 2000 line, and the beautiful design and writing experience.

If you're nervous about jumping on a Lamy 2000 because you're new to fountain pens, this might be the perfect entry point into fine pens.

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

Posted on January 27, 2016 and filed under Lamy, Rollerball, PHX-1, Pen Reviews.