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.
Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen - 0.5 mm - Black from JetPens
Writing Pad from Doane Paper