(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I'm not much of a ballpoint pen user, but I was given a set of Paper Mate InkJoy pens to review. I've been using them to decorate my Traveler's Notebook refills, but my artistic daughter has already claimed them as soon as my review is done. Spoiler alert: I'm planning to buy my own set in the 0.5mm size because I like them so much.
The pens are packaged in plastic and cardboard. There's a hole in the back of the cardboard so you can feel the texture of the pens, which are coated with rubber for comfortable writing.
Each pen comes with a little plastic ball on the nib to keep the ink fresh. Obviously, you remove these before use.
The pens themselves are made of sturdy plastic covered with a grippy rubber surface.
The pen barrel has a clear portion that allows you to see how much ink is in the pen and the inner-workings of the click mechanism. The clip is also made of translucent plastic.
Both the clip and the back of the pen are adorned with two hearts.
The click mechanism is chrome colored as is the lettering on the barrel with the brand name and the ballpoint pen size. These pens are well designed and nice looking. They are also very comfortable in the hand.
This package comes with ten colored pens: black, red, teal, yellow, light blue, purple, light green, pink, orange, and violet.
The darker colors are highly saturated and work well on any paper. The lighter colors are harder to see on white paper and they disappear on black paper.
The gel ink flows well from the pen, though the lighter colors seem to be a little less smooth. It may be my imagination, but these lighter inks seem more viscous than the darker ones. Perhaps, because the ink colors are so light, I'm unconsciously pressing harder.
One of the claims for the InkJoy pens is that they dry fast and smear less. The ink is pretty much smear-proof after at least five seconds, though you do have to be careful not to smudge it immediately after writing. Still, the smudging, when it happens, is pretty minimal.
The ink works well on the Mnemosyne paper I used for my handwritten review. I also used it in my Traveler's Notebook and on Tomoe River Paper. The ink demonstrates considerable show through, especially in the Traveler's Notebook. In fact, when I colored in the names of the months in the TN, there was both show through and bleed through.
These pens would certainly work well for students taking notes, for general writing, and for filling in all those fancy new adult coloring books. If I were to buy a set of these pens, I would choose the fine point (0.5mm size) simply because I prefer slimmer lines. The pens only come in 0.5mm and 0.7mm, and they are not refillable. The ten pack set costs $20.00; the fourteen pack set $28.00; or you can buy individual pens for $2.00 each.
- The InkJoy gel pens write a super smooth, saturated line.
- The pens are comfortable to hold in the hand and the grippy rubber helps, especially if you have sweaty hands like me.
- The pen design is eye-catching.
- InkJoy offers a good variety of colors.
- The InkJoy is priced slightly lower than comparable gel pens from Zebra and Pilot.
- The InkJoy pens are not refillable which just seems wasteful to me. I don't know how long each pen lasts because I haven't used them enough to get through all the ink. The ink amount seems quite adequate, but I prefer refillable pens.
- The pens are fairly wide in diameter (10.6mm), so if you're used to Pilot Hi-Tec C pens or other thinner gel pens, you might find these a bit wide.
- On certain paper, especially Tomoe River and Traveler's Notebook paper, there is considerable show through.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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