The Pentel EnerGel has been around for quite a while, and it's also really accessible since you can find it at most big box retailers. If you're lucky, you might even find them in your office supply closet. Like the side of the regular pen says, the refill is a type of liquid gel ink that lays a really nice line. How do you improve on a pen that works great already? Well, you put a sleek metal body around it.
If you've never tried an EnerGel before, let's cover the basics. It's similar to other gel pens on the market, and the writing experience is incredibly smooth. They are either retractable or capped, depending on the model and price. The ink is the star with these refills because it's a deep, dark black with clean edges and plenty of flow. They're some of my favorite gel cartridges, but they also aren't interchangeable with a wide range of pen bodies. That being said, the regular EnerGel bodies aren't bad, but they also don't fit in an executive or dressy setting. The refills come in a conical tip with several sizes and colors, and you can also get a 0.5mm needle tip (which is what comes with the Philography) that makes precise writing a bit easier.
In short, the EnerGel refills are stellar. Now, the Philography body is the star of this show. It's a bit slimmer than the regular plastic retractable pen, but it's still very balanced in the hand. In my experience, it's been really comfortable to use.
The grip area does not have any texture, which may be a negative for some people that enjoy a bit of additional grip. The anodization process for the metal adds a bit of texture to the entire body, though. I've not had any issues with the pen slipping or feeling unstable while I write.
Another major difference with the Philography compared to the standard body is the retracting mechanism. The Philography features a smooth twist mechanism to extend or retract the refill from the tip. It feels great, doesn't require much of a turn, and also doesn't unscrew too easily. In order to access the refill, you turn the grip counter-clockwise until the tip is fully retracted, and it eventually starts to unscrew.
There's minimal branding on the pen — just a "Pentel" and "EnerGel" located above the band that separates the top and bottom sections. There's also a peculiar pair of swooshes at the top of the pen that are supposed to add some visual interest, but I think they detract from the overall aesthetic. The top of the pen is a shiny chrome material that, sadly, loves to collect fingerprints. The clip is strong and sturdy without being difficult to operate.
As an added bonus, you can also use a few other refills with this pen, such as the Zebra Sarasa and Uni-ball Signo retractable lines. This opens up the possibilities for several more colors and tip sizes.
Overall, this metal version of the classic EnerGel is a big hit in my book. I love metal-bodies pens in general, and I was pleased to find that the execution on this model was done well.
The model I have is the Turquoise Blue, but you can also pick this up in Black, Silver, Dark Blue, and White. You pay a bit of a premium for the nicer material and build, but it's worth it in my opinion. At $23 a piece, you can significantly improve the writing experience and presentation of the EnerGel line.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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