Showing posts with label pens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pens. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gel Pens Pelikan, Pilot vs cheap brand

There are many products with very different price points and you can't just wonder, why the difference? You can tell yourself, it is the quality what you pay is what you get. But really?
I am bringing in to the ring an incredible threesome of gel pens.
Pelikan Soft Gel, Pilot Super Gel and no name brand Forster.

Cold start test. 

After a long period of sitting on the shelf. It is the first test because I had to get them started.
Pelikan, Pilot Super Gel 0.5 had no problem starting right away. Pilot 0.7 had some issues and Forster needed convincing.

writing with gel pen Pelikan Pilot Forster

Line width and saturation. 

I am testing only general purpose writing colors (blue, black)
Black color, test between Pilot 0.7 and Pelikan. I can say that Pelikan produces a hair skinnier line (the size is not advertised) and it seems to be a little less saturated compared to Pilot 0.7 mm
gel pen line width and color saturation
Blue color, test between Pilot 0.5 & 0.7 and Forster. Forster does not specify the width but is around 0.5. It is a lighter blue compared to Pilor but nice color. The width is very close to Pilot 0.5. The 0.7 mm Pilot has a darker color and a thicker line.

Bleeding

I tested all this on cheap copy machine paper, because it is most likely to use this pens in an office environment where this kind of paper is the norm.
No surprise the thinner the point less bleedthrough.
Worst performance order:
Pilot Super Gel 0.7 black. Bleedthrough but can be used
Pilot Super Gel 0.7 blue. Bleedthrough but can be used
Pilot Super Gel 0.5 blue. It has decent performance and can be used
On the same place Pelikan Soft Gel and Forster with very little bleedthrough.
gel pen bleed through copy paper Pelikan vs Pilot


Comfort and ergonomics

The best in class is the Pilot, which has a grip section with smooth circles spaced closely. It is comfortable and you can use the pen for long hours
Second is the Pelikan with a rubber insert. It is at the same level with the plastic body. It feels good but I do not think offers to many benefits.
Last is the Forster which has the grip identical with the rest of the barrel just a bit thicker. It is not uncomfortable to use but for sure they cut some corners to be able to produce them for cheap. It has a sharper edge if you're gripping the pen close to the lead.
gel pen ergonomic

Writing experience

The writing is the most important aspect of the pen after all. I can say that all right ok, but my opinion is that Pelikan is the smoothest. Pilot has a bad feel to it, it's like the ball is wobbling inside, it does not seem a quality assembly. And this aspect is true to all of the tested Pilots. Even the Forster felt better to me.

Quality

Forster is cheaply made, the cap is not as secure as the other. Also, the clip cannot be used as if you pull it slides out of the cap. This is not valid for all the ones I have only for the blue color. But it shows that the quality control and the design are not the best.

Value

This is a very interesting section. Because I don't think it is a surprise to anybody that the quality on a cheap no-name brand is lower compared to Pilot or even Pelikan.
But the real question is a cheap product a good value to the customer. Well, it can be a very good value sometimes.
In this case, I think you get 90% of the quality for a lot less money
cheap gel penIt's not the most scientific test you can make but sometimes you need to simplify the process and admit that your mileage might vary.
How long will the pen write depends on the level of ink inside. Of course, other factors influence the mileage, like the line thickness, reservoir diameter, and ink viscosity. So the 0.5 pens will last longer than 0.7.
But to compare the pens (0.5) without writing until the pen is out of ink I measured the ink inside. I assumed the diameter and viscosity of the gel holder are similar so I did not take this into consideration while doing the measurements. Pelikan and Forster do not say the line thickness but I consider them to be a 0.5 as they are very close to the Pilot in width.

BrandInk levelPriceInkPrice
cmeurcomparisoncomparison
Froster9.70.24benchmarkbenchmark
Pelikan Soft Gel10.70.64+ 10.3%267%
Pilot Super Gel9.90.99+ 2%413%




In this situation, Forster is cheaper by a mile. It holds less ink but it is cheaper between 2 and 4 times than Pelikan and Pilot. That in my book is called a good deal. But there is a catch. The ink levels between my Forster pens vary a bit. One of them has 1.5 cm less than the one I measured. Another one is 0.9 cm less. So this is not very consistent. But even if I would redo the test, and I would use the one with the smallest amount of ink the test will still look great. The Pelikan would hold ~ + 30% more ink but still costs 2.67 times more. The Pilot would hold around + 20% more ink and would still cost more than 4 times as much. So you can buy for each 2 Pelikans 5 Forsters, And for each Pilot 4 Forsters.
Annoying is the fact that not all pens are filled up as they should be, and again this is the lack of quality control with this ones.
All discomforts aside they are good value. Pelikan is the second on the list and Pilot get the disappointing 3rd place as the product is very expensive, and the writing experience is not as good as the cheaper products tested.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Zebra in the room

We have to address the Zebra in the room. Even though the orc dressed as a police officer is more eye-catching.
Orcs and zebras? The movie Bright has both of them and it has Will Smith (Scott Ward the police officer)
In a scene where he is taking in a deranged person, he is filling the log with what looks like a Zebra F301.
zebra ballpoint pen used in movie bright
Nice smooth metallic finish, with a black rubber knurled grip section. The clip is connecting to a black plastic like part that goes over the barrel and the end of the push mechanism looks to be made from the same black material.

A very good choice for a work pen. It is stainless steel, has a knurled grip, and has a fantastic price.
All this beauty for just $ 2 -3
So it makes sense, as orcs cannot be trusted. Why carry the finer Zebra 701 which cost double?

In my area, it is very hard to find Zebra products, and it is a shame. For example, the 701 mechanical pencil is around 6.5 $. I think you get a good value pencil for that money.
Other mechanical pencils made from stainless steel from more known brands cost more than the Zebra. For example the Pilot Graphgear 1000 (around 9 $) or the Staedtler 925 (approx 10 $)
I am wondering what watch does the orc ware. Is it a Luminox, or Maraton or something else?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thor using bic 4 colours


Even gods need a pen from time to time, and when they need they go for a Bic 4 colours.
Versatile writing instrument. What can i say, he is a practical god.

Is the Bic mightier than the hammer?
The Bic 4 colors ball point pen appeared in Thor Ragnarok when Thor is explaining the Multiverses.

thor writing with bic 4 color pen

thor writing with bic 4 color pen ragnarok

thor writing with bic 4 color pen


Related post:
Bic Matic used by Jesse Eisenberg in the movie American Ultra

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pentel Energel on Doctor Who

doctor whoo pentel pen
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The return of Doctor Mysterio
I have just received a double treat this Christmas. I was eager to see the Doctor coming back on the screens. It was a long wait for all Doctor Who fans. And what a season start it was. Not only we were able to see Peter Capaldi doing a great job as the Doctor Mysterio, but Pentel Energel appeared on the screen as well.
In the episode, the return of the Doctor Mysterio, the 2016 Christmas Doctor Who Special, the Doctor makes a superhero by mistake. A Superman.
Grant a small boy ingests by mistake a gemstone given by the Doctor and becomes G, from Ghost. Of course, every Superman has its Luis Lane, and this one is no exception. Well a version of her. A journalist that Grant loves in secret, Lucy Fletcher.

The journalist Lucy Fletcher, played by Charity Wakefield, interrogates the doctor while holding a grey Pentel Energel
doctor who interrogation pentel

It is hard to see as the pen is not the main focus of the scene.


It seems that the Pentel is a popular pen, as it was spotted on an episode of Better Call Saul as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review of Parker Urban Premium, a premium ballpoint?

As the name implies this is a review of a premium writing instrument from Parker. Or is it?
The review is for the Parker Urban Premium ballpoint. I can not comment on the fountain pen as I did not use it.
Parker is a big brand, known for their quality writing instruments. If you do a google search you will be surprised to find out that Parker is the supplier of fountain pens for the royal house of England.
This said I heave high expectations from any product with the brand Parker on it.
parker urban ballpoint color plum


The design of the pen.

It has a interesting design, inspired i think from a bullet, or a sexual device. I'll leave the design for you to judge. Let's call it "urban". It is classy and modern at the same time.
It's body is made entirely out of metal. The grip is a smooth shiny metal, thicker towards the middle of the pen. For my taste is a bit thick if you have high grip, as I have. I did not have problems with lack of grip, but I did not use the pen for extensive writing sessions. I use it for note taking, a few lines, a page maximum. So your millage may vary.
The barrel is made from a colored metal that has groves in it. My version is a plum - brownish color, which in certain light looks like a shiny brown/black. The pen comes in various colors.
The clip has the traditional  Parker arrow shape. It is a nice clip as it seams very secure and strong.
To advance the ballpoint you have to twist the pen. Because of my way of using pens, taking quick notes, I do not like this style of mechanism. I like push buttons on the top of the pen as it is more convenient.
The pen uses a standard Parker refill.
parker urban ballpoint color plum

The feel:

The grip is made out of polished metal. It has a substantial thickness at the top and tapers down to the tip. Because of this if you have a higher grip it can be uncomfortable if you have smaller hands. The polished metal grip is fine for me, but your experience might be different. As I said, I do not use the pen for long sessions of writing. In general the pen feels good in hand, it has a good weight to it. The ballpoint comes with a standard Parker refill size 1.0. I like the way it writes, it is very smooth and just glides over the paper. Because of the weight of the pen you do not need extra pressure to write, a founinpen grip is enough.
The pen looks rather well built but at a closer inspection it falls short in some places.
My first complaint about the construction regards the joint between the grip and the barrel. It has a slight wiggle. If you shake the pen in your hand you can also hear the movement of the joint. I consider this a minus, not because it is something you feel when writing but is something you  feel when you first touch the pen and hold it. As a expensive pen, with a body entirely made out of metal, made by a reputable and known writing instrument maker I consider this to be a short coming. In my opinion an expensive pen should look and feel expensive. But this does not feel accordingly. It feels rushed.
The other thing that annoys me is the twist of the pen. The twist is not smooth as it should. The feedback is a bit scratchy and it seems off somehow. I would liked a smoother and easier twisting mechanism. Maybe with time the action will improve.
parker urban grip metal

parker urban body and clip

Verdict:

The pen was 45 € which is a lot for a pen. At this price I do not think the pen is worth it, and I would not recommend it. It writes incredible I'll give it that but I think a Parker Jotter stainless steel would do it as good as the Urban. 
So I would say the Jotter is a better value.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pentel Energel on the screen


Watching the tv series Better Call Saul, I spotted a Pentel Energel pen. For you that do not know, Better Call Saul is a sideshow of Breaking Bad, on AMC. It presents the background of Saul Goodman the lawyer in Breaking Bad, his efforts of creating a name for himself, establishing a legitimate practice,  and the interaction with different characters that made a mark in Breaking Bad. In the 6th episode, Mike is the star. His background as an ex cop is under the spotlight, how did he end up in Albuquerque, and what made him leave the uniform for the criminal life.
Seven episodes into the life of Saul Goodman and I can say is a great show. Give it a try, especially if you enjoyed Breaking Bad.
Back to the pen spot.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pelikan Erase, erasable pen

I don't understand why is there a need for a pen that can be erased instead of using a pencil, but for the sake of the test let's go on with the Pelikan erase


TEST #1: Writing
pelikan erase, erasable pen


Writing with the pen feels creamy, but the ink is not coming out with consistency. If you take a look at the picture above you can see numerous parts of the text where the pen skipped, or where the line density is different from normal.