As you may know, OXO Good Grips has a new line of home office supplies that are distributed exclusively by Staples, so today I want to share the OXO GOOD GRIPS™ Retractable Ballpoint Pens with you. As a side note, these were not given to me by either Staples or OXO Good Grips, I purchased them at my local Staples myself for my ever-growing stash of home office supplies.
Before getting into the details of this pen, you might notice that the first photo shows a thin red strip around the barrel of the pen towards the top that is not in the picture of the individual pen out of the package. This is just s sticker that is intended to be removed that shows you that the pen twists to open and retract. The body of is completely black, which is one of my favorite looks for a pen, but although the entire body is black, it is worth noting that the top half and bottom half is made from two different materials. The top half is a hard plastic with a somewhat matte finish, while the bottom half is more of a smooth slightly rubbery feeling material. The material that makes up the bottom half is not the same cushy rubber grip material that you find on the OXO Good Grips Binder Clips, but it is instead a very thin layer that is not quite as grippy or cushy feeling.
When I first heard about these pens, I was expecting a thicker and more cushy grip because of so many other OXO Good Grips products that have that feature, so I was surprised that these don’t have that same material for the grip. The grip is sufficient when it comes to providing a firm comfortable area to hold while writing, and the way that the grip material goes right to the end of the pen it eliminates any ridge or seam in that area that other pens have that sometimes cause an uncomfortable writing experience.
One of the main features on this pen besides the soft smooth grip section is the retractable clip that disappears when you have the ballpoint tip of the pen exposed. It’s hard to see in this photo, but the clip really does just disappear into the top side area onthe barrel, becoming completely flush with the top of the pen. The reason for the design is so that you don’t accidentally clip the pen to your shirt pocket, pants pocket, or any other cloth and have the ink absorb into the material causing a big stain. I think this is a pretty helpful feature, but one drawback of it is that the pen does tend to roll when you place it on a flat or slightly angled surface. You can see in the photo above that there is a small nub that sticks out in the top right of the pen barrel in that photo, and my assumption was that it was there to keep the pen from rolling on you when the point is out and the clip is retracted, however it doesn’t quite do the job, and it continues to roll regardless of its presence.
One of the good things about these pens is that although they are a little on the pricey side (about $7.00 for 2) they do have a replaceable ink cartridge, which makes them a little more affordable (refills are $2 for a pack of 2) and much more environmentally friendly. It is a small compact looking ink cartridge, so I have not used them enough to find out how long they will last before needing to be replaced.
Although ballpoint pens are never my first choice, this pen does write fairly well for a ballpoint. The line that the ink puts down is pretty solid and consistent, and it doesn’t leave the clumps of ink that you can sometimes get with a ballpoint. The pens do come in blue and black, but I only did a writing sample for the black here because I will be doing another office supply giveaway, so I thought Id leave the package unopened for the winner. That post will be sometime later this week, so keep your eyes out for that.
For the most part I think these pens are as advertised, but it feels like something is missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. Usually with the OXO Good Grips Brand there is something that really jumps out and says THIS is why its an OXO product, but these ballpoint pens from them seem to lack that “OXO factor”..I made a funny there, get it? “X factor” vs. “OXO factor” funny, right? No? OK. Well like I said, these pens definitely do their job and do it well (minus the rolling issue when the point is out) however I feel like there is a little something missing, especially at the $7 price point for a ballpoint pen.