When I saw the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint (via Jetpens) I was a bit skeptical, but having experienced the brilliance of Sailor fountain pens I figured I owed this pen a chance. The picture above shows the results of the main feature of this pen, but let me explain that. Essentially what happens is that the plunger that you use to extend and retract the tip can be twisted to adjust the amount of pressure that the tip will take before it compresses back into the body to adjust for your personal writing style.
Here is a close up of the clip and the plunger on the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint pen. Now the angle of the picture here might make it look like the clip is huge, but thats mostly because…well because the clip is huge. The clip also serves as a way to retract the tip of the pen when you open it up, many pens bill this as a safety feature so you don’t end up with a ballpoint pen tip pressed against a pocket or anything else that is likely to absorb ink. The plunger has some grippy texture to it so it makes it easier to twist it and adjust to the particular pressure that best suits your writing preference.
I couldn’t capture it that well in any pictures, but the grip on the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint Pen is kind of like a rounded triangular shape, similar to that of a Lamy Safari. It definitely makes for a more comfortable grip in my opinion, but I’ve always thought that it served a purpose on a beginner fountain pen in order to gently nudge the new user in the right direction on how to properly hold the pen. Not sure its necessary on a ballpoint pen where there is literally no position that doesnt work.
There are plenty of marketing bullet points about the smooth ink and the adjustable pressure of this pen that talks about how it eases writing fatigue but I have to be honest, I’m not sure any of it is necessary. I’ve toyed around with the different pressures that can be selected by twisting the plunger on the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint Pen but I just don’t think the incremental differences really matter at all when I’m writing with it. This pen seems like more of a science experiment than a product that actually serves a need for a particular audience or niche. Sure it doesn’t skip or clump when I write and regardless of what pressure setting I dial it to, it writes ok for a ballpoint pen, but nothing about the pen really jumps out and screams that this was something thats been missing in my life. The part that really gets me though is that it was made by Sailor. All I could keep thinking while writing with the Sailor G-Free Ballpoint was that I wish it was never developed because whatever money they spent on all of the design and research would have been much better spent on a brand new fountain pen or a new version of one of their existing ones. There is something to be said for sticking with what you are good at (and in Sailor’s case something you are REALLY good at) and I wish that Sailor didn’t waste money on this and likely take away from adding something of value to the fountain pen world. Anyway, if you must, its available at Jetpens, but if you really want to waste $6.00 just email me and I’ll give you my PayPal account where you can send me $6.