The other day when I posted the Purple Paper Mate Flair pen I realized that I’ve had these for a really long time and never actually reviewed them. Today we will take a look at the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Point (via Amazon) and also do a little comparison to a similar offering, the Sharpie Pen. This version is the 8 pack, but there are multiple other variations to be had.
The Paper Mate Flair has a pretty classic design thats been modernized a bit since the last time I used these, which was literally decades ago. The majority of the pen is plastic and reflects the color of the ink inside with the main portion of the body being grey for all of them. The only non-plastic part of the pen are the metal clip and the sleeve that holds the tip. Its a very well balanced pen with a smooth but still very comfortable grip. The grip functions well, and benefits from how it tapers in then back out again which creates a grip that allows you to hold and control the pen without applying much pressure at all so you won’t notice significant fatigue in longer writing sessions.
The tips of the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine pen are a porous material just like the tip on the highly Sharpie Pen. The metal point guard helps to protect and extend the life of the tip.
If you are comparing the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine to the Sharpie Pen, they are very similar in size although the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine is slightly shorter with the cap closed. The Sharpie Pen has a more consistent shape up and down the body while the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine tapers at each end and has a larger grip section.
With the pen caps posted, the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine still comes in a slight bit shorter than the Sharpie Pen. This view shows the vast difference in the size of both the grip section and the caps of the two pens. I definitely like the design, cap, and grip better on the Flair, something about the tiny cap on the Sharpie Pen never felt right.
In terms of the tip sizes, the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine is visually pretty much similar to the Sharpie pen. The only slight difference I can pick up is that the Flair is slightly more dark looking.
Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Writing Sample:
The above writing samples for the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine are done in a DoanePaper journal with bright white paper. The colors look great on this paper and have a pretty vibrant contrast against the it. If I had to pick a favorite I think the Turquoise really does it for me which is odd because I’m not usually a big fan of that color, but it really contrasts well and jumps off the page. The green is probably my least favorite of the bunch as it seems a tad lifeless and too dark for my tastes. I was going to do a sample of dry times with these, but the truth is they basically come in at a dry time of zero seconds with this paper, so its a great option for lefties to avoid smearing.
This close up of the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine writing sample next to the Sharpie Pen writing samples shows a consistent difference between the two pens regardless of color. To my eye the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine seem to have a bit more vibrancy to them, while the Sharpie Pens look more flat and a bit more translucent. This isn’t to say that is a bad thing, it just comes down to personal preference, but my preference definitely leans towards that of the Paper Mate Flair when it comes to the eye appeal of their writing performance. Beyond just the visual appeal, these pens write as smoothly as you will get out of a porous tip pen. The nature of the tip is that it will naturally provide a bit of feedback and a dry feeling as it moves across the paper, but I’d still consider it a smooth writer that pretty much never skips. I think these are probably an often overlooked pen ever since the introduction of the Sharpie Pen, but don’t let these go without consideration if you are looking for some solid performing porous tipped pens, the Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Point (via Amazon) will not let you down.