When the new purple, orange, and green retractable Sharpie Pens became available, I jumped on the opportunity to order them up from Amazon, and now that they have arrived, I thought Id share my initial thoughts on them.
The first thing that you will notice is that apparently there are two versions of the new retractable Sharpie pens. The first photo on this post is my own, which shows the tips of the plungers, where you can see that they have the familiar silver finish, however the second picture that you see above shows the newer style with a black plunger, a color coordinated ring that circles the center of the body on the pen, and what looks to be a slightly different grip section. I was hoping to get this new body style delivered when I ordered from Amazon since that is what they have pictured, however I did not, and instead received the old style bodies that are solid black with the silver finish on the plunger.
Above you can see the full body of the purple, orange, and green Sharpie Pen RT that lack the color indicator on the body, and have the older version of the grip and older plunger. Just to be clear, I think that based on the photo from Sharpie.com, the old body style has more of a lip that separates the bottom of the rubber grip from the conical tip of the pen.
After my visual inspection, I took to writing with the new purple, orange, and green Sharpie pen retractable, and I quickly noticed there was a little bit of rattling that I couldn’t immediately identify and that I didn’t remember with my older versions of the pen. Trying to isolate the issue, I grabbed an older version of the retractable Sharpie pen and started writing to confirm that there was no rattle, and when I didn’t get the rattle with the old version, I went to click on the plunger to retract the tip, and that is when I realized what the issue was. If you look at the picture above, you will notice a difference – all of the plungers on the new colors are pressed into the barrel of the pen, while the one in the foreground of the picture (which is the older version) is sticking out completely. Now if you look even closer, you will see that even though the plungers are in a different position, the tips on each pen are completely exposed. Basically when you press the plunger to expose the tip, it rests in a much lower position inside the body of the pen, instead of pushing completely back out as it did in the old version.
It appears that Sharpie has heard and reacted to some of the concerns about the plunger being a bit long and difficult to reach when you want to retract the tip, but on the other hand it seems that their solution has created the nuisance of having a bit of a rattle when writing with the pen. The new functionality of the plunger does in fact make it much easier and quicker to retract the tip of the pen though, so it is a big plus from that perspective. For some people, a small rattle is not a big deal, and for others I think it will be a deal breaker, so I wanted to put it out there and make sure you know what to expect if you pick up a pack of these new colors. Also, I am not sure if this new plunger style will find its way into the standard black, blue, and red versions of the pen, but it is worth keeping an eye on.
For the writing sample on these pens, I squeezed in a new line to my old writing sample from when I compared the purple, orange, and green in the Grip and Original versions. My close in person visual inspection appears to show that the Sharpie Pen retractable is closer to the same shades that you find with the Sharpie Pen grip versions, with them not being quite as bright as the original versions in the same colors.
For the time being I am going to keep an eye out for the new body style of the retractable versions. Between the new body style and the change in how the plunger is working, I am very curious to see if the insides of the retractable versions were changed to allow for a larger ink cartridge. If you don’t remember, or never saw, I broke out the power tools to hack apart one version of each Sharpie Pen to see if I could figure out why people were reporting that the retractable version didn’t seem to be lasting as long as other versions. Stay tuned and I will do my best to update you on the new body style and the impact that it has to the writing experience.