Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen Capped

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen Capped.  Note the white nub on the end of the pen, thats the eraser.

Every time I check out the list of top selling gel ink pens on Amazon.com, I see the Pilot FriXion Gel Ink pens near the top 5 but I’ve never actually tried any out until recently.  I’ve seen lots of reviews (here and here) of these around online, so I know this might not be new to many of you.  You will notice that in my link to Amazon above, that is for the assorted color pack, however I was feeling cheap and I only picked up a two pack of the black.

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen Cap Posted

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen Cap Posted

For starters, I’m not really a big fan of the design of the Pilot FriXion.  Between the overly aggressive branding on just the cap alone, and the super busy body of the pen, it kind of looks like Guy Fieri was the lead designer on this thing.  Even if you like the visual design of the Pilot FriXion, I personally find the placement of the eraser to be inconvenient.  If you look in the picture above, you don’t even see the eraser, which is kind of my point…its under the cap.  So if you are a cap poster when you write, this could be a bit of a pain for you when you want to erase.   All of this is rather unfortunate because the pen itself is quite comfortable to write with.  The grip is a simple, yet comfortable rubber material, and the overall weight and balance of the pen are great.

Pilot FriXion Writing Sample and Erasing Results.

Pilot FriXion Gel Ink Erasable Pen Writing Sample

Pilot FriXion Gel Ink Erasable Pen Writing Sample

I was hoping that after my picking apart of the design of the pen, I would be pleasantly surprised by the writing performance and the functionality of the eraser.  When I started writing with the Pilot FriXion, I was shocked to see that the ink was pretty much a watery gray instead of black.  If there is one thing I’ve come to expect from gel ink pens, it is a very solid and vibrant color for the ink.  The ink in the Pilot FriXion definitely does not measure up in terms of color, however the smoothness of the point gliding across the paper is fantastic.  After doing some writing with it, I figured it was time to test out the erasability (pretty sure that is a made up word on my part) of the FriXion.  Sure enough, in erasing my line of ink, it went pretty smoothly…after a few quick and firm passes my line was now gone, just as advertised.  You can also see from the photo above, I did a test for the dry time, and as you can see, it takes quite a bit of time to dry on my Doane Paper Idea Pad.

Personally I don’t find much value in an erasable pen, however if this is something you need, the Pilot FriXion is a decent choice with its smooth writing and comfortable grip.

©2014, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Rhonda says:

    What made me HATE this pen is that if the ink gets hot, it disappears. I lost a couple weeks of journal writing and part of a fiction project because the notebooks were left in a car during Spring/Summer. I can’t afford that. EVER.

  2. 2
    Chris Davis says:

    I don’t like the American-made ones of these, but as you can see from my review of the Japanese version from JetPens (http://pensnpaper.com/2010/05/19/pilot-frixion-point-04-erasable-gel-pen-0-4mm/), they seem to be a lot better. The ink is still a little light for my taste though… :)

  3. 3
    Andrew says:

    Apparently the colour comes back at very low temperatures – so you could try putting the notebooks in the freezer overnight.
    If (like me) you are a ‘cap poster’, try using the end or side of the cap to erase the ink – seems to work very well.

  4. 4
    David Vo says:

    LOL at the Guy Fieri comment.

  5. 5

    @Rhonda – That is terrible, I think I remember reading your comment about that elsewhere now.

    @Chris Davis – Good review you have there, I just cant get past the watery looking ink, plus Im just not a fan at all of the graphics all over it. Different pens for different folks though. :)

    @Andrew – I did try that, but no luck. I put the paper itself in the freezer for a bit, and I also put the pen in the freezer, but nothing really changed the color or consistency of the ink. Quite honestly though, even if that did work, it would be a deal breaker for me if I needed to keep a pen at freezing temperatures for it to work for me. :) Good tip on using the cap to erase, Ill give that a shot, thank you.

    @David Vo – I wasnt sure if anyone would catch that. :) Glad it didnt go unnoticed. :)

  6. 6
    paperskater says:

    I think that Andrew meant that if Rhonda puts her notebooks in the freezer, her writing would come back, not putting your pen in the freezer to increase ink vibrancy.

  7. 7
    Donnie says:

    I bought a pack of these when they first came out, more out of curiosity. But I’d never use them for… well, anything. I want my journals to last as long as I do. Ditto my prose and poetry notebooks. The major reason I use gel pens is the permanence of the ink. To me, erasable gel ink is like buying waterproof shoes that have holes in them. ;)

  8. 8
    Stephanie says:

    I was never impressed with this pen. The lightness of the ink was a major factor and there was nothing else in this pen that could inspire me to use it over others in my collection. At best, I use the red one in the multi-pack I bought to make margin notes and drawing markups – so they could be erased if needed.

  9. 9
    Rachael says:

    Thank you for likening the design to a Guy Fieri nightmare. That almost made me shoot coffee out my nose.

    Also, I agree that this pen is mightily disappointing. The ink is so watery and bleary looking.

  10. 10

    @paperskater – you are right, I misread that, however the back of the package does also suggest putting the pen in the freezer to help it write better.

    @Donnie – very good comparison. :)

    @Stephanie – Well at least that is one good use for them so they arent a total waste.

    @Rachael – Glad that the coffee situation didnt get too bad, that could have been painful and messy. Also, I’m pretty sure that the Pilot FriXion wont erase coffee stains. :)

    @Daisy – Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it…also, I’m glad you are enjoying the reviews and thanks for the kind words.

  11. 11
    megsmom95 says:

    While I haven’t tried the “American version” of this pen, I am a frequent user of the Japanese version available at jetpens.com. I am not sure why this version isn’t available in the US, but it looks a little different, no flames on the side, and the pens are 0.4 point, which is what I need. I am a nurse practitioner and I collect patient data and record it on an excel spread sheet with very small boxes. The information changes through out the day, and I was tired of using white out. The erasability of these pens, and the super-fine point and vivid colors stand out against the black and white of the forms we write on. To answer the question about the cap tip creating enough friction to erase the gel ink, it does fade the ink, but is not nearly as efficient as the eraser on the end of the pen.
    As to the last question about heat making the ink disappear. Yes, exposing the ink to heat will make the ink go away. Exposing the ink to cold will make it come back. I hope this helps.

  12. 12
    Pj says:

    I just started using these pens, in black and blue, and never considered the ink colour to be watery. Perhaps Pilot addressed that, perhaps it just never struck me as not being dark enough. The ink doesn’t skip or blot although it does take a moment to dry, but the complete erasability more than makes up for that inconvenience. I suspect the eraser is on the end of the barrel because, were it on the end of the cap, enthusiastic erasing by a child might crack the cap. Sure the barrel art’s an ad, but the pen is easy to hold and isn’t too light. When I first bought the pens I saw something that warned about the ink disappearing if left in overheated cars, but it also said that lost writing can be retrieved by putting the paper in the freezer for a while. So yes, this isn’t a Fine Writing Instrument, it’s a two for $5 corner-store school supply. However, it is by far the finest erasable ink pen I have ever used. The erasing can be done completely without wearing away the paper, and without leaving smudge stains or semi-visible writing. I use these pens for field notes I know I’ll hand-off to someone else because I can erase and rewrite words that succumbed to my handwriting/scrawl.

  13. 13
    JMR says:

    To get the writing back just stick the work in a freezer for a bit….

  14. 14
    Help says:

    i can’t even find them i looked at office depot and nothing if someone out there found them tell me please i would like the whole color pack =(

  15. 15
    Kambiz says:

    I had a question… Does the inke dissapear over time??? In a regular temp?? Like after 2-3-6 months?? I really want to know that !!!

  16. 16
    Katy Delaplane says:

    Just an fyi, check out jetpens.com. They have a wide variety of the Pilot Frixion pens and highlighters as well as lots of other pens, etc. and at least Pilot Frixion pens are cheaper than the prices I’ve seen in stores. They offer free shipping on purchases of $25 or more and in my experience shipments generally arrive earlier than the quoted ETA.

  17. 17
    anonim says:

    The biggest problem with this Frixtion pensis is that they completely stop working if become untouched for several weeks (caped). And it’s even impossible to revert them to life, the tip become completely dried out and clogged.
    The 0.5 version, maybe 0.7 version at least possible to fix after painting the pen for some time (the 0.5 is completely dead most of the time).
    Have this problem with 5 or six pens already,
    And even after leaving them for few days need start a writing session with intense painting the pen – this is so annoying that i stop using them, yet at first i think that it is the best pen ever invented.
    And yes, the hot spilled coffee or tea is a problem for notes, but it’s really possible to return image if put notes in freezer – too bad, i lost many notes because i don’t know about this trick.

  18. 18
    anonim says:

    Also writing above the already erased places is not very good. It’s also annoying.

    By the way – a motorized eraser is the best accompanied accessories for this pen.

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