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.
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.
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 ($5 for 2 on Amazon) is a decent choice with its smooth writing and comfortable grip.
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