Retro 51 Tornado Deluxe Bamboo Rollerball Pen

Retro 51 Tornado Bamboo Rollerball Pen

The Retro 51 Tornado Bamboo Rollerball Pen

The Retro 51 Tornado has been around for quite a while, and for the most part I’ve never felt all too compelled to buy one to try out.  Recently that changed when I saw the absolutely fantastic looking Bamboo Tornado by Retro 51 that you see pictured above.

Retro 51 Bamboo Knurled Knob and Clip

Retro 51 Bamboo Knurled Knob and Clip

As you can tell from the two photos, the Bamboo version of the Retro 51 Tornado (Purchased from Goldspot) is made of mostly bamboo, and has some very nice brushed metal accents including the tip, clip, and knurled top that twists to reveal the point of the pen.  A close look at either of the pictures shows the incredibly nice detail of both the metal and bamboo portions of the pen.  The bamboo has deep and contrasting colors of grain running through it, while the metal accents also have their own dark and light alternating slivers of color.  Each of these portions of the body give it a very deep and luxurious look, and I think the contrast of the bamboo on metal is also very visually appealing.

In addition to looking really nice, this version of the Retro 51 Tornado also does good for the environment in two ways.  First, the fact that it is made from bamboo, a renewable resource, it helps to reduce the amount of plastic or other not as quickly renewable resources are used.  Additionally, for every pen sold, enough money is donated to the Arbor Day Foundation to rescue 250 square feet of rain forest and the habitat that it protects.  That is a lot of “feel-goodness” packed into the moderately sized 5″ rollerball pen.

Retro 51 Bamboo Panda

The Panda Engraved into the Back of the Bamboo Retro 51 Tornado

A cute little detail on the back of this Retro 51 Bamboo Tornado opposite of the clip is the little panda head gnawing on a bamboo stalk that is engraved into the body of the pen.  I guess this is a nice reminder of the furry wildlife and bushy plants that you are helping with your purchase of this pen.  The larger version of this picture also gives you another good view of the nice depth and color of the grain in the metal and the bamboo of the Retro 51 Tornado.

Retro 51 Bamboo Pen Writing Sample

Retro 51 Bamboo Pen Writing Sample in Doane Paper Idea Journal

Obviously you can tell at this point that I am pretty enamored by the looks of this Retro 51 Tornado, but the truly important part of any pen is how it writes.  The pen measures about 5″ long, so it is kind of a medium-sized pen, and it fits very nicely into your hand as opposed to some smaller pens that seem to get lost in your grip.  The overall weight and balance of the pen are excellent, and in that sense makes it feel like a larger pen while writing with it.  The rollerball refill that this pen comes with writes very smoothly, and I didn’t notice any skipping or splotching in my time writing with it.  I’ve really enjoyed writing with this pen over the last few weeks, and although I usually prefer my fountain pens, I will definitely be finding reasons to pick up this pen any chance that I get.  Again, I purchased this version with a slight discount from my friends at Goldspot, so head on over there if you are interested in this awesome little pen.  Keep in mind that Retro 51 also offers an entire line of the Tornado in various colors and materials that you can also find at Goldspot or your favorite pen retailer, so take a lesson from me if you have been ignoring this line from Retro 51 and go check one out for yourself.

©2014, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Economy Pens says:

    I tried a few of these Retro 51 pens at a local art supply store, and I was very impressed with the look, feel, and performance. If I were going to spend my money on a nice rollerball, these would certainly be on my short list. It was nice to see you review one.

  2. 2
    David says:

    $40 ea. seems a bit steep for this pen IMHO. The carbon “footprint” associated with the average American or European earning $40 may easily offset any “green” advantage being marketed here – depending on how long you own and use this pen in lieu of other pens of-course. I’d like to see an objective analysis of just how “green” this pen is over time; with/without the undisclosed contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation. BTW it seems to take Parker-type refills.

  3. 3

    [...] Retro 51 Tornado Deluxe Bamboo Rollerball Pen – Office Supply Geek [...]

  4. 4

    I believe that this is the one Tornado “normal size” that they ship with a ballpoint. I believe it’s a Retro 51 branded EasyFlow 9000 by Schmidt. Looking at your sample I think that this is also apparent, the ink doesn’t have the saturated black of the REF5P “another R51 branded Schmidt” Rollerball.

    Whatever the case you liked it so that’s all that matters!

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