I was recently contacted by our friends over at OfficeMax in regards to their new and improved line up of TUL Pens. In addition to sending over one set of the new TUL pens for review purposes, they were also generous enough to send an additional set over to give away to one of our lucky readers a little bit later this week.
The new TUL pens lineup from OfficeMax includes a gel ink version, a rollerball version, a ballpoint, and a fiber tip marker version. Out of the group I’d have to say that the fiber tip marker version was far and away my favorite in terms of writing performance and comfort. In order I’d say that the rollerball, gel, and ballpoint followed as my next favorites in the group.
Gel ink version - The retractable Gel ink TUL pen has what I would consider a much longer than normal grip section, which is definitely makes for a comfortable writing experience. The tip or cone is pretty short and stubby, which doesn’t impact the writing experience for me, but it does make it a little bit challenging to open up and replace the ink cartridge. Writing with it went very well, there was no skipping or mess, and only some very minor points where the pen laid down a line that was actually slightly thinner than the rest of the writing.
Rollerball version - The rollerball TUL pen has a high gloss black body with a clear cap, and the cap posts very deep onto the tapered back of the pen body. The rubber grip is really quite comfortable and has some pretty good sized golf ball – like dimples in it. The writing performance was respectable with a smooth bold line, and no skipping or other oddities at all. The only curious part about this pen though was the claim that it is a fast drying pen. My own performance tests showed quite the opposite using some pretty nice Clairefontaine paper. But if the dry time doesn’t matter to you, this is an excellent pen.
Ballpoint - Although I’m not a fan of ballpoint pens, I can say that for the most part, the medium tip TUL ballpoint performed pretty well. The ink was smooth and not at all gloppy, which can be an issue with some ballpoints. It has a shorter grip section than the similarly designed gel ink version of the TUL pen, and the same small cone on the tip. One minor nuisance I found was that there is a very tiny rattle when writing because the tip hits the inside of the cone each time the pen hits the paper. I notice this with a lot of ballpoints and it always bugs me but it is something I’m super sensitive to so its probably not a bother for most.
Fiber tip marker version - Lastly, the fiber tip marker was an absolute pleasure to write with. It is very similar to the incredibly popular Sharpie pen in the sense that it has a fine porous tip and writes more like a marker than a pen, minus any bleed-through you might get from a marker. Visually and physically, the TUL fiber tip marker has a much thicker body and grip than the Sharpie Pen which I personally prefer. the grip is the same as the one on the rollerball version with a nice rubbery feel and deep dimples. I think sometime soon I will need to do a head to head comparison with the Sharpie Pen.
For some alternative views on the TUL pen check out Brad’s recent review, nice to see that it looks like he is back on his normal posting schedule after a short hiatus.
Again, big thanks to the fine folks at OfficeMax for sending over the TUL Pen samples for review.