Back in April I was going to do a review of the Pentel Tradio, but I misplaced it and then the next day The Pen Addict did his review so I didnt want to double up and go back to back so I put the pen aside for a rainy day. With a rain delay holding up the start of the Yankee game, I figured this would be my “rainy day” although Im in NJ and the game is being played in Chicago. 🙂 I picked this up from Writers Bloc for $8, and as a full disclosure, there was no special discount or consideration given to me for the review.
Before you even remove the cap from the Tradio, you notice the small window at the top of the pen that allows you to see the unique point on this pen. The little window is clear and appears on both sides of the cap, and is a nice little touch on the almost entirely black body. The “Tradio” logo is also spelled out on the cap in a light gray, which I think is nice instead of a stark white on black look.
Once you remove the cap from the Tradio, you can see the unique shape and make up of the tip that we were just peering at through the window on the cap. Its kind of a half diamond shape tip that is made of a bock of felt, similar to a highlighter tip, but much thinner. The section of the pen that holds the felt tip also serves as an indicator of the color of ink, which is important since it is your only indicator and the ink is refillable.
So speaking of the refillable nature of this pen, the above photo shows each of the three components: cap, cartridge, and body. The cartridge which I mentioned comes in red, blue, and black is simple and quick to change and can be changed pretty quickly by twisting it in or out. For a better picture of the refills, you can see them on the Writers Bloc site here.
With all of the description about the pen itself out of the way, lets take a look at the writing sample above. The pen itself is very comfortable in the hand and it is fairly light for a pen of this thickness. Once you start to put pen to paper you can really pick up on the unique way that this pen writes. The felt nib has a bit of a flex to it, and that in combination with the chiseled shape of the nib, you can get position the pen and use different degrees of pressure to get lines of varying thickness. As with most felt tip pens, this one does show a significant bit of bleed through so I wouldn’t suggest writing on both sides of a page with it, but the bright vivid blue color of the ink is pretty nice.
If you take a close look at the writing sample you can see one of the things about this pen that was kind of a surprise to me, which is that it creates a bit of spray on the paper. I think I was able to isolate the reason for this spray of ink, but in order to avoid it completely I have to slow down my natural writing speed and focus intently on holding the pen in a way that doesn’t give that “against the grain” feeling. This pen wouldn’t work well for me for taking notes, but in terms of using it for sketching or writing something short like labels on tabs I think it would be fine. Not a bad pen, not a great pen, but I think that it definitely has its place if you have a specific writing or office task in mind.