This is NOT like a Rapidograph...
October 8, 2013
This is NOT like a Rapidograph pen. The Jetpens description (both on the item
itself and in the "Graphic Drawing Pens" blog article) is, in my opinion,
misleading. This is not a technical pen, it's a rollerball with pigment ink.
If that's all you're looking for, great.
If you aren't familiar with technical pens, Wikipedia has a good article, but in
essence you have a needle in a shaft fed by a reservoir. The diameter of the
shaft determines the width of the line, and the needle inside regulates ink
flow. They require a different technique for use from traditional pens and
pencils, as the tip (particularly on thinner gauge pens) has a tendency to dig
into and/or cut paper if they are pushed rather than pulled. If you want to
write, sketch, or otherwise futz about, you don't want a technical pen; they're
precision tools for precision work.
The term "needle point" has expanded to describe rollerballs on the end of a
cylinder a la the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, differentiating them from rollerballs at the
top of a cone, a la the Uni Signo, and that seems to be the source of the
confusion here. This pen functions similarly to a Precise V5, Hi-Tec-C, Slicci,
etc. It is much smoother than a technical pen... and also much less precise. It
tends to be slightly gloppy at the start of a line. If you're an artist or a
writer, you might never notice. If you're an architect or a drafter, or anyone
who demands a consistent line, it's unacceptable. It most certainly would've
affected my grades back in school.
So much for what this pen is not... what it IS, is a good, thin rollerball with
pigment ink. I hope this means archival ink... the barrel states that it is
water proof and fade proof, but it doesn't say anything about its pH level. At
least, not in English -- I can't read the Japanese! I bought a pair of them, and
they both write well, with no skipping or trouble starting. For anything but
precise production work, it's a darn fine pen.
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