I wanted a smooth-writing...
November 12, 2013
I wanted a smooth-writing pen that writes with a very fine line. Not knowing
what to choose, I bought a Pilot Hi-Tech-C 0.25mm, a Pentel Slicci 0.25mm, a
Uniball Signo 0.28mm, and the Uniball Jetstream 0.38mm, all with black ink. The
Jetstream was really an afterthought - I expected the gel pens to be superior to
a lowly ballpoint. And how fine could a 0.38mm ball write, anyway? Boy, was I
wrong on both counts.
To test the pens, I wrote several pages with each one on two kinds of paper.
The Hi-Tech-C clearly wrote the finest line; so fine that it wasn't comfortable
to read my writing - too faint. The Slicci and (surprise) the Jetstream were
tied for second place as far as thinness goes. The Signo was easily the
thickest of the four.
The Signo, the Hi-Tech-C, and the Slicci were very smooth but offered
resistance, like moving a canoe paddle through water. The Slicci was best in
that regard, the Signo the worst. The resistance of the Signo and Hi-Tech-C was
so great that I can't see myself writing with them very much; it would be too
tiring. (Note that those pens probably write with much less resistance if you
choose a larger ball diameter.) The Jetstream, on the other hand, moved across
the page with no resistance, but had just a tiny bit of that "ballpoint feel".
You probably know what I mean, some kind of tactile feedback that gel pens don't
As far as comfort goes, the Signo and Jetstream were easily the best and the
Slicci was the worst. The Slicci and the Hi-Tech-C are just sooo thin and
slippery that they are uncomfortable to hold, and I got tired of squeezing them
to keep them from slipping out of my hand.
Skipping was really not a problem with any of the pens, although the Hi-Tech-C
and Jetstream did skip just a tiny bit once in a great while, with the Hi-Tech-C
worse than the Jetstream.
The Jetstream ink, being a ballpoint, dries much faster than the gel pens,
pretty much instantly.
All things considered, the Jetsteam was the clear winner, with the Slicci coming
Finally, and best of all, you can buy the fantasticly comfortable Jetstream
Alpha Gel 0.7mm pen and replace the guts with a Jetstream 0.38mm refill, giving
you what I think is the all-around best pen on the market. I didn't notice any
better pen bodies available for the Slicci, but if there were one, I would rate
the Slicci a close second.
Hope that helps.
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