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October 8, 2013
This is NOT like a Rapidograph...
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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