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February 27, 2014
A joy to use. If this...
A joy to use. If this pen had been available in the 1930s, the ballpoint would never have been invented. It writes so smoothly, you'd think you were writing on wet glass. I measured the line width (on Rhodia paper) using a pocket microscope, and it's 0.22mm. This puts it in the same league as the finest rollerballs, like the Slicci or the Hi-Tec C. It never skips, and yet I can rest it point down on a piece of paper and no ink blob forms. It has only happened twice that the nib dried out overnight, and all I had to do was touch it to a wet paper towel to get it going.
The only negatives are that the pen looks cheap (although it is actually fairly sturdy), it has no pocket clip, and that the grip keeps my fingers a little too far from the point for my liking. But those are minor quibbles compared to how well it performs. For eight bucks, it's a steal.
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November 12, 2013
I wanted a smooth-writing...
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 have.
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 in second.
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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