A.G. Spalding & Bros delivers yet another fine specimen with their hexagonal
ballpoint. Simple and timeless, yet also classy. Like their other offerings, it
is extremely comfortable without a dedicated "grip" and is evenly weighted. I've
had it for a year and dropped it multiple times but it still works like a charm;
however if it gets dented after many falls, the silver version (reviewed here)
looks like new whereas the blue variant (which I also own) gets silver dents
where the blue paint disappears. The combination of built-like-a-tank tough with
upscale appearance give me no choice but to award it five stars.
At first I was skeptical because I prefer heavier pens. However, I was quickly
convinced this pen is a keeper. Unlike other reviewers, I found it wrote smooth;
the ink never skips. The pen's shaft is a futuristic, somewhat sticky texture,
and easy to hold. The clip is sturdy but is only moderately stylish when on a
shirt pocket. The pen is a pleasure to twirl and has become my standard
household ballpoint pen. The "black" grip is actually an attractive shade of
dark grey; I gravitate to this colour as I find Zebra's other Espina offerings
too overtly feminine for my taste. While it took me a few weeks to get used to
the lighter weight, those who regularly use pens in the 0.50oz range should
really enjoy this one.
An outstanding pen. The grip, while not soft or gimmicky, doesn't slip. The red
(reviewed here) is bright and easy to see against black or blue text; the ink is
bright without being watery. The choice of 0.38mm nib size is outstanding for
those who tend to prefer fine text. Notice how wide the ink store is inside the
refill: coupled with the fine point, the ink in these pens lasts a long time.
Some reviewers complain of scratchiness; I tend to press hard when I write but I
find the tip of the UM-138 delivers firm, deliberate strokes without being too
scratchy. The ink never skips. I will continue to purchase these as my standard,
household gel ink pen.
The window feature of this highlighter is outstanding, particularly when
highlighting text where the line spacing is close. Good value for the money. The
only downside is that the shade of yellow is not as bright as that found in some