Uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball 0.5


Alongside the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5, I really wanted to try out another rollerball style pen, as I usually don’t write with one as much as I used to. Ever since my Morning Glory Mach 3 ran out of ink, I’ve been hesitant to get another rollerball. While I can appreciate the feeling of the ball gliding across the page, it just didn’t give me a sense of feedback at all.


I have slowly noticed an actual change in my tastes for what I look for in a writing experience and it is something that struck me as surprising. For the longest time, I was all about the smoothness of the nib and as minimal feedback as possible, but now, I find myself desiring a little feedback and finding some sort of appreciation for what it brings to my writing experience. Maybe I can chalk this up to my character maturing and being able to appreciate different things instead of restricting myself. Only time will tel I guess. Anyway, back to the review


Needless to say when I first wrote with the Vision Elite, my conceptions on how a rollerball is “supposed” to feel were thrown out the window. Due to using the Uni-ball Signo for the longest time, I’ve gotten used to the slightly scratchy but pleasant sensation of writing with it. It gave me a perceived sense of precision and consistency that the Morning Glory simply couldn’t because of the way it would sometimes deposit extra ink onto the page causing variations in line width. The Vision Elite seems to be a strong middle ground in between the two. Smooth enough at varying angles due to the rollerball and having just the right amount of feedback that almost made me mistake it for a gel pen.


The grip section is very well designed and the diamond-shaped groove pattern provides a decent amount of purchase while not cutting into you fingers. Initially, I had problems adjusting to how thin the section was in relation to the rest of the pen and my extra string grip led me to feel uncomfortable and my hand started cramping. It took a couple of days to really find the right grip strength and placement that allowed me to comfortably use the Vision Elite. Once I found that specific combination, my writing experience improved by leaps and bounds.


While I haven’t been able to test it, the pen is supposed to be airplane safe with a “protective reservoir inside the barrel that prevents air from expanding in the ink tube” (excerpt from JetPens description). Since I’m taking a couple of summer courses, I won’t be able to test this out until late July, but when I do, I’ll definitely come back and update the review with my thoughts.

I’m very happy with my decision to get the Uni-ball Vision Elite as it is a pen that provides a great middle road to choosing between a gel pen and a rollerball. The consistency of the line as well as the ink make a great pairing and absolutely catapults this pen to the top of my Top 5 Rollerball Pens list. The Vision Elite has very quickly grown to be my most reached for pen when it comes to both note-taking and writing in general. I highly recommend this to everyone who likes using gel pens or rollerballs as the Vision Elite allows you to experience the best of both worlds.


P. S. I know I’ve been releasing a little slowly, schoolwork is ramping up and I’ve been inundated with numerous projects to keep track of and exams to study for. I’m in the final stretch, so I’m almost done. Expect maybe one more review tomorrow to cover for the first half of April, but after that, I won’t be able to post until the semester ends on May 4. I’ll take a week break to rest up and refocus for summer, then I’ll post 2 reviews for the second half of April and the first half of May. Thanks so much for your patience and support guys, it really means a lot to me. Wish me luck for finals! 🙂


Ohto Fude Ball 1.5


I really wanted to try a more unique pen as I was getting bored with the standard 0.4mm and 0.7mm rollerballs that I have reviewed in the past. I saw the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5 in my recommended list of products when I was purchasing some notebooks and pens to review on JetPens. It struck me as slightly odd due to how big the line width was. Usually, the size of 1.5mm is something I’ve only experienced on my Lamy Safari with the 1.5 calligraphy nib. Having that same size in rollerball was something that sounded really odd and not my taste, but sometimes, to find something you like, you need to first get out of your comfort zone.


I can say with certainty that this was a hit and miss for me. I tend to write a little on the smaller side, which has been a characteristic of my writing since childhood. This pen forced me to write larger than I was comfortable with and hence, my letters were all out of sorts and crooked as can be seen in the written review above. There was no grip on the pen which made it very easily shift around my hand, causing the line width to vary sometimes from letter to letter. It took me a while to get a solid straight grip that didn’t vary in angle, but it was difficult to maintain for a long writing session. The ink was a little finicky and feathered on most of the papers I had which made it difficult to take notes in class.


Some of the positives that come with the rollerball being this wide is the amount of pressure you have to put when writing is nearly negligible and the pen can easily slide across the page without effort. The problem with this is that it makes it difficult to keep a steady angle of writing. The pen itself is really lightweight and slightly translucent so you can keep track of how much ink is left. With a 1.5mm line width, I’d expect the level will go down quite quickly.


Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea, but I’m honestly happy I tried something different. The monotony of reviewing pens with the same characteristics can really get to you, so it was nice to switch things up for once. Although it didn’t work out for me, if you’re looking for an extra wide rollerball with a lot of line variation, this is one pen you can definitely give a try.

Pilot Mutli Ball Rollerball

100th post! Yay! New milestone. Onwards to 250. 🙂


I was recommended the Pilot Multi Ball Liquid Ink pen by a friend and I simply got it just to give it a try. Little did I know, I would find such as amazing pen in the process. The Multi Ball is a liquid ink rollerball pen that has a fine tip. The writing experience is reminiscent of the Retro 51 but it has one very important difference, the size of the tip is absolutely perfect for me. The grip, while a little thin, is well designed with small circular indents to helps when I choke up my grip to try to gain maximum control. I tend to post most of my pens, but on the Multi Ball, the clip tended to dig in to my hand, so I just decided to not post. This was fine as the long body of the pen allowed for comfortable use without needing to post. Overall, I’m very happy with my decision to try this pen out. Go try the Pilot Multi Ball out and you’ll be surprised by the way it handles in comparison to the Retro 51 and for those looking for a thinner rollerball, give this a try.

Pilot Precise V5

If someone asked me the question: What pen can I get at a department store that’s good?, I would immediately point them to the Pilot Precise V5. If I had to select one widely available pen that anyone can walk into a Staples and purchase, hands-down, this would be my ultimate choice.

Simple in its construction, the V5 is one of the first “expensive” pens that allowed me to discover the rabbit hole. It wasn’t until much later that I got to try it out again, only to be put off due to me embracing micro tip gel pens at the time. After I renewed my opinion towards rollerballs after trying out the Morning Glory Mach 3, I decided that it was time to try the V5 out again and give my opinion about this amazing and highly available pen from Pilot.



The first thing that many will notice is the clip as it is slightly thinner than most of the other clips I’ve seen on pens of a similar nature. The metal is highly bendable and can potentially warp out of shape should enough stress be put into it, my problem is with exactly how much was needed before it warped in my pocket. Just the simple action of bending down to lift a heavy box caused the clip to bend too far. Fortunately, being thin also means that it was easy to readjust and tighten up a bit. However, this is one of the drawbacks that prevent this from truly becoming my go to pocket pen.


The body is made of a durable plastic that can honestly take a lot of damage. I’ve dropped these on quite a number of surfaces and the pen’s held up with just a couple of nicks and scratches here and there. It was never damaged to the point that it affected the performance.


The grip is one of the things I initially loved about this pen. At the time it was a total trip for me to able to see the feed of a pen. As time went on, I spoiled myself with the sublime grips on Pentel pens and this caused a change in opinion. This pen no longer fits my standards for grip. While I do have harsh standards that I judge every pen by, I also look at the price and whether it was expected at the price range. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for jotting down quick notes, but for someone like me who has sweaty hands, as I have no doubt mentioned time and time again, the grip does little to secure my fingers. It’s just a standard piece of clear plastic that is smooth on all sides, no etching or surfaces meant to help with grip. It was the perfect pen for taking notes in class as most of my classes were only 50 minutes long. I found that during Tuesdays and Wednesdays, where the class period was elongated to 1 hour and 50 minutes, writing with it became a bit of a hassle.


The nib is one of the few things that draws me back to this pen after all this time. I still remember the first day of high school where I used this pen in all my classes and watched as the black luster of the ink dried slowly on the pages of my notebook. It was a wondrous feeling that gave me no small sense of satisfaction to watch. to the me back then, it was almost a magical effect. The lines were consistent, crisp and dark. I have yet to find a more widely available and cheaper pen that performs as well as the V5.


In short, this is a starter pen of sorts. A durable, lightweight pen that can take a lot of damage while at the same time laying down clean and crisp line while gliding across the page. It’s available in both 0.5 and 0.7mm configurations and is definitely worth the price. So next time you’re in your local department store, don’t hesitate to head on over to the stationary aisle and grab a pack of these. I highly recommend you guys to try it out. Comment below on your experience with the V5. Until then, write on, my friends.


Morning Glory Mach 3 Rollerball 0.38mm

I just noticed that Tuesday’s review wasn’t posted for some reason. I assume it was a problem with the scheduling. I apologize for that. Here you go.


Going along with my new acceptance of rollerballs, and wanting a finer option for my Retro 51, I bought this pen on the recommendation of one Mr. Brad Dowdy as one of his top 5 liquid ink pens. After testing this for a couple months, I have to say it definitely deserves a place on that list. For merely $2.00, this pen lays down a smooth and consistent line, the cap posts snugly, the body has a nice heft to it, the grip is functional and the ink window is convenient. For a pen that provides so much value for it’s price, I’m perplexed at how it’s not more popular.


Retro 51 Matte Black

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Wow. That’s all I could say when packaging to the Retro 51. After hemming and hawing for 5 months, I finally pulled the trigger on the Deluxe Matte Black Edition. I proceeded to add it into my school pen rotation for the following month, and I’m happy to report it is now earned a permanent place there. This month with the Retro 51 was enlightening, to say the least. I was always rather biased against rollerballs and how they wrote, due to a horrible experience with one a few years back. It felt near impossible to write with, and I was turned away from rollerballs for the longest time. After all this time, all the reviews and recommendations from fellow pen addicts including my idol Mr. Brad Dowdy himself, I finally decided to pull the trigger on one. Now I’m asking myself why I didn’t do it earlier.


The first impression anyone will get from the Retro 51 is how gorgeous it is. The problem with matte furniture on any pen is the risk of scratching. One scratch can absolutely ruin the aesthetics. While some tend to embrace them as badges of honor, I find myself thinking that I have ruined a perfect work of art. After a couple of accidents, I found that the finish is almost bulletproof. I dropped it on carpeting, wood, concrete, tile and other surfaces (I can be very clumsy). It still came out smiling and after a quick wipe with my finger, it returned to being as immaculate as when it first arrived.


Now on to the most important topic that I wanted to talk about. The writing experience was enlightening, as I mentioned before. Why? In a few words: I found rollerballs actually gel pretty nicely with my writing style. Now this came as a huge surprise to me, and I found myself thinking why. Since the time I wrote with that old rollerball, my writing style has drastically evolved. What was an absolute mess to use back then, is pretty comfortable and nice to use now. The refill provided is the Retro branded Schmidt P8127, a 0.7mm rollerball refill. I found the ink flow to be smooth and consistent straight out of the box, and there were virtually no problems to be seen. While I really like this refill, I find myself wanting one slightly smaller than this size. Through a little digging, I found that Schmidt has a another refill, the P8126, which can be used with all Retro 51 pens. After viewing the review put out by Mr. Brad Dowdy, I was drawn towards it. Maybe after I finish the current one (which will be soon at this rate), I will opt for the P8126.


The knock, which is a trademark of the Retro 51 model lineup looks stunning in black. I initially expected the Retro 51 to be a click pen, but after a bit of research it turned out to be a twist pen. I feel the knock really comes in handy for getting a good grip to twist out the nib. While adding to the overall aesthetic, it manages to be functional as well, which is a difficult balancing act to pull off.

All in all, I am very happy with my decision, and with how solidly this pen is built, I expect it to last a long time. I look forward to adding a couple more to my burgeoning collection.