The Uni Woodnote has a body made of North American cedar that is the same width and shape of a wood pencil, together with a bright green cap the pen looks fantastic. The Woodnote uses a Uni Signo gel ink refill and can take refills from the Uni Style Fit Multi Pen System so there are a lot options.
Everything sounds great right? WRONG! This the only pen that I can think of that is actually painful to simply hold. You have to be careful where you grip the pen because there are sharp points where hexagon body meets a cylindrical plastic section. The cap is loose when the Woodnote is capped and posted; this creates an annoying rattle. Take the cap off and you can hear the refill rattling in the body as well. The Woodnote is not a heavy pen by any means at 5.5 grams but it is too heavy to feel like a wood pencil. The Uni Signo 0.38mm refill is good quality and writes well for such a small point but considering the Woodnote is painful to use and costs $4.60 you would have to really like the pencil shape and/or pain to have a use for this thing.
The Pilot Down Force is a pressurized ballpoint pen that is designed to write at any angle. I don’t have any need for a pressurized pen but I liked the loud yellow body so I bought it as an impulse buy. My favorite thing about this pen is the satisfying click it makes, apart from that and the bright yellow body I didn’t find much else to like. The plastic body is a bit too fat for my taste and the 0.7mm refill is okay, not as nice as what you find in a Pilot Acroball. The line is darker and sharper than a Fischer Space pen’s and it’s cheaper but at $8 its not cheaper than a Uni Power Tank. The Uni Power Tank is writes better, is pressurized and costs less than half the price of the Down Force. If you really enjoy clicking pens the Down Force might be worth a look but if you just want a nice pen don’t bother; this one’s crap.
Here is another review of the Pilot Down Force: (I have not affiliation to the site linked below)
The Pilot Ageless line comprises high quality pens with a patented two staged twist mechanism that completely retracts the pen tip. They come in two flavors: gel and ballpoint (the refills are not interchangeable). There are two barrel options that come in a variety of colors, the Future has a metal barrel with a silver grip section and the Presence has a plastic body with a translucent grey grip section.
The design of the pen is nice and clean and is great for pockets as the tip completely retracts; no more getting stabbed by your pen. I like the Carbon Grey body of the Future which looks and feels high quality. The clip is small but strong. The Future is nicely weighted without being too heavy.
The Ageless Gel is one of the smoothest gel pens I have used. The refills only come in fine 0.7mm with blue or black ink and they aren’t that cheap; a pack of 12 costs $37 (about $3 a refill). The fine 0.7mm line is on the fatter side and the ink doesn’t look that sharp but I do enjoy writing with this pen and I can’t say that about many gel pens. The pen comes in a white tube which works as a storage box as well as a pen stand. The Pilot Ageless Future Gel makes a really nice gift for someone who wants a great everyday pen.
While I already wrote a review on Zebra Arbez EO, the Piitro was actually the first pen in the Arbez line. The Zebra Arbez Piitro was designed by a young Finnish designer to look like a icepick. The pens come in lightweight white or black plastic bodies with black, blue, or red ink. The ballpoint seems to be the same crappy one you get in the EO. This pen is more about the design (which I like much better than the Arbez EO) than the writing performance. The Piitro is different without looking like something made by Fisher-Price as the EO does. This pen features a nice twist mechanism and a plastic clip that is integrated into the main barrel section. There is a seam that goes right down the middle of the pen which is unfortunate and the top of the pen has some extra plastic but for $1.65 it’s not the end of the world.
Here are some great reviews of the Zebra Arbez Piitro:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
The Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen 0.7 mm has an unusual body that is inspired by various modes of transport in London. The Arbez series from Zebra (arbreZ…the name is Zebra spelled backwards) is the company’s designer series which features pens designed by winners of a competition aimed at young new designers.
The body of the pen has a toy-like look to it and has a weird half oval shape (one size is flat and the rest of the pen is rounded; think of an elongated “D”) which has been suggested is to resemble a Tube tunnel. I have a normal grip but I generally don’t care pens that dictate how I should hold them. Based on the design of the pen and where the branding is, this pen should be held with your index finger resting on the flat portion of the barrel. I don’t find the barrel to be uncomfortable but I don’t want to waste brain cycles thinking about how to hold a ballpoint pen.
The ballpoint writes smoothly but is not as nice as some other less expensive ballpoints like the Pilot Acroball. Also I don’t like that this pen has a cap. Ballpoints don’t need a cap and I would prefer not to deal with one if I don’t have to.
If you love the design or simply want a conversation piece then it may be worth shelling out the $3.30 the Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint.
Here are a couple other reviews of the Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen: