The Pilot Precise P-700 has been one of my favorite hybrid gel roller balls for quite a while now. The benefit of a hybrid gel roller ball is a smooth writing experience with a low resistance liquid ink, making it a great pen for writing in cursive. The line is clean and smooth and the ink is ultra fast drying making it a great pen for lefties. The ink is permanent and unfortunately the pen is not refillable.
The Precise is an old pen and to my knowledge the design has never been updated and as a result it doesn’t really look like many other pens on the market. The body has a marbled appearance that to me looks like clouds. The ribbed grip is comfortable but not soft. I haven’t been a fan of the looks of this pen in the past and my opinion hasn’t changed; it’s ugly.
The Pilot Precise comes in two widths 0.7mm (P-700) and 0.5mm (P-500) and five colors, black, blue, red, green, and purple. At $2.42 it’s quite affordable and if the looks don’t bother you I highly recommend it.
Here are some great reviews of the Pilot Precise P-700 / P-500:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
The Uni-Ball Signo Impact RT 207 is a retractable gel ink pen with a bold 1.0mm tip. I have been writing with this pen for a day now and line width is too wide for me and I don’t have small handwriting. The ink really flows out of this pen creating an ultra smooth writing experience. It’s actually a fun pen to write with even though I wouldn’t use it for work. The ink drys very quickly which is surprising for a gel ink pen with such a bold line. The design isn’t overly cohesive; it has a silver barrel with a black rubberized grip, a translucent click button with blue plastic inside, and a metal tip. It’s almost as if this pen with made from Uni’s spare parts bin.
I don’t have a use for this pen and it is a bit ugly but I do find it fun to use. I am not sure I would recommend this pen. The quality like all the pens in Uni’s Signo line is great but unless you need a really bold line you would likely be happier with a narrower Signo.
The Yasutomo Y&C Gel Stylist is an ugly and cheap refillable gel pen. The rubber gel grip is short on one side and long on the other, ending at a bump that prevents the pen from rolling on a flat surface. There are two big ugly seams that run the length of the pen. The chromed plastic tip unscrews allowing you to change out the refill. I found an unusually amount of resistance on the paper with this pen which made it hard to write in my messy cursive-esque hand. The ink like most gel inks is bright and vibrant. At $1.30 there are a lot better gel pens out there like the Pentel EngerGel X and the Sakura Gelly Roll.
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 Itoya Paper Skater is one of my favorite non-fountain pens. It features a low resistance gel ink rollerball refill in a simple plastic body. The Paper Skater glides across the paper effortlessly and lays down a bold deep black line. The plastic body is very clean and dignified without any ugly logos or barcodes. The cap has a satisfying click and features Itoya’s signature elliptical clip. The Paper Skater comes with a blue, black or white body a black 0.7mm refill. I incorrectly stated in the written review that you can only get black refills; you can actually get blue, purple, green, and red; you just have to purchase them separately. Also, you can fit the 1.0mm and 0.7mm Itoya AquaRoller refill in the Paper Skater. If you don’t mind a thicker line I highly recommend the Paper Skater; it is a pleasure to use.
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.