Up until now I have been carrying my larger and more expensive pens in single pen pouches. I would carry two to three pouches at a time which was cumbersome; I finally broke down and bought a Pelikan 3 pen pouch. I have been using a Pelikan Fine Leather Black Triple Pen Pouch every day for about a month now and I quite like it. I spent a good amount of time looking for a quality case that really protects pens. I had originally wanted a Montblanc pen pouch but after looking at it, I knew that it wasn’t right. The main issue I found with the Montblanc case (apart from the $180 price tag) was the fact that the dividers stopped about halfway down the case; this in my opinion is a design flaw that would allow the bottom of the pens to knock into each other. So after doing a bit more research I found that the Pelikan case would accommodate larger pens and had dividers that run the length of the case.
The Pelikan pouch is made out of a soft leather (softer than the Montblanc case) and comes in black with a green strap or black with a black strap. Each case has the Pelikan logo embossed on the strap. The leather is of good quality, however, it is not as nice as the leather Montblanc uses but for $35 the Pelikan case is of excellent quality. I don’t know where the case is made but I cannot find any flaws in its construction; every thing is cleanly cut and sewn. It’s clear that this case was carefully made. The interior of the flap is leather and the inside of the case seems to be some sort of felt sort of felt.
Compared to the Montblanc case pens do fit a bit more snugly. I can easily fit my Montblanc 149, 146, and Aurora Optima into the case but it is a tight fit. If you want to fit three 149s the Pelikan case is not for you. Also the top of the pens that the flap covers are not protected much on the side. I carry my case in a backpack or briefcase without issue.
Overall I am really satisfied with this case and highly recommend it.
The Uni-Ball Vision RT is a retractable roller ball pen. Uni states that this pen has “triple protection against ink leakage” and is airplane safe. I am not certain what consists of triple protection but it sounds nice. The fine point retracts when you pull on the clip making it a safe for pockets. I quite like the design of this pen; someone clearly put thought into it.
In the writing sample I incorrectly state that the pen is not refillable; it is in fact refillable.
On to the bad…
When I first used this pen I thought it was a ballpoint because the pen wrote so dryly. “Roller ball” usually means liquid ink but Vision RT feels pasty like an oil based ink. The lines as you can see in the image above are not clean. This is easily the worst writing roller ball I have come across. At a dollar I would say it’s passable but $2.00 is too much for this level of performance. Uni usually makes excellent product but the Uni-Ball Vision RT is a rare miss.
Here are some reviews of the Uni-Ball Vision RT Roller Ball:
(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.
When I think of Stabilo I don’t think of great pens, I think of highlighters, as that is what they are most famous for. I have never been a fan of their pens but the Bionic Worker is the first that I would actually buy again.
The Bionic Worker is an unusual rollerball pen with a rubberized orange body. Stabilo labels this pen a 0.5mm but it’s definitely much wider than that; it seems like a 1.0mm to me. The rollerball is ultra smooth (as you would expect a 1.0mm tip to be) and the ink is nice and dark. Stabilo calls the nickle silver tip indestructible. I really like the details on this pen. There is a little knob on the side of the body that keeps the pen from rolling off the desk. The cap closes and posts flush with the body and there are three little portholes on each side of the pen that allow you to view the feed and ink level. The metal clip features the Stabilo swan and feels sturdy.
The Bionic Worker comes in black, blue, red and green ink with “0.5mm” and “0.3mm” tip sizes. This pen is not refillable which is too bad because it is expensive at $3.85. Next time I am going to buy the 0.3mm tip as I suspect that will be a bit closer to a true medium.
Here are some great reviews of the Stabilo Bionic Worker:
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.
I have been using a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner since my school days and it is still one of my favorite fineliners. The Triplus fineliner comes in 30 different colors and features a long thin triangle-shaped barrel with a metal encased tip. The tip is on the softer side but manages to still feel precise and ultra smooth. The Triplus fineliner puts down a very clean and crisp line that Staedtler measures at 0.3mm. I enjoy writing with this pen but others may find the line too wide. By changing pressure you can get some line variation.
The Triplus fineliner also features “DRY SAFE” technology that allows the pen to be uncapped for days without drying out. I haven’t tested this claim beyond 30 minutes but others have and attest that the Triplus wont dry out after a few days of being uncapped. It is worth noting that the ink is neither archival nor waterproof.
For a pen of this type, the Staedtler Triplus fineliner lasts a long time and at $1.30 a piece you can’t go wrong. Also if you buy these pens in a set the box turns into a pen stand which is awesome.
Here are some great reviews of the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner: