The Copic Multiliner SP is a drawing pen similar to the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner and the Sakura Pigma Micron. What makes the Multiliner special is that it has replaceable nibs and ink. The Multiliner comes in 10 nib sizes and 13 colors (including black). It is worth noting that the black pen comes in all 10 nib sizes whiles the color Multiliners come in two. The color refills fit in the black pen so if you want a specific nib size you might be better off buying a black one and a color ink cartridge.
The pen writes really well. The 0.35mm tip glides nicely across the paper and lays down a crisp black line. The tip does have some give but is not as soft as other fineliner type drawing pens.
The body is aluminum and while it feels nice it has too much writing on the barrel for my taste. This pen was designed to be a tool and serves its purpose well. The pigment ink is waterproof. The Copic Multiliner retails for $9.20 and the ink refills cost $2.30; it’s not cheap (the refills are almost two times the price of the Staedtler) but the high quality writing experience is easily worth it. I was surprised by how much I like this pen. I prefer Multiliner to my now former favorite the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.
Here are some reviews of the Copic Multiliner:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
J. Herbin is the oldest ink manufacturer in the world and was established in 1670. The J. Herbin roller ball is special because it is designed to use fountain pen ink. It takes short standard international cartridges which gives you a very wide variety of inks to choose from. I have been able to fit a Monteverde mini ink converter and now the ink possibilities are endless.
When I received the pen the first thing I noticed was that it was quite small at 4.5″ capped and about 5.5″ posted. The translucent demonstrator body is decently made. If you look closely you can see some seams but you cannot feel them. The metal clip feels pretty sturdy. I don’t like the “J. HERBIN” in red along the cap; I would have preferred something more subtle. There are three little holes on the bottom of the body so this pen could not be used as an eyedropper. The cap snaps on to the body to close and posts securely. Due to the small size of the pen, some people will need to post the cap to use this pen comfortably.
I filled the pen with Diamine Turquoise and the roller ball wrote quite well. Nice clean lines no skipping or any other bad behavior to report. It is not as smooth as a hybrid gel ink roller ball but that is to be expected. The line is about a medium width. The Monteverde mini converter does not hold a lot of ink so the standard international cartridge may be a better choice for some.
Overall I really like this little pen; it’s well-made, a good writer and can use all my favorite inks but if you are willing to put up with the hassle of fountain pen ink and cleaning the feed when changing colors why wouldn’t you use a fountain pen instead? I can’t come up with any reasons.
Here are some great reviews of the J. Herbin Roller Ball:
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 Shachihata Artline Ergoline (I am amazed they could only fit “line” into the name twice) is an affordable disposable roller ball pen with a large plastic body and an ergonomic grip. The pen uses a water-based ink with a ceramic ball. I compared it against the Pentel EnerGel Euro and was surprised that the Ergoline moved across the paper with less resistance, despite this fact, the tip feels scratchy…it’s a weird combination.
The Ergoline is one of the fatter disposable pens I have come across at nearly half an inch thick at its widest point. It’s length is pretty standard at 5.5″ long capped and 6.25″ posted. I like the matte plastic black body and inset gold lettering which gives the Ergoline an air of quality. The cap has a nicely integrated clip.
Unfortunately, once you take of the cap and see the shiny black plastic grip section with two large seams the quality look goes out the window. The ergonomic grip felt cheap in hand and took a bit to get used to.
Apart from the grip I like this pen for $2; it has a nice clean look to it and writes relatively well. The Ergoline comes in black, blue, red, and green ink with a 0.5mm tip.
The Pentel EnerGel Euro uses a liquid gel ink that writes very smoothly and dries quickly. The line is crisp and a true 0.5mm. The pen has a blue almost metallic-looking body made of partially recycled plastic. The body has a lot writing on it as well as a bar code which make the pen ugly and generic looking. The latex free grip is quite comfortable and I like translucent blue plastic between the grip and the metal tip; it has these unusual faceted points. The cap also snaps onto the body when posted which is a feature I love.
The EnerGel Euro comes in black, blue, and red as well as four tip sizes 0.35mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 1.0mm. The EnerGel Euro costs $2.75 and is not refillable. This is an excellent pen and if you don’t mind the generic looks I highly recommend it.
Here are some great reviews of the Pentel EnerGel Euro:
The Pilot Vanishing Point is an extremely popular fountain pen with a click mechanism that retracts the nib. I have had mine for several years now and while it’s frequently inked it’s far from my favorite pen. To me the Vanishing Point is purely a tool; it’s reliable and can be operated with one hand for quick notes but it’s not fun to write with. My VP has a brown lacquered brass body with rhodium accents weighing in at 30.9 grams with a full converter. The VP measures just under 5.5″ long and is about half an inch thick at its widest point. The Vanishing Point is a pretty ugly pen; it’s definitely not a show piece. The VP looks the most dignified in matte black and unfortunately for me it was released well after I purchased my brown one.
The stiff 18 carat gold medium point nib has no personality but is smooth and reliable. The medium point is a bit finer than most European mediums and the flow is pretty average.
Depending on how you hold your pen the clip may be an issue because it is so close to the tip. Having a pretty standard grip it does not bother me but this pen definitely wont work for everyone. Also, I do not find the VP to be comfortable for long writing sessions as the grip area is relatively wide and the pen is quite heavy. The Vanishing Point comes with a converter, a cartridge and a metal cartridge cap (that prevents the click mechanism from crushing a plastic cartridge). The VP offers a lot of pen for the money with an average street price $140. The build quality is excellent as with all Pilot products and it has held up well quite well for me. The nib has a lot of tipping material so I may have it ground down into a stub to give this great pen some character. I recommend trying the Vanishing Point in person before purchasing.
Here are some great reviews of the Vanishing Point:
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.
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 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)
I am rarely a fan of orange inks but Noodler’s Antietam is special. Antietam is a very unusual rust orange/red with great shading. I have been using Antietam this last week and I love it. The color varies red to orange in different pens and on different paper; it is a real chameleon ink. The flow is good, not too dry not too wet.
I tested this ink on Maruman Smooth to Write paper (my go-to for use with fountain pens) and used dry cotton swabs to test the dry time. Even after 90 seconds it wouldn’t fully dry; I got bored and gave up. The Maruman paper is quite smooth and for most ink I see an average dry time around 15-25 seconds. I did try later on more absorbent Exacompta 60gsm paper and it was near dry in 15 seconds and completely dry in 25. The ink is not waterproof; to test this I waited 5 minutes for the ink to dry and wiped the paper with a damp cotton swab. If you can put up with the long dry time Noodler’s Antietam is definitely worth a try.
Here are some great reviews of Noodler’s Antietam Ink:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)