The J. Herbin refillable roller ball pen takes ink cartridges! Thanks to Bureau Direct for providing this pen for review.
Body Material: Resin
Length (capped): 4.6"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 3.75"
Length (posted): 5.5"
Barrel Diameter: 1.0"
Nib material: Metal
Weight: 8 g
Fill type: Ink cartridge
Where to buy: Bureau Direct
Free UK Delivery over £10
PACKAGING This pen came in the Bureau Vintage Stationery Gift Bundle (green), which comes with a small Clairefontaine 1951 Le Carnet notebook, this refillable rollerball pen, and a tin of J. Herbin Vert Pré ink cartridges. Packaging will vary as an individual purchase.
This rollerball pen is really cute. It's pretty small and the scheme is cute. The It's a rounded pen with an entirely clear plastic body, except for the metal cap plug and clip, as well as a single metal ring around the barrel (that is very easy to lose, so be careful). There is also a secondary plastic slip cap inside the cap but you can still see the feed and tip through it. J. Herbin is written on the cap in capitals in red letters. I think it's very tasteful. Both ends of the pen are rounded off. The cap is almost as long as the barrel is, which I like the look of. The feed is grey and you can see it as well as the ink cartridge through the clear body.
I had read many mixed reviews of this pen: some people had pens that clogged, some were so scratchy they couldn't stand it, some just didn't have good flow. Therefore, I was quite pleased (and a little surprised) when I popped an ink cartridge in - J. Herbin Vert Pré ink - and it wrote immediately. It has a little bit of a scratchy feeling, but nothing that a typical roller ball doesn't have. It also wrote consistently and the ink doesn't skip. After sitting for a few days, it writes right away again, without needing to be scribbled with to get the ink flowing again. This is a good ink with this pen. I think, based on how the pen/flow just feels, using a wet ink that flows well is the best idea. Dry inks or thicker inks (those with pigments) will clog your feed or slow the flow.
This roller ball pen is quite small unposted, so if you have larger hands, it's going to be a bit of a challenge to write with! For me, I can handle the small size, but it is more comfortable posted. The section is pretty small and although there is a plastic ridge that sticks out closer to the tip, I still find the section to be very slippery and my grip slides.
It isn't uncomfortable in terms of its weight and balance though. It is a nice shape, smooth plastic body that doesn't hurt the hand or the grip, and it feels nice to hold. With a good wet ink, there is little pressure required to write with the pen. A good combination is ideal.
PROS & CONS
This is a decent, inexpensive roller ball pen that is worth a shot, especially if you like fountain pen inks (and colours). Whether you like fountain pens or not, it's handy to have.
I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.
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