Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Retro 1951 Stainless Steel Tornado Ballpoint Pen

I am a big fan of Retro51 pens. Unfortunately, I only have two - a Natural Bamboo Tornado (the one with the panda face!) and a Crocodile Tornado. This pen here is the Stainless Steel Tornado! Let's have a look see.
Retro 51 Stainless Steel Tornado

Brand: Retro51
Model: Tornado
Finish: Stainless Steel Lacquer
Fill Type: Ballpoint
Price: $20.00
Where to buy: Goldspot Pens


I received this pen as a used gift from a pal, so I can't comment on the packaging. However, Retro51 pens come with awesome packaging. Please refer to my previous reviews of the Natural Bamboo Tornado and the Crocodile Tornado to see what you get from Retro51 for packaging! It is way cool and it's packaging you'll want to keep and reuse for other things.

Retro 51 Stainless Steel Tornado
The Stainless Steel Tornado has a nifty, appealing appearance. From the end to the tip, this pen is color-matched. The stainless steel body is complemented by the chrome on the clip, tip, and knurled knob, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of the pen. The body tapers towards the tip smoothly, leaving no obvious grip or section.
Retro 51 Stainless Steel Tornado
Not surprisingly, this pen is pretty great. First, the clip is great. It looks cool and works really well. It's snug and slides onto papers easily and it will stay there. As I mentioned before, my favorite part is the knurled knob - it turns so smoothly and comfortably. The writing performance of this pen is a function of its refill, which can vary. This particular refill writes well and is the default refill that comes with the Retro51 pens. I have put in other refills I have - Monteverde roller ball refills that are colorful and fun - and they work just as well as the Retro51 refills.

The aspect of performance that I cannot control is the shape and comfort of the pen. Despite not having a specific section and grip, I love to hold this pen and write with it. It's kind of small and cute to hold and I like to write with it. I don't use it for very long writing sessions because, like with any ballpoint pen, you have to use a fair amount of pressure to get ink to flow on to the paper (unlike with fountain pens), so hand fatigue is more likely to occur sooner than with a fountain pen. However, it's perfect for filling out forms, and writing quick/short notes. I'm pretty happy with this pen.
Retro 51 Stainless Steel Tornado
I need more colors. ... Of course, the body's color does not affect the pen's performance.

  • Can be switched between a roller ball or ballpoint easily.
  • Great, functional clip.
  • Cool looking knurled knob.
  • Affordable and neat.
Retro51 Knob Top

    I may be a little biased because I already like Retro51 pens (you may have noticed based on the fact that I already have a few of these pens). But carrying on... I most certainly would recommend this pen to ballpoint and roller ball fans. The cool thing about this pen is it comes in many colors, and it takes both ballpoint and roller ball refills. It's quite affordable and would make an awesome, colorful gift for people in your life as well. Or for yourself. ... Or for me. (Kiwi. Peacock Blue. Pink. Purple. Thank you.)

    Thank you to my secret friend for this gift!


    Randy Schwartz said...

    Greetings, Azizah,

    I have a couple of these: a red barrel and a matte black version--clip and twist included--that looks like some sort of CIA weapon. Neither is anywhere near as cool as the one you've reviewed here. Overall, I am of two minds about these pens. On the one hand, the design is lovely, especially for some of the special editions. What's more, the quality of the materials makes Retro 51s well worth the asking price. But for me, the key criterion for a pen is how it writes, and I don't notice how the Retros write that much better than less expensive pens. For my money, the Moleskine Rollerball--grievously overpriced at $14 and ugly has a wart--can write circles around the Retro. I don't know, the Retro just feels stubby and heavy in my hands. I guess what I'm saying is that the Retro is a fine pen that has become a trendy choice over less flashy alternatives. As usual, I'm writing too much, so ....

    Take care,

    Randy Schwartz
    Fellow Addict

    Azizah Asgarali said...

    Hi Randy! Ohhhh the matte black version sounds very, very awesome. I'd steal that from you any day heehee! ... I'm sorry. I don't think we can be pen friends anymore. Fraternizing with Moleskine rollerballs? Hehhehehe just kidding. I have seen them, I do find them beyond hideous - ugly as a wart describes them well - but I've never tried them so I can't say anything about how they work. The Tornados certainly are short. I imagine for people with large hands or who just happen to like longer pens, these would be irritating or uncomfortable to write with. But with all ballpoints, like this one, I just don't write with them for long sessions so I don't run into the problem of discomfort or anything. ... Plus, I am a sucker for colors and pretty things. I'm not sure if that's a good thing...

    mjcong said...

    LOL fishing for new pens? this does remind me i should host a giveaway for the peacock one i have

    Azizah Asgarali said...

    HAHA hey, a gal can dream. I'm totally entering that giveaway!!

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