Besides technology, one of my passions is stationery. Even though I’m nowhere near as competent in that as I am in technology, but I enjoy the writing experience a good pen provides.
Despite having used biros for most of my life, I recently got enamored with fountain pens, especially Diplomat ones. I particularly enjoy how they have a consistent line from start to finish, as opposed to ballpoints, which in my experience just write poorly after a while, with blacks becoming shades of grey (no relation to the terrible novel and movie), deep blues turning to baby blues, and so on and so forth. But even fountain pens have their issues. For starters, they don’t like being placed upside down like you would in your pouch, since they stop writing if the ink flows backwards from the nib. Secondly, they’re supposed to be used often, lest the ink dries inside the nib, requiring a long process of rinsing it before replacing the ink cartridge. And lastly, they’re not ideal if you only want to take a quick note about something, since you’re not guaranteed it will write immediately when you press it against the paper.
I recently discovered rollerball pens, which in a way are a crossover between ballpoints and fountain pens, in that they do use a ball to spread ink onto the paper, but use a more liquid pigment, which in turn means more consistent lines (except in the case of the Pilot Frixion *cough cough*).
I just picked up the Uni-Ball Air Micro for about 2.6 € in a stationery shop near my home. Truth be told, I was looking for another Uni-Ball model, the Signo 207, but they didn’t have that in stock.
How it writes
Really well, actually. It has that kind-of-but-not-really-fountain-pen feel to it that I rather enjoy, plus it allows to “choose” from a variety of stroke widths by adjusting the pressure you exert on the piece of paper. I can personally get three different types of strokes, but the one I’m more likely to see is the medium one, since the only way to reliably get it to write a thin line is by keeping it at an almost 90° angle with the paper, which I find to be a rather uncomfortable way of holding a pen to me.
Some may be interested to know that this pen is advertised as being able to write in any position. And yes, that includes writing upside down, although the stroke looks weird compared to writing in a regular position.
Should you get one?
I’m not really sure. Granted, it’s miles better than a ballpoint for writing, but at a rather steep price of around 2.6 €, and the fact that it’s non-refillable, I don’t really feel confident suggesting you purchase it. I’m looking forward to trying out the Signo 207 (which is refillable, although refills cost almost as much as a new pen) to have idea of which one is better.