This is a pen I don’t use enough. I’ve had it for a while, buying it after reading a review at the Pen Addict, and I’ve since proceeded to go through cycles of re-remembering that I own this pen and that it delights me.
The whitish barrel is actually an ever-so-off-white pearlescent color, with shiny silver accents playing off the subtly sparkly green clip and grip. The overall design is clean and appealing. I’m not sure exactly how you’d categorize this style that tends to appeal to me—fun & functional, playful, modern, simple, whatever it is—but this is definitely another pen after that aesthetic.
Throughout several months of traveling, in and out of pen cases, the Selfit has held up well. No signs of being dirty, damaged, or abused by the daily grind. Fingerprints will show on the metallic accents, but not on the grip (unless, you know, your hands are covered in ink). I can’t tell if the metallic accents are metal or plastic; biting on them and tapping them on the table has also yielded inconclusive results.
We’ll save the best for last, and go over the writing quality first. It’s a pretty good ballpoint—the basic standard of decent. The tip would get pretty messy during use, which I think is what lead to all the problems I had with blobbing, especially in the sketches. In spite of the blob problems (bloblems), the pen wrote pretty smoothly—not one of the top performers in this category, but still decent. I didn’t have to press the pen down excessively, or really use much of any force, to get a sufficiently medium-dark and consistent line. If I pressed harder while writing, I could have gotten a much darker consistency of line, but all my fountain pen use has started to ruin my ability to cling desperately to the barrel of a pen while trying to carve through the paper. My writing sample is what the pen looks like with a fairly medium to light touch. With a bit of a heavier hand, you can have some decently dark writing (though not as dark as a Jetstream. I am comparing the two right now, staring intently at lines on pieces of paper). No smudging problems apparent, and the Selfit performed well while sketching. This pen isn’t some crapstick wrapped up in gimmickry; it’s a decent pen on its own.
Of course, the main attraction (and justification for the price tag) is that strip of silicone right there. The grip is said to contain 4000 gel beads and pieces (I have not counted, and thus cannot verify this number). Every time I show someone this pen, I joust it toward them whilst exclaiming “SQUISH IT! SQUISH THE GRIP!” and after they return from their protective cowering spot, they too are delighted to find how appealingly squishable this grip is. Even when I’m not writing, I have something to play with and keep my hands busy. Squish. Squish. You can feel something different in the way the grip moves beneath your fingers—I assume that’s the gel beads.
Obviously, this grip was not designed for you to just sit around all day poking at it; it’s meant to be used. What I really like about this grip is how it molds to any sort of hand position you want to write in. It’s truly a one-size-fits-all grip in terms of grip shape. The shape conforms to you, but isn’t locked in any permanent shape. When you let go, the grip slowly returns to a state of evenly-distributed equilibrium. You’re never stuck with any one grip position. Anyone can pick up the pen and have a grip that is suited for their hand positioning. Now, I do know there’s some differences out there in what people want from a grip in terms of squishiness. I don’t grip that hard, and I find this gel grip to be great. I have a coworker who holds this pen with a death grip, and finds the squishiness to be inadequate. Yes, if you hold this pen hard enough, all the beads will escape from under your fingers and you will essentially be left gripping the barrel through a thin bit of rubber or whatever this green thing is. If you are a hardcore gripper, I’d recommend something with a firmer grip. I have no problem maintaining a light grip and putting pressure on the pen to write at its darkest, but for some people this might not be a thing you can do.
I love the feel of this grip, and I feel it would be insanely marketable to note-taking students and anyone else in academia. MAKE THE GRIPS IN SCHOOL COLORS FOR MAXIMUM PROFITS. I just don’t know why this isn’t being offered/pushed in the American market (certainly not where I am). Dear Pentel: please love America too. This pen is great and it would warm my heart (/lighten my wallet) to see it in stores.
Pentel Selfit Silicone Gel Grip Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm – Green Grip at JetPens