Another product from the package of samples that Andrew V with the Write Dudes sent to me! This package originally included 18 smooth & retractable ballpoint pens, but my cat has teleported two of them into an alternate dimension accessible only to felines.
The package promises only “assorted colors,” so I have no idea if red, orange, green, purple, light blue (all 2 pens each), blue (4) and black (also 4) are the standard colors, but that’s what I got.
The look of these pens is like a procrastinated school project hastily rushed to completion five minutes before class; it looks good from a distance, but the shortcuts show a mile wide if you get close. The only parts of the pen NOT made of plastic are the spring inside the pen, and the actual ballpoint nib attached to the ink refill (though I get the feeling there’d be no hesitation to make those out of plastic too, if it were possible). You pick up the pen, and it is lightweight to the point of feeling unmistakably cheap.
It’s a shame, because otherwise I actually quite like the design of these pens. Simple yet modern, with ink color clearly conveyed through the design of the pen body. The grip is comfortable, and thoughtfully molded into a triangular shape for better gripping posture. But that clip, I mean, look at that plastic seam running right down the middle. It’s garish. And I have full confidence that the plastic will quickly break if I try to make use of the clip. If The Write Dudes were to make the silver parts of this pen out of metal—any metal really, I don’t care if it’s cheap so long as it isn’t radioactive—then they’d have the design nailed.
I admit, before I first put these pens to paper, I’d already built up a bias. The cheap construction did not instill great confidence that these pens would even be smooth, let alone super. And the first few strokes of every pen weren’t great (even after first use, if the pen had been sitting unused for a while it was the same situation). But once I’d written a letter, perhaps two, definitely by the end of the first word, I found that these pens were actually, to my astonishment, smooth. Super smooth? Heck, I’ll give it to them. The line quality is decent, as good as any standard ballpoint, and certainly vibrant enough for me. Comparing the black pens, the Write Dudes super smooth ballpoint pen is gray when put next to Zebra’s Surari Emulsion ink or Uni-ball’s Jetstream (which is essentially like writing with liquid night 500 miles from civilization dark). But I think the Write Dudes ballpoint is intended to compete more with the low-end fare (in the neighborhood of, say, Bic sticks and no-name ballpoints), and in that class I’d say it’s a good contender. And I really enjoyed doodling with these pens. I’ll probably draft the light blue ballpoint into my daily arsenal/legion (blue ink/lead has a special property of making all doodles look magically better).
Unfortunately, I can’t find a link on the Write Dudes website to the exact product pack I reviewed. Here’s a four-pack, featuring not my favorites among the colors I received. Try looking in your typical big box stores, like Office Max or Target. I don’t know what the full 18 pack costs, but based on the pricing of the 4-pack, this seems like a darned good value.