Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen – 0.5 mm – Blue Black

29 03 2014
yee

Blue black, possibly the classiest gel color

You want to talk about a pen I really can’t improve much on, it’s this exact pen—the Pilot FriXion Ball Knock. It’s a retractable, erasable gel with a nice design at an easy price point.

I'm going to take a picture of the back side, I said to myself, and promptly forgot to do just that

I’m going to take a picture of the back side, I said to myself, and promptly forgot to do just that

The body is simple, professional, and color-coordinated to the color of the ink. The only detracting feature is that the back side is covered in Japanese (instructions, probably) printed on the body—would have been better to have all that printed on an easy-remove sticker.

When deployed, the three little window squares show yellow green. What a delightful little detail

When deployed, the three little window squares show yellow green. What a delightful little detail

To spare you the several seconds of embarrassment that stymied me when I first got one of these pens: push down on the top of the clip, NOT the eraser—the clip is what operates the retractable deployment mechanism. There, hopefully I’ve saved you valuable seconds of pressing the eraser, yelling “WHAT AM I DOING WRONG??”

Also known as the friction nubbin

Also known as the friction nubbin

What makes the FriXion so much better than the erasable pens of my youth is that the erasing isn’t accomplished by removing the material off the page—instead, the friction created by the act of rubbing/erasing generates enough heat to cause a reaction in the thermosensitive ink, changing the color to an almost imperceptible near-white, effectively erasing the ink. This process means no eraser crumbs. And this design means none of the problematic situation of the Pilot FriXion Point, whose cap, when posted, would block the eraser. Bravo, design team.

I think this came out looking a bit too bright blue. Please adjust your computer monitors accordingly for the duration of this picture

I think this came out looking a bit too bright blue. Please adjust your computer monitors accordingly for the duration of this picture

The grip is simple, streamlined with the body. Might I suggest a deluxe model with a luxuriously squishy grip be added to the FriXion lineup? Ultimate student model?

Sweet gel action

Sweet gel action. That makes me think of flavored ink. Imagine FLAVORED ink! This is not flavored ink, but if it were, it would probably taste like dusky blueberries (/food poisoning don’t eat the ink kids)

The goods! There are some things you need to know about the FriXion gel inks—they will never be as bright and vibrant as typical gel inks—every color, even the black, has a subdued, muted, almost milky opaque quality to it. It looks lovely, but if you want those strong, bright colors then the FriXion line may disappoint you. Next note: if you press hard into the page when you write, yes, you will still be able to see the indentations of your writing. The eraser is neither magic nor anti-gravity, but I imagine this is also a problem for pencils, so I wouldn’t hold it against the FriXion in particular if a heavy-handed writer is you (but perhaps consider a larger diameter tip, like the 0.7mm). All that said, I find the FriXion writes smoothly with almost no pressure needed. I love using this for taking notes, between the writing and the erasability—just make sure you don’t leave them in, say, a hot car (either the pen or the notes) or you’ll have to stick them in a freezer to bring them back from invisibility. The only possible suggestion I’d add is roll out a needle-point version. Because heck, why not?

Gloomy lighting brought to you by the weather! Cooperating with my pen pictures since never.

Gloomy lighting brought to you by the weather! Cooperating with my pen pictures since never.

There will always be room in my pen case for a Pilot FriXion Ball Knock. Thanks to JetPens for providing this sample!

Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen – 0.5mm – Blue Black – at JetPens

 

 

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7 responses

29 03 2014
JP

Yup! Count me in for this one as well! I’m a fountain pen guy, but I gotta say, these little beauties are perfect for clean, sharp lines for sketching. My daughter is a south paw, and she absolutely loves these for her math homework and writing. They erase so cleanly, her teacher allows her to use them for math tests.

Thanks for explaining a bit about how they work…I really had no idea. Makes the pen even cooler if you ask me…

31 03 2014
JetPens (@JetPens)

Your captions are the best. Thanks for the review!

1 04 2014
penemuel

These pens are great, though the ink colours are sometimes very odd. (And I can’t help thinking there must be some evil prank potential in the appearing/disappearing based on cold/heat…)

2 04 2014
WINKS #2 – Weekly Pen Paper & Ink Links #WINKS | Pen Paper Ink LetterPen Paper Ink Letter

[…] Neon Coral 2014 Special Edition – Monteverde Impressa Review – Pilot Parallel Pen Quick Review – Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen – 0.5 mm – Blue Black – On The Radar: Pilot Vanishing Point in 5 new Metallic colors! – Conklin Endura Review (Video) […]

4 04 2014
Penthusiasm!

[…] post on No Pen Intended explains why there will always be room in a pen case for a Pilot Frixion Ball […]

30 12 2014
FOUND AROUND FRIDAY | Pentulant

[…] seem to love the FriXion Gel Pens. No Pen Intended is among those people. Maybe I’ll give them a […]

13 08 2015
Review: Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen, Gel Ink, 0.5mm | Pens and Junk

[…] No Pen Intended’s review […]

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