Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bic Exact-Tip Roller 0.6mm

I normally wouldn't bother reviewing a pen that has been discontinued, but the Bic Exact-Tip Roller is different.  For one, it's got its own fan page on Facebook, created by users longing for Bic to make it available again (although the page hasn't been updated for two years).  And also it is a really great pen.  And since I recently came across a pair of these at a thrift store, I thought I'd quickly review them anyway.


The Bic Exact-Tip Roller is a chunky 0.6mm rollerball pen.  Because of the size of the barrel, I think it would be great for anyone with larger hands, although I also find it very comfortable to use.  It has a sturdy metal clip on the cap that you can actually clip onto things without worrying about breaking it off.  The grip is soft but not squishy, and I like its textured pattern of dots.  It also has a large and aesthetically pleasing window to show the ink supply, and, best of all, a needle-point tip!  I love needle-point tips on pens.

Showing the grip and needle-point tip of the black pen, and the ink supply window of the red.

At 0.6mm, the Exact-Tip Roller writes with a relatively fine line, and it is very smooth.  The ink does not feather, even on cheap paper, but it does bleed through.  Even on the 80gsm Rhodia paper there is a considerable amount of showthrough and some bleeding, although it writes so well otherwise that I can forgive some of that.  It reminds me quite a bit of the Uni-ball Vision, but I think the Exact-Tip Roller is a much better pen (it does not feather, whereas the Vision feathers on just about everything, and it writes with a finer line).  I love the black ink; it is very black and it really pops on the page.  The red ink is rather dark and may not appeal to those who like bright reds, but I like it, and I think it is more suitable for everyday writing than a bright red.


According to this post at The Pen Addict, Bic stopped making these pens in 2005, which means that the pens I have must be at least eight years old.  The fact that they write so well after all these years also impresses me.  Overall, I think the Bic Exact-Tip Roller is a great pen.  If they were still available, I wouldn't mind buying some more of them.  It seems like a better pen that the other similar rollerballs that I have used, the design of the pen is good, and I love the ink colours.  If you are lucky enough to come across one of these pens, it is definitely worth trying out.

Did you ever use the Bic Exact-Tip Roller?  Do you know of any other pens that may be similar to it?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,

    I haven't got the chance to use that particular model, down there in South America you only see BIC dry ball point pens. However, I think that Uni Ball Vision Exact could be a match. The best thing, as you said about the BIC, the ink doesn't spread all over the paper.

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    1. Thanks, Armando! I'll have to give the Vision Exact a try one day. I just have the standard Uni-ball Vision, and I don't really like it, but from the reviews I've seen, the Vision Exact looks like quite a different pen.

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  2. I have over a dozen Exact Tips hoarded away and am able to refill them with fountain pen ink.

    TUL roller ball in Medium from Office Max are close to performance (for me) but lack the needle point and liquid ink that makes the Bic Exact Tip awesome.

    Good find at the Thrift Store!

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    1. It's great that you've found a way to refill them! And I agree about the needle point tip; without that, it wouldn't be nearly as awesome a pen as it is.

      You never know what you're going to find at the thrift store...

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  3. I too am a big fan of the Bic Exact-Tip. I have been using them since 2005 since I had about 10 dozen of them. I am now down to only about 3 left and am sad to part with them. I read here that you are refilling them with fountain ink. I took one apart and seems super easy to do but wondered if the ink dries as fast and writes the same?

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    1. Wow, 10 dozen? That is a lot of pens! I don't know how to refill them, but maybe our anonymous commenter from before will check in again and tell us how he/she does it?

      If you were going to try that route, you'd probably have to do a bit of experimenting with different fountain pen inks to find one that has the properties you like. I don't know much about fountain pens inks (yet), so I can't help you there!

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  4. Hi Heather and Mark,
    Sorry to post as anonymous, but didn't want to set up another account. The pens come apart (by pulling) where the capillary feed fins fit in the body tube. I just use a small syringe and a Private Reserve Ink called DC Supershow Blue. But you can use any Fountain Pen ink. Since the Bic Exact-Tips use full liquid ink, it's not much different. BTW, a blue Exact Tip Bic new in the package from the UK just sold on Ebay a few weeks ago! I bid on it but didn't win.
    Anyway, I just did a six-page inventory by hand using the Bic Exact-Tip that I refilled and it worked perfect. The BIC factory ink has a bit higher oil content so it goes down like butter. If you want to try the refill route, practice on some cheap pens first, but wear some latex gloves!

    Cheers,

    Keith from SoCal

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Keith! I'm not sure if I'd ever go the refill route myself, but I'm sure your comment will be helpful to other readers.

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