Sunday, January 12, 2014

Uni-ball Roller Micro 0.5mm

Every now and then, I think to myself, "Maybe I should stop writing pen reviews."  And then shortly after that, I discover a new pen.  One that I really, really like.  So I forget about that idea.  The Uni-ball Roller Micro is just such a pen.  I really, really like it.

The Uni-ball Roller Micro.  Hard to photograph so that it doesn't just look like a featureless black cylinder.

To start with, the Uni-ball Roller Micro has a very minimal design.  And for some unfathomable reason, I've been liking that kind of thing in pens lately.  The barrel and cap are matte black, the clip is metal.  Branding is almost nonexistent - if you look closely, you can make out "Sanford Uni-ball Micro" on the clip of the blue pen, and "EF [presumably to stand for 'extra-fine'] Uni-ball Micro" on the clip of the black pen (no idea why they're not the same).  There's no grip (a grip version is available, but I don't think it's as cool-looking as these), no visible ink supply, and ink colour is only indicated on the top of the cap - things that would sometimes bother me, but here those features would only spoil the minimalist look.  Another bonus: these pens are made of 80% recycled electronics.

There is actually is writing on those clips, if you look really closely.

Rollerball pens can be tricky for me.  Sometimes they're too wet.  Sometimes they skip and are difficult to get a consistent line with.  But the Uni-ball Roller Micro is just about perfect.  It writes smoothly and consistently but is not too wet.  (The writing quality actually reminds me of the Pentel EnerGel, which is a definite compliment as the EnerGel is one of my favourite pens EVER.)  The ink doesn't bleed through on most papers.  And the line is beautifully fine; 0.5mm is just about ideal for my handwriting.  (These pens are also available in 0.7mm, which is called "Fine" and not "Micro.")  The black ink is nice and black, and the blue... I love the blue: it's a deep navy-ish shade that really stands out.  And the ink is pigment-based (so it bonds with the paper and makes your documents more secure), archival quality, acid-free, and water-resistant.

The blue doesn't look anything like this.  It's actually a much deeper, more awesome colour.  My camera wanted to make it look boring and ordinary instead.

The only problem I can find with these pens is that they're not refillable, but other than that, I can't think of anything that I don't like about them.  These pens need more appreciation!  I can see them becoming a new favourite.  And you should give them a try as well.

1 comment:

  1. EF is Eberhard Faber, what's on the clip has gone through a few changes since these came out ~1985. They are sorta refillable. Not as easy as the V5, but there are two ways. One, put the point in a small vial with a little ink in the bottom. Or, if it just dried out, use a few drops of water instead. It should absorb drops in a few hours, maybe a few days to fully refill with ink. OR, pop out the back plug and syringe or eye dropper in the ink. Can be tough to tell when it is full but if you're careful you'll see the sponge not absorb a drop as fast or (if you turn it back end down, look for ink to well up or even drip).

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