Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bic Velocity Gel 0.7mm Black

I haven't reviewed a gel pen since March of 2013.  That's a long time for me, especially considering that gel pens were what I was using and reviewing most when I started this blog.  Today's long-awaited gel pen is the Bic Velocity Gel, a basic retractable 0.7mm gel pen.  I feel that there are a lot of pens similar to this one - the Pilot G-2 (which I have - oddly - never reviewed), the 0.7mm Zebra Sarasa (my personal favourite), and the PaperMate Gel, for example - so I was curious to see how the Velocity Gel would compare to those others.


The Bic Velocity Gel has a translucent barrel to view the ink supply, and a basic plastic clip and grip, both of which indicate the ink colour (it's only available in black, blue, and red).  It looks very similar to both the Pilot G-2 and the Zebra Sarasa - fairly unremarkable but thoroughly functional.  Personally, however, I'm not a fan of the Velocity's grip.  It has a slight lip or ridge before the tip that bothers me since I grip my pens very low on the barrel.  I prefer the Zebra Sarasa's more tapered grip.  But depending on how you grip your pens, this might not be an issue for you.


I've found that 0.7mm gel pens nearly always write well.  The Velocity Gel may not be quite as smooth as the Zebra Sarasa, but it does write smoothly enough and I don't have any problems with it.  It would be nice if this pen was available in 0.5mm, but it is not, and 0.7mm is probably going to be the best size for most people anyway (i.e., normal people who don't have absurdly small handwriting).


Overall, I am happy with the Bic Velocity Gel.  While Bic may be more well-known for their ballpoints, they know how to make a decent gel pen as well.  I don't feel that there is anything about the Velocity that really sets it apart from its competition (and I still prefer the Zebra Sarasa), but it is a good option if you're looking for a basic, inexpensive gel pen.

Related reviews: Economy Pens, Gourmet Pens.

6 comments:

  1. Notice that there has been a change in the Zebra Sarasa. Around the end of 2013 they changed their ink formula so it would be faster drying (this is discussed under "ink innovation" on their website). The new ink dries much faster, but it doesn't write as well. In my experience too much pours out of the pen, making the line fat and unsightly. Also the new ink is incredibly water soluble. A tiny bit of water will almost completely wash it away. Were the comparisons in this article based on the new Sarasas or the old one (which I also liked very well)?

    Thanks for reviewing these bics. I actually bought some the other day but returned them unopened when I realized they didn't have a fine time (and you can't get the fine tip anywhere). The price was quite attractive for a pen of reasonable quality.

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    1. Thanks for that information, Grant. I didn't know that Zebra had changed the Sarasa's ink formula. I'm disappointed to hear that, because Sarasas have been favourites of mine for many years and I always enjoyed how well they wrote. I don't think the ink needed to be improved!

      The comparisons in this review are based on the old Sarasas. Luckily I still have a few old Sarasas around, but I suppose I'll have to try the new ones one day and see for myself how they compare to the old ones.

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  2. Zebra Sarasa is also my favorite gel pen. I still have a ton of the old formula pens, so I'm good for now, but if the new ink isn't good, there's always my Pentel Energel

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  3. I have to say out of all of the gel pens that you can buy at big box office stores, I like Pentel Energel the best. It's extremely smooth and the color is very vibrant. Of course, I love my Hi-Tec-C's & Signo DX's. I haven't been too impressed with the Sarasas that I bought. The Zebra Sarasas that I bought have all been manufactured in Mexico (not that I have anything against this), but I wonder if there are any differences. I do notice that all the other brands manufacture their pens in Japan.

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    1. I love the Pentel EnerGels too; they're among my favourite all-time pens!

      The Sarasas that I own are older models and were made in Japan; I'm disappointed to hear that the ones you've bought were made in Mexico. After reading that and Grant's comment above, it sounds like Zebra has made more than one change to the way they manufacture their Sarasas. (The Bic Velocity Gel I reviewed here was made in France, by the way!)

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