Friday, July 22, 2005

Freeform Finger Grip Gel Pen

So I found a new Office Max in Culver City last week, and it was HUGE! And it had all the Back to School stuff out, and there were just aisles and aisles of pens and notebooks. I was in Office Supply Heaven!

I bought a Finger Grip Gel Pen - and man, is this thing weird. The back of the wrapping says, "Freeform is a line of writing instruments designed to provide you comfort, performance, and control while giving everyone else a glimpse into what makes you, you..."

I started writing with it, and the ink flows well, but I found it really hurt my wrist. I don't know why - maybe it had me writing with different muscles in my hand than I normally use, but I don't think I'll be using this pen again. It just felt too weird, and after about a page, my wrist really hurt. I would not want to be having to take notes in a three hour lecture class with this pen. No thank you. For $2.99 it wasn't a bad experiment, but I don't think I'll be getting it again.

I've only ever seen this pen at Office Max, so I don't think it's out there in a big way, yet. Maybe it's just me and my hand, but if other people have the same experience, I don't think it'll ever make it out of that Office Max in Culver City...

Note: The picture was taken from the official FreeForm website at

Monday, July 04, 2005

Pilot PermaBall

I just made a Fourth of July visit to Office Max and found something very interesting. A Pilot PermaBall. This is meant to be a medium point ball point pen that writes on anything, just like a permanent marker (more on my Sharpie obsession in another post). So I shelled out the $5.25 for a pack of four (with a free G2 7mm) including a red, blue, black and green pen.

It's an interesting writing instrument, I'll give it that. Takes a bit of getting used to. I'm writing with the green one right now - it has a metal tip rather than a needle tip, which I tend to not like as much, and the 7mm is a thicker line than I tend to write with normally, but it does have a fun rubber grip, and I like that.

I tried writing on a picture - I put some devil's horns on an ex boyfriend - and it worked just fine, and didn't smear, which is a plus. The ink didn't flow as nicely as I'd like on the picture, but it's a ball point, and not a felt tip marker, so I can't expect everything, I guess. It did tend to leak through normal paper, but I suppose that the point isn't to write on normal paper, but to write on plastic, or pictures, etc. So that should be forgiven.

Overall, this isn't a bad pen, and kudos to Pilot for always coming with new writing instruments, but I'm really not sure what I'm going to use this pen for, other than the aforementioned devil horns. Then again, $5 for hours and hours of fun at the ex's expense might not be a bad deal?

note: above photo was taken from the Pilot website at

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Pentel EnerGel Retractable Needle Tip
I am really up on the whole needle tip thing. I've found that with needle tips that my writing is just so much neater and more legible. Which is certainly something I look for, given my atrocious penmanship.

Anyway, I like the Pentel EnerGel Retractable because the blue color is really vibrant. I know, that sounds kind of corny (then again, this whole blog could be considered corny) but if I'm going to write with blue ink, darnit, I want it to be vibrant blue ink. Right? Right. This pen also comes in black and red, but really, I prefer the blue to all of them.

The retractable end also makes a really great clicking sound.

See, it's all about these subtleties!

I've found that this pen works best on notebook paper, or any kind of paper that is absorbant (ie, not shiny cards, where it will smear - as will any kind of gel pen). It's got a great ergonomic design (the rubber grip is fantastic), and if I were still in college, this would be my gel pen of choice for taking notes in philosophy class.

Basic Stats:
Pentel EnerGel Retractable Pen Needle Tip
Approximately $1.75/each, cheaper by the dozen
5mm or 7mm, gel ink
Available at Walmarts, Office Max, Staples, etc.
Lasts: About 50-75 pages

note: picture comes from the Pentel website at