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


Anonymous said...

I use mine to write in "rite in the rain" all weather journal with plasticized pages. After the initial few seconds it takes to dry, the ink seems fixed forever!

DanD said...

I have been using these PermaBall pens for many years and to read that the ink leaked through the paper is unusual...

Yes, the pen does take getting used to and I gave up my fine-point Sharpie for this pen.

Pilot in it's infinite wisdom has discontinued this pen, which is sad and there are only a handful of stores on the web that now have these, if at all...

Get them while you can...they are worth it!

Ladema said...

Thanks for the review and the comments. I am trying to find a writing pen (not artist's pen like Zig) that is archival quality, permanent, acid free, and won't bleed through the thin paper in my Moleskin no-line journal. Didn't know it had been discontinued, but that would explain why I can't seem to find them anywhere on-line.

fabulousrice said...

I think you're missing the point. There are already a ton of normal pen inks whose major flaw is the ink, in the way that it hardly stays on a surface (most gel ink pens won't even dry on paper until a long time...)
This pen is targeting (through a very bad campaign) people who like to do things outside of the usual boundaries. Draw on a napkin, draw on a bottle, on your pack of cereals, on plastic, on glossy paper, draw everywhere you can't draw with a "normal" gel pen because it smears and becomes a big mess.
Have you used it to doodle on plastic bottles of water? Write a commentary behind a photograph? Write a check and feel secure that no one is going to falsify it?
For all those reasons, the Permaball/Multiball pens are one of their kinds and should be used by people who not only love ink, but also like it when the ink they are using doesn't smudge all over the place. Forever Ink.