I like to write with ball point pens 99.9% of the time. The only problem is that when mistakes happen, you either have to use white out or scribble through the word and try again. Yuck. I’ve tried erasable ink pens in the past, but was never very happy with the results. Besides that, I hate eraser crumbs. That’s why I was really anxious to try the Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Ink Pen when JetPens sent me a sample.
Note: Click on images to see a larger view.
The Pilot FriXion Ball pens are very inexpensive and come in quite a few colors. I was sent the Black ink version with the 0.5mm point.
These pens are light weight and made of plastic with a clear plastic pocket clip at one end and a rubber finger grip at the other.
The pocket clip doubles as the tip extender. It slides up and down with great clicky action. When I first looked at this pen, I noticed the opaque nub at the top and assumed it was an eraser. I was mistaken though. It’s not an eraser at all, it’s just a rubber nub that you use to make the ink disappear via friction.
This pen uses thermo-sensitive gel ink that reacts to both heat (via friction) and cold.
Writing with the FriXion Ball pen is not any different than other inexpensive ink pens. The pen is light weight, but feels balanced and comfortable in your hand. Writing across a page feels smooth and the ink flows relatively evenly. The ink doesn’t smudge any more or less than normal ink pens I’ve tried.
To erase something you’ve written, you just rub the rubber tip across the letters as you would a normal eraser. As you do this, the ink disappears like magic. And what’s even nicer is that no ink residue transfers to the rubber tip and there are no eraser crumbs to brush off your page. Nice!
The thermo-sensitive gel ink hasn’t really been removed by the ‘eraser’. The heat from rubbing the tip across it makes it disappear, but it’s really still there. If the ink is exposed to very cold temps (-14F), the ink will reappear. I suppose the opposite will happen if the ink is exposed to very hot temps (140F) – it will disappear. For this fact, it’s advised not to use these pens to sign or create important documents or to mail documents written with this ink.
I found that it’s not required to use the tip on the pen to erase the ink. Almost anything rubbed across the ink will cause the ink to disappear. That said, the rubber tip works much better than other things I tested.
See it in action
The Pilot FriXion Ball Eraseable Gel Ink Pen gets a thumbs up from me. I’ll be using one as an everyday desk pen for work and home. Now I can take notes during meetings and write in my journal without groaning when I make a mistake. These pens will allow me to keep my writing neat and tidy for less $4 each. They can even be refilled. What’s not to like?