Europeans Need To Get Fine Points
Europeans (OK, mostly Germans) make some nice pens – except they don’t have a clue that many of us like fine tip points.Â For example:
- My Staedtler Liquid Point rollerballs claim to have a 0.3mm tip, but they’re not anywhere close to a 0.3mm gel pen; IMHO calling them medium point would be charitable.Â (Yes, they’re decent pens, but they’re nothing exceptional).
- My 0.3mm Staedtler Tri-plus Fineliners are pretty nice, but again, I’d call them medium.Â I think they’re similar to Sharpie Pens, but a bit better:Â they write a bit nicer, and have a wider range of colors.
- My Yafa Italian-made cartridge rollerball pen seems pretty decent (I’m still evaluating it), but puts down a bold line.
- I could keep on going, bringing up the Kaweco F nib, Mont-Blanc roller balls, etc.Â Instead, I’d like to talk about what got this rant started:
I was at Office Depot the other day, and saw something new: a display of Schneider pens, with demonstrators.Â Of course, I had to check them out.Â They’re interesting pens, but they all write fat!Â I only brought home a hot pink Schneider Slider XB; if they had some finer points, I would’ve bought more.Â If they’d had fine-tip Parker-compatible Viscoglide refills in all the Slider XB colors, I would’ve spent too much money…Â Anyway, my Schneider impressions:
- I was most interested in the Viscoglide ballpoints.Â The Viscoglides supposedly have a new and wonderful ink technology; my first impression is that they do write nicely, but it’s not hard to make a 1.4mm ball pen write wonderfully.
- I do like the variety of colors available for the Slider XBs; typically, ballpoint colors are limited and boring.Â The main exceptions I can think of are the Zebra Surari, possibly the Jetstream, and now the Slider XB.
- The price range for the ballpoints was ~$2-$4, with the price increasing with better ergonomics (soft grip, etc) and a refillable body (IIRC one $4 model used a Parker-compatible refill, but the color selection was limited).
- The Schneider rollerballs were OK, roughly similar to the Staedtler Liquid Points.
- I wasn’t impressed with the Xpress porous-point pens, but to be fair, I haven’t like any porous point pens.
As a bit of a postscript, does anyone know of a <$10 pen that can take the Schmidt 8126 refill?Â As far as I can tell, the cheapest option is the Schmidt metal pen (~$30), which is more than I am going to spend right now.