Friday, April 13, 2018

The uni-ball Roller

I don’t know what made me want to buy and write with a uni-ball Roller. I hadn’t used one in many years, not since my grad school years. Back then I bought these pens one or two at a time from a stationery store. Now I could find them only by the dozen in an office-supply store. Back then these pens were state of the art. Now they’re relatively cheap, about a dollar apiece, and their packaging touts eco-friendliness: “Plastic components made from 80% post-consumer waste (majority from recycled electronics).” Back then I would have written Uni-Ball. Now I’m using the company’s lowercase, though uni-ball Roller looks more than slightly odd.

What’s strange and wonderful: uni-ball Rollers (0.7 and 0.5mm) look and feel virtually the same as they did when I was a grad student. The clips have lost their “EF” (for Eberhard Faber) and now sport a tiny “eco” on a leaf, and the 0.5 clip no longer says “Micro.” But everything else looks the same: the same slightly flexible black plastic, the same notches at the top of the cap (three for 0.7, five for 0.5). And the pens feel the same on paper: slippery, with far less control than a fountain pen affords. I used a 0.7 to make some notes yesterday, and my handwriting turned into the same fast scrawl I fell into more than thirty years ago, when I’d write on a legal pad before typing a first draft. I don’t like what the uni-ball Roller does to my handwriting, but I like seeing it happen.

You can see the Roller on this page of uni-ball products. Select roller and capped, and there it is.

A related post
Five pens (My life in pens)

comments: 5

shallnot said...

Ah, uni-balls. I do so want to like them. Alas, as a left-handed writer they clog up and stop writing within minutes when I try to use them.

I don't "hook" my writing as people used to teach left-handed writers. So, unlike right-handers who are mostly dragging the pen tip across the paper, I mostly dig into the paper which causes paper dust to "glom" around the tip stopping the ink flow.

Michael Leddy said...

JetPens has a sampler of pens for left-handed writers. But the only criterion seems to be how fast the ink dries, which doesn’t seem to hit your problem. What kind of pen works well for you?

shallnot said...

Pilot gel pens seem to work reliably.

I have a Papermate ball-point pen, which I found on a bus seat, that is also great. The only indication that it is a Papermate is the two hearts on the clip. It must be a bit high-end as it has a silicone grip and slight bulging at the finger-tip end. Unfortunately it appears to not be refillable.

Michael Leddy said...

That must be an InkJoy pen, no?

I have an old Papermate, a retractable ball point with a T-Ball Jotter-like design. Incredibly smooth. I think I swiped this pen years ago from my mom and just discovered that Papermate makes nothing like it today.

shallnot said...

The Inkjoy 700RT looks similar. The ink is more normal than gel though.

It would seem that the best pens are the found/pilfered ones.