Pentel EnerGel Tradio Rollerball

Time for another everyday pen review! I promise that there will be some long over due fountain pen reviews coming soon.

Design and Quality

As it is a everyday pen, it is made from a everyday material... deep breath....... plastic! This plastic is covered with a matt black finish which actually looks nice.  The main section of the pen is a solid matt black finish with a see through black tinted plastic used for the grip area and the end of the barrel.  There is a wave style pattern used to provide extra grip while writing and for me this works really well.  To finish off the design of the Tradio the plastic that covers the nib section is a shiny black. For me this shiny plastic doesn’t fit the overall look of the Tradio, it stands out badly for me.

The cap of the pen uses the same matt black finish as the barrel section.  The clip of the barrel is plastic and has very little spring strength at all.  I wouldn’t be confident of the Tradio staying securely in a pocket.  Just below the tip of the cap there is a clear plastic window that lets you see the nib of the pen when capped.  It securely clicks into place when capped or posted.

Weight and Dimensions

This is a very light weight pen that is a very comfortable pen to hold for long periods of time.  With the cap posted it does make the pen feel pretty top heavy though.  I think for the best writing experience it is better to set the cap to one side.

  1. With the cap it comes in at 13.9cm in length.
  2. Without the cap it is 14.6cm in length.
  3. With the cap posted it is 13.1cm in length.

Filling System

The Tradio uses a refill called Pentel LR7 which you can get in the following colours: Black, Blue, Red and Violet. The cost of the refill comes in at £1.12.

To replace the refill it is very easy, the shiny black plastic that covers the nib section can be unscrewed.

Nib and Performance

This uses the same 0.7mm refill as the Pentel EnerGel X Gel Rollerball that I have previously reviewed.  You can read that review to get a detailed insight into the ink that is used.

The Cost and is it worth it?

The Tradio costs £1.99 and for me it is a pretty good pen.  I think as a everyday pen it might be worth buying a Pentel EnerGel X Gel Rollerball instead as it is a clicker.  I have given two Pentel EnerGel X Gel Rollerball’s as gifts to two lifted handed people and they have enjoyed using them as the ink drys very quickly.

Zebra Z-Mulsion EX Ballpoint Pen Medium

I ended up with this pen as I just took a notion a few weeks ago to order some new cheap pens.

Design and Quality

As this is a cheap pen you can guess what materials it is mainly made from.  It is a standard looking plastic pen.  The design does remind me of my AJOTO pen as it looks like a stretched tear drop.  By that I mean from the top of the pen it goes from thin towards the bottom getting wider.  This does make the Z-Mulsion a comfortable pen to hold for long periods of writing.

The area where you hold the pen uses a very effective rubberized surface.  One surprise in the design is that when you hold it up to the light, the middle section is actually a see through plastic.  This is a really nice touch.

A painted plastic silver tip, clip and clicker complete the look of this pen.  Depending on what colour you pick, the plastic that is used to hold the clip into place that is under the clicker matches you ink colour.  These are small details that try to make this pen stand out from the crowd.  For me it does achieve this.

Weight and Dimensions

This is a very light pen that does feel a tad bit heavy towards to the nib section.  This has to be expected though as the pen is wider at this end and has the rubber grip section. Both these features will increase the weight.

Comparing it to other cheaper pens I own, it pretty much matches up in the length and wider department.

  1. With nib retracted it comes in at 14.2cm in length.
  2. With nib produced it is 14cm in length.

Filling System

The cartridge that comes with the Z-Mulsion is called a “Zebra EQ Ballpoint” and you can get it in the following colours: Black, Blue, Red, Green, Violet Pink and Light Blue.  You can also buy refills for the Z-Mulsion which cost £0.94.

This refill uses Zebra’s 4th Generation Emulsion Ink.  This means it is a oil and water emulsion which makes the ink dense, rich in colour and anti fade.  It also has water-resistant properties which I haven’t put to the test! If you have I would love to hear what you think.

Nib and Performance

You can only get this in a 1.0mm nib size.  I am not really a big fan of this line width but it is a very smooth writing experience.  Another good point is that it does dry pretty quick.

The Cost and is it worth it?

The pen costed me £1.94 and I think for everyday use this is a pretty good pen.  As I have pointed out above, I do find the line width to be to wide for my taste.  Don’t let this put you off though.