Ystudio Rollerball Review
Posted by Lois Ho on
I was quite late to the Ystudio party and wasn’t super keen to jump onto the bandwagon when the company only produced their pens in black or brass and only in fountain pen format. I’m not a huge fan of Schmidt nibs, having had a less than pleasing experience and I think I’m one of the few people who aren’t keen on brass patina.
When I saw that they came out with a white and gold version and in a rollerball version, I was quite attracted to this and when there was a special on the pen one weekend, I purchased it straight away.
The pen is lovely – its really well balanced and not too heavy. A few recently purchased brass pens became too heavy for my weak hands to hold for much longer than a few quick notes. They’ve sadly become relegated to desktop post it note jotters. The removable lid really helps to keep the weight down while writing.
For posters out there, you’re not able to post this pen. For me its not a problem and since its not a short pen so it may not be a huge issue to most. The step down from the barrel to the grip section has been gently angled and smoothed out so its not a sharp down.
I do have a few peeves about this pen, although all but one is minor. The first is the back screw refill mechanism – I suspect that this peeve may not affect many though – its very tempting to undo it with your fingernail, but often the screw is much tighter than my fingernail can manage, resulting in (very minor) finger injuries. Easily remedied by controlling a constant impulse to check how much is left on my refill and only doing it when you have a coin or screwdriver implement nearby (in theory!).
The second is that sadly, it doesn’t take my preferred Uniball gel refills. I like rollerballs of this type as I can generally replace the refill with a cheapee gel refill instead of buying the expensive Schmidt refills that they come with. They are not a cost effective option for where I am located, especially since I seem to run out after about 2 weeks of use. However, I was pleased to find out that it accepts Pilot refills with no problem.
Finally, and my biggest peeve of all, is that the paintwork is very delicate and chips easily. I’m not hard on my pens and they are carried around in a case most of the time but I’ve already had 2 chips on my paintwork. I’ve not used this that much either. So that is sad.
I did see somewhere that perhaps the intention behind these pens is for the paintwork to wear and the idea is that they look beautiful and worn but that’s not quite my style and I’m sad to see the chips already. If you can’t stand wearing but can deal with patina, I believe there is an all brass version of this pen.
For engineers and perfectionists, I’ve noted very recently that there is now a tiny bit of give when the pen is capped. I can feel that the cap jiggles very slightly. I couldn’t say that I noticed it before a few weeks ago, so I’m not sure if that’s the result of wear and tear or if it came like that, but I can imagine that it would annoy some users, so I thought I would mention it.
I really enjoy using this pen, but its not without its flaws. There is now a resin version of this pen that is a lot cheaper and would potentially alleviate some of the issues I mentioned here, so if you fancy the look of the pen but either don’t want to spend the money or are concerned with some of the issues I mentioned above, this might be a suitable alternative.
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