Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Nicely styled pen with some setbacks
on December 27, 2010
I was hoping for a lot from this pen, but it turned out to be a mixed bag. The finish is slick and well done. All pieces fit up nicely with no gapping. Visually, the pen looks high-end and Stuhrling's orange-on-black color scheme is very nice. The cap comes off and on with a very satisfying snap which lets you know it's secure. With the cap on, the pen has a fair heft, but I would like it to be more substantial. With the cap placed on the back of the pen for writing, the pen becomes very unbalanced(top-heavy) and makes writing uncomfortable. Therefore, to write with this pen, I have to leave the cap off. I don't like doing that with rollerballs because it becomes easier to lose caps. This relegates this pen to a desk pen only - not a traveler.
The ink of the medium-point rollerball flows out smoothly and evenly. I do, however, have a problem with Stuhrling's way of setting the ink refill into the pen body. At the end of the refill is a spring, and that spring meets the back end of the body. Therefore, as one writes, the tip is in a constant state of floating along the travel of the spring. There are other pens that use this spring style, and I dislike them as well. For a person who writes a lot, the springy motion takes away from consistency and adds frustration. Furthermore, the pen rattles and sometimes squeaks when shaken because of the spring. The front barrel of the pen, unfortunately, is plastic which screws into a metal receptor in pen's body. I would have liked for the part of the front barrel which screws into the body to also be metal because it would add quality to the pen's build and it would give the pen a much better weight balance for writing.
The ink refill is a mystery. There are no markings whatsoever upon it to give hint as to what brand it is or how to replace it. At the time of this review, Stuhrling has no information on this on their website or this product page. There was no documentation included in the pen's box either - nothing at all. I thought that maybe there was some secret flip out compartment in the box where a little sheet would be hidden, but I tore the box apart and found nothing. I'm sure that somebody will figure out what refill(s) will work for this pen. I have other rollerballs which I will use much more often than this pen, and I don't think I'll have to worry about refilling it anytime soon.
Overall, I think the pen is worth the asking price if a refill type can be established. I will remove the spring and fill the void with something solid to make this pen more usable for me. I have associated the Stuhrling brand with providing high-end looks at low prices, and this pen maintains that association. However, looks and quality don't always go hand-in-hand.