Welcome To My Thoughts On Pens And Pencils

I will respect your right to disagree with what I have to say about Pens and Pencils as long as you respect the fact that I am an Old Geezer.

My Obsession

My Obsession
A Beauty Every One... And There's More At Home!

All Jammed Up?

If you need detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from a mechanical pencil then click this link, "All Jammed Up?" or the link in the pages header.


Please enjoy your stay at my humble blog. Please feel free to leave a comment about any article that you read
. Also please notice that there are four reactions at the bottom of each article. If you find any article funny, interesting, cool or helpful please so indicate. Thank you for visiting my blog.

The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uni-ball Vision Elite Bold 0.8 mm Rollerball

Recently I was approached by a rep. from Weber Shandwick, the PR firm that apparently handles the uni-ball account. She had this to say, in part:

"I see that you are a fan of uni-ball pens and thought you may be interested to know that this tax season, uni-ball has partnered with the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and identity and security theft expert Robert Siciliano to raise awareness about identity theft and uni-ball’s specially formulated ink. Uni-Super Ink is a specially formulated ink that won’t wash out and protects against check washing. And because tax time is a key period when there is a spike in identity theft given the large amount of sensitive documents and information in circulation, an affordable solution, such as a $2 pen can help." The rep. also offered to send me some samples of some uni-ball pens with the super ink technology for consideration of doing a review of said pens.

Naturally I agreed to spread the word and to do a review of some uni-ball pens. A short time later a package arrived from Weber Shandwick with some uni-ball pens inside. Among them was a carded pack of 4 uni-ball Vision Elite Bold 0.8 mm Rollerballs in four colors, Red, Green, Blue and Violet. I wasted no time in opening the pack and having a look-see as I had never seen a uni-ball Vision Elite before. I was in unknown territory, wadding in uncharted waters, peering into the depths of the unknown... OK, enough melodrama!

When I got one of the pens into my hot little hands and removed the cap I noticed right away the textured grip. Unlike the plain clear plastic grip of the Vision Micro, the clear plastic grip of the Vision Elite is textured in a large diamond pattern. This gives the fingers a little something extra to hold onto besides the non-slip plastic. I found the grip a delight and kept running my fingers over it as I examined one of the pens. It also adds a bit of visual interest to the pen as well.

I also noticed that while neither the packaging nor the Sanford uniball web site mentions anything about the Vision Elite being refillable the entire business part of the pen, the tip, grip and ink supply are all one piece but unscrew from the body proper. I find that generally this means that for just a shade less than the cost of a new pen, a refill is available. I did not do a thorough web search for refills though. While having the pen apart I had a good look at the ink supply. It seems to be quite generous and the ink looked
to be rich and opaque, always a good sign.

I also took a gander at the pen's tip, a 0.8 mm ball in a conical shaped tip. A bit wide for my taste but it seems that I'm in the minority when it comes to favoring fine and ultra fine tipped pens. However the Vision Elite also comes in a 0.5 mm version that I would like to try out one day.

While the set I was sent had the four afore mentioned colors the Vision Elite also comes in Black, Orange, Pink and Blue/Black. Not a bad starter set of colors I do say.

According to the packaging the ink in the Vision Elite:
  • Won't leak in flight
  • Helps prevent check washing
  • Fade- and water - resistant ink
The ink in the Vision Elite, as in most uni-ball pens, is a pigmented ink, not a dye ink. For a good explanation of the difference go here and click on "Learn More". Also, to learn more about identity theft and what uni-ball is doing to help prevent it please see this article on my other blog, The Painted Telephone. It's informative and enlightening, a "must read" for tax time.

So just how does the Vision Elite perform? I thought that you'd never ask! I did my standard test for ink pens. Using an Ampad "efficiency" ruled note pad I first wrote a line of text. That was followed by a short line for the water resistance test. That was followed by the bleed through test which consists of me holding the pen tip to the paper for 10 seconds using writing pressure.

The Vision Elite writes with a smoothness only available from liquid ink pens, aka, rollerballs. According to uni-ball this is due to the thinness of the ink used in rollerballs, about the consistency of milk. The thinner the ink and the wider the ball, the smoother the writing experience. But since the ball is only 0.1 mm larger than a o.7 mm ball, such as is on the uni-ball Signo 207, I did not find a perceptible difference between the 2 different ball sizes when it came to how smooth they write. I guess a silly little millimeter is just not enough increase in size to be noticed tactility. However, the Vision Elite is a smooth writing pen.

However visually I am able to detect a noticeable difference in the line width between the Bold 0.8 mm Vision Elite and the Fine 0.7 mm Signo 207 (hey, what happened to medium?). The 207 lays down a slightly thinner line, but not by much. I noticed that the ink in the Vision Elite does not dry as quickly as some other liquid ink pens. This could be because of the ink formula or because of the 0.8 mm tip laying down so much ink.

The water test consists of me putting a single drop of water on each ink line, using a cotton swab, and waiting for it to dry. Once dry I check to see if the ink has bleed, or feathered, when subjected to water. In the case of the Vision Elite the ink did not feather at all. This is primarily due to the fact that the ink is pigmented.

The bleed through test was a bit more telling. Despite having to run the Blue pen through it twice, to make sure that I used the same pressure on all four pens, my results are conclusive. All four colors bled through to the next page when the tip was held to the paper under normal writing pressure, mine that is, not yours! But when the tip of the pen was rested ever so lightly upon the paper's surface a barley perceptible dot is made. So it appears that the ink needs to be in relatively strong contact with the paper in order to leave a mark. Is this a good or bad thing? I guess it all depends on your point of view.

The Vision Elite feels comfortable in my hand, especially unposted as the pen is top heavy when posted. As mentioned earlier it writes very smooth and it's free flowing, an easy writer. It makes big bold lines, easy enough for this old geezer to see with his aging eyes. The pen is quite attractive, the bright colors contrasting nicely with the white and silver gray colors of the barrel and cap. The chrome metal pocket clip adds a nice visual touch as well.

The cap snaps in place with quite the audible "snap" and presses on snugly, almost with a snap, when posting the cap. But as mentioned earlier I find writing with the Vision Elite more comfortable when the pen is unposted, something I don't normally advocate.

All in all, the Mitsubishi uni-ball Vision Elite is a nice pen delivering quality at an affordable price. Plus it comes in 7 colors plus black. So if you are interested in a bold tipped pen that not only is a pleasure to use but will also help protect you from identity theft and check fraud then get yourself a uni-ball Vision Elite or two, or four, awe heck, get all eight!


Marte said...

I love your review :) You're always so thorough.
Very clear and good images too. I suppose you have some experience with photography?
The only thing I miss is larger, less compressed images, so I can fully enjoy how good they are! (Mmm, pen porn!) The jpeg artifacts make it hard to see the smaller details.

The Old Geezer said...

Actually, Marte, The first post that I did with my new digital camera was the Elephant Pen, just before the Vision Elite post. I'm still experimenting with the camera and it's settings. I'll probably go up to a larger frame setting by a step or two. Right now I'm using the 640 x 480 setting, or whatever it is. It's easier to work with while I'm learning! Keep checking in on the blog. I may just have my first (and maybe only???) Give Away! soon!

Marte said...

I check in on your blog all the time, giveaways or not!

If you're still learning, you're doing a very good job.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the review and am quite happy to see you using the new camera! One quick question: On the writing sample, it looks like there is quite a bit of feathering. Was it just the shot, or was there that much feathering?

Nosferatuia said...

Very cool! I love the Violet! I have some Blue-Black Vision Elites and I love them, they write so smooth and make my writing look good ha ha. I love your review, very thourough as always ;), yea! digital camera.

The Old Geezer said...

Yea, digital camera indeed! Makes me want to go and take pics to post on my already posted items just so the posts will look better!

I'm glad that you liked the review. I have one more pen from the same rep that I have to do a review of. I'd better get hopin'!

viagra how it works said...

I liked this blog, i think is very interesting, most of all for the new ideas that this blog talk.

KuddlKat said...

Love these pens. I do QC and have been hunting for a less common color to be distinctive with paperwork, but to get multiples of say, green or orange, I'd have to purchase several of the multi-packs to be able to stay consistent with one color. Any suggestions?

Unknown said...

Where can I get the refills??? Only one I have come across is the blue black ink. Red and blue are almost impossible yo find if they are even available