Every time I step into Loft, my second favorite stationery & more store in Japan, I head directly for the pen displays. I stand there, section by section, trying out all of the different pens, different colors, different styles. This time, I was shopping for a new pen that I could use for letter writing. (My reliance on the Frixion pens has gotten risky for letter writing since some of the ink disappeared on the way to Tacoma, Washington recently.) So I was shopping for something a little bit more permanent. I found and fell in love with these Ballsign Knock gel pens. They come in a few different varieties, but I ended up getting a pack of the metallic ones that can write on dark and light paper, a pack of the shimmery ones that glitter in the light, and a single neon one. My favorites are the metallic ones. I love pens that write on dark papers, and I was excited to have some that went beyond the normal white, gold, and silver options in my arsenal. I love the metallic gold (it’s almost a white gold), green, blue, purple, and pink colors, but sadly, they don’t show up as strong colors on black paper. (It’s hard to tell from the picture, but they read more silver metallic on the black paper.) I think part of the reason is the colors aren’t very dark to begin with and that they have a 0.6mm point. (I like a thinner point on my pens, but I’m also not sure that this style comes in other sizes.) I still love the way that they write and the way that they look on dark paper so I’m pleased with my purchase. (Plus I have these other Ballsign gel pens in my pen stash and their true colors show up perfectly on dark papers. I’ll be sharing more about them in a future blog post.) The glittery ones are a lot of fun, but only show on lighter papers. I purchased the 0.8mm points in these (again, I think that was all Loft offered) and the thickness is perfect for showing off the shimmer of the ink (the box calls them lamé). The colors are very opaque and the ink flows really well. These will be fun for addressing envelopes and making mail art. I almost bought a box of the neon pens, but I decided that I should leave some pens for the other people. So I just bought the red one. (Neon is out of style now anyway, right?) But I like the width of the neon red pen and there was a tiny bit of skipping at first, but it got better as I used it a bit. It’s hard to tell from my picture, but the ink really pops off the page.
Sakura also offers a pastel version that can be used on dark papers and a regular ol’ gel ink version (in a 0.4mm point). All in all, I’m really happy with these pens. They are nice and slim and comfortable to hold. Time will tell if they are good workhorses for letter writing and list-making. I’ll have to put my precious Frixion pens away to find out.