Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Staples Sonix Gel pens

Quite some time ago I had a couple of the Staples Sonix ballpoint pens and I liked them.  They wrote nicely and had a nice line to them.  So, since I'd gotten more into gel pens, I thought I would give the gel version a try.  Sadly, I am not really impressed.  

These pens look just like the ballpoint version, which Staples does not even carry anymore that I can tell.  The gel pens came in a 12-pack of colors, each of which was supposed to be a different color.  That is mostly true...  There is a black, Pink, Orange, Purple, 3 shades of blue, 3 shades of green, and 2 shades of red.  

The black is your typical black gel pen.  Writes nicely and has a nice 0.7 mm line that lays down cleanly.  

The "pink" barreled pen is more of a violet/magenta-like color IMO.  That's fine with me, because I like the color.  But the barrel is pink.  It also had some strange white, chalky residue on the barrel, though it wiped off fine.  

The purple barrel lays down a nice, dark purple ink.  Since I love purple inks, I don't care that I now have 2 different shades of purple.  :)  

The orange is a bit too light for my tastes.  I have only ever found 2 Orange gel pens I like - the Uniball Signo 207 and the Papermate Gel.  Both have a nice, dark orange ink.  The orange Sonix pen also skipped a bit, and that annoys me.  Because the ink color is light, i always feel like I have to press hard with it or that it is constantly on the verge of running out of ink or something.  

The reds are a "typical" red and a dark burgundy red.  The typical red got off to a slow start and I wasn't sure it was going to write at all.  The dark red pen skipped in a few places, and overall is scratchier and lays down a narrower line than the others.  Odd.

Of the greens there is a light almost yellow-green that I cannot really ever see myself using, because it is way too light and hard to read, a "typical" bright green which I could barely get to write and it skipped all over the place, and a very dark green that reminds me of the car my mom had growing up whose color was called "black emerald".  I like that one, and it wrote OK.  The barrel color of the medium "typical" green and the dark green however is almost identical, and it's hard to tell which one is which.  

On the blues I'm totally at a loss.  The lightest blue barrel I expected to lay down a light blue line, but instead it is a blue-black color.  It's very dark and while I like the color, it was not at all what I expected!  The brighter blue barrel is the typical blue gel pen, and writes nicely, as did the black one.  The dark blue barrel appears to be the same color ink as the light blue barrel, but it is a thin, scratchy line that skips all over the darn place.  Good thing I guess that it writes the same color as the other one, huh?  I wonder if that was a manufacturing error on the light blue pen, and it really should be a lighter ink?  

Anyway, overall I am not happy with the way the pens write.  Way too much skipping on several of the pens, inconsistent colors compared to the barrel (so don't tell me the ink color matches the barrel), too hard to tell the ink colors apart based on some of the barrel colors (the greens), and inconsistent line widths & writing smoothness from pens of the same package.  I took these back to Staples. 

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