Uni-Ball Air Review

Handwritten review at the bottom. I included a typed version in case my handwriting is illegible to eyes other than my own. Second review. Let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @7heDaniel. You can also find me on Facebook under the same name.

Now… On the off chance that I don’t write with a fountain pen, I find it weird to write in cursive. This pen? Nope!

Uni-ball say that this pen writes like a fountain pen, minus the leaking. I have never experienced a leaky fountain pen, but this pen most certainly does feel like a fountain pen. The nib seems to be a bit hit or miss, however. I have just switched to another one, that was included in the pack. Let’s see how this one does.

The pen is sleek and stealthy. In fact, to those unaware about the pen, they may question how this pen actually writes. To put it one way, it’s as though Uni-ball have given rollerballs a make-over – the best sort of comparison that I could give is a hooded fountain pen nib. That’s the feeling that I get from this pen. Lamy 2000 meets Pilot Capless (or Vanishing Point for those of you across the pond).

I want to use this pen when I go do my job later as a part time waiter (a student needs money to feed this expensive hobby!) Being rollerballs, I can’t imagine that I can leave them uncapped… But I will give it a go and feedback (in hindsight, they would be far better to leave uncapped than a fountain pen).

Uni-ball also say that you can get different line widths depending on how hard you press [reference the writing sample; bottom paragraph 3rd line]. Yep. I would say so. I wouldn’t recommend for flex writing though.. But those more experienced than I am may do better.

Pros

  • Smooth writer
  • They have their own line variation, which is unique
  • As close to a fountain pen you can get without buying a fountain pen
  • Cheap!

Cons

  • Seems that the nibs are hit or miss…
  • Only come in blue, black & red*
  • Ink takes a while to dry, I have suddenly noticed**

* These use Uni-ball’s Super Ink, which apparently makes it waterproof and resistant to fraud. I myself remain skeptical, but the rest of the Internet, or so I could find, confirms that this is true.

The ink is in a cartridge (rather provocatively stamped “do not remove” – challenge accepted). When this runs out, I will attempt putting my own ink in here to see how that turns out. Hopefully more ink choice thereafter!!

** I didn’t notice this on the other side, but apparently the ink takes a while to dry. I write left handed, and in a hooked position. So with fountain pens, I never notice smudging because by the time I move my hand across the text, it has dried – unless I am moving freely across the paper by doing a table, as above. Any smudging after the table is just friction from ik already on my fingers. It still gets the lefty approval.

Upon finishing my shift, the pen did impeccably well.The pen didn’t dry up and there was absolutely no bleedthrough on my paper (which is impressive, because us waiters aren’t given Rhodia-standard paper). The uncapping and capping was a little tedious, but it’s a capped pen (which is why I left the cap off in the end) so that’s inevitable and so I’m really not complaining about that because it’s like complaining about your food to a waiter being incorrect when it’s exactly what you ordered………………

All in all, a great pen and certainly one that I will keep as a reserve for when I can’t use a fountain pen and need black ink. I will add my own ink to these pens and provide an update when I finally run out. Something I should note is that this pen is not eyedropper convertible because there are two air-holes at the back of the pen.

UniBall Air Review 1UniBall Air Review 2

Regal ~ Author Series: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Handwritten review at the bottom. I included a typed version in case my handwriting is illegible to eyes other than my own. Second review. Let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @7heDaniel. You can also find me on Facebook with the same username. I hope that the handwritten writing sample is viewable. In hindsight, such a light ink with my limited Photoshop skills doesn’t really work out well. I didn’t include the scanned images because it just didn’t look right. I have taken pictures with my phone and uploaded them. If there is any feedback at all then I would love to hear it – you can message me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This is my first review and I hope to continue doing this, so any feedback (positive or negative) will be extremely appreciated.

“Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York – every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves.”

Overview Introduction

F. Scott Fitzgerald. I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with this genius during my AS level English Literature class last year. I was ashamed in myself that it took me 17 years to read his works: The Great Gatsby is truly a work of literary masterpiece that really speaks out to me. This pen has an added sentiment to me as its namesake is the man of whom wrote my favourite book (along with Catcher In The Rye – if there is a J.D Salinger pen, I will be all over that thing). F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald died thinking he was a failure. Having a pen this beautiful designed in your name is not something failures receive – even Mont Blanc have a pen dedicated to Fitzgerald (I am going for the record of the most times Fitzgerald is name dropped). That’s what this pen is: utterly beautiful and, dare I say it, of a regal status. Simple, but elegant.

Cap

Starting at the cap, we have a plain finial. What I love about this is that it has a slant to it, which gives it a refined look: a modern touch to an otherwise conservative design. Then you have the clip. The colour complements the rest of the furniture of the pen: it is a very nice gold colour. My only concern is that this clip is so stiff that it is unusable. Maybe I just need to wear it in. Uncapping is also stiff, but it’s a somewhat reassuring stiffness. Rest assured, that if you clip this pen, it’s not going ANYWHERE.My only other complaint about the pen is the branding. With Parker, you have the arrow clip – Mont Blanc with their white star – Sheaffer with their white dot – Pelikan and their bill. These are all.. Subtle, or at least aesthetically pleasing. Regal went with writing their name on the bottom of the cap. This wouldn’t bother me too much, if it wasn’t for the font. In my opinion, this just doesn’t fit. I get that it’s branding… But I just think that it looks awful. This is my only complaint about the pen.

Nib

The nib is an 18k gold plated nib. Not only is this smooth, but I think it is so beautiful (but it certainly does not beat Pelikan, whose nibs triumph). From the scroll work, I would be inclined to believe it is a Jowo nib – on Regal’s website, they do indicate a German made nib. It features a crown (Regal. It makes sense – why wasn’t this put in the cap instead?) and a two tone nib, which I adore. Medium nib and it writes very smooth, as I said. I am writing straight out of the box. It does well, but I do need to wait a while for ink to start up again. After this review I will flush it and maybe make it a little wetter, depending on how it reacts and performs after flushing. But you can see that with the shading, it lays down a decent amount of ink at least.

 

The nib is small. I would have liked a larger nib, due to the aesthetics, but I think this nib size works for this pen. It is a number 3(?) size nib. It has amazing line variation. For those who reverse write, it is very – VERY smooth, but also very very dry. Use as a fine line here and there, but nothing more.

Section

The section is a respectable length – it isn’t short like TWSBI, but as long as, say, a Pilot MR/Metropolitan. I have a very strange grip – all of my fingers, bar my pinky to support the pen, but holding it in the normal position, it is comfortable and not slippery like some metal sections, and you don’t notice the step down. It is accented by two gold bands top and bottom… But I will get onto those in a little bit.

Body

The body is all one material and colour. It looks like an off-white sort of silver. I really like the time tone of this colour, whatever it is. It works impeccably well with the furniture. White to represent Daisy and gold to represent Gatsby (though, it should be yellow, as Gatsby is of West Egg). The furniture is more of a rose gold. Daisy.. Rose.. I wonder if that was intentional.. Either way, I like to think that Regal did this with some sort of literary reference. Within the Author Series, this is easily my favourite design… Though, perhaps I am a tad bias.

Which brings me on to my final point(s?).

Complaining   Converter


The converter is, from what I can tell, proprietary as the slot hole has no nipple,  but looks similar to Sheaffer.

Comparison of Regal (left) and Sheaffer (right) converters

The small sized cartridge that shipped with the pen (converter had to be bought seperately – something that really annoys me… I’m looking at you, Faber Castell) does not fit in pens that take standard international. Do I think this is okay? Well, no – I never do. I have the same feelings towards this as Mr. Armstrong from The Pen Habit – there is a standard international. Use it as standard.. That being said, it isn’t as annoying when larger companies to it, but Regal are not a large company rivalling the likes of Pelikan, Sheaffer Mont Blanc and such. Plus – if you go to a store/online,. you are sure to find a Sheaffer Skrip refill on ar a converter – they even have them in my local WH Smiths. REgal? You can go to JetPens for $3… But I;m in UK, so that isn’t economical… Or I can buy directly from Regal, with a shipping rate of $30… x10 the price of the converter.

While negatives are present, I still see this pen as one that I am glad I have in my collection, and one that shall remain in my rotation for a while I shall expect.

ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN. THERE IS NO THIRD PARTY INFLUENCE: I BOUGHT THIS PEN WITH MY OWN FUNDS.

MEASUREMENTS:

  • 140mm capped
  • 155mm posted
  • 12.4mm unposted
  • 28g total (negligible amount of ink in converter)
  • 18g body
  • 10g cap