Pros: Superb ink flow, erasable ink, rubber eraser.
Cons: Limited availability, some colors are impossible to find.
Being a huge fan of pens and odd office supplies, I was gifted with a Pilot FriXion pen at The Con. One of the vendors that I buy a lot of Lego sets from always has goodies for me and this was one of them. Pens at a toy convention? Yeah, it’s a little odd but so is seeing a grown man in a pink Darth Vader outfit. I have been searching for the ultimate in pens and I think that my quest is now over thanks to the FriXion. What makes this so special? It writes perfectly, has erasable ink and comes in a variety of colors. Nothing too stunning there right? The perk to the FriXion is that it erases using a rubber tip instead of an eraser and that means no eraser grit is left behind.
The ink in the FriXion is sensitive to friction [hence the name], not heat, friction. No, you can't run your finger over it and make it disappear but when you run the rubber tip on the back of the pen over the ink it disappears. Notice I said that it disappears, not that it is erased. It is still there, sort of. To get the ink to rematerialize [that is the first time I have ever had the chance to use that word in a review] you need to freeze it. Yes, freeze it. It will bring the ink back to 'life' in case you erased something that you shouldn't have. This can be pretty dangerous in some situations; if someone wrote something like a phone number or if they were up to something a little devious, well, they could easily get busted even if they think that they 'erased' the evidence.
There are some instances when this pen shouldn't be used. The most obvious is when you are writing out checks, signing documents or anything that someone could use against you. Since the ink of the FriXion can be completely removed from plain sight someone could do a hell of a lot of damage to your bank account or other accounts if they had you use one of these pens. It does have a metal tip to it so there is a good chance that there will be an impression of some sort to it but when you run the rubber tip over it, it smoothes most of it out so it is something that criminals love to make available to people. You might write out a check for a hundred dollars and they can 'erase' the written amount [and the numeric amount] and write in whatever they want. The signature is yours so you will have some explaining to do to get your funds back. The up side is that when the paper is exposed to extreme cold the original written information is visible.
I tried out this pen with a regular eraser and it did remove some of the ink but it also left the paper looking rather haggard. I also tried it with an ink eraser and got even worse results. The up side is that the newer versions are refillable and Pilot also sells a refill for the rubber eraser however these things don’t seem like they will ever wear out. I was given a black FriXion but it comes in some very cool colors if you want to try those out instead. I ordered a purple and pink FriXion and am anxiously awaiting their arrival but you can also get this in blue, red, green, teal and orange.
The tween crowd will ♥ this because it writes a lot better than other erasable inks; when you reactivate the ink it does show up a little less intense than the original writing but it is completely readable. You can image the fun the tween girls will have with this in the form of passing notes. Again, there is a downside to it; it could be used for cheating purposes. If they wrote cheat sheets on paper and saw the teacher coming they could just rub the rubber tip over the ink and it wouldn't be visible. There are pros and cons to everything and I hate to say that these pens will be abused or used for criminal activities but it is bound to happen. Since there is no eraser grit left behind when the ink is removed most teachers won't think twice about a small blank piece of paper that they find on the floor.
So the FriXion is an erasable gel styled pen; how does it write? On most paper it writes perfectly but anything that is textured is going to be problematic. You will get some skipping but there is no feathering. On slick surfaces or the shiny side of poster board you might have to give it a few extra seconds to dry but on loose leaf, copy paper and stationery it dries almost instantly. As I said, there are times when this pen is completely inappropriate so keep that in mind when you are out and about. Never use it to sign a credit card transaction or anything that can be used to defraud you or someone else. I think it's only a matter of time before people catch on to the FriXion and are aware of how it can be used against them. It's sad that something that is as awesome as the FriXion can be a tool of thievery in the hands of someone with less than legal intentions.
My first FriXion was a gift, the ones that I ordered were three dollars each which is a little on the high end but there was only one site that had both the pink and purple in stock so I was willing to pay a little more for them. None of my local office supply stores have these in stock so I will have to wait for them to get them to see if they are selling them for a better price. I love the concept of an erasable ink that completely vanishes but I also understand that there are going to be people that are going to completely abuse what the FriXion has to offer. So far I love this pen and can't wait to try out the rest of the colors!
^V^ © 2009 Freak369 ^V^
Other Pilot Pen Reviews:
G2 Retractable, EasyTouch Retractable, EasyTouch Retractable Mini, V Ball, Bravo Red, P500 Gel Ink, Varsity, Neo-Gel, G2 Four Pack, Precise Deluxe Extra Fine, Bravo Black, Precise V7, Explorer Retractable, G2 Three Pack, G2 Extra Fine, V5 Extra Fine Seven Pen Set, Zing Four Color Pack, G6 Gel Pen, PermaBall Four Pack, G2 Limited, Precise Extra Fine Purple, Pilot Knight