I must confess I am a sucker for a good packaged set so when I spied the limited edition Staedtler Triplus Mobile Office Set ($11.50 per set), I clicked “buy it now” before I knew what happened. I also love triangular shaped tools like the Faber-Castell Grip 2001 so again, “buy. it. now.”
The set came in a black plastic carrying case and the pen (and pencil) clip clasp into the case. The cover clicks into place and can be folded back and clicked to itself to make the tools easy accessible. Inside, there are six tools: a ballpoint pen, a rollerball pen and a Fineliner all in black ink plus a blue Fineliner, a 0.5mm mechanical pencil and a fluorescent highlight in yellow.
Overall, the tools are quite long giving them the weight and balance of an art tool rather than a pocket pen. Capped, the pens are a little over 6.25″ long. Campared that to a Sakura Pigma Micron which is a mere 5.25″ long or a Marvy Le Pen which is 5.625″.
The blue and black Fineliners are 0.3mm felt tip and comparable to the feel of a Sakura Pigma Micron, Staedtler Pigment Liners, Sharpie Pens or Marvy LePens. I like the feeling of the tips. They seem more durable than a Sharpie Pen of a LePen which start to feel dull pretty quickly. I’m curious to try a few of the other colors available now. The only downside of the Fineliners is that they are not waterproof. They are a slightly water resistant though.
Because all the tools are comparable in diameter to the average pencil, I was curious how the highlighter would work. Its a brush shaped tip to allow underlining with the tip and highlighting by angling the pen sideways. It works okay but not as easy to highlight as the chisel tipped versions of the classic Textsurfer. The color is fabulously highlighter yellow though.
The mechanical pencil was an odd delight. Overall, its a similar metallic asphalt gray as the Fineliners but with fine silver stripes running horizontally down the barrel. The tip area is a metal silver adding a little bit of weight to the “business end”. To keep its profile consistent with the other tools (and to keep the eraser clean) it retracts into the body. When fully twisted out, there is 0.75″ of easer which is considerably more than most mechanical pencils. The eraser is white so I’m going to assume that Staedtler had the forethought to use their legendary Mars Plastic eraser as it seems to erase quite well. The point end can also be retracted by pressing the advance halfway to make it easier to travel. The lead holds firmly so there’s no feedback or wiggle. When clicking to advance the leads, there’s is a little black bellows below the eraser cap that compresses. Its an oddly steampunk detail. The pencil separates at the bellows to add additional leads.
Now, I have to talk about the tool I was less pleased by: the ballpoint and the rollerball. The ballpoint preformed well. Its a medium point, black ink and had a soft-touch rubber finish which feels good in the hand. The tip and the end are both chrome metal and the cap is clear plastic so its a very nice looking pen. The bummer was that the cap was hard to replace on the ballpoint which is odd. I had my husband try out the ballpoint as he favors ballpoints and rollerballs. He found that he had to bear down on the ballpoint to get it to write which caused his fingers to slide up the barrel.
And last, the rollerball would not play nicely with my wonky left-handedness. It gapped, didn’t put down a consistent line and generally annoyed me. I’ve had such luck with rollerballs lately I forgot how infuriating rollerballs can be for me. In the hands of my right-handed spouse, it worked, but he found it gloppy and imprecise.
Overall, I loved the portability of the set and several of the tools are good quality. The triangular shape is comfortable and aesthetically appealing. I suspect that the case can be refilled with other tools in the Triplus line so it will not be left with an empty slot when I banish the rollerball and ballpoint.
A smaller classic Tripus Mobile Office set with just four tools (ballpoint, pencil, highlighter and finerliner) and a clear plastic carrying case is just $8.90.
(via Jet Pens)
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The Fineliner pens were an early favorite of mine, when I realized that all pens and markers were not created equal. I have the 10-pack but now that I see there is a 20-pack I will be ordering that 🙂
The problems you had with the rollerball may not just be your lefthandedness. I got a pack of the Staedtler 432 ballpoint pens a few months ago and they aren’t great. It’s a 10-pack with nice colors, but some of them don’t write well at all. Maybe just bad quality control. (I actually just pulled them out again as I was writing this – they aren’t *awful* but they didn’t meet my expectations based on using the Fineliners for so long.)
One more thing – the packaging is one of the best things about the Fineliners and the Staedtler markers I have. A+
I love the case that these come in. I have a set of the 10 colored pens in a case that I use on my desk all the time for color coding. The case makes it very easy to pick and choose the colors. I’ve often looked at their smaller office sets. I’m a little concerned about your report of the ball point and rollerball pens since these would be what I would use the most. Thanks for a good review of this product!