When I saw that Sharpie had expanded their pen line-up to include gel and rollerball pens, I couldn’t resist giving this Big Box brand a quick look. I have always been a fan of the Sharpie Pen (the felt tip/fiber tip version) and, of course, the ubiquitous alcohol-based Sharpie Markers for labelling boxes and other big jobs. As Big Box pens go, Sharpie is a pretty safe option so I was really hoping that their new S-Gel and Roller pens would also be a bright spot in the Big Box pen world.
The Sharpie S-Gel ($1.75, available in 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 1.0mm in black, blue and red) features a knock mechanism, plastic clip and conical point. The S-Gel pen also features a hard rubber grip section and was probably the only thing I wasn’t thrilled about. The etched grooves and hard rubber surface pressed into my hands noticeably. However, the writing experience was excellent. The ink was smooth flowing and consistent, even for this janky lefty.
I got a 0.5mm red as that was all that was in stock when I ordered and the color was a clean, readable red.
The Sharpie Roller 05 ($2.25, available in black, blue and red and also in 0.7mm) features a snap cap with a metal clip and a needletip point. The ink was super smooth and a rich dark black. The pen reminded me of the gateway pen of my youth — the Pilot V5 — it was a delight. The V5 had a tendency to collect paper lint but in the writing I did, the Sharpie Roller seemed a bit smoother and maybe less likely to get clogged with paper fibers and gummy on the end. Longer testing will have to occur to determine for sure.
So far, the Sharpie Roller is a delightful writing experience and I’ll be the first to tell you that rollerballs and I DO NOT GET ALONG. I am a lefty who tends to overwrite which causes me to push the tip and that will inevitably choke a pen feed. But not this rollerball. The longer I wrote, the smoother it felt. The smooth barrel did not have any bumpy grip section either so — surprise, surprise! — I think I like the Sharpie Roller a little more the S-Gel. I know… stunned me too.
As expected, the smooth gel ink in the Sharpie S-Gel is not waterproof or even particularly water resistant but the ink in the Sharpie Roller is highly water resistant when dry.
If you’ve been looking for a new Big Box pen to grab or add to your office stationery cupboard order, I highly recommend the Sharpie S-Gel and Roller. They will not make you groan when you have to pick up a pen off the conference room table or add to your sharing pen cup. But someone else might walk away with them — and that’s okay. You may have started someone down the path to better pens.