Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pilot Down Force .7

I must admit, the bright orange barrel pushed me to buy the Pilot Down Force, and the large, industrial-looking clip sealed the deal. Well, let it be a lesson to me, because I was not so thrilled with this one after a few weeks of using it. But before I get into that, allow me to preface this with an introduction to the pen.

The Pilot Down Force is a relatively new offering on JetPens. Being a fan of premium ballpoint pens, I thought this one looked pretty good. Some of you may have used the Tombow Airpress, and this one works much the same way: the plunger mechanism pressurizes the ink the cartridge, providing a writing experience that is void of any skipping. 

The packaging also asserts that you can write at any angle, which is great if you are likely to write in such a manner, but I have only ever written at an odd angle when I write down a quick bit of information with a piece of paper being held against the wall or when I am putting up  sheet rock or drywall, in which case I am always using a woodcase pencil. In other words, I don't see the need for the write at any angle "feature."

You can't really see it in this image, but this pen is prone to globbing at the tip, providing the opportunity for ink to get on just about anything. On several occasions I had to wipe ink off of the barrel, my clipboard, and my pen case - very annoying in all cases. 

The pen also clicks and rattles as I write. Some people don't mind this, but it drives me nuts and seems unnecessary. I also noted that there are better options than this for the same money (or less). If you want a comfortable, smooth writing ballpoint that has a larger barrel, get a Pilot Dr. Grip. Many stores have these for $6-$8. If you want a pen that writes on wet surfaces, in every possible direction and angle, and in very hot or very cold conditions, try a Uniball Power Tank. Both of these options are superior to the Down Force in nearly every way.

The refill for the Down Force is the Dr. Grip Multi-pen refill, which means it is going to be smaller than most non-multi-pen refills. Given the size of the barrel, I don't understand why Pilot didn't choose to go with an Acroball or Dr. Grip refill. 

What I will say is that this could be a good pen for construction, a hospital, or anyone that just loves cool barrels and industrial clips, but I have a hard time justifying this pen over other comparable offerings. 

1 comment:

  1. Works well for me. Lightweight, writes upside down as advertised. Just wish they had a gel ink refill.