Friday, August 10, 2012

Schneider Xtra Hybrid .3 Needle Point Blue


Stride Write, the sole distributor of Schneider pens, sent me this sample several weeks ago, and you may have seen my recent review of the Schneider Xtra Document, a pen that I, surprisingly, enjoyed more than this one. 

I love needle point pens, especially if they come in a great color (this one is nearly blue-black), and are a really fine point. What I found with this one is that the combination of the really fine ball and liquid ink seemed to be very finicky, at least on the papers that I tried. I ended up doing the review on a Rhodia Reverse Book, and there were occasional start-up issues. Outside of this, I also found the ink to spread more than I would like, so the .3 size was closer to a .5, if not a .6 line. 


I will admit, I often tend to stay away from liquid ink pens for this reason, though I have a more forgiving approach to my fountain pens.


I've said this before, but I think it is easy to argue that Germany and Japan produce the best writing instruments in the world, so I usually anticipate top tier quality when I try products from these two countries, and maybe that isn't fair.

What is exciting is that some of the harder-to-find stuff if finally becoming available here in the states; whether people agree on the excellence of a particular offering is less important than the fact that people have access to try it out in the first place, but I digress.


The Cap: As you can see, this is a very flashy design. I love the German flag colors on the cap, but the rest of the appearance doesn't do too much for me. I like a cleaner, more subdued look. Again, personal preference.


The Clip: The clip works well, but the cap is easily removed from the front, and posts very lightly on the back end, so be weary of getting ink stains in your pants, shirt pocket, or purse. I'd leave this one on your desk or in a pen cup.


Grip and Ergonomics: Perhaps my favorite two features of the pen. The grip is comfortable and the pen is easy to hold without strain or fatigue. No complaints here.


Pros and cons on this one were pretty even for me, which is unfortunate, but I want to see what others think about this one. If you don't post your cap, and liquid ink pens are some of your favorites, this could be a marvelous pen for you, but I still couldn't recommend this one given the downfalls I experienced. 



8 comments:

  1. I've never tried this pen...or any Schneider really, but I do love liquid ink pens (ie the Pilot Precise V5) and I could never write with it if it wasn't posted. My writing just ends up looking hideous. But the grip on this one is very attractive. Looks comfy to use. Hmm... pros vs cons indeed!

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    1. Azizah - E-mail me your address and I'll send you some stuff. :)

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  2. I highly, highly suggest the Pilot RTs. I've always loved needle-points, and these are my favorite since the v5s. They have problems -- the barrel tends to unscrew as you write with them, and the click mechanism isn't perfect -- but they are are fantastic. I used, almost exclusively (excepting only my Pelikan Demonstrator, rhodium-gold extra-fine, plunger-fill, for personal letters) the Pilot v5 for YEARS, for all purposes. Now, I have swapped. The RT provides enough of that satisfying "click" to be worth my while, while the gel ink is smooth, consistent across even inferior (work) paper, and has ZERO smudge. It dries before I can swipe my thumb across it, even when I try; this is one of my major qualms with many gel pens -- I cannot tolerate smudging under any circumstance, and was horribly disappointed by the "Pur" pens that have come to market of late. These will smear even minutes after writing. I expect the Pilot RT is some sort of gel-liquid hybrid. It doesn't hurt that they sent me a dozen refills and six pens when I shared my concerns. I can't wait until they fill out their colors; only green, red, blue, and black at the moment (visual learner). In fact, I have had some issues with them: a few that didn't want to start, and a smaller few that "roll rough" even then. Yet, they are my favorite at the moment. A better grip would be marvelous, and the release of a real barrel, vs. the semi-disposables now, would make me a permanent, exclusive writer. Add to this a mechanism like the Parker Jot (or is it Jotter?) and I'd buy them just to give to strangers.

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  3. Adam -

    Thank you for taking the time to share your favorite writing tools. I agree that the Pilot v5 and RT are exceptional. Very rarely do I dislike a Pilot product. I haven't experienced too much smudging with any gel pens besides the G-2 .7 and 1.0, but it doesn't stop me from using them (the 1.0 red looks quite menacing when I am editing my writing - it has the effect of making sure that I remember those needed revisions).

    Have you submitted this feedback to Pilot?

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  4. I would love to try some other Schneider pens. The only ones I have are the ballpoint "Slider XB" with "Viscoglide Technology." The only place I could find that carries them is Office Max, but they were never in store so I ordered them from the website. They are fantastically smooth! The set has 8 colors and the style makes me think of a skinny version of the R.S.V.P. pen. The pen body is slimmer and shorter, but the ink cartridge inside is huge. Each has a little rubber grippy area, and the caps do post. I would recommend them to anyone who likes a ballpoint or gel pen. The ink is very intense and just flies right out of the extra broad tips!

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  5. Here's the set I mentioned:
    http://www.ipenstore.com/servlet/the-6571/8-Pack%2C-Schneider-Slider/Detail

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  6. Trixie - I didn't know that they made a multi-pack like that. I think the XB is great, and it is certainly a nice competitor to many other "super smooth" ballpoints that are on the market.

    Thanks for the tip!

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  7. I am from the Philippines & they are selling Schneider pens here for about $1.25/pc.
    I usually buy the Xtra895 0.6 tips for my everyday pen & the Topliner 967 0.4 tips for my drawing & sketching pens.
    The Xtra 895 costs $1.25/pc while the Topliner 967 costs about $0.60/pc.
    Not cheap but not expensive if you lose them.

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