Hey, look…it’s Monday again. That means it’s time to come up with a pen review! I still have a couple from around Christmas that I haven’t reviewed yet – amazing how things get away from us. So…this week is the Pentel Tradio Stylo Fountain Pen – Black Body – Blue Ink. Wow, that is a mouthful, isn’t it.
This is an interesting pen because the name is both accurate and not. It’s only available online in the US – as far as I can tell. I got mine from Jetpens.com. I bought the blue for me and the black for my husband. The Tradio Stylo runs a bit expensive at first – because you’re buying the barrel and refill. The Tradio has a “standard” black plastic body with a clear plastic window in the cap. Then you’re adding a blue, black, or red “refill which is the ink reservoir, the grip, and the nib all in one. The first round is $9.50 on JetPens, but the refills alone are $4.00.
What’s somewhat inaccurate is to call it a “fountain” pen. It’s not. It’s a felt/porous tip marker like pen. The tip is chiseled like a fountain pen nib, but it’s not a metal nib. It’s not listed with the fountain pens, which at least categorizes it correctly in JetPens. It’s kind of like the disposable calligraphy pens you can get in office and art supply stores for scrapbooks. It does have liquid ink in the reservoir, but I wouldn’t try to refill the reservoir – it’s all one piece. And the reservoir is LARGE, so it’ll write quite a while before it runs out of ink. The color of the ink is rich, but it can speckle if you press hard on scratchy paper, and it does SOUND scratchy.
The Tradio is comfortable to write with. It’s just over 5.5″ capped and just under 6.5″ with the cap posted. It is a ‘medium’ diameter to me – which mean it’s not a slender pen that makes my hand cramp to hold on to it, nor is it bulky. And I haven’t destroyed the nib YET, so it’s a fairly tough porous point nib, but the nib DOES bend.
Since I’m pressed for time today… straight on to the grading…
1. How does it work? – .5 – it works well for long-term use, the grip is comfortable, but I’m afraid I’m going to destroy the porous point nib before I run out of ink. Though the ink doesn’t feather, it can speckle/spray on rough paper if you’re not careful.
2. Grip and feel – 1 – the grip is comfortable. The pen design is meant for long use. The cap posts and seats firmly. There’s no doubt that the cap is secure on the pen. It’s a good length and diameter.
3. Material – .5 it’s a solid plastic, but completely plastic. It’s also designed for refilling, so the plastic has to be durable. The nib bends in the refill. I don’t know how long the cap clip with hold up.
4. Overall Design – 1 – I do like the design. It feels good and comfortable. I’ve gone back to it a few times and found it hard to put down when I start writing with it. You can see the color you’re using. It doesn’t leak. It’s a solid pen
5. Price Point – 0.5 – if you’re looking for a cheap felt/porous point calligraphy pen, this isn’t it. If you’re thinking it’s a traditional fountain pen. This isn’t it. The initial outlay is kind of pricy for a porous point pen, but it’s a barrel and refill rolled into one at first. The refills may seem pricy, but for the amount of ink in the reservoir, it might even out.
I give it a 3.5 of 5 bronze pencils.