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A Review Of The J. Herbin Rollerball Pen With Pictures


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26 replies to this topic

#1 arandur

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 20:16

First Impressions (7)

This rollerball looks classy! The silver-topped cap with “J. Herbin” printed on the side strike me as quality from first glance. Additionally, this pen is fairly short compared to many rollerball pens. The clear plastic worries me a bit, in regard to build quality. Uncertainty, as to my feelings regarding this pen, abounds.

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Appearance (7)

The silver-topped cap and the silver accent band blend well with the clear plastic, and they highlight it well. The pen is very simplistic, but its charms do not lay much with the appearance.

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Design/Size/Weight (10)

This pen is light - very light. Between the all-plastic construction and the use of short cartridges for filling, I might even term it a featherweight. Yet, holding it still feels comfortable. I was actually surprised at how comfortable the pen was to hold, because of how short it is. Posting the cap does increase the length, but I found that this made holding the pen less comfortable. While holding the pen, it is also obvious that the plastic body and cap are not as brittle as they might appear.

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Nib (8)

Reviewing this nib is difficult. On one hand, I want to say that it is a great nib for a rollerball fountain pen. In most of my use, I found that it did have slightly less scratchiness to it, as compared to the Platinum Preppy Rollerball and Noodler’s Nib Creaper Piston-fill Rollerball. That being said, it does have a bit of scratchiness, and I will not compare it to rollerball pen cartridges (which I have found to be much smoother), such as those from Mont Blanc, which involve a different ink system.

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Filling System (10)

Versatility is the one word that I feel describes this pen, and that description stems primarily from the filling system. While it was meant to take short, standard international cartridges, this pen also may be used with the Monteverde Mini Converter. Between these two things, keeping this pen inked is no trouble at all. In my inspection of the pen, I suspect that converting it to an eyedropper-fill would be very easy, really only a matter of applying an o-ring and some silicone grease to the threads (after the small holes on the end of the pen are blocked with some sealant), but such a conversion may be more trouble than it is worth.

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Cost and Value (9)

For 10 USD, retail, this pen is one of the least expensive rollerball fountain pens, short of dropping into a cheaper-quality price bracket (such as the Platinum Preppy Rollerball). The increase in quality of this pen over the Preppy is worth the increased price, in my opinion.

Conclusion (9)

A solid, small rollerball pen. Need something to carry in a pocket or purse and prefer rollerballs? Go with this. The versatility for such a use is wonderful. Looking for a rollerball to keep on a desk and use for long stretches of writing? Perhaps consider another option. I enjoyed this pen just as much as the Noodler’s Nib Creaper Piston-fill Rollerball, but the difference in filling method may cause some to prefer one over another.

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#2 piknikoman

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:57

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Nice pictures as well.

#3 arandur

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:37

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Nice pictures as well.

Thank you!

#4 El Monstro

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:37

Thanks for the insights and the beautiful pictures.

I did see this pen and was quite curious about it. Seems to be a short and light pen but looks balanced when posted.

But putting J. Herbin's name on this product means that the company is taking this pen very seriously.

#5 arandur

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:15

Thanks for the insights and the beautiful pictures.

I did see this pen and was quite curious about it. Seems to be a short and light pen but looks balanced when posted.

But putting J. Herbin's name on this product means that the company is taking this pen very seriously.

The size and weight are certainly great assets for this pen!

#6 reprieve

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:48

I have two of these little pens; they both live in my pen cup at work and are great for using up my stash of cartridges. I am a little worried about the plastic cracking--it doesn't feel so solid--but mine have both held up well despite some light abuse. They always write smoothly and wetly and fit nicely in even a small pocket. It's convenient to have these on hand to lend to non-fountain-pen-using coworkers (who are always impressed by the bright ink colors I can use!). I think they're a good value.

#7 VirtuThe3rd

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 15:47

Nice pen and the ink looks really beautiful. :)
Thanks for sharing this!!

#8 Duro

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:30

Hmm, yours seems to write much smoother than mine, and appears to put out a thicker line. It might be the ink I'm using, as I opted for Kaweco Cartridges before I received a mini converter in the mail, and have stuck to the cartridges so far. I really dislike Kaweco Blue-Black as it isn't saturated enough for my liking, so maybe if I switch to a wetter ink I will prefer this rollerball. I wonder what it will be like to flush it, I've never flushed a rollerball pen before...

#9 arandur

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 14:56

Hmm, yours seems to write much smoother than mine, and appears to put out a thicker line. It might be the ink I'm using, as I opted for Kaweco Cartridges before I received a mini converter in the mail, and have stuck to the cartridges so far. I really dislike Kaweco Blue-Black as it isn't saturated enough for my liking, so maybe if I switch to a wetter ink I will prefer this rollerball. I wonder what it will be like to flush it, I've never flushed a rollerball pen before...

I found that flushing it just with water was difficult to get all of the ink from the collector.

#10 nana_kathy

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 17:07

I bought one of these with high hopes, and liked the way it writes. However, the cap cracked so badly that it won't stay on the pen. I rarely use it any more.
Posted ImageMember since July 2012... so many inks, so little time!

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#11 chad.trent

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 20:48

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I figured I'd throw my two cents in here...

 

I've had one of these pens for about 6 months and it sees daily use. I carry it to work every day. I find it to be very smooth for a roller ball. I have only used it with J Herbin cartridges, so maybe the ink plays a part there.

 

I have dropped it a couple times, and aside from some scratches and scuffs, it has held up nicely.

 

Seeing as others have reported cracking, I wonder if it may be a quality control issue.


Edited by chad.trent, 27 June 2013 - 20:48.


#12 grahamtillotson

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 15:51

I've been using two of these for a week now and while I really like the rollerball quality and they way they write the plastic is terrible. Both of the pens now have multiple cracks where the barrel threads onto the section. Seems like clear pens always have this type of cracking problem (TWSBI, Preppy). 

 

Graham



#13 ethernautrix

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 16:40

I have a very vague recollection about having heard of this pen, but it's so vague that reading this thread today feels like the first time I have heard about the J. Herbin rollerball/fountain pen.

 

My first reaction is: Neat!

 

My second is: Why wouldn't I just use my fountain pens?

 

Answering my own question: Sometimes a fountain pen isn't the best tool for the job (triplicates, for instance, that I sometimes have to fill out at work). Probably I will continue to use a Pilot G-2 for those occasions, but it's cool to know that this is an option.

 

Nice review! Thanks for writing it.


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#14 arandur

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 13:00

You are quite welcome!



#15 BFU

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 19:08

I have just bought one.  I find it write a little 'dry' and is a very fine tip.   Also the 

re is a slim metal band that fits between the barrel and the frrd unit, which is loose and easily falls off, when the barrel is unscrewed.  I bought it as my girl friend is left handed and so far the only FP she finds suits her is one of my [ex] Harley Davidson Stylo FP's.   



#16 AnneHW

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 12:35

I love fountain pens, but I'll admit that they can be difficult for me to get the quality of handwriting I like. That's probably because no matter how hard I try, I'm still having a problem relaxing my grip. But, I found that when I went back to using my favorite (so far) rollerball, my grip and handwriting were significantly better!

I use a weird little ergonomically designed pen by Stablio. The flow is nice, and its a comfortable, solid, lightweight plastic. But thought I'd check for some other brands to try. Thanks for the helpful review.

#17 grilledcheese

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 21:06

I agree with BFU about the slim metal 'washer' -- it wants to fall off every time I open it to change ink, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it sprints away under a bookcase or something and is gone forever. 

 

I wouldn't write a love letter with it, but for more utilitarian tasks, it's a great little pen and at this price I can load a few with different colors without making a big commitment. 



#18 Kaidi3s

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 21:12

Thanks for the input :) I use many fountain pens at work (with home made inks) and cringe with my customers/co-workers grab one of my *many* fountain pens laying on my desk. What are the thoughts on converting this pen into an eyedropper? I know it has a small hole at the tip and the feed is several millimeters up. I was thinking silicone but anyone have different thoughts?


I wonder what this chemical does...*phewf*

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#19 avflinsch

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:28

I agree with BFU about the slim metal 'washer' -- it wants to fall off every time I open it to change ink, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it sprints away under a bookcase or something and is gone forever. 

 

I wouldn't write a love letter with it, but for more utilitarian tasks, it's a great little pen and at this price I can load a few with different colors without making a big commitment. 

 

I slipped a rubber o-ring over the grip/nib section in preparation for converting one into an eyedropper fill, that should hold the washer in place. I still haven't figured out what I will seal the holes in the barrel though.



#20 minddance

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 17:33

Is it possible to wash it amd fill with another ink?






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