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Uni-Ball Air Rollerball - Wow - But Mod To Refillable?


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Hi everyone. I searched here at the FPN and didn't come up with anything on the "Uni-Ball Air" rollerball.

I just ran across this rollerball while at a book store here in Jakarta, Indonesia (Gunung Agung in Senayan City Mall). This roller is amazing! The flow is incredible while the ball writes like you're on wet ice. The experience is almost fountain-pen like.

The black version is fairly saturated. The blue version on the other hand really pops, and even shades a bit. This thing lays down a lot of ink if you let it. So on certain papers expect some feathering and/or show-through.

I suggest you take a look at this review to get a feel for this pen.

http://clickypost.com/blog/2015/5/14/uni-ball-air-rollerball-pen-new

See the Amazon Customer Reviews here:

https://www.amazon.com/uni-ball-Rollerball-Point-Assorted-Colors/dp/B00UHJBUF8

In Jakarta, these pens go for 22,500 Rupiah ea. after 10% tax; today that equals $1.55 ea. before the 10% tax, a fair price IMO. But in the U.S., these seem to go up to around $2.50-$3.00 ea. and often come in packs of 3 assorted colors only. In a box of 12 they cost around $2.25 ea. in the U.S. (This high pricing sounds like the work of Sanford, the exclusive U.S./Canada Distributor for Mitsubishi Pencil Company, Japan.)

Here's the problem, and my question...

AFAIK, these pens are not refillable :( I want to put FP ink in these pens. And at around $2.50 a pen, these pens being single-use make them more than just ecologically insulting.

 

However, where the barrel meets the section you can easily rotate the parts. Unfortunately, the barrel and section don't unscrew, and I have not been able to pull them apart yet. (Yup, that's one inky disaster just waiting to happen!)

 

I'd like to know if anyone has any experience with this interesting pen, especially if you know some way to open or refill it. This pen is crying out for a modification of some sort.

Edited by Drone
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I read somewhere that the fine point AIRs do not have cartridges, but the regular ones do. Certainly I can unscrew the tip of mine and see the cartridge inside. I see nothing to indicate that I couldn't remove and refill the cartridge, but I haven't tried it yet since my pens still all have ink in them.

 

--flatline

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I read somewhere that the fine point AIRs do not have cartridges, but the regular ones do. Certainly I can unscrew the tip of mine and see the cartridge inside. I see nothing to indicate that I couldn't remove and refill the cartridge, but I haven't tried it yet since my pens still all have ink in them.

 

--flatline

 

@ flatline, I think you are on to something... The barrel on my pen says "uni ball AIR MICRO", and while the parts will rotate with respect to each other, there's no way I can unscrew the section from the barrel. On my blue pen the part number on the Uni-Ball label is "UBA-188-M MICRO". This tip on this pen is specified by Uni as 0.5mm, but on the Web I have seen labels on the pen that imply 0.3-0.5mm.

 

However, if you look at this review:

 

http://comfortableshoesstudio.com/review-uniball-air/

 

The pen in the review (link above) says "uni ball AIR" on the barrel, without the "MICRO" that is on my barrel. The part number for this pen is "UBA-188-L". The tip is specified as 0.7mm. So this must be the larger tipped version.

 

The pen in the review above does unscrew, where the barrel meets the section and exposes what might be a cartridge. But the reviewer doesn't mention anything about a cartridge or refill, and neither does the Uni-Ball page or a Google search.

 

Does your pen have a removable cartridge or refill?

 

I did find the 0.7mm version for sale in the U.S., but only in the three-color packs for an over-priced $8.98 a pack (greedy Sanford again). These are pictured without the "MICRO" on the barrel. And once-again, no mention of a refill or cartridge. See here:

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81R8Z3hKNJL._SL1500_.jpg

 

This is the Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/uni-ball-Rollerball-Point-Assorted-Colors/dp/B00UHJBUF8

 

Here's a picture of the MICRO version of the pen, like mine:

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71miH7W%2BfpL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Supposedly, the MICRO version of the pen has a 0.3-0.5mm tip. The way this is supposed to work is if you push on the tip, the ball moves and more ink can flow around it. This works for me, but I'd call the line variation more like 0.3-0.7mm. The larger tipped version must really be a gusher in comparison. I wish I could get my hands on one.

 

The Uni-Ball North America page lists only the 0.7mm UBA-188-L:

 

http://www.uniball-na.com/products

 

However the Singapore Uni-Ball site lists both models:

 

UBA-188-M:

 

http://www.uniball.com.sg/product/uba-188-m

 

UBA-188-L:

 

http://www.uniball.com.sg/product/uba-188-l

 

On the Singapore site, the two pens have slightly different barrels. The UBA-188-L barrel is striped, the UBA-188-M isn't.

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Whoa, the Uni-Ball India Web site has as 'Product of the Month' the Uni-Ball Air Micro UBA-188-EL 0.5mm pen in six colors: Pink, Light Green, Light Blue, Orange, and White. The color of the pen matches the color of the ink. See here:

http://uniball.in/shop/index.php?id_product=304&controller=product&id_lang=1&search_query=air&results=6

http://uniball.in/shop/img/p/1/0/8/2/1082-thickbox_default.jpg

 

These colored versions must be great on dark paper, especially the white pen.

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My AIR does not say micro on them. It was a 3-pack I bought at Office Depot some time ago.

 

I have not removed the cartridge from any of mine since they all still have plenty of ink in them, but I have verified that I can twist the cartridges which implies that I could remove them if I wanted to.

 

--flatline

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