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Problems with Cross Rollerball Refills

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While I use my smartphone for many things, I still manage tasks the old fashioned way -- on paper in a notebook.  I find that the physical act of writing with a pen keeps things in my head better than typing them into a digital task manager.  I mostly use my fountain pens for this (various colors for different purposes), but I like to have a rollerball or two on hand for back-up in case a pen has dried a bit or is acting finicky.  


I've been attempting to use Cross rollerballs for this -- in part because they offer purple and red as well as blue and black. However, lately I have found that these refills are beyond dreadful.  Dreadful -- as in they won't write consistently within five minutes of opening the package and installing the refill in the pen.  I know there are a lot of other rollerball options out there (indeed, I use many others).  But I can't believe how bad these refills have become.  Cross really ought to be ashamed to have these things on the market -- at least in my view. Anyone else seeing the same thing?

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Different experience.....I have several Cross Rollerballs , all purchased within the last 6 months....Coincidentally, I commented to a colleague a couple of weeks about how impressed I was with the Cross Rollerballs...mine have never skipped, always started on the initial pen to paper....great vibrant colors...my rollerballs are in a couple of Townsends, and in a couple of the Cross X  Liberty United rollerballs.  I have Black, Blue and Purple refills.


You might try taking a match or a lighter and heating up the roller ball barrel...I know I had to do that with some Private Reserve Refills a few years ago, as they were not starting and were skipping, or not writing at all....and it worked.


Bill P.



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PS:  You might consider calling Cross and explaining the issue...I suppose there is a Warranty fo some sort, or if these were refills contact the retailer you purchased them from.



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Conan the Grammarian

I've found the black ones last forever, even with sporadic use.  However, the purple and the blue ones are next to worthless.  If I don't use it every day, they dry out almost immediately.

Conan the Grammarian


“No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” ~ Robert Adams


“Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines” ~ Enzo Ferrari


Cogito ergo spud. [i think therefore I yam.]

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On 2/13/2021 at 5:00 PM, Bill P said:

PS:  You might consider calling Cross and explaining the issue...I suppose there is a Warranty fo some sort, or if these were refills contact the retailer you purchased them from.



That's really not a bad idea at all. Perhaps it would get someone's attention.  At the very least, I'll feel better!

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Fortunately, there are alternatives.


I can continue to use Cross's "porous point" refills in those rollerball/Selectip pens -- I have found them to be consistently good for decades -- though the only colors available are black and blue.


Lamy makes a good "standard" rollerball refill in red and green (as well as blue and black) and both work well.  (Their capless M-66 refills [for the Swift and Tipo lines] are also available in red and green in addition to blue and black.)


Schmidt makes short capless refills in black, blue, red and green -- I suspect the long capless refills are available in the same colors.  I use the short capless refills in a variety of pens -- probably most heavily in Retro 51 Tornados and BaronFig Scribe pens.


Purple is harder to come by, but not impossible.  Pilot and Pentel make gel refills in a wide range of colors and many of them fit pens that take "standard" international rollerball refills.  


If all else fails, I can always grab a purple Flair or Razor Point.


The joke, of course, is that all this obsessing is about pens I use for backup.  90% of the time, I use my fountain pens and I'm able to have all the ink colors I need readily available.

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