a new pen every other day.

Monday, August 12, 2013

pen 68: tul gel gl1

today's pen is the tul gl-1, a retractable ballpoint, or "clicky" pen, is the last of the four models of the tul product line that i have bought and used as of the time of this post. looking up its "stats"on their website, you can see that the following bullet points kind of mirror the highlights mentioned for yesterday's post, it makes me wonder how much they pay someone for lackluster marketing points when here i am, not getting paid and giving these pens the attention i think that they deserve, i may not be universally correct when it comes to my observations, but it seems like i'm putting more effort into this...

whatever, i digress.

website: www.tul.com/

what they say:

  • Offers smooth, skip-free writing
  • Ergonomic design gives optimal balance and writing precision
  • Rubberized grip provides writing comfort and control
  • Retractable tip protects from unintentional marking
  • Stainless steel clip secures to pockets and notebooks
  • Needle point provides precision writing
so, to address the above statements.
the tul gl-1 has poor glide, it drags as you move it around the paper, this may not be a bad thing, i have mentioned a few times that i personally like a bit of drag, that there is something to too smooth, this pen falls on the outer edge of what i look for in pen/paper interaction. the tip is metal, which is durable and good for detail, but since it doesn't really move  smoothly there have been times where i have pressed too hard in one place and have torn the paper, which sucks. a lot.

the ink flows conservatively, it dries fast and doesn't smudge, and works best with slow patient pen strokes, i wouldn't do gestural drawings or anything that requires fast sketchy movements with this pen, the ink flow will skip and stutter and requre multiple passed that increase the risk of tearing the paper. again, that sucks, a lot.

the ergonomic thing, i don't buy it, rubber grip and balance be damned, it just isn't the most comfortable pen i've ever held i cant imaging that something as light as a pen would have any difference no matter how it is balance, i'm not an ergonomist so take that for whatever it's worth.

the pen does retract, no lie, and it can be nice to not have to worry about losing a cap or whatever, is it groundbreaking? meh, no. (*pssst* clicky pens have been around at least as long as i've been alive... it's kinda like bragging that your brand new car as an interior dome light, or a radio...)
the needle tip point is pretty good for detail and stabbing unruly children at café s (edit: don't stab children at cafés; unruly or not) and for some reason reminds me a little bit of tetanus or tuberculous vaccine shots... not sure why that is, but it does. the stainless steel clip is also a stupid choice for a selling point but whatever, yes, it's there, yes it clips and if you're going to include that on your sales pitch you might want to brag that your pen has ink in it as well....

i'm sorry, it's getting late and i sometimes get cranky. its been a loooooooong day. 

wrapping things up i believe that these pens go for around $2-$3 for individuals on amazon ti saw a four pack of $5 and around $18 for a dozen at officemax's website. these pens do come in a variety of colors, although the extent of options is unclear as there is something wrong with their website and the image for color options is missing, trés professional, right? so from what i can tell they come in black, red, blue, purple and green. 

so the final word on the tul gl-1? out of the four that i have used this particular pen would have to be ranked last, there really isn't anything that i can think of that makes it stand out, .7mm gel pens are pretty common these days, in fact, there are even smaller tip sized gel pens that cost as much as one of these is not less. as an art pen, meh. as a writing pen... slightly less meh. 

as always, if you feel like trying it out for yourself and want to take the time to write down your thoughts, pleas do, ill add them to the review. all input is appreciated. 

and of course if you buy a pen and hate it, you can send it my way and ill draw you something spiffy with it in exchange.

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