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Which Pen is Better the Uni-Ball Fanthom or the Pilot Frixion?

Battle of the Pens

The Pilot Frixion is the undisputed king of erasable pens but now Uni-Ball has thrown down the gauntlet with its Uni-Ball Fanthom erasable gel pen. We have tested both pens in today’s battle of the pens to try and find out which is better.

Frixion Vs Fanthom

Writing Performance

Both Pens write very smoothly and the Fanthom probably edges it over the Frixion. However the ink is laid down straight away with the Pilot Frixion but the Uni-Ball Fanthom took a few strokes before the ink was flowing freely. Although this is not a major issue it is slightly annoying.

Comfort

The Uni-Ball Fanthom has a slim hard plastic grip area that is quite smooth with indentions cut in to it. I found it quite slippy to hold and not particular comfortable.

Whereas the Pilot Frixion has a thicker grip area made of rubber with indentations in the rubber. The thicker rubber grip of the Frixion I personally found more comfortable and easier to write with, but I do prefer a pen with a thicker barrel.

Choice of Ink Colours

Both pens have a good range of ink colours and at the time of writing this the Pilot Frixion is available in eight different ink colours in the UK and the Uni-Ball Fanthom has a choice of six different ink colours. The ink for both pens that we tested is a little bit on the pale side but this is a characteristic of erasable pens in general.

Erasability

We carried out a couple of tests to check the erasability of both pens.

1 The first test was to write a test sentence and then erase it.

2 The second test involved writing a new sentence over the erased area.

First we tested the Uni-Ball Fanthom; the writing is erased by rubbing the pens cap over the writing. Quite a bit of energy is required to erase the writing and although it does a reasonable job you can still see a faint outline of the original sentence where some residue of the ink is left.

We then wrote over the original sentence that had been erased which again produced reasonable results. The new sentence is clear to read although you can tell that it is written over erased text.

We then tested the Pilot Frixion unlike the Fanthom the ink is erased with an eraser at the end of the pen and the results were far more impressive. All the ink was erased and you have to look really closely at the paper to see the indentations from where the original text had been written.

Once we had wrote over the erased sentence with the Pilot Frixion it was virtually impossible to tell that this had been written over erased text.

Click to View Writing Test

Verdict

An erasable pen has to be judged on performance and although the Uni-Ball Fanthom does a reasonable job at erasing the Pilot Frixion is still the superior pen and remains the king of erasable pens.

I am sure that both pens will have their supporters and we would love to hear from anybody else who has used either of these pens.

19 thoughts on “Which Pen is Better the Uni-Ball Fanthom or the Pilot Frixion?”

  • Tomáš K.

    I personally didn't have the opportunity to try the Fanthoms, but it looks like I don't need to. FriXion does a great job in my maths notebook. Another con for the Uni-Ball could be erasing by the cap – I think it can be quite misleading for the people who hold the pen in their hands for the first time.

    Reply
  • The Pen Warrior

    Hi Tomas that’s a great point that it could be quite confusing with the cap of the pen being used as the eraser for the Uni-Ball Fanthom . When the rubber is at the end of the pen it is then instantly recognisable as an erasable pen.

    Reply
  • ccorrada

    i've tried both, and although the Fanthom looks great, Frixion is still a much better pen. i hear many complains around the blogosphere about Fanthom glossing up the page once you erase something. I've been carrying a red Frixion as part of the daily arsenal for a while now and don't see myself looking back... great post- thanks!

    Reply
  • PointFour

    I used a blue Frixion at college last year. Worked, useful, but the ink ran out after about 15 pages, which didn't seem a lot. So I went back to a fountain pen - Lamy Safari - with Lamy washable blue ink, thinking a bottle of ink would be cheaper than the equivalent mileage of Frixion refills. Plus, you can always check how full the pen is, which you can't with a Frixion. Most washable blue inks can be erased by something like the edding 1515 corrector pen. It's a one-time process, you can't write over the area again with washable blue ink, but the edding comes with a fibre-tip that can. I preferred to use ballpoint (actually a Faber-Castell one) for that task. So, not quite as versatile, but good enough for what I wanted.

    Reply
  • suzi

    I have recently purchased a Fanthom and have tried it out. Before I read your test results, I actually took an eraser and tried to erase the writing as I was not made aware of the fact that the pen cap was the eraser!

    I am fond of the frixion, but did find that it does not write smoothly all of the time, the nib sometimes seems scratchy, whereas the Fanthom writes as smooth as any roller ball.

    Reply
  • Simon

    I know this is off topic but i love the Pilot Dr Black pens. They are excellent for drawing and are very opaque which is ideal.

    Reply
  • Pen Addict

    I have used both pens and found the Pilot to be superior in every way to the "newcomer" Fanthom. Uniball must be out of ideas and are clearly copying the Pilot range who are once again first to market.
    My advice , buy the real deal Frixion and leave the Fanthom on the shelf gathering dust.

    Reply
  • Pen mad!

    My friend has the fanthom but I have the frixion and we both prefer the fanthom because the frixion smudges after u have used them once or twice.

    I reckon you should buy the fanthom in my opinion it is the best!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Fayre

    I'm on the side of the Pilot on this one - I'm normally a fountain pen person and it is rare for me to use a different pen - I have the violet fine Pilot frixion and I'm very impressed with how it erases and can be written over. I find the ink to be dark enough too.

    Never going to take me away from "proper" pen and ink - but the frixion is a useful pen to have in my collection.

    The UniBall just doesn't erase as cleanly - that is my main issue with it.

    Reply
  • Daisygirl

    To the person who commented that the Frixion "eraser" tends to smear after a couple of uses:

    After you use the pen a bit, rub the eraser bit on any fabric (your jeans, a cloth, your jammies, your baby blankie if you still have it as a grown up..gazing upwards innocently). This sort of clears off the surface of the eraser - and I never see anything left on the fabric even with white fabric - and also gives it a little boost when you next erase with it. I've inadvertently found myself just rubbing it on my jeans or jammies absently so it's not something I even really think about anymore - a much better habit than still sleeping with your blankie if you're over 35 (which I don't, I was just having some fun).

    All in all, I'm a HUGE Frixion fan - it has turned me into a bigger writing nerd than I already am with my Targa fountain pen. I tend to tell everyone I know about the Frixion when I see them with a pen. I always have one on me and of course have to demonstrate it...followed, of course, by the "never use this on checks or important documents" speech :) That's usually when I whip out the targa loaded with some Noodler's blue bullet-proof ink ;)

    Reply
  • Daisygirl

    I just also noticed that in the sample, the blue frixion that was used was the light blue, not the standard blue - that would account for the color being so light compared to the fanthom. The standard blue, however, would have given the same erasability level and over-writing as witnessed in the lighter shade so it doesn't skew the results, just a reason for the color being lighter in the test frixion :)

    Reply
  • Lesley

    They have taken a perfectly good Uniball Signo um101 er off the market to replace it with the biggest piece of rubbish I have ever been unlucky to purchase - Uniball Fanthom. At least the Signo would erase with very little trouble - the Fanthom takes forever and then does not disappear. The Frixon comes in at a very poor second.

    Reply
  • Husman

    I own both pens and i personally prefer the Frixion to the Fanthom. The Frixion has a darker royal blue ink colour, which i prefer to the fanthom ink, as well as the look of the Frixion. The fanthom doesn't erase it's ink as well as the frixion- requiring a lot more force. The Fanthom leaves a kind of "Ghost" when erasing the ink, whilst the Frixion completely erases the ink. The fanthom is cheaper then the Frixion, and is more useful to those who tend to leave to cap on the end of their pen when writing.

    Reply
  • harsha

    how many days do a fanthom pen lasts...........?????
    please rply me as fast as possible

    Reply
  • Random Lisa

    Yay I wanted that one to win.;)

    Reply
  • Erika

    Perhaps the frixion pens sold at my store were old, but the ink started skipping within a day, and sometimes the ink would dry up within a week! I only recently picked up my fanthom pen, but I'm extremely happy with the smooth writing, the very faint outline of the previous writing after erasing is insignificant, but I haven't owned them long enough to attest to the longevity of the fanthom.

    Reply
  • Penpensilovepens
    Penpensilovepens May 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I own both pens, and i love the Uniball Fanthom. I dont like the Frixion simply because the ink skips and it does not write well. But please feel free to buy any of these pens!

    Reply
  • Andrew Wright

    I would recommend the frixion clicker 05 over the standard 07 version.
    The 05 refill appears to be made to a higher precision and give a much smother and more consistent feel.
    Less blotchy and as a result last a lot longer.

    Reply
  • ana

    I just ran out of ink on frixion, went to get replacements but they were expensive, so I bought a small pack of a phantom with one reserve to see if it matches since the phantom reserve is 40% cheaper. Well, it matches the frixion body pen if you remove the end cap and both inks are great, it's just the phantom eraser inferior. Frixion pen body with eraser does a great job with phantom ink reserve inside.
    I don't know how much phantom lasts because I just mixed them like that and they work great together. I hope it won't leak without the end cap on the reserve.

    Reply
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