(Editor's note: One of our favorite pen blogs is Economy Pens, run by Alex, because he does great reviews and always has photos that make us envious of his picture-taking skills. Plus, we love the diagram on his blog's masthead. When we had a chance to have him do a guest review for us, we jumped at it. Now here it is for you to enjoy.)
On my list of must-have pens is the Uni-Ball Power Tank .7 mm. There are several “all-weather” pens out there, but I’d put this one down as my favorite of the bunch, and the very reasonable price point only reaffirms my stance on that.
Sure, there is the Fisher Space Pen, which I do like, but it is not as comfortable as a Power Tank. It also costs more than the Uni-ball, so it is going to be more frustrating if you end up losing it.
Though the ink is not as smooth as a Jetstream, it is near the same calibre as, say, a Pilot Dr. Grip, but not quite as good as an Acroball/Easy Touch Pro. One thing to note is that the .7 has clean, sharp lines; the 1.0 does not.
Even if the ink is not as smooth as one of the hybrid-ink ballpoints (Vicuna, Jetstream, Slider Memo, etc.), you will be able to use your Power Tank ink on wet paper, in zero gravity (if you need that feature), and in extreme temperatures - right up until the refill is completely empty, as I’ve done several times.
One of the best design features of the Power Tank, at least for me, is the excellent cross-hatched grip. It is very comfortable and adds to the ruggedness of the pen. I think the grip is actually superior to most grips that I’ve used, even if it is not very pretty.
Any areas for improvement? The clip is not very durable feeling, which should be addressed if this pen is going to be your safari, blizzard, jungle, adventure pen. I realize this might bump the cost up, but I think it would be worth it in this case. There are two other models of the Power Tank – the Smart Series and the Smart Series High Grade, neither of which I’ve had a chance to try.
As you can see, I have a lot of good things to say about this pen, but the bottom line is that you should try one. If you don’t like it, just throw it somewhere that you’ve found yourself without a pen before, and you’ll be glad that it works reliable, every time.