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Pilot RexGrip: The Underrated Ballpoint Pen

The Pilot RexGrip is one of those pens that just doesn't get a lot of mention. Probably because it's a ballpoint and most pen enthusiast are strictly gel, liquid ink or fountain pen users. But that's unfortunate, since the RexGrip is an extremely comfortable and surprisingly reliable little pen.

The first thing you notice when picking up the RexGrip is the way the rubber grip fits the barrel like a sheath. Where many pens (such as the Pilot Acroball) just wrap a bit of rubber around a portion of the barrel, creating an abrupt transition, this pen offers a more subtle integration so that the barrel curves outward into a natural-feeling grip. Small cut-outs in the grip provide a place to rest your fingers to keep them from slipping during use.

Pilot's Australian website calls it a "funky fashionable design." That might be a little much. However, the overall effect is a stylish-looking pen.

The body of the pen is all plastic, so it may seem somewhat insubstantial, especially to those who might be more accustomed to Pilot's heavier retractables like the G2. Don't let that fool you, though. It can take normal everyday abuse, including being dropped on cement, being clicked obsessively and being used to drum on a desk. The mechanical action of the pen is fairly tight, without a lot of excess movement that would suggest cheap construction.

So how does it write?

It's a ballpoint, with everything that entails. The writing experience is unremarkable, and the appearance of the waterproof ink is your basic black and a little on the light side. The nice thing is that it feels a little smoother than the typical ballpoint (we're not talking Jetstream here) and seems ready to write every time I pick up the pen, even if it's been laying around for a while. As you can see in the writing sample, there is some minor skipping, but nothing heinous. It is available in fine and medium points.

If you're an environmentally conscious shopper, the RexGrip may appeal to you for two reasons. One, it's refillable (using Pilot Dr. Grip refills), and two, it's one of Pilot's BeGreen range of pens, meaning the barrel is made of recycled plastic. In the case of the RexGrip, the pen contains 77.7% recycled material, according to Pilot.

The bottom line is that it's a very affordable pen – you can pick up a pack of 10 for less than £15 – and performs well for what it is. Add to that the comfortable design and the smart looks, and you've got a ballpoint that deserves a little more credit than it usually gets.

Now it's your turn. Give us your thoughts on the RexGrip. Hate it? Love it? Could care less? Let us know.

8 thoughts on “Pilot RexGrip: The Underrated Ballpoint Pen”

  • Tomáš K.

    I actually love this pen, because it is one of the few quality pens easily available here, while maintaining the relatively low price... Ideal for everyday school use. (Even some my non-penophile classmates use it.)

    Reply
  • Tomáš K.

    Czech Republic, in the center of Europe. Basically, only Pilot pens are buyable here, so it is not a good place for a pen fanatic.

    Reply
    • TonyB

      Wow, sorry to hear that. Pilot's got a good selection, but I wouldn't want to be limited to just them. Well, when we get our online store up later in the year, we'll have a pretty wide range available, from Uniball to Stabilo. Not sure about shipping to the Czech Republic, but we could look into it for you, if you'd like.

      Reply
  • Tomáš K.

    It’s all right, I can manage for now… And if I get some well-paid job after studying, I will be able to afford importing stationery later. Or maybe fly abroad to buy a few pens.

    Reply
  • Tomáš K.

    Hard to say. Mainly pens that have overall or particular good functionality… for example I like Réx Grip for the fact that it’s versatile and affordable, Acroball for its design and sensational ease of writing, G-2 for its deep lines, FriXion because it’s erasable. It’s always hard to choose which ones will I write with. And for what I dislike… the plastic promotional pens which don’t even write (and most people aren’t afraid to use them) and expensive pens which evoke the feeling that they are exclusive, but writing with them is like holding a brick and smudging it over paper. That’s it.

    Reply
    • TonyB

      Glad I'm not the only one who thinks the FriXion is cool. Based on the pens you like, I bet you'd probably really enjoy the Uniball Jetstream or Signo 207. And you're right about the really expensive pens...they just seem like such a waste of money for not much in return.

      Reply
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