I’ve been shopping with Cult Pens a little too often lately as they have the best prices on Pelikan fountain pens. In my last two shipments, they have included a free promotional ballpoint pen in the package. As a snobby fountain pen user now, I don’t really have much use or care for ballpoint pens anymore. But I certainly did not want the pen to go to waste and it also presented an opportunity to review a pen that I would have otherwise not bought.

The complimentary pen included in my recent shipment was a Schneider Slider Edge, XB (Extra Broad) point with blue ink, which according to the accompanying pamphlet, is a “page surfer”. If you knew my background, you’ll understand that I’ve never used a ballpoint pen that has a thicker point than a Japanese F point before coming to North America. I simply do not understand why people would prefer to write with a pen that produces such a thick line on paper.

Hence, I cringed when I first started writing with it. Now the ergnomics of the pen is designed for students, possibly of the younger age group, due to the three-edged barrel design that stops the pen from rolling on the desk. So it makes perfect sense that the tips are not too fine because I know young writers prefer thick pens. The XB point is also the only selection that has eleven(!!) colour choices, as compared to the M point with four colours and the F point with a misearable three. I guess you can tell which point size appears to be the popular choice in Europe.

When I started writing with it, I noticed it definitely glides over the paper as you write. I don’t use ballpoint pens enough to make a comparison with another but you certainly don’t need to press down hard on the tip in order to write with it, almost as if it was gel based pen. The unfortunately part of the experience was that the inked lines on the paper were not as smooth as I expected.

When you shop for pens in a stationery shop in Asia, they are usually sold individually in a clear display filled with all available options (colours, point sizes, etc.) with tons of paper for you test them out. Regardless of the pen price point, you always have an opportunity to write with it and to select the “best” one to be purchased.

Well, this pen would have ended up in the discard pile because it certainly failed the inking test. It had trouble putting clean solid lines on the paper, which points to an inconsistent ink flow that is typically manifested when the pen has taken a fall to the ground. When a pen has fallen onto the ground, that’s the end of its life (I know the North American’s don’t share this mentality) and we’d dump it in the trash. This is why we try every pen on the display before buying it and then do our best to never let our pens roll of the desk.

Otherwise, the pen performed as promised in the attached pamphlet. The ink dries quickly and definitely smudge-proof when I highlighted over it.

Would I buy it if I saw it in a store? Nope. But I’m also not the target audience of this pen so I think my opinion hardly matters in this case.