Next on my list of liquid ink pens is the Pilot Juice Gel Pen. I picked this pen based on a top five micro gel ink pen list I found on the Brady Dowdy’s website The Pen Addict. He’s a pretty popular blogger and podcaster in the pen and stationery community, and I do like most of his suggestions.
First Impressions: This is another pen that looks pretty plain from the outside, but it also looks exactly like what you think a retractable pen should look like. So, even though I’m not impressed by the initial glance, it looks like a pen that could fit in most circumstances well.
Design/Features: The Juice has a clear plastic body with a smoky black rubber grip section and a black click mechanism. The clear body allows for you to see the ink level in the refill, which I like. It is completely made out of plastic, so the pen is pretty light. The clip is interesting because it is a spring-loaded clip, so it hold on to a pocket or paper very well. The grip section is a very loose rubber that collects link and loosens pretty quickly. The grip section does bulge out a little towards the lower third but otherwise is pretty straight.
Feel in the Hand: Initially, the grip section was very grippy, but it loses its grip quickly when it collects lint and loosens up, which took about a week. The pen is pretty light, but not light as air, so you can still feel the pen in your hand. The balance feels pretty good. The diameter of the pen is about average for retractable pens, and with the small bump in the grip section area it allows for a more comfortable writing session.
Writing: The Juice 0.38mm tip has a lot of feedback when I write, which is different compared to most gel pens that I have used. Any time I write, even on Rhodia paper the pen provides a lot of feedback into my fingers, which makes me feel like I’m scratching my writing surface constantly. Also there have been some rare skips. Otherwise, the pen does not hard start and keeps a very sharp, small line when writing on any surface that I have tested.
Use in clinic/hospital: The retractable tip and thin line allows for quick and small writing. The refill lasts for quite a long time. Also, the pen does not particularly special, so it is not likely to be borrowed and not given back.
Price: A set of 5 is available for $7.59 on Amazon and a single pen is available on JetPens for $1.65.
Overall, the Juice holds a very narrow line and the refill lasts a long time. It is not a special looking pen, which helps it fit most circumstances. However, the writing experience is very scratchy and thus it does not land in my everyday carry. If I try a larger tip size, the writing experience would be smoother. If you don’t mind a toothy writing experience, this is a good pen that is inexpensive.