The Sharpie Pen has evolved, now we have the “Grip” version
The Sharpie Pen Grip is a new version of the Sharpie Pen that seems to have taken a bit of the original Sharpie Pen and a bit of the Retractable Sharpie Pen to create a hybrid that seems to address some of the feedback and issues that people had with those previous versions. Hopefully this review and the pictures will help you determine if this is the holy grail of Sharpie Pen for you, or if you would rather stick to one of the previous versions.
The Sharpie Pen Grip reveals the obvious reason for its name
One of the frequently heard issues with the original Sharpie Pen was that the grip section had a sharp edge on it that made it a bit uncomfortable to write with, so when I saw this new version I was pretty excited to see that this issue was obviously being addressed. The picture above with the cap removed reveals the longer grip that also has a nice rubber coating for additional comfort and traction. This grip is much thinner than that of the Retractable Sharpie Pen, and seems to be a happy medium between it and the original version.
Something else that is a nice improvement over the first version is that the cap posts much more snugly on the back of the pen. The original version has a small round peg on the top that you need to precisely line the cap up with to place it on, and it only slides down about 1/3″, although it is fairly snug. With the new version, the wider opening of the cap slips right over the tapered back-end of the pen, and slides down much further for a much more secure feeling. Having the ability to slide it down further does create a more secure feeling, but I do notice that the plastic on plastic is a tiny bit slick feeling, so although the cap posts much further down, there does seem to be a minimal amount of slip in there, but I don’t think it will become unposted while writing.
Close up of the texturized grip section
If you have used or seen the retractable Sharpie Pen, you will know that the grip section on it is basically just a smooth coating of rubber. The new Sharpie Grip has a rubber grip that is of almost the same exact length as the one on the retractable version, but it has a very faint texture to it, which makes it just a bit easier and more comfortable to hold on to.
Comparison of the point and grip sections of each version
In the previous photo, you can see that the grip version and the retractable version have similar tips, but are different from the original needle tip of the original version. Personally I am fine with both styles, but to me the more important improvement here is the elimination of that sharp edge on the original, and the slightly thicker, but not TOO thick grip…seems to be a nice happy medium in terms of thickness, and without the discomfort of the original. There does also seem to be a slight bit more control when writing with the thinner grip section as compared to the fat grip on the retractable version.
The color coded tip of the top and bottom
Another nice feature of this version is the color coding of the top and bottom tips to indicate the color of ink. On previous versions, the color was only indicated on either the top or the bottom, not both. Having the small colored disc on both ends of the pen makes it a little easier to see which pen you are reaching for. The colored disc is a little on the dark side, so it’s not totally easy to tell the difference between black and blue, but this is still an improvement.
Writing sample of the blue version of each different style
Personally, I never saw a noticeable difference between the blue ink in all three versions of the pen, but I know that some other folks noticed this issue, so I decided to take a closer look at how they compare as seen in the writing sample above. I am still at a point where I am not seeing any difference between the blue inks for any of these pens, however take a look for yourself, you might just have better eyes than I do. Everything else about these pens is the same when it comes to them being permanent on paper, resisting smearing, and bleeding, and being acid free. You pretty much have the same awesome writing experience here, just a slightly different body and feel to it. One other issue that a few people have mentioned with the retractable version is that they thought it dried out or ran out too quickly. I have not had these long enough to see if they run out quickly, but I’ve not had that problem with the previous versions, nor did I have the drying out issue.
I have not had a chance to try out the red or black version of the Sharpie Grip Pen, but I’ll have to assume at this point that those two colors perform similarly as well as the other versions. My preference after using all three lies with the new enhanced grip version, the improved comfort of the grip and the nice balance between the thickness of the grip is great for my personal tastes.
You can pick up the three pack of these pens at Amazon.com right here in multiple versions, and other colors and variations are also available, some are not shipping for a few weeks yet though.
©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.