Pilot Super-GP/BPS-GP Ballpoint (1.6mm)

30 Mar

The Pilot Super-GP 1.6 serves as a reminder that there are fat ballpoints, and there are F-A-T ballpoints.  At a monstrous 1.6mm, this titan is the widest ballpoint pen that I have ever come across and is more than double the width of a standard 0.7mm ballpoint!  How big is 1.6mm? Here is a little size comparison:

Makes the 0.7mm Surari look minuscule.

The Super-GP’s tip seems even more humongous when compared side-by-side with a standard 0.7mm ballpoint.  Unfortunately, such a huge increase in the ball’s diameter means it has to travel much farther to make a full rotation in its socket.  The ball is coated with a fresh layer of blue oil when it cycles back into the underside of the socket and is only able to ink the page when the rotation has completed.  This translates into one thing: skipping, and copious amounts of it.  Everywhere.  If you aren’t drawing straight lines, the Super-GP’s blue streak will be riddled with blank white spots.  Dotting periods at the ends of sentences, for example, is extremely difficult with this pen because the ink is not given a chance to coat the business end of the ball yet.  Even worse, the pen’s very bold line makes skipping more pronounced and easier to see on the page.

River of blue ink is riddled with white spots where the ball has skipped.

There is another, altogether more desirable side-effect of such a large ball: extreme, unimaginable smoothness.  This pen is so smooth that it feels like it is gliding a tenth of a centimeter above the paper.  There is absolutely no feeling transfered from the tip to your hand.  If you weren’t already aware, you would not even know that you were writing with a pen.  It feels more like dragging a twig through soft jello (well it might–I have never actually done it).

Glider.

The Super-GP does have a very comfortable grip and is a well-balanced utensile.  The blue ink is nice and dark and it compliments the bold line well.  I cannot, however, find any other reasons to own this pen than the sheer novelty of it.  That is not to say the pen would be useless for everyone, but for me to be able to use a ballpoint as an actual writing tool, I prefer (require, rather) less skipping and more feedback from the tip.  It quickly becomes frustrating when you can’t dot i’s or put periods on anything.  I would be curious to see if any company releases a hybrid-ballpoint with such a wide tip in the future.

JetPens carries this grease-spewing monster online: Pilot BPS-GP 1.6mm Ballpoint   (Theirs has a slightly different name but the pen is the same)

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