Review: Nataraj Active Gel Ink Pen

The Nataraj Active Gel Pen is a prime example of why I don’t like to review things after only writing a few pages using the product. Let me start off by stating this is not a BAD pen but it has a few things that make it not great.

First off I love the colors. They remind me of the Pop or Joi pencils by Hindustan. The pens aren’t much thicker than the pencils and are also hexagonal The stripes are similar but not exactly the same. Alternating with the colored side is a translucent milky colored side that allows you to look in and see the refill. Neat.

The refill is pretty narrow and features a needle-like tip that seems to be about 0.5mm depending on the paper. I found that the tips were smooth on most paper and felt pretty good. The ink flow has been decent on almost all papers. On the super absorbent recycled paper we use at my DayJob the ink would occasionally flow less well, it never actually skipped but it did take a moment to catch up. You can see the ink level drop as you write. The ink color is a really nice blue shade. It’s bright but dark enough to stand out on most papers and really pops on the forms I use at work. I really like it on the cream paper of the Ondulo I reviewed earlier.

I work in what most call a heavy use environment and within 3 days of use I have used more than half a pen. I’ll have one drained by the end of a week. These won’t be long lived pens. That said other than the slowed ink flow on super absorbent paper, these things flow consistently and smoothly from start to finish.

So my big gripe about these pens is… The cone at the tip that holds the point of the refill in place. It’s soft flexible plastic and the hole the refill slips into isn’t tight enough. It’s a tad sloppy. Further the refill is flexible as well. The metal pen tip sticks out of the cone too far, so when I write I get a soft spongy springy feel to the pen. It is weird and took some getting accustomed to. It’s not like the movement you get with some pens, it is a feeling of flexibility. It is a really odd feeling when you are going between these cheapie pens and a Baron Fig Experiment with it’s precision made body and refill.

Anyway, I like these pens. They aren’t meant to compete with something like the Baron Fig Experiment or even a cheap fountain pen. These are pens that you buy because you MIGHT lose them or because you need to have pens with a decent ink in them in assorted place and maybe you want something bright that you can find in the bottom of your purse/murse/messenger bag. They aren’t special but they are fun.  

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