Pen Review – Staedtler Triplus Ball 0.45mm

Let it be known that I often choose the type of pen I want to try out primarily by how rad it looks.  Aesthetics mean a lot to me when it comes to pens.

When I saw the Staedtler Triplus pens on the shelf, the first thing that I thought was that they reminded me of oldschool industrial looking pens from when I was a kid…the kind my dad or grandparents would steal from BHP.  They felt weighty in the packaging and they look like quite long pens.  Weight and length is very important for me when it comes to using a pen for drawing.  It’s all about balance.

The Staedtler Triplus come in a package of three pens, including black, blue and red ink.  If they sold them separately I would obviously have just gone for black, but I take what I can get.

On opening the packaging the first thing I noticed is that they have a lid that fits to the pen inline with the shape of the pen barrel.  It doesn’t fit over the pen barrel like many lids do and when you put the lid on the end of the pen it’s the same, it clips onto the small metal end plug again keeping inline with the width of the barrel.  I’ll start with this because it’s one of the first things I noticed about the pen.

When I draw using a biro I vary my stroke speed between very slow and very fast depending on what I’m actually drawing.  I generally only sketch with biros as I can get a lot of the same sketchy characteristics that you’d get with a pencil due to my technique, without having to worry about anything smudging.  I like the permanency of it as when I sketch I have an unwritten rule that I don’t correct anything, just incorporate it.  Any mistake is just an opportunity to go somewhere else with an idea.  So I discovered that when I start doing more shading type work and move the pen vigorously the lid rattles around on the end plug.  I found it quite distracting actually and really prefer pen lids that I can jam down hard over the barrel so it stays nice and firmly in place.  Sure it adds a little bulk to the pen but despite my stationary lust for great form, I still need it to function well.

In terms of barrel shape, it has as its name suggests a triangular shaped barrel.  This is supposed to be for comfort but to be honest any thin barreled pen feels the same in my hand after I’ve been drawing with it non-stop for 45 minutes.  The pen does have quite a bit of weight to it, which gives it a nice balance when you’re using it.

In use the pen is quite nice.  I’ve used cheap nasty biros with a smoother on paper feel and it does feel quite scratchy on the page,  but this sort of tactile feeling is often quite good when sketching.  It makes you feel more in contact with the page if you can feel the pen scraping at it a bit.  I think that’s why I find it hard to just sketch with my Intuos 4 graphics tablet.  As much as it has a nice matte surface and a variety of nibs to use to help mimic natural mediums, it’s just not the same as digging a pen into a piece of paper!

All in all, this is a pretty nice pen.  The only let down I really had with it was the lid not fitting securely enough to the end when the pen is in use and having a bit of a rattle.  It may seem strange and you may say “well just use it without the lid on the end,” but I find it really strange to use a pen without the lid on the back end of it.  It’s that whole balance thing again.  It just feels so much more comfortable and balanced to have that little bit of extra weight and length at the back end of the pen when I’m sketching.

The sketch included in this entry was done with the Staedtler Triplus Ball 0.45mm


2 Responses to “Pen Review – Staedtler Triplus Ball 0.45mm”

  1. Man they look uncomfortable as shit. I love reading pen reviews though, so you should totally do more. I can send you a couple of the ones I recently bought, especially the Japanese wooden pen. \m/

    • Totally interested in acquiring more pens. I have a few I bought today that I’m going to be writing up on over the weekend. Japanese wooden pen sounds insta-rad haha.

      These ones weren’t uncomfortable, just the stupid lid jiggle was annoying.

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