Pen Review – Uniball Power Tank Eco

One thing that I noticed to be quite an “in thing” that a variety of pen makers are doing is an eco or recycled range.  This struck me as pretty cool so I bought a handful of these today to check out.  I will say right off the bat I’m not expecting a whole lot from them.  For some reason when I think of something being recycled I think of it being a bit rough around the edges.  Maybe I’m just thinking of toilet paper.

Anyway,  the first pen I’ve had a look at in the recycled range is the Uniball Power Tank Eco.  It’s a retractable style pen which I quite like.  I lose my lid on the end preference, but generally speaking any sort of retractable pen has enough metal and workings in it that it gets enough weight to balance out nicely.  Another thing that I’d like to point out that some people might not care about, but I certainly do, is that the actual clicking mechanism feels and sounds really solid.  When you depress the button you’re rewarded with a very hefty CLICK CLICK.  The Power Tank Eco isn’t overly weighty but feels nice in hand.  It has a hard plastic barrel that is green (obviously) with a brown pocket clip and a rubbery brown grip.  The packaging explains what the pen is recycled from, and it’s actually pretty cool.

The barrel is made from recycled PCs and the rubber grip is made of scrap sawdust from pencil manufacturing and resin.  And this is where one of my favourite parts of this pen comes along…IT SMELLS LIKE SAWDUST!  Seriously, when I smell this pen, I’m instantly transported back in time to the Whyalla High tech block and woodwork class.  Mr P is standing there holding some piece of busted drilling equipment and telling everyone that it was “BLOODY DANNY DIAZ!” who wrecked it in that awesome high pitched voice he got when he was angry.

It smells awesome.  The grip has these sort of teardrop cutout parts in them that exposes some of the shiny plastic underneath.  I’m not a huge fan of these as it adds a bit of unevenness to the grip that can be a bit distracting when working with it.  I tend to change my grip pretty regularly when I’m drawing and like to have a consistent feel under my fingers.  The hard inserts throw this off somewhat but not really enough for me to throw the pen away because it draws quite well.

It’s has a pretty smooth rolling ball and glides pretty effortlessly on the page.  A lot of the times this can be a let down with sketching because you lose some of the dynamic range you can exert when the pen works as soon as it hits the paper, but it’s not too bad.  It has a pressurised ink chamber, so can write upside down and apparently in the extreme cold.  I probably won’t ever need to test that out, but who doesn’t want a pen that can write upside down?

So this one gets points for a couple of things.  It’s a nice smooth flowing pen that sketches well and writes really nicely.  It’s made from recycled stuff, so it should be good for the planet, and it smells like an awesome old woodworking school building.  The sketch here was done with the Uniball Power Tank Eco.


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