I listen to the Pen Addict podcast week after week and Brad mentions, in almost every episode, how much he likes the Pilot Juice range of gel ink pens. He must mean it too as they recently made one of his top 5 lists so I thought it was about time I bought a few of these pens to try out.
First things first, let's mention the price. The Pilot Juice are very well priced pens. I picked up four different colour options for less than £7. This makes these pens great value. That's the crude, but important, aspect out of the way.
The range of colours for the Pilot Juice are pretty impressive. Cult pens stocks 24 different colour options on this range, far more than the Pilot Hi-Tec-C's, Pilot G2's etc. The Juice range gives you far more colour choice, if that's your cup of tea. This opens up the world of colour ink options to those people who are not interested in fountain pens.
Another positive for me is that these pens work well on pretty much any notebook. My written review below shows the pens used on the Rhodia dot Pad but they also work well on Field Notes. You cannot say the same for Field Notes and a fountain pen (in most cases).
Part of the fun when ordering these pens was to decide what colours to go for. I opted for the Orange, Blue Black, Violet and Sky Blue. Using each of these colours I have found some interesting differences. The darker colours seem to perform better than the lighter colours. The Orange version of the pen is almost a bit neon, which I think you can see in the photo below, and I have noticed a bit of skipping when writing. All a bit disappointing. On the flip side I find that the Blue Black and Violet perform much better laying down enough ink on the page.
The pen barrel is rubbish. Plain and simple, its crappy plastic and makes strange creaking noises when you write. I don't have an issue with this at £1.60 a pen, however I would love an option for a nice barrel like the Render K. I think you would have a better writing experience if you weren't staring at such as ugly, cheap barrelled pen.
The other pain point is the more you write the less well these pens seem to perform. They are definitely not made to sit down and make a lot of notes, or write pages and pages of work. I find they perform better with shorter amounts of use. This way the pen doesn't skip and you end up getting better results.
HAND WRITTEN REVIEW
I like the Pilot Juice pens and I can defiantly see the appeal. They are a great pen to carry around in your bag and come in some snazzy colour option. I would be interested if I could use this pen as a refill in a nicer barrel - if anyone knows of anything please leave me a comment below as I think I would enjoy the Pilot Juice a lot more this way. I don't think these pens will be a go to option for me and I don't find myself wanting to write with these pens. They just work well with my Field Notes which gives them some extra bonus points.
A middle of the park 3 / 5