Mike’s Rollerball and Fountain Pen Review

"According to Sakura’s history, Sakura invented gel-based ink. The Sakura
Gelly Roll is another $1 gel-based ink pen that is fade proof, water proof, and
acid free. It is an archival quality pen. Unfortunately it is not as easily
found as the Pilot G2s, one of the reasons I do not rate it as highly as the G2.
Many writers prefer the Sakura to the G2, however, and for the low price tag, it
is worth trying out if one finds it in an art supply store.

The Sakura has a soft plastic barrel and a small rounded cap. The ink
is not meant to be refilled but at $1 each, it wouldn’t be worth selling
separate ink refills anyway. The ink inside the Sakura cannot be used inside
other roller ball pens.
On the web, Sakura Gelly Rolls can be purchased at Dick Blick for just
over a dollar each plus shipping which gets quite costly for a pen. If you are
really not happy with a G2 and want to try another cheap pen, the Sakura is
worth looking into."

Mike Shea’s Rollerball and Fountain Pen Review

Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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11 Responses to Mike’s Rollerball and Fountain Pen Review

  1. Alia says:

    Besides art stores, craft stores like Michael’s, Pat Catan’s, and Jo Ann Fabrics also carry these pens. (I knit, so I’ve ventured into all three of these. The aisles of fake flowers are scary, but the selection of gel pens is equal to or greater than at the local art supply store.)

  2. John says:

    Very true, especially at Michael’s:)

  3. I’ve used several of the Sakura gel pens, they’re great.


  4. Bob Davis says:

    Another very good gel pen is the UniBall Signo 207. Dries faster than the G2, and writes more smoothly. I think they’re kind of new.

    I just picked up a couple for testing out, and like it very much. They’re available in office supply stores.

  5. Director says:

    I found that a 3×5 index card works nice in place of blotter paper for the pocket notebooks.

  6. SM says:

    I just thought I’d mention the Sakura Pigma Micron. It’s a little more expensive than the Gelly Rolls and G2s, coming in at $2-$3, but I’m loving mine. I’ve never found a gel pen where the ink dried so fast, making it perfect for those of us who have a problem with smearing not-yet-dry ink. If ubiquity is desired, it might not be the best, but personally, I’m just going to order some in bulk… Thanks to the comments that recommended it to me in previous posts, I’d have never found it otherwise.

  7. Joy says:


    I like Microns as well, but:

    * they’re not gel ink
    * they tend to dry up quickly.

    The Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen costs the same and is far superior, IMO.


  8. John says:

    I heartily agree, Joy. And they are less expensive and way nicer looking, too:) Dick Blick has a sweet price for them.

  9. Joy says:


    I sense another cult in the making!

    Cheap Joe’s prices are even lower than Dick Blick’s–but their minimum shipping fee is $9.99, so it’s all about the same.

  10. borg says:

    the greatest gadgets i own are pens…waterman pens the waterman expert II fountain pen is probably the best writing instrument for under $100. i also have several lamy safaris. for a real treat, pick up a waterman etalon. better investment than a palm tungsten t3

  11. Sam says:

    A word of caution: Don’t EVER forget to cap it. One night, or even a few hours, of leaving it uncapped means it’s as good as gone. At least, I’ve never successfully revived it.

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