As I removed the cap on the Pentel Tradio Fountain Pen I was surprised by the appearance of the nib. My eyesight is not quite what it used to be, too many hours sitting in front of computer monitors, but the tip of this pen was just not what I expected to see. The nib was miniscule, at a close look I could draw a comparison with an arrow.
The Pentel Tradio is a liquid ink filled cartridge pen. Pentel claim the nib gives a firm feel one side and is flexible on the other. It’s ergonomically designed, a term that’s often used these days, derived from the greek words ergon nomoi, translated to work & law. What this basically means I’ve learned, is that it reduces any problems that may arise from writers cramp & can help unfortunate sufferers of conditions like arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome. Simply put, ergonomics is the science of making things comfy & easy to live with.
Not being an expert on fountain pens, I found the writing experience here less challenging than some of the traditional FP’s I have reviewed. The Tradio was comfortable to hold & I discovered a bolder line could be produced with a turn to the left, a lighter touch to the right & the text appeared finer & lighter in colour. Unfortunately it was not something I could reproduce with ease & therefore may not be noticeable in my writing sample!
To conclude, I found this to be an intriguing pen to review. The stylish black matt finish on the barrel & chunky cap was subtle, as was the slick grey logo placed just below one of the indentations that act as a window to the nib. The Pentel Tradio is one of those pens that could quite easily blend into any situation, not tacky, certainly not garish & well balanced. In my opinion the translucent grip section spoiled the appearance somewhat, I’d have preferred to see a contrasting shade of black or grey, although appreciate that it displays the ink level.
This pen is refillable with MLJ20 refills, cartridges are available in black & blue & apparently are removed & replaced by a quick twist of the barrel, if I have one criticism this wasn’t my experience, try as I might I couldn’t remove it. Maybe I’m just a wimp, but I asked a friend to no avail.
On a side note, the Pentel Tradio is an updated version of the classic Fountain Pentel which is still available and is one of our recommended fountain pen alternatives.
P.S. There is a video on the Pentel web site of a superb lion being created before your eyes & one of the pens the artist was using was a Tradio Fountain Pen. This was drawn by the artist Igor Lukyanov and you can also see it here on his blog.