he Pilot Frixion is the undisputed king of erasable pens but now Uni-Ball has thrown down the gauntlet with its Uni-Ball Fanthom erasable gel pen. We have tested both pens in today’s battle of the pens to try and find out which is better.
1. Writing Performance
Both Pens write very smoothly and the Fanthom probably edges it over the Frixion. However the ink is laid down straight away with the Pilot Frixion but the Uni-Ball Fanthom took a few strokes before the ink was flowing freely. Although this is not a major issue it is slightly annoying.
The Uni-Ball Fanthom has a slim hard plastic grip area that is quite smooth with indentions cut into it. I found it quite slippy to hold and not particularly comfortable.
Whereas the Pilot Frixion has a thicker grip area made of rubber with indentations in the rubber. The thicker rubber grip of the Frixion I personally found more comfortable and easier to write with, but I do prefer a pen with a thicker barrel.
3. Choice of Ink Colours
Both pens have a good range of ink colors and at the time of writing this the Pilot Frixion is available in eight different ink colors in the UK and the Uni-Ball Fanthom has a choice of six different ink colors. The ink for both pens that we tested is a little bit on the pale side but this is a characteristic of erasable pens in general.
We carried out a couple of tests to check the erasability of both pens.
1 The first test was to write a test sentence and then erase it.
2 The second test involved writing a new sentence over the erased area.
First we tested the Uni-Ball Fanthom; the writing is erased by rubbing the cap of the pen over the writing. Quite a bit of energy is required to erase the writing and although it does a reasonable job you can still see a faint outline of the original sentence where some residue of the ink is left.
We then wrote over the original sentence that had been erased which again produced reasonable results. The new sentence is clear to read although you can tell that it is written over erased text.
We then tested the Pilot Frixion unlike the Fanthom the ink is erased with an eraser at the end of the pen and the results were far more impressive. All the ink was erased and you have to look really closely at the paper to see the indentations from where the original text had been written.
Once we had written over the erased sentence with the Pilot Frixion it was virtually impossible to tell that this had been written over erased text.
An erasable pen has to be judged on performance and although the Uni-Ball Fanthom does a reasonable job at erasing the Pilot Frixion is still the superior pen and remains the king of erasable pens. Pilot Pens also makes a great Frixion TV commercial.
I am sure that both pens will have their supporters and we would love to hear from anybody else who has used either of these pens.
Editors Update – The Uni-ball Fanthom is now discontinued and replaced with the Uniball TSI erasable pen.
If you are looking for an erasable pen or would like to know more about them then why not check out our Complete Guide Guide to Erasable Pens.