Product Type: Bic in Homeware
Newest Review: ... at the drop of a hat! (4) Snappy lid - the lid clip has snapped on almost all the Bic Cristal pens that I've bought over the years. The... more
Bic Cristal Ball Point Pen
Member Name: norton501
Bic Cristal Ball Point Pen
Advantages: National Treasure
Disadvantages: Occasional Leakage
For me, BIC cristal pens are a National Institution- a trustworthy standard middle of the road ball point pen. Medium line, standard blue, black, red and green ink colours. Removable cap with hole in it (for safety reasons- we've all heard tales as a child of someone or other who swallowed a pen cap...). The ink flows well and the writing is smooth. Each pen if bought individually will set you back around 50p- but there are multipacks on sale in supermarkets often selling you packs of 10 (3 each of blue and black, 2 each of red and green) for £2 or thereabouts. If you are like me, you will stock up on your BICs online- Amazon or ebay etc., where you can buy boxes of up to 50 pens in one go- this works out cheaper on a per-pen basis.
From a BIC promotion a few years ago where you had to run out a BIC Cristal pen, I know I can get through one BIC biro in two days if I am busy (I write a lot) and yes, I did enjoy charting the progress of the running-out of the pen (yes, I measured how much ink was in the pen...). I am still a little amazed that for around 8-9 out of 10 black biro's (in my experience) when you run all the ink down in the pen, there is no trace of residual ink left on the inside if the pen shaft. The entire pen will be transparent and clear (maybe this is where the Cristal name comes from?). The exception to the rule is green BIC Cristal pens generally leave an inky trail on the inside of the pen.
BIC biros are a real stalwart for me- reliable, you know what you are getting, you can see exactly how much ink is left in the pen before you even remove it's lid and even if you lose the lid, you know it will not dry out unless you leave the pen in a drawer or a box in your attic for about 15 years. But even then, maybe, just maybe the pen will still write (this happened to me, the pen did still write). These pens can go through the laundry (not recommended as you may get bits of ink on your washing- pillowcase for me! The pen was fine, the pillowcase lost the battle).
However, for all its benefits, there are a few downsides to BIC Cristal pens - one is the ink becomes quite messy as you get down to the bottom inch of the pen. It will tend to leave small globules of ink on the page and if you are left-handed, you will get smudging issues and ink on your hand, sleeve, arm etc., This is exacerbated if you are using the pen with a ruler and making lots of lines as you will end up with a whole smudgy mess and will need a tissue to hand unless you are really careful or wipe the end of the pen nib frequently.
The other downside- is these pens are prone to travel-sickness (ie they tend to leak in transit). If I carry a BIC Cristal pen in my handbag, if it is nib side up and lid on, the pen will pretend it has run out of ink for a while afterwards and will need lots of shaking and holding nib down- or- the ink may rupture inside the pen (normally the ink will back up and leak out of the sealed end). The blue stain on my handbag is testament to this.
And also- these pens do not write on the ceiling, underwater or in space. But that should be obvious.
I can't actually imagine the world without BIC biro's as if they didn't exist, someone would have created something identical- surely. My point being that your average, medium line, blue or black or red BIC Cristal ball point pen is like bread or potatoes- if you can write and do write, you should own a BIC Cristal pen. Unless you have opted for posh fountain pens or prefer pencils.
Summary: You know you have one somewhere in your house right now
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