Review: M&G Wisdom, Erasable Gel Ink, 0.5mm 

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I don’t know why M&G chose to name their erasable pen “Wisdom,” but it makes me think of the Serenity Prayer, the aphorism that asks for wisdom to know the difference between the things that can and cannot be changed. I guess that makes it a bit ironic, then, that the M&G Wisdom has such an awful eraser. With this pen, you’re better off not trying to change anything.

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As erasable pens go, the Wisdom pales in comparison to the Pilot Frixion. The Frixion uses a  heat-activated ink that disappears with a few swipes of its eraser. The Wisdom, on the other hand, uses a very wet ink, and its eraser simply smears it across the paper. Instead of a clean writing area, a large, gray blob will take the place of any mistake you attempt to correct.

The Wisdom’s ink flow is also unreliable. It cuts out frequently, requiring a nearby scratch pad to get flowing again. It’s not particularly comfortable to write with either. For some reason, the soft, rubbery barrel makes way for a hard, plastic grip section.

So, in the end, you’re better off sticking with the Frixion and leaving the Wisdom behind.

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Review: M&G R1, Gel Ink, 0.5mm

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If you have never heard of the company M&G, you’re not alone. This is my first time ever seeing a pen with its logo, but from my brief research, it seems to be a fairly large operation based in Shanghai, China. The company manufactures a ridiculous amount of pens, with its website listing 117 different types of gel-ink pens alone. One of these pens is the R1, which M&G claims is its best seller.

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The style of the R1 is pretty close to that of your typical “premium plastic” pen, like the Pilot G-2, albeit with gray-colored grip. By all measures, it’s a pretty good pen. It smears some, but otherwise produces consistent lines with dark ink. With its thick grip, it’s even quite comfortable to hold. It’s not hard to see why the R1 might be M&G’s best seller.

The R1 is inexpensive and a decent choice for the pen cup. The catch is that you’ll have to purchase it from an online seller, usually one from China through eBay. Oddly, these pens still tend to be less expensive than similar pens you’ll find on store shelves in the United States – even including the shipping costs, I paid less than one dollar per pen. Still, the R1 isn’t so great that it’s worth chasing after, but if you’re especially patient and frugal, they might at least be worth looking into.

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