Pilot has jumped on the bandwagon of the pressurized writing experience in hopes, I'm sure, of competing with a few of the better known favorites, the Fisher Space Pen, or the Tombow Airpress, to name a couple. Their offering is called the Down Force; sounds pretty intense, right? Like a storm or something.
There is one thing I really like about this pen, and that is the plastic knurled grip section. It is more of a subtle knurling and is rather appealing. I even liked the choice to put the three grip rings in the knurling; nice touch. I would love to see this exact knurling grip pattern on a metal pen. The barrel of the Down Force is pretty wide, sort of like the Dr. Grip, but not uncomfortable.
At Staples, you can only get it in black with a grey/smoky clip, but on JetPens, they offer it in some pretty wild colors like orange, green, or yellow. I think the black suits it fine, but again, wish they offered a metal barrel version. I have a thing for metal pens.
Now, there is one thing that I absolutely abhor about this pen: the clip. Oh my is this thing an ugly monstrosity. A bit dramatic?... Well, I just really don't like it at all. In my opinion they took a superb barrel design and attached this thing to it. It is a smokey clear color against a cool matte black plastic that just doesn't work well. I wish they'd have made a sleeker clip like Dr. Grip FullBlack (will review one like this soon).
The clip is functional though as it serves as the means of retracting the tip and knock as to not allow you to clip an open pen to your shirt/overalls/pants. In all honesty, I feel this feature on any pen is kind of silly; I get that the pen manufacturer is "trying to do us a favor" from not allowing us to mess up our shirt, but I feel that most people can handle the responsibility of pushing in the knock to retract the pen. Although, they do make pocket protectors still.
I think Pilot did a pretty good job with the ink, although I haven't tested it in the crazy upside down positions, or on a wet surface. It puts down a fine line that I'd even wager to be better and cleaner than the Fisher Space pen in the fine width. I prefer the medium Fisher, but the Pilot is neat and precise while writing. I'll have to look and see if they make a blue ink...
Pros: knurling, ink flow/line width
Cons: the really ugly clip
Worth $7? Meh. If you wanted a "cheap", but nice, knurled pressurized pen, buy a Zebra F-701 which is compatible with the Fisher refill and is only about $7.