rOtring Rapidograph Technical Pen - 0.50mm

Our friends over at JetPens kindly sent me this rOtring Rapidograph to review and I have to admit I was pretty giddy when it arrived.  Although it isn't a vintage 600 series, I was still really, really excited to give the Rapidograph a go.

Now, being a technical pen it really isn't meant for everyday writing, but more for drafting, drawing; precision while creating lines.  That doesn't mean that we can't try to use it as a daily writer although it may not be best suited for the task.  There are some drafting and technical pens that have a cult following for writing like the Copic Multiliner, but the rOtring not so much.

The first thing that stood out to me about this pen is how vintage it looks.  The shades of brown and maroons throughout the cap and barrel, then finished off with the nice red ring down towards the base.  Honestly, it looks like they haven't changed the style of this pen in 50 years, although I don't know the history.  I really wish they made more pens that looked this way for normal writing; any suggestions?  The look of this pen calls to me for some reason and I think it is awesome.  And, while using this pen it feels like I really am using a writing "instrument".

The Rapidograph pens don't run cheap, this one weighing in at nearly $45, which for a plastic barrel some might scoff at.  Well, it isn't the barrel that is so costly, but the tip.  To buy just a replacement tip for the pen would fetch you $33, so best not to drop this one.  The pen writes fantastic though, laying down a dark and solid line.  You can feel the tip running along the page which isn't the smoothest (again, not really for daily writing), but the quality of the line is superb.  In short, these babies are worth the money in my book.  They have a reputation in the art community of being awesome tools and with good reason.

A special feature of the pen is how the ink system works.  It touts what rOtring calls the capillary cartridge system which creates a new pressure seal (and equilibrium) each time a new one is installed.  I'm not quite sure what all of that means, but in layman's terms it is that the ink is "good to the last drop", meaning that the tip will keep writing until the very last smidge of ink leaves the pen.

To assemble this pen for writing is actually pretty crazy.  The finished, functioning pen consists of five parts: cap, barrel, tip, cartridge, and sleeve.  To fill the pen you push the tip section down into the cartridge until it "pops" (they even have a graphic for this in the instructions), place it in the barrel, and screw the sleeve down over the top to hold everything snugly in place.  I had anxiety that I was doing something wrong the whole time!  Well, she started writing so I must've done an ok job.

What I need to do with this pen is work on drawing with it.  I'm an artist of sorts, and drawing isn't my strongest skill, but I feel to do this pen justice I need to use it for it's intended purpose.

I would love to hear the thoughts of readers that use the Rapidograph for their artistic endeavors, so please feel free to comment.

Thanks again, JetPens, for sending me this sample to try!  Super cool.