Uni-ball Vision Elite Roller Pen Review - 0.8mm Blue/Black

The Uni-ball Vision Elite Roller is a pen that goes way back with me.  Ok, maybe not WAY back, but definitely is a pen that saw some heavy rotation (if not dedicated for a time) a few years ago when I worked in banking.  It was a great pen for taking notes and for when clients needed to sign documents.

The Elite is what I'd consider to be a smart looking pen, or attractive at least for your "over the counter" office supply pen.  It almost has a sort of futuristic look to it with the oblong oval shapes that grace the cap and clip, and also the transparent color indicating piece that stands proudly at the top of the pen.  

It isn't just a circle, line, or other marking, it is a piece of plastic that is sculpted to flow with the overall design of the pen.  I like it.  The 0.8mm pens have a silvery white barrel that fades in and out from the ends.

My main draw to the Vision Elite is the ink flow and just how easy it is to get words on a page.  Honestly, the 0.8mm is kind of an odd size in the pen world.  We usually only see 0.38, 0.5, 0.7, and a few jumbo 1.0mm.  Not sure what the rationale by Uni is for it (maybe to add to the unique factor?), but that extra 0.1mm seems to do the trick.  The blue-black ink is definitely that and is a rich, unique color.  

While writing with this pen I feel that my letters are more expressive and, oddly enough, maybe even a bit neater?  There are certain pens you write with that do that and it makes you feel good while writing.  The ink in the Vision Elite is Uni's pigmented ink which means fade-proof and archival quality which is great for sensitive and permanent documents.

If you more prefer a finer line then the 0.8mm may not quite be for you, although they do make a 0.5mm which comes in a black barrel.  I haven't used one of the 0.5mm for quite awhile, but I'm certain I have in the past.  I'd be interested to try them again to see what my feelings are about the finer experience with this pen.

I do have a few gripes about the pen, primarily the finish on the barrel.  Actually, the barrel itself too.  The painted finish tends to scrape off pretty easily leaving small scratches and "unsightly" blemishes all over the cap and barrel.  As I said above, this is an attractive pen and it is unfortunate that this feature is so easily diminished with use.

Battle Scars...

An oddity is that Uni-ball actually sells refills for this pen.  I don't quite understand this as the barrel is easily scratched and the refills are literally maybe $0.50 cheaper than buying an entirely new pen?  For a fresh barrel, I'll spot a couple of quarters particularly if using it in a business setting.  

The refill is also extremely huge and is practically a pen in and of itself.  It consists of the tip, grip section, and a fairly large reservoir that fills most of the barrel.  In my heart of hearts I wish Uni would figure a way to re-engineer this pen so that a refill could go in a more durable, higher end barrel.  We can dream, right?

The barrel situation aside, I really enjoy the Vision Elite and need to pull it back into my rotration from time to time.