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Bic Cristal Ball Point Pen

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36 Reviews

Brand: Bic / Misc House Type: Pen

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    36 Reviews
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      09.09.2013 12:57
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      Awful pens! I think next time I run out of biros I shall switch to pencil...

      INTRODUCTION

      As a private tutor I get through a lot of pens, and I've been using Bics since my schooldays. Recently I ran out of my pens of choice (Staedtler) and picked up a couple of these in desperation as a stopgap replacement.


      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

      Bic Cristal pens come in four familiar colours: red, black, blue and red. Whilst I prefer writing in black ink the blue variant was all that was in stock so I bought a couple of them for 20p each.

      These biros have two main components: a clear plastic barrel containing the ink cartridge, and a colour-coded separate lid which has a clip moulded into the design.

      The plastic barrel is octagonal for easy grip and is contoured into the pen nib, from which the ink flows via a rollerball mechanism.


      USER EXPERIENCE

      How is this pen awful? Let me count the ways...

      (1) Horrible grip - these pens are thinner than the Staedtler Stick Pens, and the edges of the barrel are sharper, so not only does heavy use of them make my hand joints ache but they make my fingers sore as well!

      (2) Easy to shatter - I've lost count of how many of these pens have broken from being dropped, squished, caught in doors or just been handled a little clumsier than normal. Not only do they shatter easily, but the shards of plastic left behind are very sharp!

      (3) The barrel stopper - seems to fall out 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 plastic is very rigid and has very little 'give' in it.

      (5) Ink flows too much - oh, the pen leaks and inky hands these pens have given me! They've wrecked lots of pieces of writing too, with all the blotchy spots I've left on the page...

      (6) Ink flows too little - ...and then there have been the occasions where I've had to press Really. Hard. to get ink out of the pen, again causing scruffy writing and a sore hand.

      (7) The name - CrIstal? Really? It's spelled C-R-Y-S-T-A-L! As an English teacher this gimmicky spelling irks me deeply.


      CONCLUSION

      Horrible, horrible, horrible! And the manufacturer's can't spell. Not that I can correct their spelling if
      I'm using their silly pen!!!

      /rant

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        24.02.2013 18:51
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        Thanks for Reading :)

        I usually buy a pack of ten pens from Asda for £1.00. There are available in red, green, blue and black colours. I personally prefer to use the black colour more often.

        Having to take a notes in the office, and during my not so distant university days where taking notes would take up most of the time during long lectures, and of course exams; writing 3000 word essays by hand during exam conditions can be tiring for the fingers and hand, so I had to choose the right pen to use. I used to experience very bad hand cramps and aching thumb and fingers during my early exam days at university, as I use to use the cheap smart price pens, however it wasn't long before I was converted into a Bic lover!.

        They are for medium writing and have a ball point nib. Appearance wise they have thin long hexagonal shaped body, which made them for me very comfortable to grip and hold onto unlike other cheaper pens I have used in the past, therefore these made a great difference in reducing hand cramps and aching fingers, and as an added advantage I was able to cram in a lot more information during those time constricted and stressful exams.

        The pens come with a top coloured lid, which indicates the ink colour that the pen holds. The pens are made from strong plastic material, which in my opinion is very durable as I have very rarely seen any of my pens crack or break in half; which can be a nightmare as the ink could easily leak out if the plastic cover was to break.

        The pens well designed nib enables the ink to write nice and smoothly onto paper, unlike other pens that can have the scratchy effect when writing. I have not experienced any clumps of ink being released from the nib while writing; instead it prints clear text that is easily readable. I have not had problems with the ink leaking from the pen which is a great advantage, meaning that the pens can last quite long. The see through plastic design allows for a clear view of when the ink is running low, which is useful for those who would panic if they had no ink left to write with (I am one of them)!.

        Over all these are great pens that are comfortable to hold and grip onto and enables the user to write clear neat text smoothly with the well designed nib. The price is also reasonable, and for the quality and longevity you really can't go wrong.

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        21.02.2013 17:43
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        Everyday general use biro

        I am not really too fussy about what sort of pen I use, so long as I have one really, and so long as it doesn't leak all over the place. Like many families, we have an assortment of pens lying around our home, and probably one of the ones you'll find more often than not is the Bic Cristal Biro pen. These come in an assortment of colours but I prefer to write with black ink, s this is usually he colour I choose. I hardly ever have to buy these pens as when I do, I get them in a pack as it's cheaper than buying them individually, and also they last for ages as the ink never seems to run out. We also use this type of pen at work in the office and they are generally just an everyday sort of pen and probably the most popular pen to use, I would think.

        I buy these in packs of ten from the supermarket and they are widely available and not hard to find. I pay around just over £2 for a pack of ten pens and they come in a small plastic sealed little bag. I usually have one or two of these pens at the bottom of my bag and we have them lying all over the house, though you can guarantee that if I try to look for on I won't be able to find one!

        These pens have a medium thickness hexagonal shaped barely which is completely transparent so you can clearly see how much ink is left inside the pen so it won't take you by surprise if it's ready to run out. These pens also have plastic tops which fit neatly over them and the tops tend to be the same colour as the ink inside the pen, i.e. blue, red or black. I think these pens also come in green ink though personally I don't think I've never tried this colour before.

        The pens write well, and the ink flows smoothly and evenly with hardly any smudges. I have had one or two of these pens leak on me in the past, but not often. They are comfortable to hold due to them having a nice hexagonal shaped barrel and they write easily even when new, though you do have to scribble a bit beforehand just to get the ink flowing.

        Overall, they are a cheap and effective pen for everyday general use and used by millions of people all over the place, in offices and homes. They are reliable, inexpensive and they work well.

        Highly recommended.

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        20.02.2013 16:33
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        A good pen for the desk

        I have a number of Bic biro pens scattered over my desk, as I am writing I can see at least two black ones and a green one poking out from underneath my piles of paperwork, I also keep one in my handbag. These are very basic ballpoint pens, a clear plastic barrel with a metal nib and a lid which matches the colour of the ink.

        These pens must be cheap to manufacture, they are cheap to buy, a pack of 10 costs around £2, although mine are all from the store cupboard at work. As they are cheap I don't mind if I loose the odd one, however most of the time they end up down the back of my desk, I can see one there now!

        These pens last a long time, I usually loose it before the ink runs out. As the barrel is clean you can see the cartridge inside so know how much ink is left. It is possible to take the pen completely apart, although not that easy on the fingernails, however there would be no point refilling with a new cartridge, these are meant as disposable pens.

        I notice that my pens have written on the "BIC" and then "medium" which I can only think refers to the nib and flow of the ink. These are nice to write with, not gritty and they don't dig up the page. If not used for a while I do find I need to scribble a bit before using to get the ink flowing again. The ink dries very quickly but not instantly so don't touch it or it'll smudge for 10 secs or so.

        My favourite Bic biro colour is the green one, which is a nice bright jade green colour and useful when I am marking printed black and white documents as I can easily see where I have reviewed. They also come in black, red and blue.

        All in all a great basic which can probably found on millions of desks all over the UK!

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        26.01.2013 18:55
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        Inexpensive but still the best - reliable Bic Crystal Biros

        ===Why I Got This===

        Everyone needs pens at some time or other and if your home is anything like mine you can never find a pen quickly when you need one - or else the one you find does not work. I therefore in future intend to stick to my trusty Bic Crystals instead of cheap or free biros which never work very well, leave blobs of ink on the paper or which run out when it looks like they have plenty of ink left in them.



        ===The Brand===

        Bic Biros are now know the world over. The famous Biro ball point pen was patented by Laszlo Bíró in Paris in 1938. Marcel Bich (to become known as Bic) later found a thickness of ink which neither leaked nor clogged and under a licence from Bíró launched the Crystal in 1950.
        Bic Crystal Pens have been on sale ever since.



        ===The Product===

        Ball point pen approximately 6 inches long and 9mm diameter.
        The Crystal pen is a tube of coloured ink held with a transparent ten sided tube of clear plastic.
        The end of the tube has a disc relating to what colour ink it has and the push on cap is also the same colour. The ink comes out via a small metal roller ball.
        The lid has a safety hole to prevent choking by young children if swallowed and the clear tube also has a tiny air hole to regulate air pressure.
        The cap has a piece of plastic attached so men can put it neatly into their top pocket - or girls in their school blazers back in the day when they wore them.
        The pen comes in four colours - Black, Blue, Red and Green.
        Quality ink, quick drying and smooth writing and has a tungsten carbide ball.
        Supposedly it has up to 2 kilometres writing length.
        The Crystal is the original Bic Biro but is has also come out in other formats such as a slimmer one designed for women.



        ===Cost===

        I am not sure of the single cost as the way I buy them is 10 for about £2.50 on Amazon - which is about 25p each. Obviously if you buy singly they will cost a little more.



        ===My Opinion===

        Bic Biros were always a part of our home life way back in the 1960s when they were all my father would use - and the colour had to be Black!
        I am sure we all take ballpoint pens for granted these days but writing in years gone by with fiddly fountain pens could be quite messy. Thus the invention and sale of these clean and efficient pens from the 1950s was a great stride forward.
        Not only had the design stood the test of time but they are clean, efficient and inexpensive. The weird thing is that although these pens are cheaP to buy, they are not cheap to look at and you do not look out of place using one anywhere - which cannot be said for lots of other pens, some of which are much more expensive.
        When you buy one of these pens you know you are getting quality - a product that has no fancy frills but one that will just work when you need it to. Often with other pens you do not really know what you are getting and paying more for them does not mean they are going to be more reliable.
        Going back to school days, both my own and my sons, if there was an exam to be taken we always had Bics - because you knew you could depend on them not to let you down. They would write evenly and cleanly without leaving any ink spots on the paper or unexpectedly running out of ink. A great advantage of these pens is that you can see the tube of ink inside and so can see how much ink you have left.
        Personally I always prefer black ink but will also buy blue on occasions as well. The odd red pen is handy to have around for making quick notes or highlighting parts of Agendas etc but I never really use the green ones - I am not really sure who does like green ink. I know red used to be used a lot by schoolteachers in years gone past when they were marking essays and coursework.
        These are very inexpensive pens but also reliable - which is not what you get form many other pens. Bic Biros can be bought almost anywhere - Newsagents, Garages, Post Offices, Supermarkets, Stationers and also online at places such at W.H.Smith, Ebay or Amazon.
        The more you buy in bulk the cheaper the pens become but I find that the set of 10 from Amazon for under £2.50 is fine for me and lasts absolutely ages - and I only have to re-purchase mainly due to other people walking off with them, rather than them ever getting the chance to actually run out of ink.
        As part of my local History Group I have drafted eleven books so while a lot of work is done on the computer there is also a lot of note taking and correcting to be done by hand and I find these pens completely reliable - in fact I do not think I have ever had a faulty one.
        I have not bothered to buy the slimline pens aimed for women as I have never found any problem using these pens at all - not even as a child. They are easy to hold and use as they are.
        Bic Biros are now a design classic having remained unchanged for over 60 years - they even have a Bic Biro Chandelier at the Science Museum.



        ===Star Rating===

        5 stars.



        ===Would I Recommend?===

        Yes.



        ===Website===

        www.bicworld.com

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        15.01.2013 23:43
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        You know you have one somewhere in your house right now

        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.

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          08.01.2013 20:39
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          Great everyday pens

          In work an essential part of my job is record keeping which is unfortunately all hand written. I have to write in black ink and I always use Bic pens as these are what are supplied for us at work. These pens are made of clear plastic through which you can see the colour of the ink inside. The lids are coloured corresponding to the colour of the ink inside the pen.

          These pens are available in black, blue, green and red. The pens themselves are quite thin and light which means when you hold them in your hand they fit quite comfortably. I really hate pens that are too chunky as they always feel like a bit of an effort to hold. The lid of the pen is easy to remove and can be placed on the end of the pen while writing so that you don't lose it.

          These pens require a minimal amount of pressure to be applied to enable you to write which is good, as it can become uncomfortable if you have to lean too hard when writing. The ball point on the pen is of medium thickness which means your writing isn't too thick or thin. When writing with Bic pens my writing is neat.

          A major requirement that all my pens must have is that they are not easily smudged and do not bleed onto the page. With these Bic pens I have experienced neither of these problems. There is never little blobs of ink left on the page which I have experienced with other ball point pens.

          As these pens are provided for me at work, I do not need to buy them, however they appear to cost around £1 for 4 which works out at 25p a pen. I think this is a complete bargain especially when you see some individual pens costing £1 or more. All in all I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these pens and am happy to give them the full rating of 5*. Thanks for reading/rating and I hope you found my review useful.

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            06.01.2013 01:45
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            A great every day pen

            As a student I get through a fair amount of stationery and one thing I can be a bit fussy about is good pens, as I need them to be reliable and I hate it when pens run out too quickly or smudge a lot. These Bic ball points are ones which I definitely feel I can trust.

            These pens are widely available and can easily be bought in a lot of places as they are probably the most popular brand of ball points. I bought my last pack of 4 black pens from Tesco and I think I paid about £1 for this, which is great value for such good quality pens, especially considering I recently paid £2 for one pen from Scribbler which ran out within about 2 weeks!

            These pens most commonly come in black or blue, and the colour can be seen due to the colour of the lid and the end, and as the outer body is clear plastic, you can also see the colour of the ink inside too so there can be no confusion. They look basic but I like this as in the past I have occasionally bought wrong coloured pens as the colour was not clear from the patterned design on the outside. These are also available in other colours like red and green which are also useful. We used to have to use the red and green in our German vocab books at school to mark the noun genders, so these are handy for students. Red obviously also comes in handy for teachers marking!

            These pens are easy to hold and comfy to use. They are a fairly standard size and look. The best thing about them in my opinion is that they write smoothly and neatly, with no smudging, the ink does not go splodge or uneven, they hardly ever leak or cause a mess, and they last for ages. One of these pens can easily last a good few months for me and therefore I definitely get great value out of them. I always take a few pens into an exam because I am paranoid about pens running out, but with a couple of these Bics there is really no reason to worry!

            When writing with these I find they are not scratchy at all and the ink looks fairly dark, not too washed out or feeble. This makes my writing look neater as sometimes my handwriting is really spidery if I don't like the pen!

            They do have a lid so this makes them safer to carry in your bag without them marking anything. The outside is only made of plastic so occasionally they can break or be crushed but you do have to be fairly rough to make this happen so it's not a big issue to me.

            Over all I have no real criticism of these trusty and reliable cheap pens. To me this is the best standard cheap ball point and I will carry on using them and recommend them to any student.

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              30.12.2012 23:12
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              decent pens from bic

              Somehow at work pen's just seem to vanish into thin air...I don't know if someone is eating them, stealing them or if they can turn themselves into thin air but I can never find one when I really need it! The brand we seem to have floating around the most are these Bic cristal ball point pens.

              The pen, is a slim, thin pen with vertical ridged flat edges. Being this thin I find they are easy to hold and write with. The outer casing of the pen is clear plastic, and it has a coloured circle on the end which will be red/blue/black etc matching the colour of the pen ink and the lid is also the same colour. The lid also has a really effective pointy tip and has a longer piece down the side for allowing the pen to be snugly fit into a shirt pocket and hang over the edge. The lid of the pen also fits neatly on the end of the pen when it is in use so these don't go missing, and can be replaced when finished. To be honest, if the lids are not replaced on these Bic pens, surprisingly I do not find the ink to dry out which is a bonus but it still seems better if I have all my pens with lids on.

              The pens are quite durable although a few times they have been crushed quite easily from my shoe or my bottom (although my bottom really is not that big!) so these may not cope to well under pressure. The pens are a reasonable length, and when I was in uni and college I used these and found they fit in my pencil cases with ease. Bic cristal ball point pens are brilliant quality and do not leak or give me smudged fingers from ink leakage like some cheaper pens. I also find I get longer writing span with the ink in Bic pens, so when I had end of year exams, studying my law degree which required numerous 3 hour written tests in my law subject, Bic cristal ball point pens would be reliable to not run out of ink midway through being on a roll of writing about the right to remain silent lol.

              Writing with these pens is easy, and it may sound weird but I find how I write with a Bic pen is really good and I can hold it comfortably and the ink and tip prints perfectly for a clear writing style. The price of Bic cristal point pens is reasonable, about 4 in a pack for a pound or so so for this value, and for great everyday/exam pens these are perfect and I'd totally recommend them!

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                29.12.2012 21:44
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                The best biro out there.

                Bic is a brand I always opt for when buying pens because I just find cheaper brands don't offer the dependable quality that Bic does.

                Bix isn't exactly going to break the bank but they do often come up more expensive with fewer pens in a pack. For this reason I've tried Tesco/Sainsbury/Wilkinson own pens and always been deeply disappointed. You always end up throwing the majority of them out and it is just a big waste of time for everyone involved. As a result I have decided to stick exclusively to Bic, but that doesn't mean I won't shop around for the cheapest deal.

                Like most biros this is a standard clear plastic tube with many edges. It has a black/blue stopper in the end depending on which colour you go for and matching lid which sits on top. Underneath there is a copper coloured metal nib and inside a clear plastic tube which holds the ink. I find these pens are very sturdy and definitely stand the test of time being battered around in my back and being chewed.

                I also find them really great for writing. They work very smoothly, rarely leak or produce splodges and are pretty much smudge free. The only thing I think they are less suited to is drawing which I do a fair bit off. If you do draw there are other pens from bic which are better suited to this kind of activity.

                You can usually get a multi-pack of 4 for around £1, though I have found them in poundland now which guarantees you get them at that low price. That makes it roughly 25p a pen but for the quality and the longevity that these pens offer it really is worth the extra money. They last me ages, hardly ever have issues with them and rarely need replacing.

                Overall, these are my biro of choice.

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                29.12.2012 13:11

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                Great pen, lasts for ages.

                This pen is extremely cheap for the possibilities it holds, the ink lasts for ages as i had these for a number of exams, around 14! and i still only used one with no problems at all! it's still in my pencil case although i think it may almost be time to switch it for another quality one.
                The ridges in the pens body allow for the pen to be placed on tables without them rolling all of the way off and with this, it also helps with holding the pen steady as some round bodied pens can become slippy and easily roll off onto the floor, which, after 6 or 7 times can become very frustrating.
                These pens range from a number of prices, around 20p - £1 each depending on the store, so i would stay away from pen specialists as they seem to try and rip people off, however i'm sure you would be able to find a pack of 4 in any pound shop or dollar store.
                These pens are great, and are easy to distinguish between the different colours with the ends having the colour that they write with. I would recommend these pens as they last for ages, and it's the little things like the ridges in the body to stop them rolling, that really help!

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                29.12.2012 12:40
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                They are really good pens

                Bic Cristal Ball Point Pen - ranging from around 25p to £1 each so shop around

                Having gone back to university I have rediscovered a love for a good pen. These particular biros from Bic, are their 'medium' writers. They have a hexagonal shape that makes them relatively comfortable to hold, and it helps to stop them rolling off table tops. Each pen has a lid and, topper that indicates what colour they will write. I personally view the width of the writing to be that of a 'standard' biro.

                The pens themselves are made of really sturdy plastic and although I have seen one broken it wasn't an easy task. I do have one bug bear with them, some (not all) of them have a hole in the side - it's very small, and I probably wouldn't have noticed but a friend used one to stir his coffee the other day, and it resulted in a nasty mess.

                The pens themselves write well with none of the scratchy-ness associated with the orange barrelled pens, however when writing the do occasionally 'blob'. This can be mildly irritating, but can be resolved if you wipe them clean on a bit of scrap paper. I have also noticed that one of my blue Bics has gone a 'funny' shade of blue compared to the other ones.

                These pens are available in red, green, blue and black - and seem to last for quite a while. For pens that are so cheap they are a real bargain - especially when people at university keep 'liberating' them (or using them to stir coffees)...

                Highly recommended they are really affordable, and they seem to last for ages.

                Interesting fact of the day from the Bic website - these pens have up to 2km of writing length in them...

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                18.12.2012 20:43

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                Dont tread on them and you will be fine

                Good old dependable Bic, I have tried other cheaper brands of ball point pen, like Tesco's Value ones and Sainsbury's Basic range and neither hold up to the power that is Bic. For another cheap brand, you can't go wrong with these.

                Like most ball point pens, these have a clear plastic tube with the ball point end and the stopper which is the same colour as the lid and the ink inside. The lids stay on quite well until they are either lost or chewed, why must we chew the ends of pens?? (Hopefully that's not just me!) You can pick up a multipack of pens for around £1 and Bic even do green pens, how cool is that? I don't know where you would use a green one but I like that idea. For the price these are, I don't mind losing the odd one. Writing with a Bic is easy; they don't scratch or drop globules of ink everywhere. They are comfy to hold and write with and very rarely do they leak ink like some cheaper brands. These last well too, the inner tube being clear shows how much ink is left, although it never gives a true indication of how much ink is actually left in the pen, there can be an inch section clearly showing but the pen will not write anymore.

                If you tread on a Bic, they will splinter into many sharp bits, so be careful of that. That aside I don't think you can go wrong with a Bic 10/10 every time.

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                24.10.2012 12:55
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                A staple for the office, affordable, and great for note-taking.

                BIC crystal pens are ball-points, easily available everywhere from supermarkets to post offices to webshops. As cheap, disposable, pens, these are what many people will think of as a standard ballpoint.

                Each pen has a transparent plastic body, straight for most of it's length but with the last inch before the nip tapering down. The body has a hexagonal cross section to make it easy to hold, but there are no grips or mouldings (making it ideal for anyone who dislikes soft-grips), just the Bic logo and pen size printed in white halfway down the barrel on one side. The nib is plastic, connected to a translucent internal ink reservoir, which makes it easy to see how much ink is left - as you use it up the ink level moves closer to the nib. The nib is gold coloured plastic.

                The pens have a detachable plastic lid, and a plastic seal at the end to stop the ink escaping. Both of these are the same colour as the ink in the pen which is a handy guide, but can cause confusion if the lids get accidentally swapped and you forget to check the pen itself! It's fairly tough and resistant to being dropped or knocked, but the case is brittle and can crack if too much pressure is put on it. I've never had one of these crack in my hand, but treading on them is not advised. Because it is plastic, it is useful to use in cold places where a metal bodied pen can be quite uncomfortable to hold, although the ink flow can get a little erratic in really low temperatures, like taking notes outdoors in last year's snow.

                They come in a range of ink colours, including black, blue and red, and are often sold in multi-packs making them popular for writers, students, offices and anywhere or anyone that goes through pens in quantity. They are very cheap if bought in bulk - I picked up my last pack of ten for less than £2. The medium, which I usually buy, has a 1mm nib size to give a fine but clear line on the paper.

                They take a few strokes on paper to get started but then tend to provide a steady, non-splogy writing experience. Used in damp conditions the ink can run a bit, but otherwise it is good in nearly every environment I have used it in. Towards the end they can get a little erratic, but at that point you can simply get a new one from the pack. The best part about them is that if I am writing leaning on a wall or at an odd angle, the ink flow remains smooth. You can put these in a pen pot, nib upwards, and still get a good writing experience the moment you pull it out, unlike some biros that take warming, shaking, etc. Also it writes well on recycled paper without spreading or clogging, which is useful.

                In general the manufacturing quality is high. I have been using these for years and although I have encountered an ocassional duff pen, one that splodges or leaves gaps in writing, these have been few and far between. The one major drawback with these pens that I have found is that every so often one will leak, usually from the nib. The ink inside is thick, viscous, and sticky and will stain most things it comes into contact with. While it comes off hands with hot water, soap and a nailbrush, it is a lot harder to get off clothes and bags, usually requiring a hot wash and stain remover. There's nothing to do with the pen afterwards apart from throw it away. The effects of dealing with this is one reason why the pen has four stars from me.

                Cheap, disposable, easy to buy and easy to use, this is a staple of the office for me, and I've got quite a few at home as well. They are easily the best cheap writing tool I've found on the market.

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                  19.10.2012 12:56
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                  Bic Cristal Pen.

                  About the Product
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                  The Bic Cristal pens are commonly known and the Bic Pen which is an inexpensive, disposable ball point pen which comes in various different colours. The pen has a hexagonal shape which was originally taken from the wooden pencil design. The pen is made from a clear plastic which has three grip points which helps to give high writing stability when using the pen. As the pen is made from a clear plastic it means you can see the ink level, so you know when you need to purchase another one. The pen has a brass coloured tip with a small ball bearing which allows the ink to flow out of the pen without clogging up or leaking. The pen comes with a plastic cap which refers to the colour of the ink in the pen. The cap has a small hole in the lid which actually prevents suffocations if children suck it into the throat (although hopefully this would never happen). The pen is one of the world's most efficient pens which are able to write over 100,000 words. I remember seeing these pens around at a very young age as I remember my mother having a few of these in her desk drawer as she used to work from home. The pens come in 4 different colours including Black, Blue, Red and Green. These can be purchased individually or in packs of one colour or mixed colours.

                  Price/Availability
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                  You can purchase the pens from a number of different shops including Ryman, WHSmith's, Paperchase and other stationery shops as well as some supermarkets. Prices in different stores may vary at different times of the year.

                  * Single Pen - 0.49p
                  * Pack of 5 - £1.79
                  * Pack of 10 - £3.49

                  Packaging
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                  I purchased a pack of mixed colours from my local WHSmith store, this included a total of 10 pens of which 4 were black, 2 blue, 2 green and 2 red. The pens come in a plastic hanging type bag which has a clear window at the front so you can see the pens inside the packet. The colour of the bag the pens come in is a bright yellow/orange colour which is what all the Bic Cristal pens come in. You can clearly see that this item is Bic as it has the logo in black on the top of the bag. On the back of the bag it gives you a very small piece of information about the pen; this is printed in a number of different languages. The bag is really easy to open and I often take one pen out as and when I need it and keep the bag of pens in my desk drawer (otherwise they tend to go missing!).

                  Using the Pen
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                  I regularly use these pens at work as I find them reliable and long lasting; they are also comfortable to hold when using them. I normally purchase a pack of mixed colours as I tend to use all of the different colours at work for different things. I don't do a huge amount of writing at work but there will be a few occasions when I have to use the pen for a short amount of time. Although the pen is made from plastic, I find it comfortable and easy to hold when using it. I normally take the cap off the lid and put it on the top of the pen when using it. Quite often the cap the pens do go missing and sometimes I even actually throw these in the bin. The ink in the pen flows out easily and doesn't cause any glooping on pages. The ink sometimes needs time to dry as it can smudge, how-ever this doesn't take long. I like the fact that I can see the ink level in the pen as I know whether I need to purchase anymore or not before I actually run out. The red pen is a nice bright red and I use this most at work. The green is a darkish green colour, and this is probably the colour I use less often at work. I find that the pen lasts for ages, at least a good few months before the ink has actually run out. As I don't do a lot of writing with the pens they probably last a bit longer than the normal average person would use them. I can buy a pack of these pens and they last me over a year.

                  Overall Opinion
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                  I have been using the pens for a good few years now, not just at work but I used to use them at school as well. I find the pens really long lasting and comfortable to hold, even thought the barrel is made from plastic. The pens are very good quality and I have never had an issue with one of these pen's leaking ink everywhere. In terms of value I think the pens are a very reasonable price. I know other shops do their own brand of pens which look very similar to the style of Bic pens; how-ever I don't think these are as of good quality compared to Bic in terms of the pen itself and the ink. I will continue to purchase packs of these for work as I know they are reliable. Whether you need pens for the office, home or school I highly recommend these to others.


                  (review may also appear on ciao)

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