Thursday, August 6, 2015

INEXPENSIVE: IKEA STATIONERY (PART 1/3)

Ikea Fullfölja rollerball pen
In the past few years, Ikea came up with some pretty neat stationery products, and it seems as if they are pretty serious about it, because their assortment seems to be expanding. In this three-part review, we'll be taking a look at what IKEA has got to offer in the writing department!

One of their new product lines, is FULLFOLJA. It consists of a couple different items, such as paper and notebooks, paperclips, a tape dispenser, a scissor and last but not least: pens! Fullfölja rollerball pens (marketed as gel pens) come in a pack of three, and they are dirt cheap, I just couldn't resist grabbing a pack.

I must admit I felt somewhat crazy when I realised that I just bought a pack of disposable pens. I have so many 'good' pens, why would I even bother using this? And that feeling got even worse when I realised I don't even like ballpoints or rollerballs that much...
Ikea Fullfölja rollerball pen
I guess what got me into buying a pack of the Fullfölja rollerball pens was curiosity. For 1.49 EUR (1.99 USD), I guess one can't but be just a little suspicious. Most 'cheap' rollerballs cost about the same for just one! Could a brand, notorious for being cheap and not always the most durable (Nothing against Ikea, in fact I love going there, my complete desk setup is from Ikea...), create a pen that is reliable and usable? I didn't even expect to enjoy them, I just wanted to know if it would write...
Ikea Fullfölja rollerball pen
Designwise, these stay true to Ikea standards, with a minimalist utilitarian design The design actually isn't bad at all. If I'd have to choose between this and a Bic crystal or something similar, I'd definitely pick the Fullfölja. There's some detail in it, for example the glossy strip along the cap (which replaces the clip and acts somewhat as a roll-stopper) and the subtle Ikea logo imprint on the barrel, but that's pretty much everything there is to say. Build quality isn't bad, they are light, but actually feel rather durable. The matte finish makes them pretty comfortable to hold.

Function is definitely the main point of attention for Ikea, which is good because these are pens that are supposed to be used. The cap comes off with a nice snap, and posts very securely on the back. 
Ikea Fullfölja rollerball pen
Now for the actual writing performance, I obviously wasn't expecting that much. You should never judge a book by it's cover though. So I decided to use it for taking notes while studying... Three days later, I was still using that same Fullfjölla pen! 

I was wrong, not only does Ikea manage to make a very cheap pen, they also write extremely well! The black refill writes smoothly and lays down a nice dark black line. I'd guess these are about 0.7mm, line width is comparable to a medium fountain pen I guess. I never had any trouble with the flow. I wrote mostly on average quality paper, and it held up perfectly without bleedthrough or feathering. Of course it performed flawless on good paper as well! 

In the meantime, I started using the second one. The first one flawlessly worked its way through about 40 pages of notes before running dry, so I guess durability is pretty good too!

I never would have thought I'd say this, but Ikea's rollerballs are definitely among the best cheap pens I've used, and I won't hesitate to buy more if I get the chance. For 1.49 EUR / 1.99 USD, I'd seriously recommend grabbing a pack when you visit Ikea!
Ikea Fullfölja rollerball pen

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