You’re going to love this pen!
Pilot did a great job of naming this pen … the writing experience really is “juice smooth” and it’s a joy to lay down ink on the page. And with 24 standard colors to choose from, plus another 18 specialty colors (metallic, pastel, fluorescent), you won’t need anything else to give you the array of color you need for your journal (Ha! yeah right, as if we’d only have one set of pens. Who am I trying to fool?)
I purchased the 12-pack of standard color Pilot Juice Gel Ink Ballpoint Pens in .38mm tip size. The title of the pen is a bit confusing but let me break it down for you. “Gel Ink” refers to the type of ink being used in the pen itself, whereas “ballpoint pen” refers to the way that ink is delivered to the page when you write. Gel ink delivered with a ballpoint tip is thicker than gel ink delivered by a rollerball tip. Whoa! Nerdy, huh?
The ink in the Pilot Juice is a water-based pigmented gel ink. Because it’s a pigment ink you get a whopping 42 color options (dye-based inks are more limiting). I find that the inks are nicely saturated – not too light, not too dark. And the .38mm tip writes SO smoothly without any skipping or globbing (is that a word?).
I also do not have a problem with ghosting on any of the papers I’ve tried – 70gsm, 80gsm, 100gsm, Stalogy, and Tomoe River Paper. However, I’ve only tested the .38mm (so far) so if I get my hands on the 1.0mm or .7mm versions, I’ll do a test and update the results here. I suspect the larger tip size might be an issue on thinner paper.
The ink dries quickly and after a second or two, there’s no smudging when I run my finger across the ink. However, this ink is not waterproof and doesn’t hold up to my water test (just a wet watercolor paintbrush), so if you plan to use this in a mixed media or art journal, keep that in mind before you add paint over your lettering. I’ve also tested the pen with various highlighters. It didn’t do well, unfortunately, and there’s a fair amount of smudging once you highlight over dried ink.
Stationery Nerd Approved
Overall, I love this pen! It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a super smooth writing experience in a lightweight pen. I think you’re going to love it too. It’s been researched, it’s been tested… it is Stationery Nerd Approved!
I’ve listed all the other specs for this pen below. But if you have questions on anything I might have missed, hit me up in the comments below and we can chat about it. Do you love this pen? How many of the 42 colors do you have?
- Ink – water-based pigmented gel ink
- Water Resist/Proof – no
- Tip Size – .38mm | .5mm | .7mm | 1.0mm
- Structure – retractable / clicker
- Clip Style – spring action
- Finger Grip – dimpled rubber
- Construction – plastic
- Smudge Test – 2 seconds dry-time to no-smudge
- Highlighter Test – smudges with all tested
- Refillable – yes | LP2RF
- Color Options – 42 colors total
- 24 standard colors – .38mm | .5mm
- 21 standard colors – .7mm
- 8 standard colors – 1.0mm
- 6 metallic colors – .5mm
- 6 pastel colors – .5mm
- 6 fluorescent colors – .5mm