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Review: Easyflow 9000 Cartridge

I really want to love the Easyflow 9000 cartridge. It’s just enough like a gel pen to have the line quality I want, with the feel of a ballpoint. It’s in the Parker format, so it fits a lot of pens, including the Caran d’Ache 849 (affiliate link), which I like.

The problem is that it has the most frustrating flaw. The ball sticks. Ok, I don’t know if it’s actually sticking or if there’s some other problem, but it feels like the ball is not quite round, and sticks in the socket from time to time. There is an intermittent binding and chattering. It was worse when the cartridge was new, but now it’s almost more annoying because I get used to a wonderfully smooth experience and then the thing binds up – it’s like running barefoot on a beach, and once every half a mile landing on a sharp rock. Enough to get you to stop running on a beach.

The memory of how nice it can write gets me to pull it out from time to time, and in a short while I remind myself why it’s in a drawer.

It’s possible that the two cartridges I got were flukes, but I’ve read similar comments elsewhere. If Schmidt can get the fit of the ball improved, they will really have a winner with this cartridge, but until they do it’s a loser for me.

1 comment… add one
  • RMinNJ September 12, 2012, 11:53 am

    My first experience with the easyflow was slightly similiar…it started fading and skipping any long stroke but smaller characters/letters were bold and nice. I exchanged that refill and it was better. I then purchased a set of 6 online. These are all the blue color that hinge on the purple side of blue.

    My experience has been they write great (one could say awesome) when new putting a decent amount of ink on the paper with very little drag..much like a gel. The ink is a bit fainter the next day but still a vibrant blue.

    Alas, my problem is a similiar with the refills..I have not run one dry..rather they start to skip and fade on longer strokes…but frustratingly, they can still write small characters or lines quite smoothly and bold.. As you observed..I suspect now that they are not out of ink; rather the ball has begun sticking or has become mis-shapen? Its a darn shame because they write much bolder, smoother and nicer than say the Parker Quinkflow. They make the Parker Quinkflow blue look faint and dry .

    And Schmidt seems to sell them un-packaged with no company address or USA presence..there is no one to write to return the refills to (returning to the retailer is reallying not fair). I’m thinking of trying the one branded and packaged by the Retro51 pen people.. the Retro51 people may be able to show the problem to Schmidt? I suspect the ball/tip just is not as durable over time as one would expect.

    Today I’m using a brand new medium blue Fisher straight from the Fisher folks.. It has quite a bit of drag compared to the Easyflow and Parker refills but the blue stays the same color the next day and lines are bold and don’t fade.

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