Ballpoint pens are one of the most commonly used writing instruments due to their durability, cost and versatility. The Bic Crystal and Staedtler Stick are the two more commonly purchased ballpoints so we thought it was a good start to compare these. The main points of this review are based around the medium black ballpoint model pens.
When writing with both pens the Staedtler does feel slightly smoother to write with, especially when going over existing lines. However, the Bic pen feels like a smoother write when using the thicker one (1.6mm). The Bic pen tends to stick a bit when going over a line which has recently been written/ drawn.
I feel that both pens produce a similar consistent line however, on occasions the Bic seems to have more of a faint line.
Above you can see 3 lines with each pen, a free hand drawn straight line, a line drawn with a ruler and a finally, a squiggle. Weirdly, the Bic felt better when drawing the squiggle but the Staedtler felt smoother drawing a straight line. This hints that the Bic may function better when writing with the pen (or nib) at an angle.
The colours vary a bit when switching between the two different brands. When testing the pens I found that the red Bic was a darker shade of red than the Staedtler one. Also the black is more of a pure colour in comparison to the Staedtler which has a slight hint of purple in it. The Blue Bic pens are a dark blue colour, which is a bit of a contrast to the Staedtler one which is a lighter blue.
When attempting to smudge a freshly drawn line, the Staedtler seems to smudge slightly easier but both stick to the page very well.
Above you can see two lines drawn with each pen which I have immediately tried to smudge after. As you can see, there’s very little smudging.
In terms of ink vibrancy, I feel that when drawing just one singular line, the Bics ink is more vivid. If you go over the line twice, the Staedtler line suddenly becomes clearer than the Bic ink. This could have something to do with the quality of the ink and the Staedtler ink being absorbed to the paper more easily.
The Staedtler is a slightly thicker, shorter pen which depending on your hand shape and size, may suit you better. The Bic pen is thinner and taller in comparison. Whilst doing writing tests with both pens, I felt that the Staedtler pen had a better balance due to the fact it is shorter in length. In my eyes, the Staedtler is a comfier pen to hold and write with. This won’t be the case for everyone though because it depends on how you hold pen, the size and shape of your hands and also your writing technique.
Bic are so confident in how long their ballpoint pens will last, they say that you will lose it before it runs out. At one time, if you do manage to hold onto one for long enough that it runs out, they gave you £10. Unfortunately we weren’t able to test how long the ink lasted in each pen.
The prices are quite similar for both pens however the cheapest price I could find online was for the Bic. Both are very affordable pens and can be bought in bulk.
I feel that both brands produce good quality pens to write with however, Staedtler will give you the odd spot of ink which will stand out. Personally, the Staedtler feels slightly smoother although the drawback to this might be the odd ink blob.
For consistency we would recommend the Bic however, although the Staedtler can leave ink blobs and was less smudge resistant, it was smoother to write with. People with larger hands may find the Staedtler slightly comfier to use due to its wider barrel width. If you don’t mind the odd ink blob we would recommend the Staedtler Stick.
You can find both everyday ballpoints pens and luxury writing instruments on our website www.pens-etc.co.uk