Pen Review: Faber-Castell E-Motion

I was in the pen shop a long time ago yearning for something new. I was in a ballpoint frame of mind, as I am now, but I was fixated on the Fisher Space Pen cartridge and was looking for a pen that would hold it.

The pen store guy pulled out a few Parkers, but they weren’t interesting. I looked over the various Fisher models, but wanted something different. Then he handed me this:


The Faber-Castell E-Motion. It’s kind of short, squat pen, like it looks. It’s very pleasant to hold, and to write with. The wood gives it a feel that only wood can, and it will take a Fisher refill – the plain one that the Fisher pens use. I bought it.

It’s reasonably priced ($30 list), and nice enough to use pretty much anywhere.

The Pros:

  • Hinged, alligator-style clip, with just enough teeth to grip fabric without marring it.
  • Short length, easy to carry.
  • Light weight.
  • A thicker barrel is easier to hold, requires less grip pressure which ultimately means less fatigue.
  • The FC cartridge is quite large, but it also take Fisher cartridges if you need them.
  • The reveal (the amount of pen that will stick out of a pocket) is enough to easily grab the pen.
  • The clip doesn’t have any play, and feels very solid – it’s stamped metal not solid, but that’s no problem in this pen.
  • No parts fall out when changing cartridges – always a good thing.

The Cons:

  • It has the dreaded refill click. Every time the pen touches paper, there is a very soft click as the refill rattles in the body. While writing it sounds like a prisoner tapping out a message on the plumbing to his friend down the cell block I’ve thought of getting one of those Morse-code decoders just to see if the clicks actually do tap out some meaningful code. Probably best left alone. Anyway, both the Faber and Fisher refills do the same thing. Check before you buy.
  • The cap, which actuates the twist mechanism to reveal the point, has started to skip on mine when you happen to turn it the wrong way. I don’t know how serious this will become, but every time it happens, I’m reminded that this pen is built perhaps a bit more cheaply than it feels.

Still, for $30 it’s a darn nice pen and I enjoy using it. If I was going to take notes for a very long time – like a 3–day conference – I wouldn’t hesitate to bring this pen. The thick barrel would keep my hand from cramping, and the ambient noise would drown out the clicks.



4 thoughts on “Pen Review: Faber-Castell E-Motion

  1. I have mixed feelings about this pen. I have one of the pearwood versions with stainless top and bottom. If you grip the pen on the metal section at the bottom it is difficult/uncomfortable to hold. The taper is so severe at this point that the advantage of having the fat pen is lost. For this reason I’ve been thinking about getting one of the Fat Boy pens.


  2. I’ve got a Faber Castell E-Motion ballpoint in black resin with a crocodile motif and polished chrome accents. It’s a bit nicer than the standard pearwood version (more expensive too), but otherwise it’s the same pen. I love the pen’s feel, design and clip. Best of all, it uses Parker-type refills which are very easy to find. About the only negative thing I could say about the E-Motion is that some may find the grip on the slippery side, but I’ve got no complaints.


  3. Great review and so nice to see reader follow ups. Due to the severe taper mentioned by The Rover as well as the dreaded refill click you mention (thanks for being so thorough,) I’m planning on steering clear of this choice. Great info. Thank you.


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