I've looked at the Pilot FriXion erasable pens at JetPens for some time, but hadn't thought about buying any until I came across them at a fairly new book store in New York Ctiy, BOOK-OFF. A Japanese corporation that's been moving into the US market, BOOK-OFF opened in April on W. 45th Street near 6th Avenue, just a short walk from Art Brown International Pen Shop.
On my way home from Art Brown over the weekend I decided to see what BOOK-OFF was all about: $1, $2, and half-price books, DVDs, CDs and more. The "more" turned out to be Japanse pens, including the Pilot FriXion and Kokuyo Beetle Tip markers. (There was a Dr. Grip in pink, but I wasn't in a Sailor Moon mood and passed.) As everything was half-price although limited (blue pens and green and pink markers only), I stocked up on pens, along with Hans Holzer's Ghosts I"ve Met (wonderful just to take in the vastness of Holzer's ego, forget about the ghosts) and Jacob Burkhardt's The Civiliation of the Renaissance in Italy, and went on my way.
The Pilot Frixion uses friction to erase the gel ink, the eraser at the end of the pen being the secret to erasing the thermo ink. The bought a dark blue 0.7m and a light blue 0.5m to try out, and find I like the darker blue ink and wider line of the 0.7m. The pen doesn't write at first, but skips for a few words until the ink starts flowing smoothly. But it does definitely erase every bit of gel ink, although re-writing over the erased area is a tad difficutl. The ink doesn't seem to want to lay down over the erasure, but with the other choice being an ugly cross-out this is fine. I tried them out on my Rhodia No. 19 dotPad, and have to say the lighter blue really got lost on this paper.
If you happen to be in NYC and near W. 45th and 6th Avenue (or I should say Avenue of the Americas), check out BOOK-OFF for the books and the pens. The latter is easy to find, they're right at the check out counter, where you'll be in everyone's way as you sort through the cart. Pensters won't be deterred by that, and the counter staff are very friendly and understanding.