edc review

Retro 51 Tornado Rollerball Pen Review – Top EDC Pen under $25

If you are looking for the best all-metal EDC pen under $25 the Retro 51 Tornado ( ) is worth a look. This rollerball is built like a tank and is very cool looking. It ranges from about $30 for the highly styled ones down to just $20 for the base stainless steel model ( ). I bought the stealth (all black) model for $24.

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One nice perk of this pen is that it includes rebranded Schmidt refills ( ) which are quite good and save you the price of upgrading your refills after you buy the pen.

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15 replies on “Retro 51 Tornado Rollerball Pen Review – Top EDC Pen under $25”

I love your videos. I have noticed you don't always say where they're a Parker style refil or what. It would be so helpful if you would tell folks the style of refill. I'm still learning so maybe pen folks know by looking. On Amazon, alot of times the manufacturer strictly pushes their brand and wont mention other refils for obvious profit reasons. Would love if it were easier to tell what refillable go in what pens.

Tornado matched with Fisher space pen refill. The Fisher backpacker is my favorite "road pen" for signatures. It's less likely to "walk away", with the cap clipped on my jacket's zipper pull.

I have a teal version of this pen and for a rollerball it is my go to pen. Looks sharp writes well and is pretty dependable.

Very disappointed with the refills. I must be pretty unlucky because I bought the pen, and a 3 pack of refills. All of them struggle to write on even the crappiest most absorbent papers. All 4. They skip terribly. I love the pen body but the refills totally ruin the writing experience. I have very neat and good handwriting and having to go over lines that skipped make my handwriting look like garbage. The pen even skipped in this video on the writing sample. Maybe I'm just spoiled by fountain pens that work flawlessly 100% of the time? Been using them and collecting them for about 2 years now so this transition back to crappy writing instruments is a real trip.

If they just balance this better and made it a click, it’d be a home run even at a higher price. Dammit.

The r51 has been on my list for a while, but knowing how heavy it is and how backweighted it looked I never bought it.

Thank you for commenting on the balance and verifying my worries. I've had back weightwd pens and they are not worth the discomfort to me.

I love the refill, so I'm keeping a look out for a better engineered pen with a lighter weight.(Baron Fig Squire is catching my eye).

Issue re refill used? Just put any of the following in (I love the fat Monteverde gel refills). Jet Pens claims these fit: Refills for Retro 51: Retro 51 branded, Ohto flash dry gel pen refill, Fisher Space Pen PR series, Schmidt P8126 Capless, Rotring Giant ballpoint Pen refill, Moleskein roller pen gel refill, Parker Quinkflow Ballpoint, Parker gel refill, Schmidt Easyflow 9000, Ohto PS-107NP, Schmidt Standard P900, Kaweco Soul G2 and Monteverde One Touch. There…that aught to do ya.

Just got a Stealth Tornado in today. So…I’ve collected many, many fountain pens, rollerball pens and mechanical pencils…and for me this Retro 51 is a total winner. Easily worth the price of admission. Unique design, feels good in the hand, solid build, well presented…and the Schmidt refill is a plus. Excellent looker and a well engineered writer. Glad I like it cause I have a matching pencil on the way. Me? I buy them as “pens” not fidget tools.

It sounds like a bargain if you are in the U.S.
The U.K. Amazon site are selling this pen for £26.66 which is $37.80 in U.S. Dollars. So as usual, we are getting ripped off!

Thanks for a more in depth video on this fella. I appreciate you sharing. Not sure if this is the one though… hmm ill go back and rewatch your other video.

The tip section where it unscrews to put in the refill — when I screw mine back in, it doesn't perfectly align with the barrel so the edge ends up sticking out half a mm on one side, do you know if yours does that?

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