Review of the Pentel Libretto Roller Gel Pen and Pencil Set with Gift Box @PentelofAmerica #Libretto #LifeImitatesDoodles

Recently I won this cool Libretto Roller Gel Pen and Pencil set.  I want to thank Pentel for their generous prize.


Point size: 0.7mm roller gel pen/0.5 mm pencil

Color: Black with silver trim (also comes in silver and cream with black trim)
Refilliable: Pen uses Energel, LR7 or KFR7 refills/ Pencil uses Super Hi-Polymer leads
Length: 5.5″ (pen is 6″ with cap posted)

Look and Feel
Sure, I was impressed when I saw the case and sleek lines of the Libretto Pen and Pencil set.  But my strongest impression came when I picked up the pen.  It is heavy!  Perhaps too heavy. Although, I liked the solid feel, I did remove the cap if I was going to draw for extended times.  I have small and slightly arthritic hands, so others may not find the weight to be a problem.  

The pens actually reminded me of pens, back in the day, when plastic wasn’t the norm.  Possibly, the pen isn’t that heavy.  It’s just got lots of metal.

The pencil isn’t as heavy, though it has the same solid build.  

The barrels have a silver debossed ring…

…sturdy clips…

…and silver tips.

I think they are all metal, though I couldn’t corroborate that.
The Libretto set has just enough design elements to add elegance without flash.  It would look equally at home in a woman’s purse or in a man’s pocket.


I apologize for not doing example drawings using the pencil.  I’m allergic to graphite and only use pencils sparingly, mostly to sketch in my work before drawing with pen.

Gel ink, with any pen, is thick and needs some time to flow.  If you start drawing quickly, especially with short lines where you lift and draw, lift and draw, gel ink will start skipping because it can’t keep up with the speed.  When the ink catches up it often blobs if that is the moment you lift the pen.  That’s the nature of gel ink and the price you pay for an otherwise smooth flow and rich, dark ink.  (It isn’t just gel ink, either.  If you write or draw very quickly, you probably prefer fabric tipped art pens to ballpoint or rollerball pens).  You don’t have to write at tortoise speeds, you just don’t want to be a rabbit, either.  Write at a steady pace and it’s probably easier on the hand, anyway.

I deliberately pushed the Libretto to it’s max, because some gel pens are worse than others.  I wiped the tip off frequently to help with blobbing.  If you look, you’ll see a few signs of blobbing and skipping in the sky background, but I had to work at it to make it occur, and even then it didn’t occur often.  I’d give the Libretto an A- in this respect.

Don’t ask where the poetry came from–it’s something that popped into my head after I drew the wolf and his shadow.   There is no fathoming where my fancy will go, lol!

With my second drawing, I slowed down and concentrated on smearing.  I found the drying time to be average for a gel ink pen.  It takes a few seconds, but if you are writing at that steady speed I spoke of earlier, you shouldn’t have too much problem.

I prefer this drying time, because it gives me the option to deliberately smear the ink.  The Libretto gives a bold, solid line of even width.  This is excellent for writing, but isn’t as good for my style of shadowing, where I hatch with thinner lines.  So with this kind of pen, I smear.  I draw a line or two, and then use a finger to smoosh the ink where I want it go.  It’s not too exact, but that’s what is fun about it.  If you object to inky fingers, you could use a paper stump just as you would for a pencil.

The Libretto pen uses an Energel refill so you know the writing/drawing quality is going to be the same.  If you like writing and drawing with the Energel, you’ll like the performance of this pen.  The Libretto is heavier and more solidly built. It also has a heftier price tag at over $30.  If having a matched pencil, a case, elegant looks and most likely a longer life is important to you, then that price tag is worth it.

Other Reviews
Gourmet Pens
Economy Pens

Disclaimer: I won the Pentel Libretto Roller Gel Pen and Pencil Set with Gift Box in a giveaway.  Pentel did not ask for a review, not did I receive any other compensation.  All opinions are my own.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

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