Another pen from the JetPen hoard. This is one that I tested first, believe it or not. I immediately wrote a paragraph with it, and then wrote up a review about my thoughts about how great it was. I let the post sit in my WordPress draft section for a long while. I was so excited, I used it for a week straight, and that’s when I started noticing the flaws. I continued to use it, to just finish up the ink for the next 2 weeks, and I’ve yet to finish. I went back to my initial review draft, deleted everything, and rewrote my review from scratch based on my experiences for those 3 weeks. All my impressions of the pen can be seen in the first picture. But it’s here that I can go a little bit more in-depth about the topics I highlighted in that short paragraph.
Firstly, this pen lays down a RIVER of ink. I can’t believe how much feathering I had to face on regular paper. I tried using it for an accounting quiz, and ended up having so much feathering, that the teacher told me to rewrite it using another pen. That wasn’t all though, the show through on standard paper makes the opposite side absolutely unusable. Even the Doane paper I reviewed the pen on had a lot of show through on the back. So here’s my advice to anyone thinking of getting this pen:
- Restrict usage to higher quality paper (Doane, Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc.), unless you’re fine with illegible, feathery pools of ink on a page
- If you have a heavy hand (writing pressure), actively work on making it lighter when using this pen, or you’ll end up with a hot, feathery mess
- If you’re not using at least 80gsm paper (Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc.), be prepared to only use one side of the paper
One of the most disappointing aspects of this pen is the aforementioned “non-existent grip”. I mean every word of what I wrote. The grip is a bland piece of rubber that is color-matched to the ink. While they did a great job with the aesthetic aspect, the actual function is lost in translation. What I mean by this is while a beautiful color, the grip does an absolutely laughable job of providing what it’s supposed to give the user: GRIP. I personally feel that Zebra could really learn a thing or two from Pentel about designing beautiful AND functional grips. As my hand tends to get really sweaty, I found myself constantly readjusting how I held the pen as it kept sliding through my fingers.
Overall, this pen was a little bit of a disappointment for me. I had heard such good things about it, but sadly, wasn’t able to experience those aspects. While I mainly highlighted the negative aspects, there are a few positive ones: nice color variation. smooth nib, strong, a strong, high quality knock. The only problem is, these few flaws overshadow the good parts. If Zebra were to fix these two things, this would be a worthy rival for the Pentel Energel XRT. I will definitely experiment with different colors and tip sizes for a better perspective, but as they are, this is how things currently stand between me and the Zebra Sarasa.