This is the first review of a fountain pen I do written with the actual pen being reviewed. Come to think of it, I think this is the first fountain pen I officially review. Please be patient as I work out the bugs of the system. This first portion will be typed followed by a scan of the written review. Please keep in mind that some portions of the review cannot be typed, like the flex test and will only appear in the scanned portion of the review. Thanks. Now on to the review.
May 27, 2012
Zebra V-301 Review
The Zebra V-301 is a budget fountain pen in the vein of the Pilot "Squid" pens or Platinum Preppy. It is surprisingly very well adjusted to the harsh lifestyle of just being thrown in a bag and forgotten. It is surprising how long I go without using the pen and how it starts right up even after a month of non-use. Most of my other pens would have already dried up in the heat of the desert or at least need to have the converter primed with ink. (I meant feed). Not this Zebra. It was not so at the beginning though. I have read of a lot of problems when just starting out with this pen. I also had issues with the pen at first. I think I know the reason. The feed of this pen is a felt strip much like what is used in felt tip pens. When I first popped in the cartridge, the pen did not work right. It skipped a lot. I set the pen aside and forgot about it for a few days. I believe this is what the pen needs. Since the feed is felt, it needs time for the felt to saturate with ink to deliver proper ink flow to the nib. It has not failed since.
Really, for the $3 that it costs, I think this is a much better value than any "cheap" I have come across. It is available at just about any Walgreen's Drug store as are the cartridges. That is the only con, proprietary cartridges. (I revise that statement later in the review). I am not even sure refilling cartridges is an option because of the felt feed wick thing it has. That is going to be a nightmare to clean out.
Overall Impression: 3 out of 5 Nibs.
-Smooth Fine Nib. It writes very well once saturated
-Stainless Steel Construction
-Balanced with posted cap
-Works very well un-posted too.
-Hard to Clean
-Cartridge refilling may not be a good idea because of possible ink interaction due to not being able to clean out the pen thoroughly.
-Ink flow stops when you try to flex the nib. * See scan
Zebra V301 Reviewp1 by IvanRomero, on Flickr
Zebra V301 Reviewp2 by IvanRomero, on Flickr