PDA

View Full Version : Is this the world's worst pen? Poor little Zebra V-301, casual review



Sailor Kenshin
September 26th, 2013, 08:26 AM
Well? is the Zebra V-301 the worst pen, ever?

I don't know...I kind of liked it when it first came out, and being a fan of inexpensivecoughcoughcheap pens, I was compelled to try it.

It wouldn't start until multiple dips. Later I read that this may have had something to do with its odd feed, more like that of a felt pen.

I don't have my original purchase any more. But there's been a lof of forum chatter about these lately. So naturally I bought a couple of them again.

Well....maybe not the WORST pen, but will not make my Favorites list.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3725/9714553622_68c8b3d049_z.jpg

I think Jetpens or Walgreen's sells them. The pen itself looks like this:

Much better pics than I can manage! (http://www.zebrapen.com/products/pen/v-301-fountain-pen?c=30)

I don't have a 'ratings' system. Granted my reviews are very subjective. At the price, if you're willing to dip and dip until it starts, this may be worth a try as a Pen You Can Lose, No Regrets.

The rest is here. (http://heartofsock.blogspot.com/2013/09/then-and-now-in-which-dr-inkenstein-re.html)

Don't tell anyone, but it's growing on me.

kaisnowbird
September 26th, 2013, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the review. Sometimes we can't help but wanting to go easy on the 'under-dog'.

But in the case of Zebra V-301, I had to wonder: "What's the point of producing something so incompetent?" It's like genetically engineering something destined to disappoint. It's cruel, really.

I do like the colour of this Levenger ink and your little drawings. They are so cute!

cwent2
September 26th, 2013, 12:36 PM
I have not had any issues using the Z301 knowing it is a felt feed I leave it nib down for a couple hours after re-inking the pen. I like this pen for a general utility pen and one I don't mind my Grandchildren exploring the fountain pen world with - it has not let me down - writes smoothly and even after sitting for a week or two caped it has written when called upon with no start issues

Perhaps mine is the exception - In any case for the price point I do not fear losing it to my Grandchildren or any other unforeseen happenstance.

pencils+pens
September 26th, 2013, 01:09 PM
I have the following Zebra 301 series writing instruments

V-301 (fountain pen) both black and blue
R-301 (roller ball) blue, uses fountain pen cartridges, also available in blck
H-301 (highlighter) yellow, uses fountain pen cartridges. I have two. Also available in pink.
F-301 (ballpoint) blue, also available in black
G-301 (gel) blue, also available in black
M-301 0.5mm mechanical pencil

I have had no trouble getting the V-301, R-301 or H-301 to start writing. After reading about the problems others had, I put a cartridge in each pen and stood them nib down for several hours. A lick or two of the nib was all it took to get them writing. They haven't quit since they started and I have had them about two months. They serve very well in the role I bought them for, a set of writing instruments that I can take anywhere and I wouldn't get too bent out of shape if I lost one or all of them. The entire set cost a lot less than a lot of my fountain pens cost individually.

One negative is the caps spin on the V-301, H-301 and R-301 when they are posted. You get used to that. Also the cartridges are only available in two packs are can be pricey. I plan on syringe filling the cartridges when they are empty.

KrazyIvan
September 26th, 2013, 01:21 PM
Similar experience as cwent2 up until I put Iroshizuku Kon Peki in mine recently. Not sure what's going on but my luck with it must have run out. Ink stops flowing to the nib. Must be that flaky feed. Under magnification I can see there is no ink in the nib slit. I shake it or put pressure on the front side of the nib and ink starts flowing again. It may be that the feed is losing contact with the nib but I am not sure yet.

reprieve
September 26th, 2013, 02:55 PM
I didn't even know that these existed, but I think I'll avoid them. For really cheap fountain pens, I like the Platinum Preppy, Pilot Varsity, and Pilot Petit.

I do have one of the Zebra F-301 ballpoints, which is fairly decent, but it's, well, you know, a ballpoint.

cwent2
September 26th, 2013, 03:24 PM
I didn't even know that these existed, but I think I'll avoid them. For really cheap fountain pens, I like the Platinum Preppy, Pilot Varsity, and Pilot Petit.

I do have one of the Zebra F-301 ballpoints, which is fairly decent, but it's, well, you know, a ballpoint.

I understand, however you know how the f-301 feels in your hand, well the v-301 is not that far off and maybe it's just me but I like the way it feels, weight etc. A preppy feels ... well very like lite plastic. Thin, lite plastic, oh, yeah that's right it is made out of thin, lite plastic.

But that's just me.

reprieve
September 26th, 2013, 03:39 PM
I understand, however you know how the f-301 feels in your hand, well the v-301 is not that far off and maybe it's just me but I like the way it feels, weight etc. A preppy feels ... well very like lite plastic. Thin, lite plastic, oh, yeah that's right it is made out of thin, lite plastic.

But that's just me.

I agree--the Preppy does feel like (and is) cheap, thin, lightweight plastic, and is prone to cracking. But I like it anyway because it writes smoothly and wetly every time the nib touches paper, even after weeks of sitting unused. Same thing with the Varsity and the Petit--they all write amazingly well for the price. The Zebra V-301's metal body is indeed nice, but I don't like the fuss of trying to get ink to flow through (what sounds like) an inadequate feed. (Then again, I haven't tried it, so I can't actually judge! :))

cwent2
September 26th, 2013, 03:57 PM
Fair enough - I can appreciate your view point and your experience with the preppy. I do not have a Varsity or a Petit - but I do have a Preppy and a Zebra V-301.

That's what makes the world go round or so they say - But again I have not had to fuss with either pen to get it to write - I just prefer to use the Zebra - besides if one of my Grandchildren drops a Zebra I am pretty sure the barrel is not going to break open and spill ink, where as I can see the Preppy breaking open.