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Review - Zebra "Compact F-301" Keychain Pen (lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by bruner, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    This is interesting...

    Found this at Walmart tonight. It's not on the zebrapen.com website, as far as I can tell... Two pens for about $4. It's the Zebra "Compact" F-301 fine point ball point pen.

    Click on any pic to view full size.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some shots in comparison to the Inka. Please note that it did not come with a spit-ring, I added that myself...

    Closed position:
    [​IMG]

    Disassembled:
    [​IMG]

    Note: Just like the Inka, this Zebra pen can be used in the "short mode" without fully assebling the pen. Very useful when shopping or in a hurry...

    Assembled:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of pocket clip with logo:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up showing split-ring attachment:
    [​IMG]

    After comparing this to the Inka, I would consider this a poor-man's Inka. Don't get me wrong, this might be the perfect pen for you (whether you are poor or not). I'm just partial to the Inka...

    In the closed position, this pen will never accidentally come appart. It will never fall off of your keychain. It has a far better retention in the closed position than in the assembled position. When assembled into full size mode, the only thing that keeps the two parts together is the friction provide by a small rubber o-ring, shown here:

    [​IMG]

    When assembled, it will stay together for writing purposes, but it's not a tight lock-up. One could easily "fling" the body right off of the pen with a flick of the wrist...

    Overall, when closed it is about 3/4" longer than an Inka and has a pocket clip, which the Inka does not. The Zebra is slightly larger in diameter than the Inka, but not noticeably so. I believe that the metal body of the Zebra is stainless steel like the Inka (although, Inka does have a Titanium body available for extra $).

    This Zebra "Compact" F-301 isn't that bad at all. If I didn't have/know about Inka pens, I would put it at the top of the list. But Inka is still the one for me.

    Comments welcome,
    Thanks for looking,
    Dan
     
  2. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    Sorry Lunal_Tic,

    I should have put this in the "Gear Reviews" catagory right off the bat, but instinctively went for "Pens & Pencils & Paper"...

    Thanks for moving it :)

    Dan
     
  3. Lunal_Tic

    Lunal_Tic Empty Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    No worries Dan, got you covered. ;D  I'll leave the "Moved" marker up for a while so this'll get more exposure.  Thanks for all the reviews. :thumbsup:

    -LT
     
  4. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    Is this thing new or old? I thought I had stumbled across something new (hence the review)...

    Dan
     
  5. Cain

    Cain Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    It's new to me (and I'll be looking for it at Walmart next time I go). Thanks for the review :cheers:
     
  6. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    No problem,

    I like doing reviews :)

    Dan
     
  7. luigi

    luigi Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    Great review, looks interesting!

    Thanks!

    Luigi
     
  8. Highvalleyranch

    Highvalleyranch Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    Bought a set today at walmart.
    Compared to their telescoping pens, it's actually slightly larger, and instead of just sliding out, you have to take the pen out to write.
    Only advantage I could see is the hole for you keychain.
    Took one of the pens, snapped off the clip and put it on my keyring. Took the other one and put it in my wallet.
    Nice that they are super cheap!
     
  9. LowWorm

    LowWorm Guest

    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    Dan...I'm kicking myself because I *thought* I saw this at Wal-mart the other day and in my rush to get out of there ( teeming hoards of bargain shoppers makes me :green: ) I didn't stop to take a closer look.

    Thanks for the find...for that price, I'll risk the zoo and head back to see if I can get one....

    Any word on the ink in this thing? Pressurized, refillable, bilingual, ....?
     
  10. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    Biligual and Refillable, but not Pressurized ;)

    Nice touch with the "bilingual" :)

    Dan
     
  11. KSH62474

    KSH62474 Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    Would someone be able to buy me 2 or 3? Unfortunately, i don't have a walmart nearby and would hate to waste gas just to go out and buy them and shipping online is 8 bucks. If someone would be willing to do so, please PM me. I can pay through Paypal. Thanks
     
  12. Stormdrane

    Stormdrane Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    I picked up a couple at Walmart this morning. I've used Zebra pens for years, they write well, they're dependable, and best of all, they're cheap. At $3.94 for 2 pens ya just can't say no. I was looking for the telescopic model, but they didn't have it and the Compact model was there instead. I did try a Fisher ink refill, but the point is just a bit too large of a diameter to fit in the Zebra, the Zebra's 0.7mm is still ok for me. I'll have to pop on a small split ring to the lanyard attachment on it and add it to the keyring.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mightysparrow

    mightysparrow Empty Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    I also picked up a F-301 compact today (one package of two was all that remained when I arrived). Great pen! Nice look, small size when closed, and it writes very easily for a ballpoint, with a refined, fine point. These are now my favorites, as they look nicer and are easier to carry then my Pilot G2 mini's, with their thicker barrels made of plastic. The Zebra Compact can fit in the inside spine area of a small notepad jotter. Glad I discovered this Website!
     
  14. cdi70

    cdi70 Empty Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    If anyone is interested i found these on clearance for 0.50 cents at Office Depot today. I don't know if it is at all the stores, but if there is a store near you it is worth a look.
     
  15. knightrider

    knightrider Empty Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    Got some of these recently. Very nice for the money and great for edc.
     
  16. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    I just came up with two mods for this pen. One mod will allow you to use fisher space pen refills and the other mod converts the pen into a mechanical pencil.

    In this pic you can see the little "clicky" button on the mechanical pencil mod.
    [​IMG]

    Look how nicely these fit into a CTD Deployment Bag (a Maxpedition Proteus would be the same).
    [​IMG]

    I have to admit, I got a bit too excited about this mod and posted links to it from several related threads (something we're not supposed to do, but in my excitement forgot). I've since removed all of those links and have narrowed it down to just on link on this thread which I think is more than enough since you folks like this pen and I happened to be the one who wrote this review thread about it.

    So, here ya go. Please check it out when you get a chance. This link will take you to the do it yourself forum where I have posted instructions on how to do both mods yourself :)

    http://edcforums.com/index.php?topic=6550.msg79951#msg79951

    Thanks for looking,
    Dan
     
  17. preacher

    preacher Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    No, it is not all Office Depot stores. But, I did pick up 2 packs of them yesterday. This pen is great for cheap and compact. I paid $4 not .50.
     
  18. Grizzlybear

    Grizzlybear Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics

    Found them up here in Ontario on clearance for .50 a pop as well. Zebras are a very good buy...especially on clearance. :D
     
  19. HankZudd

    HankZudd Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    I just discovered these last week; Bruner, if you turn it upside down, then the cap can be a base & the pen removable by itself. That's what I did to it on my cell phone case. Got mine at Office Depot; they had blue refills there also. I really like this, will look today when I go to WM for another set.
     
  20. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Zebra has a new keychain pen similar to the Inka... My Review (lots of pics)

    HankZudd,

    I think I understand what you are saying, but wouldn't that make one more likely to loose the cap/base?

    If I did that on my CTD Deployment bag, I wouldn't have any part of the "pen" sticking out far enough to grab ahold of. The pen sheath's are just deep enough to cover the whole pen when closed.

    Dan