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Slightly disappointed with zebra

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by dave90, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. dave90

    dave90 Loaded Pockets

    Feb 8, 2010
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    After reading so many good things on here about zebra I thought I'd give them a try.

    I just bought a Zebra F-301 and F-301 compact to try and cut down on the number of disposable pens we use in work. I'm not hugely impressed though tbh. We're a design office so pen quality is pretty important and although the pen itself is nice the ink seems rather grey and even upgraded to the 1.0mm medium refills the line weight is still a lot finer than the usual 0.7 pens we use (pilot v-ball). They were also a bit lightweight but are slightly better now with proper metal refills in rather than the plastic ones they came with.

    I also ordered a Lamy Scribble (as it takes the same refills as my pico) very nice pen. I'd like a more positive clicker action maybe and the tip is just a touch stumpy for full control but otherwise a lovely weighty, ergonomic pen. The broad refill also gives a nice lineweight.

    I can see the zebras getting used on site but only because I'd rather lose or damage a cheaper pen rather than one of the Lamys. Or maybe I should try and find a broader refill for them and give them a chance?
  2. DonShock

    DonShock Loaded Pockets

    May 15, 2006
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    I actually prefer the fine lines of the Zebra for my needs. When you are filling out a lot of spaces on hourly log sheets, a fine consistent line that allows log entries to be easily read is a must. And the see through plastic of the end of the Zebra is nice to prevent you from running out of ink unexpectedly. It's really annoying to be out in the plant in the middle of rounds taking readings just to have your pen run out of ink and have to return to the office to get another one. It's very rare to have a Zebra fail or stop writing until it's completely out of ink. I can use them until the ink reaches almost to the metal tip, then I replace them just so I don't run out unexpectedly. I've used the F301 for about 20 years. Tried lots of others, but none are as reliable or as suited to my needs. I've just recently started using the 701 SS barrel for even more durability. I had broken 301 bodies in the past by smashing them in my pocket during manual labor. But even then, the pen cartridge would still write. The 701 has proven indestructable so far.
  3. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

    Sep 4, 2007
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    I wasn't happy with zebra either, the pens are okay, 701 feels better than 301. But the ink is still crap, making blobs on paper often (but seems that's just how ball points are, even fisher refill does this).

    I've migrated to fountain pens and very happy with them.
  4. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Jul 9, 2009
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    A good writing Fountain Pen is really no way comparable to ANY ballpoint or rollerball.

    That said, if you need to make two or more copies a Fountain isn't what you need.

    701 is rather hard to refill with anything good. I REALLY like the Pilot Precise V5 RT pen. Writes well, no skip, no blob.
    But that refill ain't going into a 701 with a shoe horn! With very slight modding that refill will fit Uni Signo, Jetstream or Pilot G2 if you happen to like any of those bodies. I think after some of the ink is used it could be shortened to go where a Parker refill would go.

    Sorry for dredging up yet ANOTHER old thread....
  5. ScottAW

    ScottAW Loaded Pockets

    Mar 4, 2008
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    The new zebra bold is awesome. It's something like 1.7, writes like a crayon. But the go through ink fast. I jot a lot of quick notes and love them. I always get comments when people borrow them too.