Product Review: Zebra Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are not very common in the work place - in fact, I can honestly say that not only do I not use one (and never have), but I don't know anyone else who does.  And although we do offer them, I've never had anyone buy one from me.  So I was surprised when I found out that Zebra Pen has come out with a new line of fountain pens.  It just didn't seem like a product that is in demand.

Introducing "an easier fountain pen":

Now, since I've never used a fountain pen, I'm assuming that the "easier" part is that the ink is inside the pen and I don't need to use a separate bottle of ink.  They are .6mm, with a stainless steel nib and come in an assorted pack of fun colors or a box of 12 in black or blue.  Being the curious person that I am, as well as being somewhat of a fanatic about writing instruments, I had to try them out.  I kept a couple of them and gave a couple out to other people in my office.  I asked them to use the pens for a few days and then let me know what they thought.

The three of us ended up with very similar comments. 

Reviewer #1 liked the look of the pen, the type of ink, the size of the pen and the fact that it writes both fine and bold.  He would prefer there to be a grip on the pen and said that it could be a little messy if you're not careful.  He also noted that if you're not writing with the pen facing the right direction the ink does not disperse properly and that is inconvenient.

Reviewer #2 said that overall he really liked it, especially for signing documents, because it gives the task a bit of flair, but found himself switching back to his favorite gel ink pen.  Although he really wanted to like and use the fountain pen, he didn't like the fact that you had to hold it in a certain direction for the ink to flow properly.  That issue was distracting enough to make him set it aside.  He also noted that the ink didn't flow quite as easily across the page as his gel pen.  That may just be part of the design of a fountain pen and he said that he really felt like he was using a fountain pen but it wasn't so great for everyday use.  Lastly, he generally doesn't like pens with removable caps, which is pretty much all you can have with a fountain pen.

I think this pen writes very well.  In contrast to reviewer #1, I found that the ink didn't smear - even immediately after finishing the sentence.  (I purposely tried.)  I love the fun colors - and the colors are vibrant.  The set shown above comes with black, blue, green, pink, purple, red and turquoise.  I also like the fact that you can see the ink level at the nib, so you know when you're about to run out. On the other hand, I don't like the feel of the barrel.  The plastic that it's made of feels different than the multitudes of other pens I have and it just feels funny.  It's hard and it's slick.  Plus, there's a hard edge toward the end of the barrel near the nib and that edge lands right where my fingers sit, so it scraped up my fingers.  I too would like a grip on the bottom.  Adding a grip would remove the visible ink level that I just said I liked, but I'd rather have the grip.  Like the other two reviewers, I don't like the fact that I have to hold the pen in a certain orientation to get it to write.  Also, it dries out if you put it down uncapped - even for a short time - and then it takes several strokes to get it to start up again.

Bottom line:  I think if you're used to fountain pens and you like them, you'll like this one as well.  But if you're not a regular user, you'll be bothered by the same things that bothered all three of us and you won't be a convert.  I'll give it 4 paperclips.

4 paperclips.png