Friday, January 27, 2012

Zebra B2A1 2 Color Multi Pen Silver

Zebra's B2A1 2 Color Multi Pen Silver, is an attractive, slim aluminum multi pen offering, but is not without a few issues.  Having used Zebra's F - 701 Ballpoint with the knurled grip, I felt Zebra had a better sense of aluminum barrel creeping issues.  Apparently I was mistaken.  After using the B2A1 for a week, my only resolve is to incorporate a rubber grip sleeve to circumvent the creeping which is perpetual when using this pen.  Writer's fatigue is an inevitability when using this pen for an extended period.  What's interesting to note is Zebra offers this pen in matte black and matte blue, which probably have less of this issue.
                                        (Photo courtesy of Winning Pen)

All that said, B2A1 Silver inks well on paper.  Incorporating Zebra's 4C - 0.7 mm cartridges, inking is a smooth but slippery experience.  Coming with blue and red refills, each is engaged by twisting the center barrel in either direction.  The blue ink cartridge produced a vivid ink line on paper.  An equal result occurred with the red cartridge.

The pen is rather short at 12 cm, and slim in diameter at 8 mm,  causing large hands to really make unnatural like adjustments when holding.  Had the creeping issue been a non-issue, this problem would be considered less of one.  Don't get me wrong, this is not a cheaply constructed writing instrument, and from cap to tip, B2A1 Silver is quite the looker.  I do however judge a pen by overall performance as well.  As such, it is with some reservation that I recommend the Zebra B2A1 2 Color Multi Pen Silver.

(Update: I have since applied a rubber grip sleeve to the barrel which has now given this pen an upgraded rating of good). 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Zebra SK - Sharbo + 1 2 Color 0.7 mm Ballpoint Multi Pen + 0.5 mm Pencil Black

The Zebra SK - Sharbo + 1 Multi Pen Black, constructed from a quality black plastic material, delivers a thin, vivid ink line on paper.  A three point multi pen, the SK Sharbo + 1 is a solidly built writing implement, and has comfortable gripping potential.  Packing black and red 0.7 mm ink cartridges, SK Sharbo + 1 is as versatile as any multi pen, including its 0.5 mm lead holder to boot.  The pen engages its functions by twisting the pocket clip in either direction, indicating below it which function is being engaged when  pointing to the labeling posted there.
                                          (Photos courtesy of Jet Pens)
Below that lies the rubber gripping section, which provides a comfortable zone for writing.  When engaging the mechanical pencil, the lead is advanced by pressing down the knock mechanism on the pen cap.  Beneath the cap resides a white eraser, of adequate size.  After using the SK - Sharbo + 1 for a while, I find it a great pen for everyday use.  It is light in weight, and has a girth which is substantial, perfect for writing lengthy narratives.

The Zebra SK - Sharbo + 1 Multi Pen is a solid performing writing instrument, as such I highly recommend it. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Muji Wooden Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen, 0.5 Natural

The Muji Wooden Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen is an easy pen to like.  It is however a bit diminutive in stature, especially for those with large hands.  What compensates for the lack of girth and overall size, are several different attributes it possesses.  First is its form factor.  Being hexagonal in shape, allows easy gripping and easy hand paper coordination.  Second, it is constructed from California cedar wood (incense cedar), which is placed around an aluminum core. Tip and knock mechanism are both constructed from light weight  matte aluminum.  This also contributes to the pen's comfortable gripping feel during the writing experience.  The pen is very light weight, even lighter than a number two pencil of the same length.  At 12.5 cm, it is less than average in size.  It is the wood version of its brother, the Muji Aluminum Hexagonal Ballpoint. Also available as a mechanical pencil.  This is a pen that is effortless to carry and even comfortable when writing narratives of some length.
                                                       (Photo courtesy of Muji)
When deconstructing, inside resides a 0.5 mm needle point cartridge.  Currently both pen and cartridge are out of stock on Muji's web site.  A problem that seems to be a recurring theme with Muji writing instruments.  None the less, writing with this pen is more than efficient.  It inks a rather thin line on paper, and the ink is not washed out, but appears vivid and clear.  This pen is one that definitely gets used on a regular basis as it gets carried back and forth, and sits in an non-designated spot on my desk as well. 

At $6.50, it is reasonably priced, and performs like a pen worth twice that amount.  As such, I highly recommend the Muji Wooden Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ohto NBP - 507R Promecha Ballpoint Pen, Blue

At first glance, the Ohto  Promecha Ballpoint Pen appears to look much like a mechanical pencil. And indeed it does closely resemble its mechanical pencil Promecha brother.  But don't let the knurled grip or the needle point tip fool you.  This is a finely crafted aluminum body pen, and precision writing instrument. 
Packing a 0.7mm needle point tip ink cartridge, Promecha delivers a thin, tight ink line.  At 135mm in length, and a slender barrel diameter of 7.5mm, this pen is balanced and feels comfortable when applying to paper.  Weighing in at 18 grams, Promecha is on the light weight side.  None the less, it feels substantial when gripping to write on paper.  The stainless steel knurled grip provides secure holding power, giving the writer a feeling of solid penmanship ability.
                                                     (Photo courtesy of iPen Store)
Promecha is available in four different colors, including: black, silver, gold and metallic blue, which I have chosen for review.  The pen cap is matte silver.  The knock mechanism working flawlessly when pressed to engage the ink cartridge.  Below it resides a removable shiny chrome metal pocket clip, which adds to the pen's flare and appeal.  To its side and further below, is the pen model and Ohto logo stamped in white.  Moving down its barrel, next is the knurled stainless steel grip section.  It is ribbed, allowing for an even better gripping ability when writing.  Directly below lies the metal tip housing section which screws off to reveal the ink cartridge and spring.

What's interesting is how the tip section is made to look telescopic, narrowing to the cartridge needle point tip.  This unique style feature sets Promecha apart from other needle point ballpoints indicative of its precision build and penning accuracy. 

Writing with the Ohto Promecha is simply a pleasurable experience.  It is a near perfect writing implement.  Could it be improved at all?  Probably.  But presently, I can't think of any addons I would make.  I personally like it as is.  And to that end, I highly recommend the Ohto Promecha Ballpoint Pen.