Friday, July 12, 2013

Tombow Zoom 414 Multifunction Ballpoint Pen Black

Tombow Pens have always epitomized the concept of "form following function."  Its launch of the "Zoom" series in 1986, opened the door for a line of uniquely designed writing implements .  In 2005, Tombow launched the Zoom 414 Multifunction Ballpoint Pen, which won the IF Design Award in 2006, as well as the Red Dot Design Award, an international product design prize awarded in Essen, Germany.  Let's take a look at this award winning pen and what makes it live up to that prestigious title.

When picking up and holding the Zoom 414, the first thing I noticed was that it did not rattle.  The multi pen Achilles heel was not present here.  Constructed of brass, the thin barrel holds two Tombow D1 style 0.7mm refills (red and black) with an optional stylus, and a 0.5mm lead holder.  The top section above the pocket clip unscrews to reveal a white compact rubber eraser.  Twisting the barrel at the pocket clip bottom, allows a change to the desired ink cartridge color or lead holder.  The feel when engaging the barrel is a quite solid one.  At 5.4 inches long and 0.37 inches in diameter, the slender barrel is substantial.  Writing with this pen feels comfortable enough, no slipping due to the matte paint job on the barrel.  I only wish the ink used here was equal to that employed in the larger Zoom roller ball refills which utilize a dark vibrant pigment ink.

However, it produces a thin, consistent line on paper which is not washed out at all.  The red ink lays an equally consistent, thin line.  The lead holder is a familiar 0.5mm pencil, but also lays a nice lead line on paper without easily breaking as some lead refills in multi pens have a tendency to do.

All in all, Tombow's Zoom 414 Multifunction Ballpoint Pen is a superb build quality writing instrument, employing adequate D1 style cartridges, and is user friendly in engaging / disengaging those refills.  For me, this multi pen is in my daily rotation as a go-to writing tool, and is highly recommended.

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