In this 4K video I review and compare six ultra budget fountain pens: Nakabayashi Artnavi, Pilot Varsity, Zebra Fountain Pen, Zebra V-301, Platinum Preppy, Monami Olika.
Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen Review
For me everyday carry (or EDC) conjures up images of men who love to carry hand guns, automatic knives, tactical bottle openers and $300 flashlights in case of things like a zombie attack, or a stubborn pistachio shell. My everyday carry is a little bit less intense; I carry 1 small pen, the Zebra SL-F1, a small memo pad, keys and a phone.
So why is the Zebra SL-F1 my EDC choice? To start, it’s tiny. It measures a mere 3.25″ closed and extends to a reasonably comfortable 4.25″.
The pen can be opened with one hand, which is great for quick notes and because of the telescopic mechanism the point will not accidentally extend while in my pocket. Nothing more annoying than getting stabbed.
The SL-F1 comes with a good quality 0.7mm ballpoint refill which writes smoothly. I, however, use the Zebra Sharbo X gel refills in my pen as they come in 0.4mm, 0.5mm and a variety of colors. The gel ink runs out a bit faster than the regular ball point but the smooth gel ink is a worthwhile trade off.
The SL-F1 is quite skinny, .25″ in diameter at it widest point, so don’t plan on using this pen to write a long letter. The SL-F1 weighs 12 grams and feels high quality in hand. At $5 you cannot really go wrong with this little pen it’s great…I carry it everywhere.
Here are some great reviews of the Zebra SL-F1:
(I have no affiliation to the sites linked below)
Bottles Of Ink – ZEBRA SL F1 MINI BALLPOINT PEN (.7MM)
No Pen Intended – Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm – Black Body – Black Ink
Zebra Arbez Piitro Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm Review
While I already wrote a review on Zebra Arbez EO, the Piitro was actually the first pen in the Arbez line. The Zebra Arbez Piitro was designed by a young Finnish designer to look like a icepick. The pens come in lightweight white or black plastic bodies with black, blue, or red ink. The ballpoint seems to be the same crappy one you get in the EO. This pen is more about the design (which I like much better than the Arbez EO) than the writing performance. The Piitro is different without looking like something made by Fisher-Price as the EO does. This pen features a nice twist mechanism and a plastic clip that is integrated into the main barrel section. There is a seam that goes right down the middle of the pen which is unfortunate and the top of the pen has some extra plastic but for $1.65 it’s not the end of the world.
Here are some great reviews of the Zebra Arbez Piitro:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
No Pen Intended – Zebra Arbez Piirto Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm
Pen and Design – Zebra Arbez Piirto 0.7mm Review
The Pen Addict – Zebra Arbez Piirto Ballpoint Pen 0.7 mm Review
Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen Review
The Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen 0.7 mm has an unusual body that is inspired by various modes of transport in London. The Arbez series from Zebra (arbreZ…the name is Zebra spelled backwards) is the company’s designer series which features pens designed by winners of a competition aimed at young new designers.
The body of the pen has a toy-like look to it and has a weird half oval shape (one size is flat and the rest of the pen is rounded; think of an elongated “D”) which has been suggested is to resemble a Tube tunnel. I have a normal grip but I generally don’t care pens that dictate how I should hold them. Based on the design of the pen and where the branding is, this pen should be held with your index finger resting on the flat portion of the barrel. I don’t find the barrel to be uncomfortable but I don’t want to waste brain cycles thinking about how to hold a ballpoint pen.
The ballpoint writes smoothly but is not as nice as some other less expensive ballpoints like the Pilot Acroball. Also I don’t like that this pen has a cap. Ballpoints don’t need a cap and I would prefer not to deal with one if I don’t have to.
If you love the design or simply want a conversation piece then it may be worth shelling out the $3.30 the Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint.
Here are a couple other reviews of the Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen:
(I have no affiliation to the site linked below)
The Pen Addict – Zebra Arbez Eo Ballpoint Pen 0.7 mm Review