Pen Profile: Zebra F301 Compact   1 comment

There are a many catalogs and online retailers that I love to leaf through, mentally shopping. JetPens has become one of my favorite sites for that. They specialize in importing interesting Japanese office supplies, such as cool pen-style scissors, bicycle paper clips, or staple-less staplers. They also carry brands and products I love, such as Rhodia, Lamy, and Retro 1951. I would have to choose a rainbow of colors of D1 ballpoint refills for my multipens would be at the top of the list–I’ve never seen so many choices.

Zebra F301 Compact
JetPens put out a call for reviewers. I signed up, and they sent me a Zebra F301 Compact ballpoint pen. I’m the first to snark about a ballpoint being a “fancy holder for a refill.” However, even I can see the utility they offer. After writing with it, the Zebra refill is perhaps the best ballpoint refill I have ever used. It is very smooth, and puts out a precise line. It was passed among many members of my family over the last several days, and they all agree.
Zebra F301 Compact Writing Sample
As for the “fancy holder,” the F301 Compact is designed to fold in half, and fit neatly into a pocket or purse. In this way, it is similar to the Fisher Bullet Space Pen. Closed, it is only slightly larger than the Space Pen.
F301 Compact vs. Bullet Space Pen–Capped
Posting the cap, both pens expand to full sized writing instruments. While the Space Pen has the write-at-any-angle refill, it is not as smooth as the Zebra. The F301 Compact also has a clip and a small hole to be attached to a lanyard. These are nice options for carrying the pen without losing it.
F301 Compact vs. Bullet Space Pen–Posted
There are perhaps two minor quibbles about the pen. First, it is almost too small to write comfortably without the cap posted. While I don’t do that often, it does happen for a quick signature or a marking. Second, the cap clips solidly closed. When posted, it is held with friction. The lack of symmetry threw me at first, but it worked out.

Overall, I really liked the Zebra F301 Compact. The refill is excellent, and the ability to go from a small piece to a full-sized pen makes it handy to carry.

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One response to “Pen Profile: Zebra F301 Compact

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  1. Pingback: Answering Search Engine Queries, Volume Two « Mr. Guilt's Blog

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