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Zebra V-301

I think the aesthetics of this pen are pretty nice. It's brushed stainless steel with black plastic trim. It looks nice in its packaging, and it comes with two large ink cartridges. The nib is understated, but it has a nice shape and a good finish. The black ink is pretty nice. It's either an off-black or the feed is so dry that the ink comes out pretty weakly. (This latter option is actually more likely.)  It's also not very expensive at $4.

Unfortunately, that's where the good report ends. 

This pen is frustrating. I really wanted to like it, but I don't think I can. It's just too inconsistent. It writes okay if you store it with the point down, and if you have the nib on the paper just right. If you angle the nib even slightly to either side it will skip like mad. You can see that in the writing samples. This might be fine if the grip on the section weren't made of slightly slippery plastic (but it is) or if the barrel were a little heavier (but it's not). It has some knurling on it, but it just slips around in your hand without any weight behind it. 

My recommendation is to skip this one. I haven't used a Pilot Varsity in quite a while, but I'm almost sure it's better. In fact, those two Hero pens that I picked up a while ago are cheaper than this V-301 and they are way more reliable. Get any of those things instead. Or just get a couple of ink samples from your favorite online vendor.

{EDIT: Full disclosure. I had almost one typo per sentence in this blog. I was typing it while I was watching River Monsters. I don't multi-task very well. Thanks for telling me to proofread, Mom.}
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