These three pens have been on my wish list over there for quite a while. When I order things from Jet Pens, I sometimes need something small to bring my order total up to the free-shipping level. These were some of those items (before Jet Pens sent these to me, that is). They go for $2, and I'd say they're worth the cost.
The super-fine .38mm tips on these rollerballs mean that they aren't going to be for everyone. If you have really small handwriting, then you might really like these. They're just at my lower limit for fine-tips, though. Anything lower than that and I just can't use them.
The ink seems to be pretty good, as well. It's a liquid ink, and the different colors seem to be a little inconsistent in their performance. The black is fairly dark, but it runs a little dry. The blue-black is a great color that really reminds me of Private Reserve's Ebony Blue or Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black, and I think it's the most well-behaved of the colors that I tried. The brown is a nutty sort of brown, but the ink seems to run a bit wet, and it is prone to spread and bleed more than the other two. As a result, it looks like it's wider than the .38 on the barrel.
Here is a comparison of these inks to some other pens that were sitting around on the desk and in my drawer.
The style of the pen isn't likely to raise too many eyebrows. They resemble lots of other pens in their class, though none of them in particular. The body is all plastic, and it doesn't feel cheap at all. The grip is subtly patterned, and not slippery. The grip is a little too skinny for me though. A little longer diameter would have been helpful for controlling this pen.
The clip is metal, and it feels both sturdy and tight. It might be a little too tight, but it isn't flimsy. If anything is wrong with the barrel, it's got a bit too much branding on it. You're not likely to forget what pen you're holding with a Mach 3. The
Here's the written review on a couple of different kinds of papers. The first is a sugarcane paper with a really good ink-resistance, and the pens performed well on it. The other is a low/mid-grade legal pad from Staples that doesn't stand up to ink all that well.
The brown is much more prone to bleeding than the other two. It's a liquid ink, so it's more likely to show up on the other side of the paper, but the brown really comes through. It's also the best looking of the three, so I guess it balances out.
Now, here's my concern with the Mach 3: quality control. The three pens write differently, and only the blue-black is likely to be used all that much. The black one is scratchy and the ink is a little inconsistent. The brown one is likely to fail pretty soon. I'm hearing a bit of squeaking and grinding in the tip. In the past, that's meant that a rollerball is about to fail because of a metal shard in the barrell. I guess we'll see. The blue-black is just fine. No worries about that one. I bet there are people out there who have gotten pens that are just fine and others who have been really disappointed. I just happened to get a mix.
Still, at the price, they're just fine if you want a really fine liquid rollerball. They're a little more expensive than the G2 at Jet Pens, though, so you'd have to have a preference for liquid over gel pens. Left-handers, maybe? They do dry quickly.
Here are a bunch of pictures with other pens in the same sort of range. (Only the Mach 3s were sent to me for review.)
|These are the pens used in the writing comparison, above.|
|Pilot Precise V5, the three Morning Glory Mach 3, Pilot G2 .38|
|The Mach 3 pens with a Uniball Signo Bit .18 pen.|
(Thanks, Jet Pens, for sending out these Mach 3 pens for review. While the pens were free, the review is all mine and no money changed hands.)