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Average Customer Review
 3.0 (47 customer reviews)
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5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
  This pen feels and looks..., September 14, 2011
By cat...
This pen feels and looks really cheap, and it uses proprietary ink cartridges that only come in watery blue and black. There's no converter available, and it's not a candidate for ED conversion because of the metal body and gigantic hole at the end. Like many others here, I have trouble getting it to write properly.
5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
  i grabbed this on a quick..., September 9, 2011
i grabbed this on a quick office supply run at my local drug store and seeing that it was 3 bucks i thought i'd give it a try. typical zebra look which I like, cap posts with a solid click with no rattling. I had a slight problem getting the ink cartridge to go in all the way at first but once it was in there stayed in with no problem. my only criticism is that it skips rather often and is pretty unforgiving as far as to the position you have to hold it in to write with it, pretty much the same way every time, even if the surface youre writing on is flat. also, its pretty scratchy to write with, which annoys me as I'm really a scribbler and don't like having resistance when I write (you might). that being said, when it does work it lays a nice line and the ink is a nice black. for 3 bucks its a pretty decent fountain pen.
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful
  Well all the statements..., July 17, 2012
By ron...
Well all the statements are true about feed being not reliable. Thats a challange. inserted 2mil piece of brass shim in the nibs slot, squeezed the tips togather with needle nose pliers then used a converter from a Lamay Safari (Tight fit) filled with private reserve DC purple the pen now works flawlessly (did a little nib smoothing too.) NOW the pen is as good as any and actually better than the Lamy the converter came from altogather took about 15 mins to make a perfect little knock-about pen. the flow problem is the ink in the supplied cartridge it is way too saturated with solids. empty the cartridge and refill with private reserve and the flow problem will disappear. In defense of the pen, I have had to do far more work on some really high dollar pen to get then working this good.
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful
  If you can get it to..., June 2, 2011
If you can get it to write, it writes great. Smooth, wet, etc. But as soon as you stop for any longer than about two seconds, the nib is dry and it takes five minutes of shaking, fiddling, and pressing the nib every which way to get the ink flowing again. This would be a great pen if it would allow me to stop and think for a moment before starting on the next paragraph.
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  Like the other I have..., July 1, 2011
By woo...
Like the other I have a hard time keeping the ink flowing. I think the air passage is too small.
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
  I see one glowing review..., May 24, 2011
I see one glowing review here, but my experience is different. I loaded my pen with one of the supplied cartridges, and it just won't write. I left it nib-down overnight, hoping it would help ink flow, but it's still not working. A pen that puts ink on the page less than 25% of the time isn't much of a pen. This is a shame, since I enjoy several of Zebra's other products.
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  DO NOT BUY! I picked..., February 18, 2012
By cod...

I picked up one of these for $4 at my corner drugstore on a whim. I work at a bank and I'm known for appreciating nice pens - and I've been wanting my own fountain pen for some time. When I saw this I was thrilled, I once used a Zebra M-701 for over a year at my old restaurant job and constantly received complements from customers. I thought the V-301 would be a solid pen that I could use at work instead of the ugly ballpoints which fill my teller window.

I didn't expect a $4 fountain to be amazing, but I did expect it to write. I've been fiddling with this thing for the last 2 days and it will not write a complete sentence without going completely dry. I feel like I'm going to cut through the notebook. I've been able to get ink flowing by twisting the ink cartridge, but it only works for a few more letters. This is my first fountain pen, but I've used them before. If there is something I'm doing wrong, or maybe the nib can be adjusted or something, then I'd love to be educated. In the mean time I'll be saving my pennies for a proper pen.
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  I bought this on sale..., October 26, 2011
By zavodi
I bought this on sale at the local CVS. For the price, it seemed like a good risk; can't lose either way. I liked the looks of the pen and I have a Zebra ballpoint that's at least twenty years old that's always held up well. This pen, however, is junk. It's worth the $, I guess, so long as you treat it like a disposeable. The last thing the world needs is yet another size of refill cartridge, and this pen has it's own unique refill cartridge size. Thus, you can't refill it from the giant bag of refills you bought on ebay. You have to use the Zebra, and they're not cheap. In fact, it seems like if you buy the refills, they give you the pen. Also, the refills weren't available at the CVS, only the pen, which is a drag.

Some people complain that the ink flow is not good. I didn't experience that, but then, I didn't use it that much. I didn't really like the way it felt in the hand. My cap posted just fine; nice and tight, despite other's experiences. I think the reason I didn't like it was because it was so light. I normally write with a Pelikan Pelikano, which isn't a heavy pen, either, but the Zebra felt lighter. Also, the nib didn't have enough bite--it just kind of slid along. Also, since you can't put a converter in it, you're limited to the Zebra cartridges, and the black ink that is in them is not a nice dark jet black; it's kind of weak.

What do you want for $2.99? Well, if it took regular cartridges, I might have kept it. But since the cartridge is unique and probably patented or proprietary in some way, you're stuck in the same annoying way that you are with computer printers. The hardware is cheap and nearly free, but the ink is expensive and a pain to get. Perhaps this is Zebra experimenting with "software." The only problem is, it would have to take off in order to work, and it won't. Too bad.
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
  I just picked this up..., October 23, 2011
By sos...
I just picked this up from W*******s, with all these bad reviews in mind, and was somewhat surprised they really carried it. I popped the ink cartridge in, tapped it a couple times on a hard surface (cap-side down), and it wrote. It writes surprisingly well: the nib has a pleasant friction to it, and the ink flows freely for me. I left it uncapped for about a minute and tried writing, it still wrote, which is more than I can ask from a fountain pen. It writes in the expected range of angles for fountain pens (I have quite a few fountain pens). One star off for the styling, however, I don't like the way the pen looks capped. This will replace my "cheap, take anywhere, maybe give away after a while" fountain pen since I gave away my Petit1.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  I use the V-301 extensively..., November 5, 2013
I use the V-301 extensively every day, so I'd like to offer a few observations.

The cap offers a satisfying tactile experience. It gives significant resistance, ultimately yielding to firm pressure in a way that reminds me of bubble wrap. It is more pleasing to uncap and recap this pen than it is to click a ballpoint and also far less noisy for the benefit of your company.

The supplied ink is great: I have no trouble writing immediately upon uncapping the pen, even if it's been a week since I've used it; and when I'm thinking or taking notes I don't worry about re-capping it, I just focus and write. I am left-handed, so I acutely notice ink drying time. I get very little ink on my hand during hour-long writing sessions. The color is inconsistent - it varies during use between very dark and shadowy light. This does not bother me as it remains clearly legible throughout, although I can see that it greatly offends some other reviewers.

The barrel's construction is sturdy and has stood up well to the rigors of travel. Although there is some play in the cap when it is posted, it does not rattle and I do not notice it at all unless I actually fiddle with it. The grip does its job admirably, keeping the pen absolutely stationary in my hand even as I tense and relax during the course of writing.

This is a writing instrument that punches far above its weight in terms of value for money.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  I picked this up on a..., December 23, 2011
I picked this up on a drugstore run, but like most other reviewers, I wasn't able to get it to do much at all. I wrote four words with it once, all in a row, but then it just stopped. No amount of shaking, rolling, or nib manipulation got a good inkflow. This pen makes me sad.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  This isn't a bad pen..., December 16, 2011
By ben...
This isn't a bad pen FOR the $. Still, it can be improved. As Zebra's first entry into the fountain pen, it's not all that bad. The hard part is getting the pen to START WRITING. Once you get the pen to start writing, it flows continually. Very smooth writing afterword.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  I too had a bad experience..., October 4, 2011
By dan...
I too had a bad experience -- unlike the one good reviewer's. It does not want to write for me. It works about 15% of the time.
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  Wow! I'm really taken..., April 25, 2011
By ilo...
Wow! I'm really taken with this fountain pen. I bought it on faith when it first showed up on JetPens, without any reviews or cartridges or recommended converters... because what's to lose, for $3.20? It is a pleasantly wet writer, and I would say the nib is between medium and fine. I thought I'd get a standard international converter to fit, but was surprised to find my Platinum converter was the most snug, best fit. (Darn. Of course that one is pricey.) I've been using it for about an hour now with no leaks. The weight and balance are good, and I like the design of the pen. Not fussy. The writing is already rubbing off the metal barrel, but that's fine by me. It's distracting anyway. I am really pleased with this pen, and I hope JetPens will stock more of them soon, because I'm now buying up the last one in stock!
  This was the first fountain..., August 14, 2014
By thu...
This was the first fountain pen I've used and it turned out to be pretty nice. The pen itself feels sturdy, since it has a steel body like most Zebra products. The cap snaps closed very tightly, and doesn't loosen much over time. It's up to personal preference whether that's good or bad, but personally I like it because I know it won't fall open and leak in my bag.

As for the nib and ink, I had none of the problems other people seem to have. The nib worked fine, and ink flowed consistently. Right out of the package it was a bit slow, but after just a few lines it loosened up and still works well after several months of use. When writing almost no pressure is needed and it glides smoothly. My only real complaint is that it dries up very quickly; if you pause for very long while writing (just a minute or so), you'll need to scribble a bit to get it going again. This is easily solved by sitting the cap loosely over the tip if you know you'll be pausing, but it's pretty annoying. The ink itself is on the watery side, but it doesn't bleed through most papers. My favorite part is that it dries very quickly, which is great if you're left handed like me.

All things considered I would recommend it, especially if you're left handed and want fast drying ink.
  Update to my V-301 review..., August 14, 2014
Update to my V-301 review a little bit ago...refills are available on the JetPens site. Not sure why I couldn't find them on the first search.
  Personally, I find the..., August 14, 2014
Personally, I find the Zebra V-301 to be worth the money. The nib takes some time to break in and smooth out but if you are patient, I think it delivers a smooth line to the paper pretty steadily. I appreciate Ron's 2012 review and the recommendation to use a Lamy converter...I'll try that. The lack of a refill pack of cartridges is a definite problem: what's the point of a cartridge fountain pen if you can't get the cartridges...or an appropriate converter?? So keep your used cartridges if you, like me, are satisfied with the V-301 as a sturdy, everyday fountain that pairs well with the roller ball (R-301), pencil (M-301), or ballpoint (F-301). Come to think of it, JetPens has refills for the R-301 that MIGHT fit the V-301. What say you, JetPens?
  Well... This is a good..., May 22, 2014
By jgr...
Well... This is a good and not so good review...... First, I am a fan of Zebra products..

I have had some of mine since my college days which makes them antiques :)

A while back, I bought this pen in black and it writes wonderfully... I decided I should get one in blue and ordered it here on Jet Pens... The darn thing wouldn't write no matter what I tried... I was disappointed because my black one worked so well.

Thinking I happened to get the one-in-a-million pen that had a flaw, I ordered another from JP. Sadly, the second pen was the twin of the first. It did write for a minute or two. I tried a few of the suggestions in the reviews without success... Finally, I decided it was best to let the pen join it's twin somewhere in the landfill.

I am especially bummed about it because when I purchased the blue one for myself, I also purchased a blue and black one for two care packages I am sending off to college. Now I am wondering if I need to order something to replace the Zebra FP... Any suggestions for a pen to introduce a college student to the FP ??
  I bought the Zebra v301..., May 15, 2014
I bought the Zebra v301 from Walgreens. The ink shows up great, isn't watery & doesn't run. My only trouble is that the pen will ONLY write if i flip the nib upside down. It doesn't write at all with the nib in the correct position.
  The cartridge may be..., February 3, 2014
The cartridge may be the problem. I bought mine already aware of the issues that people had had with this pen, but also having read a review on fpn (IIRC) where the reviewer mentioned having trouble with his pen until he realized the ball that sealed the cartridge had not been completely dislodged when the cartridge was installed.

When I first got mine, I did what I'd normally do with a cartridge pen--push the cartridge into the section, maybe give it a squeeze to get ink flowing and then try to write. It didn't want to write. I took the cartridge out of the pen and looked at the "open" end and I'll be darned if that reviewer wasn't right. I used a ballpoint pen to push the ball well into the cartridge and out of the opening and, like magic, the pen started writing.

It's got a very small sweet spot and if I rotate the pen out of it, I get skipping. Otherwise, it's working fairly well for a $3/$4 pen. Not as well as a Pilot Varsity, but this pen wasn't made in Japan by a company known for its more expensive fountain pens.

As a test, I just uncapped my Zebra after having let it sit for the last two or three weeks. It hesitated a bit, but then started writing and didn't skip at all.
  I got this pen about..., January 10, 2014
By mpa...
I got this pen about two years ago, (not thru JetPens) and my experience at first was very similar to what others are commenting: poor ink flow. I mean, I just couldn't write two consecutive letters without the durn thing skipping on me, even writing cursive. Then something happened- I absentmindedly dropped the pen onto the floor, right on the nib. It definitely bent the nib so that it just curls slightly down. I wasn't too upset, being that my experience with the pen had been poor. But then I tried to write with it, and boy oh boy was I surprised. THE INK FLOWS PERFECTLY! I couldn't believe it. I don't always use this pen, but every now and then I pick it up just to see if it still works and sure enough still writes without skipping a beat.

This being said, the ink quality itself is good but not great. And the construction is good but again not great (I've had the barrel unscrew before). Let's just say that for its price point, it performs accordingly. It's comfortable enough where you can write for an extended period of time, especially since the "improvement" was made. But honestly, who wants to have to bend the nib of the pen they just purchased? If the ones being made today have been improved at the nib, then I could recommend this pen, just because it's cheap. If it still writes like crud, then you've just wasted a few bucks.
  Despite the problems..., December 31, 2013
By shi...
Despite the problems of other users, this pen works great for me and puts less stress on my hand when I am writing. If it helps, I too had some trouble getting it to write, so I used the tried and true method of slightly heating up the nib with a lighter. Do this whenever the ink is helplessly stuck. This pen also makes beautiful signatures. People in places with a low altitude may experience greater frustration because of the increased air pressure. I live in the mile-high city. I hope this helps.
  When it writes it is..., December 27, 2013
When it writes it is beautiful, but beware- the ink dries super quickly and and its horrid convincing it to write again. Getting the pen to start writing was a terrible experience as well, it took 3 days and an email to customer service (they advised me to take the cartridge out and tap it pierced side down on several layers of scratch paper, it helped marginally). Not worth the money, I purchased it a drugstore while browsing the office supply section. For the price just buy a platinum preppy, a far superior pen that doesn't skip and began writing smoothly almost immediately out of the gate.
  Junk, and I'm a Zebra..., October 14, 2013
Junk, and I'm a Zebra fan.

I saw this in a local store and thought it would be great to try a Zebra fountain pen. I was completely disappointed. I could never get the ink to flow at all in a normal orientation. Comically, it writes (somewhat) upside down, and I could get ink to flow about 50% of the time.

After having years of pleasure with conventional Zebra pens and pencils, wow, this is a complete let down. Avoid completely.
  it's awful. I like Zebra..., September 12, 2013
By dan
it's awful. I like Zebra a LOT, and this pen is just awful. Avoid.