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Average Customer Review
 3.0 (48 customer reviews)
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September 14, 2011
This pen feels and looks...
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 people found this helpful
 
September 9, 2011
i grabbed this on a quick...
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.

5 people found this helpful
nelsonkatherine220
 
July 17, 2012
Well all the statements...
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 people found this helpful
ron-fisher
 
June 2, 2011
If you can get it to...
Verified Purchase
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.

4 people found this helpful
iconoclastic.icon
 
July 1, 2011
Like the other I have...
Like the other I have a hard time keeping the ink flowing. I think the air passage is too small.

3 people found this helpful
woodrough77
 
May 24, 2011
I see one glowing review...
Verified Purchase
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.

3 people found this helpful
robert.lynch
 
February 18, 2012
DO NOT BUY! I picked...
DO NOT BUY!

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 people found this helpful
codymledford
 
October 26, 2011
I bought this on sale...
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 people found this helpful
 
October 23, 2011
I just picked this up...
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.

2 people found this helpful
 
November 5, 2013
I use the V-301 extensively...
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 person found this helpful
ryanprior