The Kerry is a classic. Pentel has produced this pen for at least 40 years (I
lived in Tokyo in the 1960's and saw them at the time.) The design is good; the
color choices fine; and the lead advancement system is great. Kerrys are compact
and sturdy; definitely worth the price. Since there are so many choices among
0.5 mm pencil leads today, you really can't go wrong with this instrument.
The Uni Pure Malt Wood Grip is a fine "everyday carry." Two ink choices and a
0.5 mm pencil...that's perfect for daily use. (Although I love 4-color
multi-pens and have several different ones.) The balance is excellent -- a
little more weight in the point than the tail. The only refinement I can suggest
is that Uni consider offering exactly the same pen with a iPad-sensitive tip at
the tail. That would be the only way I would put my Pure Malt down in favor of
another alternative. Although the pen body is plastic with a metallicized
finish, I've carried mine in pockets, planners, and backpacks for 5 years and
the finish in only now beginning to wear off a little. Great product!
I like the design of the FriXion Ball 4; it's a pleasure to hold and use for
extended periods. The 0.5 mm ink lays down a line that's a tad too thin for my
liking and the black ink is a little closer to grey than I would like. The grip
is nearly ideal for my taste. I think it will stand up well to everyday use.
Good job, Pilot!
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?
The Kerry is a classic Japanese mechanical pencil -- compact, innovative,
understated, and reliable. I recall buying a Kerry as a highschool student in
Tokyo...that was back in 1965. Today's Kerry is wellmade and the plastic barrel
is serviceable, although Iwould prefer an all-metal body. Some may fined the
cross-hatched chrome-colored ring around the middle a little too much "bling"
but the ability to advance the lead when the cap is posted by simply clicking on
the button is still, I believe, unique to the Kerry. It's an "all-day"
The Uni-Ball Pure-Malt is a good pen for the price. I have purchased three so
far...one a navy Limited Edition. I use that one every day. The inks (black,
blue, and red) are vivid and flow easily. I haven't noticed any skipping yet. I
would like to see Uni-Ball produce a "3+1" version and utilize the fourth slot
inside the pen body. The clip could be improved but it works well. I'd prefer a
metal one along the lines of the Pilot Dr. Grip 4+1 multi-pen. I like the form
and it fits well in my hand when I've got a lot of writing to do. The fact that
the upper portion of the barrel is plastic with a metalicized finish is fine.
There are five different multi-pens in my pen cup at work. I love the Zebra
Clip-On Multi for its sturdiness, the good-quality clip, and the design of the
finger-grip. The fact that it is a plastic body pen doesn't detract from its
value, in my opinion. It's well-balanced and the chrome appointments and various
finishes look well and last without showing much wear. My only complaint is the
spotty quality of the refills...red particularly. They have a tendency to skip
more than my Dr. Grip 4+1, for example. I think you get your money's worth in a
ballpoint multi-pen with the Zebra Clip-On Multi. If I have some time, I'll try
to swap out the Zebra refills for something compatible with a more consistent
Pilot Dr. Grip 4+1 is a good value for the money. It compares favorably with
Coleto Hi TEC-C, the Zebra Clip-On Multi, and the Uni Style-Fit Meister. I
appreciate the ability its compatibility with the refills from its other
competitors. All the mechanisms are well-engineered and stand up to daily use.
The finish is durable; the look under-stated. If you are partial to regualr ball
pen refills in a multi-pen, Dr. Grip is worth trying.
I have purchased two of the Uni-ball Pure Malt series and been satisfied with
both. True, the upper portion of the pen body is plastic...but the description
accurately and honestly calls it "metallicized plastic"...or words to that
effect. I like the smoothness of the ink and vibrancy of the black and red. I
have found these to be a good pen for the money. Certainly comparable to my
5-color Dr. Grip 4+1 or my Zebra Clip-On Multi.