Sunday, 22 June 2014

Zebra G301 Gel Pen

Zebra G301
The Zebra G301 is one of my latest Zebra purchases. I seem to be building quite a collection of Zebras but considering they are sold in pretty much every stationery shop I visit it's inevitable that the size of my herd will increase.

This Zebra has a stainless steel barrel and clip with a plastic ribbed grip. My first impression of the pen was that it looks clinical and cold. If it could talk I imagine it would give me a good telling off - what for I've no idea.

Zebra plastic ribbed grip

When I saw the positioning of the grip I had to stop myself from letting out a sigh of despair. The Zebra G301 doesn't strike me as the kind of pen to tolerate whinging so I decided it was time to learn to adapt and overcome. Which I managed - almost. The grip let me down a little. I wanted to hold it on the grip, I really did but every single time I ended up sliding closer towards the tip and wind up half on and half off it again. For me it was a case of slippy, not grippy. Luckily the grip sits level with the body of the pen so together with the fact that the pen is light weight and evenly balanced it is still a comfortable pen to hold and use.

Zebra G301 writing sample

I am totally in love with the ink in this pen. It feels exceptionally smooth on paper without being slippery, it flows perfectly, not a single hint of a false start or skipping and though the ink looks wet on paper it dries very quickly. Every single one of my notebooks has been compatible with the Zebra G301. The ink hasn't feathered or bled through the paper. I love it. It feels so good that I always manage to think of one more thing to write or doodle before putting it away. It's a bit like playing Mario - one more try at defeating Bowser turns into one final attempt, I mean it this time, just one more - next thing I know it's midnight and I have an early start in the morning.


The Zebra G301 is refillable and uses JK refills. When I get a new pen one of the first things I look at is the refill and how to change it. I like to know how my pen works. On this occasion I unscrewed the pen and pulled out the refill (which was so hard to pull out that I actually worried I was doing it wrong or that maybe it wasn't supposed to come out after all) took a pic, but it all back together, pressed the clicky button, pressed it again, and again and realised I'd broken the pen. I seem to have damaged the spring so my pen is no longer a retractable pen. No amount of faffing about was able to fix it. So I'm a little cheesed off. If the pen tells me it's refillable then I'd expect to be able to refill it without the fear of damaging it so easily.

Flexible Zebra G301 clip
The clip on the Zebra G301 is flexible and is easily clipped to thicker objects. Having said this I would still be careful as with a bit of movement the pen still moves about and did fall off when I shook my notebook. I know the shaking of notebooks isn't the norm but for me it's a good indicator of how reliable a clip will be under most circumstances. I know that if a pen stays put after a good shake the chances of losing it on any given non notebook shaking day is slim.
Many of my Zebra pens have Zebra written on the clip in some way or another and I am a fan of a bit of clip decoration so the plain clip on this pen only adds to my feeling of coldness.

So my overall opinion of this pen - I love the way it writes. For the past week this has been the first pick from my pen pot every time. I've almost emptied the ink I've used it so much. I'm disappointed that I've broken it so zero points for being refillable as my pen didn't even survive one refill attempt. I'd recommend using extra care if you do choose to buy this pen with the intention of replenishing the ink. For me, how a pen feels on paper always overrides how I feel about it's appearance so given it's reasonable price I am tempted to risk buying another in order to have a fully functional Zebra G301 again but if it breaks again this pen will definitely be crossed off my Christmas card list.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to put a refill in mine too. Mine retracts but has no tension to it. Not a very good design when it comes to refilling.