Jump to content





Dearest Friends and Visitors of the Fountain Pen Network,
We have started implementing the changes we promised here: Upcoming Changes To FPN
Please do read the linked message above.









Photo

Zebra V-301


  • Please log in to reply
170 replies to this topic

#121 kma335

kma335

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 September 2012 - 13:39

I bought this pen from Walgreens for around $4 US. It's a great pen! It's my very first fountain pen and it writes great.

#122 jcable

jcable

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 42 posts

Posted 13 September 2012 - 15:51

Mine has worked well, platinum converter works much better and fits well. The Cartridges are terrible.

#123 kma335

kma335

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 14 September 2012 - 00:40

When I first got this pen it didn't work for me either. What I did was, I dipped the nib in room temperature with water for a bit with the cartridge already in, and placed the nib on a sheet of toilet paper. The toilet paper absorbs the water and eventually the ink came out along with it. Hopefully this helps anyone with the ink flow problem! This was my very first fountain pen and it works like a charm for me, great for school work :)

#124 guilhermejf

guilhermejf

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Location:São Paulo - SP
  • Flag:

Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:54

I've got a Pilot V-Pen from first generation (the white one), and its nib is also fed by a fiber thing. It writes quite wet, though. The first time I refilled it, I had to keep the pen nib down for about a week before it could be used for writing properly, maybe to saturate the fibers.

#125 InfernoOrangeSS

InfernoOrangeSS

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 64 posts
  • Location:Birmingham, AL
  • Flag:

Posted 13 October 2012 - 00:35

I just picked up this pen today as I wanted to start out my experience with fountain pens on the inexpensive side. I put the cartridge in and had to wait about an hour for the ink to flow, (It may have been sooner. I just let it sit for an hour since many here said it took a while for the ink to flow. I just waited an hour.) My impression is that it writes very smoothly without any skipping or cutting out. I was pleased to see this, since I had read some horror stories on here and elsewhere of the pen not performing at all. I have to say for the price I am very pleased with this pen. I really love Zebra pens. Their ball points are my mainstay at work, and I wanted to have the same experience with a fountain pen. I hope others have better experiences with theirs.

(Disclaimer: I am an extreme newbie to fountain pens. It writes very nicely for me, but I don't have a lot of experience with FPs to judge how well this one is as far as ink quality, etc.) Your mileage may vary.
Posted ImagePosted Image

#126 H.M. Murdock

H.M. Murdock

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Location:Louisiana

Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:25

I'm a seasoned tinkerer, so this pen caught my eye. That and the Zebra G-301 is the whole reason I started getting into pens to begin with. So when I saw this thread I immediately went out and bought four of these bad boys. I have only inked/used two so far, both of which worked fabulously... once I got ink to flow. The first one I just let it saturate through after emptying and refilling the cart with Noodler's American Eel Black, as that is my go-to ink. Since that took a while to get through and get a good flow (it was washed out and just unattractive when I wrote with it for about half a day), I figured I would just go ahead and... make the next pen see the light of reason. So I took my Lamy converter, popped it onto the feed and just saturated the bejeebus out of that wick feed, and it wrote perfectly from the start.
I have since given those first two away, since they write well and are cheap to replace. I will be inking up another one tomorrow to see if my luck holds.

As far as the design goes, I like the look of the pen. The fact that it's a stainless steel (steal?) body is, to me, pretty nice because I like a pen that has a clean, industrial look to it. I'm not, as of writing this post, one for fancy pens, nor have I ever been a fan of gold. I prefer silver/steel/aluminum to gold any day of the week. The caps spin slightly, but that doesn't really bother me too much at all. Most of the time I don't post anyway, though, so there's that I suppose.

Thus far, for $4, I am happy. Do I think they should improve it? Absolutely. A better feed, or a better design of the same feed, would be wonderful. A tighter post would also be great. A finer nib would be good, although again I find the nib to be comparable to my F Lamy nib. And I fail entirely to see why someone would ever want to make a proprietary ink cartridge. Make your own cartridges, sure, but don't make it to where you're the only person who can provide a cart! However, I will soon be getting a few Platinum converters, so no worries there. Failing that, I might do a little creative thinking and just switch this bad boy over to eyedropper. With how comfortable the pen is for me, it's nothing to wipe out a Platinum converter's work of ink- I can empty a Noodler's Ahab in less than a week, after all.
"So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd."
- A Burnt Ship, John Donne

#127 Prvt. Toter

Prvt. Toter

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 237 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:18

Saw this and bought on impulse...figured if it does not work it is only $4... I could have gotten FOUR cheesburgers off the dollar menu and been more satisfied.



to call this a SCHOOL PEN is an insult to the Sheaffer School pen, please stop... B)
First impression...this is JUNK... :sick:

Capping ths pen is a challange... I did not see mention but the cap has to be manually centered and forced on, at least on the wallgreen verson I have. :gaah:

Ink drys in five seconds, nice, but writes so DRY I would expect two seconds... skips... as in ALOT... :gaah:

Proprietary cartridge = still a disposable pen, but cost $4 :angry:

Threads of barrel to feed is lousy... feels lousy... starts poorly... difficult to center... body is so thin, realitvly little material for a proper ramp or lead in. but it did only cost $4

on the positive, it is a cool lookinig pen for $4, Unfortunately it can only serve to turn people off from the use of a fountain pen...

FYI I am feeling overtly SARCASTIC tonight, so I may need to adjust after I use the pen for a week or so... I am flying to Mexico for a week for work and bought this as a potential lost pen, I will let you know how it fares.

CHEERS
If you think everything is going well, you obviously have no clue what is really going on!

#128 caleath

caleath

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 50 posts
  • Location:Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 26 January 2013 - 17:39

This pen is the one that got me started back to using fountain pens. My first one was (bleep)....I gave up for a while and bought another one. Worked like a charm...I now have 6 of them. None are using factory ink...but I have found that its picky about ink...I have one with Noodler's Burma Road Brown, my favorite color so far. One has Noodler's Red Black, works great no problems.One has Noodler's Squeteague...I have tons of trouble with that one starting..once it does no problem. One has Private Reserve Ebony Blue...no issues with that one. One has factory black...no problem at all with that one...The last one has Manuscript Blue in it...no issues with that one either.

With all that being said..I love this pen..its cheap, I have got them for 2.99 on sale at Walgreens. My daughter tried one last night and I will be getting her a few to play with..she is 16.

Just my 2 cents.

#129 caleath

caleath

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 50 posts
  • Location:Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 26 January 2013 - 18:22

Well (bleep) 5 mins after my post...I was writing with one of them and dropped it..less than 3 feet from the floor...ruined the nib.

Anyone know of a replacement nib? Just kidding.

#130 ParkerBeta

ParkerBeta

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 456 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:49




I'd like to add my bad to good experience with this pen. Like many others, I had problems getting it to write from the start. It was the first fountain pen I tried, because I couldn't wait for my Safari to arrive. At first I thought I must have been holding the pen wrong or something, so I held it every which way until it wrote. It still skipped a whole lot, but I wasn't writing anything particularly important, so it was better than nothing. When my Safari came, I threw my Zebra in a box and forgot about it until a week ago. I still liked the way it looked, so I decided to give it another try. It writes perfectly now. No skipping, I don't have to dig into the page to get the ink to come out...it's great. I'm not sure if I was just lucky, but at only 4 dollars, I'd suggest giving this pen a try.


So the way to get this "pen" to write is to ignore it completely? Apparently with all the flushing and new ink, I was just spoiling it rotten. :roflmho:


Actually I think you may be on to something. I let mine sit for a while (nib up even) and I just pulled it out and it is writing perfectly. I think you need to let it sit so the felt wick inside can really soak up some ink. Maybe? :ph34r:

interesting theory :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:


Same here ... unacceptable skipping at first, so I just threw the pen (with black cartridge) into a drawer and left it there for about ten days. After that, it seems to write just fine, with no skipping whatsoever.
Scriptorium pens Balladeer with steel M nib
Monteverde-Goulet Invincia Nighthawk 1st-Gen with (steel) F nib
S.T. Dupont Defi with (steel) F nib
Platinum 3776 Century with 14kt B nib
Sailor Pro Gear Realo with 21kt F nib
Lamy Studio Palladium with steel 1.1mm italic nib
Monteverde Impressa with (black steel) 1.1mm stub nib

#131 sween1911

sween1911

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 02 April 2013 - 20:26

Picked one of these up the other day. It was $5 at Walgreens (okay, 4-something. :)) so I figured I'd want to try it out. I miss having a cheap knockaround fountain pen back when I had a Vector. Sure it used to get ink spots on my hands, but I felt cool to write with one. :)

Got skippy results at first. Read the back of the packaging... instructions said to write "... with nib facing down"... what? Didn't seem to make any sense. Disappointing out of the box. I really had to play around with the nib to get consistent results. It would not draw a vertical line on a sheet of paper. Got no ink flow. Horizontal lines looked okay. After judicious and slight bending of the nib down, it seems to work okay now.

The cap posting is driving me bonkers. I hate when it rotates around. Maybe it's just OCD, but the clip should be facing upward when I'm using a pen to write, not swinging around and rattling. I'm considering some sort of filing/shaping of the end so the cap has more friction. I'm pleasantly surprised by the positive click and security of the cap in the closed position. Ever since my Parker Rollerball uncapped itself and make a nice black spot in my pocket, I've been leery of capped pens for pocket carry, but this stays together.

I've been using it at work today for notes and whatnot and it's been okay. It's cool to carry around and occasionally make notes and have someone say, "Is that a fountain pen?" but if you want a pen to USE, I can't recommend it. The test is "If I had to go into an important meeting with ONLY one writing utensil, would I take this?" My Alvin drafting pencil or even a cheap Bic crystal ballpoint pen would leave this in the dust.

Edited by sween1911, 02 April 2013 - 20:35.


#132 snark0285

snark0285

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Location:South Bend
  • Flag:

Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:07

If the ink can't flow smoothly, it's not a good pen

#133 TomJKT

TomJKT

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 129 posts
  • Location:Jakarta the big durian
  • Flag:

Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:11

Can it be binderized, send in to Greg M., which japanese nibmaster would do a great job on this one? Can't believe these FP nuts are going to care so much about a useless crappy $3 pen. Don't we have better things to do?
Btw, using Diamine or better MB to refill the cartridges?
Tom

Great review, you nailed it :clap1:
For sale: M625 red/silver, P395 gold, Delta Fellini.

#134 fpdougm

fpdougm

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Bronze

  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:59

The Platinum converter works well with my V-301.

 

I'm on my second V-301. First "disappeared." Can't find it. But with the current Walgreens price of $3.66, I was not greatly upset and bought two more; one to carry around with a small notebook. The other to keep in my backpack with my F-301 and my M-301. 

 

The first pen, the one that vanished, was not faring well. It had trouble with ink flow. Worked best with cursive writing: once flow started it lasted for a bit. But semi-printing (my style) often ran into multiple skips and difficulty starting letters on downstrokes. Seemed to be consistent with reports by others. Also, I'm not generally happy with cartridge pens, especially when cartridges are hard to find. While Walgreens seems always to have these pens, I have never seen the cartridges for sale. But I took a hint from another user and, while the first cartridge in the first pen was in use, ordered a Platinum Converter from Amazon. When the pen "disappeared" I was still waiting to empty the first cartridge, so the converter lay unused in my desk drawer. 

 

The new pen has never seen a cartridge. Instead I filled the converter with Waterman Paris Black directly from the bottle, then dried it off and inserted it into the pen. I screwed the plunger down until ink flowed from the nib, then screwed the plunger back to the "full" position.. Dried the nib with tissue and it's been writing without problem since. This will be the carry around pen. May have to order another converter, now, for the backpack pen.

 

I am happy to have these inexpensive pens available. It's a totally different type of writing, and nice to be able to include it, with low cost in the event of loss, in my day to day life.


Doug


#135 Sailor Kenshin

Sailor Kenshin

    Heart of sword

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,777 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 14:15

I am just wondering which color pen you had...blue or black...and whether skipping could be based on ink color.

 

Of course carts can be refilled too, so even if you don't have a con, it would not pose a problem.

 

 I might mosey on down to Walgreen's later and see if they have some, especially since I want a carry pen for a sketch kit.



#136 fpdougm

fpdougm

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Bronze

  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 16:54

@Sailor Kenshin - The Zebra fountain pens have all come with black cartridges. I completely agree that the ink can have a great deal to do with a pen's performance. The "lost" pen used the Zebra provided black ink. The current one is using Waterman Paris black ink in a converter. Could be entirely the ink, but the difference in performance between the two pens was very evident. My current pen is not displaying any of the skipping that many others have noted.


Edited by fpdougm, 17 July 2013 - 16:58.

Doug


#137 Sailor Kenshin

Sailor Kenshin

    Heart of sword

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,777 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 17:13

Oh ho!  The Z-pen I had came with a blue cart and had blue trim.  The mystery deepens!  Will let you know if I make a Walgreen's run.



#138 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,269 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 18:15

They are available in Blue or Black ink.  I've had great luck with the rollerballs and almost any other brand of ink.


When I grow up, I want to be a great lawyer. Until then, I practice. - A.Davis

.

If you want to know about my ever changing Avatar, check out this thread.

.

Borrow a TWSBI?  

.

Borrow an Estie?

 

 


#139 pencils+pens

pencils+pens

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 547 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 17 July 2013 - 21:55

The black accented V-301 comes with black ink cartridges. The blue accented V-301 comes with blue ink cartridges. I have both, although I only bought the black one today.

Along the same lines the yellow accented H-301 (highlighter) comes with a yellow highlighter cartridge and the pink accented H-301 comes with a pink highlighter cartridge.

#140 Sailor Kenshin

Sailor Kenshin

    Heart of sword

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,777 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 18 July 2013 - 00:24

Welp, Walgreen's was out.  T__T.



#141 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,269 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:14

The black accented V-301 comes with black ink cartridges. The blue accented V-301 comes with blue ink cartridges. I have both, although I only bought the black one today.

Along the same lines the yellow accented H-301 (highlighter) comes with a yellow highlighter cartridge and the pink accented H-301 comes with a pink highlighter cartridge.

 

 

I'm sensing a trend.  


When I grow up, I want to be a great lawyer. Until then, I practice. - A.Davis

.

If you want to know about my ever changing Avatar, check out this thread.

.

Borrow a TWSBI?  

.

Borrow an Estie?

 

 


#142 EvilCasper

EvilCasper

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Bronze

  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Location:Texas, United States
  • Flag:

Posted 05 October 2013 - 23:17

I got it to work. After I poked a very small hole into the side of the cartrige and then covered it to prevend leakage. It has worked without failure.


Edited by EvilCasper, 05 October 2013 - 23:18.


#143 dkirchge

dkirchge

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Location:Westlake, OH
  • Flag:

Posted 09 November 2013 - 03:48

I'm happy to report that mine is still writing smoothly and easily.


-- Doug K.

#144 ArtsNibs

ArtsNibs

    lahlahlaw

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 977 posts
  • Location:El Paso Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 09 November 2013 - 06:20

I hate my Zebra, so much so that I sprung the nib on purpose just to see how it felt. I should throw it away but one of these days I'll feel like doing it again, sadomasochistic, I know...



#145 GTOZack

GTOZack

    ah that Deaf guy.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 797 posts
  • Location:Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 09 November 2013 - 23:45

I had this pen once, only once, at work

 

it didn't start up properly, rather it made an incision on the cheap printer paper.

 

and I looked at a friend whose were looking over my shoulder.

 

....

 

no one said a word for a minute

 

I tossed the pen in the trash. I did hope it was a good pen :(


'The Yo-Yo maneuver is very difficult to explain. It was first perfected by the well-known Chinese fighter pilot Yo-Yo Noritake. He also found it difficult to explain, being quite devoid of English.

So we left it at that. He showed us the maneuver after a sort.  B*****d stole my kill.'

                                                                                                        -Squadron Leader K. G. Holland, RAF. WWII China.


#146 TehWildman

TehWildman

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:35

I also picked one of these up a week or so ago.  It took a little tinkering (I found soaking the grip/feed section and making sure to inset the cartridge with the nib down worked) to get it to work, but its a pretty nice pen for $4.

 

 

The fact it compliments the other zebra steel-family pens is icing on the semi-sweet cake.



#147 txpen

txpen

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Location:Texas, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:47

I bought one of these a couple of months ago when I saw them at Walgreens. My initial experience with it was pretty bad. The ink wouldn't flow smoothly and nothing I did would seem to correct it. I finally set it aside and it just sat on my desk unused for a couple of weeks. Then I tried it again and it was a completely different experience. Ink flow is great and it writes as smoothly as my old Sheaffer school pen.



#148 Zookie

Zookie

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts
  • Location:The Twilight Zone,New York
  • Flag:

Posted 10 March 2014 - 17:14

I suppose I'm a little bit late with this, but I got one of these a few months ago and have been using it quite a bit. I think it's a nice pen, I'm not too fond of the ink however.

Once I get an empty cartridge, I'll refill it with my favorite ink, Private Reserve Ebony Green and see how it behaves.

You can't beat it for the price!

I'm going to see if I can pick up a couple more.



#149 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,269 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 11 March 2014 - 19:01

I suppose I'm a little bit late with this, but I got one of these a few months ago and have been using it quite a bit. I think it's a nice pen, I'm not too fond of the ink however.

Once I get an empty cartridge, I'll refill it with my favorite ink, Private Reserve Ebony Green and see how it behaves.

You can't beat it for the price!

I'm going to see if I can pick up a couple more.

 

Welcome to FPN.   :W2FPN:

 

I would say the biggest trick to these pens is not to use the ink that comes with it and hope for a great experience out of the box.


When I grow up, I want to be a great lawyer. Until then, I practice. - A.Davis

.

If you want to know about my ever changing Avatar, check out this thread.

.

Borrow a TWSBI?  

.

Borrow an Estie?

 

 


#150 Zookie

Zookie

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts
  • Location:The Twilight Zone,New York
  • Flag:

Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:18

Thanks for the welcome!

I switch pens often, but I really like this one.