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Zebra V-301


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#101 zoniguana

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 17:10

I've found pretty similar results with their black cartridge, so, I don't think it is a color issue. So long as I have used their ink, it starts up and writes fine. When I switched to a different ink, that performance ceased. When I switched back to their ink, all was well again...

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#102 lovemy51

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:30

Again---I must have gotten the only working model in the whole batch. Yes, the cap sits loose posted, the section's a little slippery, but it was four dollars. Mine writes well.

you are not alone in the world SK. mine is great too! no matter how long it sits (laying on the table, nib up...) starts right away.

Edited by lovemy51, 04 April 2012 - 06:30.

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#103 WayTooManyHobbies

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 16:10

Mine works reasonably as a dip pen for testing ink - but not as a fountain pen. Using both an original cartridge and a refilled one (with Baystate Blue - I didn't want to stain a good pen), startup and skipping have been on-going concerns. Oh, well - it is a $4 pen.

#104 FLYBYU

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:05

I just bought one of these for $3 at Staples. Figured for that price how can you really go wrong? Same thing as other posters on here, it didn't like to write, skipped constantly. If I pressed like crazy with it positioned just so in my hand it was good. So I took it and rolled the tip of the nib on some 1500grit sandpaper. Now it writes consistently all the time, has a pretty thick line for my liking, but it writes really nice for a $3 pen. I have a whole bottle of Parker Blue sitting here I'm going to take a eye dropper and attempt to refill the cartridge after it runs out. The Staples sells the pen but no cartridges, go figure.
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#105 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:56

Didn't it come with extra carts?

Someone, somewhere, mentioned that the Z-pen's feed is like a felt-tip's, and that is why it takes a while to get going. I recall that mine skipped at first, but now I'm down to a couple drops of ink and it's been smooth and consistent.

#106 79spitfire

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 13:14

I put Noodler's Bpb in mine and it has proven to be very reliable. I'm just not that hot on the pen. It can sit for weeks at a time and still write the first time every time.

The floppy posted cap makes the pen feel even cheaper than it is!

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#107 FLYBYU

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 15:08

Didn't it come with extra carts?

Someone, somewhere, mentioned that the Z-pen's feed is like a felt-tip's, and that is why it takes a while to get going. I recall that mine skipped at first, but now I'm down to a couple drops of ink and it's been smooth and consistent.


Yes it did come with extra cartridges, but I was messing about quite a lot with it yesterday and the cartridge I installed is down to 3/4 already. Plus I wanted to see if I could refill it with something else for the longterm, that way it's not just a disposable pen.
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#108 Kabe

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:56

so, the verdict is that only 40 percent of the pens are working?
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#109 mguo32

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:31

Great review; also very accurate. The ink flow on this pen is incredibly stubborn unfortunately. I think I discovered the main problem with the ink flow- when the cartridge is clicked into the pen, the pen does not press hard enough onto the cartridge to release the little metal ball that is jammed in the top of the cartridge (I think the ball is supposed to shake around inside the cartridge to improve flow). I thought this metal ball was simply a seal that had to be broken, but apparently not? When I put my second cartridge in I had flow problems, but once I popped the ball into the cartridge by pressing on it with a regular pen, the ink flow worked much better. Still, I guess you get what you paid for with a 4 dollar pen.

#110 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 13:46

glad I have never bought one of them
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time
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#111 lovemy51

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 23:13

mine still working like a champ! i'm one of the good 40% -as Kabe said!
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#112 brewerjeff

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:35

Piece of cr@p. At $3.95 it is overpriced. Virtually any Chinese pen is better.

The only reason I can think to market a pen like this is to discourage the use of non-disposable pens. I look forward to tearing it apart to learn why it is so bad.

#113 brewerjeff

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:08

There, I done it...

Posted Image

You can see the long fiber wick that goes from the cartridge to the nib, through the groove in the feed, surgically removed with paper clip and Leatherman. The "feed" is just a nib platform for the wick and it just can't supply enough ink for proper flow. I hadn't planned on removing the feed at first, so I fished the scraps out of the trash and had at it again.

Posted Image

There is a collar that holds it in place. Note the wick tube. I trashed the nib (boo hoo)so I wasn't able to test it without the wick. I leave that to another disappointed V-301 owner.

Edited by brewerjeff, 10 August 2012 - 12:11.


#114 Lisya72

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 20:30

I'm not a big fan of this pen. It's at my office, and its main purpose in life is to be the stalking horse (or decoy) for any pen-kleptos who wander into my office. It won't break my heart if I return to my desk and find this pen missing the way it did when my Parker Vector sprouted legs.

With that said, I got a cartridge down to about 50% and used an eyedropper to top it off with PR Tanzenite. The resulting color is unimpressive, but the flow of ink is much improved.
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#115 vetgirlmx

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:14

Well, I might be lucky. I've bought 4 of this pens, to carry around and not be worried about losing them and 3 of them work perfect, they started writing immediately, without skipping, the cartridges haven't dried up after months and I can left them uncapped for several minutes without drying. The fourth one did skip a lot at the beginning, but I removed the cartridge and rinsed the nib with warm water and voila! Problem solved. Also, all four of them came with two black cartridges, not one blue and one black, and I didn't purchase them at the same time, so they are from different lots.
It's not my favorite pen at all, but it works well enough for its price.

Edited by vetgirlmx, 15 August 2012 - 05:16.


#116 JoeyZ

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:31

I have had little luck with the single one that I purchased. It takes forever to start...I have to tap and scratch for minutes only to have it stop again after about 1/2 a word. Oddly enough, it seems to write if I hold it upside down ( nib facing the paper). This of course leads to the scatchiest writing experience imaginable.

I really wanted this cheapie to work but don't want to invest more in hopes of getting a 40 percenter.

#117 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 13:37

Well, I might be lucky. I've bought 4 of this pens, to carry around and not be worried about losing them and 3 of them work perfect, they started writing immediately, without skipping, the cartridges haven't dried up after months and I can left them uncapped for several minutes without drying. The fourth one did skip a lot at the beginning, but I removed the cartridge and rinsed the nib with warm water and voila! Problem solved. Also, all four of them came with two black cartridges, not one blue and one black, and I didn't purchase them at the same time, so they are from different lots.
It's not my favorite pen at all, but it works well enough for its price.


The Z-pens come in two different colors, black and blue, and the trim on the blue is so dark it can be tough to tell which one you got, but the blue comes with bLue carts, black with black.

#118 trent

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 14:45

I bought one at Walgreen's. I did not experience any trouble in writing right out of the blister-pack, but the rattling and movement of the cap when posted was a serious distraction. Un-posted, the pen felt too short in my hand. I am surprised that Zebra allowed this pen to appear with such a poor cap. All other Zebra products that I have tried, especially their mechanical pencils, are of excellent finish and quality. I hope they revisit this pen and improve it---even if it ups the price a couple of dollars. I'd rather pay seven or eight dollars instead of $4.99 if it means a better product. The pen has potential, and mine did not write badly, but that crazy cap needs to be fixed!

#119 Fuzzyman

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 15:55

I've got no relability issues with this pen --- it writes every time, even if I leave it unused for weeks. But it stays unused for weeks because the floppy posted cap makes me crazy. I got around the issue by sqishing the open end of the cap a bit. Since it's a snap-on I didn't have to worry about threading. With the black plastic separation between the cap and body the change really isn't cosmetically noticable. Kinda stupid that I had to resort to that, though.

#120 amberleadavis

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:07

For the price, I've found it be a great little pen and I bought a ton of them to give out - the big trick for me was to dumpt their cartridges. Use the Platinum converter and bam -no problems on any of the pens. I use the heck out of the refillable rollerball which is probably my favorite.




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