Pens

Mid-Week Mini: Zebra Sarasa Clip - Vintage Colours.

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The Zebra Sarasa Clip is my favourite gel ink pen. I have found them the most consistent gel pens giving me a smooth line and starting up even if it hasn’t been used for a while. I like the 05 tip size as I find the line width thin enough and I don’t feel like there is any friction on the page when writing. I wrote a review of the Sarasa Clip back in 2016 which you can find here.

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However I think the gem in the Zebra Sarasa Clip world are the Vintage colours. I was bought one of these pens by Priya from The London Parchment a few years ago in the blue-grey and I used it a lot! It was subtly different to anything I had tried before. The only downside at the time was they weren’t available in the UK, but that problems now resolved and you can grab these from Cult Pens. In todays post I will share with you the different colours available and try to explain why I love this pen so much.

Colour choices.

There are a range of muted tones in the Vintage line, Green-black, Blue-grey, Brown-grey, Red-black and Blue-black. I didn't bother buying the Blue-black, because, well...it’s blue-black and I kinda know what to expect from that colour. I was far more interested in the other options that came within this range.

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The Vintage colour choices are traditional colours, but those you would expect to sit within Vintage theme. My favourite is the blue-grey as the colour is subtle but different to any other blue gel pen I have tried. There is a lovely lightness which comes from the grey tones dulling the blue pigment. It works nicely though to give a subdued blue and manages to make a standard ink colour a little more interesting.

The brown-grey is my least favourite of the four mostly because it doesn't stand out against the other Vintage colours. Interestingly the grey element of this colour actually works well and really alters the brown colour nicely. Pairing this with the black would have been a mistake and perhaps darkened it too much, but the grey is distinctive and quite nice.

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The Red-black and Green-black sit somewhere in the middle. I like both and they feel very British reminding me a lot of Mini car colours. There is a vibrancy that you don’t get from the blue or brown inks. There is a hint of a teal shade in the green-black and the red is very bright.

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Overall thoughts.

The Zebra Sarasa Clip gel pen, especially in these Vintage colours, is my favourite gel pen to use. I often use these as an everyday pen and with my Travelers Notebook because you get a fine point. These pens are a great price too at £2.40 per pen. This is the higher end of a gel pen price but totally worth it for such a different and distinctive gel pen in a cool range of colours.

Uniball Jetstream 0.5 Review

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The Uniball Jetstream is usually the pen that is recommended to people when starting to look for a pen that’s ‘a little bit nicer’. There is good reason for this but in today’s post I thought I would dig into this pen a little more and give my thoughts.

Benefits of the Jetstream.

The Jetstream is an entry level pen, one that you could use everyday but you won’t cry if you lose or misplace it. The Jetstream is a rollerball with its big selling point being an ‘ultra-quick-drying hybrid gel ink’. To add to this the ink is waterproof and fade-proof. Essentially in this one entry level pen you’re getting a lot more than a standard pen which makes it incredibly versatile and a great recommendation to a budding pen addict.

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The Pen itself.

I bought my Jetstream from an actual shop, shocking I know, so I think I have the Sport version. It’s a lovely pastel purple colour with white accents. There is a clip, which I never use, and a nice soft grip section. Sometimes these can be overly padded and get in the way but the Jetstreams grip section is comfortable making it easy to use for long periods of writing time.

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Writing with the Jetstream.

I am not an everyday user of the Jetstream despite it’s many benefits. There are so many pens to use that the Jetstream rarely gets a look in. Mine has a 0.5mm refill which gives a very thin line, which looks much thinner than the 0.5 advertised. The ink is smooth and works really well on your nicer paper, such as the MD Paper in my writing sample below, but also standard printer paper.

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Overall thoughts.

I am a fan of Uniball pens as a whole. They always write well and feel good to use, the ink is smooth and dark and rarely skips or gives any glooping issues. The Jetstream is no different. It’s a great pen to have in your arsenal and despite my sporadic use it always works first time.

Sometimes it’s not about the expensive or finding the new thing to enjoy stationery or writing tools. Using the simple can be refreshing and enjoyable.

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Karas Pen Co: Reaktor Galaxie Review

The four different Galaxie designs

The four different Galaxie designs

Karas Pen Company sent me their latest pen releases to review here on the blog. Today we will be looking at their Galaxie range of pens, all thoughts of which are my own.

Karas Pen Co will be launching a new line of machined pens this summer called the Reaktor line which includes the Starliner fountain pen and the Galaxie ballpoint/rollerball pen. There is a lot to say about both so I am splitting out my reviews, with today’s focusing on the Galaxie range of pens.

What is the Reaktor Galaxie?

The concept, design and naming of the Reaktor line is influenced by Mid-century America, specifically space, and the themes that influenced almost all aspects of their culture. As with other Karas pens the design behind the pens are well considered and really add to the identity of the pen you’re using. It’s also interesting that there are quite a few stationery brands that have launched products with a space theme in recent months, so there is something of a trend here too.

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The Reaktor Galaxie pen comes in two sizes, a small pocket pen and an XL full length pen. They take two different refills, the pocket shipping with the Schmidt MegaLine P950 in medium, or the Parker style refill, and the XL with the Pilot G2. The difference in the refill compatibility needs to be considered when choosing the right pen for you, although its worth mentioning that Anna’s Epic Refill Guide should also be referenced to investigate what refill hacks can be performed. For the purposes of this review I am judging these pens based on how they arrive, straight out of the box.

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Galaxie Design.

The pens arrive in a small plastic container which I have been told is very close to the final packaging design. The colour of the packaging corresponds to the colour choice of your pen. I really like the packaging, it’s slim and lightweight, good for international customers, but it also keeps the pen secure.

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The pen design is typical of what you may know and expect from Karas Pen Co. There are four different options to choose from, full black, a tumbled aluminium finish and then two polished aluminium pens, one with a red anodised grip section, the second with a blue anodised grip section.

There are a few subtle differences between the two different sizes. The pocket Galaxie is clipless and the XL has the traditional Karas bolted on clip which regardless of the colour choice you go for is consistent across all pens.

Both sizes of the Galaxie have a distinctive cap design which looks like a cog, but actually takes inspiration from the hose fixtures found on space suits. This is also where the inspiration of the colour scheme comes from. The Galaxie pen is a click rather than screw cap meaning its very simple to flick off the cap.

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

Using the Galaxie.

I have been using these pens for some time now. I have a number of them on my desk which I have been using to write work notes, jot down quick additions to my planner. Initially I was drawn to the smaller version of the pen because of the size and it worked well with my pocket notebook use. Unposted the pen is too short and not particularly comfortable to use. When posted the length is much better and the weighting works well too. Usually I don’t post my pens, but this one needs it. The one issue I’ve found is that the cap did come lose I guess from the movement when I was writing and I had to nudge it back in place quite a lot.

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The Schmidt refill is not my favourite. It’s quite gloopy and I had quite a few false starts. As I mentioned the refills can be swapped out and I would definitely recommend this on the pocket Galaxie. With the XL the popular Pilot G2 works as you would expect.

In terms of colour choices I think the black anodised finish on these pens looks great. The colour options feel very American with the blue and red grip sections. I was surprised by the tumbled aluminium finish Galaxie, it looks a lot better in the flesh than I expected.

Overall thoughts.

I like the Galaxie pen and it’s nice to have another machined pen option for your refills. Personally I like the XL version a lot more, the size is more comfortable to use and there is a little more flexibility with the refill options. The smaller pocket Galaxie however is a great pocket pen choice. The bonus to all of this is the price point. The smaller version is $40 and the XL is $45. That’s great value for a machined pen and I am not sure there are many options in the market at these prices. There is a nice notebook which is available now with a really nice Reaktor logo on the cover.

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

I’d like to thank Karas Pen Company for sending me their latest pens to review here on the blog.

Baron Fig Mysterium Review

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Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Squire, Mysterium, to test and review here on the blog. All the thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.

The latest limited edition Baron Fig Squire is theMysterium, a vibrant and bright orange pen, always a popular choice.

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The Mysterium comes with a short story written by Harry Marks which can be found here. I was half expecting to receive a physical copy of this story with my pen but unfortunately not, this lives online only. The pen and story focuses on a space theme and what lies beyond our planet. The Mysterium sees a return to the aluminium pen body after a few trials with other materials and does so in style with a bright orange body and a geometric logo etched in white on one side.

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The orange body does present some small issues. If you really examine this up closely you can see some of the machined lines on the body. The Clicky Posthighlighted this in his post, so head over there for the full details, but the colour makes this all a little more visible. To be clear you really have to look closely at the pen.

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I have also found that with the lightweight body the refill does skip a little. This could definitely be a dodgy refill and nothing to do with the pen, however I noticed a similar issue with The Insightful Spectre limited edition that didn’t arise with the brass Key limited edition.

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Despite these small things I really like this limited edition. The colour is great and the Squire continues to be one of my go to rollerball pens and the pen I use the most when on the move. Honestly I am a little surprised that this limited edition is still available, I thought this would sell out super quick like the Experiment. So as it’s available I suggest you head on over and grab one of these pens while you can.

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Thanks for the guys at Baron Fig for sending me the Mysterium Squire to review here on The Finer Point.