Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multi-pen Review

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multi-pen

- Handwritten Review -

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Specs:

  • Description: A high quality, metal constructed multi-pen that I have been drooling over for years.
  • Refills: One mechanical pencil and two pen refills, see them all here!
  • Weight: ~22 grams
  • Body: All metal construction
  • Measurements: 5.270″ long, 0.360″ diameter
  • Color Options: Black, Silver, Champagne Gold, Cobalt Blue, Azure Blue (Check them all out at JetPens!)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

I have been wanting a Sharbo for the longest time, thanks to my friends over at JetPens for finally making that happen. The Sharbo LT3 is a multi-pen that accepts D1 style refills – two of them actually AND a pencil. I used to be absolutely obsessed with multi-pens as a kid, and I’m definitely reliving the fun now. This one is slightly more grown up than the huge, 16-color shiny blue and purple one I had as a kid. I opted for the matte black body, a black 0.4mm gel refill, a maroon 0.4mm gel refill and a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. The Sharbo has a premium metal body, an eraser, and a twist-action mechanism to change refills. Read on to see how the Sharbo worked for me. Huge thanks again JetPens for sending over the pencil and lead for review!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. Stop by!

Appearance and Construction:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThe Sharbo LT3 is a slimmer pen, made almost entirely of metal. The threads when the body is opened are high quality and made of metal. The spring loaded clip is sturdy and solidly attached. The matte black finish has no blemishes and looks great. The Sharbo LT3 body is $49.50 and feels like it should be priced as such. I have no doubt that the LT3 will hold up for years to come. The pen has 3 positions, labeled with subtle hashmarks (I, II, III). I wish there was a fourth “OFF” position, but after carrying it around for a few days I haven’t found the pen opened up accidentally in my pocket.

Feel:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThe LT3 is a nice feeling pen. It’s relatively slim ad nicely weighted. It has a premium feel, I especially like the solid yet silent click when the selected refill locks into place. The refills fit perfectly into the tip of the pen with no discernible wiggle while writing, providing a comfortable writing experience. When the pencil mechanism is selected, the entire bottom of the pencil acts as the knock, clicking to advance the lead. The finish is smooth, but not slippery – the matte finish provides a tiny bit of welcomed tactile feedback. The pen is thinner than I expected, but it’s not uncomfortable. There’s another model of the pen (the ST3) that is slightly wider, but does not have all-metal construction that may be up your alley if you do not like thin pens.

Writing Performance:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensI REALLY like Zebra’s gel ink pens. The 0.4mm gel refills I opted for lay down a smooth, sharp line. I have heard that they don’t last too long though – which I believe when seeing how small the refills are. Upkeep can be spendy, as the refills are $2.75 each. I like them quite a bit, so I can look past the price. I especially like how the refills lay down a fine line with a conical tip. It provides a sturdy writing experience, moreso than a Hi-Tec-C would. I think the Zebra refills are smoother as well. The D1 refills come from Zebra in many different colors and line widths – there’s a ton of ways to customize a Sharbo. The pencil component works well too. I may be slightly spoiled by my ever-rotating Uni Kuru Toga, but the Sharbo’s pencil gets the job done.

Pros:

  • Multi-pens are cool
  • Premium fit and finish
  • Zebra gel refills are some of the best I’ve tried
  • Great feel when selecting refills

Cons:

  • Refills run out quickly and aren’t cheap to replace
  • Pen may be too thin for some

Conclusion:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensZebra’s Sharbo X LT3 is a high quality multi-pen that writes great, looks great, and has a very premium feel. The pen doesn’t come cheap at $49.50, but I think it’s worth it. The pen comes in a modern looking presentation box, making a nice presentation for the pen enthusiast in your life. If the refills were a bit cheaper, the pen and Sharbo system would be perfect.

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Gallery:

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

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[Guest Post] The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Today we have another guest post by Susan Pigott. You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Enjoy!

Review Ink: Caran d’Ache Delicate Green and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao

 

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Specs:

Description:  The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition fountain pen is a frosted, translucent, faceted demonstrator pen with a rose gold plated nib and accents.

Nib:  Fine,14K, rose gold plated

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: .7 oz. (19.9 grams)

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: None

 

Handwritten Review Photos:

 

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Intro/About:

 

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I am not usually one who is interested in clear demonstrator pens. I’ve always felt they were plasticky-looking and sort of silly. Why get a clear pen (and even pay more for it) when you can get a pretty color? But when I saw pictures of the Platinum 3776 Century Nice, I loved it. Somehow the rose gold plated nib and accents on the pen won me over. So, I ordered one from Classic Pens and it arrived yesterday. My Platinum Nice is one of the first 2,000 produced, so it comes with a limited edition number etched on the cap. Mine is 121 out of 2,000.

Appearance & Packaging:

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The packaging is nothing spectacular, but it suits the pen. It comes in a cream-colored oval box with a satin-like interior. It’s understated, like the pen. One cartridge of ink and a Platinum converter are included with the pen, along with a registration form, instruction booklet, and information about the Nice.

I was surprised to discover that the pen isn’t clear. It is faceted and has a frosted appearance. I really love this look. The facets give the pen more character than a smooth-bodied pen has, and they add a wonderful elegant shimmer to what might otherwise be a dull finish. The rose gold is simply gorgeous on the pen. I’ve seen it on other pens, such as the 90th anniversary MB. Personally, I don’t like rose gold with a black pen. It just doesn’t work for me. But because the Nice is a neutral color, the rose gold really stands out.

 

Nib Performance & Filling Mechanism:

 

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Initially, I was disappointed with my new Platinum fine nib–and that’s a first for a pen bought from Classic Pens. I filled the pen with Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green ink because I knew the green color of the ink would look outstanding with the rose gold (and it did). But when I started writing with the pen, I immediately thought, “I’m going to have to return this and get it tuned again or exchange the fine nib for a medium.” The ink flow was poor, the nib felt dry, and I could barely see the green on the paper. I know Classic Pens tunes their nibs before they ship them, but I thought maybe the nib had some factory oil or something that was making it write poorly. So, I dumped the ink, rinsed the nib, used some pen wash to flush the nib, and rinsed some more. I refilled: same thing–dry, scratchy, stuttering across the paper. I was not happy. This was not at all the experience I’ve had with my other Platinum Century pen. So, I decided to change the ink. I cleaned the pen again and put Iroshizuku Asa-Gao in the Nice. What a difference this made in the performance of the nib! I know that some inks work well with certain nibs and others don’t. Apparently Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green is not good for my Platinum Nice. With Asa-Gao, it writes like a dream. Of course, since a Japanese fine is like a Western extra-fine, the nib has some scratchiness to it. But this is to be expected, and for such a fine line, it writes beautifully. Plus, one thing I love about Platinum nibs is their springiness. They aren’t nails; they don’t flex; but they offer a nice, bouncy feedback as you write.

 

The filling mechanism on Platinum pens is a cartridge/converter system. I never use cartridges (except on my Kaweco), so I knew I would be using the converter. The converter is tiny, holding only .55 ml. But it has a solid feel to it. I find it easiest to fill the converter directly with ink (rather than trying to fill it through the nib). I get my fingers pretty inky this way, but I always get a better fill. I much prefer piston fillers, but Nakaya and Platinum nibs are so wonderful that I’m willing to put up with the dinky amount of ink the converter holds. One advantage to cartridge/converter pens: they are easy to clean.

 

Feel:

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The Platinum Nice is a light pen, weighing in at only .7 ounces (19.9 grams) unfilled. I enjoy writing with both light and heavy pens, but I’ve found that my hand tends to last longer with a lighter pen. The Nice writes well unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens. Posting gives it a little more heft, but the weight is on the back of the pen, so it might feel a bit unbalanced. It’s a good length unposted and fits comfortably in my hand. I wrote four pages in my handwritten review without any fatigue at all using this pen. Plus, I have a Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres blue that I’ve been using for a couple of years as my main grading pen (I’m a professor). It’s my main grading pen for a reason: excellent nib and comfortable writing. The Nice will make a nice companion grading pen with a different color of ink. Unfortunately, I won’t be using the Caran d’ Ache as I planned. Guess I’ll just have to get another bottle of Iroshizuku in green!

Pros:

 

  • Beautiful, understated, elegant pen. The rose gold complements the frosted body of the pen perfectly.
  • Excellent nib; bouncy, fairly smooth (with the right ink), and gorgeous.
  • Light and comfortable to write with.
  • Special cap with “slip and seal” technology allows you to keep the pen inked for long periods of time.
  • This is a wonderful daily carry pen. It’s pocketable with a clip; the cap is secure and air-tight; it writes beautifully.

 

Cons:

  • The converter does not hold much ink, so if you use this pen often, as I do, plan on refilling often. In fact, I now store bottle of inks at work so I always have refills available.
  • Fairly expensive for what amounts to a frosted plastic pen (with 14K accents and nib) ($250 retail; $200 at Classic Pens). Still, this is an affordable limited edition pen, especially if you get one of the first 2,000 that are numbered.
  • Plan on getting a medium or broad if you don’t like super narrow nibs. The Platinum fine nib is pretty smooth for what amounts to a Western EF, but you do get a little scratchiness simply because that’s the nature of EF nibs.

 

Conclusion:

 

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I am thrilled with my Platinum 3776 Century Nice fountain pen. It is more beautiful in person than I expected. I love the facets and frosted look of the pen body. And the rose gold is simply lovely. The pen feels solid in my hand, not plasticky. And, once I got the ink problem figured out, it writes like a charm. I realize some might think me crazy for using expensive fountain pens as grading pens. But fountain pens make me happy, and that makes the horrible chore of grading a little less loathsome. A little.

Gallery:

 

 

 

Pilot 74 Edited 5

[Guest Post] Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
Handwritten Review

This is the first guest post by Blake S. You can find Blake on Twitter and Instagram by the name @penjonesing. I love his photography and review style and want to thank him for answering my call for guest posters. I had the pleasure of meeting Blake at the Miami Pen show and was excited when he offered to do some guest posting. Let Blake know how he did in the comments!

Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai
Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Dot Pad

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Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro:

My first real fountain pen purchase was from Goulet Pens. I also watched hours of Brian Goulet’s videos. He always praised, and still does, the Pilot Custom 74 with medium nib. I purchased this pen about 2 years ago along with a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

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Appearance and Packaging:

The Custom 74 comes in a decent, matte black, Pilot branded clamshell box. The inside is really fake velvet lined and has a “Secret” compartment that houses a CON-70 converter and the pen’s paperwork. I opted for the clear smoke color with rhodium trim. It’s definitely a looker and strikes a nice balance between professional and fun. The pen boasts several rhodium trim rings, including a Mont Blanc-ish cap band that reads “Pilot Custom 74 – Made in Japan”. The clip is also rhodium and reads Pilot vertically. The clip has a ball at the end, which is a little different, but I like it. It’s a pretty firm, tight clip. I wear my pens horizontally on my shirt placket, under a tie, so it works well for me, especially on thin shirts.

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Nib Performance:

My smoothest nib, bar none. I’ve owned a couple (German) $1,000 MSRP fountain pens and neither of them came close to this pen. It glides across even cheap paper and is my perfect round nib width. It has a beautiful spring to it which I don’t experience much with other 14K nibs.

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Filling Mechanism:

The Custom 74 is a cartridge/converter filled pen. The included CON-70 converter is high quality and decent capacity. It fills by push button vs. twist/screw mechanism, which is also cool.

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Feel:

This pen is pretty light, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While its length makes it comfortable to hold posted or unposted, I prefer posted for the added weight. I could stand for the grip section to be a bit larger as I have larger hands, but that’s personal preference.

Pros:

  • Classic, but fun design
  • The nib smoothness
  • Cool converter type

Cons:

  • Could be a bit wider

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Conclusion:

My first gold-nibbed Pilot and a great one. The 74 has me considering a Fermo and Custom 912. I’m also looking to pick up a Sailor pen to settle the best Japanese nib debate!

Gallery:

DC Pen Show 2014 2

I’ll be at the DC Pen Show this Friday – Sunday!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to throw it out there that I will be at the DC Pen Show this Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Premiere in Tyson’s Corner. For more information about the show, check out their website here:

The Washington DC Pen Show

I’ll be working at the Kenro table all weekend, as well as walking the show. Please make sure to come by, introduce yourself and say hello! I look forward to seeing more familiar faces out there and meeting new ones.

See you there!

DC Pen Show 2014 1
**bonus picture of Fahrney’s in downtown DC**

A pen blog, focusing on high quality reivews of fountain pens, ink, mechanical pencils, and stationery.

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