Uni-ball Signo 207 Battle – Blue Ink

19 09 2013
Do not believe the faint refrains of advertising media; bolder is NOT better

Do not believe the faint refrains of advertising media; bolder is NOT better

First, a disclaimer: I only bought the bold (1.0mm) and micro (0.5mm) Uni Signo 207 gel pens new, because I already had a regular/medium (0.7mm) and an ultra micro (0.38mm) in blue in my horde. As much as I love wasting money, I decided to cheapskate it this time and so, if any incorrect conclusions are drawn because half of these pens aren’t brand-spanking-new, I apologize. Please lodge any complaints with Uni-ball, since in spite of my undying love for their Jetstream, they have not yet seen fit to shower me with freebies.

The most straightforward, boring picture of the lot. My apologies.

The most straightforward, boring picture of the lot. My apologies.

Overall, the Signo 207s are virtually identical except for two overt things: the iconic clip—

You'd be able to recognize that clip even on your grandmother's old black-and-white notebook-sized television

You’d be able to recognize that clip even on your grandmother’s old black-and-white suitcase-sized television

And the color of the labels printed on the clip and the barrel.

 Why pretty silver for the big bad 0.7 and 1.0mm pens? Why the slightly less attractive gold for the more lovely-writing 0.38mm and 0.5mm?

Why pretty silver for the big bad 0.7 and 1.0mm pens? Why the slightly less attractive gold for the more lovely-writing 0.38mm and 0.5mm?

As far as the design goes, I’m keen on everything except the grip. It’s not a mind-bendingly beautiful look, but it doesn’t need to be. They look slick, and they make the pen cup they’re in look put together. Professional yet disposable (though they are refillable, most casual pen users will likely toss them once they’re empty). My big beef is with the grip. I do not like all the little raised ovals.

Little ovals of sheer annoyance

Little ovals of sheer annoyance

It has been well established that I simply cannot learn the ideal tripod grip. I constantly revert to my ill-advised multi-finger ergonomically-challenged grasping. The little ovals get pressed into the base of my thumb, which gets annoying over time. The Premier 207 body with its Alpha Gel grip doesn’t have this problem, but this isn’t a review of that pen.

IT IS SO AMAZING UNLESS YOU ARE COLORBLIND OR FOR SOME REASON HAVE A BLACK AND WHITE COMPUTER MONITOR

IT IS SO AMAZING UNLESS YOU ARE COLORBLIND OR FOR SOME REASON HAVE A BLACK AND WHITE COMPUTER MONITOR

I almost forgot the secret bonus difference—like the G2s, it appears the tip of each different size of Signo 207 gets its own color.

Shout out to this nose cone design! Do like. Goes well with the clip.

Shout out to this nose cone design! Do like. Goes well with the clip.

So how do they all write? Doing my best to ignore the discomfort wrought unto me by these cursed little ovals, the ink flow on all these pens seems good. No problems with skipping or the pens not writing. Looking very closely, you can see a problem with uniformity of line.

Choo-choo all aboard the almost-railroading express

Choo-choo all aboard the almost-railroading express

The ink deposits thicker on the sides, thinner in the middle. It never gets to the point of full railroading, but it worries me.

Top: biggest vs. smallest. Bottom row: ultra micro vs.  micro, micro vs. medium, medium vs. bold

Top: smallest vs. biggest. Bottom row: ultra micro vs. micro, micro vs. medium, medium vs. bold

The ultra micro is thin and crisp, but there is an occasional odd feeling at the tip—it’s rare, but it’s there. It’s not scratchy…I don’t quite know how to put it. The micro strikes the right balance that the ultra micro falls just short of—the micro isn’t as thin, but there’s no weirdness to it when writing. It’s smooth, without having a large tip (which leads to messy-looking handwriting for yours truly). The 0.7 is smooth, but we’ve crossed the threshold—my handwriting doesn’t look as nice. And the bold? Now we’re totally off the rails. This pen requires DRY TIME, especially on smooth paper. And it looks SO. MESSY. No thanks.

I like Uni Signos, but the 207 isn’t my favorite in the Signo line. It doesn’t write as nicely as other models I’ve tried. But as far as the 207 goes, the 0.5mm micro Signo is the best of the bunch.

Available basically everywhere, including but not limited to office supply stores, corporate leviathans, select gas stations, the inside coat pocket of a shady individual hawking last minute back to school deals sometime in August, and multiple sources online.

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Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Ink Pen – 0.3 mm in Blue-Black and Purple

11 02 2011

Look at all this delicate lineage. Not hereditary lineage, I mean...actual...lines. Lineination. Linetasticality.

I figured it was high time to get back to basics, basics being defined as metaphorically chewing your ear off (typing your eyeballs off?) with tales of pens I absolutely love. Why, hello there, Zebra Sarasa Push Clip; I do believe you qualify for this.

This week, reality has decided that the best way to nearly accurately represent the color of the pens is for the paper to look...pink. Fine. We'll say it's a premature salute to a silly holiday. That holiday being known as Pinksgiving Dayween.

The Push Clip gel pen is one of the cheaper gel pens JetPens offers, but don’t be put off by affordability–this is a great pen. The body is a lightweight plastic with a rubber grip–pretty no frills in this department. I haven’t been able to beat these up long enough to give you an idea of what kind of durability this plastic holds, but c’mon. This pen costs $1.50. It could break after a month and I’d still feel like I was getting my money’s worth (for the record, I’ve had these about a month, but they do not seem on any kind of course toward breaking).

WILD CLIPPING ACTION

This pen has two big draws for me, the first being a dead giveaway in the name–the clip.

I don't actually recommend doing this.

I normally don’t use pen clips because I’m afraid I’ll break them. They always seem so fragile and plasticky. The exception to this is clips with hinges, like the Push Clip here–these pens are made for clipping. And that, my friend, is just what I do with them. I clip them on my books, my fingers, my face, my wallet, whatever. I’m sure I’ll eventually break one of these clips trying to push the boundaries of just what I can and can’t clip these pens onto, but the pen will still be useful, and if I really want the clip it’s not much coin off my purse to get another one.

The second stand-out feature of this pen is just what you’d expect from a pen–how it writes. This 0.3mm gel pen writes thin, but never feels scratchy. It isn’t jetstream-butter-smooth, but I’ve never felt my writing performance hindered by the fact that this pen is an 0.3mm rather than, say, an 0.5mm.

No stabbing, no blobbing, and no roughhouse mobbing.

I love using this pen, for writing and sketching. When I write, my handwriting looks almost halfway decent, and the thinness of line is excellent for sketching, shading, doodling, and just generally making marks on the page. I’ve never had the ink skip or blob or call me bad names. I especially like the use of the ^ shape for the tip of the pen, rather than a | shape. This is just a personal preference (/accidentally stabbed myself with a Hi-Tec-C-once); there are certainly uses for needle-tipped fineline pens. Uses which I will surely expound upon when I’m reviewing a needle-tipped pen. The main thing I like about the ^ shape is that it feels sturdier, like I can use this as a workhorse kind of pen. I have no problem quickly jotting things down with this pen–nothing in the micro-tip construction slows down the writing process. I feel like this can be a problem with some micro-tip pens, but it’s not a problem here.

The ink comes in very rich colors that accurately match the accents on the pen itself (though I would disagree with Zebra; this is more of a fuchsia or heliotrope than a purple). The plunger makes a very satisfying click. Nothing rattles when I write. I…I’m trying, really I am, but I can’t think of anything I don’t like about these two pens. If you like pens of 0.5mm and below, and don’t already own a Zebra Sarasa Push Clip, you really need to evaluate your life, and fix this situation.

CUE DRAMATIC ITALIAN LOVE SONGS TO THE SWEET WASHING MELODIES OF HEIRLOOM ACCORDIONS.


Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Ink Pen – 0.3 mm – Purple at JetPens

Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Ink Pen – 0.3 mm – Blue Black at JetPens