Tombow Pfit Clip Mini Ballpoint Pen – Orange Clip – Sharbo X Blood Red Refill

28 02 2014
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Featuring a Zebra Sharbo X 0.4mm Blood Red Gel Refill ordered back in 2010

Thanks to an incurable case of pen-ADD, I’ve got a lot of cool pens ordered in a fit of JetPens mania, played with for a while, and then forgotten about before getting a chance to do a review—and I’m working on that! The Tombow Pfit is now benefiting from my renewed attention.

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Apparently, the clip features a flat surface so it can be decorated with stickers or jewels if desired. Clearly I’ve been owning this pen all wrong. Someone hand me some adhesive decoratives.

It looks like a full-sized pen cut in half with a bright clip streamlined into the side of it. The grip-like grey section is more for looks than function, as it doesn’t seem to line up much with my grip. Overall in the looks department it fits in comfortably with other trendy hip little Japanese pens.

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Pfit probably stands for “petite fit” but I will also accept “possible fit” “panther fit” and “propane-based fit” as potentially fitting answers

The clip has good clippability to it. It clips to the hard cover of my notebook, onto my lanyard, on a pocket, onto a bunch of pages (maybe not all of those at the same time) without looking too bulky.

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And you can hook it on a little lanyard loop! In case you need to lash it to one thing and clip it to another and thus hold together the very fabric of your office

The cool thing about the clip is that to retract the pen, you open the clip. The pen can’t be deployed when you’ve got it clipped on a pocket, because the clip is slightly open. It’s a fun mechanism to play with—push the knock to deploy, open the clip to retract, and repeat until someone smacks the Pfit out of your hands.

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Who even knows what I did with the old refill, probably bartered it to a wizard for candy

Originally, the Pfit came with some kind of 0.7mm standard ballpoint, probably similar to the Tombow OnBook. But I went on a Sharbo X refill kick (that’s what happens when you don’t just suck it up and buy something that you want) for all my mini pens that would take one, and have long since outfitted the Tombow Pfit with a Blood Red 0.4mm Sharbo X gel refill, which is still writing years after I put it in. The lines get a bit anemic in the middle sometimes, but that’s my only complaint in the writing department, and how much that issue might be due to age I can’t be sure.

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No longer available in orange!

The Pfit is a fun little pen, and would make a nice out-and-about accessory for office life or a cute little gift for others. The orange clip Pfit is no longer sold at JetPens, but they do still have some jewel-tone clips available!

Tombow Pfit Clip Mini Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm at JetPens

Zebra Sharbo X Gel Ink Pen Refill Component D1 – 0.4mm – Blood Red at JetPens





Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm – Black Body – Black Ink

9 11 2011

Are ballpoint pens the very best pens for sketching? I would suggest a hearty MAYBE!

Final goody from my most recently received bequeathment of complimentary pen-based joy from JetPens. Thanks again to Brad and JetPens! Now, let’s look at this little bugger.

And while we're at it, let's look at this dirty penny.

The nomenclaturally uninspired Zebra SL-F1 is a wonderfully, conveniently small pen. I’ve been keeping mine in a little zipper pouch/boombox (I will save that awesome item and its mini-arsenal for another post) that I keep on my keychain (because, like most people, I lose my keys unless there is a small boombox attached to them). It has a nice little weight to it, with the metal it’s packing, but isn’t actually that weighty, being so small.

Too bad this doesn't extend via high-powered spring-button, like an umbrella. That would be violent/awesome.

Fully extended, it ends up being slightly shorter than Zebra’s Telescopic (at least, as far as I can recall, since all of my Zebra Telescopic pens have buried themselves in the pen hordes and do not wish to be found at this time), and the barrel is definitely slimmer than the Telescopic / a standard pen.

Please ignore my terrible hand. Wait, did I say that was my hand? I mean please ignore the terrible hand of this random stranger, whom I paid in cheap ballpoints to be my hand model.

For me, even though it’s on the short side, it’s still long enough to be comfortable. I tend not to prefer thin pens, especially for extended writing, but for note-jotting (which I think is the primary niche a pen like this fills), it’s fine. If you have very big hands / are the ghost of André the Giant, then this pen might be too short for you.

Pause: can we take a moment to admire the matte finish? And the shiny accents? I'm pretty sure this is a textbook example of the scientific formula for classiness.

Maybe it is just hallucination on my part, but I think the refill that came in the SL-F1 has been the best so far in terms of all of Zebra’s mini pens I’ve tried. It takes the standard mini refill size that all other Zebra mini pens, Zebra Sharbo X multipens, Tombow Pfit, Marvy Petite pens, aaaand many others that I don’t own yet to have a chance to confirm if the refills are the same. I appreciate this refill size standardization, especially since the only refills JetPens lists on the same page as the SL-F1 are Black, Blue, Red, and Green 0.7mm ballpoints. I don’t want my wee pocket pens confined by conformist notions of color and line thickness and ink type. I WILL WRITE WITH WHAT I WANT!

And what I want is this

Back to the refill it comes with; I found it to be of decent smoothness, minimal blobbing in the sketches, almost no blobbing in the writing, and overall consistent. Another gold-star standard of what I think all typical pens should achieve.

The allure of a miniature pen at sunset on a leather notebook on top of the trunk of my car in the parking lot at work.

This is a good pen for keeping handy. As I mentioned, it now comes everywhere with me, [inside of something that is] attached to my keys, ever-ready. Should I need a pen, and find myself desperately trying to remember if I’m carrying anything that is not a fountain pen (which is now my standard reaction to “Can I borrow a pen?”), I know I’ve got this one stored for easy access. Plus, it looks attractive (/doesn’t look like a Doric column). It perfectly fills a niche for small, attractive, inexpensive, and accessible pens.

Once more, my thanks to Brad and JetPens! :)
Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm – Black Body – Black Ink at JetPens





Zebra Tele-Scopic Ball Point Pen

11 05 2011

I almost, ALMOST got the purple toned right on this. Almost.

I picked this up out of curiosity during some trip to one of the big box office supply stores. I forget which one. Do they really carry selections so different from one another? No.

It is a mini pen! Wait noo it is a full-sized pen! WAIT BOTH!

The design seems evocative of, oh I don’t know, accountants and banking. Very sleek, you know, with the silver barrel looking like some kind of architectural column. Or like the legs of a robot’s pinstriped pants. Then there’s the dark, slick upper barrel looking like the soulless depths of some fat cat’s black obsidian desk…this metaphor is going to get away from me soon, so I’ll just drop it.

There’s a lot of metal in this pen, so it has a nice weight to it. Not super heavy, but good to hold. The size of the pen when compact is small enough to easily tuck into a pocket or clip unobtrusively to the side of a checkbook (or something like a checkbook, but not as obsolete), and when extended is the size of a regular ballpoint pen. Of course, if the size of a regular ballpoint pen isn’t your thing, then this is the pen for you. The silver barrel only needs to be pulled about 6 millimeters out for the tip of the refill inside to be fully exposed and ready to write, so you can extend the pen to any length between full extension and tip barely poking out for the pen to work. There’s nothing to snap or lock in place, just telescope it out as far as you like and then write (should I say telescope? It’s really only a two piece telescope, if we want to pretend it’s a telescope. I’m sorry, it’s not a telescope, it’s just telescopic. Moving on).

The writing core poking out of its protective sheath

The ballpoint pen refill that the pen comes with is not particularly exciting. I had a lot fewer globbing problems with this ballpoint than with most ballpoints, but I think that’s because each individual line it lays down involves far less ink than is standard. If you look at the writing sample closely, you’ll note how most of the marks, especially single-pass marks, have a sort of grainy quality to them; this is because the surface of the page is not 100% smooth, and ink isn’t getting in the minuscule texture valleys of the paper. It gives the pen some good sketching potential, with easier control over lighter ranges of shading, but for writing, whatever.

What you should get excited about with this pen is that you can put Zebra’s Sharbo X refills in it. Ballpoint AND gel. I was first clued in to this Zebra trick in The Pen Addict’s review of the Zebra Penpod mini keychain pen, and I thought when I took this Tele-Scopic apart, I wonder if the same will work here too…

Just put it back together like this, only do not bring the barrel in at that angle. That should actually go on the left. The other way is just wrong.

I was very excited to find that this actually works, especially since I am in the “kind-of-want-but-can’t-pay-that-much-money-for-it” camp regarding the Sharbo X. Now I can have 1/3 of the Sharbo X multipen writing experience, instead of what I had before, which was a bunch of refills I couldn’t use because the Penpod is nearly impossible to write with comfortably. But that’s another review.

So you’ve got a simple, classy, inexpensive, compact-for-travel-full-size-for-writing pen body AND the option of oodles of refills. I can’t find much to complain about here.

Moving on to the finer points in life...

I can’t find a link online to this pen on any of the big box websites (neither Staples, Office Max, nor Office Depot), but I know I got mine from one of those, and it came in a two pack. Here’s the info, but no point of sale, on the Zebra website. I trust you guys can figure it out. Also, I’m not sure if this is in the stores or not, but Zebra’s Tele-Scopic line also has a series with brightly colored upper barrels, if the slick-black business pen look isn’t for you. Once you’ve got your pen body of choice, load it up with some Sharbo X Gel Ink refills or some Sharbo X ballpoint refills from JetPens, and you will be cooking with the metaphorical dynamite of excitement that is pen modification.

Get a red barrel for a more convincing simulacrum of dynamite when wielding metaphors