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