Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zebra Zeb-Roller 0.5mm Black

I haven't acquired any new pens in a shamefully long time, so I recently did what any self-respecting pen fanatic reviewer would do: I started looking around the house for any older pens that I hadn't reviewed before.  I found this pen, the Zebra Zeb-Roller, in my mom's pencil cup.  It's not the kind of pen she typically uses, so I think she likely found it at work and brought it home.  I also suspect that it's been around a while, and I'm not sure whether Zebra still makes this particular model or if it's still available anywhere.  I haven't been able to find one quite like this on the Internet, which disappoints me, because if Zebra does not still make this pen, they should.  The Zebra Zeb-Roller is an excellent pen with an understated, basic design.

The Zebra Zeb-Roller is a needlepoint, 0.5mm rollerball pen, rather similar to the Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint (or the Pilot Precise V5, as it's also known).  Writing with the Zeb-Roller is, however, a more tactile and, ultimately, a more enjoyable experience.  It's hard to describe.  The pen writes very smoothly, but it makes a slight scratchy sound on the paper.  But scratchy in a good way, not in a bad way.  You know that scritchy sound that Sharpie markers make on paper when you write with them?  Well, this is kind of like that.  But different.  Like I said, I can't describe it.  (And I probably have you all utterly confused by now.)  But I like it.  It's just some magical quality about this pen that automatically makes me like it.

The black ink is, well, black.  It feathers and bleeds through a bit on "ordinary" paper, but performs nicely on higher quality papers, writing with a nice crisp dark line:

As far as appearance goes, the Zebra Zeb-Roller is as basic as they get.  Cylindrical barrel, basic lid with a functional metal clip, no grip.  Absolutely no markings on the barrel other than the name of the pen.  But again, I kind of like it.  For no particular reason.  Maybe it's the minimalism of it.  Or maybe it's just refreshing to see a pen that's just a pen.  It's not trying to be eye-catching, cute, flashy, feminine, masculine, ergonomic, stylish, sophisticated, or anything else.  It's just a pen.  And it gets the job done.

Frankly, it's even hard to write a review of this pen.  There's nothing about it that screams out at you, either good or bad.  Writing with it, the pen itself just fades into the background.  It's just your hand, on the page, writing.  I like it.

If you know anything more about the Zeb-Roller (such as whether or not you can still buy it anywhere, or when it was made), I'd appreciate you letting me know.  And on the off-chance that anyone from Zebra is reading this, it would be great to see this pen back in circulation.  Would it be able to compete with all of the other pens that are available today?  I really don't know.  Regardless, watch for any of these pens that you may stumble across in your travels.  The Zebra Zeb-Roller is solid basic rollerball pen and I do recommend it.



    Here it is - in a slightly updated design. I've been using the Zeb Roller DX5 for about a year now and I find it much smoother than the old Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5.

    Looking around the internet there is hardly anything about this pen - which is a pity, but then again it means all the more Zeb-Rollers for me!

    1. Thanks for that, Rob! I think I prefer the old design - its more minimalist, understated nature appeals to me - but I'm glad to hear that the pen itself still writes well. I also would agree that the Zeb-Roller is a bit smoother than the Pilot, and it certainly offers a different feel to the writing.

  2. Thanks so much everyone! I completely agree! That pen, OMG! I have never found anything like it! I too hope they will put it back into circulation. It is very smooth and easy to write with but also enjoyable! It feels like I am writing with a fountain pen that has been modernized.
    I've sent a message to the Zebra pen company themselves. Maybe if enough of us do, then we can get this pen back in circulation!? I even bought out the last bit of what the stores nearby had of them when they were being discontinued!
    Rob, I ordered the pens from that link! I sooo hope they are wonderful! They look pretty good!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jennifer! I hope you are not disappointed with the pens that you bought. The pen I reviewed in this post is starting to run out of ink now, so I may have to start looking for replacements as well!

  3. Hi! OMG im glad Im not the only one ... was thinking I was crazy in my obsessiveness looking for that exact pen.

    Any chance they have producing them again?


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