At Christmas I received a purple Zebra Zensations fountain pen and have enjoyed writing with it for the past four months. So when, as part of a prize from Life Imitates Doodles, I got a full set of Zebra fountain pens I was very excited. I have discussed other Zebra products before, namely the retractable ballpoint Z-Grip. It’s a Japanese company but seems to do a lot of its manufacturing in China, where these fountain pens were made. Zebra has a whole line of Zensations products marketed under the slogan, “open your mind, and let the creativity flow”. I decided to take their slogan to heart and not just think of fountain pens for writing but to sketch with too. I quickly drew some flowers on a YouTangle card and used a bit of water on them to smudge the line. It worked alright but there are better tools to sketch with.
Where Zebra fountain pens excel are with handwriting. The pens are tipped with nice stainless-steel nibs but do not have a cartridge or method of refilling so when the ink runs out they will have to be discarded. I know there are people on the information super-highway that have come up with hacks to refill pens like these but I’m not sure it is worth the effort. The ink itself is a water-based dye ink and the full set includes black, blue, purple, red, green, teal, and pink. Most of the colours are very vibrant except for the red and black which are a bit dull in comparison. The ink dries quickly with no bleed through or feathering on any of the paper I tried them on.
Aside from the nib, all of the parts are plastic but have a sturdy feel, even the clip on the cap. They write very smoothly but the line is fairly uniform so lacks some character. The plastic packaging the pens came in have a fold over top so you can use it like a stand.
If a Zebra fountain pen was a person, they would be solidly built and, although thrifty, have an elegant dignity.