Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Japanese Pens Are Good, These Mexican-Made Ones Are Terrible!
By Cap'n Stoob
I love Sarasa pens and have used them for years and years. When I lived in Japan, I tried all their styles and colors and really thought of them as a quality pen. They still are and Japanese-made Sarasa pens are a reliable workhorse of a pen that I can't ever get enough of. Imagine my surprise when a new type of rapid drying ink was available in 0.5mm (my favorite size) AND at such a low price! I ordered right away.
I noticed that these pens tout a 0.5mm line width but actually write out at about 0.7 to 0.8mm. To check and make sure, I wrote out the same sentences with these pens and older, Japanese-made Sarasa 0.5mm pens I still have. I also used 0.7mm Sarasa SE pens made in Japan to check. Sure enough, these pens are wider than advertised. They don't write as well as the Japanese made ones and with the line width, they are not as good to me for daily usage. Repeated calls to Zebra aren't being returned, but I will try to get a response from them. If not, then these are going back to Amazon.
The Mexico-made pens are of inferior quality. Most of Zebra's RDI Sarasa line you can find in stores, along with their cheap ballpoints, are made in Mexico and the poor quality really shows. I will only buy verified Japanese made Sarasas from now on and will never give another penny for such cheaply made pens.
A good alternative to these inferior pens are the Papermate 0.5mm gel pens. The bodies are made in China, but the refills themselves are from Japan. They are as smooth and as wonderful as the Japanese-made Sarasas and they aren't expensive.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
Twenty-two Years Teaching College, and Sarasa is my Favorite Pen by Far
I have taught 22 years at the college, and this is my all-time pen. I have tried tons, and this is absolute best one for me.
The ink comes out easy and fast, and it dries before my hand makes a smudge. This is not common with gel pens. The others ones I've tried have smeared. That is a key consideration.
When I use pens almost every day of the world, then I need a comfortable pen. This one is the right size for my hands (large - my finger length is at the size to palm a basketball though my ring size is 7.5). The black cushion really does make a huge difference and takes the major stress off my hands.
Another feature that is nice that the top part of the barrel is clear. I know when I'm getting close to empty on ink and can plan accordingly. It is no fun at all to be making grading notes and suddenly end up out of ink.
Sarasa also has a multi-color set which I love. The colors are pretty, and I can color code. For example, I can use a certain color for all run on sentences or sentence fragments so that students know where they need to do extra work.
It has been about five years since I have used any pen other than Sarasa. They honestly are THAT good. I use them at work and home. So, if you need a comfortable pen for lots of writing, then this one is thumbs up.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful. See all 86 customer reviews...
Similar to G2. Smoother but less water resistant
By G. Farnsworth
I like to stick with one brand/model of pen and carry it around with me everywhere so I like to do serious research before choosing one. The other two models that have been my favorites are the Pilot G2 and the Pilot V5. All of these are very fine pens and light years beyond what regular ball point pens can accomplish but the differences between the various pens are worth talking about.
The pilot V5 is a little different than either the G2 or Sarasa because it's a liquid ink pen, not a gel. The tip is a long sort of spike and it soaks into the paper in a way that gel ink does not. It can bleed a little bit but it also dries out much more quickly. Downsides are that it doesn't make as nice a mark on the page (more feathering), it is scratchy, and the tip is delicate and easily bent. The V5 is a very nice pen but I prefer the gel ink pens better.
Ok, so how does the Sarasa compare with the G2? Well, they are both outstanding writing utensils and almost identical in design. In fact, if you just glance at one you won't be able to tell which it is. Looking at the refills, they as close to identical as they could possibly be and still not be interchangeable. You can tell the G2 refill because the ink bleeds into the material they use to seal the back end. So it looks worse. Also there's a cap on the back of the G2 (though I don't think it's necessary) and there is not one on the Sarasa. Anyway, that stuff is all cosmetic. Let's get a little more detailed.
A few things that the G2 does a little better:
* The G2 has a very slightly better clip. It is stronger and more nicely curved. The Sarasa clip is bowed out and rests on a piece of plastic that sticks out. Neither of them have good clips, unfortunately, so I award points to neither.
* When you open the G2, the spring stays put. When you open the Sarasa, the spring pops out. I think Zebra wasn't really planning on people using refills much. This kind of makes sense because refills are actually more expensive for both the Sarasa and the G2 than buying new pens is. Crazy but true.
* The G2's grip is very, very slightly better. The G2's grip is very slightly more grippy and softer. Realistically, it's not much of a difference.
* The G2 unscrews in the middle, while the tip of the Sarasa unscrews. I'm not sure it really matters one way or the other but if I had to choose I'd say the G2's method is preferable.
* The G2 is easily available anywhere and everywhere. It may be the best selling gel pen in the US.
As you can see, these differences are exceptionally minor but all in favor of the G2. So why do I prefer the Sarasa?
The Sarasa has the following advantages:
* It writes just a little more smoothly. You can feel a difference when you go from one to the other. Both pens write nicely, but it really is true that the Sarasa is smoother.
* The Sarasa's ink dries a little quicker than that of the G2, though not as quickly as the V5 (I don't think).
* As of this writing the Sarasa is about HALF the price of the G2 in similar quantities (I order 12 at a time usually).
So there you have it. The things I prefer about the G2 just don't matter, and the things I like about the Sarasa kind of do. Writing is the name of the game here, not looks. The Sarasa writes a little better and it's way cheaper. It's a definite win.
One note: I have Pilot G2's in both medium (.7mm) and fine (.5mm) and there is a noticeable difference. The .5 is much finer (and scratchier). I also have the Sarasa in .7 and .5, but after writing with one and then the other and back again I can't tell which is which from the way they write. Both write like a .7mm pen and it looks the same on the page. In other words, if a .7mm pen is too fat for you, you will have to stick with the G2. Again I say, the .5 Sarasa writes a fat line, equal to the line of the .7 G2 and .7 Sarasa. I'm comfortable writing with .5 and .7 so it doesn't matter to me, but it might to you.
BTW you can put a Sarasa refill in a G2 body and it works but the pen sticks out too far. Putting a Sarasa refill in a G2 body doesn't work. I wouldn't mix it up if I were you.
Anyway, for the impatient readers out there, the Sarasa is just a little better than the G2 and much cheaper. It's the best pen (in terms of performance) I know of. The physical design is ok but not great. On par with the G2
=========== EDIT: FOUND A MAJOR PROBLEM =================
I found a problem with this product. I did some more testing, specifically for water resistance. I wrote on the paper with various pens and then dripped water on the paper:
- Pilot G2-05 -- Ink remains fast
- Pilot G2-07 -- Ink remains fast
- Pilot V5 -- Ink remains fast
- Sarasa .7 -- Ink remains fast
- Sarasa .5 -- Ink SMEARS AND BLEEDS ALL OVER AND IS QUICKLY UNREADABLE
I have no idea why the .7 is water resistant and the .5 is not. The difference is very dramatic. My .7 is older so either they have changed the ink formula or the formula they use in the .5 is inferior. Anyway, this product is the .5, so I HEREBY RETRACT MY RECOMMENDATION. Get the Pilot G2 instead for the superior ink. With the Sarasa .5 the first rainy day will erase everything you have written.
These pens were a waste of money and I regret buying them.