The Pen Snob: Sarasa Clip Review
Although they were never on my pen-loving radar, Zebra Sarasa Clip gel pens are a cult favorite among the color-coding sects of planner addicts. Because we like planners (a lot) around here, I gave them a shot and ran them through the Pen Snob wringer.
If you didn’t read my first Pen Snob review, here’s what you need to know about me: I’ve always liked good pens, but lately I’ve become a bit…intense about it. What can I say? I know what I like. Which happens to be 0.5mm gel pens.
It took a few days, but eventually they started to grow on me. They’ve worked their way into my everyday carry rotation, a position previously held only by my fountain pens (I know, I know) and my trust Uni-Ball Signo 207s.
These pens write damn well. They’re a gel rollerball pen, which means I went into this expecting smooth, clear writing from these babies. They delivered. This is important, because a gel rollerball that doesn’t write smooth, clear lines finds its way onto someone else’s desk, or the trash depending on my mood. These pens don’t quite float across the page like some gel pens (*cough* my beloved uni ball signo *cough*) do, but they still don’t scratch or skip. Basically, they’re a set of pens that write like…well, pens.
Lefties beware: They also delivered the smearing that you’d expect from a gel rollerball. This isn’t usually a problem for me because I don’t drag my hand much when I write. In the past three weeks that I’ve used this pen in my planner, there’s exactly one smeared line of scribbled notes.
I was utterly shocked and delighted that (despite the aforementioned light smearing) these pens not only didn’t bleed through, they barely even shadow through to the next page. Literally line upon line of notes in black ink and once you turn the page you can barely even tell. Remarkable. And if you’re not as impressed as I am by that, use more pens.
The Look and Feel
The pen’s namesake feature is a clip at the end of the pen. At first, I thought this was just a dumb gimmicky feature, but then I found myself using it. I’d clip my pen to a page in my planner, the spiral of my notebook, the pocket in my purse, the actual pocket in my pants—basically anywhere I could clip it, I would. Plus, it’s a fun/annoying thing to play with in meetings that is approximately 75% quieter than clicking your pen.
Despite the cool clip, overall I wasn’t impressed with the construction of the pens. There’s no way around it, they just felt cheap. If I were one to sugarcoat things, another way of saying that would be that they’re very lightweight. If you like a lightweight pen, then you can mark this in the “pro” column. I prefer a heftier pen.
The other thing I wasn’t crazy about was the colors. There’s nothing wrong with them, per se, they’re just an odd selection. In my set of 10, there are four blue pens, two green pens, and then a red, pink, orange, and black pen.
All in all, I liked about half of the shades. I was impressed, however, because even the colors I hated (neon pink and neon orange in particular) were still totally readable. Normally a neon pen might as well be loaded with invisible ink, but every single one of these pens showed up, no blacklight required. If, like me, you’re not crazy about the colors included, just shop around for a minute. They come in a bazillion different sets with different color combos.
When these all go dry, I’ll probably shop around for a different set of pens and end up buying these again anyway because at the end of the day, they’re a good value. They feel cheap, but also, they are cheap. You can buy a set of 10 Sarasa Clip pens for $9 on Amazon, bringing them from Japan to your hand for less than $1 a pen.
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Last modified on July 21st, 2017