Uni-ball Jetstream Ballpoint Basic .7mm Red

The Uni-ball Jetstream ballpoint in red.

The Uniball Jetstream ballpoint in red.

This is probably a shorter office supply review than you are used to here, but I realized I forgot to do something when I did my initial review of the Uniball Jetstream ballpoint pen in the past, so I wanted to revisit it for two reasons.  First and most importantly I love the Uni-ball Jetstream, even for a ballpoint they just write so well, and they look awesome too.  Second reason is because I picked up this red version of the Un-ball Jetstream from JetPens.com recently and I realized I never compared the Jetstream to a regular ballpoint pen.

Writing sample for a red Uniball Jetstream compared to that of a regular red ballpoint pen.

Writing sample for a red Uniball Jetstream compared to that of a regular red ballpoint pen.  Writing sample done in a Whitelines notebook.

There are some pretty impressive qualities that you notice when writing with a Uni-ball Jetstream pen, most noticeable are the super smooth way that the pen glides over the paper, and the bright, intense color of the ink that the pen lays down.  The above scan shows something that I neglected to highlight in my first review of this pen, and that is how the Jetstream outshines (literally) a regular ballpoint pen with the visual quality of the line it puts down.  Even if you dont click on the scan above to see the bigger version, the difference is so stark between the two pens that you can still see it in the smaller thumbnail version.

Close up of the Jetstream compared to the regular ballpoint writing sample in a Whitelines notebook.

Close up of the Jetstream compared to the regular ballpoint writing sample in a Whitelines notebook.

A closeup photo of the Uni-ball Jetstream writing sample reveals an even more drastic comparison of the two different ballpoint technologies and how they perform.  The vibrant and nearly 100% solid line that the Jetstream lays down has had me using this pen like crazy over the past few days just because I enjoy writing with it so much.  I’ve even taken to using the black and red versions of my Jetstream over my fountain pens, which surprised me when I realized what I was doing.  You will also notice something cool regarding the two writing sample pictures above.  They are both of the same exact page, but one is a scan and the other is a photo and you will notice that in the scan, the grey checks and white lines do not show as they do in the scan.  This is a result of the cool design of the Whitelines notebooks which I reviewed back here.

Anyway, like I said, this is a shorter review today, but I just thought it was important to point out the difference between the Uni-ball Jetstream and a standard ballpoint pen because there really is a world of difference, and there are some instances where a ballpoint is not only preferred, but required in order to have an ideal writing experience.  Check out the selection of Jetstream pens from JetPens.com (the pen in this review was not given to me as a review sample, I spent my own hard earned money on this one because I like them so much) if you are looking for a reliable ballpoint that you will love writing with.

©2014, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.

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  1. 1

    New review today – Revisiting the Uniball Jetstream, I LOVE this pen. http://officesupplygeek.com/pen-review/u

  2. 2
    FutureNostalgic says:

    @OfficeSupplyGee Me too! I have the Jetstream in a variety of its guises. Absolute favourite, the 0.7 multipen version.

  3. 3
    Alberto says:

    Nice informative review. Going to have to try one of those ballpoints sometime.

  4. 4

    Alberto – Thanks for the feedback, glad you found it helpful….Im sure you will like it, I feel like its almost impossible not to. Uniball now has taken two items I hate using (pencils and ballpoint pens) and changed that with the Kuru Toga and the Jetstream.

  5. 5
    Der Bingle says:

    I second everything in your review! The Jetstreams are great writing pens and these ‘Basic Series’ ones look fantastic. They are as good looking as many or even most ‘fine’ pens. I just wish Mitsubishi/Uni would come out with other colors in Jetstream ink. They should at least have a green ‘Basic Series’ pen as green Jetstream ink is available in a multi-pen.

  6. 6
    Mookxi says:

    awesome pen. I bought some the other day ! They are a superior line of ballpoint pens aren’t they ? ;-)

  7. 7
    Der Bingle says:

    I should have added that, again, it isn’t clear to me why the Jestream is a ‘ballpoint.’ It could just as easily be classified as a ‘rollerball.’ Also, I think OSG may have stacked the deck in this test by using a particularly bad ballpoint against the Jetstream. I’ve used plenty of standard ballpoints that write better then that one. ;-)

  8. 8

    @Der Bingle – I think you are partially right, the Jetstream does write similar to a rollerball, but I honestly think that they skip less than a rollerball. As for the comparison, I just grabbed the first red ballpoint I had, and it is definately a “standard” brand name, not some junker giveaway pen, but let me know which pens you used with better results and Ill pick one up to update this post with a comparison of the 3. Thanks as always for the feedback.

  9. 9
    Der Bingle says:

    @OSG – As I recall, the Uni USA guy told you that Jetstream ink was a hybrid roller/gel ink. If so, how does that make it a ballpoint? Mind you, it doesn’t really matter. The Jetstream is what it is, whatever that is. ;-) Though I do remain curious about this semantic question. As for the other pen, in your pictures that does look like a particularly bad writing bp. I should think any number of ballpoints would write better then that. In a fine pen, you might try a Caran d’Ache refill. For something from JetPens, a Zebra F series would do. Many people really seem to like that refill.

  10. 10

    @Der Bingle – You are correct on the quote about it being a hybrid between the two, I’ve always gone with ballpoint because thats how they have it classified, and thats how JetPens has it classified too, but that does not change the fact that you bring up a good point, which I have no answer to. :)

    Ill check out those refills that you mentioned and look around for other better ones, again, the questions and feedback are very much appreciated.

  11. 11
    Der Bingle says:

    @OSG – And this blog is much appreciated.

    I have a pack of three Jetstream 1.0 Sport pens in front of me that I bought at an Office Depot. On the packaging ‘Rollerball’ is written in the upper right corner. So it seems Mitsubishi/Uni is flexible with what they call the Jestream. ;-)

    For Jetpens (and others), I suppose it makes sense from a marketing perspective to call the Jetstream a ballpoint. It has a unique ink that defies easy classification. More importantly, if you call it a rollerball or gel ink pen, it would just be a good or great pen in those categories. Perhaps a first among equals. But if you call it a ballpoint, people will shake their heads and say “Wow! This is the best ballpoint I’ve ever used.” It stands out to a greater extent, I suppose.

    If you want a nice looking ‘fine’ ballpoint pen with what is generally considered one of the better ballpoint refills, give a Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint a try. They usually sell in the $15 to $20 range. Classic hexagonal shape, smooth clicking mechanism and a very aesthetically pleasing clip. They come in a wide range of colors and styles. Just my two cents. Here is a picture of one.


  12. 12

    @Der Bingle – more very good points, I think you may be onto something regarding if there is a different way that they market the US versions vs. the other versions. The ones that I have used are from JetPens, so they are not the same exact versions as the US ones…Ill have to see if I can do some research and see if this is the case.

    Thanks for sharing that picure…two things jumped out immediately:
    1. Its cool because it looks a lot like a pencil because of the shape and color.
    2. The little “Swiss Made” badge at the top…gives me some reassurance as to its quality. I know Caran d’Ache is a great brand though so Ill have to think about yet another purchase. :)

  13. 13
    Der Bingle says:

    @OSG – For the record, the Cd’A 849 is also available in a pencil (if you want a pencil that looks like a pencil ;-)). They also have a 2mm clutch pencil that looks very similar. Much of Cd’A's other stuff is pretty high-end, so it is nice to have a great pen line by them that is so inexpensive.

  14. 14
    ferretkingdom says:

    I know this is an older review, but just had to say that I have one of the original Jetstream sport pens with the 3 ovals on the clip. The set of 3 I had then was packaged as “ballpoints” and were always my favorite pens. I have a single one left, a neon green one, that I write with somewhat sparingly in an attempt to save it. I cannot find them anymore! They do have for sale in US office supply stores the newer version – the 3 ovals are gone from the clip, the barrel and grip are slightly different, and they are marketed now as “rollerballs”. Even then, they are hard to find locally. They are still nice-writing pens, but they aren’t the same. I will have to order from jetpens soon and see if what they are selling are “the originals”. I miss the original Jetstream sports! :-(

  15. 15

    @ferretkingdom – I did notice that they had changed from calling them “ballpoints” to “rollerballs” but I never had a chance to do any tests to see if there was a difference, sounds like there is though. Thanks for the heads up.

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