The Uni-Ball Jetstream ballpoint .7mm Pen is one of the very few ballpoint pens that I can honestly say that I like to write with. In addition to enjoying writing with this pen, I also have to say that this is one of the more attractively designed pens that I have seen in a long time, excluding any pen that you might pay upwards of $25 for…luckily this awesome pen can be had from JetPens.com for only $2.25, and comes in red, black, and blue. The thing I like most about the design of this pen is the fact that almost every inch of it is black excluding the plunger and the text on the side of the barrel.
When I first wrote with this pen I was very surprised by how smooth the ink flowed, and how effortlessly the pen glided across the paper. I almost felt like if I didnt focus on controlling the movements of the pen on the paper, I would end up experiencing something similar to what happens when you hydroplane in a car. It really was amazing to me that I was writing with a ballpoint pen.
It is hard to describe just how smooth a pen writes, but one thing you can see about this pen from the writing sample is the bright blue color of the ink, which is also surprising from a ballpoint pen. Usually with blue ink in a ballpoint pen, the color is a bit more muted or dull, but this is not the case with the Uniball Jetstream ballpoint, the ink is a very bright and vibrant blue. I have not tried the black or red ink in this pen, however I am pretty tempted to add those two colors of this pen to my next JetPens order (yes, because there is ALWAYS a next order to be had from JetPens) now that I have tried the blue.
If you take a close look at the ink cartridge of the Uni-ball Jetstream ballpoint(see photo) you will notice that there are some interesting differences between this pen and a regular ballpoint pen. The first and most noticeable thing is that there is a translucent light blue collar that surrounds the bottom of the cartridge. I couldnt tell if this was just to act as a spacer or if it somehow helps the ink to flow as smoothly as it does. The second thing that you will notice when you look closer at the ink is that inside the cartridge, the ink seems to pinch together as you get closer to the tip. Again, I was left to assume that this design somehow helps the ink to flow so smoothly.
All of this examining and wondering got me to thinking that I should probably ask one of my favorite Twitter users, UniBall_USA, aka Steve who is the Senior Brand Manager for Uni-Ball Pens. As I mentioned in my previous post about getting to know people from the office supply world, Twitter is a great resource when you have questions like this. I reached out to Steve, and true to form, he was very helpful and told me to just email him over the questions that I had about this pen and he would get me answers. Here is a summary of what I asked him, and his responses:
OSG: The first thing I noticed about this pen and all of the other Jetstream pens is the unique design printed on the clip. There are 3 open ovals stacked one atop another on the clip, do they have any meaning or significance?
Steve: The 3 ovals are a design element in many uni-ball products. They are on the clips of the Vision Elite, the Jetstream RT and many others. There is no real significance to the ovals or the fact that there are 3 of them it is a design element we utilize in our line of pens.
OSG: When I open up the pen and inspect the ink cartridge, I notice two interesting things towards the point of the pen that I have not seen in other Uniball pens. The first and most obvious thing is the larger light blue collar that surrounds the ink cartridge. I am wondering if this serves a specific purpose, or if it is just a spacer to keep the ink cartridge centered in the barrel of the pen? The second and more interesting thing I noticed was that about ¾” up from the point of the pen, the ink seems to be pinched together inside the cartridge, I assume that this is part of what helps to keep the pen writing as smoothly as it does, however any insight as to what exactly is going on in there would be very interesting to hear.
Steve: Without divulging any secrets both of those features are imperative to ensure the pen writes smoothly, doesn’t leak and operates skip-free.
OSG: Can you explain what it is about the design of the pen or technology behind the ink that makes it write so smoothly?
Steve: The ink is a modern marvel. It is a hybrid ink which is a mixture of Gel and Roller ink combining the super smooth features of a roller and the vivid color and lay down of a gel pen. The result of infusing these 2 inks together is the smoothest writing experience we offer with the added benefit of a quick drying ink that resists smearing.
OSG: Can you explain some of the differences between this ink and the ink used in a regular ballpoint pen?
Steve: A ballpoint pen’s ink is a paste-like consistency. To get the ink flowing in a ball point the ball needs to scrape the ink from the reservoir as it moves across the page. The Jetstream ink is a more fluid state that flows from the pen effortlessly as the ball begins to move.
OSG: The Jetstream has a significantly smoother feel when writing with it, what kind of testing was done with this pen in order to ensure that it provided such a smooth writing experience? I assume there was a focus on the amount of friction or drag created when moving the pen across a sheet of paper?
Steve: It is the smoothest pen we make providing the least resistance as it writes across the page. A funny side note, Uni-Ball in Japan has submitted the pen to the Guinness Book of World records for the worlds smoothest pen. Unfortunately, Guinness has not established a testing protocol for “smoothness” so they are unable to give us the title.
I just wanted to put one more full unobstructed picture of the pen in here because I cant stress enough how much I really like the looks of this pen in addition to really enjoying writing with it. I have to say, if you need to (or just want to) write with a ballpoint pen, this is the pen to get, the Jetstream is just the best ballpoint that I have ever written with, and it pretty much makes me want to toss every other ballpoint pen that I have on my desk because it will just be dissappointing if I ever have to use one of them again.