Published on May 4th, 2009 | by Brian Greene5
Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa Green Black Pen Review
With my recent discovery that I actually like the blue black inks out there and that they seem much more business appropriate than I would have thought, I started to wonder about some of the other combo colors that are partially black. Being that I am a big fan of darker greens, I thought that green black would be a good next step to take from the blue black inks that I tried. With that in mind, I picked up both the Uniball Signo and the Zebra Sarasa in green black. Already having tried and really liked the Signo DX .38mm I figured Id also try out the Sarasa since I was already placing an order from JetPens.com and I wanted to hit that $25 minimum to get my free shipping. The following review is a comparison of the Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa in green black.
Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa Comparison Head to Head.
The writing sample of the Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa shown above was done in a Clairefontaine notebook that I have been particularly fond of lately for its super smooth writing surface and bright white paper that really shows off the inks that you write on it with. One quick side note, you will see in the writing sample above there is some use of just a straight black pen just to set things off and give a bit of contrast.
When I started writing with the Signo DX, I knew what to expect – the same pleasant, smooth and consistent writing experience that I enjoyed with my previous Signo DXs. These pens are really one of the most enjoyable non-fountain pens that I have written with. The ink color was a pleasant surprise. Although slightly darker than I had expected, I really liked it once I saw it on paper. Since first purchasing this pen, I have been using it quite often in my Levenger daily planner to jot down my daily tasks for the day, and it does really well on that paper. Sometime this week I will update the Ink Comparison Log to show some green inks including these, and since all of my Ink Comparison Log pages are done on Levenger paper, you will have a chance to see it there.
The great color of this ink along with the super smooth and consistent way that this pen lays down a line alone are enough to make this pen a quick favorite. Two minor issues that I have with this pen however are that in its early use I did get an occasional ink glob, and I from an aesthetic perspective it still bugs me that the “label” on this pen is permanently painted on the side, instead of just being a removable sticker. The issue with the ink glob seems to have gone away now after about a week of use. The issue with the label obviously doesnt impact the performance of the pen, but I just think that it really takes away from the nice simple look of this pen.
The Zebra Sarasa .4mm in green black that I am reviewing here has one major difference as compared to the Signo DX, which is that its a a retractable point pen instead of a regular non-retractable.
The Zebra Sarasa is the next pen that you see in the writing sample above. The first thing that I noticed about this pen when comparing it to the color of the Uniball green black is that it is a bit lighter due to a slightly more blueish tint that it has. Personally I prefer the slightly darker green black of the Uniball Signo, but with that said I certainly dont dislike the color of the Zebra Sarasa. The next thing I noticed in my comparison of these pens is the way that they write. The Zebra Sarasa had a bit more of a scratchy feel to it when I was writing, which was a bit of a surprise since it is a slightly larger point. I’ve always assumed that a larger point size should translate to a smoother writing experience, unfortunately this was not the case. Something that I think is probably a result of the scratchy feeling with this pen is that you also get a bit of a spotty line when you write with it. If you look at the full size writing sample above, you can see some white spots where the pen did not lay down a consistent line of ink. Below is a quick picture of the two points of these pens.
The last major comparison point between these the Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa is the way that they feel in your hand while writing with them. This is probably one of the more subjective things to try and measure. You should take it with a grain of salt and understand what your personal preference is in this are. For me, I usually like a thicker grip section when I am writing. With a thin grip I find myself needing to grip the pen a bit tighter which causes some fatiuge, especially during longer writing sessions. The Zebra Sarasa definately has a thinner grip section to it, although I will say that the rubberized grips on each pen make for a very smooth and comfortable place to hold onto the pens.
Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa Comparison Summary.
I guess I shouldnt be surprised that I like the Uniball Signo over the Zebra Sarasa. Much of this comes down to personal preference, such as the ink color, the size of the grip, the smoothness of the writing experience and the fact that I just prefer non-retractable pens. With those personal preferences aside, the only real stand out issue with the Zebra Sarasa is the scratchiness and bit of spotty line that it laid down when writing. I always caution that I am only a sample size of one, and I only test one pen, so when issues like this come up, there is the possibility that I’ve just gotten unlucky and picked up a bad pen. I do have a red black version of the Zebra that I will be reviewing sometime, so hopefully that will do a little to help either confirm or disprove the scratchy and spotty writing experience that I got with this pen. That wraps up this look at the Uniball Signo and Zebra Sarasa so hopefully it was of help, but feel free to leave feedback if you have different experiences with either pen.
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