Pilot Birdie Switch Combo Pen and Zebra Mini Ballpoint


Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news… The good news is that I have some new stuff to review (Yay!). The bad news, is that I’ve decided to take a hiatus from Pens’n’Paper (Boo!)… I know, I can already hear the hissing and “buts” on people’s lips as I write this, but there are several valid reasons for my putting a pause on my blogging endeavours. Firstly, cost… In today’s economy, with me being a poor college student working a part-time job, I am already experiencing mental angst when paying out for a tank of gasoline. It’s been over a month since I’ve bought a pen or a notebook, because I simply look at the price and can’t justify purchasing it. I have over 300 barely used pens and 100 notebooks lying around in nice orderly boxes at house, and even my obsession for pens can’t overrule my super-thin wallet… Secondly, I’m short on time… Between, church, work, girlfriend, school, and the million other things I have to do, blogging just hasn’t been a priority lately, and for that I apologize. So, after I complete two more reviews, I will be taking a sabbatical. No, Pens’n’Paper won’t be shut down. I still plan on paying for the domain name and leaving it up as a resource, and perhaps even returning to it someday.

But anyhoo, enough of my pity partying, let’s get on to today’s review…

 Up for a look today are two tiny pens which were sent to me by the amazing Andrew from over at MyMaido.com. The Pilot Birdie Switch Combo and Zebra Mini Ballpoint both are extremely small and would easily slip into the pine of your favorite high-end notebook or clip onto the rings of your spiral wound.

The Pilot Birdie Switch Combo Pen is interesting in that it’s a self-contained multi-pen with a pencil on one end and a ballpoint pen on the other. In order to switch from pencil to pen or vice-versa, you simply remove the cap (similar to most old-fashioned mechanical pencils) and place it on the opposite end. The Birdie features a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil and a 0.5mm black ballpoint and also comes with a black refill for the ballpoint.

This combo pen/pencil is a decent offering from Pilot. The mechanical pencil is mechanically sound and the supplied lead is smooth. The ballpoint is a bit scratchy, but that’s something I’ve come to expect from fine-tipped ball points, so I won’t harp on it too much. My main qualm about this combo is the fact that there’s no eraser… Having a mechanical pencil is kind of pointless if there’s no eraser available, but I guess it was sacrificed due to size.

Next up, we have the Zebra Mini 0.5mm Ballpoint. This small pen features a clip retracting mechanism, so in order to retract the tip, you have to push down on the clip, releasing the spring. The ballpoint writes relatively smooth, again a little scratchy because of the fine point, and the sleek barrel is an attention-getter. This pen also came with a refill, so that when you run out of ink you can replace it and continue on.

Both of these pens feature stainless construction and are very small (see the picture where they are compared with a dime), and would not be out-of-place on any person’s notebook. Thanks again Andrew for the awesome opportunity to review these two items from MyMaido.com!


Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint – Black

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Pen #53.

Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint – Black

Another pen from my recent JetPens splurge is the Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint. I’m still getting used to the idea of an extremely fine ballpoint (since when I think of ballpoints my mind instantly runs to the in-expensive, low-quality variety available in every store, doctor’s office, and business), but ever since the Ohto Pieni I reviewed a long while ago, my faith has been increasing. Add to it the fact that this is a Zebra pen, and you might just have a winning combination.

The Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint does live up to its tip size claim. As you can see below, the ink line is extremely fine, yet flows very smoothly. Dowdyism over at The Pen Addict mentioned the fact that these pens feather somewhat, and I tend to agree, but it’s not so bad that it dampens my opinion of this pen…

0.4mm Line Width...

The design of this pen is interesting, to say the least… It features a plastic barrel and rubber grip, but has a stainless metal tip. The tip seems to set off the balance of the pen a bit, but part of that may also be accounted for by the fact that the pen is a bit shorter than your ordinary retractable pen…

Still, if you can overlook the slight “spidering” of the ink and the tip heavy balance, this is an excellent fine-tipped ballpoint for the money!

4.5 out of 5 stars…

Pilot Petit1 Fine Mini Fountain Pen – Blue

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Pen #40.
Pilot Petit1 Fine Mini
Fountain Pen – Blue

I actually bought this pen in my first order from JetPens.com, and I sadly have not yet reviewed it. This was mainly due to the fact that it mysteriously disappeared for several months, then reappeared once again (FYI, I have three siblings and they enjoy “borrowing” my writing utensils and “forgetting to return them”). So, here, finally is my opinion (which put with 1.04 might buy you a cup of coffee) of this fine little pen…

First, the design… How can you not like something as compact as this pen? Measuring in at 4″ capped, 3-1/2″ un-capped, and 5″ with the cap on top, this little pen makes the most of the space given. Kudos to Pilot for designing this pen to have the full functionality, as well as the same size ink cartridge, of a normal fountain pen, yet at half the size and using half of the materials! Everything about this mini-pen screams of good design.

Secondly, the ink… The Pilot Petit1 uses a special ink cartridge (due to the small size and rounded end of the barrel). I bought the blue version, and I must say that it lays down ink beautifully on the page, and unlike some other fountain inks, it doesn’t fade very much as it dries. The Pilot Petit1 comes with a Pilot (Fine) tip, which I would consider decently stiff, and it write very well whether you’re a slow writer or a fast jotter.

Third, The writing experience… While some would think that such a small pen would be uncomfortable to use, I actually find that when the cap is posted on top, this pen sits just right in my hand. I have absolutely no complaints in how this pen writes, and I would recommend it to anyone who would like a compact fountain pen.

5 out of 5 stars!

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