We took a look at the Jetstream Prime Single from uni. Available for about $15 in Japan and usually sold for more in the States, it may not be as pricey as your hundred-dollar fountain pens, but it still costs a good deal more than your multi-packs from Office Depot, where pens are few cents apiece. So is the Jetstream Prime worth it?
Our editing department purchased the Jetstream Prime and inspected the design, the ink, and the ergonomics of the pen. We also checked out refills. This is what we learned during testing.
uni Jetstream Prime Knock (Retractable) Single
What are the Standout Features of the Jetstream Prime?
The Jetstream Prime is just a fancier version of the Jetstream. It’s got the same smooth, light, oil-based ink as the Jetstream but stuffed into a barrel sleek enough for business settings.
The Jetstream Prime also comes as a twist pen, but we think the retractable version is easier to use, so that’s what we tested. (However, in the end, twist versus retractable is largely a matter of preference.) It’s available in 0.5 and 0.7. If you go with the 0.5 pen, you can choose between a pink or light pink body; the 0.7 comes in black, navy, or silver.
Putting the Jetstream Prime to the Test
We teamed up with three stationery specialists and put the Jetstream Prime to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the five following factors.
Test ①: Design
Test ②: Grip
Test ③: Weight Balance
Test ④: How Writing Feels
Test ⑤: Ink Depth and Color
Test ①: Design
Because expensive pens have to look good. They just do.
The Gemstone Looks like It Came out of a Cereal Box…
We don’t know about our readers, but we were not happy with the blue gemstone on top of the clip. Maybe uni stuck it on there hoping to add some class, but the thing looked like it came out of a cereal box. One of our specialists said it actually made the pen look 100 yen cheaper, so that’s that on that.
Matte Finish and Sleek Body Bring Back Some Elegance
The barrel was matte and near uniform thickness from top to bottom. Everything was streamlined and refined enough for the meeting room.
Test ②: Grip
Because a comfortable pen is a good pen.
Silky Matte Surface Doesn’t Offer Much Purchase
To be honest, we think people are going to have different opinions about how this pen feels in the hand. First of all, it doesn’t have anything that you’d call a “grip.” The place you hold on to feels and looks just like the rest of the pen–matte and smooth.
Basically, there’s nothing to cushion your fingers and nothing for your skin to grip on to. If your hands are dry, then there’s a good chance they’ll slide right down the barrel. But if you’ve got sweatier hands, that’ll give you some nice purchase.
Test ③: Weight Balance
Because a poorly balanced pen is not a comfortable pen.
Features a Stable Barrel that Allows for Precise Control
It was 13.5 g–an average weight for ballpoint pens. It felt substantial in the hand, settling comfortably into our fingers as soon as we picked it up.
The front half of the barrel was brass and the back half was steel, which helped drag the center of balance slightly closer to the tip of the pen. The nib was stable, and we didn’t need to exert much force to get the pen to tilt how we wanted it to tilt and move to where we wanted it to move.
Test ④: How Writing Feels
Because who wants a pen that can’t write?
Quiet and Refined Clicker
So we know a lot of people don’t like ballpoint pens because that click-click-clicking drives them mad. But this pen doesn’t give off that camera-shutter click—think more the quiet tick of small gears falling into place. You won’t have to worry about the entire meeting room staring at you as you fiddle with the trigger on your pen.
The clicker also moves smoothly and feels nice to press.
Pen Glides Across the Page
Again, Jetstream is famous for its ink. It’s very smooth and light. The nib is more stable than that on most retractable pens and, combined with the slick ink, skates across the page.
Test ⑤: Ink Depth and Color
Because what is a pen without ink?
Comes Out to a Pure Black
You know how most “black inks” actually shine a bit red in the light? Or they’re a mix of colors, like an oil spill? The Jetstream is actually a pure solid black. There’s very little blotting. Plus, we’ve had the pen for six months and we still haven’t had any problems with the ink not coming out right.
The Final Verdict: Looks and Performs Way Better than the Price Would Suggest–Just Ignore the Blue Gem
A well-balanced body that settles into the fingers. Black ink that appears pure and solid. A nib that skates across the page. The Jetstream Prime has all the aspects of a good pen.
The only thing is that blue gem! It’s the sole element of the design we found uncouth and clunky, which makes it even more of an eyesore. But if you can just ignore the rock, then the Jetstream Prime is a fine pen that performs well and is especially suited to business settings.
Where Can I Get Jetstream Refills?
If you run out of ink, look for the SXR-5※1 if you want to write in 0.5 and the SXR-7 if you want to write in 0.7. The same Jetstream pen, by the way, can take both sizes. The refills come in black, red, or blue.
Again, Jetstream has amazing ink, and some of you must be wondering if the refills are compatible with other brands. uni recommends against using Jetstream ink with non-Jetstream pens–we’re not saying it definitely won’t work, but experiment at your own risk.
※1 低・摩擦ジェットストリームインク: the full name of the refill
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We put the uni Jetstream Prime to the test. We were impressed by how it felt in the hand and on the page. And for those who aren’t enamored with the blue gem–you can also get multi-pens and the standard Jetstream, which utilize the same ink.
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