We’ve seen our fair share of praise for the uni Jetstream. It writes smoothly. It feels pretty good in the hand. And the ink is dark as pitch. But we know that on the internet, things can get inflated and distorted, so we wanted to put the Jetstream to the test one more time.
Our editing department purchased uni’s ever-popular Jetstream 0.7, contacted three stationery specialists, and looked at design, ergonomics, and ink quality. We also looked up information about refills. This is what we learned during testing.
uni Jetstream Standard (SXN-150-07)
Why is the Jetstream so Popular?
Over the course of a year, over 100 million Jetstreams are purchased worldwide. A lot of it is thanks to the ink. Texture is light and smooth, but color comes out dense and crisp. You can find black refills in 0.38, 0.5, 0.7, and 1.0.
The Standard is the most basic of your Jetstreams. There’s also the classier “Jetstream Prime,” the multi-color pen and mechanical pencil fusions “Jetstream 3&1” and “Jetstream 4&1,” as well as color variations and a Disney line.
Some shops even offer to stamp names onto the pens, so you could hand Jetstreams out at events or gift one to a friend.
Putting the Jetstream to the Test
We teamed up with three stationery specialists and put the Jetstream to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the five following factors.
Test ①: Design
Test ②: Grip
Test ③: How Writing Feels
Test ④: Ink Depth and Color
Test ⑤: Drying Speed
Test ①: Design
Because the design is the first thing you notice about a pen.
Sleek Design Overall, but the Grip Picks up Debris and Proudly Shows It off
We thought the design of the pen was clean and sleek, but there was just one thing that bothered us.
The grip was rubber and had a tread carved into it and that made the pen easy to hold on to, but it picked up debris like nobody’s business. Of course, it was as black as the rest of the body to achieve that streamlined look, but the dark color also served to highlight dust particles and eraser shavings. If that’s going to bother you, try getting one of the color variations.
The Clip will Hold on to Anything
We clipped the Jetstream into the pocket of a dress shirt and flipped it upside down, but the pen didn’t fall out.
Test ②: Grip
Because you need to hold a pen to write with it.
The Sturdy Grip Calls for a Light Touch
The barrel felt natural between our fingers, The grip was quite ungiving, and we’d recommend not putting too much pressure on it because you will start feeling sore after a while. The rubber and the tread offered ample purchase, so you shouldn’t need to use much strength anyway.
Well-Balanced Body Offers Stability over a Long Period of Time
The center of balance was pretty much in the middle of the pen, with just a little more weight towards the tip. The pen should remain stable and easy to control, no matter where you hold it.
Overall, the body was light and well-suited for long sessions of writing.
Test ③: How Writing Feels
Because what good pen can’t write well?
Writes Smoothly and at a Uniform Thickness
The ink started flowing as soon as we put pen to paper, so there’s no need to doodle in corners to warm up.
We wrote about 250 letters, then checked the nib. We didn’t notice any ink clumps, and the pen wrote smoothly and consistently for the entire session. It’s less scratchy and blots less than your average ballpoint pen.
Test ④: Ink Depth and Color
Because a Jetstream is just a regular pen without its ink.
The Darkest, Densest, Most Consistent Ink
The top half of the page was written with the Jetstream, and the bottom half was written with your typical ballpoint, picked out from a random office supplies store. You can see how much darker and denser Jetstream ink is and how much more consistent, as well.
Test ⑤: Drying Speed
Because what’s the point of good ink that smears?
Won’t Smear if You Touch It
The mybest on top, we wrote and then immediately rubbed at it with a finger–the ink barely budged. That’ll help if you’re a leftie, if you’re taking lines and lines of quick notes, or if you’re worried about ink transferring onto another page when you stack documents.
Next, when we went over the ink with a highlighter, we got some slight smudging. Still, unless you consistently highlight your words five seconds after you write them, you should be fine.
The Final Verdict: Comfort, Color, Drying Speed–The Pen That Has It All. The uni Jetstream Gets our Seal of Approval
The pen writes smoothly, feels good enough in the hand, comes out to a crisp black, and doesn’t smear. What else could you possibly demand from it?
It’s available for 150 yen (~$1.50) in Japan and is just a bit more expensive in the States.
Are There Refills Available for the Jetstream?
Yes. We tested the Jetstream Standard SXN-150-07 this time, which is a 0.7 pen. If you liked the thickness of it, you’d get the SXR-7 refill. However, you can also switch out for refills of different sizes (without having to get a whole new pen). So, if you wanted to go finer, you could get the SXR-38 refill, which is 0.38, or the SXR-5 refill, which is 0.5.
Make sure you get the SXR series, though. Other Jetstream refills will be for their multi-pens, and these are not compatible with the single-colored pens.
Now, we hear that Jetstream refills can be used with LAMY, Parker, and Pelikan ballpoints. However, there’s a chance that the ink will either spill or not come out at all, so uni recommends against using Jetstream refills with other brands.
If You’re One for Squishier Grips, Try the Jetstream Alpha-Gel
If firmer grips dig into your fingers, we recommend trying the Jetstream Alpha-Gel. The grip is made out of this cool, shock-absorbing material known as α-gel. It should help those who like to squeeze the life out of their pens.
We put the uni Jetstream to the test. We found it to be a very well-balanced pen, which didn’t compromise on ink quality, design, or comfort. Overall, it’s a worthy purchase.
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