Ballpoint Pen Review: Zebra Surari .5mm black ink

If you have noticed, I have not yet reviewed a ballpoint pen in this blog.  My little confession is that I have been disappointed by various ballpoint pens in the past.  Despite that technology has advanced compared to my school days, I am still dubious about ballpoint pens.  When I see Surari by Zebra, I am actually curious because of its “Emulsion Ink” that supposed to combine the smoothness of oil base ink and the color brilliance of gel ink.  Life is an adventure, so is choosing a stationery item.  Why not taking a leap forward?

For some reason, I just adore the black on black look on this pen.
Surari has a very simple look, nothing extra or insufficiency on the body.  It is a retractable pen, so you won’t need to keep track of the cap. 
The grip is not as cushy as Zebra Airfit, and its texture is a bit tougher.  To my surprise, the grip is quite comfortable to hold, though it does not form to the grip.  The barrel is neither thin or thick.  While I am writing with it, I often tell myself to lessen my tight grip and it actually facilitates with writing itself.  
Another attribute that contribute to the ease of writing is its weight.  Some people I know prefer heavier pens so they will not clench onto it tightly.   Some ergonomic pens are quite heavy, with state of the art cushion and elaborated body.  But I am quite the opposite, I prefer light weight pens so I can easily add it to my overloading purse or tote.  
A good product might not have lots of elaboration, but it pays attention to details.  The product name and point size is printed on the clip.  On the top of the barrel, a sticker with usage instruction, refill size, and price (in Japanese, unfortunately).  
When I purchased the pen, I know that the pen is refillable (the refills come in 3 sizes, 1.0mm, .7mm, and .5mm; 3 colors blue, red, black), but I did not realize the pen body is made with 71% of recycled materials.  It is good to know company has the environment in their product development.
To refill, simply twist off the head, take off the spring (don’t lose it!), and insert the refill.  
One of an interesting observation on the refill is that it shares greater resemblance with a gel pen refill (left pane of above picture) than a regular ballpoint refill (right pane of the picture).  Most gel pen refills I have possess light yellow substance at the end of the ink, Surari refill has the exact same substance.  

One of my main concerns about typical ballpoint pen is that some blobs very easily, and it is possible to create a trail of blobs by smearing them.  Another one would be its inherent smoothness. Believe it or not, I like pens with a little bit of friction so I can have better control in writing than complete smoothness, which might make my pen glides everywhere.  Surari definitely writes smoother than needle point gel pen or Hi-Tec-C, but it still allows the user to exert control on strokes without gripping the barrel like Hulk.  For the two weeks I have been using it constantly, Surari has almost no blobs.  Occasionally I observe some excess ink accumulation on the downward stroke of the first letter, but it does not smear as I rub vigorously on paper.  The Emulsion ink dries very quickly.  The color might not be as vibrant as traditional ballpoint, but with solid lines (no funny train track with white streak in the middle!) and no blobs, I will go far it any time.  
While conducting the water resistance test with a dampen Q-tip, though none of the ballpoint bleed or feather per se, but the Q-tip was colored immediately after it is in contact with conventional ballpoint.  

Surari definitely changes my impression of ballpoint pen.  It is economical, lightweight, and consistent. It is ideal for anyone’s purse, since the hard plastic body can definitely take a beating.  Whenever you need to fill out one of the carbon copy duplicate forms, Surari will be better than gel pens, since you can press harder on a ballpoint than gel.  One notably drawback of Surari is not the performance itself, but colors available in refills.  Though there are many colors available, the refills only come in the basic blue, black, and red.
JetPens:  $1.65
Refills:  $1.35
Other reviews on Surari:
*DISCLAIMER*  This item was purchased with a generous offering from JetPens.  I am not professionally associated with the company in any manner.  All opinions expressed here are exclusively mine.

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