Pen Love: Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen

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If you own a Mini Filofax you will know they are small, very small. It’s just over 12cm in height, which makes it smaller than a passport. Whilst that is great for carrying – I love that I can fit it into my pocket – most pens won’t fit in the pen loop. One pen that would be absolutely perfect is the mini version of the BIC Four Way Pens, which I reviewed here. The mini is the right height for the Mini planner – it’s just too fit to fit in the pen loop, and you can’t clip it onto the pen loop and carry it that way which is a same. My Faber-Castell pen measures at 14cm, can too big and too chunky for the pen loop.

So I was looking for some alternatives for a mini pen and came across the Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint pen, it’s a bit of a mouthful but the size is tiny. When it is fully extended and the position you would use to write with it measures at just over 10.5cm. It’s a nice weight and it’s a slim line pen but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to write with –  that being said I have slender hands with quite long fingers. Larger hands may not like it as much. It cost £3.03 from Amazon. Considering the Filofax pens cost £10, I thought this was quite reasonable. Saying that, I don’t think there is the option to refill this pen and given it’s size I imagine the ink within it may give it a limited lifespan – yet it is very rare for me to use a pen until it runs out. The ink itself is black, it’s a good and it feels very smooth and effortless to write with. I don’t feel a resistance or a scratchiness on the paper as I write. It’s a very comfortable pen to write with – but as my mini is only used for quick notes I have not really used this pen for extended writing.

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I do have a couple of grips with this pen, the first is that it is an extendible pen meaning to close the pen you compact it. When you close the pen it loses 2cm in height, which is fine but I think it looks a bit silly sat within a malden mini when it is closed. I would have liked it to be more of a twist or a click pen.

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The next grip I have with it is the clip. It’s a very strong firm one which is great…but I felt a bit uncomfortable clipping it onto my malden pen loop because I felt it would just cause too much wear and tear every time I took it off. When it is within the pen loop, it is too thin to be able to fit in there securely without the use of the clip. To get around this problem, after nearly losing it a couple of time, I now store it in the zipped compartment on the left hand side of the malden. I also have a pencil from the same company which gets stored within this zipped compartment and together they cover my needs for writing in my malden.

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6 responses to “Pen Love: Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen

  • Michele Citrin

    Both my partner and I are fans of the Zebra pens. For my mini VDS (12.5cm) I use a Zebra F-402, but I will definitely look into this model.

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    • Emma

      Oh they look good. What sort of size are they? I think I prefer to the style of your pen (the clicky element) but the one I currently have looks a little more elegant. Although I don’t really plan to change it until it runs out of ink. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

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  • Elena

    I have the Zebra Z-Grip Flight 1.2m that I use to journal with. I’m a big, heavy writer so I need a bolder nib. These write very smooth

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    • Emma

      They look very reasonable and a good price too. I got a Faber-Castell pen which I use for my personal sized planners. I LOVE them, they are so comfortable to write with and the ink they come with is fantastic. I have Schmidt ink as well for different colours. They are cheap but not as good as the Faber-Castell ink. Wish I’d bought another one now so I could have all three inks.

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  • Carla

    Adorably cute little pen. DIY idea for a refill, 1) if the refills of the mini multi Bic are the same length, you could use those 2) trim a regular refill down to size. I have to do this for my pretty Target Dollar spot pens.

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    • Emma

      That’s a great idea. The red ink on my one bic pen died – I didn’t use it up I just couldn’t get it flowing. Warming it with a hairdryer helped for a little while but as soon as it cooled – it stopped working. I ended up buying another bic pen (for like £1). So I took the red out so I could still use the other three colours. The other one just acts as a spare until one of those refills runs out. I dunno if you can get into the actual mechanism of the pen – I am sure you must be able to, but I was scared to break it when I last tried. I might give it a go when the ink actually dies though. If it’s going to go in the bin anyway I might as well try it out.

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