Uni-ball Jetstream Review: King Of Ballpoint Pen

Many Japanese pen manufacturers sell a variety of attractive and unique ballpoint pens. And one of the most popular is the Jetstream series from Uni. Here is the Uni-ball Jetstream review with its functionality, design, and why it is so popular worldwide.

Basic Features

Length139.6mm (5.50 inches)
Diameter (Ø)11.3mm (0.44 inches)
Weight9.3g
MechanismKnock Type
InkOil-based ink
Ink ColorBlack / Red / Blue
Pen Tip0.28 / 0.38 / 0.5 / 0.7 /1.0 mm
Price (US dollar)$2.04

The size and price range are similar to the typical cheap ballpoint pens. However, one of the noticeable features is that there are many variations in nib thickness.

In addition to the standard Jetstream series, there are many other Jetstream products, such as Jetstream Prime, which is a high-end product, and Jetstream 4&1, which includes 4 different color pens and a mechanical pencil. Among them, Jetstream Edge has the world’s thinnest lead of 0.28mm. It looks like it was designed for drafting and uniform color.

Jetstream Standard ink comes in three traditional colors: black, red, and blue. But Jetstream Color Ink series has eight colorful options: Blue, Light Blue, Green, Lime Green, Orange, Pink, Red, and Purple.

Design

logo design of jetstream on a uni-ball jetstream pen
grip part of uni-ball jetstream pen

To be honest, the design is nothing to mention specifically. It’s a cheap ballpoint pen, so it’s worth the price. But it doesn’t have a lame or embarrassing design that cheap ballpoint pens tend to have, so you can use it at school or work.

The grip part is made of hard black rubber, which is durable enough, and will not get dirty even after prolonged use.

all the parts of uni-ball jetstream pen

This is a Knock type pen, and the refill can be removed from the bottom part. The part that hooks onto paper or a top pocket is also solid. So I don’t think you have to worry about breaking it even if you use it a little roughly.

Ink

The reason why Jetstream is the king of Japanese ballpoint pens is because of its ink.

Jetstream Ink

The name “Jetstream” is derived from a jet plane, and it was named for its unprecedented smooth and uninterrupted writing. As the name suggests, it is famous for its “addictive smooth writing”.

Conventional oil-based ballpoint pens often rub off when you touch them with your hand after writing, or the ink stains the paper. But Jetstream is so quick-drying that even if you rub it right after writing, the ink won’t smear at all. Of course, this may be different depending on the paper quality. But on all the papers and notebooks I have tried, it has dried amazingly fast.

The grip part is also easy to hold, and you can draw clear lines even with low pressure, so there is less strain on your hand.

Writing Test

I did a writing test on LIFE Noble Notebook.

writing test of uni-ball jetstream pens

As mentioned above, it is very smooth to write with, just like Gel ink. But since it is an oil-based pen, it is water-resistant and can be used for long-term use documents. It also dries quickly and does not get ink on your hands.

In terms of quick-drying, Zebra’s SARASA dry is the best. Still, since it is a water-based ink, it is susceptible to sweaty hands and water. Therefore, I would say Jetstream is better for ease of use. There is no smear at all, so I never feel stressed when using it.

I have used various pens in the past, but this is the No. 1 ballpoint pen ink without question, with a writing quality that rivals any high-end pen.

0.7mm lead requires quite a bit more ink, which gives super-smooth writing experience. But that also makes it slightly less quick-drying. So, I think 0.5mm has the best balance for daily use.

Things I Noticed

Compatibility

Jetstream’s refills are the most common type, so-called C-300. So, many of them are compatible with other ballpoint brands’ pen bodies. Having said that, Jetstream refills have a slightly unique shape, so some pens may not be compatible with Jetstream refills. So be careful about that.

By the way, I use Jetstream ink in my Zebra Blen pen with a special adaptor. The ink quality is perfect, but the design is not so good, to be fair. So, it’s always good to use it with your favorite pen body.

Refill Quality

Since I’ve praised it so much, I have one complaint. The quality of the ink itself is excellent, but some of the refills sold separately seem to be a bit hit or miss. I’ve read some reviews on Amazon saying that some of the refills in the set of five were faint or that the ink stopped coming out even though there was still some ink left.

Well, it’s not such a big deal since each refill only costs a dollar. However, I’m also a little frustrated because I’ve been hit by ink, which wasn’t in good condition.

Availability in the world

Each product can also be purchased at Uni’s global site, but the product names and lineups may differ depending on the country. So I recommend looking for them on online stores such as Amazon.

Overall Score

radar chart of overall score

Jetstream is definitely the best ballpoint pen when it comes to ink cost performance. Once you use this pen, you may get stressed by using any other ballpoint pen. In addition to the standard models introduced here, there are many other products in the Jetstream series. So, please find your favorite Jetstream and try it for yourself.

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