It is a well known fact that I am a big fan of the Zebra Sharbo X multi pen. I first tried the ST3 model over two years ago when I bought it used from a Pen Addict reader. I was impressed by the build quality, functionality, and customization options available. It is a great pen, and has enjoyed high placement in many of my Top 5 Pens lists over the years.
The ST3 is just one of the many barrel styles of the Sharbo X, and I am happy to now get the chance to review the LT3 model. The primary difference between the ST3 and the LT3 is the diameter of the barrel. The LT3 is more of a normal width barrel at 9.3mm in diameter, while the ST3 is a wider body at 11.1mm. The barrel finish on the LT3 is also a matte style and comes various colors like Orange Flame and Azure Blue. The ST3 is smoother and comes in basic black, white, and silver. The functionality between the two is the same, with both containing one slot for a pencil cartridge, and two slots for gel or ballpoint ink cartridges.
When comparing the two side by side, I can tell a difference between the pens in how the pencil and ink cartridges are moved into the writing position. The twist mechanism works the same on each - you twist the top half of the barrel from station to station to expose the tip - but on the LT3 there is more or a “grab” on the inside of the barrel when moving from slot I to slot II.
Opening up the pen and looking at the issue, I think the gasket where the pencil cartridge connects is pushing against the pen cartridge in slot II causing it not to eject as smoothly. This doesn’t happen in the ST3 model, and I’m guessing the wider barrel is the difference. The cartridges have more room to move. It isn’t a deal breaker for me, but after using the ST3 for so long it is noticeable.
The one thing that doesn’t change between the pens is the performance of the ink cartridges. If you like how Zebra gel ink pens like the Sarasa Clip write, then you will love the Sharbo X refills. The lines are clean and sharp, and come in a ton of cool colors. The downside is the refills don’t last very long, and they are expensive to replace, so be aware of that commitment if you are going to take the plunge.
The Zebra Sharbo X is not a pen for everybody. Do you research, check out all the body styles, and decide if the barrel cost plus future cost of refills are for you. I love my Sharbos, but then again, I am a Pen Addict.