In the world of multi pens, there are probably hundreds (thousands?) of different pen, refill, maker, body, and color options available. For the most part, the multi pen version of your favorite gel or ballpoint will likely be just as good as the regular single refill pen. But, there are still differences, and that's why picking up multi pens can be so much fun.
As a kid, I always treasured my Bic 4-Color because of the versatility of having 4 colors (4!) in a single pen. But, as you probably know, those aren't the best refills. Luckily, there are many, many options out there to fit your needs/wants.
The Zebra Sarasa gel multi pen fits a specific genre for my uses: it's inexpensive, it has gel refills, and it writes really well. In this genre, the Zebra is my absolute favorite (possibly until Pilot decide to offer a Juice multi pen, but who knows if that will happen). With that said, let's get into a bit more detail on this little gem.
Like any good multi pen, the Sarasa has plenty of options for you to choose from. As far as the internals go, you can get a few different configurations (every option is in 0.5mm): - 2 gel and mechanical pencil - 3 gel - 3 gel and mechanical pencil - 4 gel and mechanical pencil
After the internals are chosen, you still have more options for body colors. The colors are slightly different for each configuration.
To be honest, some multi pens can feel cheap, uncomfortable, or make rattling noises when writing. This isn't the case for the Sarasa. The plastic body has a sturdy build with a nice strong clip — similar to the single refill Sarasa version. There's a nice rubberized grip section that makes writing just a bit more comfortable, and the barrel is a nice width for writing comfortably. I've used this pen for some long note-taking sessions, and it's never been uncomfortable to use.
Oh, and the clip has an auto-retract feature that retracts the refill if you clip it onto something (like a shirt or bag pocket).
Ah, yes. The refills — one of the most important aspects. If the Sarasa multi pen refills write any differently than the original Sarasa Clips, I can't tell. They're really good.
The ink flow is smooth and consistent, there are never any skips or hard starts, and the lines on the page are super crisp. For me, it's an absolute pleasure to write with. I've never had the ink act in a way that was undesired or unpleasant. Again, it's really good.
Now, these aren't the same refills as you'd find in the Zebra Sharbo X bodies, so just be aware of that going in. As far as I know, the Sarasa refills are proprietary and only fit this one series, but I could be wrong. I only have so many multi pens around to test.
At the end of the day, the quality of the refills for the price make this a stupid-good value. You're spending between 6 and 10 dollars for the pen and refills, which is a bargain. The refills are also inexpensive at just over a buck. Of course, these refills are skinny and won't last anywhere near as long as a regular pen, but that's the price we pay for having options.
I've tried a lot of multi pens, and I've always been impressed and happy with the Sarasa. If you're looking for a 0.5mm gel ink multi pen, I'd highly recommend these.