Deleter is known as one of the premier Japanese manga supply brands, releasing various sets of pens, markers, and paper for those interested in manga artwork, and comic art in general. I’ve used their products in the past, and Brian Draghi reviewed the Neopiko Line 2 for The Pen Addict when it was imported by JetPens in 2012.
The Line 2 is a good pen, but not a great one when compared to its peers in the drawing pen market. I found the tip to be a little soft and the price a bit high compared to pens like the Sakura Pigma Micron but it was something different, was kind of cool, and worth having one laying around for a switch up from time to time.
Because of that, I was happy to grab the Deleter Neopiko Line 3 when it landed at JetPens and try it out. The barrel looked nice and the price was even less than the previous model, but I discovered something strange when I uncapped it the first time. This pen is a Deleter in paint job only. The pen itself is the Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Outline Pen, also known as my number 1 plastic tip pen.
White label production is not a new thing. Many companies across many industries use this type of manufacturing for various reasons, primarily to increase the bottom line. There is no issue with this, and it is actually a benefit to the consumer in many cases, allowing them to buy a similar quality product for less than the original marketed and advertised product. Unfortunately for Deleter, that’s not what happened here.
(Note: I'm making an assumption that Kuretake is the one making the pen for Deleter. Could it be the other way around? Yes, but I think that is very unlikely.)
I didn’t catch it from the exterior design at first, but the second I opened the pen and before I even wrote with it I said wait a minute, this looks familiar. I grabbed the Kuretake Zig from my desk, uncapped it, and set it next to the Line 3 and I was right. It is the exact same pen. Literally.
That’s good I thought, because the Kuretake is a great pen. My next thought was to compare the price. The Deleter should be cheaper, or at least the same price, right? Nope. It’s 50% more from JetPens than the Kuretake, and comes in fewer options. Bummer.
If you are a Deleter fan and swear by their products this shouldn’t sway you from paying more for the same pen. I pay more for Copics because I like them and their style even though they are overpriced compared to the competition. But just know what you are getting with Deleter. If you want an awesome drawing pen, save over a dollar per unit, and have more choice, then buy the Kuretake Zig Cartoonist and don’t look back.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)