Uni-Ball Jetstream Sport 0.7mm (old body style with three ovals on the clip)
People on the Internet love them some Jetstreams. That much is obvious even to the casual observer. I quickly fell in love myself, but alas, it ended up being one of those love affairs that burns brightly, briefly, and then flames out. The biggest problem for me is that, as smooth of a writer as it is, at the end of the day it’s still a ballpoint. The clumps of ink are still there. It’s definitely the best ballpoint I’ve ever used, though.
JetPens provided me with a sample of the Japanese version of this pen, but for all intents and purposes, it’s identical to the American Jetstream Sport in 0.7mm (save for a single “racing stripe” near the top that’s missing on the Japanese version). I should point out that this is the older body style with three ovals on the clip, and the clip is the same color as the rest of the body. The newer body style tapers to a “pinch” just above the grip, and the grip itself appears to be slimmer and curvier. I’ve never used it so I can’t say which is better, but if you prefer the older style it seems you had better buy in bulk immediately.
The pen feels good in the hand and is an unquestionably smooth writer, a fact on which Uni-Ball’s marketing department has capitalized in a YouTube video featuring one “Doctor Uni-Ball.” At first, I loved it so much that I purchased a box of a dozen just so I could share them with friends and coworkers. Perhaps I was caught up in the effusive praise that every Internet review seems to lavish upon this pen. And in fairness, as I’ve already stated, I would still choose this pen over any other ballpoint within reach, be they hybrid or conventional (although I have yet to try the Pilot Acroball). The problem is that the ink still tends to clump up occasionally, though not nearly as frequently as with conventional ballpoints. I also don’t see the consistent lines that I typically get from gel pens. There’s plenty of evidence in my writing sample for this review.
Maybe it’s because I was also trying out a variety of other pen and ink types for the first time while I was getting acquainted with the Jetstream Sport. But after a brief period of infatuation, it seems to have gotten lost in the crowd. I can’t see grabbing this pen when it’s on the desk next to a Pentel EnerGel, for example. The latter would win almost every time. Their price points are very similar, especially now with the EnerGel-X line. The Jetstream is starting to look a bit less attractive lately, but I’ll always look back fondly on our time together.