Review: Zebra F-402, Ballpoint, 0.7mm


If the Zebra F-301 Ultra is an upgrade from the original Zebra F-301, then the Zebra F-402 is like a double-upgrade. It’s noticeably heavier, the barrel is a little bit longer, and all of the plastic has been replaced with stainless steel. But best of all, the F-402 is thicker and, like the F-301 Ultra, the hard grip section has been improved with a comfortable, rubberized material.


The only thing that hasn’t been upgraded between these three iterations – the F-301, the F-301 Ultra, and the F-402 – is the 0.7mm ballpoint refill. That’s not to suggest that it’s a bad refill, just mediocre when compared to the smoothness of the Pilot Acroball or the usefulness of the Fisher Space Pen refill. While the extra heft of the F-402 gives some gravity-assist to what is normally a cramp-inducing writing experience, the pen would still be much better with a higher quality refill.

But if you are a fan of the F-301, then the F-402 is worth trying. At 2 or 3 dollars per pen, it doesn’t cost a much more than the F-301. Yet it’s a more substantial, nicer pen overall. And, more importantly, the F-402 is a lot more comfortable to write with.


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