Today, I’m reviewing the Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pens.
Weight: 01 lbs.
Dimensions: .01 x .01 x .05 in.
Point Sizes: .01, .02, .03, .04, .05, .08
Nib: Nylon Fiber with Metal-guide pipe
Ink: black, archival quality ink, quick drying, bleed free, smudge free, water-proof
Body: Plastic with plastic clip
Price: $1.99 per pen at the Zebra website
Look & Feel
Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pens come in six nib sizes, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 and 0.8.
The body and clip of the pens are plastic. The clip flexes a little bit, and I’m pretty sure I’ll break mine quickly because I tend to play with them. The body seems sturdy, though and I think it will hold up well.
The cap has some debossed arrows, and the nib size is printed in silver on the top.
There’s quite a bit of writing on the pen’s body-name, brand, type, characteristics and some cool drawing. Notable are the words ‘Water Resistant’. At the site, the information says ‘waterproof’.
Besides being water-proof, the website claims that the ink is archival, quick drying, bleed free, and smudge free. As with all inks, the paper, and humidity have some effect on that, but my experience (and I have been using these pens a LOT) is that the claims hold up. More about that in the Performance section.
The nibs are nylon fiber, with a metal-guide pipe to help when using rulers.
I noticed the tip size more when I am drawing than when I’m writing. The ink is the same black in all the pens, but the smaller nibs produce a line that seems lighter. It isn’t the darkest black I’ve come across, but it is black, not a dark gray.
You can get a slightly different line width with each of the pens by the way you hold it.
On Smooth Bright White Paper
These pens are made for smooth paper, and they glide easily with nice, crisp lines. The ink will smudge ever-so slightly if you run your finger over it immediately. You have to be fast to get it to do so, because it dries quickly. With the different nib sizes, it is easy to get a wide range of values and fine detail.
I had no problem with skipping, feathering, bleeding, or show-through.
On Extra Smooth Bright White Pen and Ink Paper
This is a paper made for pen and marker. The ink takes slightly longer to dry – we’re still talking seconds though. As you can see, I really enjoyed this combination and just kept adding more and more detail.
This is a thinner paper, and has a degree of translucence, so there was some show-through, but no bleeding, skipping or feathering.
On White Medium Textured Mixed Media Paper
This paper has a little more tooth, but I was still able to get a good crisp line and a good range of values. The ink dried quickly enough that I couldn’t get it to smudge even running my finger through it immediately.
No feathering, skipping, show-through or bleeding.
On White Watercolor Paper
As a final test to decide whether this ink was water-resistant or waterproof, I drew this shell on watercolor paper. It has more tooth than the other papers, but I still got a crisp, bold line and a good range of values even with the smallest nib size.
Though the paper was almost as thin as the extra smooth bright white, it is opaque so there was no show-through. I had no problems with feathering, skipping, or bleeding.
In a previous swatch test where I just ran a damp brush through the ink a minute or so after drawing, there was no smudging. For this test, though, I intended to use a lot of water, so I did let the ink dry for 1/2 hour before I started.
I used light to medium washes, did a little scrubbing here and there and applied several layers of color. There was nary a smudge or run to be found. I do believe that waterproof is the correct word for these pens.
The Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pen comes in six nib sizes, and has a sturdy plastic body. The plastic clip has some flex, but I suspect it will break when I keep playing with it. The nibs are fiber-tip with a metal guide pipe. The ink is a dark black, though not the darkest I’ve come across. It is archival, quick drying, bleed-free, smudge-proof on some papers, and waterproof.
At $1.99 a pen, I’ll be buying more of these.
You can see a video on these pens here.
Disclaimer: I am a Zebra Zensations Ambassador which means that I did receive several items from Zebra Pens. However, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for writing this review nor was I required to write a review as part of my agreement with Zebra Pens.
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