Here are the 4 Sharpie pens in this review, set of 3 retractable disposable and 1 stainless steel refillable.We have a red, blue and black of the disposable variety and a plain black in the stainless steel, the three disposable come as a varity pack of the three, the stainless steel version came as a single, although I'm sure there must a twin- or even tri- pack available also.
Nibs extended/uncapped, as you can see, it looks like all pens hare the same internals and nib structure, not really surprising is it? I always expected the stainless version to just be a re-barreled disposable anyway, but sometimes manufacturers throw up surprises.
The stainless version close up of nib, here you can see that like the disposable the nib is very short, hard wearing like usual Sharpie products, it at this stage does not feel like it will give away before all the ink is used unlike some fine liners, I do consider these pens to be Sharpie's version of the fine liner, just with their expertise in ink and design.
What did surprise me with the stainless version, was the refill. I was not expecting the whole nib and grip area to be part of the refill, I can imagine this makes for a elevated price for refills, but likewise I can understand Sharpies logic, presumably the expected use of these pens, as with most of their products is the art/design/crafting etc world, so the intention I believe i s that they will be used hard and hence the grip area will be used extensively so when it comes time to refill you get a new grip too and hence an almost totally new pen.
Grip area close up, the grip having said all that does seem to be hard wearing, not very think rubber casing, but comfortable despite that. You can also see the one piece construction of the refill area and grip area.
The cap, understandably hard wearing, as is all of the pen, what else to expect from a all stainless steel construction? The pocket clip appears to be sturdy, again only time can tell how strong and long lasting the clip is. One design addition I think Sharpie missed out on was enabling the black top of the cap to be a touch screen compatible feature; BIC have a new Crystal pen out at the moment that has this feature, a great addition I think for the usual target market of Sharpie products, the designers etc of this world.
The refill and barrel, not much to say here, other than the fitting of the refill is very easy and durable, no weak points here, a good indicator that the pen will actually out last the refill and it is worth buying refills as the barrel will last. I assume in time that other refills will be available for this pen and not just the fine liner options, perhaps the fin marker or perhaps some new product,I think Sharpie could really expand this range, brush markers perhaps or other arts and craft specific markers, or even pigment ink refills for the artist, something archival quality would be my hope, or perhaps a hard italic tip.
Now the disposable version, pocket clip holds some worry's for me, experience has left me with doubts as to the durability of metal clips attached to plastic bodies, I may be being unfair here, but again as always only time will tell. Also, note the position of the extend/retract button, for such a short nib extension the button travel is long, best seen in the nib retracted photo below.
The grip area is very much like the stainless steel version, the thin covering of rubber, again it feels substantial enough and more than likely to last the usable life of the the pen.
In closing, I rather like my first experience of Sharpie pens, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, other than build and ink quality, I would recommend them so far, especially for those who like a fine liner and need something with a bit of quality.