The Zebra Sharbo X ST3 is a robust, customizable multi-pen that serves as a great companion for any on-the-go writing. It has a high-quality brass body and can take many refills for a personalized writing experience.
The Sharbo X ST3 is an entry-level Zebra multi-pen, which is surprising considering the higher pricepoint of roughly $30. However, even with its place in the market, the pen seems highly reliable and ready for use at any moment.
Unfortunately, the pen doesn't come with refills; you'll have to buy them yourself. Most refills for this pen will cost you at least a few dollars, which sounds standard. However, given the small size of these refills, you may find yourself replacing them rapidly and spending more than expected.
Another gripe I have with this writing instrument is the mechanical pencil mechanism. The inclusion of the mechanical pencil almost feels pointless. Given its small size, the mechanism does not support full-length lead. Well, at least not in a standard way. The intended way to use this pencil is to disassemble the pen, take out the mechanism, and fill the top of the mechanical pencil component with a short piece of lead. However, I found this ineffective with how quickly the lead ran out. The mechanical pencil can only hold one refill at a time, so I've found that the best way to use the pencil is to awkwardly shimmy a full length of lead up the nib of the component. This method sometimes leads to breaking when I'm not careful, but it remains infinitely better than using a short piece of lead that you have to replace quickly.
Okay, enough of my complaints about the proprietary components. Let's explore the other parts of the pen.
Zebra's Sharbo X ST3 keeps branding unobtrusive, with the only accent on the back of the top half of the pen. The logo is coherent with the design of the rest of the pen and is aesthetically pleasing. It is also in the same shade as the bars that indicate the different options to write with.
The clip on this pen could be better. When I first bought this pen, it seemed sturdy and felt like it'd last a long time. However, as time passed, I noticed that the clip had significantly loosened. Now, gently shaking the pen rattles the clip enough to produce a noticeable sound. It's distracting and disappointing to see from a pen of a relatively high cost.
I haven't been able to deduce why the loosening, but it's probably caused by the degrading of whatever holds the clip in place. It could be glue or something else, but I would be careful with the clip when using this pen to prevent this problem from occurring.
Something I like about this pen is the writing experience. The refills are generally smooth, and the mechanical pencil component feels sturdy. It's also easy to distinguish which element is deployed in the pen. The mechanical pencil component is noticeably longer than the others, and the pens have a small band displaying the ink color within. Although this is standard across multi-pens, the customizable aspect of Sharbo pens makes it nice to see what you're writing with.
With all the problems associated with this pen, I don't find myself reaching for it too often. The loose clip is something that ruins the experience for me. This problem may or may not be present in the higher-end models, but I don't think I'm sticking around with this series of pens for too long.
Even with these negatives, the Sharbo X ST3 is a solid option for a multi-pen. It has highly customizable features and many refill options, allowing the ability to switch colors when desired. The different brands of refills that provide different writing experiences are also a plus. However, although it's an entry-level Sharbo, the X ST3 is quite expensive, which may cause you to look elsewhere.