The Sharbo X ST3 is a highly customizable, three way multipen that is pretty much as cool as the name sounds. Serious. From the second I picked this thing up I knew I had an absolute winner on my hands.
The first thing you find yourself doing while holding it is is twisting the mechanism that extends the various tips. The mechanism is quiet and smooth which I find appealing, and the pen makes a subtle and silent "clunk" so to speak when one of the refills is completely extended. It doesn't lock into place necessarily, but you know that it is in the right place. The barrel itself also has three tastefully placed lines of "I", "II", and "III" marking the various points where the refills extend for your reference.
The barrel of the Sharbo is made primarily of brass which provides it a really good weight, but not heavy. I really enjoy the feel of this pen and the size seems just right. There are a couple of plastic pieces, but overall the pen feels extremely solid. In using and handling the pen I don't feel that quality control is much of an issue with these. The grip section is smooth and without taper which might cause some grief for those that have a tough time hanging onto pens.
If you include the refills and pencil mechanism, the Sharbo has 8 removable parts in total which is pretty crazy. I few posts ago I talked about how much I don't like a bunch of random parts on pens that can get lost, but with the Sharbo it is a non-issue as they always have a place to go all the time.
The main draw to these pens as mentioned before is the ability to customize your writing experience exactly how you want it. It takes two of the D1 sized pen refills for which there are literally dozens if not 100 options or more and three pencil sizes in 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7mm. I'm running the Zebra branded 0.5mm Royal Blue gel and 0.4mm Carmine Red gel refills and a 0.7mm pencil mechanism in this one, and I'm really enjoying the blue one a lot, but the ability to "fit your fancy" is pretty easily attainable.
Now, with all this customization there is a catch... The Sharbo X comes standard as just a barrel with no refills or pencil components which need to be ordered separately. Pencil components run about $5 each and the refills about $3, so you'd need to plan on spending another $10-12 in addition to get it up and running. At $50 for the barrel alone this aspect is definitely a consideration, but I feel this pen is easily worth $65.
Another consideration with most D1 compatible pens is that you'll cruise through refills pretty fast if you use it as your primary carry. I've even heard that with the Zebra gel refills they could run out in a week with heavy use. At about $3 a refill it could get spendy if using it to write for long sessions all the time, but may be worth the price of the experience for you.
Under the end cap there is a small mechanical pencil eraser that works about as well as most. More for those erase in a pinch moments for sure. The pencil mechanism works on an internal spring once put into place with the tip extended, and the space or indent in between the barrel is where the "click" action takes place. From a design standpoint I've had a few people mention it wasn't really their thing, but I don't mind it so much.
I'm very impressed with the Sharbo X ST3 and definitely give it high marks.
Now for the fun part...
To enter the JetPens Zebra Sharbo X giveaway that is running through April 24, 2014 at midnight PST, visit their giveaway page and make sure you are a JetPens newsletter subscriber. This giveaway is currently only open to residents of the US, but there will be more international giveaways soon!
Thanks again JetPens!