Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Zebra G-402 Stainless Steel Retractable Ballpoint Pen

The Zebra G-402 is metal bodied Gel pen in Zebra’s “Steel” series. It is the mid-range offering and the gel version of the F-402 ballpoint. Other gel pens in the line include the entry-level G-301 and the recently released G-350. In 2020, Zebra will be releasing the G-450 and G-750.

The G-402 features a stainless-steel body, clip, knock, cone, and a soft rubber grip. It uses Zebra’s JK refills but ships with a 0.5mm tip versus the G-301’s 0.7mm tip. The refills for the two pens are interchangeable. The main upgrades are no plastic parts around the button and the improved soft rubber grip.

Zebra G-402 Review

I have been a fan of Zebra pens for a long time. I’ve been using them off and on for almost 20 years ago, starting with the F-301 and M-301 pen/pencil set. I liked the metal construction and simple design. When I got to my current job, I enjoyed how the metal body held up in the harsh environment of steel fabrication. Then I moved to the G-301 gel pen which I liked a lot since it was smooth and had ink that was actually black. (I always wished it was a 0.5 mm point, though.) I even turned my entire office staff at work on to the G-301. Now my workplace pays for them as regular office supplies!

I was at my local office supply store one day, as a pen addict is want to do, browsing pens and noticed a new Zebra pen. The G-402. It’s a gel pen with an all-metal body and what looks like a rubber grip. I also notice that it has a 0.5 mm tip. It looks like a definite upgrade over the G-301, thanks to fewer plastic parts. I can’t see any plastic while it’s still in the packaging. I didn’t give it much more thought and grab a couple two-packs.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that I liked this pen a lot. The design is simple, elegant, and looks quite good with its stainless/black motif. I like the distinct three-tier taper of the cone which is only found in the higher steel series pens, like the F-701. I like the simple clip. It may not be the strongest and might bend but I have yet to have a problem. I also like the button and click action. It’s no Parker Jotter but it offers its own subdued type of satisfaction. It is also much less likely to offend an office mate. A Pentel Energel’s click will tell everyone in the office that you clicked your pen. Everyone down the hall will even know.

My favorite part of the pen is the grip. It’s not a super stylized, textured, sneaker grip but it gets the job done and does it well. My hands which tend to sweat like Swedish pigs when I write appreciate the added friction. I always have excellent control of the pen.

The pen is also a good length for me and my average-ish hands. It is about 3/8″ longer than a Jotter. It’s not so long that it’s like I have a wacky inflatable arm flailing tube man flailing about as I write notes. (If you can’t tell, I like short pens) The weight is also perfect. It is light enough to not cause hand fatigue. This is great when taking notes in a meeting where your boss as gone off on multiple tangents for far too long. It’s also weighty enough to offer good control. The pen is a little back heavy, but its short length makes it a non-issue.

Aesthetically, I only have one complaint: it’s not all black. Don’t get me wrong, the isn’t a deal-breaker. It’s a handsome pen and I love it, but I wish it was all black.

Zebra G-402 Writing Experience

Simply put, I love writing with this pen.

I want to emphasize this point. It is one of my top three pens of all time. The ink is always there when I need it, the tip size is perfect for my taste, and its very smooth. Not as smooth as a 0.7 mm Energel, but I like it, nonetheless. It actually offers the right amount of feedback, particularly on smoother papers. When I write, I don’t feel like the pen is sliding around the page like Shaggy on an oil slick in the old Scooby Doo cartoons.

I just can’t get tired of using this pen. It looks great, writes great, and feels great. What more do you need? Oh yeah, it’s rather inexpensive. You can get four from Amazon for $12! I have who knows how many in my desks between work and home. I even keep a couple in my backpack. I’ve even given a couple to my friends at work and they are now using them all the time.

Bottom line: If you want a cheap but good quality metal pen, then buy a G-402. It does have a few plastic parts inside, but you will likely never notice. If you don’t want a pen like this, still buy this pen. You’ll probably end up loving it. If you don’t want the 0.5 mm tip, still buy this pen and put the 0.7mm G-301 refills in it.

Seriously, now would be a good time to stop what you are doing and buy this pen. It’s that good.

Zebra G-402 Stainless Steel Retractable Ballpoint Pen Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Zebra
Pen Type Rollerball / Gel
Barrel Color Silver
Barrel Material Stainless Steel
Body Diameter (mm)10.5
Grip Color Black
Grip Material Rubber
Grip Diameter (mm)10.7
Country of Origin Japan
Still Sold Yes
Similar To
Capped? Retractable?Retractable - Top Button
Length Capped / Retracted (cm)13.3
Weight (g)19