The Uni-Ball 5 is a roller ball pen that I can find almost no information on. I couldn’t find this pen on Mitsubishi’s (Uni) Japanese site (http://www.mpuni.co.jp/) nor on their US site nor on Google. Here is what I do know:
I bought this pen from Itoya in Tokyo for 100 YEN (a bit less than a $1USD). It is a roller ball with a 0.5mm point. The ink is ultra smooth and fast drying.
The Uni-Ball 5 was the clear winner for me. The lines are tight and sharp and it’s the smoothest writer out of all of them. In terms of price its most clear competitor is the Pilot Precise Rolling Ball and comparing them more closely the Pilot had a more liquid and fluid feel where the Uni had a more viscous, thicker feel (though clearly a liquid ink). I also found that the dry times for the Uni-Ball 5 were faster than that of the Pilot Precise. With that said the Pilot Precise’s feel on paper is more unique and a bit more fun but objectively it really isn’t a better pen.
In short the Uni-Ball is the best writing disposable roller ball pen I have come across under $1. I almost think I might like it better than the Ohto Graphic Liner. I don’t know how to buy them in the USA, so if anyone out there knows of a place or has more information on this pen I would love to hear from you.
The Uni Pure Malt is a multi-pen with two 0.7mm Uni Jetstream hybrid ballpoints (black + red) and a 0.7mm mechanical pencil. If you are wondering what “Pure Malt” refers to, it’s the wooden grip which supposedly comes from the wood used in Japanese whiskey barrels. The Pure Malt comes in a couple whiskey related colors (browns). I chose one with a champagne colored body and a dark wood grip that I think looks great together. The barrel unfortunately has two seams and they go right down the middle of the plastic part of the body which is poor placement if you ask me. The words “PURE” and “MALT” are split by the seam.
The Pure Malt weighs 22.6 grams and feels of good quality. It measures just under 6″ long and is about 0.6″ at the widest part of the barrel. The Jetstream refills perform very well and are my favorite ballpoint style refills. The lines are quite clean and dark by comparison to a standard ballpoint. The point glides across with minimal resistance.
The mechanical pencil is deployed by pressing the clip down and to advance the lead you just click the clip in the down position. The 0.7mm mechanical pencil works very well. I picked up this pen in Japan for at the retail price of 1,000 Yen which is just under $10 USD and for that price I am really happy with the Pure Malt, in fact it is my favorite multi-pen I have come across in a long time.
The Uni Jetstream 3 is a refillable three color (black, blue and red) ballpoint multi pen. The Jetstream 3, like all pens in Uni’s Jetstream line, writes very smoothly. The ink is fast drying and the pen always starts without a hitch. Being a ballpoint, the pen lays down lines that are not particularly clean and there is more resistance on the paper than you get from the equivalent roller ball or gel pen.
The translucent black body and rubber grip give the Jetstream 3 a simple and clean look.
Overall, the Jetstream 3 is a good ballpoint pen and I have found myself using it more than I thought I would.
Please note: this product was provided to me at no charge by JetPens for review purposes.
The Uni-Ball Vision RT is a retractable roller ball pen. Uni states that this pen has “triple protection against ink leakage” and is airplane safe. I am not certain what consists of triple protection but it sounds nice. The fine point retracts when you pull on the clip making it a safe for pockets. I quite like the design of this pen; someone clearly put thought into it.
In the writing sample I incorrectly state that the pen is not refillable; it is in fact refillable.
On to the bad…
When I first used this pen I thought it was a ballpoint because the pen wrote so dryly. “Roller ball” usually means liquid ink but Vision RT feels pasty like an oil based ink. The lines as you can see in the image above are not clean. This is easily the worst writing roller ball I have come across. At a dollar I would say it’s passable but $2.00 is too much for this level of performance. Uni usually makes excellent product but the Uni-Ball Vision RT is a rare miss.
Here are some reviews of the Uni-Ball Vision RT Roller Ball:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
The Uni-Ball Signo Impact RT 207 is a retractable gel ink pen with a bold 1.0mm tip. I have been writing with this pen for a day now and line width is too wide for me and I don’t have small handwriting. The ink really flows out of this pen creating an ultra smooth writing experience. It’s actually a fun pen to write with even though I wouldn’t use it for work. The ink drys very quickly which is surprising for a gel ink pen with such a bold line. The design isn’t overly cohesive; it has a silver barrel with a black rubberized grip, a translucent click button with blue plastic inside, and a metal tip. It’s almost as if this pen with made from Uni’s spare parts bin.
I don’t have a use for this pen and it is a bit ugly but I do find it fun to use. I am not sure I would recommend this pen. The quality like all the pens in Uni’s Signo line is great but unless you need a really bold line you would likely be happier with a narrower Signo.
The Uni Woodnote has a body made of North American cedar that is the same width and shape of a wood pencil, together with a bright green cap the pen looks fantastic. The Woodnote uses a Uni Signo gel ink refill and can take refills from the Uni Style Fit Multi Pen System so there are a lot options.
Everything sounds great right? WRONG! This the only pen that I can think of that is actually painful to simply hold. You have to be careful where you grip the pen because there are sharp points where hexagon body meets a cylindrical plastic section. The cap is loose when the Woodnote is capped and posted; this creates an annoying rattle. Take the cap off and you can hear the refill rattling in the body as well. The Woodnote is not a heavy pen by any means at 5.5 grams but it is too heavy to feel like a wood pencil. The Uni Signo 0.38mm refill is good quality and writes well for such a small point but considering the Woodnote is painful to use and costs $4.60 you would have to really like the pencil shape and/or pain to have a use for this thing.
The Uni Live Pigment Sign Pen is a decent porous tip pen with a simple black plastic body and a metal clip on the cap. The pen puts down a nice bold black line, darker than that of the Stabilo Sensor I reviewed yesterday. This pen writes relatively smooth but does not glide across the paper as easily as other porous tip pens like the Staedtler Triplus fineliner (review to come) and the Stabilo mentioned earlier. At $1.65 this pen is affordable but only comes in black, blue and red. I like the Uni Live but I don’t think it is a pen I will be rushing out to buy more of them any time soon.