Posts filed under Pentel

Pentel i+ 3 Color Multi Pen Review

The Pentel i+ 3 Color Multi Pen is the latest entry into the customizable multi pen category. It’s not Pentel’s first foray though, as their Sliccies model hit the market back in 2009. It was met with mixed reviews, as was the Sliccies 2+1. I wasn’t a fan of either but the i+ 3 has finally put Pentel on the right track.

The barrel design is what I like to call “standard operating procedure” for Japanese multi pens. Plastic barrel, clear, threaded section, plunger-style refill deployment - all the basics other companies have covered as well. It is good looking and inexpensive too. Everything you need to start building your multi pen.

Building it out is where Pentel wants to seperate itself by giving fans of their inks - specifically the EnerGel and Vicuna - the opportunity to use them in a multi pen. The EnerGel is available in black, blue, and red in 0.5 mm, and the Vicuna in the same colors and tip sizes. There are also 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm pencil components.

I went with the black and red EnerGel and the blue Vicuna refill. The EnerGel refills are excellent writers and I especially like the needle tip style as opposed to the conical tip. The gel inks are some of the smoothest and darkest on the market. But the Vicuna - that is the big winner here. I was already a fan of the 0.7 mm refills and the 0.5 mm may be even better. It is easily as good as the Jetstream and Acroball.

So where does the i+ 3 fit in the grand scheme of Japanese multi pens? Pilot and Uni-ball still take the top spot for me, but Pentel’s fans should be pleased. This gives them a valid option to use some of the best refills on the market. If Pentel can find a way to broaden the EnerGel refill lineup with more colors and sizes they will be able to easily compete with the big boys.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on October 24, 2014 and filed under Multi Pen, Pen Reviews, Pentel.

Pentel Orenz 0.2 mm Mechanical Pencil Review

When mechanical pencil leads get under 0.5 mm the chance of breaking the lead when writing increases greatly. I think 0.5 mm is the sweet spot, but I will use an 0.3 mm pencil from time to time, knowing that it might cause frustration. 0.2 mm seems like a pipe dream, but the Pentel Orenz introduces a new feature to help prevent breakage that actually works.

With the Orenz, Pentel has created a lead guide pipe that fully protects the lead and has a rounded edge so you can write without the tip scratching or catching on the paper. This sounds like it wouldn't work, but I am here to say it works exactly as advertised.

Like the Uni-ball Kuru Toga before it, I didn't have high hopes for the Orenz. The Kuru Toga introduced legitimate technology that changed the way we write with pencils, and while I won't go that far with the Orenz, it absolutely fixes the lead breakage problem that keeps 0.2 mm from regular use.

In my time with the pencil I never once broke the lead. Not a single time. I was worried more about the smoothness than breakage to be honest, and that turned out to be a non-issue as well. No matter how low of an angle I wrote at the 0.2 mm lead just kept on writing.

Aside from the unique lead protection mechanism, the guide pipe is fully retractable, another feature in the plus column. The plastic barrel is lightweight and features the stock small Pentel eraser, both of which are similar to Pentel's famous Sharp drafting pencil line.

The Pentel Orenz is a good pencil, and may be a game changer for those who need 0.2 mm lead. You can pick one up at JetPens for $8.50.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on September 2, 2014 and filed under Pencil Reviews, Pentel.

Pentel Slicci Techo Mini Review

The Pentel Slicci Techo Mini is one of those pens that doesn't look like much at first glance. But once you pick it up and start using it, you realize it was made to do a specific job. And it's pretty good at doing that job.

What job is that specifically? The Slicci's job is to be a dependable, well-built, portable gel pen with a super fine, smooth point. It's perfect for those of us that want a tiny gel pen that writes well. To boot, it's also really affordable.

One of the first things I noticed upon first picking the pen up is how well-built it feels. The body is aluminum and the tip is also metal. It feels really solid for such a small pen.

Clicking the knock also feels more solid than it should for such a small, portable pen. It takes a bit of pressure and locks into place securely. The clip is also decently strong and has a soft, rubber-like material on the clip end to provide some extra grip. Once this pen is clipped to something, it isn't going to shake loose.

Personally, I love the orange body, but that's just me. It's a great color and it's easy to find in a dark bag.

On the writing end of things, the Techo Mini is actually really nice. The body is incredibly slim, and that takes a while to get used to if you normally write with "normal" pens. Even though it's slim, it's easy to control and get used to. The length is also a good fit for me. The part of the body just below the clip attachment point is where the pen falls on my hand to rest. It feels good, but you never really forget about the pen. It doesn't blend into the writing experience, but that's not really the purpose. It's tiny, and it writes great for this category.

The gel refill is smooth and dependable. I've never had a problem with skipping or starting. At 0.3 mm, it's a really fine line. It's not as smooth as writing with a Signo DX, but it's still a great refill.

I'm not sure if you can swap in other refills, but JetPens only lists the proprietary Pentel Slicci refill on their site. It looks unique, so you might stuck with these refills if you buy the pen. Also, it only comes with black ink. Bummer. If anyone has tried another refill for this pen, let us know.

Overall, for an $8 mini pen, the Slicci Techo Mini is fantastic. I've taken it with me on trips and always enjoy using it. With six colors to choose from, there's something for everyone. Like I said, I think orange is the right choice, but there's also copper, purple, green, pink, and navy.

If you're in the mood for a delightful pocket/travel pen that has a great gel refill, this is a great start.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Posted on July 4, 2014 and filed under Pentel, Pen Reviews, Slicci.

Pentel Sharp Drafting Pencil - 0.5 mm - Carbon Black Review

Pentel Sharp

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Pentel Sharp Drafting Pencil. It is the first quality mechanical pencil I remember using, and was ubiquitous in offices around the world for decades. Remember the time when you had access to decent quality office supplies at work? Me neither.

Pentel has done a nice job of keeping the brand alive, releasing a metallic plastic body last year and the Carbon Black plastic body this year. It actually took me several months to get this one from JetPens because it would keep selling out every time it restocked. Pentel Sharp fans love their pencils!

What has kept the Sharp so popular for all of these years is the simple but highly effective barrel design. Featuring a slight taper from around mid-barrel to the grip area, it fits the hand just right. The taper continues down through the tip section as well, giving users an unrestricted view of their work. No wonder it was so popular with architects and engineers in its heyday.

The Pentel Sharp's heyday is still here in my opinion. Sure, pencils like the Uni-ball Kuru Toga have surpassed it with technological advances, but as with other classic designs there will always be room on the desk for something this great.

Pentel Sharp

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on September 23, 2013 and filed under Pencil Reviews, Pentel, Sharp.