This is a guest post by Bryan Gushikawa.
Ever wanted a pen that could write in conditions that would ruin other pens and ruin you, too? Ever wanted to write in a hard vacuum, or below freezing? Ever wanted to write underwater or upside down? Well, a certain company invented a certain type of ink back for the original space program that is a pretty big seller and is designed to withstand the harsh conditions in space...but you might have noticed that the pen prices are pretty steep. What's a pen maniac to do?
Uni (Mitsubishi) has the answer in the Power Tank Smart Series. Although this pen has been around for awhile and has undergone several design revisions in the past 7 or 8 years, the newest version has the best styling I've seen in the series. This pen, made from just a little bit of steel, and a whole lot of plastic, has a much lower cost so you don't feel bad about any abuse it might suffer. How does it perform? Let's find out!
First of all, you'll notice the sharp and very classy appearance. Uni's designers really went all out on this and made the barrel a heavy plastic with the refill port in the rear. The spring inside is industrial size and the click is really precise and loud. Good deal! The refill itself is clear and has a steel collar and pressurized insides. The super thick outside shell contains gas inside that presses on the inner refill and keeps the thixotropic ink (solid ink until shear force turns it to liquid) flowing at a constant rate. You'll love this ink because it is fairly smooth and VERY constant in line width (about 0.4mm) and doesn't blob or skip. It's not as smooth as a Jetstream or Surari, but it feels much smoother than a regular ballpoint. It's not dye ink, so the color isn't as dark, but it's still a good looking ink. Dry time is average and there is no bleed through.
I've put Power Tank pens through torture tests (freezing/heating/etc.) and it's written without fail every time. The pressure will also keep the ink flowing right up until the pen is empty. This is MUCH better than the competitor, whose ink basically blobs more than it writes.
Overall, this pen is designed to work in harsh conditions and take whatever abuse you can dish out. I'd definitely recommend this as a daily carry pen because it basically won't leak, won't disappoint and won't ever stop writing. A DEFINITE recommend!
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