As this pen hobby continues to grow and transform, I seem to have an endless fascination with multi pens. This goes back to my early school days where the BIC 4-color pen was the envy of every student. What makes it so enjoyable these days is the superb quality of the refills available to us.
Speaking of school days, the Dr. Grip exploded on my radar during my middle school years. It was so unique and intentionally different from every other pen available at the big box retailers. Even though it was over the ten dollar mark, it was still a pen I had to have.
With the Dr. Grip 4+1 multi pen, you have the best of both worlds. The grip section shares the same excellent grip from the original Dr. Grip, which lends itself nicely to the larger barrels that multi pens require. The grip isn't as "squishy" as the regular Dr. Grip pens, but it still has a great feel.
As for the rest of the body, you might assume it's a variant of the Acroball multi pen line, which is fair. The grip and Dr. Grip branding on the barrel are the only unique features that distinguish this multi pen from the Acroball line. Luckily, the 0.7mm refills provided with the pen are the same found in the Acroball multi pens. And, if you prefer, you can also use Uni Style Fit gel refills in this body. The Style Fit refills are a personal favorite, so the options are a nice perk.
The colors provided with the pen are black, blue, green, and red, as well as a 0.5mm mechanical pencil module. Like the Acroball line, the colors are vibrant, bold, and clean. I especially love the red because of its near fluorescent glow.
Like a lot of multi pens, there are slim tab buttons at the top of the pen that you depress to extend the color you want. To retract, just half press any other button. The mechanical pencil shares its button with the clip, which works great. The clip also manages to be quite strong, which is helpful in securing the pen to pockets, clothes, and other items.
To extend the lead, simply press a bit harder on the clip/pencil selector. There's also a small eraser hidden under a small cap at the top of the pen. I worry that I'll either lose the cap or that it will fall off in my bag at some point, but this hasn't happened yet after a few weeks of jostling around. It's a pretty firm fit, and given the smooth surface of the cap, it would take a lot of effort at the right angle to accidentally knock it off. To add more lead to the pencil, just remove the cap and the small eraser to uncover the lead tube.
In use, this pen has been really enjoyable. It reminds me of my old Dr. Grip from the late 90s, but updates it with much, much better refills and more color options.
At the $14 mark, it's a bit pricier than the Acroball counterpart, but the Dr. Grip branding and grip are worth the premium. Plus, the Acroball version doesn't include a pencil module. Overall, it's a great value and joy to use. There are several body colors to choose from, as well as options between 0.5mm and 0.7mm refills.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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