Posts filed under Signo DX

Uni-Ball Signo DX Twelve New Colors Review


(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I don't know that I necessarily need to review the Uni-Ball Signo DX--it's fairly universally loved amongst pen addicts and the general population alike. Both Jeff and Brad have waxed poetic on its many virtues--a great build, consistent flow, smooth writing. It's practical, reliable, and fun. But it just got more fun, because there are twelve new colors and I need for you to be excited about this with me.


Prussian Blue is a beautiful (but totally office appropriate) bright navy color. It doesn't feel like the standard blue, but has a little extra zing to it.

Blue Green is a fresh aqua color, a necessity for any pen assortment.

Apple Green is an essential acid color. Despite its lightness, it is readable--which is good, because I want to use it forever.

Dark Grey may be my new favorite. It's classy and moody at the same time. In some lights, it almost has a blue-black quality to it.

Grey is pale, but readable, and almost silvery.

Purple is a spunky color—more like a Lisa Frank magenta shade than a true purple.

Lilac follows in purple's footsteps. It's bright and fun.

Light pink is neon cotton candy perfection.

Brown is more of a dark mustard color. Much more nuanced than the name implies.

Khaki is a rich caramel. It looks more like food than pants, to me.

Beige is a lovely creamy ivory. Difficult to see on white paper.

Yellow is a very bright shade. One that, if seen in nature, probably indicates neurotoxins.


These cheerful colors are landing perfectly in time with cooler weather and grey skies. They're a great addition to the existing lineup of colors, and you can get them in either a set of twelve, or individually as open stock. As a bundle, I'd call this the unicorns and ponies pack. I do wish the names of the colors were a bit more true or descriptive. The names themselves don't give a very good indication of what to expect from the colors. But you can definitely expect the great performance that the Signo is known for.


The ink is very saturated but doesn't feel dry. It's the best behaved gel ink I've used. There's no skipping or globs or smearing. It's waterproof, fade-resistant, and feathering-resistant. There are enough colors in this line, now, that they may have inched to the top of my personal list of favorite coloring pens. Because now my unicorns will look true to life.

The pens run at $2.84 apiece, or $34 for the 12-pack. That's about average for a nice gel pen, and definitely worth it. The fine lines, viscous ink, and saturated colors all help contribute to a little extra longevity for the cartridges. Still, I may run them dry out of sheer enthusiasm sooner rather than later.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Posted on October 12, 2017 and filed under Uni-Ball, Signo DX, Pen Reviews.

The Uni-ball Signo UM-151 Gel Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The road to pen addict status can be a long and windy one, but it has to start somewhere. For me, it all started with a Uni-ball Signo UM-151. This was the first gel ink pen that I purchased after being introduced to the world of pens that I never knew existed. Up until this point, I was limited to the standard selections found at big-box retailers. The 0.38mm tip on the UM-151 was astounding, and there was no turning back for me.

What makes the UM-151 special? For me, it's all about that refill. The refill that goes in the UM-151 is exceptionally smooth and consistent. Even today, it's still my favorite gel refill in the 0.38mm size. The color is bold, the lines are crisp and clean, they start without any issues, and the writing experience is smooth (even for a 0.38mm tip). I've used 0.5mm refills from other makers that aren't as smooth as this refill. I don't know much about engineering pens, but that seems like a major feat to me.

The body of the UM-151 is pretty plain. There's a rubberized grip on the section, a conical metal tip that screws off to provide access to the refill, and the rest of the pen is clear plastic. The clip contains the name of pen and the size of the refill, which is helpful if you have a large collection of these pens in various sizes. Of course, it only comes in the same capped model — no retractable version. There are similar pens offered by Uni-ball, but they just aren't the same. The closest one I've found is the Uni-ball Signo RT, but the refill color isn't as bold and dark as the UM-151.

This pen has long been a permanent fixture in my pen arsenal, but that doesn't mean it's a perfect pen. For one, I really wish they offered this pen in a retractable barrel that uses the same refill. Also, The grip section is just a tad short for my tastes. Apart from those two niggles, I've always been very happy with the pen. It's close to perfect, but not there yet.

The UM-151 is affordable at only $2.50 a pen. The refills cost $1.65, which isn't much cheaper than the pen itself. Another great benefit of the pen is the variety of colors you can grab. I prefer the standard black, but the other colors are a lot of fun. You can also get the UM-151 in 0.28mm and 0.5mm tips. I can't recommend the 0.28mm since it feels like writing with a needle, and I've never tried the 0.5 variety. The way I see it, I'm satisfied with the 0.38mm and haven't had a reason to go looking for something else.

So, there you have it. The UM-151 is a standard among the pen addict community. For many, like me, it was the gateway drug and the beginning of a new hobby (obsession) that led to a revived love for stationery. No matter how deep I get into fountain pens, I'll never stop loving the UM-151 for what it is — an absolutely fantastic gel ink pen.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on March 9, 2016 and filed under Uni-Ball, Signo DX, Pen Reviews.

Letter of Recommendation: Uni-ball Signo UM-151

I had the pleasure of talking with Tom Vanderbilt for his latest piece in The New York Times Magazine, titled "Letter of Recommendation: Uni-ball Signo UM-151". The UM-151, or DX as it is often called, is one of the great gel ink pens, and unfortunately, is not available in the US outside of importers. Thanks Tom for allowing me to be part of this piece!

(P.S. If anyone has a physical copy of this let me know. I hear there is a sidebar of my Top 5 Pens and I'd love to see a scan of it.)

Posted on May 25, 2015 and filed under Signo DX, Uni-Ball.