Posts filed under Uni

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead H 0.7 mm Review

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead H 0.7 mm Review

And you thought pen names were long?

Mechanical pencil leads get after it too, like this Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead. I’m surprised they didn’t spell out Dia-mond in the name, because that is the selling point: Nano-diamond pieces that strengthen the lead. Hashtag Marketing!

Before we get to that, I wanted to spend a minute on a graphite I eliminated from testing without a full review. I found the Rotring Tikky Hi-Polymer HB 0.5 mm lead not good. One of the “features” of most mechanical pencil lead is that they are mixed with plastic (polymer) because pure graphite would be too brittle to function in the tiny diameters needed for mechanical pencils. As it turns out, hi-polymer leads may not be for me.

I want my mechanical pencil leads to have a bit of feedback. They don’t have to feel like a traditional wooden pencil, but I don’t want them to feel alien either. The Tikky Hi-Polymer felt fake to me, and I didn’t enjoy it from the moment I loaded it up. On top of that, it is one of the most expensive per piece leads on the market. Those things in combination make it a hard pass for me.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead H 0.7 mm

The Uni NanoDia H 0.7 mm, on the other hand, is good. It’s not great, which we will get to in a minute, but it is good.

For testing, I loaded it up in the Uni Shift Pipe Lock 0.7 mm Drafting Pencil, and got to writing. First off, there was some feedback in the line. Not a lot mind you, but after the plastic feeling of the Tikky, this one felt more normal. It was durable too, without feeling like a rock. Maybe nano diamonds are for real! The tip held its point consistently, and for long writing sessions. I didn’t extend the lead once on the handwritten page for this review, and no one side of the lead became overly sharp or angled in the process. My normal hand rotation when writing kept it even.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead

But I didn’t love it. Part of this test is to figure out what I am looking for in a mechanical pencil lead, and smoothness at the cost of natural feel is not it. Also, 0.7 mm is a tough size for me. Like with fountain pen nibs, I enjoy the opposite ends of the tip size spectrum - EF and 1.1 mm stub for example - not the center. 0.7 mm is the medium nib of the mechanical pencil world.

I think the Uni NanoDia lead is perfect for students who are writing page after page with their mechanical pencils. It will thrive in that environment, and I think that is the reason why it is so popular. I need something more from my leads, and this project is helping me sort out what exactly it is that I am looking for.

I have a huge batch of testing to complete, but if you have found your perfect mechanical pencil lead please let me know in the comments so I can check it out.


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Uni NanoDia Review
Posted on January 28, 2019 and filed under Uni, NanoDia, Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.

Uni Style Fit Single Color Slim Gel Pen Review

Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen 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.)

Uni makes great gel pens and their Uni Style Fit multipens are very popular. But here's a fun new profile from them that I actually prefer: single color slim gel pens. These are ultra skinny pens with the same great Uni refills and ink, but with a small enough footprint that you can cram a lot more of them into your pen case...or house. The body is just wide enough to accommodate the refill, and there are no frills, bells, or whistles.

Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen

They can be refilled with any Uni Style fit refill, which includes ballpoint, gel, or even mechanical pencil. They can be .28 mm, .38 mm, or .5 mm. I have the 16-color bundle in .5 mm and they write smooth as glass with wonderfully saturated colors.

The colors in this set are violet, pink, baby pink, rose pink, red, mandarin orange, orange, golden yellow, lime green, green, sky blue, bright blue, blue, blue black, black, and brown black. It's a lovely spectrum, with enough difference between the shades that I can justify dragging all 16 around with me. And because they're so portable, I can do that easily.

Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen Colors

Uni has great ink technology. The ink is resistant to water, fading, and forgery chemicals. It doesn't skip or railroad, and it writes easily even after being left exposed for long periods of time.

While I love the slim, clipless design, the pens are a bit flimsy. The clear plastic feels light and brittle, and it often comes unscrewed from the barrel--seemingly even by itself when the pen is just sitting in a pen cup. Unless my pen cup is haunted. I've had to twist them back together fairly regularly. The plastic wrap label is loose and seems like it's intended to come off, though you'd then lose your color label. Still, it's not difficult to identify colors with the tips and end-caps so clearly visible. The pieces are a bit rattle-y and don't fit together as flush as some of Uni's other pens. I was actually a bit surprised to learn that they're refillable, because they feel quite disposable.

Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen Grip

Issues with build aside, I still really like these. The ink and portability take priority over other inconveniences. They're great to tuck into my planner case for journaling on the go and don't add extra bulk to my already slightly ridiculous edc situation. They also fit nicely into the slim pencil slots in cases, so if you prefer coloring with pens rather than pencils, these are great to take along.

Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen Knock

I do worry that the very small refills will drain too quickly, but with the ultra fine-pointed refills, I doubt that will be a problem. And with 16 colors to choose from, they rotate quite regularly, so no one pen gets too much play.

If you've got journaling or coloring to do on the go, these are a good option. I don't expect them to last forever, and they aren't the cheapest of gel pens, but they do meet a specific need that I haven't had met by other varieties.

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


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

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Uni Style Fit Single Color Gel Pen Set
Posted on July 19, 2018 and filed under Uni, Style Fit, Pen Reviews.

Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H Pencil Review

Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H Pencil Review

I had the pleasure of joining the Erasable Podcast crew last week to discuss my recent fascination with wooden pencils. This led to a lot of great conversation around the stationery discovery process, like when I realized fountain pens would work for me and my writing style.

That discovery process went something like this:

  • I have no use for fountain pens. They can’t write how I like to write.
  • They are messy - who wants to deal with that?
  • Wow, that ink color is neat. Look how fine that line is!
  • I should buy one to try.
  • That was ok, but not perfect for me. Let me research more.
  • Japanese Extra Fine! And orange ink!

For wooden pencils, the process was shockingly similar:

  • I have no use for wooden pencils. They can’t write how I like to write.
  • They are messy - who wants to deal with that?
  • Wow, that pencil barrel is cool. Look how sharp that point is!
  • I should buy one to try.
  • That was ok, but not perfect for me. Let me research more.
  • I understand the hardness scale! And rarely have to sharpen!

This is why The Pen Addict exists in the first place. My journey to find the best micro-tip gel ink pen is what got this blog started all of those years ago, and the discovery process never ends. I’m always on the lookout for great pens, pencils, inks, and paper. And, I am willing to step outside of my traditional comfort zone to see what else is out there that could be better for me than what I have been using.

Sometimes it is a $200 fountain pen with a unique nib. Other times, like this one, it is a $1 pencil that fits me and my writing style perfectly.

Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H Pencil Barrel

The Uni Mitsubishi 9000 Pencil in 3H was a random cart add at JetPens at some point in time. I know I’ve had it for a while because it is no longer available in that grade. That’s too bad because LOOK AT MY HANDWRITING!

Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H Pencil Writing

That’s how I know I’ve found a good one - when even I am impressed with my own handwriting. Luckily, and one of the reasons I have a newfound love for pencils, there are many choices that give me this kind of quality output. I find the 9000 to be one of the best.

My fawning over a $1 pencil begins with its paint job. The green on green coating with gold stamping is nearly perfect. The only visual flaw is the unfortunate presence of the bar code - something many individually sold pencils are plagued with. I can overlook it, and should sharpen past it soon enough. Or not, because I rarely have to sharpen a pencil this firm. That is a big item in the plus column for me.

Made by elaborate process

The preponderance of random marketing quotes on pencils fascinates me, and the 9000 has one of the best: “Made by elaborate process.” Does this add to the performance of the pencil? Of course not. Does it make me giggle every time I say it out loud in my most serious “this is a $1 pencil” voice? Absolutely.

When I recommend fountain pens I am careful to differentiate what works best for me with what I think will work best for most people. For example, I buy Japanese EF nibs whenever I have the option. I recommend others start with F nibs if they don’t have any experience or baseline. With pencils, the same idea holds true. 3H works great for me. You may want to start with H or 2H lead grades to see if you even like writing with a pencil that feels like a nail. I do. You may not.

The Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H pencil is a prime example of why I love doing what I do for a living. This is a journey - a lifelong discovery process if you will - and if I can get this amped up about a $1 pencil then I know I am in the right place. And I’m glad to share this journey with you.

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


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Uni Mitsubishi 9000 3H Pencil Sample
Posted on March 12, 2018 and filed under Uni, Mitsubishi, Pencil Reviews.