Posts filed under Uni

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB Review

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB Review

I think we are on to something here.

Towards the beginning of this project, I reviewed the 0.7 mm H-grade version of the Uni NanoDia lead. It was good, and I saw why it was popular. It just wasn’t for me specifically. Little did I know that a lead one size and one hardness away from that one might be the one I have been looking for all along.

The Uni NanoDia 0.5 mm HB lead is my favorite lead I have tested so far. Many of you are yelling at me right now saying “We told you so!” But, I’m stubborn. I had to find out for myself. I actively avoided choosing to review it too, knowing that it is one of the more popular leads on the market. It only came up this time because I chose to make a blind choice for this review, reaching into my pouch of 15-plus packs left to review and sticking with whatever came out.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB

I’m glad this one did. Being 0.5 mm and HB makes this one of the most standard leads on the market. The middle ground, stock lead, if you will - but with added diamond particles for durability! From the moment I loaded it into my Pentel P205 I knew it was going to be good. The darkness was right, and most importantly, the feel was right.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm

I’ve said in nearly every mechanical pencil lead review I have done that I want the graphite to feel like graphite, not plastic. There has to be feedback and texture. I understand that additives are required due to the fragility of the individual sticks of lead, but they can’t feel fake. This one delivers on that feeling of authenticity.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead

This is the first lead I have wanted to keep loaded in the pencil after I was done with the review. That surprises me because I thought for sure I would land on the harder end of the graphite scale. And maybe I will as I continue to go through these tests. But until then, the Uni NanoDia 0.5 mm HB is the best lead I have come across.

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


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Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead Review
Posted on May 14, 2019 and filed under Uni, NanoDia, Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.

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.

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

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