Review: Muji Gel Ink Pen 0.38mm Black

Is this the pound-for-pound gel pen champion?  At approximately 1/3 the cost of of the Pilot Hi-Tec-C or Pentel Slicci, the Muji Gel Ink pen is a great alternative - if you can get your hands on one.  Muji stores are mainly found in Asia and Europe, with a recently opened store in New York.  Pen Addict reader Fabian graciously sent me this sample which he received from a friend in Japan - sorry the review took so long Fabian!

The first thing I noticed about this pen was how lightweight it is.  I can't think of another pen I own that is this light.  This can be good or bad, depending on your preference.  The second thing I notcied is that the gel ink isn't as gelly as other gel pens.  What I mean by that, is that the ink seems a bit thinner and wetter than say a Pilot G-2, and I get a little bleed on the page.  Not much mind you, but enough to make me notice a difference if my writing becomes too slow.  I think it didn't fare as well on the highlighter test for the same reason.  One final thing I noticed is that the combination of the brushed plastic finish of the barrel (think Bic Stic Grip, minus the grip) and my dry hands made my grip a little slick.  A rubber grip would make this pen awesome, but I assume that goes against Muji's focus on minimalism.

That may sound like a lot of negatives, but they are all minor in my book.  It's hard to pass up an 0.38mm gel ink pen for less than a dollar.  I find myself using it all the time at work, and I'd jump at the chance to get the rainbow assortment of colors.

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Posted on October 2, 2008 .