I first spied the Uni Style Fit on Partrick Ng's excellent website Scription back in February, and knew right then and there that I must get my hands one one. Luckily for me, I have the best readers in the world, because my pen friend Mariko from Super Eggplant was headed to Japan for a couple of weeks and was wondering if there were any pens I was looking for. Needless to say, the Uni Style Fit was at the top of the list.
At its core, the Style Fit is a multi pen in the same vein as the Pilot Hi-Tec-C or Pentel Sliccies (review coming this week also), but with a few additional options to set it apart. First off, there are three different barrel sizes: one, three, and five cartridge. Three always seems like the sweet spot for me, but why a five cartridge barrel? Well, the variety of cartridges is what sets this pen apart from the pack. You can choose from any of the following to populate your Style Fit barrel:
Signo Gel in 0.5, 0.38, and 0.28 sizes in the full rainbow of colors
Jetstream in 1.0, 0.7, and 0.5 sizes in black, blue, and red
Nano Dia pencil in 0.5mm
Mix and match to your hearts content. My friend Bryan in Okinawa emailed me about this pen just last week saying how popular it is and how the displays in the stores are just ravaged. If I lived in Japan, I may just have to take the whole display home myself!
Performance wise, this pen lives up to the great standards of just about everything else from the Japanese Mitsubishi Uni line. Mariko sent me the blue three cartridge barrel plus three Signo 0.38mm catridges in black, sky blue, and green. As I mentioned in the written review, these write almost exactly like the ink cartridges found in the Uni-Ball Signo RT 0.38mm pens, which is a good thing. Sharp, clean lines, no skipping, no delayed start, vibrant colors - just good, solid performance. I really have no complaints about how it writes, but there are a couple of things I should mention about the barrel that may become an issue.
As you can see if you click on any of the photos, the grip area is clear - and completely smooth. No ridges, no texture, no rubber, no anything. I haven't had any problems yet with slipping, but I could see where that may become an issue down the line if it gets hot or my fingers are the least bit sweaty. It's not too bad right now though. The other issue which is more annoying is that I have trouble getting the plunger that is also the pen clip to click down tight when I first press it down. My three cartridge barrel has two plungers on the side, and the pen clip servers as the third, which is common on many multi pens. When I push down the clip, it regularly takes me two or three tries to get it to lock into place. Once it locks in it stays, but getting it there is frustrating sometimes.
The only other item that I can see being an issue with an otherwise excellent pen is the size of the ink cartridges. They seem awfully small compared to the Coleto or Sliccies refills, but it is yet to be determined how long they will last. Sometimes appearances can be deceiving.
I really can't wait for this pen to be readily available in the U.S. because I think it is going to be a big hit - especially to my wallet.
(Click on any image to enlarge)