Just when I thought my curiosity with multi pens was at an end, I find another "need" to fill with a new pen. I've reviewed several multi pens in the past, and they're all pretty similar. Really, it comes down to personal preference. If you have a certain brand of pen or refill that you love, you can probably find it in a multi pen.
Personally, I really love Uni gel pens. I love the UM-151 and UM-138 for how well they write — they're both extremely smooth and dependable. But, they only write in one color unless you carry around several at a time. If only there was a solution for this specific problem...
My work has recently changed so that I'm working for two main clients, and I need to be able to track my time and so forth separately. There are many, many incredible tools online that can handle this modest task, but I'm already in the habit of tracking my day with pen and paper. Hence, the need for a pen that can write in at least two colors (for the two clients), and offer a smooth feel and tiny writing tip.
Enter the Uni Style Fit. This is a multi pen made by Uni, the same maker of the previously mentioned UM-151 and UM-138. In this case, the Uni Style Fit comes in a variety of colors, refill capacities, and materials. You can check out the entire selection at JetPens, but I settled on the Uni Style Fit 3 for my purposes. One color for Client A, another for Client B, and a third for non-work stuff.
Now, I know I own about 6 other multi-pens that fit the requirements for my "need," but I wanted to try the Uni version to see if the refills match up with their other gel pens. Luckily, they certainly do.
On the outside, the Uni Style Fit doesn't look like much. I went with a silver version, which looks like any other cheap gel pen at first, but then you notice the weird top with three buttons and the clear barrel. The three refills are clearly visible through the barrel, and that's a dead giveaway.
The pen is extremely light, just like most other cheap multi-pens. It doesn't feel fantastic, but that's OK for my purposes. Uni offers other, more expensive models that probably feel better in the hand, but I didn't opt for those in my experiment.
Another thing that annoys me about every multi pen I've tried is the sound of the knock devices. They sound cheap an annoying, and I can never get past it. When I'm writing with the pen, it's fine, but once it's time to open or retract, I cringe a little at the sound.
I typically shy away from multi pens that hold more than 3 cartridges because I'm not a fan of the barrel size required to hold that many refills.
Overall, the pen doesn't feel fantastic, but it's also less than $4 for the body, so you shouldn't expect much.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I started writing with the pen — the refills I got are smooth and reliable, even at the 0.38mm size.
Each refill is sold separately, so you have the choice of size and color for your pen from the beginning. They don't ship with a boring black or blue cartridge that you have to store somewhere, which I find very appealing. Cartridges are less than $2 a piece, and there are many, many colors to choose from.
Installing the cartridges is a simple task, and once they snap in place, you're ready to write.
For the past year or so, I've been using a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook to track my work and time spent on projects. At the end of the week, this data gets added into a timesheet, which in turn gets me paid. But, once you add in a second timesheet requirement, things get complicated in a hurry.
To keep better track of what tasks go to what timesheet, I chose a bright blue and lime green refill. These contrast so well that I am delighted by how much easier my weekly timesheet task is. The third refill is a bright orange, and I use this for non-work notes or appointments.
The blue and green refills are fantastic — they're smooth, bold, and reliable. I can't tell a difference between these refills and the ones in a UM-151, although I'm sure some can.
The orange refill is a bit more rough, but only slightly so. I've had this problem before with light colored gel refills, and I'm assuming it has something to do with the ink properties for lighter colored inks. It still writes perfectly well, just not as smooth as the other two. Also, it could just be a fluke cartridge. I didn't buy two orange refills to test.
At the end of my work day, I can look at a page of multi-colored notes that makes it simple to see where my time was spent through the day. I love this solution, and I'm very happy that I can use my favorite gel pens to do it. So far, the Uni Style Fit is my favorite multi pen. I wish they had some more attractive high end offerings (like Zebra), but that's not the case for now. At least they write like a dream, and pen aesthetics don't affect that.
If you like Uni gel pens, this is the multi pen for you.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)