October 2, 2008

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.


Dave said...

muji do a slightly more expensive refillable gel ink pen in 0.5mm (or 0.7, I think) nib, which comes with either a metal barrel or a plastic one with a rubber handgrip, and a click-to-go action.

Using one now. I love my muji pens.

LizB said...

the smear with the highlighter test seems minimal at best, though.

Just got some slicci pens the other day (at a local art store) and i'm loving them! "burnt orange, baby blue and Midnight blue"

the next closest store that sells them is over an hour away! sheeeeesh...when will other places learn, and start catering to the "pen elitists" out there?

kataish said...

Ooo it looks nice. I really love the look of it.

It makes me sad that I can't seem to get ANY pens you review except the ones from jetpens. Grr

Gaius said...

They pop up on Ebay from time to time but run out fast. These pens are extremely popular outside the US.

Anonymous said...

There is currently a seller offering 10 piece multi-color sets of Mujis for $9.99 + $5.99 S+H. 2 available apparently (although it may soon be one, I haven't made up my mind yet). Just search e-bay for "muji pen" it's the first listing that comes up.