The good people over at Uniball have shown their generosity and let me get my hands on their new and yet unreleased Signo MF2 Gel Pen and Mechanical Pencil. Specific thanks go to @Uniball_Pen_Gal on Twitter. She works for the Uni-ball brand, and was the one responsible for sending this new pen over to me. When I started this blog I really just thought it would be a good excuse for me to buy some more office supplies to play with, and I could justify the purchases because I was going to write about them on my blog, never did I think Id get to try out all these new products like the Stainless Steel Sharpie, the Post-it Flag+ Gel Pens, and now this. I also owe a special thanks to all of my readers, because if not for you, then obviously the folks making these products would have nothing to gain by giving me so many free products to review and write about. A new giveaway will be coming up soon to officially thank all of you.
Take a good look at the above picture, it is the packaging you should be looking for when you head out to the store to pick this Pen/Pencil Multipen on April 1st when it becomes available, unfortunately I dont have a price on this one yet. You will notice from the packaging that the Signo MF2 not only offers the uni Super Ink technology to help thwart check and document fraud, but it also offers uni-ball Diamond Infused Lead to help prevent breakage of your leads. Having both of these propritery uni-ball products in one multipen was a fantastic surprise for me to see when I opened up my mail a few weeks ago.
The writing sample that I did with this pen was done in a Mead Grad Recycled notebook. I felt that this was an appropriate choice for this type of writing implement because I know a lot of students really like the pen/pencil multipens because of their flexibility.
The first thing I did when I got this was to try out the pen portion of it. Having already written with multiple different versions of the Signo, I pretty much knew to expect a nice smooth solid line as Ive become accustomed to with any uniball pen. I certainly was not disappointed in the quality of ink and ability to put down a nice line. One minor issue I did have with the pen though was that you can kind of feel a tiny bit of movement when the point hits the paper, it is almost as if you can feel the point slide back up into the barrel by the tiniest amount. This is something that I have never experienced with other Uniball pens, but when I switch over to writing with the pencil I dont feel this happen. I’m not sure if this is just specific to my pen or if they all do this, but either way, it is certainly not a huge distraction or issue…it is most likely just me bing picky.
When writing with the pen, I did take a considerable amount of work notes, and the grip section was pretty comfortable. I do like a thinner grip on my pens, however with a multipen like this, I dont think a thinner grip is really an option, so I cant really complain. The grip itself is fairly soft and smooth, but is not one of those extra-cushy grips, its just the right amount of grip to get the job done, which I appreciate.
Now I have to be upfront here and tell you that I almost never write with a pencil because I hate the way that the point is in a never ending race to being dull, I love the feeling of writing with a sharp pencil, but unfortunately that only ever lasts for about 2 letters at best. I did do some writing with the pencil myself, but I also outsourced some of the testing to my girlfriend who is a scientist and likes to use pencils…and she also happens to be someone who writes with an amount of pressure that makes me think that she wants to actually carve the letters into the paper rather than actually write them on the paper. Needless to say, these uni-ball Diamond Infused Leads were made for someone just like her. She took this pen with her to work and did some writing with it and seemed genuinely surprised (meaning I expect this pen to mysteriously vanish from my posession at some point) when she reported back that the lead never snapped on her. I know that in the past she has mentioned that her other mechanical pencils have had the leads snap on her while she was carving…err, I mean writing in her notebook. This should be considered a big win for the uni-ball Diamond Infused Lead. 🙂
As I said, although I did oursource some of the testing to her, I still obviously wrote with the pencil myself, and did find it to be pretty nice to write with. I still have my issue with pencils in general which is the fact that the points dont stay sharp, but that aside, the pencil did write well. The lead left a nice smooth dark line, and I did not experience the same bit of play when the point hit the paper as I did with the pen. One other noticeable thing was the eraser on this pencil does a really nice job. I actually wanted to include the eraser results in the writing sample above, but you literally couldnt see them, so I think that should speak for itself. Even when writing with a considerable amount of pressure, the eraser seems to remove all evidence of lead on the paper. I like how the eraser is hidden away under the pluger, you remove the plastic outer enclosuer and the eraser is exposed, this is pretty much the standard location for an eraser on any mechanical pen. I also tried writing with multiple degrees of pressure, and it was not until I got to a point that I felt was beyond a realistic writing pressure that the lead finally snapped…it was pretty impressive.
The final picture above shows the close up of the section of the pencil which advances the lead. You simply remove this section from the lead storage shaft inside the body of the pen, and it allows you to slide the new leads in. Although as I said before, pencils are not my first choice of writing implement, this section of the Uniball mechanical pencil is impressive to me…so much mechanical technology and precision in such a tiny package, its pretty cool.
Anyway, I really like this combination of the Uniball Signo and Mechanical Pencil with the .5mm points, and if you find yourself using both pen and pencil, you should be on the lookout for this pen starting April 1st at your favorite office supply store.