When it comes to office supplies, the multi pen seems to be something that causes great consternation, but with any luck the Uniball Stlye Fit might change things a bit. I feel as if for every positive piece of feedback on a multi-pen there are 5 negative pieces of feedback from someone else on that same pen, so I was excited when I first heard about this pen from The Pen Addict, who first saw it on the Scription blog. Lucky for me, JetPens.com recently got some in so I ordered up a few right away.
In the above photo, you can see the Uniball Style Fit Multi Pen in the 5 color version (left) and the 3 color version (right). The 5 color version has 4 standard plungers to select different colors, and the 5th color is selected by using the pens clip as a plunger. For the 3 color version, you have 2 standard plungers, and the clip acts as the plunger for your third color. The thing that makes this multi pen so cool is that you have several options for using some of your favorite Uniball writing implements that have been specifically designed to swap into the Style Fit body. Your options include multiple colors and tip sizes of the Uniball Signo DX cartridges, and the popular JetStream colors and sizes, along with a mechanical pencil option that utilizes the NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead from Uniball.
Each of the refills for the Style Fit come in an individual plastic tube with a color coordinated cap, and a plastic coated tip. The refill itself has a body that matches the color of the ink, and it also has the size of the point printed on the end of the barrel, closest to the tip, you will see why this is important further down in the review.
Having the option to use any combination of 3 or 5 of your favorite Uniball cartridges gives you great flexibility, but one of the trade-offs that you will have to think about is the fact that the Style Fit refills are much smaller that the refills that come in the standard versions of the pens. The above photo shows the standard Signo cartridge next to the Style Fit version in the same tip size and color.
As I mentioned before, here is a photo that shows exactly why the refill cartridges have the color coordinated bodies, and the point size clearly visible on them. The clear grip section makes it easy for you to see the color and/or tip size that you are selecting. It is obvious that for a pen like this, you need to have a clear view of what options you are picking from, whether its your mechanical pencil, your JetStream ballpoint in multiple colors and sizes, or one of your favorite colors/sizes of the Signo refills, so the grip on the pen is simply a clear plastic screw on attachment to the body. The drawback here is that occasionally you might find the clear plastic to be slightly slippery, and lacking any kind of textured grip to hold between your fingers. The size of the grip on the 5 color body is about the same as what you would find on the Zebra Sarasa 3 multi pen, so you get 2 more colors in comparison, but with the same thickness on the grip. On the 3 color body, the grip section is about the same thickness as the old school Bic 4 color multi-pen that I recently reviewed. I didnt find myself having too much trouble with the grip, but again, this is just one of those things that you need to think about for yourself before you decide to go with this pen.
The 3 and 5 color versions of the Uniball Style Fit have tab shaped plungers that protrude from the top of the pen, and the clip also acts as a plunger for one of the colors on the pen. To me the plungers do seem like they protrude a little bit more than they actually need to, but that certainly does not take away from how nicely the pen writes. One thing regarding the plungers that takes some getting used to is that instead of just pressing straight down on them is that you need to also press the plunger in towards the body of the pen to get it to catch. Initially I had thought that my pen was broken, but for whatever reason, it just takes that extra little bit of pressure to push down AND in when using the plungers….again, not a big deal at all once you realize that you need to do it.
With all of the details about the pen body, plungers, and refills out of the way, the real test is in the way the pen actually puts ink on paper. The only options that JetPens had available when I placed my order were the Signo refills, so thats what you see in the sample above. The multiple sizes and colors of the Signo refills match up with the standard Signo DX options, and they write just as smooth, clear, and brightly as their counterparts. I can only assume that the mechanical pencil and JetStream refills perform just as well, and once JetPens or someone else has them available Ill be sure to update this review. Towards the bottom of the writing sample I also compared the Style Fit directly with the Signo refills of the same color and sizes, and struggled to find any differences, but feel free to click on the photo and compare for yourself.
Overall I think that the Uniball Style Fit is an excellent option for a multi pen. There are many specific criteria that we all have for our pens, and when you try to merge those into a “once size fits all” or “everything to everyone” option, I dont know that its possible to hit a home run, but this pen is probably as close as one could reasonably expect to get.