This pen is a delight....
April 18, 2014
This pen is a delight. It appears to be made of metal throughout; I can't see
whether it has any internal plastic parts or not, of course, but the barrel
parts, clip, and the little screw-on cap over the eraser are all some light
metal, aluminum I presume.
The point change mechanism is especially nice. It is smooth and not prone to
sticking or jamming, as the gravity-operated mechanism on another multipen I
once had was prone to do. One full twist of the upper barrel with respect to the
lower will extend and then retract each of the three points in succession.
Smooth, positive, and quick. I like.
In case it is not clear enough, this pen doesn't include pen refills or a pencil
mechanism! You have to buy these separately and install them yourself when you
get the pen. It's not hard; just unscrew the lower barrel from the rest of the
pen, press your pencil mechanism of choice into Position 1 and two pen refills
of your choice into theother two slots. They sell gel, ballpoint, ballpoint
highlighter (by other manufacturers I think), and I believe even a stylus for
your smartphone or tablet is available-- and you're good to go. It is well that
it's easy to figure out how to do this, since the instructions are in Japanese
and not much illustrated.
The point in position 1 has to be a pencil. The head of the pencil mechanism is
not included with the pen, but the hollow tube for storing your lead supply is.
Lack of a pencil mechanism is a good thing in a way as it allows you to choose
.3, .5, or .7 mm diameter pencil modules. I chose .3. The lead tube will hold
four or five of the .3 pencil leads.
For pen refills, Zebra themselves make many widths and colors, and if that is
not enough any manufacturer's standard D1 size multipen refill will work,
theoretically. However I have read (although I don't know from personal
experience) that "some animals are more equal than others" and some brands of D1
refills won't fit quite correctly. I would advise reading up on this and using
caution before you invest in large numbers of refills.
I skipped the gel refills because let's face it; a gel pen based on the little
D1 size multipen refill is going to run out of ink very quickly. I got two Zebra
ballpoint refills instead. They write with superior smoothness for a ballpoint,
and being ballpoints should last reasonably well. My choices were a 1.0 width
blue-black and a 1.0 width blood red. The blue black doesn't look very blackish
to me, but it's a nice color and I'm happy with it.
This pen balances well, writes smoothly, operates smoothly, and even looks
sharp. You could use it for heavy duty long document writing if you wanted. Even
with a ballpoint refill installed, though, the ink supply is small enough you'll
go through a lot of refills if you use the pen heavily. Therefore I think it is
better suited for such things as short notes or clipping inside your personal
notebook or day planner. You can color code your calendar, always have the right
writing instrument on hand, and be the envy of all your gadget and pen geek
(You don't have a personal notebook? For shame! Rule 1: Carry a pen and
something to write on; a couple index cards are plenty. Rule 2, when you think
of something you want to remember, write it down right then. Don't tell yourself
you'll remember to write it down later, because you won't. Rule 3: There is no
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