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August 14, 2014 - Posted by Miriam to Guides

The customizable multi pen system is your personal dream team of writing instruments. With choices ranging from ballpoint to gel ink to mechanical pencils to styli, even the pickiest person can find something to like. The beauty of a multi pen is that you can have several components in one pen. In customizable multi pen systems, pen bodies come in an array of designs with different component counts. Components include a variety of ink colors, tip sizes, and more. To see the different systems we carry as well as demonstrations on how to install components, read on!

Characteristics of Customizable Multi Pen Systems
Normally, multi pens are pre-installed with components set by the manufacturer; however, in customizable multi pen systems, all parts come separately. The empty body acts as the base of the pen, and you decide which components you want to fill the base body with.
Separate Components

Since none of the components come pre-filled, you have full control over what you put into your pen. You can buy the exact components you want in a combination that works best for you. Students, for instance, need basic ink colors like black, red, and blue, as well as a mechanical pencil component for math and science class. Artists, on the other hand, may want more unique and fun colors in their customizable multi pen.

Number and Types of Components

The number of components a customizable multi pen can carry will differ across brands and models. It can range anywhere from two to five components in a pen. Different types of components also vary among brands. For example, Pilot's Hi-Tec-C Coleto offers a stylus and eraser component, which are not available in the other brands.

Refillable and Interchangeable

When you get tired of a certain combination, or if the ink runs out in one of your components, all you have to do is pop out the dud, switch in a shiny new one and voila! A brand new pen. Each brand offers a different approach to installing components, so be sure to watch the demonstration videos below.

Product Lines
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto

As fans of the needlepoint Hi-Tec-C, we love the Coleto. Offering a wide range of body types, gel ink refills, and other types of components, you can choose from higher end, business appropriate models (Lumio) as well as affordable and cute models (Sweet). Gel ink refills are slightly more expensive than their counterparts from other brands, but we think the reliable smooth writing and extremely fine tip are worth it. Mechanical pencil and stylus components are also available, making it a great pen for businessmen.

(From left to right) Coleto 4 body, gel ink, mechanical pencil, eraser, and stylus refills.
How to install refills into the Coleto video demonstration.

Those who dislike bulky multi pens will appreciate the incredibly slim design of the Coleto--it's like holding a regular pen! Installing refills into the Coleto is simple; just flip up the top and you can slide the refills right into the slots. Although it's easy to fill, extending each component doesn't feel as secure as in some of the other multi pens, and you may run into a little bit of trouble switching between components. One thing that we do like is that the tabs at the top of the components are colored for you to know exactly which components you're using.

Uni Style Fit

The Style Fit spotlights Uni's best writing instruments. Surprisingly inexpensive, the gel ink refills feature the classic Signo ink, while the ballpoint refills feature the famous Jetstream ink. The mechanical pencil component is prefilled with NanoDia leads, infused with nano-diamond pieces to create a strong, high-quality lead. A great feature of the Style Fit is the clear window design--it lets you see the components inside the pen.

(From left to right) Style Fit 3 body, gel ink, ballpoint, and mechanical pencil refills.
How to install refills into the Style Fit video demonstration.

To install, you unscrew the pen from the middle and insert the refills into the slots you see until you hear it click into place. We find that the mechanism the Style Fit uses feels sturdier than the Coleto, and it's much easier to switch from one component to the other. However, the Style Fit can get quite bulky, especially the five-component pen. Those who need a little bit more heft to their pen (big hands, anyone?) and conical tip lovers will enjoy this pen.

Zebra Prefill

Here's another great conical tip customizable multi pen: the Prefill takes the super smooth Sarasa gel ink and the innovative Surari emulsion ink refills. Refills cost around the same as Style Fit refills, but the Prefill ones tend to run out much faster, which can be inconvenient for some people. Body choices are more limited than in the Coleto and Style Fit, and the Prefill bodies come in a relatively bigger size. However the body designs are bold, fun, and inexpensive.

(From left to right) Prefill 3 body, gel ink, emulsion ink, and mechanical pencil refills.
How to install refills into the Prefill video demonstration.

Like the Sarasa single pens, the Prefill features a sturdy binder clip for clipping onto thicker objects, which is a great option for people on-the-go who constantly need to attach their pen to something. In addition, the lower section of the pen is clear, so you can see exactly what colors you selected. To fill the pen, unscrew the clear portion from the rest of the pen and insert the refills into the slots until you hear a click. Like the Style Fit, the Prefill is quite sturdy, and switching from one component to the other is effortlessly easy.

Pentel Sliccies

With a needlepoint tip like the Hi-Tec-C, the Sliccies customizable multi pen also features an extremely slim body. The body has grooves near the tip of the pen for a better grip. Out of all the lines that we've mentioned, Sliccies is the most basic, only offering a 3-component body and their signature gel ink refills. Refills cost around the same as Style Fit and Prefill ones. This pen is perfect for those who love colored gel ink and don't need the extra components. You can use it for journaling, doodling, or any other situation where you want to switch between colors.

(From left to right) Sliccies body and gel ink refill.
How to install refills into the Sliccies video demonstration.

Sliccies refills are unfortunately not quite as smooth as their Hi-Tec-C counterparts, but they are much more affordable. To fill the pen, unscrew the pen from the middle and insert the refills into the slots until you hear it click. Like the Style Fit and Prefill, the Sliccies mechanism is very secure. You should consider this pen if you like needlepoint tips and slim pens, but don't want to pay the higher premium for the Coleto.

Frozen
We promise we're not about to sing "Let It Go!" Instead, let's take a look at some of our favorite Frozen* characters and talk about which customizable multi pens they would fancy.
Elsa

This ice queen can get a little volatile, but she's really a gentle soul at heart. We think she could handle the needlepoint Hi-Tec-C Coleto with no problem. The Coleto Lumio would be perfect for her--its luxurious design is fit for a queen.

Anna

Though a dreamer and romantic, Anna is also clumsy and a little careless. The Uni Style Fit would be a good choice for her--the conical tip is tougher than the needle tip, and she would enjoy all the pretty gel inks and body designs!

Kristoff

The Zebra Prefill is just what this ice man needs. With its sturdy clip and conical tip, it can stand up to whatever task Kristoff puts it to! We don't see him using anything beyond the basic colors (what a shame!) but he can still enjoy the smooth writing experience of the Surari and Sarasa.

Olaf

Whimsical and sweet, Olaf would love all the beautiful colors of the Pentel Sliccies. He would spend all his time switching between the colors, and talk himself into and out of different combinations until finally passing out from sheer exhaustion.

*Note: Frozen and its characters belong to Disney. JetPens is not affiliated with Disney in any way, nor does JetPens claim any of the characters as their own.
Final Thoughts

Customizable multi pen systems give you the freedom to pick out the colors and components that you know you'll use. Make sure to pick a system with tried and true components. To summarize our recommendations:

Whatever your choose, the resulting pen should be a unique, one-of-a-kind writing instrument that's a reflection of you. Are you a multi pen user? What is your favorite combination?

Product
Component Count [1] 2, 3, 4, 5 3, 5 3, 4 3
Ballpoint Refills (mm) No 0.7, 1.0 No No
Gel Ink Refills (mm)
0.3, 0.4, 0.5

0.28, 0.38, 0.5

0.4

0.3, 0.4, 0.5
Emulsion Ink Refills (mm) No No 0.5 No
Mechanical Pencil Refills (mm) 0.3, 0.5 0.5 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 No
Eraser Refills Yes No No No
Stylus Refills Yes No No No
Diameter (max; mm) 13.0 14.0 12.7 10.1
Diameter (min; mm) 10.3 11.2 12.6 10.1
Standout Feature Many choices, colored tabs Many choices, sturdy extension Sturdy clip and extension Slim body, affordable
[1] The number of components that a pen body holds.



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