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May 13, 2014 - Posted by Miriam to Guides

It's the pen with a refill that launched a thousand ships--no, Kickstarter campaigns. With its clear plastic body and simple design, the Hi-Tec-C by Pilot Japan is deceptively ordinary. Yet, this humble pen makes the finest of lines flow out effortlessly and smoothly. It's the stuff pen lovers' dreams are made of.

The secret is two-fold: one, the tip design, and two, the ink. The tip features three indentations that support a revolving carbide ball. This helps it rotate in a frictionless, more natural manner so that the ink flows effortlessly. Second, Pilot uses ink made of a special biopolymer consisting of resin made from microbes such as yeast. As a result, the ink's viscosity is increased, which prevents it from feathering or bleeding.

Since Hi-Tec-C's 1994 launch in Japan, it has been a pioneer of gel ink pen innovation. Various iterations and colors have emerged, and it even won the Good Design Long Life Design Award in 2012. Well-loved by pen aficionados everywhere, it's only right that we pay homage to this cult classic.

Characteristics of the Hi-Tec-C
Form Factor
There are several different product lines of the Hi-Tec-C on the market now that all stem from the basic line, which features the classic plastic body. Though the technology behind the tips and inks remains the same in all of the different product lines, some people prefer a pen body that is more luxurious, trendy, or multi-functional. There have even been Kickstarter projects devoted solely to creating the "perfect" pen body worthy of the Hi-Tec-C ink refill. Regardless, Pilot has come out with several lines so you can choose one that is appropriate for your setting. You can click through the product pictures to see the different pens.
Pen Name Length Diameter Weight
Hi-Tec-C Hi-Tec-C 13.6 cm 9.0 mm 0.40 oz
G-Tec-C G-Tec-C 13.6 cm 9.1 mm 0.40 oz
Hi-Tec-C with Grip Hi-Tec-C with Grip 13.6 cm 9.2 mm 0.40 oz
Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Slim Knock 12.2 cm 8.4 mm 0.20 oz
Hi-Tec-C Slims Slims 12.0 cm 8.6 mm 0.60 oz
Hi-Tec-C Coleto Coleto 14.0 cm 12.3 mm 0.20 oz
Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Cavalier 13.6 cm 8.4 mm 0.67 oz
Hi-Tec-C Maica Maica 14.5 cm 10.5 mm 0.40 oz
Tip Size
The Hi-Tec-C comes in four different tip sizes: 0.25 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, and 0.5 mm. Some lines offer all these sizes, while others offer only a select few. Although all tips write consistently without being scratchy, you do get some "feedback" as you write with the pen, especially on toothier paper. The smaller the tip size, the more feedback there is. The smaller tip sizes also may require some priming before they start to flow. The 0.25 mm size is so thin, some people mistake the writing for lines from thin mechanical pencils. Depending on your preference for the level of fineness or how much feedback you can tolerate, tip size is important to consider. Click on the tip sizes at the top of the table or the green checks within the table to see the products that feature the specific tip size.
Colors
As the popularity of Hi-Tec-C has grown, so has the demand for different colors. Not all the product lines carry the same amount of colors; for example, the Hi-Tec-C with Grip line only has black, red, and blue. However, in some of the other lines, Pilot has developed a rainbow of colors ranging from bright jewel tones to lovely neutrals to soft pastels. You can click on the colored text and colored circles to see the specific products that offer the featured color.
Color Names Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm G-Tec-C Hi-Tec-C with Grip Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Hi-Tec-C Slims Hi-Tec-C Coleto Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Hi-Tec-C Maica
Hi-Tec-C in Black Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Black Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Black Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Black G-Tec-C mm in Black Hi-Tec-C with Grip in Black Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Black Hi-Tec-C Slims Black Refills Hi-Tec-C Coleto Black Refills Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Black Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Black
Hi-Tec-C in Red Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Red Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Red Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Red G-Tec-C in Red Hi-Tec-C with Grip in Red Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Red Hi-Tec-C Slims Red Refills Hi-Tec-C Coleto Red Refills Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Red Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Red
Hi-Tec-C in Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Blue G-Tec-C in Blue Hi-Tec-C with Grip in Blue Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Blue Hi-Tec-C Slims Blue Refills Hi-Tec-C Coleto Blue Refills Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Blue Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Blue
Hi-Tec-C in Green Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Green Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Green Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Green Hi-Tec-C Coleto Green Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Green
Hi-Tec-C in Blue Black Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Blue Black Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Blue Black Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Blue Black Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Blue Black Hi-Tec-C Coleto Blue Black Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Blue Black
Hi-Tec-C in Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Pink Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Pink Hi-Tec-C Coleto Pink Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Blue Black
Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Yellow Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Yellow Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Yellow
Hi-Tec-C in Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Orange Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Orange Hi-Tec-C Coleto Orange Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Orange
Hi-Tec-C in Violet Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Violet Hi-Tec-C 0.3 or 0.4 mm in Violet Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Violet Hi-Tec-C Coleto Violet Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Violet
Hi-Tec-C Maica in Light Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Light Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Light Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Light Blue Hi-Tec-C Maica in Light Blue
Hi-Tec-C in Brown Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm in Brown Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Brown Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Brown Hi-Tec-C Coleto Brown Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Brown
Hi-Tec-C in Apple Green Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Apple Green Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Apple Green Hi-Tec-C Coleto Apple Green Refills
Hi-Tec-C Aqua Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Aqua Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Aqua Blue Hi-Tec-C Coleto Aqua Blue Refills
Hi-Tec-C in Clear Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Clear Blue Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Clear Blue Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock in Clear Blue Hi-Tec-C Coleto Clear Blue Refills
Hi-Tec-C in Cherry Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Cherry Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Cherry Pink Hi-Tec-C Coleto Cherry Pink Refills
Hi-Tec-C in Baby Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Baby Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Baby Pink Hi-Tec-C Coleto Baby Pink Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Baby Pink
Hi-Tec-C in Apricot Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Apricot Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Apricot Orange Hi-Tec-C Coleto Apricot Orange Refills Hi-Tec-C Maica in Apricot Orange
Hi-Tec-C in Mandarin Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Mandarin Orange Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Mandarin Orange
Hi-Tec-C in Pure Pink Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Pure Pink
Hi-Tec-C in Usuzumi (Light Sumi Gray) Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Usuzumi (Light Sumi Gray) Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Usuzumi (Light Sumi Gray)
Hi-Tec-C in Kurikawa (Chestnut Bark Brown) Hi-Tec-C 0.3 and 0.4 mm in Kurikawa (Chestnut Bark Brown) Hi-Tec-C 0.5 mm in Kurikawa (Chestnut Bark Brown)
Product Lines
Hi-Tec-C and G-Tec-C
20 colors of the Hi-Tec-C 0.4 mm.

The classic design of the Hi-Tec-C is instantly recognizable. With its no-fuss, no-frills plastic body, all attention is on the writing experience. You can write smoothly with incredible precision using the 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, or 0.5 mm tip sizes. There are 21 colors offered with the 0.3 and 0.4 mm tips, 10 for the 0.25 mm tip, and 19 for the 0.5 mm tips. The Hi-Tec-C's counterpart outside of Japan is the G-Tec-C. The G-Tec-C is exactly the same as the Hi-Tec-C, but only comes in 3 colors without a 0.5 mm tip size offering. This pen may be labeled under different names depending on the region.

Hi-Tec-C with Grip
3 colors of the Hi-Tec-C with Grip 0.3 mm.

If you're looking for a slight upgrade to the basic Hi-Tec-C, the Grip version comes with a rubber grip for a more comfortable grasp. Colors in this line are limited to black, blue, and red, and the line only comes in 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5 mm tip sizes. However, you can take the refills from the regular Hi-Tec-C line and install it in your Grip pen.

Slim Knock
7 colors of the Slim Knock 0.4 mm.

The Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock is a mini retractable gel ink pen, perfect for taking with you anywhere. It provides the same smooth writing experience as the original Hi-Tec-C, but in a sleek, compact form. The body also has a rubber grip for added comfort, and body colors match the ink color inside. It comes in seven colors and 0.3 and 0.4 mm tip sizes. Those with larger hands may not find this pen comfortable to write with for long periods of time, but it'll do in a pinch.

Slims
Hi-Tec-C Slims with two refills inside.
The silver Slims.

The classy-looking, metallic silver Slims is the same length as the Slim Knock, but comes with two Hi-Tec-C refills inside. 0.4 mm black and 0.4 mm red refills are included, and 0.4 mm blue refills are also available separately for this multi pen. To switch between colors, just twist to the left or to the right. Its sleek look and small size are perfect for professionals on the go. Like the Slim Knock, those with larger hands may find it uncomfortable to write with for long periods of time.

Coleto
4 body colors of the Coleto 4.

The Coleto series is a line of customizable multi pens that also include non-Hi-Tec-C components such as mechanical pencils, erasers, and styli. Available Hi-Tec-C cartridges include 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5 mm tips in a variety of colors. The Coleto also features different bodies with varying designs, capacities, and finishes. In addition to the basic Coleto, choices include the luxurious Lumio, soft and cute Sweet, easy-to-fill N, sleek Smart, and bright Me series. From transparent to opaque to metallic finishes, you can choose which pen body you want based on your needs.

Cavalier
2 body colors of the Cavalier.

Elegant and sophisticated, the Hi-Tec-C Cavalier is a fine tipped pen worthy of any professional setting. Its refillable glossy brass body is accented with gold for a luxurious look. It uses the same technology and ink of the regular Hi-Tec-C, but the ink refill is designed differently, so the regular refills will not fit in this model. However, the Cavalier refill will fit in most other Pilot pens, such as the Pilot Metropolitan. The Cavalier comes in 0.3 and 0.4 mm tips with a choice of two body colors. Black, red, and blue refills are available.

Maica
12 colors of the Maica 0.4 mm.

This snazzy looking pen has the same, reliable Hi-Tec-C technology, but with a shiny, jewel-like body. The Maica comes in a rainbow of 12 colors, each with its own matching body color. That's why it's named "Maica," a Japanese abbreviation for "my color" that encourages you to pick your own color. We like all the little details put into this pen, from the sparkly jewel on the cap that matches the embellished "M" logo to the cap loop where you can string charms. It has a nice weight and its wider barrel makes it comfortable to hold.

The Pen that Started It All
JetPen's first inventory grid of Hi-Tec-C pens.

You wouldn't be mistaken if you called the Hi-Tec-C our flagship product. Back in 2005, when our founders Shu, Lily, and Adrian decided to start a business together in their last year of university, Lily proposed bringing in the Hi-Tec-C first to test the waters. She was introduced to it during her time studying abroad in Asia, and she believed in its magic. Our founders pooled together $5000 and stuffed one large suitcase full of Hi-Tec-C pens in 36 colors and 4 tip sizes. They brought them back to Shu's dorm room and launched JetPens.

The rest, as they say, is history. While the Hi-Tec-C is the pen that started it all, our attachment to it goes beyond sentimentality. With its simple, but highly functional features, the Hi-Tec-C is a pen that truly stands on its own.




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