An ode to an ink-pen: Mitsubishi uni Pin

Form follows function

This might be a bit disappointing to people visiting this site in hopes of reading a new post about pencils. But for my first post in a long time I decided to write about the thing I use the most when drawing: my ink-pens. I have tried a lot of them and I will try to write about those in future articles, but I have been hooked on to the quality of the Mitsubishi “uni Pin”.

So what makes these ink-pens stand out in my opinion? For this question to be answered let us ponder over what makes a good ink-pen a good ink-pen. Just to get this straight right away, it’s not a question of what you pay for it, but how it delivers what it is supposed to do: giving a consistent flow of good quality ink, with a tip that is again consistent in giving the desired stroke, but also can be used for a more expressive way of drawing, and all that for a long time both in quantity of ink and quality of the tip.

The “uni Pins” check every box there is to check. But lets start with the looks of the pens. They might not be the most striking ones, with their bland black body and the minimal design elements, they are just very functional, it is a clear “form follows function” design without almost no hint to an esthetic extravaganza. Everything works: the caps snap nicely with a click onto the front as on the back. The see-through element lets you, well see through to the tip. The small area above it, delivers enough grip to unsnap the cap with just one (sweaty) hand. The cap is adorned with the tip width, and this is maybe the only negative point: there’s no indication of the size on the other end of the pen, you find this more to the front of the barrel. It is plastic overall, only the metal clip on the cap speaks another language that does though match the overall functional looks of the pen.

The see-through element with the grip part of the cap

Next point: quality of the ink. I can’t speak about how long this ink will stay dark, but i’ve been using these pens for more than six years now and I have never experienced any alteration. On the barrel of the pen it says: “Water and Fade Proof. Pigment Ink.” I haven’t tried out the Water Proof part, but the Fade part seems pretty leggit. There’s though one little negative part, but this is something that is dependant of the paper and eraser you use, and something I experienced with almost every other brand I tried: the ink will be erased a bit along with the lead you are trying to get rid of. But for the rest it is a very dark, fast drying ink that delivers. And I’m not sure how they fit so much ink in that barrel. It almost sometimes feels like an endless supply is coming out of these pens. But even those that start to dry up, can still be used for faint lines.

This is a well used pen, not a new one.

And that brings us to the tip. It is an incredibly durable tip. The worst I have ever tried are the Copic ink-pens replaceable tips. I think the replaceable part hints to the quality of those tips: horrible in my opinion. The “uni Pins” are just very good, they retain their form and are consistent in every direction over a very long period. I have bought stacks of these pens, which in retrospect was a stupid move as I’ll never have the joy to buy these pens again: I have too many and will most probably never use them all, that’s why I started to offer them to friends as little presents.

The pen is light in the hand, with just the perfect thickness. This might differ from user to user, but it just feels at home in my hand both ways: I vary my hold from classical to personal (check the pictures). Talking about the grip of the barrel I must say that the “uni Pin” is in a league of its own, every other brand does not have what the “Pin” have, Staedtler have it, but less refined: the surface of the barrel has a subtle stickiness to it, or maybe “grip” is the better word. Compared to the Sakura pens with their perfectly smooth barrels (totally unusable for my damp hands), the Mitsubishi pens just feel right and don’t slip.

It is suprising how much good I find to write about, and equally surprising how many things can be adressed in a review of such a simple thing as a pencil or an ink-pen. This is what makes the fascination of these things, how a simple thing can spur the imagination, can weild different opinions, but ultimately be something you use and abuse and even forget you are using it. The Mitsubishi “uni Pin” are however so good, that their excellence make me often ponder about their makers and the ideas and meetings and the factory, they originate from. If you are using ink-pens and you haven’t tried the “uni Pins”: go for it, you won’t be disappointed.

I won’t post specific drawings. Just look at any of my ink drawings to get an idea of what these pens deliver: MyPencilsDrawWorlds Instagram Page

Disclaimer: I buy my pens myself and I am not paid by any manufacturer or distributor. This my own personal, honest opinion.

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