Today’s pen blog is a multi-function pen. I don’t do these often, but this one caught my eye. It’s the Pentel EnerGel Multi-Function Pen from Tokyo Pen Shop. This is one of the Japanese offerings, not necessarily found in the US, except through online portals like Tokyo Pen Shop.
This Pentel EnerGel multi-function pen surprised me a little. I’m used to multi-function/color pens being bulky and sometimes hard to handle. This one isn’t. For what it is, it’s quite sleek. It’s 5.5″ long with everything retracted, and about 5.75″ with a point extended. The barrel diameter is obviously wider than a “typical” standard single use pen or pencil, but not more so than some of the ergonomic grip pens. It’s not uncomfortably wide and does have have a ridged, rubber grip, but that helps with traction and doesn’t get in the way.
The 0.5mm needle-point pens are a rich red and black gel ink that flows well. The tips retract and extend by twisting the clip cap, and have clear marks just under the cap so you know if you’re getting the red, black or pencil – which is handy . The fine points to the ball points give a dark line and help keep the bulk down on the pen. The 0.5mm pencil is a good lead that doesn’t break easily. The lead advances by clicking the cap, which also houses the refillable eraser.
The eraser is under a forest green cap that molds into the clip, and the cap is tight. It takes some tugging to get the cap off to get to the white rubber eraser. The lead extends and retracts easily. It comes with two rather long leads – which is good because I’m still not altogether sure how to refill the lead. There’s no clear way to either put lead in through the cap or to have the metal lead barrel come out. Except I figured it out by looking at another similar multi-function pen. Pencil lead is refilled by removing the writing tip and inserting lead into the barrel. Weird by effective?
This pens are refillable. Tokyo Pen Shop has the ink refills. The refills are changed through the barrel and snapping the ink into place.
1. How does it work? – 1 – It works well. The rotary function of the points feels secure. You can leave lead advanced while having the point retracted. The lead and ink flow smoothly. The clip is secure.
2. Grip and feel – 1 – For a multi-function, it’s actually comfortable. There’s no taper, but the diameter is comfortable. There’s very little ridge between grip and barrel to be uncomfortable. It’s long enough to fit comfortably in the hand. I’m actually surprised by this.
3. Material – 1 – It is plastic and base metal…however with the nice inserts, and sturdy feel, it’s decent. The transparent plastic of the barrel lets you see ink levels. Some might think it’s expensive for plastic and base metal, but it’s environmentally conscious and three good quality writing instruments in one.
4. Overall Design – 0.5 – I am going to knock a half point off here just for the pencil refill. It’s not intuitive. I kept looking for the pencil refill to be through the cap, but it’s not. I had to find out how to do it by looking at another review and trying that and figuring it out.
5. Price Point – 0.5 – It’s not cheap, but it is useful. I used it a ton last week when I needed a pencil, and this is what I had. Tokyo Pen Shop has it on sale right now. It’s normally $7.00 which is okay, but right now it’s $5.25 on Tokyo Pen Shop. And though the price isn’t exorbitant, it’s an investment. However, if you travel or often need the multi-function, this is well worth it. I do find myself going to it when I might need pen/pencil back and forth options.
That’s 4 of 5 bronze pencils.