Uni-ball Signo Needle Gel Ink Pen Review

What do you do when the best gel ink pen gets an update? You buy a bunch of them of course! One of my all-time favorites, and my number one ranked gel ink pen for as long as I can remember, the Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm is now available with a needle point.

Any time I am asked for a gel pen recommendation, especially in a micro-tip size, this pen is my answer. And it’s not really close. While I repeatedly profess my love for the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, and the Zebra Sarasa Clip is wonderful in its own right, the Signo UM-151 is a step above. If you prefer a needle point over a conical tip, then this is a pen you will want to try out.

Aesthetically, the needle tip model is nearly identical to the standard version. There are a few cosmetic differences, such as the addition of the racing stripe down the barrel, but otherwise, this is the same barrel, same grip, same cap, and same ink. And that’s good in my book. The only thing missing on this model is the DX marking, which I never knew why that existed in the first place or what it meant. It was easier calling it the DX though, as opposed the the UM-151, and now the UM-151ND.

Writing with this pen is a complete joy. The lines are fine and sharp, and the colors are rich and saturated. If you are a tiny writer like me, it’s practically perfect. I’ve never had a Signo UM-151 fail to work when I need it to, like the Pilot Hi-Tec-C. I’ve never had the ink run out quickly, like the Zebra Sarasa Clip. Uni-ball has set themselves apart with this pen.

And it is only marketed and sold in Japan.

Uni-ball clearly knows this pen is a success, so why isn’t it on store shelves around the world? Sure, we can all get them through importers like JetPens (thank goodness!), but I find it odd that this isn’t more widely available, at least in 0.38 mm and 0.5 mm sizes. The Signo 307 is the store shelf pen for Uni-ball, comes in many colors, and is amazing in its own right. I don’t see why the UM-151 isn’t out there more alongside it.

Speaking of colors, I grabbed my favorite five: Blue Black, Lime Green, Violet, Light Blue, and Orange. In the past, I would grab three of them to take notes at work so I could have tasks or similar details color-coordinated. These days, I’m a single color note taker, but like having the color options available. Blue Black is my go to, but I mix in the others frequent enough to get used. And there are 10 more colors to choose from, with possibly more to come.

Bottom line: This is the best gel ink pen on the market. It’s always an enjoyable experience whenever I pick one up, and I always make sure to have one - or more - within arms reach.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on June 26, 2017 and filed under Uni-Ball, Signo, Gel, Pen Reviews.

Edison Pearlette Fountain Pen Review

There is something about the Edison Pearlette that makes me keep coming back to it. What it exactly is I can’t pinpoint, but the entire package works so well together - and for me personally - that it is a pen I always want to have in my collection.

The size of the Pearlette is ideal for nearly every situation. It’s big enough to offer a full-sized writing experience, while small enough to be an excellent choice for every day carry. The section could be on the short side depending on your grip, but the transition into the barrel threads has a very tiny step that I barely notice when writing. It is also postable if that is your preference.

What I especially love about the Pearlette is the shape. The Edison Pearl is the first Edison pen I fell in love with because of the cigar shape of the barrel, but it is only available in the Signature line, which is essentially Edisons custom/made to order product line. As the name dictates, the Pearlette is a smaller version of the Pearl, and it is a fantastic shape.

The Pearl, flanked by Pearlettes

The Pearl, flanked by Pearlettes

It has been a couple of years since the Production line Pearlette colors have been updated, but last month, Edison released three new colors: Canyon Trail, Sonoran Sunset, and this one, Azure Skies. Brian chose these colors to represent the Arizona landscape, a favorite travel destination of his, and I think he nailed it. The Azure Skies material is stunning, with bright blues and glowing pearlescent swirls throughout the barrel.

I requested the 1.1 mm stub nib from Goulet Pens for this review, mainly because I wanted to show off a bright blue ink to match this pen, in this case Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. Edison’s Jowo-branded steel nibs are always perfect right out of the box, and this one is no different. I wholeheartedly recommend them in any size.

When it comes down to making a buying decision, the $149 price point puts the Pearlette in direct competition with many entry-level gold nib pens. The price is completely justified in my book due to the quality of the pen and the care I know Brian puts into manufacturing every one of them. It comes highly recommended not only by me, but by many others in the community.

(Goulet Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on June 23, 2017 and filed under Edison, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Nemosine Singularity Stub Nib Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I love demonstrator pens, and I love fine stubs, so I was pretty excited to learn about the Nemosine Singularity earlier this year. And while I'm not super thrilled with it, I do think it's a very decent pen.

The pen is made of see-through plastic--this one in a smoky grey-brown color that is really lovely. It also comes in clear, teal/blue, and pink. The plastic seems very sturdy. I may have accidentally field tested this feature while I was taking photos. I can confidently say that it withstands a four-foot drop onto hardwood floors with nary a fuss, apart from a wee spray of ink in the cap. It has a metal cap band with the brand "Nemosine" etched on it. It has a metal clip that is a bit stiff, but functional. It has a very comfortable black plastic grip section.

The pen takes cartridges or a converter, and comes with both. It actually came with six cartridges, which I thought was very generous. The converter has a small plastic bead in it to serve as an agitator to help the ink flow to the feed instead of being stuck up by the piston. The last bit of ink still seemed to get stuck, so I'm not sure it's quite helping.

The nib is steel, and one of the prettiest in the business, I think. It's etched with a lovely butterfly. The Nemosine nibs are easily interchangeable--replacement nibs can be purchased for about $10. The .6mm stub on my pen is a little bit snaggy. I think it needs some smoothing to give me a better writing experience. And for all its snagginess, it isn't as crisp a stub as I'd been hoping for. The horizontal lines are definitely thinner than the vertical lines, but the pen is such a wet writer that the definition almost completely disappears. At times it just looks like I'm writing with a broad nib. It may be one of the wettest writers I've ever used, and even occasionally burps ink. I tried making sure everything was seated and aligned correctly, but I still get the occasional blorp of ink from the base of the feed. I've only used it with the converter, so perhaps using a cartridge will help--I need to do a little more experimenting to see what might be the cause of my very inky fingers.

Because this pen is so wet, it really needs well-coated or heavy paper. It bleeds through cheap copy paper almost like a Sharpie. It even feathers a little on Rhodia. But after playing with it, I feel like this very wet stub might be good for bringing out the sheen in inks. It's a great pen for trying out inks with shimmer, since the nib can be removed for cleaning. The low price-point makes it an ideal guinea pig pen for ink experiments.

If someone had handed me this pen without telling me what it was, I'd have guessed it to be more expensive than it is. I think it's at a price point to be a great beginner fountain pen, especially with all the nib options to play with. In terms of quality and writing experience, I think it's comparable to the TWSBI Eco.

My disappointment with the .6mm stub is the only thing holding me back from really loving this pen. The ink burping I can live with--I just wouldn't use it to write wedding invites or important business letters. To my pen pals, that's just a bonus ink swab. Since the nibs are so easily replaceable, though, I think it's a good opportunity for me to practice my nib tuning skills. I'll beat up the nib a little and fill the pen with some garish, volatile ink, and I think I and the Singularity will get along just fine.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on June 22, 2017 and filed under Nemosine, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.