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Uni Style Fit multipencil

It’s been a few days since the last post. Despite this quiet period, the blog just had the busiest day on record. I’d like to say thank you to Selectism, whose link sent many (no doubt well dressed!) visitors this way.

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Uni Style Fit

Today we’re going to look at the Uni Style Fit. The Style Fit is an inexpensive multi-implement writing system known for a vast array of refill types and colours. Here is an official Mitsubishi Pencil Co. press photo showing the lineup. I count 16 body and 103 refill choices! 102 of those refill choices are pens – a wide range of gel diameters and colours, and a smaller ballpoint selection. There is also a single pencil refill – 0.5mm Nano Dia HB lead.

Uni Style Fit

Though there are many multi-pens on the market, they typically have a set configuration – two ballpoints and a pencil, for example, or three ballpoints – which can’t be changed.

What is really interesting about the Style Fit is that you can put in any combination of the 103 refill types. This made me think that it could be configured as an inexpensive multipencil. I ordered a 3-refill body (all of $US3.00 at Jstationery) and three pencil cartridges.

Uni Style Fit

I changed one cartridge to red lead and another to green. There seemed to be very little tolerance in the cartridges, so replacing the leads required a steady hand. (see below)

Uni Style Fit

The mechanism seems complicated, yet is reasonably practical. The clip is also a lead selector, and two other spokes also function in this capacity. I attached the graphite cartridge to the clip, and the red and green leads to the smaller spokes. You select a lead by sliding the appropriate clip or spoke. This in turn extends the cartridge. The cartridge will lock in place, and the lead is extended by making smaller clicks of the clip or spoke.

Uni Style Fit

Overall, I’m pleased. While admittedly a bit of a novelty, it is also an inexpensive and functioning red-green-graphite multipencil. There is some rattling noise inside the pencil, and it doesn’t exactly look like a luxury writing instrument. Yet at this price point, neither consideration seems important. Also available in single and 5-refill bodies, there are a lot of possible uses for such a customizable item.

Uni Style Fit

Update (March 14, 2010): I had mentioned the challenge of replacing the default lead inside the cartridge. This was based on attempting to reload a stand-alone cartridge. If you first place the cartridge in the pencil body, replacing the lead becomes simple.

11 comments to Uni Style Fit multipencil

  • Seems like a great concept. Being able to make a tri-colour pencil is good. Pity it’s 0.5mm or nothing as I think 0.7mm is generally better for coloured laeds due to their lack of strength. Even better if they offered 0.3mm and 0.9mm pencil tips as well – make yourself a 357 or a 579, etc.

  • Combining three pencil cartridges seem to make a fantastic pencil! Thank you for showing us this pencil. Kiwi-d mentioned the lack of strength when it comes to coloured leads, which is also a problem for me. Do you think the amount of pencil lead extended is suitable for coloured leads, i.e. one click does extend a small amount only, so that the coloured lead does not break when you write?

  • Alas, I’ve had some breakage with the green lead in particular. It seems hard to avoid with colour lead of this diameter.

  • I just saw that Zebra’s Sharbo X has 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm refills, so colour refills with 0.7 mm would be possible in the Zebra.

  • But not three of them – I gather that the Sharbo X takes a single pencil refill.

  • I did not know that. Hmm, what a shame it only takes one pencil refill :( Good you said it and saved me money, I already thought about getting one with more than one refill somewhen in the future..

  • Sam

    i love uni pencil and ballpens! this new multipencil from uni is totally great! not expensive too!

  • FastJack

    I wonder if I could do the same with the pure malt oak multi pens from uni/mitsubishi. I’d love to have a good looking multi-colored pencil.

  • FastJack, that idea sounds great, but I’m not sure that brand would allow reconfiguration. Please let us know if you try it.

  • Nilufern

    What a great idea, I think it is really useful for doing diagrams and engineering. Trust me having your pens rolling around the place or an expensive pen being taken is not great. Do you know of any other pens of this sort as I am in the process of introducing good multipens to medics? Any help on the subject would be met with eternal gratitude as well as where to buy them online etc?

    Please help.

  • andyl

    For a 3mm/5mm/7mm pencil there is the Pentel Function 357 Pencil.

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