13th September 2011
Pen Geek : Uni Pin Fine Line
Ink : Odour free water based pigment ink
Nib : Fiber tip
Size : 0.7mm
Manufacturer : Uni-ball www.uniball.com
RRP : £1.79 each – I get mine from the soulless art supermarket that is Hobby Craft. Shame on me.
This pen came recommended to me from a friend with the phrase ‘it’s better than those other ones you always use“. A mighty claim for a humble fineliner, one which would need to be investigated…
Uni is marketing these pens as super fine and crisp, ideal for technical drawing, sketches and stencil work. I guess they are selling to Architects primarily. To be fair, the nib is delicate and very precise. The 0.05 nib is insanely neat – almost needle-like. I drew with it for a day and the fiber tip didn’t fray or bleed, but stayed sharp and crisp throughout. The ink didn’t last so well…
The ink flow was a bit of a problem for me. Uni say its smooth and reliable, but I felt it was perhaps too slow. I almost felt like I was drawing, then had to wait for the ink to catch me up. A bit like working with a Wacom and the Spinning Beachball of Doom appears; slight delay in hand to eye. I guess this is due to the fact that the nib is so fine, there just isn’t room enough in there for the ink to flow quickly. For areas where I needed to block fill or add some textured marks, this pen was no good; it’s just too tight laced.
The ink is opaque and a lovely consistent blackness, however I found it didn’t last very long. I’d say around half the life span of its Stadetler rivals.
Uni have done a cracking job designing the casing of this pen to appeal to their target market. It’s slick, clean and has echoes of blue-print like aesthetics. There’s a little window in the cap so you can see the nib, not sure how useful that is, but I like it. If we judged on looks alone, this pen would win. Very cool. Happy to have it on my desk.
Overall, what you sacrifice in speed and dexterity of ink, you benefit from in precision. Working on a super intricate line drawing? This is the pen for you. Zero bleeding, pooling, deviation in line thickness, this pen has a rigid characteristic that won’t let you down.
Need something a bit more versatile? I’d still recommend the Staedtler.