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Muji Pen Review


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Getsurin

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 16:40

This is my first pen review. Hope I do not sound too amateurish. Here I intend to shed some light on Muji fountain pens which are still relatively unknown but yet surprising good performers for its value.

Size
This is a real pocket pen - small and lightweight. When closed, it is a petite 9.5cm
With the cap on, the pen from cap to nib becomes a regular 14cm. The barrel diameter is approx. 0.8cm
I don't have a scale to measure its weight but I can say that it is light but not feather weight - it has a nice feel to it.

Overall design

Some says the pen is made by Ohto and has a marked resemblance to the Tasche.
But with its no decoration design, it is definitely distinctly Muji.
I used to work with a Muji 'pioneer' (Muji started out as a house brand of Seiyu Japan.) According to him, the Muji approach is to allow the user to personalise the item hence the item is often kept free of "embellishments". For eg, a baby bib will be without decoration so as to allow the mother to sew hers on it. Muji designers do not use Zen or Minimalism as a design framework although such becomes its perception in the West.

This is a photo from another website showing the similarity between Muji and Ohto (the author has a white aluminum one)
0610a_mujiman01.jpg
P9043804.JPG


Quality of material

For about USD 20+ , this pen is well made for its value. The finishing is of good quality, very even and no rough edges.
The clip is matted black unlike the body which has a sheen.

I tried to clip the pen on my thin cotton blouse (incidentally also Muji). The clip holds the pen well.

Feel and balance

As mentioned, this is a light pocket pen. It may be a little too light for some people who prefer weighty pens.
But it works fine for me. The only qualm I have is that the cap is longer than the barrel. So to remove the cap, (if you are using a one hand operation), I need to turn the pen with the cap facing down before pulling the barrel up. This is the opposite action for most other pens.

Writing

Initially, I thought that this pen will write fine like extra fine (as with most Japanese pens). However, I am pleasantly surprised how much ink flows through the nib. The writing is dark and smooth (see picture below). It definitely writes better than my scratchy Murex (see picture below) - although I suspect that the Murex might not be functioning properly. I am getting another one to try out.

I tried to write both English and Japanese and both looks like my usual handwriting - good! happyberet.gif
P9053840.JPG
P9053841.JPG
P9053842.JPG

Cartridge

This pen uses a tiny cartridge and some says that the Ohto one works too although I haven't tried out it out myself.
Since Muji cartridges are expensive (about $1.10 for only 2 pcs), I guess I have to resort to filling the ink DYI,

Accessories

I also bought myself a Muji pen tray (also in aluminum). It looks sleek (the photo does not do any justice)
I bought an extra one in white - if anyone wants it, please let me know (it goes for $10) (see the last photo. The white one shows a little on second pic on right )

I also bought a bunch of Muji notebooks and paper to try out - I guess I will be spending the next few weeks experimenting with the new "toys". My first try tells me that Muji paper appears to be working better than Moleskine. At least the ink don't seep through the pages.

Summary
On the whole, this is a value for money pen. Most importantly, it writes well though remaining understated in the looks department.

I shall be carrying the pen around next week and update my review if there is anything new.

<Note> Apologies for some photos which may look a bit off focus.

Attached Images

  • P9053832.JPG
  • P9053816.JPG
  • P9043810.JPG

Edited by Getsurin, 05 September 2008 - 18:05.

Looking for Vintage Pelikan M 400 with OB nib

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#2 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 17:42

Nice review! thumbup.gif

Love the handwriting. Where are these pens available?

#3 AndyHayes

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 17:53

Excellent review. It's always nice to see people making an effort to review pens, especially new members. The reviews become a valuable resource for us all.
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#4 Getsurin

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 18:04

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

Sailor Kenshin - the pens are available at the Muji stores.
Looking for Vintage Pelikan M 400 with OB nib

#5 antigone

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 09:37

Great review, Getsurin!

I've been carrying one of these pens in my pants pocket for more than a year and it remains extremely reliable. The black finish has been rubbed off the edges but otherwise the Muji pen shows no signs of trouble. My nib writes like a 'M' too.

The only problem I ever had with it is that sometimes ink cartridges get stuck in the barrel, which isn't too much of a problem since most of the cartridge is covered by the nib section part of the pen. I use international cartridges because the ones Muji sells looked like the same size to me - maybe I was wrong and this is the source of my problem?

#6 Beechwood

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 11:07

QUOTE (antigone @ Sep 6 2008, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review, Getsurin!

I've been carrying one of these pens in my pants pocket for more than a year and it remains extremely reliable. The black finish has been rubbed off the edges but otherwise the Muji pen shows no signs of trouble. My nib writes like a 'M' too.

The only problem I ever had with it is that sometimes ink cartridges get stuck in the barrel, which isn't too much of a problem since most of the cartridge is covered by the nib section part of the pen. I use international cartridges because the ones Muji sells looked like the same size to me - maybe I was wrong and this is the source of my problem?



I think that there is a Muji in Leeds, I will take a look tommorrow

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#7 musorah

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 17:48

I've had good luck with all of my Muji purchases - their "build your own" rollerball pens are good value. Even though the writing quality depends on the refill, the ones that I've purchased have always written first time and very smoothly.

Rick

#8 tt32003

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:14

When I visited a local Muki store last week, I saw many different models of fountan pen.
Price ranging for $20 to $40.
Which are the good ones ?
Any website for reference ?

#9 Getsurin

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:36

I have bought 4 of their models - yes it ranges from $20 to $50. The price is slightly higher than the price set in Japanese Yen. You may view the pens in the following website :

www.muji.net

The pictures shown on their site is rather unimpressive. You need to check out the pens yourself.
I will post pictures of the other pens when I have the time, hopefully in a week's time.





Looking for Vintage Pelikan M 400 with OB nib

#10 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 14:57

They say they don't ship internationally. crybaby.gif

#11 toms252

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 14:47

QUOTE (Arthur @ Sep 6 2008, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (antigone @ Sep 6 2008, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review, Getsurin!

I've been carrying one of these pens in my pants pocket for more than a year and it remains extremely reliable. The black finish has been rubbed off the edges but otherwise the Muji pen shows no signs of trouble. My nib writes like a 'M' too.

The only problem I ever had with it is that sometimes ink cartridges get stuck in the barrel, which isn't too much of a problem since most of the cartridge is covered by the nib section part of the pen. I use international cartridges because the ones Muji sells looked like the same size to me - maybe I was wrong and this is the source of my problem?



I think that there is a Muji in Leeds, I will take a look tommorrow


Sure is, top of Briggate. I'm quite the Muji fan and will have to check these pens out!
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#12 Getsurin

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 12:42

After subjecting the pen to the grind of every day use, the black coat on one portion of the clip area appears to be receding. It is not flaky so it does not quite bother me. For those who are bothered with the look of their pens, I suggest the white aluminum The writing remains buttery smooth so far.
Looking for Vintage Pelikan M 400 with OB nib

#13 jacob88huang

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 22:02

QUOTE (Sailor Kenshin @ Sep 8 2008, 07:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They say they don't ship internationally. crybaby.gif


I saw 'Tasche' on the barrel. It looks like this one at JetPens http://www.jetpens.c...products_id/633. It's priced at $15.

-jacob

#14 AndyHayes

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 19:14

If you are in the Uk you can buy these at Cultpens

http://www.cultpens....untain-Pen.html

No affiliation
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#15 Neill78

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 06:44

QUOTE (jacob88huang @ Oct 25 2008, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Sailor Kenshin @ Sep 8 2008, 07:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They say they don't ship internationally. crybaby.gif


I saw 'Tasche' on the barrel. It looks like this one at JetPens http://www.jetpens.c...products_id/633. It's priced at $15.

-jacob


It's the same pen, but Muji may tweak the pens or have them built to their (better?) specifications. Look at the reviews on the Ohto Tasche on JetPens carefully (make sure to read reviews for all colors) before you buy. I had to get the first one replaced as it didn't write at all, and the second one puts out ink like a faucet puts out water. It was going to cost me as much as the pen is worth to pay shipping to send it back again, so I cut my losses and kept it.

Great looking pen that would be useful if there was any kind of quality control. Better to avoid it unless you just want to admire the design and never plan to actually use it to write with.

Neill

#16 musorah

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 22:37

I've had great luck with my 'plain' aluminium one. When it's in use it starts well and glides across almost any paper.



#17 MYU

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 22:55

If you ever have the chance to visit a Muji store, definitely go. It's an amazing place... you'd think you were in a Bauhaus store in Germany. Everything is so clean, neat, and minimalist. I didn't find any fountain pens, but they had plenty of gel, ballpoint, and mechanical pencils in some interesting materials. There's even a section where you can create your own pen by assembling various parts together. smile.gif

(NOTE: their website has a load-intensive flash presentation, no HTML substitute. If you've got sufficient bandwidth, it's interesting to use. Otherwise, it's a major PITA!)

Edited by MYU, 20 February 2009 - 22:58.

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#18 ericthered2004

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:08

I had one of these pens but gave it away as the cap was very wiggly when posted. A shame, since the nib wrote very well, as I remember.

Thanks for the review

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#19 zhangvict

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:17

There dosen't seem to be a breather hole in the pen. My Muji pen also dosent have one. Does it matter?

#20 heyva

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 23:45

There dosen't seem to be a breather hole in the pen. My Muji pen also dosent have one. Does it matter?


I'm pretty sure that the breather hole is on the underside (on mine, the aluminum muji, that's where it is, rather than on the nib.) I guess it doesn't matter where it is as long as it allows air intake and lets capillary action do its job.






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