MUJI Clear Ballpoint Gel Pens review

Hey guys, first and foremost, a ver happy new year to everyone!  I know that it’s quite late, but since I was super busy this year for my new planner launch (yoohoo!) I only got free after the planner rush season was over!

So, today I will be reviewing the pens from one of the well-known Japanese brand, MUJI. This is a brand whose core philosophy is ‘NO BRAND QUALITY GOODS’. According to MUJI, their products have a natural and simplistic design. They had recently launched their 2nd store in India, in a Bengaluru mall. I had been to the store once when they had launched, but could not pick up anything during my first visit. However,  in December we planner addicts in Bengaluru had a meetup where we decided to raid the MUJI India and Itsy Bitsy stores for stocking up on our goodies and it was then I found these lovely pens at the MUJI store.

They actually have quite a variety of options available for pens, but I ended up choosing the 0.5mm gel pen primarily because it had the colours that I wanted and also because I prefer pens with point size less than 0.5mm. I bought a couple of these pens in different colours and have used them in my planner for a while now and here are my thoughts on it..

Name:

Smooth Writing Gel Pen (generic name)

Company:

MUJI India (originally from Japan)

Price:

₹ 90.00 for one pen.

Refillable:

Yes, however, I haven’t enquired about their refills.

Availability:

Available in MUJI India (physical) stores which are currently in Mumbai and Bengaluru only. Currently not available with major online retailers.

Packaging:

There is literally no packaging of the pens. It goes with their philosophy that – ‘When packaging products, MUJI seeks not to adorn them but rather to highlight their natural colours and shapes’. Therefore, the pens are simply placed in a section, neatly arranged by type and colour. I find it oddly satisfying to look at their product arrangements, especially the pens section! You can search for ‘muji store pens’ and get a lot of images of the MUJI way of organising their stationery supplies. Personally, I love it since we discard the packaging for pens anyway. There are also very few details of the product on the product itself since ‘minimalism’ is one of the core concepts underlying the MUJI products.

intro_photo

Product:

The pen is plastic but has a sturdy finish. Its length is standard size (~15 cm). Just like the Pilot FriXion pens, I do not fancy the width of these pens too, which is nearly 1 cm. They are a bit fat for my liking. It has a frosty silicone grip, which works fine for me. The point size is 0.5 mm, which was something that made me buy these pens apart from the pretty colours. The pen is retractable, thus it has no cap. The point has a tiny silicone cap which is commonly seen these days in many pens, to prevent the ink from drying before purchase. I just wish it had a less generic body though, but it is not a dealbreaker for me of course!

Since the pen has a transparent body, one can easily identify the colour of the ink. Also, the pocket clip is the colour of the ink. I would say that the best part is that the colour of the plastic clip matches perfectly with the ink colour! That is something I was pleasantly surprised about since many of the pens I have seen almost always have a slight shade difference in the pen ink and body.

I have purchased 2 colour varieties of these pens viz. yellow and green. Although officially MUJI calls it a green pen, the colour of the ink (green one) is actually Asagi i.e. pale-green blue. I must say that I am in love with this colour. In fact, I would not have spent 90 rupees for this pen had it not been available in this colour!

About the writing, I must say that I am not a big fan of how this pen writes. The reason being it does not write smoothly as one would expect. Now I know that smoothness can be perceptive, but still, I felt that this pen cannot glide on its own, it needs effort. I think that can be improved. I know that this is not an issue with a single piece as I own a couple of them and I also tested out a few other colours in this variety in the store. It writes evenly, though. The ink release is consistent since it is a gel pen. The colours are bold and correct for the description (clip colour). The dry time of the ink is quick. So it will work for our left-handed friends too 🙂

Writing Sample:

Shall we take a look at the writing samples of the pen on normal paper and sticker paper? I know how we planner addicts end up writing more on stickers than normal paper 😛

Below are the writing samples for the pen on normal paper (top) and sticker paper (bottom).

normal_paper-sample
Normal paper
sticker_paper-sample
Sticker paper
normal_paper-sample2
Normal paper close up

 

Final thoughts:

For me, the USP of these pens were the two colours that I picked up. I do not fancy paying so much for these pens for the other colours that are widely available at a much cheaper price. Also, since I cannot use these pens for writing long texts, the utility of these pens is restricted to planning and bullet journaling. Hence, I may not buy more of these.However since I haven’t come across a smooth 0.5mm gel pen (I remember my old Add gel pen as I am typing this!), I might still keep a watch on these pens for more unique colours. I would recommend getting these pens only for planning if you must. Otherwise, there is no loss in skipping them.

Planner addict’s rating:

3.5/5

So guys, would you give the MUJI pens a try? Do let me know in the comments!

Also, do let me know if there is any other pen that you would recommend for a planner addict.

Cheers!

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MUJI Clear Ballpoint Gel Pens review