The Beautiful UGLee Pen

You know how sometimes you meet someone and think that they’re kind of odd looking or just not all that good-looking (who am I to talk?!), but then as you spend more and more time with them and REALLY get to know them, they slowly become much more attractive? Yeah? Well that’s this pen.

At first glance (and second and third) it is an odd one. No way around that.

But it isn’t ugly…it’s UGLee. And UGLee stands for the following:
U = Ultimate
G = Grip
Lee = Dr. James Lee, the designer and creator of this “revolutionary ergonomic” pen

Here’s how Dr. Lee introduces the pen on his website,

Hello I’m Dr. James Lee,

inventor of the UGLee Pen. Believe me, I have put a lot of thought into the creation of this pen. I know that I haven’t come up with the cure for cancer, or even the common cold, though that is next on my list! But what I have done is designed the world’s first, truly comfortable ergonomic pen. Please, try one of my pens. You will be amazed at the comfort. Even if you never thought you had problems with writing pains. You will love the Ultimate Grip Pen, guaranteed! [Note: Unlike the Fisher Space Pen inventor, Dr. Lee is very much alive, so there are no pesky “how do I send a pen back to someone who’s dead?” issues. Not that you’ll want to send it back.]

I don’t have writing pains (well, not physical ones, anyway), but once I heard about it, I knew I had to test drive Dr. Lee’s creation. His website is full of details and videos about the design and benefits of the pen as well as testimonials from doctors, nurses, and students, and just plain people…basically anyone who writes. Folks with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and MS also sing the praises of the UGLee pen because its ergonmic design gives them a pain-free writing experience.

You can read all of that on his site. I won’t bother rehashing the very thorough information here. I will, though, discuss a few of the pen’s details.

Detail #1: The Grip. Or should I say THE GRIP? Because that is one substantial grip.

The pen measures a hair over five inches long, and the grip covers about 2/3rds of this length; from just under the end of the clip to just a spit above the the writing tip. So no matter how you hold your pens…high, low, or somewhere in-between…your fingers will be holding the pen’s “ultimate” grip. Or more accurately, the grip will be holding onto your fingers. That’s what’s cool…the material grips your fingers, not the other way around. You can keep a loose hold on the pen and still write securely. No heavy gripping required equals less pain and no cramping.

The grip’s ridges makes it possible for everyone…from small children to ham-handed adults…to experience the well-executed design of the scooshy (technical term)  grip material. A little hard to describe, but hold one and you’ll see what I mean.

Detail #2: The Notchy Thing (again, more technical jargon)

For most people, this notch (or indented area) in the pen’s body rests right on that web between your thumb and forefinger. Like this…

Because the pen is perfectly notched, it almost feels like it’s part of your hand, rather than resting on your hand. Yet another well-executed piece of the overall design.

And if your hand is of a size that causes the notch to fall elsewhere, the indented areas of the grip will serve the same purpose (e.g., for small kidlet hands, the indents on the grip will give the same feel as the notch on the actual body). So the notch/grip notches are just the ticket for making this pen feel custom fit to your hand.

Detail #3: The Ink
Dr. Lee describes the ink as “the smoothest ink system known- smoother than any rollerball, gel ink, or fountain pen.” Here’s where I have a few gripes. While the writing experience is smooth, it seems to me that that has more to do with the tip size (it’s big…maybe 1.4 mm) than the actual ink.

The line is dark and bold, but there is some white space, and that always irks me. See?

Despite all of the design features, the tip is just too fat and the ink too streaky (with an occasional blob) for me to consider this the perfect pen. It’s certainly not bad by any stretch, and if you’re suffering from writing pain, could be the answer to your pen prayers. Oh how I wish the UGlee pen was offered in 0.5, 0.7, or even 1.0 mm sizes. Maybe the experience would be a little less smooth, but I’d happily give that up for a finer line. Right now, I feel like a surgeon working with a chain-saw rather than a micro-scalpel. The ability to write with precision and finesse just isn’t there.

But wait, don’t give up hope yet! I have it on good authority that the refill in the Dong-A Anyball Ballpoint Pen fits the UGLee pen, so I’ve ordered a few in smaller tip sizes in hopes that I can hack this pen into perfection. Stay tuned for follow-up!

So maybe the pen isn’t exactly beautiful, but it’s not ugly. It’s UGLee. And there is a difference.

Write on.