Four Pens I Can’t Put Down

Four favorites

I have a pretty short attention span when it comes to pens— using a favorite for awhile, then moving on to something different/newer/shinier. Later on, I re-discover the old favorite and bring it back into the pen fold. So there’s always been a pretty decent turnover rate in my day-to-day pen usage.

Four pens

Until now.

I just can’t get enough of these four favorites.

Throughout the course of a week (or day…or hour), I find opportunities to use all of these exceptionally well-made machined pens. I cart them to and from work, journal with them, fill out my datebook(s), and make grocery lists.

They’re just so good.

Ti2 Techliner Shorty

The Ti2 Techliner Shorty (Gonzodized finish) by Ti2 Design is the newest of the bunch and features neodymium magnets, as well as an unconventional nosecone, that make this pen extra fascinating. With an Uni-ball Signo UMR-85N 0.5 mm black refill installed, this has become my go-to Field Notes pen for tracking work and home to-dos.

Karas Kustoms Retrakt

This stunning and classic looking two-tone Retrakt, by Karas Kustoms, arrived in November, and I immediately outfitted it with a Pilot Juice 0.38 mm blue-black refill. The line is super sharp— perfect for jotting down appointments and making entries in my One Line A Day journal. Killer looks, killer performance. Plus knurling. Cannot resist the knurling.

Mover & Shaker

I’ve been using my TactileTurn Mover and Shaker pens since they arrived following Will Hodges’ successful Kickstarter campaign. I should’ve reviewed these long ago, but they’re so good and trouble-free that I almost take them for granted. I’m currently using a Pilot G2 0.38 mm black refill in the Mover (top/red), and a 0.5 mm black Moleskine refill in the Shaker (bottom/raw aluminum). When I’m in the mood for a ballpoint, I swap a Parker-style Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 into the Shaker. They’re rock solid, with a finely grooved grip section for interest and texture.

Four favorites

Each of these pens deserves its own review, and I promise to do so in the near future. But for now, I just wanted to heap some praise where praise is due— on Mike Bond of Ti2 Design, Dan Bishop of Karas Kustoms, and Will Hodges of TactileTurn.

They’ve all run successful and well-managed Kickstarter projects and continue to turn out pens that exemplify attention to detail and good old quality workmanship.

And they’re all really nice guys.

Four favorites

Four favorites. Four pens I just can’t put down.

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I purchased all of four pens with my very own allowance.

There are no affiliate links in this post, just happy pen smiles.

Love At First Write: The UniBall Signo MF3 Multipen

Is it Uni-Ball or UniBall or uni-ball? Is it multipen or multi-pen or multi pen? You’re right. Who cares? (I’ll just pick one and try to be consistent. Or not.)


UniBall Signo MF3

Because I love my UniBall Signo DX so much, I did a little browsing on the JetPens site to see if there were any Signo multipens, and wound up adding the Signo MF3 to a recent order. Even though there were other pens in the order that I was more excited about, the MF3 quickly rose to the top of the pen heap. Let’s see if I can figure out, and explain, why.

Three options for all of your writing needs:


A writing sample

Most of the time, the three options (black gel, red gel, and pencil…all 0.5 mm) cover my writing needs. I’m a big list maker (in my Planner Pad, in my Field Notes, etc.) so I use all three equally. The gel inks are solid performers, which is not surprising given UniBall’s reputation. The pencil is fine, too. though I’ll probably swap the lead for a 2B one, as I prefer a softer, darker line. (Pencil OCD.)

Just the right size:

Not to get all Goldilocks on you, but the size of this pen is JUST right…not too thick, not too thin. It feels very good in hand. I haven’t experienced an iota of fatigue. (Well, not WRITING fatigue, anyway.)

Nice color chooser thingie:


Dialed in for red

Switching from black to red to pencil and back again takes just a little twist of the body. Once the clip is aligned with the desired color indicator on the barrel, you’re good to go. Set the clip in between the color indicators and all tips are retracted into the barrel. See?


Setting to retract the tip

You’re basically twisting across 180 degrees of the barrel, from black to red to pencil and back again. You can’t twist around the entire barrel (i.e., there’s no way to go from pencil to black without passing through red). Is this a hardship? Not to me. I haven’t experienced any issues with the mechanism hanging up, which can be a multipen annoyance.

I also like that the front end of the barrel is translucent so you can tell which tip you’ve deployed. As I’ve said in other reviews, this is a failing of mine…wanting to write in black, but having red selected. Your color choice is pretty obvious in this pen.


I want red & I see red. Perfect.

The grip:

The grip is smooth rubber and is well positioned. Some grips are placed too high on the barrel so that they aren’t much use to “low grippers.” Not so with this pen. There’s no texture, but there’s still enough grippiness (and I’ve been using it during sweltering days and evenings). No slippage, even at a zillion % humidity!

Though the Signo MF3 is fairly basic in design, and very reasonably priced ($6.75 at JetPens), it is a stellar performer.

I expected to like the UniBall Signo MF3, but I didn’t expect to experience love at first write.

Cheesy, but true. Very true.

Edited to add:
This is wrong: You’re basically twisting across 180 degrees of the barrel, from black to red to pencil and back again. You can’t twist around the entire barrel (i.e., there’s no way to go from pencil to black without passing through red). You CAN rotate 360 degrees around the barrel. I’ve been using this pen a lot this week, and discovered my error in the original review. All better now!