I recently added 10 pens into my already large pen collection, because I had a voucher to a book store and didn’t have any books that I wanted to get. I thought it would a good idea to review my entire pen collection, and to tell you what I like (or don’t like) about all the various pens.
We’re going to kickstart this mini series with the Uniball Signo dx, which is my favourite writing pen of all time. I started using these pens when I was in school and fell in love with them, and have been using them to mark and notate my class notes. Now that I’ve moved beyond school, they have become my go-to pens for a variety of journaling – art journal, scrapbooking, and daily journal.
A little bit about the specs of the pen. It comes with two different forms/lines – the Signo dx and Uni Style Fit. These pens look different, but they consist of basically the same inks. The Signo dx is like a normal pen, with one ink barrel to a pen, while the Style Fit is a completely customisable pen, in which you can buy the pen body and pen inks separately. The Style Fit don’t carry all the colours of the Signo dx though, so there are some colours that you can only get from the Signo dx line. They have three nib sizes of 0.28, 0.38 and 0.5 which is smaller than most of the other pens on the market. Both lines are refillable, with the Style Fit being refillable in all available colours, while the Signo dx is only refillable in the basic colours (blue, black, red and blue-black).
What do I like about them? They come in a variety of colours and I just love colours, because sticking to one colour makes things boring. Colours are integral to my style of journaling in my art journals, because I can choose the colours to either stand out, or be inconspicuous. Mostly the latter though, because I generally don’t want my journaling to be the focal of my art journaling pages. Yet I still prefer them to be readable so that I can look back at them in the future should I want to. All in all, pens in a variety of colours are important to me and my art journal.
I have a fairly small handwriting, so the small nibs is rather suited to my handwriting, and I prefer it to larger nibs. I like the 0.38, because I find that the ink last longer than the 0.28 ones. Thinner nibs tend to be more delicate and fragile, so they tend to ‘break’ after dropping (as in stop working). I don’t have too much problems with dropping with the 0.38 ones though, and they lasted through all the accidents I might have in school.
This is a gel pen, so the ink flows well and evenly. Sometimes the ink tends to overflow, but I find that the tendency to overflow is dependent on individual pen/inks. For me, I find that it occurs most frequently with the black inks, but I also use the black inks the most, so it could just be a probability thing. By overflow, I meant that the the tip discharges a little more ink, so it’s inkier than the normal flow. Admittedly, it’s not very noticeable, but I’m pretty particular with my pens, and the slight increase in pen outflow and subsequent fattening of my pen strokes is a big deal to me. I can safely say though that I’ve never had an issue with these pens causing an inky mess (on your hands, paper or otherwise), so if you are not as particular as I am then overflow would not be an issue.
The inks do stop running occasionally when I write (but not very often), but I don’t find it an issue because the good knock to the pen would cause it to run again (I hit it against the edge of my palm). I’ll just go over the parts that I’ve written but ink didn’t flow and you won’t be able to tell that there was a mild dysfunction.
The best feature of the pen though, is that it can be left uncapped and it doesn’t dry out. I have the tendency to leave my pens uncapped back in school, because I use several colours at the same time and don’t want to bother with capping and uncapping each time I change colour. But then I get distracted sometimes and I’ll forget to cap them back, only to find out the next day that I’ve forgotten to do so. But this absolutely does not harm the pens, and it’s a lot more stressful to know that I can mistreat my pens like that and it still wouldn’t hurt it.
Here’s a look at the pens in action from my journals. Some features I want to point out is how they don’t bleed through, and can write over both watercolour and acrylic. Remember to click on the photos if you want to enlarge them!
Here’s some tips from a veteran user on choosing between the Signo dx and the Style Fit (heh). In terms of price point, I don’t find too much difference between them, though I think that the Signo dx is a little more cost effective, because the ink barrels are much larger (thicker), and thus last a longer time. But the inks in general last pretty long, and if you don’t need to use them all the time, then I think that the Style Fit would be good for beginners, because you can try several inks colours without committing to the larger ink barrels of the Signo dx. As the customisation of Style Fit mean that you can fit several inks and ink colours into one pen body, it’s a space saver, especially when you are travelling too. I would suggest getting the basic colours in the Signo dx though (blue and black), because these colours are refillable and it’s always good to have multiples of them lying around.
A quick tip if you want to try the Style FIt: don’t ever get the Single Colour Slim Gel Pens. These are extremely thin pens that are hard to grasp, and make your hands hurt after writing (trust me, I know this from experience, and it’s not a nice feeling). You will want to get a pen body of the right size – I recommend the pen body with 3 colours because they fit nicely in my hand. If you have larger hands though, then the ones with 5 colours might be more suitable.
One thing to note though, I use these pens for scrapbooking as well, but the manufacturing did not state that they are acid free, so they are likely to be not scrapbooking safe. I still use them anyway, because I’m not too caught up with the acid free stuff.
If you are a local in Singapore and wondering where to buy, you can find them in most stationery/book stores, like Popular, Tokyu Hands or Kinokuniya to name a few.
Hope you found this review helpful and informative. Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the pens! Till next time.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. The links offered in this post are linked because they offer a quick look at the pens. All opinions are my own.