Have you ever dreamed of a pen that writes in only your favorite colors, or wanted to switch between gel ink, ballpoint, and pencil with just a click or two? Customizable multi pens are sold as empty pen bodies and separate individual components, creating a dazzling array of possibilities. We’ve laid out the details of our entire selection of customizable multi pens, so read on to assemble a pen that’s perfect for you.
The Coleto comes in a wide selection of body sizes and capacities, ranging from two components to five. The two-component is the simplest multi pen you’ll find, and the five-component Coleto is slimmer than any competitors with the same capacity. We found the click of extending a component to be audible but not too loud, though it may vary between pen sizes.
- Top Choice
- Customizable Multi Pen Characteristics
- Customizable Multi Pen Recommendations
- Other Resources
- How We Approach Research and Testing
Since none of the components come pre-filled, you have full control over what you put into your pen. Students, for instance, might pick classic ink colors like black, red, and blue, as well as a mechanical pencil component for math and science class. Artists, on the other hand, may want more unique and fun colors in their customizable multi pen.
Number of Components
The number of components a customizable multi pen can carry will differ across brands and models. It can range anywhere from two to five components in a pen, although three and five are the most commonly available capacities. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto, pictured above, has the largest range in capacities of our selection.
We know we’re stating the obvious, but more components means a bigger pen. If you hate writing with a chunky pen, perhaps pick up multiple smaller multi pens, or select a slimmer medium-capacity option like a Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto or the Zebra Sharbo X.
Refillable and Interchangeable
When you get tired of a certain combination, or if the ink runs out in one of your components, all you have to do is pop out the dud, switch in a shiny new refill and voila! A brand new pen. Some pens use top-loading components, but most are filled by putting components into internal slots, accessed by unscrewing the pen barrel.
Component Extension Mechanism
Most multi pens extend a component with the usual click of a tab. A few luxury options, like the metal Uni Style Fit Meister and the Zebra Sharbo X, extend with a twist of the pen body instead. Most top-click picks in this guide are distinctly audible. If you lead a life where silence is key (librarian? international spy? mime?), you’ll want to invest in a twist-extend multi pen.
Cross-Brand Component Compatibility
Some pens aren’t limited to just the components their manufacturers intended. If you like one brand’s ink but not the pen design, or if you want to create a pen you truly can’t find anywhere else, check for cross-brand refill compatibility. The Uni Style Fit, for example, can write with Pentel Sliccies and Zebra Sarasa refills, although some may need to be trimmed to fit. We’ve noted what cross-brand components work with each pen in the end table.
Our writers draw on their personal expertise, consult our in-house subject matter experts, and do extensive research to make our guides as accurate and comprehensive as possible. We then test every finding that makes it through the research stage. Only the techniques and tools whose performance we personally confirm make it into our guides as recommendations.
Customizable multi pens are perfect tools for note-taking, annotating, editing, or doodling, and with a customizable multi pen in your pencil case, you’ll always be prepared. If you have a favorite customization trick or use for a multi pen, let us know in the comments below.
|Product||Pentel i+||Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto||Uni Style Fit||Zebra Sarasa Select||Zebra Sharbo X|
|Component Capacity||3||2, 3, 4, 5||3, 4, 5||3, 5||3, 4|
|Ballpoint Refills (mm)||0.5||No||0.5, 0.7, 1.0||0.5, 0.7||0.4, 0.5, 0.7, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2|
|Gel Ink Refills (mm)||0.3, 0.4, 0.5||0.3, 0.4, 0.5||0.28, 0.3, 0.38, 0.4, 0.5||0.3, 0.4, 0.5||0.4, 0.5|
|Low-Viscosity Emulsion Ink Refills (mm)||No||No||No||0.5, 0.7||0.5, 0.7|
|Mechanical Pencil Refills (mm)||0.3, 0.5||0.3, 0.5||0.5||0.3, 0.5, 0.7||0.3, 0.5, 0.7|
|Eraser Refills||No||Yes (component)||No||No||Yes (end of pen)|
|Grip Diameter (mm)||10.9||9.6, 11.2, 12.1, 12.6||10.3, 11.2, 13.6||12.3, 13.9||9.3, 10.3, 11.1, 11.7|
|Standout Feature||Space to attach charms||Many choices, colored tabs||Many choices, sturdy extension||Many choices, stylish, soft grip option||Metal construction, sleek and professional|
|Cross-Brand Refill Compatibility||Pentel only||Pilot only||Yes; Pentel, Pilot, Platinum, Zebra||Zebra only||Yes; Kaweco|