Pen Review: Pilot Multi Ball

Pilot Multiball

I found the Pilot Multi Ball pen in a subscription kit I received this week. Its not a pen I’d ever seen before but it turns out to be one I could easily pick up at JetPens for $1.65. Its a fine tipped rollerball and what I didn’t realize until after I wrote my review is that one of its notable characteristics is its ability to write on slick surfaces though it might take awhile to dry. I just used it as a standard rollerball and compared it to other pens in my stash.

Pilot Multiball

The entire time I was using the Pilot Multi Ball I kept yelling “multipass!” If you’re a fan of the sci-fi film The Fifth Element, you’ll understand the reference. Besides the silly and slightly distracting name, the pen was actually a pleasing experience. I was surprised because I  picked it up on a whim thinking it was going to be a ho-hum extra added into my subscription kit as filler.  I’m also one of those unfortunate left handed writers that choke the life out of rollerball pens so I have a tendency to avoid them most of the time. Killing a pen by touching it is just embarrassing. But I didn’t kill the Multi Ball. In fact, it wrote smoothly for me and created a nice, clean, fine line.

The Multi Ball pen is a simple, capped, plastic barrel with a rubbery grip section and a plastic clip. Its wider than most low-end, plastic, non-refillable pens. The barrel is closer in diameter to a Sharpie marker than to a Sharpie Pen. It makes it quite comfortable for longer writing sessions. The cap will post but the clip also keeps the cap from rolling off the table so I just left it off while I wrote.

Pilot Multiball

I wanted to compare the Multi Ball to the writing from a couple other pens to show the line weight and ink color. As you can see the black ink is quite dark and dense and, because of the rollerball tip, the Multi Ball is not going to lose its fine point over time the way a felt tip pen will. At the bottom you can see how, within three words, I choke the life out of a regular Uniball rollerball pen.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Pilot Multi Ball. Its not a pen I would have purchased because of my past experiences with rollerball pens but I’m glad it ended up in my hands. It’s made me reconsider looking at other rollerballs as well.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I use them to write on the plastic Petri dishes that I used to store samples from the Hanford superfund site. I like that they write on strange surfaces. The Field Notes Orange/Black outdoor notebook work excellently with these pens. I had trouble with my orange pen, from the set that I ordered from Jetpens. I hope it was just the one pen.

  2. These are great for labeling bullet tubes and such in the lab, where you need to be able to write small. Their ink is much darker and more legible than a fine tip Sharpie.

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