Muji Gel Ink Pen Review

Some notes I took with the pen

I was on the market for a new cheap, gel-ink pen earlier this semester and I ended up buying Muji’s Gel Ink Pen in .38 mm. The pack of 10 was $13.50 with Amazon Prime shipping, which ends up being $1.35 per pen. Not a bad deal, and slightly cheaper than the Pilot Hi-Tec-C4’s I have been addicted to.

Design

This pen’s exterior is exactly what it needs to be — it’s sleek, simple, and clean. Even though it’s simple, the beige and salmon colored sticker is eye-catching enough to give it some personality. The key feature is that this pen doesn’t have a rubber grip, so it’s not a dirt and dust magnet. The pen’s body has an opaque and matte texture. At first, I was scared the matte surface would scratch, but after a few months of rough-and-tumble in my backpack, it became clear that the plastic refuses to scratch.

The cap snaps off and fits on the back of the pen very nicely. The balance of the pen with the cap on the back feels light and airy. It doesn’t need to be very heavy since the ink flows smoothly without any pressure. It’s lighter than the Hi-Tec-C4, so it’s a little bit harder to twirl.

Usage

This pen withstood a bunch of abuse throughout the semester, and didn’t give out on me the entire time. I take all my notes by hand, and I never had any problems with flow or consistency. The ink flows easily with little to no pressure, so it’s easier to write timed essays with these pens than most others. The supposed .38 mm line weight runs a little thicker than the Hi-Tec-C4’s .4mm line, which wasn’t a problem unless I was trying to write very small. The ink dried relatively quickly and I never had any issues with smudging it with my hand. The ink does transfer to the opposite page a little when you flip a page over and write on the other side. You’d think the ink would be dry by the time a whole page is filled with notes, but I would see little specks of ink on the opposite page anyways. Not a huge issue, but it forced me to take the paper out of my notebook to take notes. Each pen lasted me about 2–3 months, which is roughly 50 pages of notes.

The biggest drawback was highlighting. No matter how long you leave the ink to dry, a highlighter will smudge the letters to become nearly illegible. I didn’t have this problem using the same highlighter on the Hi-Tec-C4. Seeing that note-taking is my main use case, this was a deal breaker for me.

Conclusion

I ended up going back to my sweet little Hi-Tec-C4s because of the highlighting issue. I ‘gifted’ the extra pens to my family so I can have an excuse to switch back to my Hi-Tec-C4s (oops, hi Lillian). The Muji Gel Ink Pen is beautiful and better designed, but the ink transfers to the opposite page and doesn’t do well with highlighting.

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