I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect fineliner for the last year now. I haven’t found it yet, but the Uni Pin pen is surprisingly close, especially since it’s considered a bottom of the range pen. I would say it’s one of the best fineliners I’ve used yet.
What makes the best fineliner?
- Clean lines
- Waterproofness. This is essential to me, it might not be to you
- Dark ink that doesn’t fade when erased (or bleed through paper)
- Design. This is not critical, but it does make a difference
What impressed me the most with the pin pen is how clean the lines are. They’re seriously smooth. Out of a comparison between the Faber-Castell Pitt pen, the Pigma Micron, and the Kuretake Zig Mangaka, the Uni Pen Pen is easily the cleanest. The ink is not as dark as the Pitt pen, but it’s sufficiently black, and I have not had any bleed-through. It dries fairly quickly, fast enough that I haven’t yet had any smearing issues. All in all, it’s perfect for drawing outlines or straight lines.
I was impressed with the construction too. The cap is snug and snaps into place both over the tip and posted on the back of the pen. The clip is robust. The tip seems solid too, I haven’t had it for long but I’ll be surprised if I have issues with the tip fraying before it runs out of ink. This pen feels like a workhorse.
The Uni Pin pen is sold as being waterproof. While it doesn’t run, there is some very slight fading when painted over with a wet paintbrush and it leaves a faint gray wash. Nothing noticeable though.
Where the Pin pen falls short is when it comes to erasing. The ink is dark out of the pen, but the lines fade a little when you erase over them. This isn’t an issue if you don’t have an under-sketch or if you just use the pen for writing, but I often start my drawings with at least a pencil outline. The other thing that I don’t love is that the tip has a slight spring to it. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the spring makes it hard to create consistent dots for stippling. This is important to me because this is mostly what I use my fineliners for.
The other issue is the small range of sizes the Pin pen comes in. In this review I’ve used the 03 with the .38mm tip, which is (as far as I know) the largest size it comes in.
The Uni Pin pen is not the perfect fineliner. It’s pretty darn close though, and at $1.65 from Jetpens.com, I’m happy to let the little things slide. I really, really like this pen.
Is it as good as the “holy grail” pen, the Pigma Micron? No. It’s much better and considerably cheaper. What are you thoughts? What’s your favorite fineliner?
(The opinions here are mine. I purchased this pen myself and was not compensated for my review.)