Review: Pentel Multi 8’s

IMG_0008During the time I was scanning the internets for interesting bits of stationery (still do it but not as extensive as last year), I remembered that somebody offered me a LAMY “tri pen” a long time ago and I almost forgot I had it. So I went looking for it in my storage (I’m really organised, but the chaotic type..) and was pretty happy to find it still as I remembered it although I remembered also that I’d like to have a multi-pen with more functions. So I searched the sites for some interesting multi-pens.


And it was then that I first saw the Multi 8s. It was like a teenager wet-dream (nerd/geek wet-dream), a pen with 8 different things in it. And not one of those bulky multis you can get from BIC or HEMA. No, a real sleek pen with 8 mostly different functions. Wow! At the time when I tried to get them, they were somehow really difficult to get a hold of, but I managed to get some directly from Japan. They weren’t cheap, but you get the pens PLUS recharges for everything that is already in the pen. There are two different models the “MULTI8 PH802 for checking use” and the “SUPER MULTI PH803 multi writing function”. They are functionally totally the same, but have different fillings and hence the writings on them changes.


The 802 is intended for proof-reading and includes some non-copy colours: the classic non-copy blue and a lesser known (to me at least) bordeaux non-copy lead. Then you also have red, blue, brown, orange, yellow and green, so the most basic colours for doodling purposes. Mind you the quality of those leads is not bad at all, they are quite soft for mechanical pencil leads, but you’ll use them up real quick (they’re rather on the short side) if you use them for more than scarce colouring of doodles. It surely is a nice pen to have. I use both of them daily. They are stored in my custom “Destination Zero” Memo Deluxe. The 802 is a real beast, hence the “SUPER”. It boasts 3 different ball-point lead (blue, black and red) a non-copy, fluorescent pink and yellow leads, a red and HB graphite lead, mostly about everything you’ll ever need on a daily note-taking basis.


They are all plastic and you can use them as maracas… yep, it’s rattling a lot. The mechanism is pretty easy to use: just choose the desired lead with the rotating clip and then push the button. The lead is released from its compartment and falls… out of the pen if you don’t stop it. So it basically is the same thing as a simple lead-holder only a little (sarcasm) more sophisticated. The ball-points don’t fall out. I think the leads aren’t supposed to fall out (there’s a metal piece on the end of each lead) but somehow mine tend to slide right through or it is me pushing too hard?


They are not particularly nice to look at, functional yes, but not sexy… nope. There’s another thing that confuses me: the rotating clip sometimes is misaligned and the Japanese description has me puzzled. So leads can be stuck, and you have to rotate and push, or push and shake or whatever… I’m not sure bit they still work nicely. So it is a clear recommendation if you “need” something like the MULTI 8s.

EDIT: I just checked jetpens.com if the MULTI 8s are available, which they are, but more importantly they show what I was doing wrong with the falling leads…

New arrival: Lego Pencil Holder


It is a geek’s dream! Behold my wife’s present for this year’s winter celebrations! The awesome LEGO pencil holder in all its glory standing now on my desk and holding my weapons of choice I use most at the moment. The LEGO pencils are a nice addition, but I am no fan of branded, advertising or novelty pencils. Either way the little guy will be in my company for a long time!

Review: Staedler Pencil Holder 900 25


Pencil Holders are a pencil-lovers best friends, because they help you getting the most out of your beloved pencils. So I had been looking for pencil-holders for some time and bought some from Derwent which are quite nice simple stubby things that are too light and short for my gusto. Biggest complaint is that they can destroy the lacquer of pencils like the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, especially on the top. (The MONO100 you see in the piture below wears the marks of the Derwent) So browsing through my at that time newly discovered Jetpens site, I discovered the Staedler 900 25. At first by looking at it (and its price) I thought this is like a luxury model of a pencil holder, but I couldn’t be more wrong. It is not a luxury item, it has become an absolute essential item in my arsenal. I have three now, including the strikingly beautiful blue Limited Edition.

The price of 30$ is in fact a bargain. The 900 25 does everything right: it’s large enough for most pencils (7,5mm round/triangular/hexagonal), it closes firmly (no budging), yet it does this softly on the lacquer (no nasty bruises), it feels heavy enough without being to hefty, doesn’t slip with its knurled grip and it’s super-useful with its small dial so you can see what kind of pencil is in the holder. And it has an even more useful eraser with sorts of a protection (you screw it down to show the eraser, and screw it up to protect the rest). A colleague of mine tested one recently and he has immediately ordered a bunch too. Another thing I like to do is putting the pencil the wrong way in, so that it is protected, perfect for freshly sharpened points. I looked at other models of pencil-holders but none can compete with the feature set of the 900 25 and don’t get me started on the dreadful “Perfect Pencil” pencil holder, whose mid-priced version comes at the same price as the 900 25. Conclusion: Get it!