Protocol Snow

Japanese pens

with 4 comments

Now that I’m a medical student in the clinical years, rounding at the hospital is a big part of my daily routine. What we do is get to the hospital early in the morning, check up on our assigned patients and see how they’re doing, and then “round” with the entire team and attending doctor. This involves stopping by each patient on the service and giving a short presentation/update so that the team learns about different patients. That’s how we gain experience and level up.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

I take lots of notes during rounds, and I’ve discovered that multi-color pens can be extremely helpful so I can color-code to easily pick out specific information. American office chains like Staples and Office Max stock some multi-color pens, but color selection is limited and the pen designs are bland. This is where I turn to JetPens, an awesome online store with a great design and tons of clear product photos. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese stationary store, surely you’ve gawked at the immense selection of pens and pencils on display. JetPens is a perfect online counterpart that captures the “kid in a candy store” sensation I feel in those stores.


Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

First on my shopping list was the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multi pen. Hi-Tec-C is a very popular brand known for its quality ink. What I like about the Coleto multi pen is the wide selection of colors and ease of color customization. All you have to do is buy the pen body and then pop in a few ink cartridges of your choice. Switching colors while writing is smooth and effortless because the springs in the body offer little resistance. The pen is lightweight and well-balanced. Great, affordable multi-pen that I highly recommend.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

Pop off the cap of the pen to reveal the slots for the ink cartridges.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

Locked and loaded!

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

If there’s one downside to the Coleto (and most multi pens), it’s that the colored ink cartridge tabs lining the side of the pen are unsightly. For a more sophisticated look, I picked up the Platinum Double 3 Action. Rather than having to push down individual tabs to change colors, this pen has a weight mechanism inside. When you click the pen, whichever ink cartridge is facing up will pop out, ready to write.

Ink flows smoothly and it’s comfortable to write with. Unfortunately, this pen only has two ink slots and only the standard red, blue and black colors refills are available. It does include a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil as well, which is actually not helpful to me since I always write in ink. Pen weight is unbalanced, a bit top-heavy which might not be ideal for the pen spinners out there.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

The Lamy Pico is a German production. Just a standard pen, not a multi, but I like the design so I picked this up.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

In its retracted state, the Lamy Pico is considerably shorter than a typical pen. Clicking causes both ends to extend for ease of writing. I enjoy the aesthetics of the pen, but as a writing instrument, it’s not entirely comfortable to use. Maybe I just haven’t used it enough to adjust. However, the Pico also has no clip, a major negative for me since I like to clip pens on my white coat pocket so they don’t disappear.

Japanese pens lamy pico hi-tec-c coleto ink refills multi-color pen platinum japan uni kuru toga

Though I rarely use pencils anymore, the Uni Kuru Toga has such a cool idea that I got it for novelty purposes. While using a mechanical pencil, you might have noticed that in the middle of writing, the tip of the lead gets dull if you don’t rotate the pencil, resulting in less precision. The Kuru Toga solves this problem by automatically and constantly rotating the lead within the pencil so that you’re always writing with a sharp tip. Here is a detailed explanation of the rotation design with pictorials.

I’m amused by the R&D that went into solving such a seemingly trivial problem. Believe it or not, it actually works!!

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Written by Protocol Snow

October 7th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Pick-ups,School

  • tallmanbaby

    I'm quite a fan of the lamy 2000 pen,
    http://www.amazon.com/Lamy-2000-Multicolour-Bal

    it is expensive, but it is robust and nice to use,

    regards tallmanbaby

  • Jo

    The universe is such a funny place. I came to your blog following a link from a friend's webpage and have stayed since, discovering common interests and random connections all throughout the way. One of the owners of Jetpens is a friend from college and I remember a few years back when it was struggling to survive so it's gratifying to see that people outside her circle are actively using and promoting the site. Also, your favorite kpop group contains an acquaintance's younger sister, also from college. At any rate, keep up the blogging and photography, as I find your posts very entertaining.

    • http://www.protocolsnow.com/ Protocol Snow

      Thanks for reading! I'm guessing you know Tiffany's sister? That's awesome =D

    • Jo

      yeah, friend of a friend. shes at a different school now but when i met her, very nice and very intelligent.