I've been on a bit of a multifunction pen kick recently, picking up a handful of multi pens as part of a larger project I'm working on comparing the different options currently available on the market. A good multi pen has become an integral part of my daily carry and my workflow, giving me access to different ink types and colors - and sometimes a mechanical pencil - in one pen body. As I've said before, the downside to multi pens in general is that the refills can run out quickly, increasing the long-term cost of your "efficient" purchase. The Uniball Jetstream multi pen, which I'll review today, is probably one of the more cost-effective options of the "higher-end" multi pen bodies.
Uniball's Jetstream pens are famous for their smooth, quick-drying hybrid ballpoint ink that doesn't smear, and Jetstream multi pen refills are no different. The model that I purchased features a .5mm mechanical pencil, plus four different ink colors: black, blue, red, and green. With the exception of the green, the inks all lay on dark and smooth. (Like many green ballpoint inks, I found the Jetstream green be a bit skippy and somewhat temperamental.)
The one potential drawback for some people might be the size of the pen. I'd characterize the Jetstream multi pen as moderately large, and since it's a five-unit pen, this thing has some girth. Despite the bit of bulk, it's very comfortable to use due to good ergonomics and a light weight. I also found the soft grip section very comfortable.
.5mm vs .7mm
There is something of a debate with respect to .5mm vs .7mm in the Jetstream line. Many people don't like the .5mm and find it writes too thin and scratchy of a line. I've personally had nothing but good experiences with the .5mm, but the .7mm is excellent as well, so if you're on the fence I would go with the wider tip size. You can always swap the refills out later.
Takeaways/Where to Buy
I'm really enjoying the Jetstream multi pen, especially at work where I need a fine point for annotation and I sometimes have to deal with copy paper so thin that it's impossible to use with fountain pens. The ability to switch between different color inks on the fly, knowing that all of them will write reasonably well on nearly all paper, removes yet another thing from the "worry list" in the midst of a hectic workday.
In addition to the excellent writing experience it offers, the Uniball Jetstream is probably the most reasonably priced of the good multi pens out there on the market. Right now, you can find both the .5mm version and the .7mm version on Amazon for under $15, including an extra set of refills in addition to the ones that ship in the pen. After that, you can buy the individual color refills in bulk on Amazon or order them individually on Jetpens for as low as $1.35 apiece. Note that the refills for this particular multi pen are proprietary, so you are limited to the four colors Uniball offers and won't be able to swap in refills from another brand (unless, of course, you figure out a way to hack the pen.)
For those of you who already use a multi pen that accepts D1 refills (like the Lamy 2000 4-color ballpoint), Jetpens also carries a Uniball Jetstream D1 refill, which is more expensive but makes for a nice writing experience.
Disclaimer: I purchased the pen featured in this review with my own funds for my personal collection. This post contains affiliate links. All Amazon prices and availability are subject to change, and are only current as of the time of publication of this review.