December 15, 2012

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 3-Color Pen

My current interest in writing instruments began when I decided to "upgrade" my daily use office pens, as explained in this early post. I feel that I'm near the end of the line here, and have settled on a couple of items for the time being. Item number one is a Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multipen. I wrote about the 2-Color version in this post, and I really couldn't resist the 3-Color version. This sucker is much more convenient to use than three separate standard Hi-Tec-C pens, and it's great to be able to switch between three colors (blue-black, red, and green at the moment) in an instant. Moreover, I'm beginning to believe that retractable pens are the way to go, at least for use at the office. I'm super anal retentive, and keeping track of caps becomes a chore, especially when the caps are color-coded and size-coded like the Hi-Tec-C caps. So, even though I dig the standard Hi-Tec-C pens, I'm retiring them in favor of the Coleto multipen.

I compare the 3-Color Coleto to the 2-Color Coleto after the jump. [Edit: jumps are silly; removed it]

Other than having an extra slot for a third refill, the 3-Color Coleto is virtually identical to the 2-Color version. The 2-Color version weighs in at 8.4 grams, while the 3-Color weighs 10.5 grams. The 3-Color body has a rubbery grip section, but the rubber material is not formed completely around the circumference of the body . . . instead, there are strips of the grip material around the body. Strange design choice, although it doesn't really bother me.

The 2-Color pen body is a little thinner than the 3-Color body (note that the 3-Color body is still easy to grip and comfortable to use; it is not too bulky or fat). I don't own any calipers, and don't know the critical dimension (i.e., pen body diameter at the grip section) of either version of the Coleto. Sorry. What I do have is a couple of side-by-side pictures of the two versions. The size difference is noticeable in the pictures.

3-Color (Left); 2-Color (Right)

2-Color (Left); 3-Color (Right)
Refilling and operating the 3-Color Coleto is a breeze. I did find one minor thing to complain about: one of the refills is located directly under the flip cap tab, which makes it a little difficult to snap open the lid. I mean, you actually have to expend a little bit of energy and move the refill out of the way before flicking the cap open. What an inconvenience! What a defect! OK, two things to complain about: the refills run dry quickly, and they are expensive for what little ink volume they hold. So you pay for the convenience of the multipen awesomeness.

By the way, I'm pretty sure that the Coleto gel pen refills are available in 15 different colors and in three different sizes (0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, and 0.5 mm). There are also mechanical pencil refills, an eraser refill, and a stylus refill. This impressive assortment of refills opens up a huge universe of potential combos. Moreover, the Coleto line includes several different styles of pen bodies, including 2, 3, 4, and 5 color versions. I might try a 4-Color version, but am concerned about the girth of the grip section. 

PS - Kids love these multipens, too! Look at the green and red Christmas colors in the above picture. Nudge nudge, wink wink.


  1. How did you know green was my favorite color? Thanks for the multipen! I used one of these when I was a kid, albeit, it wasn't the same Japanese quality pen like this one. I will put it to good use at work. Thanks! Always something creative from you! (love the magnet too). Nice blog - flippen hilarious. Tracy (aka "the James McCool House).

  2. Green = lucky guess. Glad you like it.