uni-ball



Uni-ball and Uni are brands of pens and pencils, made by the of Japan. Mitsubishi Pencil Company distributes products in over 100 countries through subsidiaries, such as Mitsubishi Pencil Company UK. Sanford (a division of Newell Brands) distributes uni-ball in the United States and Canada, Faber-Castell does so for Germany, and Linc Pen and Plastics Limited (LPPL) in India. Despite its naming and the near identical logomarks, Mitsubishi Pencil Company is unrelated to the Mitsubishi Group, and has never been a part of their zaibatsu.

Founded in 1887 by Niroku Masaki, the company then known as Masaki Pencil Manufacturing Company began creating superior wooden pencils. It wasn’t until after World War II that the company became The Mitsubishi Pencil Company. In 1966, they began creating performance pens and by 1979 they developed the roller pen. This was the first Uniball pen as well as the world’s first ballpen with water-based ink. While mainly focused on making pens, in 2008 they developed a new mechanical pencil that rotates the graphite lead every time it is lifted from the page to sharpen it into an even cone shape. This line of pencils is named as Kuru Toga.

The brands currently have several lines of pens including Jetstream (hybrid ink ballpoint pens); Vision Elite, Eye (rollerball pens); PowerTank (pressurised ink cartridge pen); Signo (gel pens); and POSCA (markers) among others. Rollerball pens: The standard system for the majority of their pens. The pens are built with an inside reservoir that can compensate for changes in pressure to prevent spills during flights. Gel pens: While they designed the world’s first pen using water-based ink, they also have a line of gel pens. The Mitsubishi Pencil Company incorporated a retractable tip to make the world’s first retractable gel pen. The Signo line of gel pens uses “uni Super-ink”, an archival quality ink that is water-proof and fade-resistant. Ballpoint pens: The Jetstream line of hybrid ink ballpoint pens uses a hybrid ink formulation whose viscosity is lower than that of standard ballpoint ink, but greater than rollerball ink. The ink dries faster than a standard ballpoint to prevent smearing when writing. Multi function pens: These pens can hold two or more refills of ballpoint/roller/gel pen or a mechanical pencil. Pencils: No longer specializing in wooden pencils, the Mitsubishi Pencil Company began creating mechanical pencils. For example, the Kuru Toga mechanical pencil is one of the flagship mechanical pencils they make. However, the company still produces wooden pencils predominantly under the Mitsu-Bishi and Hi-uni brands.



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