Muji is known for affordable prices on high quality stationery. But which Muji pen is the best?
Muji pens are relatively low risk investments — they typically sell for under $3 each and they are all at least “OK” in quality, with many being good and some great. Still, you might want to know which ones are “must buys” and which can be safely skipped.
This list should be accurate as of October 2021 but it might not perfectly reflect your local Muji.
Muji Pens Ranked
- Aluminum Fountain Pen: This pen is the Muji GOAT – the greatest of all time. It’s a high quality fountain pen with a nice steel nib, a minimalist design, and a well-made aluminum body, all for around $15. (If you don’t have a local Muji you can get them through Amazon.)
- Gel Pen, Capped, 0.38 mm: Muji’s best everyday pen. This is a high quality gel pen that is a great deal at about $1.50. It’s sold in many colors, though some colors do disappear from time to time. The pen is sold in handy 10-packs, but is best experienced when buying a bunch of singles. This pen is a solid competitor to the Signo DX (UM-151) from Uni-ball, but the translucent polypropylene body has a cooler look and a great satin texture to it.
- Gel Pen, Retractable, 0.38 mm: This is the retractable version of the Muji gel pen. It’s also quite good, which a nice shape and slim design. The retractable design has a nice button too, with a fun action. This pen isn’t quite as good a retractable pen as the capped is a capped pen, hence its being ranked behind the capped version. The main problem with the 0.38 mm retractable is that not as readily available as the 0.5 mm version.
- Gel Pen Capped 0.5 mm: This is the same pen as before but with a 0.5 mm refill. This version is smoother than the 0.38 mm but still manages to be quick-drying. The 0.5 mm version goes through ink more quickly and because a good 0.38 mm pen is harder to find than a good 0.5 mm one, which pen grabs the 4 spot.
- Gel Pen, Retractable, 0.5 mm: This is a great pen but it’s edged out by the capped version and the 0.38 mm refills. No further explanation needed! On the plus side, these are readily available in about 10 colors.
- Retractable Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm: Muji has a reasonable good ballpoint pen, known has the “Oil Ink Polycarbonate Ballpoint Pen.” At $1 this is a very good deal for a solid ballpoint pen in a handsome package.
- Aluminum Retractable Gel Pen: Muji sells a metal-bodied version of their gel pen for an excellent $6. This is a pretty nice pen at a great price. The body design is somewhere between minimalistic but leans towards “no frill” thanks to the sharp clip and boring design. The button has that metal-on-metal feel that some of us just can’t stand.
- Triangle 2+1 Multi-pen: This combines black and red pens with a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. It has a triangular body that is comfortable for some people but not everyone loves how it forces your hand to hold it. It’s a good deal at $5 but the small buttons aren’t comfortable to push down.
- Triangle 3-Color Multi-pen: This is a black, red, and blue 3-color multi-pen.
- Retractable Highlighter: It’s not really a pen but we’ll count it in anyway. This is an OK highlighter at a good price, but color, longevity and body quality are behind the competition.
- Water Ink Felt Marker: This is Muji’s take on a sign pen. While it’s a perfectly fine sign pen, it isn’t as good as competing offerings from brands like Pentel and it costs more.
- Water Ink Hex Double-ended Marker
Is Muji going to discontinue their pens?
This was a rumor back in 2019 or so, but no, Muji is not going to stop selling pens any time soon. Back in 2019 Muji redesigned its pens, perhaps switching manufacturers, and came back with a new “Smooth Writing” gel pen. Some people complained about the new pens, but they are still quite good. Some pens have sold out from time to time and some stores will not have certain models or colors, but on the whole Muji has kept up with their pen sales.
What kind of pen is the Muji “Smooth Gel Ink Knock Type Ballpoint Pen”?
The official name of Muji’s gel retractable gel pen is the “Smooth Gel Ink Knock Type Ballpoint Pen.” This is confusing because the pen is not a ballpoint — it’s a ballpoint-style — and in English you’d generally call something a “knock pen” not a “knock type” pen.
What is Muji’s polycarbonate material?
Polycarbonate is a clear plastic material. It’s hard, brittle plastic that is almost perfectly clear. Most of Muji’s popular pens are made from polypropylene, which is translucent almost grey colored plastic.
How much do Muji pens cost in Japan?
The Muji gel pen, in capped and click styles, costs 90 yen in Japan. This is about 81 cents ($0.81) in the United States. These same Muji pens cost $1.50 in the US. That’s an increase of about 85% or 69 cents per pen.