Everyone knows about multi-pens — pens that contains multiple colors and sometimes a pencil — but what about multi-pencils? These are much rarer, but they do exist (and they are quite cool).
What is a Multi-pencil?
A multi-pencil is a writing instrument that contains more than one mechanical pencil. By convention any writing instrument with a pen in it is generally known as a “multi-pen” but when it only has pencils inside, the name shifts to “multi-pencil.” The pencils in these tools generally have more than one size, but they could also contain multiple lead grades.
Pro-Use Mecha 357
The Mecha 357 is a 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 mm pencil in one. With a heavy (28 grams) brass body and Rotring-like good looks, it’s a cool pencil, albeit not a very popular one. This pencil looks a lot like the Rotring Quattro but lacks some of its design finesse.
The Tutto3 is another multi-pencil with 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 mm lead sizes that comes from a basically unknown brand. With a $49.00 retail price it’s cheaper than the Mecha 357 and has very good reviews, with users remarking on the usefulness when drawing. The pencil was, for a time, promoted by artist Leonardo Perenzierto.
Also like the Rotring Quattro, this has a gravity-assisted selector, where the direction the pencil faces will determine which tip is extended.
Uni Color 3 Mechanical Multi-pencil
Uni sell it’s Nano Dia lead in multiple colors, so the obvious thing to do is to put multiple lead colors into a multi-pencil. The Uni Color 3 is exactly what you are expecting: a 3-color multi-pen body with three pencil components and no pens! The Color 3 is a simple offering with a plastic body and typical Uni styling.
Pentel Function 357
The Function 357 is no longer made, but this was Pentel’s 0.3, 0.5 0.7 mm multi-pencil. This is a fully plastic device, that looks like a Sarasa multi-pen (or the Uni Color 3 for that matter).
While the pen is no longer made they do hit Ebay now and then. It’s not exactly a collector’s item so finding them can be a challenge.
This is something you could do yourself if you pull the pencil parts out of multi-pens, so long as the slides on the each of the pen colors supports a pencil movements (extend and click, not just extend). You’ll need two pencil components if you start off with a 2+1 pen. The good news is that the pencil components are cheap (about $3) the bad news is that they are generally sold in 0.5 mm and it can be hard to find other sizes.
- Zebra Prefill mechanical pencil part for multi-pens
- Hi-Tec-C Coleteo Pencil part (does come in 0.3 mm)