Review: Uni-ball Signo Gelstick Ink Pens

This is the Uni-ball Signo Gelstick that I brought for sketching in Bali. The model number is UM-170.

Uni-ball Signo Gelstick Ink Pens
It's a simple non-eye catching design. It's made of plastic throughout. I like the lightweight feel because it makes me feel like I'm using a pencil. The grip has a triangular groove which makes it a bit nicer to grip but for long using sessions a rubber grip might be better, but it's a non-issue really.

Uni-ball Signo Gelstick Ink Pens
The picture above shows my used up pen.

Uni-ball Signo Gelstick Ink Pens
The stainless steel tip is roller ball and it's 0.7 so it produces a 0.5mm line.

Ink is fade-proof and water-proof. I can only speak for the black colour, but the pen also comes with 7 other colours. The black is dark, not pure black but very close which is good enough for me. There's no bleeding, feathering as that is the advantage of gel ink.

The ink is pigmented so it doesn't break down when sprayed with fixative.

It writes and draws very smoothly. Ink flow is great until the point when it's almost empty and that's where it starts to skip a bit. So it's good to have an extra pen while out drawing.

It dries fairly quick so you can use watercolour or other medium over it.

The pen doesn't really create blobs but when it does I always welcome that because it's these imperfections that make sketches look lively.

You can click the above picture for a larger view to see just how consistent the line width is.

Another big plus is how economic this pen is, and you can get it in a 12-pack box for even more savings. The pen is priced at SGD $1 in Singapore at Art Friend in 2023. It used to be just SGD 0.86, and I think it used to be just SGD 0.70. On Amazon USA, you can find it at USD 0.60 if you buy it in a box set.


Most highly recommended. Really value for money.

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