Pilot Coleto

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Remember those old 4-colour pens? Years ago, Bic were the classics, but a few others make very similar pens now. We'd especially recommend Pilot's Feed GP4 - four colours, all refillable, and really nice quality too.

Sometimes, though, you don't want black, blue, red and green. Maybe you want black, brown and two shades of blue? And you want gel ink - you prefer the smoother feel for writing. And perhaps you want a pencil too. Enter the Coleto.

The Pilot Coleto isn't just a single pen - it's a system of pen bodies, refills and pencil mechanisms that all work together interchangeably. With a standard multipen you get a pen supplied with, say, black and red ballpoint refills and a mechanical pencil mechanism; and with a four-colour pen you get the standard colours. With the Coleto you choose the combination you actually want.

The gel-ink refills are based on the Pilot G-Tec-C pens. The G-Tec-C4 is much-loved here in the UK, with a 0.4mm tip writing around a 0.2mm line. Because the line is very fine, and doesn't spread into the paper fibres as most others do, it's very popular for tiny writing and specialist applications like editing and proofreading, map marking, and annotating bibles. The wide range of colours means they're also perfect for cricket scoring. The Coleto gel refills are available in both 0.4mm and 0.5mm, so they don't have to be quite as super-fine as the G-Tec-C4!

The other thing about the Coleto gel refills that sets them apart from other multipens is the range available - 15 colours! If you want a multipen with three different shades of pink, along with black in two different line widths, only Coleto will do.

Because the pencil mechanisms are interchangeable with the pen refills, it's also the perfect multipen for those who either love or hate pencils. Most multipens have to use one of their slots for a pencil mechanism, so if a pencil is supplied, you're stuck with it. And if you'd rather have four pens than three pens and a pencil, tough, you can't. But you can with the Coleto: it lets you swap all the slots for pens. On the other hand, if you love pencils, and want a multipen with five pencil mechanisms inside so you can have lots of lead grades loaded at once, the Coleto can do that too. Love or hate.

They can fit in with any style, too, with bodies available in translucent pink plastic or a more plain and business-like black and silver; from pretty flower patterns to a smart metallic brown. You can take meeting notes in multiple colours without looking like you raided the kids' pencil cases, or you can pick a body that the kids will want in their pencil cases.

It's a uniquely Japanese approach to the idea of multipens, letting you pick the setup you actually want.  With pen body and refill combinations starting at less than £10 (and now with a third off), it's a win-win situation.

27 January 2015

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