Mar 11, 2009

Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm, Cutie Color

I’ve written a short review of the 0.3mm Hi-Tec-Cs before, but wanted to give a more in-depth one, because they deserve it.

These were my very first Hi-Tec-C pens. It was a case of love at first sight, then some second thoughts. See, the first time I tried them, no ink came out at all! I scribbled frantically on a piece of paper, hoping that my money wasn’t wasted, and that these pens would be as great as they look. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. While I did get them working after a while, only one of them is nice to write with. The others are very scratchy, and have to be convinced to actually leave some ink on the page. Like some other reviewers have mentioned, I found that the scratchier pens got better after some scribbling, like they needed a good warm-up first. Still, I’m not impressed with how they perform even after that.

Regarding the tips, however, they don't seem too fragile to me. They like it better when treated gently, sure, but isn't that true for a lot of the good things in life? ;)

To my delight, the one that did perform satisfyingly, happened to be my favorite, strawberry pink/red. (Funny coincidence, the color happens to be an almost exact match to my nail polish, which is Revlon’s Electric Strawberry.)

If you get a color with a nice-flowing ink, these are very pleasant to use. If not, well, better luck next time. I’d say go for the 0.4mm just to be on the safe side!

Like I said in the first review, I’d love to get my hands on the same set in 0.4mm, because the colors are definitely worth it to me (aside from the green, but maybe the thicker line will help it show up better).

As for the colors, here we go:

Strawberry: A vibrant, dark pink that really pops.

Grape: Not hard to read, lovely shade, I just don’t like how it appears washed out in writing.

Mango: Not bad for a yellow, but don’t use it to write with, you’ll strain your eyes! Nice for doodling, though.

Soda: Nice shade of blue, reminds me of a lot of the sky blues out there. Pale, but readable.

Muscat: I don’t like this one at all. While the color is pretty, it’s almost impossible to see, even in daylight.

All in all, only the strawberry is really worth it. It feels like a completely different pen than the others in the set, which surprised me.


Pens tried on generic notebook paper (we're talking CHEAP here), because that's what I usually take notes on, and I suspect that many people do. Luckily I'm not a paper addict yet, unless it comes with cute designs. I can't afford another obsession :p (She said, while monitoring a couple of ebay auctions for the pink Moleskine Volant…)

::Edit:: I tried Old Geezer's suggestion of cleaning the tip with alcohol (I used normal rubbing alcohol) on the scratchiest one of the bunch, and it appears to have worked. Thanks! It's a lot smoother now, and the ink flows nicely.


Gentian said...

I like the way the cutie colours look. The Hi Tec C does seem to have a lot of lighter colours in their line. I always think they are so great for using in drawings because of the variations in ink colours. But yeah, maybe the colours seem too light for writing. I think after trying Hi Tec C's on a number of papers, they generally like smooth coated paper best, especially for the finer points. Sometimes just regular printer paper seems to work great with them :)

Marte said...

Yeah, I've tried them on a few different papers, and you're right about the smooth papers being better.

That being said, the ones reviewed here had problems on every paper I tried. Aside from the strawberry red, of course.

I like the colors for drawing, like you said, but a lot of them are really not good for writing.
I don't regret getting them though, the colors are pretty (and the pens too) :)

The Old Geezer said...


Try this on the Hi-Tec_C's: Take a cotton ball (not a synthetic pad) and wet it with alcohol (91% Isopropol is best) then wipe the tip of each pen. They may appear to have stoped writing after the cleaning, but keep scribbling until they write (the alcohol may get into the tip a bit). The problem may be a partially clogged tip. It may take a couple of cleanings to get them to work properly.

The lower the quality of paper the more likely the tips will get clogged with paper dust (yes, paper dust) so once they are cleaned only use quality paper (no necessarily expensive paper, just well sized). I've gotten small lined note pads from WalMart that are inexpensive but the 0.3mm Hi-Tec-C's love the paper quality!

Try my cleaning tip and let us know if it worked.

BTW, My lovely wife and I are owned by 5 cats, plus one outdoor stray!

Marte said...

Ok, I will try your advice - will rubbing alcohol work? Because that I have handy.

Gentian said...

That is is a good suggestion! Isopropanol is the chemical name for Rubbing Alcohol, so that will work! I've used rubbing alcohol as well to unclog paint pens, but that is cool it works for Hi Tec C's! I usually had success cleaning the tips of Hi tec C by marking the point on my finger tip or gently scraping the point with my finger nail. It always seemed to work. Maybe it is a fluke. :D
I'll have to give the rubbing alcohol a go sometime.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the review! I generally do not do much drawing as my talent level is really bad, but I have been known to doodle and use pens to color projects. I love the Uni-Ball Signo series for this. See you around JetPens fourms!