Uniball Power Tank: A review

by Lord Sutch

The Uniball Power Tank is just another entrant to Mitsubishi’s popular Uniball range of precision writing instruments. The model I tested featured black ink, but green, red and blue are also available. Mitsubishi says that the Power Tank contains over 1.7 kilometres of ink; sadly in my short time with this pen I was unable to verify this as I seldom venture that far from my house.

This pen is the result of a very important push of the spacebar

This pen is the result of a very important push of the spacebar

The name

First up, what’s with the name Mitsubishi? Power Tank? Who are you trying to fool? Are you trying to change an adage? “The pen is mightier than the sword but a tank pen is mightiest of all”. Because this pen is not a tank. It lacks both the firing and moving capability that defines a tank. Also Uniball just makes me think of that guy in PE who was nervous to get changed in front of everyone, and so we all gave him shit but then we found out he had testicular cancer and one got removed so we felt really bad and were nice to him in front of his face but called him uni-ball behind his back (sorry uni-ball, I’m a better person now I swear).

Hand feel

It’s pretty light. That’s a good thing. You wouldn’t want to be weighed down when writing whatever the hell people still use pens for. What do people use pens for anyway? We’ve got desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets, what possible need is there for a pen in your hand? I think in a few years time people will talk in hushed tones about pens the same way my generation talks about typewriters, or landlines or being able to get a job straight out of university. These mythological items of years-gone-by when old people walked 32 miles in the snow barefoot. Just to get to their jobs where they could write with pens and make phone-calls via the telegraph machine.

Oh connect-the-dots. They’ll need pens. Can’t do them on your phones. Cobb and Co always had connect-the-dots on the back of their Kids’ Menu. And Cobb Crunchies. Bloody love Cobb Crunchies. You can actually buy Cobb Crunchies from Binn-Inn. I know this because I did. Except they’re not called Cobb Crunchies so if you walked in and asked for Cobb Crunchies you’ll look like a dick. Don’t do what I did. They’re called Taties. You’re welcome.

Catering for disability

When I was about 5 or 6, the age where you start learning to write, I broke my fingers. Consequently I can’t hold a pen properly. So I cram all my fingers on to a pen except the pinky. That just dangles out in the air like a helium filled balloon that some kid let go of at a shitty birthday party, and it’s now drifting pointlessly through the air, with a sad ribbon dangling below, as if it was trying to reverse-hang itself.

Look at me. LOOK AT ME

Look at me. LOOK AT ME

So how does this pen do with my bung holding style? Fortunately I have tiny carny hands.

So my tiny carny hands can fit comfortably on the pen. There’s even room for more fingers if I had them (that’s what she said)(vagina joke). Holding this pen I felt like I could cut vast swathes through legislation, or sign treaties. Things like that preoccupy me. Don’t sweat the small stuff! That’s what they tell you. Don’t worry about the things that don’t matter, because then your life will be easier.

No. All lies. The reverse is true. I’ve never sweated the small stuff. I’ve only worried about the important worryable things. And it’s fucked me up. Because holy shit. Big things are really really bad. Did you know, for example, that on Earth, everything is wrong? So with anxiety disorder in tow my therapist has recommended that I start sweating some small stuff instead. So hello pen reviews.

Ink Colour

This pen writes in black. I like black ink. It commands power. It makes you, the reader go “phwoar, this guy is powerful, no blue ink for me.” For the love of god don’t use green ink. You just look like a tool. It’s hard to read, it doesn’t convey “go” like a traffic light does and I hate it.


Jesus this pen goes on.

Jesus this pen goes on.

In the interests of science I tried to conduct a test: how long will this pen write for.

Have you sat next to the bored guy in the meeting who starts doodling? Watching people who aren’t artists doodle is hypnotic. They start by underlining some words, then they draw cubes. And then they start cubing other shapes, circles and triangles. And then if they’re really bored they draw a face. And cube it.


Pretty good pen, would pen again.

Thanks to Mitsubishi for furnishing me with a demonstrator pen. If you have an item you want reviewed, then please give me free things and email me at editor@ruminator.co.nz.


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The Pen is Mightier
The Pen is Mightier April 30, 2013 - 8:58 pm

I noticed in your test the pen has been used to make circular motions. When I’m bored in meetings, I tend to draw more angular things, like Swiss cheese blocks and Picasso-esque self-portraits. Would you say this pen is a good choice for my needs?

Lord Sutch
Lord Sutch May 1, 2013 - 9:16 am

Thanks for asking The Pen Is Mightier, you raise a good point. While I found the Uniball Power Tank effective at drawing circles, it did tend to fail a bit when I tried to add detail. The picture above is actually what happens when you try to draw a face. The pen just won’t let you. Definitely a failing.


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