Of Zebras, Rings and Translucency

The recent limited edition KARAKAZE01 for stationery brand Hi-Note seems to have breathed a bit of life into Zebra’s long running, but never a homerunner, Tect2way light.

This plastic lower tier version of the metal gripped ‘non-light’ Tect 2way has been released in many translucent colors since 2007. But the only true clear version to-date has been the one OEM’d for MUJI from around 2010.

Some Japanese collectors have already shared pictures, but the essential differences between the KARAKAZE01 and the MUJI come down to the MUJI having a different clip and button… as was standard practice to tone down design characteristics when a popular item is MUJI-fied.

In this sense, the KARAKAZE01 is the first true clear demonstrator for the Tect 2way light.

For me it was also a chance to dig out an older Zebra, the MA4 Ringlet from around 2000. The obvious parallels would be the translucent bodies and also the presence of 3 clear silicone grip rings. My Ringlet comes with a grey grip and I have seen other colors in the wild.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Have a great weekend, everyone!


This will be helpful for differentiating both of them, thank you. I think I still prefer the Muji, since I like the toned down clicker button, but the karakaze01 is truer to the original design as you say

1 Like

Just got this, the Karakaze 01. Overall, it’s a pretty nice lower tier pencil. The triple o-ring grip works well, feels decent. I’ve never owned a Zebra Tect 2-way (or the light version). Didn’t really know much about it. Now I see 2-way is that you can knock or shake to advance lead.

The lock seems a bit silly to me. It essentially turns off the shaker function. I guess just in case you are carrying the pencil in a way that it’ll get jostled and thus possibly advance lead accidentally. But, that would NOT HAPPEN. Why not? Because… this shaker mechanism requires some real deliberate force to advance lead. You can shake it lightly and you’ll hear the mechanism, but no lead advances. You really have to shake it firmly. Technically, this makes no sense to me. Why not make it super easy? And then when you lock it, the lock is doing something real. You can leave this unlocked and lead will not accidentally advance.

If anything, what would’ve been more useful is a lead pipe guide length control, like on an OHTO ProMecha.

Knocking on the pencil, the lead advancement is excellent. It’s smooth, not clunky, with a quality sounding “click”. Lead advances a decent amount, albeit a touch conservative (which I prefer). Because of this… and how easy it is to just click the rear knock… I don’t expect I’d ever use the shaker mechanism. Unlike the PILOT 2020ST, which has a really easy-going shaker advance mechanism.


No way! You just got four of them?


Actually, I bought 3 – the image is a compilation of existing photos I sourced. :wink::grin:

(Buying one didn’t make much sense given shipping and fees, so I figured better to get a few and eventually resell one or two).


I also got one of these recently - there’s just something about transparent pencils <3


It’s mechanical lingerie :wink: