2017 Update: We still think this is a great discussion of favorite pens, but you may also want to check out our latest discussion on our favorite office supplies.
When I was a kid, I loooooved going back to school shopping. New pens! New folders! All that crisp, white, lined paper… It seemed like everything had possibility and promise. (Yes, I was a dork.) These days, I still love getting new supplies, but it seems like too many of them let me down — I’ve literally thrown about 5 different brands of pens across the room because they work inconsistently, or stop working. And a good pen is really important. To be clear, all I want is something that I can pick up from my pencil cup or my desk, and use it for something simple like signing my name or writing a brief note, WITHOUT having to scribble somewhere else to make sure the ink is flowing. Is that really too much to ask? (Let’s not even get into something more arduous, like taking notes for an extended period or writing a letter… sigh.)
So I thought we’d have an open thread: what is your favorite pen? (Pictured: Ball point pens by Caran d’Ache, available at Plastica for $23 — they also seem to be available at Amazon for a bit cheaper, though. Hat tip to Daily Candy.)
My favorite used to be the Pilot Precise V7 Fine Point Blue Rolling Ball. I liked the bright blue color (more royal than navy, but still “plain blue ink”), I liked that you could buy them in bulk for a reasonable price, and I liked that you could see how much ink is left. Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but it seems like every pen in the last pack I got was a dud.
Next, I really really liked the DIVOGA retractable gel pens, which I received for review from the company — they wrote fantastically, beautifully smooth, AND they looked pretty? Sign me up. Perhaps my ink supply is getting low on all of my pens, but it seems like I spend half my time drawing circles on scratch paper, trying to get a steady flow of ink — but it seems a bit suspicious that all 3 died at once.
I’ve had inconsistent luck with the Pilot G2 (but it’s currently my go-to pen that I keep in my purse). I also was really excited to try the Sharpie Liquid Mechanical Pencils, which promised to write like a mechanical pencil but turn to a permanent ink after 24 hours — and found that it just works like every erasable pen I’ve tried (which is to say, poorly).
So readers: what are your favorite pens? Which brands do you swear by?
I’m going to try them out and will try to do a follow up report. :)
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