What's your favorite cheap pen?

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ezarc
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What's your favorite cheap pen?

I really like gel pens but haven’t had a whole lot of different ones to try.

A few months ago I had the Uni-Ball Eye Micro 0.5mm but lost it in the car park outside somewhere, so I decided to try something different and bought a Muji 0.5mm gel pen.

Both of the above I would only describe as “OK” and not really what I wanted, they write too thin for my liking and feel scratchy occasionally.

I have bought a Pilot G2 1.0mm and a Pentel Energel-X 1.0mm to test them out but they haven’t arrived yet, hopefully they aren’t too thick.

Does anyone have some cheap pens that are worthy of buying to test out? I’ll probably buy a box of my favorite ones when I narrow it down.

By cheap I mean about $5 or less.

InfinitusEquitas
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It's a bit more expensive, but Parker Jotter, all metal.

greatbigwall
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Uniball Jetstream is the best pen period regardless of price. I’ve tried many, and all the pen review sites agree on this anyway. It’s a dye based hybrid ink ball point. “RT” is the retractable version and most available, though I like the classic capped one, but the refill is the same. It comes in 0.5/0.7/1.0mm with the last one most common in office stores. 0.7mm is the best compromise, because 0.5mm has more resistance. 1.0 is slightly smoother, though they’re all head and shoulders above competition. If you’re more into gel-ink, the Uniball 207 is better than overrated G2.

Cheapest Jetstream 101 model is a lesser refill. It’s not bad but not as surreal as full size refills.

If I ever made anything this perfect, I’d probably retire.

ciaran
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these, unfussy and basic
also many funny reviews on amazon, worth a read
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bic-Crystal-Ballpoint-Medium-Point/dp/B000JTOYLS...

greatbigwall
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Parkers and the traditional $ pen brands are very nice on the outside, but tend to use outdated tech inside. Mont Blanc has nothing on Uniball when it comes to writing.

raccoon city
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pilot_precise_v7

Pilot Precise V7   Wink


The following thread is about pens in general, but could be useful:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8534

Bort
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http://www.staples.ca/en/Pentel-RSVP-Ballpoint-Pens-07mm-Blue-12-Pack/product_31254_2-CA_1_20001
You can get smaller packages that cost less

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Rusty Joe
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Pilot G2 1.0mm. I’ve gone through 9 of them completely since 2011. You couldn’t get another dash out of them if you tried. Like no ink left at all.

fyesilova
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My favorite is Parker Jotter,
It is around $5-6 basic model, all metal model is about $15 here.
it is solid, easy to write, slim to carry in pocket.
And it is a pen on use more than 50 years. proven quality.
I have recently purchased one with gold plated parts and my name engraved on it.

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greatbigwall
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raccoon city wrote:

Pilot Precise V7   Wink


The following thread is about pens in general, but could be useful:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8534

Roller ball liquid inks flow well, but feather/blot and smear. Good for right handed cursive writing but mediocre elsewhere. The tech hasn’t been updated since the 90’s and gels in particular have replaced them.

rojos
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greatbigwall wrote:
Roller ball liquid inks flow well, but feather/blot and smear. Good for right handed cursive writing but mediocre elsewhere. The tech hasn’t been updated since the 90’s and gels in particular have replaced them.

Liquid ink rollerballs were not made for lefties, that’s for sure. Smear city.

I suppose they would suck for righties that write right to left as well.

Alcius
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+1 for Parker pens

The pens are solid as rock, and the refills last a very long time.

Rusty Joe
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Actually, most any Pilot pen can be swapped (same refills work in the G2, V7, G6, etc.) I love the fact that the 1.0 Pilots are runny, which puts out enough ink to keep writing fast. I used to didn’t like that, but the longer in the work world made me dislike the finer point ones.

rojos
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Parker Jotter isn’t great for bigger hands or if you like to hold the pen closer to the tip. It’s on the skinny side and its tapered shape gets skinnier near the tip. It can get uncomfortable to hold, especially if you write for long stretches.

Plus, being stainless, it’s kind of heavy. Compared to a plastic pen, you can feel the weight after awhile.

fnsooner
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Bic Clic Stic , best ink pen ever. $3.99 for 12.

greatbigwall
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rojos wrote:
Parker Jotter isn’t great for bigger hands or if you like to hold the pen closer to the tip. It’s on the skinny side and its tapered shape gets skinnier near the tip. It can get uncomfortable to hold, especially if you write for long stretches.

Plus, being stainless, it’s kind of heavy. Compared to a plastic pen, you can feel the weight after awhile.

I’m guessing those recommending Parkers haven’t written with inks developed in the last decade or two. It’s just an ordinary ball point which needs pressure to work, line changes with angle, and sometimes skips. Even the mediocre G2 is better.

rojos
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greatbigwall wrote:
I’m guessing those recommending Parkers haven’t written with inks developed in the last decade or two. It’s just an ordinary ball point which needs pressure to work, line changes with angle, and sometimes skips. Even the mediocre G2 is better.

The standard ball point cartridge kinda sucks IMO, but there are other refill options including gels that supposedly aren’t half bad.

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raccoon city wrote:
Pilot Precise V7   Wink


The following thread is about pens in general, but could be useful:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8534

I used to like those, but got tired of one too many leaking.

 

Bort wrote:
http://www.staples.ca/en/Pentel-RSVP-Ballpoint-Pens-07mm-Blue-12-Pack/pr... You can get smaller packages that cost less

Those are a popular choice at work.  They don't have the smoothest or finest writing, but they feel good in the hand and they don't look as cheap as they are, and maybe that's why clients always seem to take one when they leave.

 

I'm still working through boxes and boxes of this pen I bought over a decade ago, and will probably still be using them until I die unless they dry out or get lost.  I don't know why I bought so many!

The low mode should be lower.

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I'm anal about my pens. I'm also OCD about going back over my writing where the ink didn't come out or was too light. The Pilot G2 was the first pen I ever used that helped me stop the childish behavior of tracing over my writing. I absolutely love them! Depending on what I'm doing I prefer either the .7 (most used) or the .5. The 1.0 is way to thick for me. 

Now when it comes to red-lining things during review at work I prefer the Pilot V7. 

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MrCG
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I love pens and I have quite a collection. Cheap ones as well as some better ones.
I´ve bought the famous Uniball Signo and the Pilot G2. I think both suck. They feel cheap and the ink dries very slowly (no matter what kind of paper I use them on).

The Schneider slide – viscoglide writes quite good and I like the feel of the Lamy Safari ballpen. But I have not found THE perfect cheapo pen yet.

ryansoh3
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I love the Jetstream as well, smooth as silk.

Meanwhile, my EDC pen (as a student) is the Pilot Frixion erasable pen.

Quite expensive at $5 compared to other ones and doesn’t last as long through.

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I have been using a Fisher Bullet Pen with a cut down Zebra JK refills for a while, works for me. The original pressurized refills last much longer than the JK ones, but the feed is awful and they are expensive to replace.

I also carry a rolled gold yard-o-led mechanical pencil, lovely things to own and cheap enough second hand.

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Another vote for the Uni Jetstream at .7, supposedly the ink is not washable so it’s great for writing checks. Dries instantly, no smear. Really like mine.

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Go on, plenty to look at. I could spend hours not buying anything too expensive on the Cult Pens site.

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I like the zebra f-301 pens. At right around a dollar a piece they are cheap enough to not worry about them being stolen or lost or broken. I absolutely hate pens like the g2 that everyone else seems to like since it never works right on rite in the rain pads that I use almost daily, and I prefer a finer line, but you may like them. The zebra is probably too fine and “scratchy” for you.

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greatbigwall
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DBCstm wrote:
Another vote for the Uni Jetstream at .7, supposedly the ink is not washable so it’s great for writing checks. Dries instantly, no smear. Really like mine.

This is true. For most resilient gel ink Zebra makes an emulsion-based one: http://www.zebrapen.com/products/emulsion. Pretty good pens otherwise, too.

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I was at the UPS Store a while back and bought a Pilot B2P (Bottle 2 Pen) G2 ink pen. Supposedly made from recycled water bottles.

I like the G2 ink. It writes consistently well and drys fast IMHO. Only problem I have found is if I draw a line, some of the gel builds up in a glob around the ball and I have to wipe it off.

Otherwise I like the way the gel ink flows better then regular ink, but I have yet to find the perfect pen.

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Yikes, you guys are real pen connoisseurs, so I’m a little nervous to name my fave: the Zebra f-301 Compact (key word: compact). Folds small, writes nicely imho.

http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Compact-Ballpoint-Pen-27412/dp/B0055EB35W/


 

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greatbigwall
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This thread reminded me to get some of the new BLX Jetsteams with subtle “business-appropriate” shades. Very hard to find color infusions like this outside of custom fountain pen mixes.

If anyone is willing to spend a bit more, the best solution overall is the Uni Fit Style Meister 3. It’s a slim 10mm metal body for 3 of their Fit refills which come in all colors/thickness Signo Gel or Jetstream Ball or even mechanical pencil. ~$25 total, much less than prestige brand but functionally superior.

http://www.jetpens.com/search?q=fit+meister

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