General Question

robmandu's avatar

Would you recommend a specific pen, pencil, writing utensil?

Asked by robmandu (21285points) March 31st, 2008

I’ve heard good things about the .38mm Pilot G-2… but to me, they’re just kinda, sorta okay.

What do you think is the best way to put your missives on paper?

Bonus points for providing links on where to buy and for explaining how your recommendation is a step apart.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

delirium's avatar

Are we talking about art, or writing?

gailcalled's avatar

Well, I have a friend who is an art historian and an expert on pigments and materials used by Rembrandt and his contemporaries. She makes her own ink from iron gall, cuts her own pens from goose quills and makes her own vellum paper. At a workshop we got to write with those materials.

Phoebe Dent Weil:

delirium's avatar

As an art history geek, that’s the most intriguing thing i’ve heard in a long long long time.

gailcalled's avatar

@D: her workshops are extraordinary. The one sponsored by Smith college was co-chaired equally by the Art and Chemistry department.

Read all the hyperlinks and references; She is the Pro in this area and also in the restoration of patina on bronze.

monsoon's avatar

I’m totally visual, and I absolutely have to have a pilot g-2 07. You can get them anywhere, I buy packs of them at office max. They’re a tad pricey, but I have to have it, call me OCDish. If I’m caught in class without, I’ll take notes and then rewrite them later in my notebook with a g-2.

babygalll's avatar

I do a lot of writing. I found that the Dr.Grip pens and pencils by Pilot work great. They come in all sorts of colors, so they are too girly. There is silicon on the bottom half and it’s very comfortable. They have the in mechanical pencils, ball point and gel ink. They are refillable too. I have quite a few of them. I keep one by the phone, on my desk and in my purse. You can buy them any where. They are reasonable and worth every penny. Office supply stores, Walmart and Target.

robmandu's avatar

@del, was thinking mainly for writing… not really for art.

@gail, makes her own paper/vellum, too? wowza, that is much more interesting than this topic. =)

srmorgan's avatar

I like run of the mill Pilot .05 in colors, very light and very easy on the hands.
There is a German manufacturer that sells something similar but the name escapes me. I found one at Staples and the other at Office Depot.

My other favorite is a Chinese Fountain Pen with an incredibly fine point and very light touch that I bought last fall for under $40.00 from

I use this for taking notes in meetings at work or for doing first drafts of memos or procedures that I have to write. I do all subsequent drafts in Word (dreadful program) but as a creature of habit I still tend to think that I do better first drafts in longhand.


mcbealer's avatar

The smoothest pen I’ve ever used is made by Lodus. I bought it at Staples a long time ago.
But for day to day writing, I like using a medium point Uniball, the kind that have an ink well view on the side of the barrel. I stay away from gel pens because they don’t last long and I tend to smudge the ink.

mcbealer's avatar

I don’t use pencils a whole lot, but for standardized tests or other times, my faves are Dixon’s Ticonderoga no. 2 (the classic, old school yellow with a green/yellow ferrule and pink eraser) and Paper Mate’s Mirado Black Warrior®.

robmandu's avatar

@srmorgan, in Germany, I noticed that all the school kids used fountain pens and grid-ruled paper. Even in the lower grades.

I try on occasion to get back on the fountain pen bandwagon here from time-to-time, but have found that the typical paperstock here in the U.S. is much courser, and so the fountain pen ink bleeds and looks terrible. How do you get around that?

I’ll check out the fountain pens at that site. Thx!

occ's avatar

I love these little pens called Le Pen. They are very skinny pens with an ultra-thin felt tip. They write beautifully. They are only about $2 each, and come in about 10 different colors. I can tell you where I buy them in either NYC or SF…not sure where you live…but I bet they are also available on line. It says Le Pen / Marvy Japan on the sides. I bet any good stationery store would have them—try ‘em out!

robmandu's avatar

@occ, like these?

That’s a new direction (felt-tip) I hadn’t really considered. Thx!

cwilbur's avatar

Personal preference here: Alvin Rapidmatic 0.9mm mechanical pencil, Lamy Studio stainless steel fountain pen. It’s a lot more pleasant to write with a fountain pen.

Every time I have found a ballpoint pen that I liked, the manufacturers discontinued it or changed the ink formulation or something so that I no longer liked it, so I have no recommendations there.

robmandu's avatar

@cwilbur, I agree re: the fountain pen.

Do you have suggestions re: my question above about dealing with course paper that bleeds the ink? Perhaps it’s resolvable with the right ink?

cwilbur's avatar

Most of the paper I write on is smooth enough that I haven’t had a problem.

srmorgan's avatar


I use either conventional legal pads for notes and drafts. I also have access to some note pads manufactured for our German parent company that they ship over here for giveaways. It’s A4 of course but as I said, I don’t use fountain pens for documents I am going to archive, it’s usually just for notes that don’t find their way into permanent binders or folders.


Schenectandy's avatar

cwilbur is on the right track with Alvin mechanical pencils- but the Draft/Matic is my favorite:

cwilbur's avatar

@Schenectandy: hrm, those are the ones I like – I wonder where I got Rapidmatic? The printing is worn off the one I have, so I’m claiming poor memory….

robmandu's avatar

huh… those Alvins look mighty familiar to the Rotrings I remember from engineering school. Design imitations? Or my poor memory?

Whatever, they are superb.

Schenectandy's avatar

@cwilbur – ha! I like them so much I have every size.. gotta say I don’t get that much use out of the 0.3mm.. that’s for really fine detail, tends to cut through paper if you try to write with it!

Alright, now I’m going to have to get myself one of those fountain pens!

longshots's avatar

cwilbur – the “Rapidomatic” was the name of a very similar looking mechanical pencil made by Koh-i-noor. I have one from 25 years ago… still writes wonderfully. I actually found this forum trying to find a good pencil. The Koh-i-noor pencils are now made in China and inferior in quality to the one I have that was made in Japan. Looks like the Alvin Draft/Matic is a good replacement. – Thanks.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther