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What Are The Best Ballpoint Pens? Share Your Thoughts!

ballpoint pen help amateur ballpoint pens parker mont blanc

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222 replies to this topic

#21 J English Smith

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 20:45

Working as a hospital chaplain means I fill out a lot of paperwork, including carbon forms, so after spending my internship using a Cross BP I decided to treat myself to a Caran d'Ache 849. The Goliath refills are reliable and don't get gunk buildup like my Cross refills did. Smooth? Well... relative to ballpoints, I guess it writes okay. I love the hexagonal barrel. I chose the bright red color so I always know which pen is mine when I'm on the floor.

I like those little CDA pens, have a couple. For me, the refills last a long time but the blue refills were just too faint - smooth, but not dark enough. Those refills are unique for the pens, I've never found something that can swap in there.

 

I guess I'd give a partial nod too to the Waterman refill. I have several Waterman BPs that are pleasant, but I don't find the refills as smooth as Lamy or Parker.

 

Yes, it's definitely all in the refill when it comes to BPs.


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#22 LBpens

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 20:57

For me, ballpoints are throwaways. I like the Uniball Signo 207. But more and more, where I might have used a ballpoint, I now use a mechanical pencil, vintage or Alvin drafting pencils.


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#23 tonybelding

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:20

For me it is all about the refill and the ones that most real pen manufacturers make are terrible.

 

I have noticed this too, and I find it quite frustrating.  Sheaffers are particularly bad.  Over the years disposable ballpoints have gradually gotten better and better, while ballpoint refills for "luxury" pens seem to be stuck in the 1970s.  (Or maybe even left over from the 1970s, considering how dried-out some of them seem!)



#24 sandy101

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:32

Pilot G2 - the range of colours is just amazing - and they are very reliable.

 

Parker Jotter - steel - I've had several plastic Jotters, and the plastic cracks after a while.

 

Bic biro - at 20p it costs less than a short FP cartridge and probably lasts longer.  



#25 ISW_Kaputnik

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:33

Although I can't see collecting ballpoints the way I do fountain pens, I have accumulated quite a few.  I generally have a bullet style Fisher Space Pen with me.  Parker Jotters are nice, particularly the old ones with the brass threads.  I use them with Space Pen refills, or with Monteverde or Parker gel refills which basically turn them into rollerballs.

 

I really don't see the point of expensive ballpoints, though, like Montblancs.  I mean, you might decide that a station wagon is the style of vehicle for you, but you wouldn't look for one made by Ferrari.


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#26 milkb0at

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:34

I have a Parker 45 ballpoint that I've had for years. It's... ok, not great. At one point I put in an early Parker gel refill and hated it.

 

My favourite ballpoint has to be my Lamy 2000, but that's mostly as a work of art and as a compliment to my L2K fountain pen, and not really for writing performance.

 

By far the most surprising success has been a Schneider Slider Edge XB throwaway ballpoint that I got for free with another order. The writing is lovely and smooth with its big ball, the hybrid ink has a good colour and the triangular grip is comfortable. For me it's way better than the standard favourites of Jetstream or Hi Tec C.



#27 Pooch

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 22:11

I like MB ballpoint pens and their refill, especially broad point.  Although broad point tends to skip at first, it is very smooth.



#28 Striated

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:24

I like those little CDA pens, have a couple. For me, the refills last a long time but the blue refills were just too faint - smooth, but not dark enough. Those refills are unique for the pens, I've never found something that can swap in there.

 

Parker style refills will work in the CdA 849, but the tip may stick out of the barrel a little bit.  I may be alone one this, but when I was using ballpoints regularly, Caran d'Ache's refills were the absolute worst.  I had more than a handful dry out and stop writing well before reaching the mythical 9000 meters (or whatever it is) that they are supposed to write.  Those that did start writing again would still skip.  I also found Sheaffer and Lamy refills to be inferior.

 

Now that I only use bps when I have to, I see no reason to use anything more expensive than the Uni Jetstream or the equivalent pens by Pentel and Zebra.


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#29 Zookie

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:31

I have a Zebra F301 Ball point that I use a lot. Their fountain pen stinks, but the ball points and gel pens are nice.



#30 Beethoven

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:35

Cross makes the best refills.  During my navy years I would often forget a ballpoint in the pocket of my dress whites. All my other pens going through the washer and hot dryer would leak everywhere and ruin the load and my uniforms. Not a cross though, the ones I owned went through the washer and dryer without leaking ink. Using cross pens exclusively saved me a fortune on uniforms over the years. 



#31 tryphon

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:51

I do collect ballpoint! The best, IMHO, are the current BICs. Try the 1.6mm point for incredible smoothness. My favorite is the BIC M10, introduced in 1956 and still in production in France and in South Africa. It is the pen preferred by many pilots.



#32 Dillo

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:35

Hi,

 

Since the thing that gives the ballpoint pen the writing quality it has is the refill, I like to look at refills instead then find nice pens that fit them. My favourite refill is the Schneider Express 735. It's very creamy and the black is quite black.

 

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#33 Brian K

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:03

I work in a grocery store and, while I have 4 or 5 fountain pens on me at any time, there are some things I have to use a ballpoint for. I am quite fond of the Parker BP refill (it has to be the BP because roller ball and gel refills are not reliable on the plastic bags we put money in). I was quite pleasantly surprised , however, when I picked up a giveaway pen at my bank that proved to be the ubiquitous Bic Click. This pen is actually the best BP I have picked up in a long time - which is gratifying since I am not going to spend anything approaching real money on something I only use if I have no choice!
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#34 chiaroscuro

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:22

Tombow Zoom 414 with Monteverde or Zebra 0.7 refills. For single color I'd have to go with the stealth Aeropress. Zebra collapsible for super-compact.



#35 erpe

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:51

It has been mentioned before, for me also a ballpoint pen is essentially a holder for the filling. My personal favorite is the Parker Urban for the perfect balance and the possibility to operate the twist mechanism with one hand. Alternatively I have a few IM's and a Faber Castell Loom which also takes Parker refils, some Waterman Hemisphere's that came in a set with the fountain pens, they are also quite good. So I prefer the original Parker refils, smooth writing, no skips, no blobbing, immediate start.

I need to mention one exception. There is still a Cross ballpoint in the desk. That is a leftover from my time behind telescopes in freezing nights. For some reason, the Cross ink still writes in below zero temperatures when others stop. No idea why that is.

As for the mentioned Pilots and Uniballs. I use a few G2's and 207's for shopping lists etc. but i consider them too light for long and stable writing. Besides, they are technically not ballpoints but gellrollers  ;)



#36 JulesSilvan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:26

Hi,
 
Since the thing that gives the ballpoint pen the writing quality it has is the refill, I like to look at refills instead then find nice pens that fit them. My favourite refill is the Schneider Express 735. It's very creamy and the black is quite black.
 
Dillon


That is the refill I currently have in my work Jotter. Schneider make excellent refills. The Otoh needlepoint and Stabilo refills are good too.

Never much seen the point of getting an expensive ballpoint when you can get older Jotters for peanuts and try out a few refills and see which is the best for you.

#37 Tas

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:54

By far the most surprising success has been a Schneider Slider Edge XB throwaway ballpoint that I got for free with another order. The writing is lovely and smooth with its big ball, the hybrid ink has a good colour and the triangular grip is comfortable. For me it's way better than the standard favourites of Jetstream or Hi Tec C.

 

Same.

 

Cult Pens sent me a similar freebie of their larger brother about a year ago

SN15427-ZZZ-ZZZ~Schneider-Slider-Memo-XB
http://www.cultpens....b-ballpoint-pen

 

 

and I've been buying them by the box load for my kids ever since.

They really are the smoothest ballpoint I have ever used. Not too fat either despite the XB label. They're fast to dry (my kids are lefties) and no gloopy build up.

 

I love them.

(sorry)



#38 Striated

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:57

+ whatever it is now for Schneider; I forgot about them.  Their refills probably are the best standard bp refills I've used.


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#39 Black Spot

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:56

I am not the biggest fan of ball points but I came across a Faber-Castell Classic recently and I have to say i am impressed.


Edited by Black Spot, 12 August 2014 - 11:55.


#40 hbdk

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:53

Parker Jotter (has it been mentioned before? :P )

Fisher Spacepen Bullet with built in stylus - writes on moist surfaces, in minus 10 deg. C, etc.


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