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What Are The Best Ballpoint Pens? Share Your Thoughts!

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#41 ink-syringe

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:22

If we are talking strictly ball pens and not rollerball, gels, and hybrids then the best refill I have used by a country mile is the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000. I am not sure a ball pen can actually get any better. 
 
I freaking love the style of the Caran d'Ache 849 (hard to put in words how smitten I am with this pen) and have a few of them in different colors for when I need a ball pen. But I am not crazy about the refils. The newer ones are much better but still not great but I just love the 849 style to death.
 
The Caran d'Ache 849 and the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 are almost the same size and shape but the top of the Caran d'Ache 849 is smooth so the knock mechanism can work. The Schmidt is has the grooves. You can get the Schmidt into the pen but it turtleheads a tad and the knock doesn't really work. I suppose it could be cut down. The Schmidt lays down a much darker line and is smooth as a ball pen is likely to every get.
 
 
When I first popped out the 849's cartridge I thought, "Ah, I bet this is made by Schmidt," but sadly it writes nothing like the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 which is nice and dark and skates across the page.

Edited by ink-syringe, 12 August 2014 - 13:38.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 

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#42 ink-syringe

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:50

So close. I think you could probably cut it down (that plastic is very hard) or just remove all the plastic and make a spacer. But that refill in that pen housing would be as good as a ball pen could be for me.

 

SchmidtEasyFlow.jpg


Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 

#43 Cantor

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:56

...

Edited by Cantor, 12 August 2014 - 13:57.


#44 Nek

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:56

My favorite is the MB Meisterstuck. I have the Classique as well as the Le Grand (both Gold and Platinum Trim).

 

My second favourite is the MB Starwalker. I have the Doue version.

 

Pretty much, the MB BP refills are my favorite.



#45 ISW_Kaputnik

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 14:07

 

If we are talking strictly ball pens and not rollerball, gels, and hybrids then the best refill I have used by a country mile is the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000. I am not sure a ball pen can actually get any better... The Caran d'Ache 849 and the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 are almost the same size and shape but the top of the Caran d'Ache 849 is smooth so the knock mechanism can work. The Schmidt is has the grooves. You can get the Schmidt into the pen but it turtleheads a tad and the knock doesn't really work. I suppose it could be cut down.

 

I'd have to agree that the Schmidt Easy Flow is an excellent refill.  It's just that it doesn't have the write anywhere and in any position  convenience of a Fisher Space refill, and if I'm writing anything at length or in a comfortable position then I'm probably going to be using a fountain pen anyway.

 

There's a reason for the specific shape of that plastic cap on the Schmidt, and on all Parker compatible refills.  It engages a mechanism on Parker pens that rotates the refill 90° with each click.  That way there are two extended positions, 180° apart from each other, and if you always hold the pen the same way, it's supposed to even out the wear on the ball.


Edited by ISW_Kaputnik, 12 August 2014 - 14:08.

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#46 J English Smith

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 15:35

 

If we are talking strictly ball pens and not rollerball, gels, and hybrids then the best refill I have used by a country mile is the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000. I am not sure a ball pen can actually get any better. 
 
I freaking love the style of the Caran d'Ache 849 (hard to put in words how smitten I am with this pen) and have a few of them in different colors for when I need a ball pen. But I am not crazy about the refils. The newer ones are much better but still not great but I just love the 849 style to death.
 
The Caran d'Ache 849 and the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 are almost the same size and shape but the top of the Caran d'Ache 849 is smooth so the knock mechanism can work. The Schmidt is has the grooves. You can get the Schmidt into the pen but it turtleheads a tad and the knock doesn't really work. I suppose it could be cut down. The Schmidt lays down a much darker line and is smooth as a ball pen is likely to every get.
 
 
When I first popped out the 849's cartridge I thought, "Ah, I bet this is made by Schmidt," but sadly it writes nothing like the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 which is nice and dark and skates across the page.

 

Yeah, I wish CDA would reformulate their ink. Smooth, long lasting, but so light and the feel of the ball on paper is "mushy" to me.


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#47 Moshe ben David

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:58

Absolutely the key with a BP is the refill.  If it weren't for the fact that the refill is not ergonomically poor to hold, you could just use a naked refill!

 

I am also a fan of both the Caran d'Ache 849 and the Fisher space pens.  Just for kicks I just compared the refills.  The Caran refill is absolutely bigger in girth than the Fisher refill; putting a Fisher refill into the 849 is not a good idea IMHO.

 

Regarding the Fisher space pens.  Most people tend to think of this pen in the 'bullet' style -- very compact, with a pull off cap.  Great as a pant pocket pen; even fits in the small 'watch pocket' of many brands of blue jeans.  However, Fisher does make a 'full size' pen, the astronaut AG-7 in several finishes.  It uses the same refill as the bullet, but for some it is more comfortable to use.  In addition to the famous ability of writing upside down, on greasy surfaces, under water etc etc, all the Fisher pens I've found have been especially great for leaving in a car.  They don't leak in hot weather nor freeze up in winter, behaviors all too common in other pens.

 

Final point.  Many have commented on the widely used 'Parker style' refills, and with good reason.  That style has been adapted by an incredible number of pen manufacturers and therefore there is a huge variety of refills on the market, all which will fit in any of the pens.  I only recommend NOT using the Parker gel type refills.  Although they are smooth writing, you don't get as much mileage from them.  I've also experienced a problem with leakage of some sort of clear liquid from the Parker brand gel refills.  Created a mess in several pens!  Schmidt refills are great.  You can also search on FPN and you'll find a lot of input regarding a variety of different refill manufacturers.  


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#48 Soer

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:53

Best fillings are the goliath ones .can be found in caran d Ache ballpointi also like the smoothness of the Dupont ballpoints

 

Agreed :thumbup: :thumbup:



#49 martinbir

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:53

 

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.

 

Thank you so much for this! I have a Caran d'Ache Ecridor. A nice, quality object but after about 25 years nearly all spent in a draw it had dried out and I could not bring myself to spend £6 on a refill for a pen I will not use. It now has the Scheider Slider Extra Broad out of my old Jotter.



#50 Durham K

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 12:09

I have just used a Parker ballpoint that was produced to help convert Shillings to New pence The conversion chart on the refill can be seen through a window in the barrel. The surprise is that it is writing after about 44 years later! Is this a record?

#51 Katherines

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 19:31

I agree with Beethoven, I recently ran across some Cross pens I had in storage for a long time (over 10 years) and all of them write as well as the day I got them. Only one of them hesitated at first but a few scribbles on a blank piece of paper and it's been fine ever since! I am very fond of my Rotring 600 ballpoint too.


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#52 torstar

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 19:41

The MB "b" (broad/bold) ballpoint refill is the best I have used, a pen of the brand to surround it is great as well.



#53 RLTodd

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 02:45

The function of a ballpoint pen is entirely dependent on the refill.  

Who makes the best refills ?   

 

I agree with that.  Basically one could if they so wished just buy the refills and wrap tape around them to make a grip and be as well off as the most costly of the BP pens.

That being said, I did use Parker Jotters for decades and was quite content with them.  Over the last couple of years I came across the Pilot G-2 and PaperMate Ink Joys and use them almost exclusively now.

 

It really, IMHO, boils down to what you like.  Some people like the 50 count jars of Stik pens.

Good luck in finding something that suits you.


YMMV

#54 MarcS

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 03:19

twist, click, or stick? keeper or disposable?  for a keeper, hard to beat the iconic parker jotter--pick your favorite of the many styles for the look you prefer.  for a disposable, i choose uniball jet stream even though this is cheating on two levels, in that it can be refilled and it might not be classified as a ball point.

 

i tried the bold bic crystal (1.6 mm).  beautiful, dark black line, but the ink globs at the point so a tissue must be handy or the line becomes very messy.



#55 lovemy51

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 07:51

... any BP that will take Parker style refs so that i can use the Schmidt Easyflow 9000 refill.

 

if i need to choose a brand and model... well... Parker Big Red!



#56 candide

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:27

When I used ballpoint pens, I think I used the Pilot BPS-GP. Though even before coming to fountain pens, I never used ballpoint pens much. Gel pens and rollerballs were much more common, and they were what I used too. I also have a "free" refillable ballpoint pen from Wolford that writes really well, though I have no idea what kind of refill it uses.


I was once a bottle of ink, Inky Dinky Thinky Inky, Blacky Minky Bottle of Ink!

 


#57 tonydent84

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 05:56

Parker and Waterman refills are some of the best I've tried in luxury pens. Waterman only accepts Waterman refills which is a bummer (wish they also used Parker-style refills because I love the way Waterman pens are styled and I know that no matter where I go I can find either a Parker refill or a refill that fits Parker-style pens).

 

As of current, my favorite ballpoint is the Montblanc Classique. The refill reminds me of a good quality throw-away ballpoint pen, like a Papermate. Not as smooth or as saturated as Parker or Waterman, but it's the pen itself I like.

 

I still love my Cross pens, though. I have so many of their ballpoints. They're very reliable, sturdy, flashy (depending on which one), and their refills are almost as common to find as those from Parker.


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#58 mislav

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 07:00

For writing in my Moleskine notebooks and journals I use Aurora Ipsilon ballpoint pen, also I like Parker Jotter. 



#59 Boller

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 00:01

My favorite ballpoint pen is the Caran d'Ache 849. The best one to play with is the Fisher AG-7.



#60 esterbrookj

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:11

The nicest ballpoint I ever held was a Sheaffer Targa ballpoint. I loved the clip, the slim shaft, and the stainless steel construction. 

One of my other favorites is a pen made from spent rifle cartridges; not one of the cheap ones, but a nice one by Junior's Bullet Pens(no affiliation). It is, surprisingly, one of the nicest feeling pens I've found. And the polished surface doesn't make it slick, either.

 

I don't like ballpoints that much in general because one has to press harder down on the paper to leave markings, and that cramps my hand too quickly. I am accustomed to my fountain pens and mechanical pencils...However, a high quality, heavy, solid metal ballpoint pen is acceptable because the weight of the pen pushes down for you. 

 

-Evan







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