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Favorite ballpoint...

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#1 _John_


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 00:42

I'm a big fan of parker compatible refills because they seem to have the most choices so I tend to gravitate to those that accept these refills. On any given day my most favorite ballpoint is one of the following depending on my mood:

Parker Duofold Pinstripe (Blue)
Parker Sonnet (Black Laquer)
Pelikan m620 (Piccadilly Circus)
Visconti Van Gogh (Tortoise)

From time to time I'll switch to a Mont Blanc 169 because it is a very visually appealing instrument but I just don't care much for the way the refill writes. I still like it quite a bit though.

What are your favorite ballpoints?
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#2 Jeff E

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 00:50

Believe it or not, just a Plain jane Parker Jotter filled with a Parker gel refill (usually blue).
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#3 jkrewalk


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 00:51

I only carry a ballpoint for two reasons:

1. In the event someone asks me if I have a pen - I do not have to ever give them one of my precious fountain pens. Instead I can provide a ballpoint and .....

2. There are times I may need to sign through multiple part forms and a ballpoint is needed.

So everyday I carry a ballpoint in addition to my fountain pen.

My favorites are a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint and a woodgrain Faber Castell Ballpoint pen. I love the Faber Castell because of its unique qualities and the fact that it is made by the oldest pencil company in the world.

#4 Shannon



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Posted 06 April 2007 - 00:52

I have an older Waterman Expert (I think) that is always with me. Love that pen for the convenience and because it's still nice enough for a "pen snob" to use!

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#5 jkrewalk


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 00:56

Oh yes - almost forgot the only other favorite and its a vintage one. A 1948 Sheaffer Sentinel tha I modified to accept a standard modern Sheaffer refill (the refills that this pen accepts were discontinued 50 yeas ago!).

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#6 jkrewalk


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:07

Here's a photo of it - it's really a nice pen.

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Edited by jkrewalk, 06 April 2007 - 01:07.

#7 jsonewald


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:09

I always have a Fisher Space Pen - bullet model in a pocket. When I carry a more conventional BP, it is usually a Jotter or Sonnet. Whatever it is will have a Fisher Space Pen refill.

#8 hembergler


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:24

I'm a big fan of my Cross ballpoint. I originally detested the slim design, but over time I've come to really love it. And, I think it looks rather nice, too.

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 15:11

While I would never call it a favorite pen . . . I DO have one that I use when I absolutely must. Sheaffer Imperial 18k solid gold ballpoint. It came in a set with a fountain pen and only gets out of the box when I HAVE to carry one of that type. I should say that's happened once in the last year.


#10 Kelly G

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 17:52

It must be the one at the checkout counter that I use to sign the credit card slip - those are the only bp's I ever use. I don't carry them and only have a few that have come in sets. I simply prefer writing with fp's - 99.9% of the time.
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#11 mr T.

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 18:09

My favourite ballpoints are the Ballograf Rondo, the Ballograf Epoca and (believe it or not) the Parker Reflex.

#12 pigpogm


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 19:03

I'd have to say the only one I actually carry everywhere - a Pilot Birdie Duo. It's a ballpoint and a mechanical pencil, in a Birdie-size pen. Slips away into a pocket without taking up much space, and gives me two extra tools.

If I have my pen case handy, I'd probably reach for a Uni-ball Signo 207. It's a gel pen, strictly speaking, so it depends how generally you mean "ballpoint", but it's nice to use, smooth, and the ink is permanent, fraud-resistant, and archival safe.
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#13 Latro21


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 19:20

i prefer gel pens to ballpoints due to the ease with which they write, and the nice solid dark line they make on paper. my favorite cheapies are the zebra brand pens, especially the zebra sarasa, since you can get em in some neat colors, like the blue-black and dark reddish black.

i like the waterproof properties of sakura gelly rolls, though im not a fan of their design.

i have a SS jotter with a gel refill which i like a lot, and it usually comes with as a backup to a fountain pen when im out n about.

my absolute favorite disposable to write with out of the rollerball/ballpoint/gels, by far, is the uni-ball jetstream. its smoother than any of my fountain pens, the ink doesnt blob or smear for me, and it always writes perfectly, every single time. its actually a joy to write with one.

my favorite non roller/bp/gel to write with are staedtler pigment liners and sakura pigma microns. i have a .05 staedtler that i really like to write with, since i write small, and .05 is TINY. the sakura pigmas have a nice blue-black and sepia that i really like as well. as soon as i scratch together some change id like to pick up a full set of the colored staedtlers. these pens pull double duty for writing and artwork.

i do like to use ballpoints for drawing sometimes, since you can get some great shading effects with them. in that case, i use the good ol papermate write bros. med pt pens with the white body and black cap. either those, or the plain bic stic or bic crystal. theyre cheap, write fine, and i dont have to worry about losing them when im out sketching/drawing.

i had bought a fisher bullet space pen, but was horribly disappointed by its performance. for $20, i expected something that would write better than a bic stic.

Edited by Latro21, 06 April 2007 - 19:22.


#14 HesNot


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 19:28

I like the Parker gel refills although I've discovered they have very poor water resistance properties - not that comforting when I use them to sign checks or forms...

But the regular Parker ball point refills are decent and they fit my Caran d'Ache Ecridor ballpoint which is my most used ballpoint pen.

I also carry a Waterman Phileas Rollerball with a Pilot G-2 refill which is obviously nota ballpoint but it is my other non-fountain pen alternative.
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#15 Tbobx



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Posted 06 April 2007 - 19:32

I have a Mont Blanc ballpoint and rollerball in black. I do not carry them everyday and they do not get much use anymore.

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#16 Univer


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 20:10

Hi All,

Another vote here for the vintage Sheaffer Stratowriter. I use an early gold-filled model (1946?) - the one that came with the separate point-protector slip-on cap. I simply added one of the Sheaffer ballpoint widgets from Pendemonium and a modern Sheaffer refill - the existing spring was still perfectly fine - and the pen is as good as new.

I'm convinced that my preference for the Stratowriter is the result of two factors: one emotional and one functional.

The emotional factor: I'm enough of a contrarian to derive enjoyment from using an instrument so spectacularly out-of-date. Truly, the early Stratowriter is even more anachronistic than a BCHR eyedropper. For proof, look no further than the two-handed push-button mechanism...now that's what I call convenience!

The functional factor: the Stratowriter was an expensive and finely engineered pen in its day, and it shows. Even with a retrofitted modern refill, it feels very precise, and the balance of the pen is totally unlike any modern ballpoint's.

(By the way, I have actually come across one Stratowriter that still had a trace of ink in its original "micro-crafted" refill. I can honestly say that the ink did not behave like modern-day ballpoint ink; it was smoother and "dryer" - more like a Parker Liquid Lead pencil, if you've ever used a working one.)

If you have the opportunity to rehabilitate and use one of these old pens, I think you'll enjoy the experience.



PS Thought I could resist the temptation to have a little fun at the expense of the Parker idolators, but I'm too weak. My second favorite ballpoint is the Parker 51 - no contest.

#17 MicheleB


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Posted 06 April 2007 - 20:14

I just got a Pelikan BP with a Swiss made refill - SoftStar which has a 1.4mm TC ball point. I have the cobalt blue Pelikan which is a great color, but I find the diameter a little thin. The price at $50 (at Pen Haven) is not bad. I do like the refill - std Parker gel size. Bold and smooth and I have the blue refill which is more blue than purple. The refills can be had at Bertram's Inkwell in Rockville, MD. Satisfied customer of both and no other connections.

I have been contemplating a Mont Blanc Boheme BP which has a nice girth. Any comments on that pen or refills?
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#18 gizmoe



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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:01

I have a couple of Sensa ballpoints and a Retro 51 Tornado Big Shot in blue titanium that I like a lot. The Sensa's are very well balanced and feel like a precision instrument in your hands. The Big Shot feels very large, substantial and is a real hand filler. Both are nice to write with for different reasons. They all are loaded with Fisher Space Pen ink cartridges. I like being able to write at any angle and that they never dry out.
This is my pen. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My pen is my best friend. It is my life as a writer. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my pen is useless. Without my pen, I am useless.

#19 quosimosaurus


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Posted 07 April 2007 - 14:42

I have two ballpoint pens that I found that I like very much (half my pencil case consists of found ballpoint and felt tip pens and markers - finding stationery is really satisfying for some reason). One is a Papermate Kilometrico which writes very well but doesn't feel or look so good. The other I'm guessing is a Bic Round Stic which is the opposite to the Papermate in that it feels and looks nice (clear body with Australian Architecture Association on it) but it writes so so.

I also have a Sheaffer Vintage sterling silver ballpoint pen which writes nicely. It has an attractive floral pattern and there is the advantage of being able to load gel refills as well as ballpoint refills.

Apart from being inexpensive, durable and unfussy ballpoint pens offer things over fountain pens such as shading (as somebody already mentioned) and that nice tactile experience that you get by writing with a ballpoint on a soft springy surface. I write differently with ballpoints than I do with fountain pens and I enjoy both types of experiences. Felt tip pens however, are quite nasty. The exceptions are when I want the scratchness of Artline 0.5 pens in my drawing and the Staedtler Lumocolour Universal pens which have a firm smooth felt tip.

#20 kenny


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Posted 07 April 2007 - 14:45

I use a MB Boheme BP for multipart forms only. Since the refills define how a BP works, there is nothing special about the Boheme BP except that it matches the Boheme FP that I carry.

I loved my Fisher Space Pen, but I can't find where I put it.

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