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What Is The Best Low Cost Pen?


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#41 sidpost

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 09:33

Ballpoints/Gel's:

 

Ooooh, I love Parker Jotters, but mainly under the condition that it's loaded with a Schmidt Easyflow 9000 M.  BUT I tell you, I am not a fan of the all steel versions because they are more slippery.  I like the ones with the Matte Bottom portion/section much much better.  I tried the Oxford gray pinstripe version and it was terribly slippery compared to my Black/silver version I always have on my with an Easyflow refill

 

If you're looking for a great low cost pen, Pentel Energel Gel pens are fantastic.  There's even an Alloy RT  people like more than the Pilot G2 Limited.  They impress me.

 

...

 

The Pentel Energel Alloy RT is a favorite of mine, replacing the Parker Jotters which are a fine pen too.  While not Cristal cheap, they write a whole lot better and leave a much better line behind with normal writing pressure.


On a quest for better pencils and pens in rural East Texas.   :)


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#42 IndigoBOB

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 12:22

Just got my Pentel Energel Alloy RT in and I prefer the less backweighted plastic version.  I wish the threads were the same on both version so you could screw the metal section onto the plastic barrel.

 

Nothing can replace my Jotter-Easyflow combo.  It clips perfectly into my spiral sidebound staples memo books I do a lot of jotting and short writing in.

 

But for longer writing sessions the Pentel Energel is my favorite ballpoint/gel/rollerball option.  It fills that void void that I've disappointingly tried to fill for years on end.

 

I recently preordered a TI Arto EDC I had intended to use an Easyflow with, but the Energel 0.5mm needlepoints have been winning me over and the 0.7mm's are greatly reliable.

 

I always have my Parker Jotter-Easyflow on me, but lately I've also been carrying the Energel RT 0.5mm needle tip.



#43 tvradio

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 14:05

Ballpoints/Gel's:

 

Ooooh, I love Parker Jotters, but mainly under the condition that it's loaded with a Schmidt Easyflow 9000 M.  y

Quick question: can the Kaweco Sport Rollerball Pen take an Easyflow 9000 cartridge?


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#44 IndigoBOB

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 15:51

I believe so.  Easyflow's are Parker Style Refills, and I believe they take Parker style refills.

 

kaweco-al-sport-stonewashed-roller-ball-pen-review



#45 sidpost

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 16:11

... Nothing can replace my Jotter-Easyflow combo.  It clips perfectly into my spiral sidebound staples memo books I do a lot of jotting and short writing in. ...

 

Good point on the pen thickness.  I don't clip my pens into spiral notebooks so that is a possible issue I easily overlook that could be problematic for some people.  I find the larger barrel diameters, within reason, of pens like the Energel Alloy RT are better for me as I have some grip and carpal tunnel issues from time to time and gripping a slippery pen barrel or a skinny one seems to really aggravate both issues.

 

Case in point, I really like the Caran D'Ache 849 but it is both slick and small barreled so I rarely carry it.  The Retro 51 Tornado is a lovely pen but, the stainless barrel is so slick I have considered finding a machinist to lightly knurl it so I would use it more.


Edited by sidpost, 04 March 2018 - 16:12.

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#46 IndigoBOB

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:26

 

Good point on the pen thickness.  I don't clip my pens into spiral notebooks so that is a possible issue I easily overlook that could be problematic for some people.  I find the larger barrel diameters, within reason, of pens like the Energel Alloy RT are better for me as I have some grip and carpal tunnel issues from time to time and gripping a slippery pen barrel or a skinny one seems to really aggravate both issues.

 

Case in point, I really like the Caran D'Ache 849 but it is both slick and small barreled so I rarely carry it.  The Retro 51 Tornado is a lovely pen but, the stainless barrel is so slick I have considered finding a machinist to lightly knurl it so I would use it more.

 

 

I have hand fatigue problems, too, which is what started this venture into better pens and fountain pens.  Adding that to the increase in sheer volume of the amount I wrote a day for school, work, and personal use, the Parker Jotter was basically sidelined from being anything other than a Jotter or something for short writing sessions, unless I absolutely had to.  But I do prefer the small size because I can fit it in a breast pocket, scrubs pockets, and I bought a lot of collared shirts for that reason and scrubs that have that type of pocket setup.

 

I wish there was a shorter alloy version of the Pentel pens, a 5" in a jotter. because I like how the weight of the metal makes it truly effortless to lay down the wonderful thick line the energel refills do.  I would be in seventh heaven if that were the case, because the alloy version is a lovely pen, with a nice grip on the section.

 

That's why I preordered the Ti Arto EDC.  It's not a clicky pen, but I prefer screw tops like that for longer writing session because it has a wonderful shelf/ridge at the transition from the section to the body that acts as a wedge for extra securement of the pen into the grip decreasing the effort I need to put into holding it.

 

But I'm always on the lookout for something like a 5" pentel energel alloy pen.



#47 Zaphodbebullbrox

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:13

It all depends on what you mean by 'low cost'?

 

you can go to the bank and get one of there free hand out pens for free.

 

Price is completely relative.

 

A free pen from the bank may only last one year where as a Waterman Pen may last a lifetime.

 

so if you go by over all cost of operation a more expensive Pen may cost more up front but in the long run it may actually be cheaper.



#48 sidpost

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 18:01

 

But I'm always on the lookout for something like a 5" pentel energel alloy pen.

 

A shorter Pentel Energel Alloy RT would be sweet! And very good for pocket carry in a jeans pocket for me!


On a quest for better pencils and pens in rural East Texas.   :)


#49 Snowyfox

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:00

where as a Waterman Pen may last a lifetime.

 

The pen itself might last a lifetime, but the ink won't, unless you're barely writing much at all, in which case even the cheapest biros will last a lifetime.

 

"Best" in this thread refers to the best-feeling and best-performing pen at lower price brackets, not what pen has the best cost-benefit ratio, which free pens would win out in.

 

Of course, even in that regard, there is a threshold; there's many things that we don't want "even for free".

 

-----

 

@Thread

 

Bic Cristals are a favourite not only because of its cost. Having used them myself, I can attest that they will write consistently, unlike several other pens I've tried. I don't think you'd have the problem you got on a Bic Cristal, but if you do, please correct me.

 

I got some PaperMate InkJoy Gels recently, and though they write great, they don't write too consistently, having tiny skips often. But otherwise, they really are great pens, and a serious player in the $2/ea range.

 

However, I do agree with some others here that the lower end Chinese fountain pens are the best low cost pens in general.

 

My Jinhao 599 may be inconsistent and scratchy at times, but it generally writes smooth, consistent, and fine. And if you get that sweet spot, it would just blow every single competitor out of the water.

 

In terms of paper, nothing can beat fountain pens in the long run, and Jinhaos and Wingsungs will give you that at prices close to gel pens.


Edited by Snowyfox, 06 March 2018 - 04:10.


#50 Zaphodbebullbrox

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:56

I personally always liked Pilot Pen Precise V5/V7 pens.

 

Also as a teen i loved the LePen

 

And i do not think you can go wrong with the Bic Crystal.

 

Know i have not used these personally but i have seen them at the art supply store, look into a brand called COPIC Markers. they come in a wide variety of sizes and colors.



#51 dogpoet

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 13:59

If we're talking disposables rather than refillables, the Tombow Airpress is a rather nice "tribute" to the Fisher space pen. I have no idea how well the supposedly pressurised cartridge works upsiode down or underwater, but it will write on more or less anything, and has a nice weight and balance for a biro.

It might be distinctive looking enough to attract sticky fingers, though...



#52 TranquilTrout

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 20:21

If your only issue with the Fisher space pen was the ink globbing, then you should know that globbing is only an issue for their medium point refills. Their fine point refills do not glob and are more pleasant to write with since they require less pressure.

 

--flatline

 

I had no idea they had a fine point version of the Fisher Space Pen. I'll have to try and see if I can't find one for myself.

 

Personally, I like most Zebra products for cheap pens even though their inks aren't very dark. I didn't like them much at first because of the ink, but they've grown on me. I also really like the Pilot Hi Tec C Slim Knock pen. It runs out a bit too fast for its price but other than that, it's a really nice small and compact pen. Perfect for carrying around.



#53 oneill

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 08:40

My current favourites in the low-cost category are Wing Sung 3008 ad Jinhao 992.

I am glad that someone has named the Jinhao also the makers of Baoer Having edited these two Brands for
quite a few years I am always delighted to see them mentioned because they are if not the most affordable pens
around they are made from Solid Tube Brass and only cost a dollar or two and any problems one has with any of
their pens is easily fixed if you make your problem known to FPN there is always someone who has had the same
problem as you are having now and can tell you just what how to remedy it. If you want to enrich your Jinhao
Collection let me recommend a pen which I always praise because I had the pleasure of Naming it, for some reason Jinhao always uses one of two names which are The Mother of Pearl OR the Abalone,I love them so much I have three of them in my Jinhao Collection they will ight up your Collection, Trust Me, Oneill

#54 Manalto

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 20:57

I'm inclined to trust people - until they say "trust me" - and then I wonder. But I've had good experience with both the Jinhao and Baoer brands, so I will. On my way to view the MOP and Abalone pens before the competition gets fierce!


James


#55 OregonJim

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:18

Bic Cristal!

 

Seconded!  It's also the only pen that feels like you're writing with a wood-cased pencil.  And it works on (almost) as many paper types as a pencil.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the modern ink formulation is NOTHING like the blobby, skippy, leaky ink we knew in the '70s.



#56 OregonJim

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:32

 

so if you go by over all cost of operation a more expensive Pen may cost more up front but in the long run it may actually be cheaper.

 

Let's see...

 

A BIC Cristal costs roughly 25 cents (US).  Let's be ultra-conservative and say it lasts only a month.

 

That's an operating cost of $3 USD per year.

 

For the "expensive" pen, you have to take into account not only the initial cost, but the cost of refills, which alone will be much more than $3 per year.

 

So, it will never amortize, no matter how long the expensive pen lasts (even if it was free!)...



#57 dan in montreal

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 02:16

 

Seconded!  It's also the only pen that feels like you're writing with a wood-cased pencil.  And it works on (almost) as many paper types as a pencil.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the modern ink formulation is NOTHING like the blobby, skippy, leaky ink we knew in the '70s.

 

This is absolutely correct. I always have one with me. They're functional, and I almost find them... nice looking. I kid you not.

 

 

Let's see...

 

A BIC Cristal costs roughly 25 cents (US).  Let's be ultra-conservative and say it lasts only a month.

 

That's an operating cost of $3 USD per year.

 

For the "expensive" pen, you have to take into account not only the initial cost, but the cost of refills, which alone will be much more than $3 per year.

 

So, it will never amortize, no matter how long the expensive pen lasts (even if it was free!)...

 

They can last a really long time, it's surprising. However, would I write with one on a regular basis? No.

All this is quite relative.

 

As far as FPs go, I'm partial to the Pilot Petit. I think they're shipped with one cart, and you can refill it as often as you want. And they're better built than the Preppy.

I do NOT agree that cheap Chinese pens are a good deal, as they tend to break down rather quickly in my experience.



#58 OregonJim

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:03

 

 

They can last a really long time, it's surprising. However, would I write with one on a regular basis? No.

All this is quite relative.

 

 

 

Absolutely.  I write with a lot of other stuff, too - some of it quite expensive - but the OP's only criterion was "best low cost" - and I think the Cristal is hard to beat in that area.  It's my go-to for on-the-go pen sketching.



#59 CoolBreeze

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 05:54

I don't know what you specifically mean by cheap pen but when I think cheap, I think disposable gel or rollerball. I suppose you can get a disposable fountain pen too but I have no experience with those.

For cheap disposables, it's really all about the refill for me. My 2 favorite refills are the Pentel Energel and the Uniball 307. Both are smooth, come in nice colors, and are waterproof. I absolutely hate the pilot g2, it leave blobs of ink everywhere for me. I don't use ballpoints.

Edited by CoolBreeze, 14 August 2018 - 05:56.


#60 IndigoBOB

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 05:26

rOrtring Tikky swapped in with a Schmidt Easyflow 9000 of course.

 

I pick my Tikky's up from Jetpens, cuz the one I got from Amazon had bad tip tapping sounds on every letter I wrote, but I purchased 4 from Jetpens.  I asked them to make sure I didn't get any Tikky's with tip-tapping and they are all great writers with a great grip.

 

The pen can keep up with the fastest wrtiting, so smoothly.

------------------------------------

 

I have been using the Pentel Energel Alloy at it's pretty nice.  I find their refills to be pretty solid and reliable.   I've been enjoying it, but I find I return pretty quickly to the Tikky for the most part.








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