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Old 15 June 2020, 06:11 AM   #1
Commandopat
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Looking for a pen

Hi all, this is my first look into buying a nice pen and Iím looking for some advice. Iím in the military, spend my time in an office and would simply like a nice writing pen I can carry in my pocket every day.
I am not looking to spend a fortune, and really donít want a fountain pen. I usually have cheap ballpoint pens which work well for my needs. I have used roller balls but the paper I use when taking notes isnít always conducive to that.
Iíve read some people have issues with ballpoint pens and their ink drying up... is that problematic if you use it nearly daily? What about taking a week off etc?

Other than MB are there any recommendations for a nice quality pen thatíll last without breaking the bank?

Thank you,
~Pat
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Old 15 June 2020, 07:38 AM   #2
Dave455
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Hi Pat, and welcome!

First off, don’t worry about not wanting to spend a fortune. I wouldn’t advise it anyway.

If you are buying a fountain pen, the quality of the components, and particularly the nib, generally get better as you spend more. Thus the top end pens offer a superb writing experience, which you pay for.

A ballpoint will only ever write as well as it’s refill, in fact, it’s only really a holder for a refill, so there’s no point spending mega bucks!

So, to get something decent, start with the makers of decent refills, and go from there.

Best are probably Caran d’ache. They write superbly and reliably in all conditions. The yellow pen on the left below is a Caran d’ache. Inexpensive and decent. Swiss made.

Next choice, probably a Fisher space pen. The refills are pressurised and they write on most surfaces. The next pen along is a Fisher. Nicely made - brass and chrome, and made in the U.S. too. Both the Caran and the Fisher write well on most papers, including waterproof paper.

Third pen is another Caran d’ache. This is an “Alchemix” which is a bigger ballpoint that feels more like a fountain pen.

Another maker of superb refills is Pilot. They are probably Japan’s premier pen maker and their ballpoints are lovely. The pen shown is a Custom 74.

Price ranges for the pens shown (I’m trying to convert to $) probably about $15 for the yellow Caran d’ache to about $70 for the Pilot.

If you do get a different pen, and the writing isn’t to your liking, you can improve it by changing refill. The Caran d’ache are interchangeable with any Parker style, alternatively use a Schneider “Slider” which are great!

Incidentally, I fly for a living, and modern cockpits are a bad environment for pens, being very dry as well as subject to pressure changes. None of the pens shown have ever failed me.

Note also, that all of them are push retractable. Many makers make twist pens, but I can’t see the point of having a ballpoint that you can’t use one handed, so I avoid them.

Further note, that all of these are “conventional” ball point pens, as you requested. Roller balls don’t work for everybody, but you might consider a gel pen. Pilot offer some nice gel pens too.

If you would like an alternative to a Mont Blanc then consider Pelikan, Visconti, Pilot, Sailor etc. All make nice pens a notch up from those I’ve already shown, but less costly than a Mont Blanc. I can post examples if interested!
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Old 15 June 2020, 08:09 AM   #3
Dave455
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Iíll assume you are interested in alternatives to the MB, since that was the original query, so here are some more options.

Pelikan - 200 series in Black and the limited Aquamarine. Nice pens and not too costly.

Visconti - Rembrandt in black and red. Very nice. They are machined from solid cellulose acetate and the materials are unique to Visconti. More durable than a MB for less money.

Sailor - in black and blue. The least expensive pens here. Sailor offer nice writing fine refills, if you need that sort of thing!

These pics were taken under artificial light and the colours are actually much brighter than they appear!
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Old 19 June 2020, 11:22 AM   #4
Commandopat
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Thank you, gents, I appreciate the input. For some reason - probably a bad one lol, I find myself leaning towards a MB...on Ebay I ffound a MB M resin black which looks nice.
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Old 19 June 2020, 01:10 PM   #5
pickettt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commandopat View Post
Hi all, this is my first look into buying a nice pen and Iím looking for some advice. Iím in the military, spend my time in an office and would simply like a nice writing pen I can carry in my pocket every day.
Thatís interesting in that my very first MB was a gift from a good friend of mine stationed in Germany. That was 21 years ago. I still have said pen and friend.
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Old 20 June 2020, 12:50 AM   #6
Dave455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commandopat View Post
Thank you, gents, I appreciate the input. For some reason - probably a bad one lol, I find myself leaning towards a MB...on Ebay I ffound a MB M resin black which looks nice.
I donít blame you MBís do have a certain ďsomethingĒ thatís hard to define, much like Rolexís!

Be a little wary buying from eBay. MBís are the most forged pens out there, and many seem to get moved on through eBay. The quality of the fakes is surprisingly good. They Ďfeelí totally different to the real thing, but many buyers obviously have little experience of decent pens and are taken in!
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Old 20 June 2020, 01:27 AM   #7
OttawaSteve
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I have an engraved Cross gel pen that was a presentation gift and is very nice , but I tend to use a Parker Jotter and absolutely love it.
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Old 20 June 2020, 02:43 AM   #8
TswaneNguni
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Schneider One Business .(Rollerball,but its nice !! )
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Old 20 June 2020, 03:07 AM   #9
-dustin
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If you want MB, nothing's going satisfy the itch besides MB.

I'm going on 10yrs with my Cartier Diabolo. Been lots of places with me.

I've also got 3 Kara's Customs that see weekend use.
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Old 20 June 2020, 05:13 AM   #10
Commandopat
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Well, I appreciate the suggestions everyone. I’m considering a few of them but for now I purchased a MB M ballpoint. Can’t wait until it gets here and we’ll see if I made a good choice...
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Old 20 June 2020, 09:07 AM   #11
HogwldFLTR
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Looking for a pen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commandopat View Post
Well, I appreciate the suggestions everyone. I’m considering a few of them but for now I purchased a MB M ballpoint. Can’t wait until it gets here and we’ll see if I made a good choice...


That's what I was going to suggest in the Ultra Black which is really sweet. Below is my pair of them (BP and Fountain). I’ve also have a black resin M fountain. The Ultra Black has a magnet in the body to allow a secure posting of the cap (but only on the ball point version). I really like this design a lot!



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Old 23 February 2021, 11:06 PM   #12
Juliet799
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I use PILOT pen, this pen is pretty lightweight and comfortable enough for me to write. You can consider it.
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Old 6 June 2021, 08:03 PM   #13
Juliet799
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Wordsworth & Black fountain pen is also a particular calligraphy fountain pen set is one of my favorites so far. Made from silver chrome, I can honestly say that its elegance is truly unparalleled. Since it is a durable product, it won’t break easily even if you accidentally drop it. It can write well on the surface of various paper types.
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Old 12 June 2021, 11:26 PM   #14
RolexEDC
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https://urbansurvivalgear.net/

I have the titanium and copper pens, u can buy regular pilots refills
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