The Perfect Pen – The Never Ending Quest

Staedtler Lumocolor 4 pack, Avant Pro retractable, InkJoy 700 RT Retractable, InkJoy in Fashion ColorsI’ve written about the pencil and there are still times when writing in pencil soothes and inspires the muse, but most of my written words are created with a pen. Some people are into shoes, some into hats, my weakness is pens and organizer purses. For now, I’ve found the perfect organizer purse, but my quest for the perfect pen is never ending.

I look forward to my annual trip down the pen aisle during back-to-school shopping. Kind of like a kid before Christmas. It IS “The Most Wonderful Time” of the year.  Last year I discovered InkJoy pens from Papermate. They are ball point pens but smoother. For everyday writing I especially like the InkJoy 700 retractable ball point pen. The InkJoy 100ST Ballpoint Pens in Fashion Colors are fun when multiple colors will help clarify your message.

This fall I’ve been on a quest to find a the perfect marker. Sharpies are ubiquitous, and certainly have their uses. I’m actually a huge fan of the Bic Mark It Pens. I like them better than Sharpies for office use. For me the fine and medium points of the Bic’s just write better. BUT, both Sharpies and Mark-Its bleed and that drives me nuts. So, I’ve been on the hunt for markers that write well, but won’t bleed.

I approached the pen aisle during this year’s back to school shopping trip with great anticipation. I came away disappointed on the marker front, but I did find a lovely new to me ball point pen. The AvantPro with SilkScribe blue ink is my new favorite pen. As much as I love a good pen, I’m usually loathe to spend much money on them because let’s face it, pens get lost or “borrowed”. I bought two of these at $8 a pop, plus replacement ink because I write in blue, not black. One stays with my journal all the time. No ifs, ands or buts. The other lives in my purse and don’t even ask me to borrow it, because I’ll hand you one of the others I carry with me at all times. More than likely you’ll get a Bic Pro+, my previous proverbial favorite that was knocked off by the PaperMate Ink Joy.

So, back to the hunt for a marker that writes well, has a bold point (but not too bold) and doesn’t bleed through paper. After I had exhausted all my options at the office supply stores and in the back-to-school sections of discount stores. I searched online, but it’s a pen and one person’s idea of fine is my idea of extra fine and plus, half the battle with finding a good pen is how it feels in your hand. No, this was going to be an in person purchase.

I visited my local art supply store and conducted some tests. I left with 4 Staedtler Lumocolor pens in different tip sizes to play with. After some experimentation, I finally decided that the Staedtler Lumocolor non-permanent in medium point is what I have been searching for. Yay! The only problem was that the Art Supply Store had a limited supply. Boo! Of course I would like a pen that’s not easy to get. After some digging, I finally found them, where else? Yup. Amazon.

So there you have it my latest and greatest pen finds. Which pen to use is an extremely personal decision.  I can’t stand fine or extra fine pens, some people swear by them. When I shared my new Staedtler marker with a friend who I was SURE would love it, He hated it. That said, while I’m hyper selective about pens, I’m also always on the look out for my next perfect pen. So, what do you write with?

Examples of how the pens write.

The opinions reflected here are my own. I did not receive any compensation for sharing my thoughts. 

Lee Laughlin is a writer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. You can find her on Twitter @Fearless. She blogs at and she is a regular contributor to the Concord Monitor. Her words have also appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe. She is currently working on her first novel, a work of contemporary, romantic fiction.

66 thoughts on “The Perfect Pen – The Never Ending Quest

  1. Reblogged this on Script Anubis and commented:
    I’d have to say that I’m still loyal to the traditional Papermate and Bic pens. Something about the ink is perfect – not too much not to little – and it’s not expensive either.

    • I agree. I am not a fan of papermate, but bic pens write so well and seen to somehow simplify my writing process by being so simple and clean.

  2. I find that my “perfect” pen varies depending on my mood. Sometimes I need a ballpoint, sometimes a fiber tip, sometimes a fountain pen. So I need a big collection! There’s nothing like the pen section for happy browsing.

  3. I do most everything on the computer, but I too like to have a perfect pen. I’ve discovered it needs to be fat not thin as it’s more comfortable to grasp and over a year back decided to splurge and buy an expensive one. I’ve never wanted another since.

  4. I always wrote with Schaeffer cartridge pens, but the cartridges have become hard to find. I loved the flow of the original Schaeffers; newer ones I ordered and used for a while didn’t have the same sense of glide. Now I’m writing with a fountain pen. Above all, I hate it that most pens, including some of the most comfortable, require me to throw away chunks of plastic on a regular basis, an act against my religion (:-). The fountain pen can be refilled from a recyclable glass jar, and I hope the little pump I bought for this purpose lasts for quite a while.
    I like it that one can adjust the flow of a fountain pen (or nibbed cartridge pen) by simply turning the point upside down! Thin or medium point in one pen!

  5. i am obsessed with notepads. Everytime I go to the shop, I am looking for the BEST NOTEPAD ever. I cant even make my decisions. I just wanna take them all. My obsession grew till I started getting my Amazon packages full of notepads. I think now it’s head its peak: now i wanna design a perfect notepad by myself. I dont wanna talk about pens, because the situation with them is even worse. When someone gives me a pan to write something, I look at it as if I never seen a pen before and ask whether I can take it with me.

    • Oh Notepads. Sigh. I had the PERFECT note pad. It was given to me as a promotional item. I used it with abandon, stupidly thinking it wouldn’t be hard to get more. I was wrong! I called ready to place an order and was told it was a one time thing not available for sale. I was crushed.

  6. Uni-ball forever! Specifically: uni-ball Vision Stick Needle Roller Ball Pens, Fine Point Pens, Assorted Colors, Set of 8.” – per Amazon. $12.
    The ones in the grey cartridge. Maybe they’re only amazing to me, but it’s been 20 years worth of amazing.

  7. I like your advice. I also have my dear pen with me. Its a Octane gel and I like parker and others depend on what feeling I have. Like if I am blank I buy cheap pens and when full then shop from Amazon.

  8. The writing tool is critical to keep ideas flowing. Can’t stand the feel of ball points – and some blob. A fine sharpie is nice except for that bleeding through. Real fountain pens were fun (and grew up with those) but you can’t press too hard or the point spreads and that changes everything…not mention the scratchy sound made by a heavy hand (not an issue to me…sounds like thoughts clicking along…same with loud typewriters or computer keyboards that clack like a piano player is pounding on them. Basically people/coworkers say I “write” too loud. Fiber/felt tips flow nicely, but computer is easier to read my scribblings ( never worry too much about spelling the first run…so readability is important for the second pass)
    Fun post

  9. I love all kinds of pen. They take me back to my youth when every year I look forward to sniffing (yes sniffing ) my new school items. I love to savor the newness of everything that has something to do with writing. Did you ever smell old/new books?

  10. I totally understand the love of pens (and office supplies in general). Have you ever tried G2 pens? They are by far my favorite. The packages say fine point, but I think it gives a nice bold line (thicker than anything else I’ve used at least). They may smudge a little if you run your hand over your writing immediately, but I don’t usually have that problem.

  11. At the moment I am using the G2. I like it, but it’s not my favorite. I had one that I absolutely loved, but it was “borrowed” and never returned. If I could remember what type of pen it was I would replace it. Sadly, I had too long and don’t remember 😦

  12. My favourite pen is a Parker (fountain pen but now with cartridges). I love the flow of the ink …….I enjoyed the article – great to know I’m not the only one who loves the ‘back to school’ stuff. all the pens even notebooks – I too keep many pens – keep losing or lending but the best are for journals and strictly remain at home. I don’t think computer technology will ever take from me the joy of putting thoughts down and letting the pen (whichever one) simply flow across the page.

    • yes indeed, I remember when. Was thrilled when I received recognition for an essay completely hand written with antique nib dipped in ink. How careful we had to be not to blot it!

  13. Thanks for these suggestions! I have a pen problem myself. My bank gives away the best blue-ink ball point pens. I am chronically taking more than my share, and my husband says I have an addiction. 😬 I haven’t seen any pen-jacking fees on my bank statement, yet….

  14. I LOVE my simple Paper Mate Profile in blue or mauve when I write on my yellow pad… but not any yellow pad, the newspaper paper yellow pad… sensual writing, joy of seeing the words form from the tip of the pen on this smooth and cushy page… try it… it is awesome 😀

  15. Reading this, I feel like I found my people. I adore back to school shopping (all the pens, pencils, notebooks… [*Sighs.*]), and I am also very picky about my pens. My dad gave me this beautiful fountain pen for Christmas, and now it’s my go-to.

    Thank you for writing this. 😀 Now I know I’m not the only one.

  16. I used to like Fountain pens. Had the Mars technical one Rotring but the nib was iffy after a few weeks of intensive use. I think it would pick up paper bits because it was sharp and then the bits would clog the ink flow.
    The Schaeffer ones were better but the nibs still would be less than durable. The Mont Blancs were great but just a fantasy because they were so expensive.
    I remember being so happy to get green ink cartridges. But it annoyed the teacher at school because blue only was preferred.

    • I found a pen store in Victoria, BC… they can change the tip of the pen to the size and smoothness you want. They have a huge choice of pen, reservoirs and also a rainbow of ink in all shades. My dream too is to have a Mont-Blanc one day but… they are ~ like you say ~ soooo expensive. And I had the same problem at school too looool… but for me, it was mauve ink 😀

    • There … I found the address and the name of the store for the pens… for interested writers 😀

      Huge choice of ink of all colors, big choice of pens to drool for and other more modest but very nice, he cleans fountain pens, changes the nibs, has reservoirs that fits almost all brand… in one word… Writer’s Paradise 😀

      Few street from the ferry and The Empress, in the hub of Victoria…

      Simply the Best, 1008 Broad Street, Victoria, BC
      web site:

  17. I too have always been obsessed with pens. In fact, I used to be so obsessed that if I signed my receipt at a restaurant with a good pen, it would go right into my purse. i finally kicked that habit – didn’t want to spread bad karma by stealing from hardworking people! I do all of my writing freehand first and computer second, so a good pen is a must. My current favorite is the Pentel RSVP fine point in black or purple ink. When I’m editing a manuscript, I use a red marker – Paper Mate medium point felt tip. It’s bold but doesn’t bleed through and writes very smoothly. I even use that when I write in my journal – but I switch colors depending on my mood 🙂

  18. Pens r my life.I get a strange satisfaction when I find pens lying on my bed.In fact I also have a collection of my favorite Parker pens ever since I started writing.

  19. Kasey Keller is No more. 3 among MLS goalkeepers with a GAA of 0.84 and five shutouts. Keller is tied for third in wins (6). Forward Fredy Montero is tied for second in goals (8) and assists (6), and shares charge in game-winning goals (3). Montero is second in fouls suffered (37) and they is third in shots (49). Nate Jaqua is tied for fifth in goals (6) and seventh in assists (5). He is third in fouls committed (31).
    fifa 16 hack

  20. Pingback: Pilot FriXion Pens | Live to Write – Write to Live

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s