[Simonseries] Gear review: Pens addiction and the different types of pens


Since last year, I’ve caught on with buying excessive stationery. I always liked quality stuff, I rather pay more than pay less on cheap stuff and compromise on quality, cheap stuff usually won’t last, or will give you a nice random cancer, like say plastic bottles? I wrote a post on why I use stainless steel bottles only. A lot of things causes cancer nowadays, with manufacturers skimping on materials to put more money into their pockets… I don’t wanna take risks..

Anyways, I digressed. This post is about pens.

Last year, I spent some money and bought myself a nice leather bound notebook. Its the Traveler’s Note Book by Traveler’s Company, it used to be by ‘Midori’ brand, heard they changed last year. I really liked the book and has been using it ever since as my scheduler, work notes and personal notes.

So since I invested on some nice notebook system, I should pair it with some nice pens right? I read a little about fountain pens, so I decided to try them out buying the cheap and good Preppy pens By Platinum.

And after using them a little, I thought fountain pens were nice and went and bought myself (and wifey) the Kaweco Classic Sport pens…

But then I read about rollerball pens, so I wanna try them out too! Thus…

Currently, I’m using a Lamy Safari Rollerball pen in black as shown with my notebook above. I love it, its big and chunky, have a nice fit in my hand, and the build quality is nice even though its plastic. I change the insert to Pilot Frixion refill, I kinda like to modify my pens sometimes, stuffed some erasers inside the pen to adapt to the refill.

I’ve research into all these pens, one of my random impulsive curiosities. I didn’t know there were so many different types of pens; ballpoint, fountain, rollerball, gel ink, etc. Here’s sharing some of the knowledge I acquired. Hopefully I got them right…

  1. Ballpoint: Uses an oil based ink. Ink is dispensed at the tip during use by the rolling action of a tough metal alloy ball. The ink dries almost immediately after contact with paper.
  2. Fountain: They come in those cool, forked tips that expresses ample amount of liquid ink with capillary action. When you write, you must make sure to hold it at a fixed angle as much as possible. Every fountain pen has a sweet spot (angle) and because of that, they kind of force you to write slowly and deliberately. Resulting in a generally nicer handwriting, at least this was what happened to me..
  3. Rollerball: These also use liquid inks. Its like a fountain pen in ballpoint form, if you know what I mean. They write smooth, or are supposed to, my experience with them were bad actually, because I exert too much strength when I write and destroy the tip of the pen… But when they write, they give an intense, bold line on most paper. Very nice. But like all liquid ink, they smudge in contact of water..
  4. Gel ink: Uses ink with pigments that’s suspended in a water-based gel. Because the ink is thick & opaque, it shows up more clearly on dark surfaces. Gel ink enables smooth effortless writing.

Each of them have their own pros and cons, I like the intensity of the liquid ink pens, but they turn into a horrible mess when they come in contact with water. Gel ink is create but their ink gets used up pretty quickly and if left uncapped, usually dries up fast too.. Ballpoint pens sounded like the best type, rugged and one ink cartridge etc can last very long. But actually the lines they dispense is not consistent or faint, that’s why their ink cartridge lasts so long, not much ink comes out anyway.

So in the end, my everyday carry consist of the 4 types of pens I listed above. Too many pens on me, I bought too many pens, seriously. Anyways.. at least when some of the pens fell out of favour, they will be donated to my workplace. So they doesn’t get wasted.. LOL.

Shall end this here.