Insights into business, society, and life in general

Pen Perfection

I am quirky, and proud of it. One of my quirks, probably more accurate to call it a passion, is pens. I doubt there is anyone out there who is as rabid connoisseur of pens as I am. Seriously — you name the pen, I have a comment. When it comes to my own pen selections, I have been on the never-ending quest for the perfect pen for years. To satisfy me, the feel has to be EXACTLY right! The tip has to come out a certain dsitance from the barrel, the barrel has to be a certain diameter, the ink has to be smooth — no blotches, no skips, and of course — it has to smell! I am nose oriented, because nothing thrills me more than the smell of ink on paper. Then there is the diamter of the nib — I despise anything over 1 mm, and depending on the type of pen — gel, ballpoint, or rollerball — I prefer a .5 or .7.

Notice I did not mention fountain pens? So many people swear by their fountain pens, but I just was never able to go there. Yes, I tried, but either the nib wasn’t right, I got ink all over everything, including myself, or the thing scratached on the paper, which to me is like fingernails on the proverbial blackboard.

Be aware that over the years I have bought and or absconded (doctors’ offices and such) with hundreds of pens. The prices have ranged from $1 to $100. But most have been in that relatively “cheap” range of $6 (package of 4 or 5) to $25.

So now the question becomes: have I found the perfect pen? And the answer is – sort of. Sort of? Well actually, more like the perfect brand within which lies several options that are true winners. 

But first, the runner’s up.  Before I make the grand pronouncement, I must tell you that I have tried every major brand name pen out there. I won’t list them here because they are indeed lovely pens, they just didn’t make the neurotic Mary Anne cut. So what did make the cut, in Number 3 position: Foray pens! Foray is the house brand for Office Depot and a mighty fine pen they indeed make. My favorite is the retractable, big barrelled black and blue, medium point. I think the medium is actually more like 1mm, a bit beyond my specs and therefore the number 3 slot. But these pens write smooth as silk and feel comfy in the hand.

Number 2? Another house brand — a theme perhaps? This one is the Staples Xeno and it comes in both retractable and stick; I prefer the stick. I think another 1 mm, but smooth and great smelling!!

And the Grand Prize goes to yet another house brand: Office Max’s Tul brand pens. These are a major wow, in my most humble book. They come in ballpoint, gel, and rollerball, with ultra fine, fine, and medium tips. They come in stick and retractable, and I just plain love them all.

So there you have it. I have come out of the closet about my pen fetish and I hope you enjoy my little piece here if not the recommendations.


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