Month: January 2014

The Best Parker Brand Pens

parkerjotterWay back in 1889, a man whose name has become synonymous with pens got his first patent. At that time nobody thought that it could last long but to date almost everyone knows George Parker, the man who started the premium, luxury line of pens that everyone has heard of. Now Parker has been making premium quality writing pens for a very long time. That being said, Parker (being the best pen manufacturer) has introduced many lines of pens, to widen its target market and provide the customers with something in every demographic and for every budget from beginners to pros to calligraphers and more. Even as you read this text you might be having memories about the first time you held your Parker pen in your hands.

The jotter is among the best and definitely most popular pens by Parker, for it is also the best-selling pen of all time. The best thing about the jotter is that it doesn’t cost that much by the standards of the world of luxury and vintage pens, everyone can afford a jotter and it features the classic design built with stainless steel. It comes in different colors like red, black, blue and white, providing something for everyone. The jotter starts from $5.69, and makes a great gift at a great price point for a Parker.

Moving on, the Sonnet line of pens is also one that the brand are proud of. Featuring contemporary design with very fine tailoring topped with contemporary finishing, they proudly boast Parker’s unique and unmistakable design methodology. Exemplifying the exquisite detailing techniques of the detailing of the finely cut 18k gold and the stainless steel nibs, the detailed and beautiful feathering of the iconic arrow clip and its perfect feel in every owner’s hand, the Sonnet is a must have for all and any pen enthusiast. That being said, the Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Gold Trim Rollerball Pen is timeless, but still manages to be of the moment. Combining timeless designs with ergonomics, the Sonnet allows you to write beautifully and it feels very comfortable in your hand.

Moving on we have the Limited Edition of the Duofold Mackie Fountain Pen. Featuring hand painted precious metal dust and a twist off cap, this pen costs an absolutely whopping $2,174. Parker only made 150 of these beauties, so with that kind of exclusivity, who wouldn’t want a premium quality pen by the best pen manufacturer in the world. You’ll have the bragging rights not even the most expensive Parker pen holder will have, if you can afford it that is. With it you can write in style and boast your writing at your workplace.

Now if you are truly a pen enthusiast, and money is not really an issue then the Parker Esparto Gold Fountain is the perfect option for you. Available at a huge price tag of $13,000, the Esparto Gold Fountain pen boasts a swanky solid 18kt gold nib. That being said it is a true wonder pen, for your inner geek it has a Harry Potter Wand, for your inner lady a Mary Popping carpet bag, etc. The best thing this pen brings is a status symbol and the ultimate bragging rights. Inheriting the design techniques evolved over centuries, this pen is a sight to behold. Not only that but it writes very nicely and gives the quality you would expect for this kind of money.

These were some of the best Parker pens from their whole portfolio. There is a multitude of pens that can be considered the best for their design and ease of use but that totally depends on you. You can rely on Parker for quality, and there is a reason that they are probably the most famous brand in the entire world of pens. Now the purchase might be totally dependent on your choice but if you are planning to give away some Parker pens make sure to make the most of your budget and brand the pens.

Best Rollerball Pens

rollerballWriting on paper may sometimes be difficult when using ordinary ballpoint pens, like when the ink suddenly stops flowing for a while before it flows again, until it no longer flows permanently. For sudden important matters at home, or anywhere where one should take notes, it would be handy to have another kind of pen other than a ballpoint pen, particularly a rollerball pen such as Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT Retractable Medium Point Ballpoint Pens, BIC Round Stic Ball Pen, Medium Point, Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, and many more. It is similar to how a ballpoint pen is made, but makes use of water or gel-based ink, instead of oil. The ink produced on paper thus appears to be wet, and flows more smoothly and consistently, lessening the chances of skipped writing or ink gaps.

Depending on the purpose of use, rollerball pens are much more comfortable to use as they require less pressure when you are writing. The more consistent ink flow gives more handwriting comfort, making your writing speed quicker. Because Rollerball pens are water and gel-based, they also come in more variety of colors as there are many water-soluble dyes and pigments available. Rollerball pens with extra fine writing points also produce finely written lines, making handwritten text appear more pleasant and presentable in certain penmanship. Even thicker writing points can produce a distinctive character in writing, making certain kinds of penmanship look more attractive. Most Rollerball pens are generally refillable, and buying a new refill instead of a new Rollerball pen can save costs and (brilliantly for the environment) reduce plastic or metal disposal.

Looking for the ultimate luxury in rollerball? Look no further. The amazing Sanford Parker IM is a beautiful pen, that even looks beautiful. All the swagger and beauty of a fountain pen with the comfort and ease of a roller ball. Comes with rollerball refills and an impressive 4.5/5 consumer rating on Amazon.

Rollerball pens vary primarily in point thickness, body material, and in many different colors. A writing point may range from 0.1 to 1.0 mm in diameter, with 0.5 and 0.7 mm as normally the most commonly used. But there are some gel pen users who prefer 0.2 or 0.3 mm, wherein finer writing may help save paper space. Writing points for some rollerball pen brands may also be classified as Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, and Bold. In terms of body material, transparent plastic ones are mid-priced and may cost higher than ordinary ballpoint pens. These pens also vary in ink colors and texture, such as neon and glow-in-the-dark colors which can be used in dark-colored papers, and metallic colors which are also often used creatively. There are also standard colored gel pens in black, red, blue, green and purple. While metal-bodied Rollerball pens are often packaged as high-end products, and its writing points are either ceramic or steel. Rollerball pens with ceramic tips write more smoothly, and are more long-lasting and durable when used on hard surfaces.

Some rollerball pens may also require a small amount of maintenance. water-based rollerball pens tend to blot or bleed through most types of paper over gel-based pens, unless the paper is thick enough. It is thus important to take extra care and precaution when using water-based rollerball pens. It is also important to ensure that rollerball pens are properly capped when not in use, in order to avoid ink leakage in pencil cases, bags and even in clothing. If you are a frequent traveler by plane, and personally prefer using liquid-ink rollerball pens, make sure to use pens that are leak-proof and safe to bring or use in airplanes.

Check out these quality, cheap as chips roller ball pens in loads of pretty colors!

Best Fountain Pen Kits

fountainpenkitWriting is not only a necessity for some people but a passion, the feel of a nib against paper brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of artistic and creative people, it helps them to express their feelings and ideas in a form of art. They’re also useful in the world of work and business, what businessman is complete without a reliable pen? Even in this modern age of technology, almost everything that people do whether at work, in the office, or somewhere else involve writing. No wonder various writing tools evolve continuously; However in spite of this, one kind of pen remains to be undisputed champion no matter how technologies change. And these kind of pens are popularly known as fountain pens.

Probably the best fountain pen kit on the market is the Parker Urban Kit, which comes with everything you need to get started using a fountain kit, and I mean everything, includes ink, the pen itself, cleaning cloth and even a booklet about how to use a fountain pen effectively:

Another option for those of us who are interested in the more artistic elements of using a fountain pen is the Sheaffer Calligraphy Kit, which includes multiple nib sizes and information on how to get started in calligraphy.

The first appearance of fountain pens can be dated way back in 953 BC when a Moroccan Caliph demanded a writing tool that doesn’t stain clothes or hands and delivers ink from a nib. From then on, the production of fountain pens continued to evolve through time allowing people to experience a durable, fast-note taking writing tool which they can use for their paper works. However, due to the innovation of fountain pens, it’s important that you understand and know which type of pen suits your handwriting style best as it comes in various forms, styles and sizes. Writing can be tiring sometimes but by choosing a fountain pen that complements your penmanship best, you’ll definitely be inspired and motivated to write more. If you’re a writer or an aspiring one and you find it hard to determine which fountain pen suits you best, try to check out its filling mechanism and the nib as these two factors are the most essential part to consider in using a fountain pen. If you’re up for something that’s perfect to write smoothly and fast, then it’s ideal for you to have a fine nib. Plus, it doesn’t leave too much ink on the back of the paper so this kind of nib is certainly good for students who take down notes.

The good thing about today’s generation is that there’s a huge selection of fountain pens to choose from such as the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, Parker IM Fountain Pen, Pilot Metropolitan Fine Writing Fountain Pen. It’s almost available in different colors and designs so people would definitely be interested to buy one for them. Whether you’re looking for a green one with a medium-sized nib or a fancy pen with an extra fine nib, it wouldn’t really be hard for you to get those at it’s readily available in all stores and school supplies worldwide. Because of such massive trend, some people think it’s very crucial to select the right fountain pen for them as it kind of reflects the kind of personality they have. Once you  have mastered strategies and techniques on how you can find the best fountain pen you can use for writing, the next thing you should consider to find are the best fountain pen kits. There’s also a wide array of choices when it comes to kits depending on the kind of style you want to have for your personal use.

The Best Vintage Pens

vintagepensVintage pens are, simply put, pens that are very old. Since most of even the modern day ink pen companies have olden day counterparts, there are many older versions of pens by recognized companies today. And since the quality of the pens made by excellent companies do not decrease over time, it is pretty much possible that olden pens can still be usable. Even if not usable, vintage pens are definitely collector’s items that can be treasures for years to come.

Most of the vintage pens are at least fifty to sixty years old, and are called pre-war fountain pens, the war referred to being the second world war. But why do people find them interesting? The fact of the matter is that pre-war fountain pens are very different from modern day pens. They are beautiful and significant in a way that modern day pens, factory made and almost repetitive in their similarity, cannot possess.

Not only do old pens possess a beauty that makes them gorgeous to hold and appreciate with the eye, vintage pens also have a different feel to them when writing. The nibs of vintage pens are a product of craftsmanship in an era that has died out – their writing holds the flavor of the past. In addition to the feel while writing with the pen, the look of the writing also comes out to be different. No serious fountain pen enthusiast would dream of comparing ballpoints to the beatify and elegance of writing with ink. In a similar way, no one who has seen vintage pen writing will dream to compare it with the writing from modern pens.

But what exactly is it about vintage pens that makes them different. Well, most enthusiasts say it is the construction of the nib. Vintage pens have flexible nibs that produce a style of writing that is simply distinctive. Even with the best modern day pen you cannot have the same effect –much less with a ball point, no matter what company made it.

A different way to achieve a similar effect is to use a chisel point nib and pay attention to the writing. While this can work to create the broad down strokes and thin cross strokes, it presents a much more difficult challenge than simply using a vintage pen. Nonetheless it can be used to demonstrate the distinctive character of vintage pens.

At the end of the day, vintage pens are not for the casual collector. They require an appreciation of beauty of the casing, as well as an fountainpenaesthetic appreciation of writing with the pen and the writing the pen produces.

The most famous vintage pens are produced by the following brands: Parker, Waterman, Aurora, LeBoeuf, Namiki, Montblanc, Thomas de la Rue. Waterman pens from before 1941 are valuable, particularly those before 1915. Parkers up to 1920 are very valuable. Montblanc pens, even modern ones are valuable, but pre-1960s ones are the best. Namiki pens with gold and silver filigree work are the most expensive – the company has been taken over by Pilot, so Pilot pens are not valuable.

Best Pens for Lefties

uniballIt’s very well established that all the pens are not meant for both lefties and righties. Using the wrong pen can result in real issues. Lefties will happily tell you about their disasters in the exam where they filled paper after paper with ink blotches and smudges. Being left handed means you have to give the purchase some thought, luckily for us, it’s not 1990, when we only really had pens for right handed people, you can easily find loads after loads of pens for lefties at your local stationers and on online stores like Amazon and eBay. When you get a specifically left handed pen you don’t have to worry about different writing techniques to prevent making a mess which means you can introduce freedom into your handwriting. For instance you won’t have to hook your hand, which needed quick dry ink. The pens mentioned in this article are some of the best pens, as vouched for by lefties from all over the world.

On the top of the list is the Pilot EasyTouch Pen. Featuring fine-point, the Pilot Pens always allow lefties to write as fast and as smooth as anyone else. The Pilot Pens are designed to prevent any unwanted smudging and ensure that the paper always stays clean. No matter how fast you write you can write at ease. Easily available, you can find these pens at your local stationer’s and they are not expensive at all. With a price tag of $6.99, this pen is a great option for all the lefties out there.

Moving on, we have the Uniball Jetstream 101. With special ink that is developed to bind with the fibers of the papers, no lefty will have a smudging problem while writing. Now this feature is not only good for lefties, but it also makes retrospective alterations very hard. Users of the Uniball Jetstream 101 are very happy with it and recommend it to all their fellow lefties. The ink literally dries in a second, there is nothing more alluring to a lefty than instantly drying ink. Starting with a price tag of $6.25 you can find it at your local stationers and of course online at what is a very reasonable price.

Now we have The Fisher Space Pen of which there are numerous models. These pens were designed to write in space, that being said when lefties write they are pushing the pen across the paper. So The Fisher Space Pen allows for easy writing for lefties and in unconventional positions. Users commend the design as it is very easy to carry and most importantly prevents smudges. Now the Fisher Space Pen provides with all the great features of the first two manufacturers, but as it was designed to write in zero gravity these models can come with a slightly more hefty price tag. Still, it’s a cool story to tell your friends when they ask about your pen though!

So the next time you are out on the market looking for a gift for your left handed friend, make sure you get them something thoughtful and practical like this. It is not only a practical gift but also a very sentimental one too.

The Best Fountain Pen Inks

fountainpeninkA good quality pen is essential for beautiful handwriting, but unless you have a good quality ink to go along with it, you might not get optimal results. The best inks can be quite pricey, but are worth the price. Some experts recommend using the same brand of ink as the pen you’re using, but this is not necessary, and converter ink cartridges can be filled with different inks that work just as well, even if they’re not the same brand.

Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Ink, Kon-Peki, Deep Blue, Turquoise Blue

This is one of the best inks available on the market. Although a little pricey, it is still a wonderful option because of its ability to add a smoothness to any handwriting. It is also the only ink available in such a wide range of colors – everything from black and deep blue all the way up to more exotic colors like teal, orange and deep pink.

Sheaffer Skrip Bottled Ink, 50 ml.

One of the cheaper inks available on this list, despite belonging to the world famous Sheaffer brand. Although meant to be used with sheaffer fountain pen cartridges, it can be used with other pens. The blue of this is much darker than the blue available for other inks like Pelikan or Parker Quink, and it writes as smoothly. The bottle shape prevents spillage and is easy to use to refill pens.

Montblanc Ink Bottle Midnight Blue

Montblanc pens are extremely pricey and high qualiuty, so it comes as no surprise that the Montblanc inks are on the higher side as well. That being said, the ink is a very high quality type and writes well, quite beautifully. In addition, the ink bottle’s structure has an extra well on the side which makes it easier to use when filling up ink.

Pelikan 4001 Ink 62.5 ML/2 Ounce – Royal Blue

This is another ink that is on the cheaper side but also provides great quality. It can be used with most pens and in this case it has a bright blue color. If you’re looking for a good everyday ink to use with your pen then this would be a good choice.

Parker Super Quink Permanent Ink for Parker Pens

This high quality ink can be used in most kinds of pens. It does not ‘feather’ on low quality paper, but it can be a little too strong and bleed through thin paper. On the other hand, it is on the list because of its smooth quality, and its lubricating ability, which means it not only flows through pens but also keeps the pen ‘healthier’ and doesn’t get stuck or dry while in the pen. Best for use with Parker pens only.

Waterman Serenity Fountain Pen Bottled Ink, Blue

This ink is beautiful and dries quickly. The blue in the ink dries to an actual deep blue color, instead of a blackish hue. It also works with almost any of the pens you should care to use. The price is also reasonable, and quality wise it is much better than other inks available at the same price.

For some slightly different options and a very informative video about the best fountain pen inks, check out the video below:

Best Cheap Fountain Pens

cheapfountainpensFountain pens don’t have to be a lot of investment, and there is often no guarantee that the hundreds of dollars you might spend on an expensive pen will translate to the workability required by you. At the end of the day, a pen is simply to write with, and the following selection provide convenience and durability in combination with cheapness.

Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, Black Ink.

The cheapest pen on this list, this is a disposable and extremely reliable pen. Most pilot pen brand fans agree that you can all but run a lorry over them before they stop writing, so this is not the kind of pen to let you down when you need it most.

BIC Disposable Fountain Pen

Two in this pack, this is also a disposable pen for use on the go. No need to mess about with ink and refills – write and chuck away. You get the feel of the fountain ink pen along with the convenience of a regular BIC ballpoint.

Hero Extra Light Fountain Pen

This is not a disposable pen, but it is one of the cheapest pens on the list. It’s very light and slightly less luxurious looking, the pen can be refilled and reused until it wears out or you lose it. If you’re the kind of person who is forever losing pens, but wants to use a fountain pen, a couple of these will fit the bill without doing too much damage to your bank balance.

Classi Cigar Golden Ring Fountain Pen

Although this is a middle order pen on the list, it neither looks nor feels that way. At its price, it is probably the most impressive bargain of the lot. Not only is the pen reusable, it looks and feels extremely elegant, with a marble finish cover that is absolutely beautiful. Prepare to be complimented over and over for the prettiness of this charming instrument, nobody ever need know it was one of the cheapest fountain pens.

X750 Kompass Fountain Pen by Bulow

A smooth writer with a heavy and sturdy feel, this pen is both stylish looking as well as a hard worker. One of the pricier numbers on the list, it is worth it for the look of the pen. It looks like a much higher end pen even though it may work at a level less than expensive pens.

Nemosine Singularity Velvet Black Fountain Pen – German Medium Nib

This sexy black pen with a plastic barrel is another slightly pricier option, but it is worth the cash. Durable, long lasting and smooth, its iridium nib will leave you with no complaints. Not only that, but it is packaged with a converter and extra cartridges, which make it great value for the money. Although the plastic used in its manufacture makes it feel slightly cheap, but it is worthwhile for its abilities as a pen.

VFM Strobe Maxiumum Orange Fountain pen

The most expensive pen on this list, I included it simply because the sheer quality of the brand coupled with its look make it value for money, even at the price point. This Sheaffer pen is modern and the eye-catching, far from traditional orange color looks quirky and great. The metal barrel makes it feel solid while still being a lightweight pen. Since it writes excellently as well it is definitely a great purchase in all respects.