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The wonderful world of pens


An article on pens, really? More than anything it is probably the strangeness of the title ‘The wonderful world of pen’  that made you click on this article, than any sincere interest in pens on your part. Well, I don’t blame you, for before writing this article I would probably have thought the same. 

We all use pens in our everyday lives, whether it is for writing a quick note to memorize a phone number or making notations of reading material or a lecture. For most of us this is a simple given, almost a fact of life, but certainly not the object of much attention and time, let alone money. Why would you, for in almost any store on the planet you can buy a decent pen for only a couple of cents. 

But not everyone would agree with you. In fact, it may surprise you to find out that there is an enormous market for high quality and ‘expensive’ pens, such as the montblanc starwalker ballpoint pen or a cross ball point pen to mention a couple. It certainly did surprise me. So I started wondering, why would someone spend up to a few hundred euros on a pen? And additionally, what makes a pen a good pen? In this short article we will investigate both questions.

The reasons why?

Assuming that you are a daily writer you might have good reasons to buy a proper pen. Cheap pens, like those of for instance Bic, are often made of low quality ink and are uncomfortable to write with. This lack of quality can become the cause of irritations. A higher quality pen, like those by Parker, Cross or Montblanc are specifically designed for longer writing sessions. Quite simply, more effort has been put in their design making them more comfortable to write with for longer periods. Another advantage is that higher quality pens come with easily refillable ink sets, such as parker pen refills, so that you can use your beloved pen for a very long time. Once you go for a high quality pen, there really is no going back to a cheap, mass produced pen. How is that possible? What makes a proper pen?

What makes a good pen, good?

Okay, say you have been completely convinced by the previous section. You want a good pen, but what makes a pen good? That is, what makes a particular pen the right fit for you? Obviously this is hopelessly subjective, but here are a few tips. First, check for fit. Hold the pen, check if everything feels secure and write. Then secondly, check if the pen is in balance. That is, when writing, is the pen not too heavy or light, does it not tip over? Check three is at the most important part of the pen, the point. Make sure that whilst writing it feels smooth, without dragging or scratching. Last, check whether the pen has insurance. You are making a big purchase, so a little guarantee is in order.  Is all in order, well then purchase your new writing tool.