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Ball Point Vs. Gel

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by Pine Box Parkinson, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Pine Box Parkinson
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Pine Box Parkinson Not a N00b

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    This is something that I've been thinking about for the past few days. I know to most people, they could care less about what type of pen they have in their hand. But, for us, the pen crazed and mildly obsessed, it does matter.

    Growing up, I always had Ball Point Pens. I didn't know any different. I knew that some pens wrote better than others. I knew the cheap white Bic pens were annoying and too small for my huge hands to hold. I tried using whatever I could to find something comfortable, but never really did.

    The girls I knew would use gel pens because they came in a lot of colors. I never really gave them a chance until Pilot came out with those G2 pens I believe they were. The Gel pens with the dark tinted plastic barrel. I loved those as they wrote so much better, but they were a lot more expensive. At the time I thought spending a few dollars on a pen was nuts.

    Fast forward to today, I can only really use Gel pens. I love the flow, the nice dark colored ink (I can only use black) the style of the pens and I don't even mind having to wait for the ink to dry.
    I finally found a pen that i love. Pentel Energel is the one I choose for all my writing tasks. I love the retractable fine tipped version. You can get a 3 pack for $5 or less and I usually just stock up on the refills and keep the barrels.

    BUT! Is there something better that I'm missing out on? I've tried most every brand, Pentel is my favorite. I've never tried a fountain pen because they seem really expensive. I only use my pens for work and writing letters. So am I good with what I use? Or am I missing out on some cosmic opportunity by not having a specific brand.

    Let me know what you think I should try out, and I'll check them out. I can't really see spending more than $10-$20 MAX on a pen, simply because it's a pen and I just use it up. BUT, give me some suggestions.

    THANKS!
     
  2. gibbsrule9
    • Memoria in Aeterna
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    gibbsrule9 Memoria in Aeterna

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    You can great gel refills that fit pens that take a Parker-type refill. Temecula Pens on eBay sells 'em.
     
  3. lopazopy

    lopazopy Loaded Pockets

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    If you just want to try fountain pens, you can get disposable ones. Pilot Varsity are the ones I tried. They came in a 3 pack with a blue, black, and purple pen. I'm a die hard ballpoint user, so these didn't stay around very long, but they were nice enough pens that usually get good reviews.

    http://www.pilotpen.us/ProductGroup/74-Varsity.aspx?ProductId=248
     
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  4. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    I like gel pens, but I can run a gel pen out of ink in a month which is why I gave up on them.

    Rollerball pens like the precise v5 dry quicker and take much longer to run out of ink. I prefer these over gels unless I'm writing on cheap paper.

    But my go-to pens all have fisher fine point space pen refills in them. They lack the high contrast of the gel or rollerball, but they write nicely for me (no skipping, no blobbing, no heavy pressure required like some other ballpoints, very little delay before starting) and I typically get at least 2 or 3 years of daily use before they run out of ink. I know that others do have issues with the space pens, so I suspect that the space pens performance is sensitive to writing styles. I only use the fine points because the medium points take more pressure than I like and are subject to "blobbing" when the weather changes.

    But to your question, the parker gel refills (like what the maxmadco pen comes with) are really nice gel refills. The papermate inkjoy pens are also surprisingly good writing pens for as cheap as they are. The Montblanc fineliner refills have a cult following, but I've never tried them so I have no opinion.

    --flatline
     
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  5. UrbanWarrior

    UrbanWarrior Loaded Pockets

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    I like gel ink simply because I had a job that had me outdoors for the half the day and when it was cold the gel ink would still write while the regular ink would skip or stop writing. The company provided us with regular BZiC ink pens and we told them that they sucked in cold weather so they switched to the BIC gel ink pens.
     
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  6. JN

    JN Loaded Pockets

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    I'm partial to blue ballpoint ink. Those newer low viscosity ballpoint inks are much, much better than yesterday oil-based ballpoint (i.e. Bic). Uni Jetstream is the first pen that I'm aware of with this hybrid ink that writes smooth and light like gel ink, yet dried and looked like oil-based ink. There are equivalent hybrid ballpoint ink from other manufacturers: Pental Vicuna, Pilot Acroball, Zebra Surari...

    I usually test them by writing continuous small loops in a circle. With these hybrid ink, there is little or no break in the ink flow, just like gel ink. Most oil-based ink would not be able to achieve it unless pressurized.

    The better hybrid ink I found are Uni Jetstream and Pental Vicuna. The outstanding ones I loved are Faber Castell Grip X5 (clicker), Papermate A1 0.7 (stick) and Papermate Kilometrico LV ink S-Fine (stick). The latter two might blob a little, such is their viscosity ;) The point size is included because strangely, different ink formula is used for different size. These are cheap disposable ballpoints. Give them a try if you come across them.
     
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  7. RMinNJ

    RMinNJ Loaded Pockets

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    I did find the seller;

    What kind of blue gel refills are these? How do they write? I love the Parker blue gels but the blue washes away withthe slightest water. (the Parker black does not).
     
  8. RMinNJ

    RMinNJ Loaded Pockets

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    I had recently tried the Schneider Slider/Viscoglide XB (broad) blue from my local OfficeDepot. This is a high viscosity non-gel ink.. The point was really too broad and the globs of ink from writing even a short line were too
    messy. Can't recommend that point size at least.. this refill and newer ink is suppose to be similar the Uni-ball or Schmidt Easyflow refill...it was but I think the point size made it too messy.

    I've been using the Easyflow 9000 which is suppose to be a cross between a gel and regular oil based ink. I use it mainly because it's Parker style and waterproof blue.
     
  9. gibbsrule9
    • Memoria in Aeterna
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    gibbsrule9 Memoria in Aeterna

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    I've been using the black ones for years so can't opine on the blue ones but I imagine they'd be the same. They write very smoothly and I had to keep detailed duty logs and sign-in/-out sheets and the ink was permanent. A great many people said "nice pen" when they handed it back.
     
  10. mauiblue

    mauiblue Loaded Pockets

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    I used ball point then roller ball pens for years. Then I discovered Pilot G2 gel pens and then I was hooked. I love my Kaweco AC Sport carbon fountain pen for writing in my journal but the majority of my writing is done with a Pilot G2 gel pen. Black ink, of course ;-).

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 4 Beta