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Need a Pen

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by Ja5544, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Ja5544

    Ja5544 Empty Pockets

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    Need some help from you guys/gals. Only "nice" pen I have ever had was a F701 and I love the body on it, just not the ink. So, I'm looking for a replacement with these things:
    -nice bold ink (gel like)
    -lefty friendly (won't smudge)
    -clicky
    -quality feel
    - under $30
    I appreciate any input/suggestions.
     
  2. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @Ja5544: have you considered looking into just changing the refill? Take a look in the sub-thread connected with this forum on " ... refills ..." The F701 is popular enough and so widely available that I'd be willing to hazard a guess you can find a different refill that meets your expectations!

    That's the thing about bp pens. They're basically just holders for the refills ...!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  3. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    I like the F701 as well and have modded a couple to use the Fisher Space Pen refill. There are several good videos available for that hack. However, I haven't personally attempted using other refills (gel). You may want to do a search for F701 mods with gel refills to see if anything pops up.

    As for off the shelf pens in your price range, I have experience with the Zebra Sarasa Grand Gel pen. It's made of brass and has the advantage of taking the Sarasa Dry Gel refills - good for left-handers. It's a very nice pen for around $13.

    Pilot also makes a limited G2 with a metal body (they add a rubber grip on the barrel for a non-slip grip). It runs around $12.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Unfortunately, the 701 is not a good candidate for alternate refills other than the Fisher due to the length and small inside diameter. The writing quality of the Fisher for everyday use leaves a lot to be desired. It is much like the Zebra ink but at least it writes every time. I would suggest either a Parker Jotter or Vector or a Retro 51 Tornado at the price point indicated. The Sarasa Grand is excellent, but is a longer bodied pen due to the refill size. The clip also extends beyond the pen body which interferes somewhat with the clicker button.
     
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  5. Stuart Mantel

    Stuart Mantel Loaded Pockets

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    He said what I was going to say. I own several Retro 51 Tornados. My problem is which one to put in my pocket each morning. It takes the Parker style refill so you can get a variety of point sizes as well as ballpoint or gel.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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  6. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    The gel refills for the zebra not worth a crap? Won't fit?

    Sorry I haven't a clue. I like the zebra regular refills and haven't tried anything else in my 701.
     
  7. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Zebra gel refills are very good, IMO, but no, they won't easily fit the F-701 platform. Zebra makes a g-301 pen which uses a different mechanism and refill, and also makes a longer (Pilot G-2 sized) gel refill for it's other gel pens (Sarasa). If the interior diameter of the F-701 permitted just shortening any of the G-2 or Parker style refills, I'd be all over it, because I like the form factor, but unfortunately it is too narrow internally. There are hacks out there, but the ones I have investigated are too fiddly, involving also taping the refill etc. In short there are no easy & elegant gel hacks for the F-701. The most common hack is using a Fisher or Schmidt pressurized ballpoint refill. They sell a ton of them, but generally gel or rollerball enthusiasts are not satisfied with the writing quality of them for everyday use.
     
  8. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Invest in a nice pen that takes a fairly common universal refill and try a couple different ones. I personally prefer parker-style refills and i have quite a few different pens that take them.

    What are you looking for in a pen other than clicky (think weight/length/thickness/material)?
     
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  9. Sachsen

    Sachsen Loaded Pockets

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    Retro 51 is a nice pen, but it is a twist, not a clicky.
    I like the Fisher refill (my favorite ballpoint) but I would never call it bold or gel-like.
    The OP also wants something quick-drying for a lefty.

    I would recommend a Uni Jetstream refill. It's not a gel but it is a hybrid ink between gel and ballpoint. Very smooth and dark and bold, especially at the 1.0 size. It is also very quick drying and doesn't smear.

    For a quality body with click mechanism for a Jetstream, your options are limited. Take a look at the Alpha Gel Grip series on jetpens.com, it's a metal body and fits your budget but it has a gel grip which you may not like.

    If those don't float your boat, my recommendation is to go a little higher than your budget and invest in a Karas Kustoms pen. I know the Retrakt accepts Jetstream refills and runs $60. I think the Bolt can take some Jetstream refills as well, possibly with some hacking (trimming) of the refill end.
     
  10. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Actually, there is a clickie version of the Retro 51...the Popper: http://retro51.com/fwi_tor_pop.html

    The two pens that come closest to ticking the boxes of the OP are the Parker Jotter and the Sarasa Grand Gel. Of the two, the Parker has the edge for carryability and refill variety. There is a reason that the Jotter design has survived mostly intact since the '50's.
     
    Last edited by Tesla, Mar 25, 2018
    #10 Tesla, Mar 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    bryan123 likes this.
  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Hate to 'pop' your bubble. :) When I saw the post yesterday I thought the same. But they're sold out. Maybe Retro 51 will bring out new versions...

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    A quick google reveals Amazon and Ipenstore have them currently. I personally would not be interested in one because the clickie mechanism precludes use of the Schmidt capless rollerball refill that the twisty normally comes with.
     
  13. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    The bottom pen in this picture is a nice example of what 10 bucks can get you from china shipped clicky-wise;
    [​IMG]
    Its a very nice clean and simple machined brass pen with plastic mechanism. The refill it comes with is utter carp but since it takes parker-style refills your replacement choices are endless (im running easyflow 9000 in most of my pens). Also the supplied clip was made out of brass and that bent on me on the first day, so like almost everything from china it does need a bit of tinkering. Luckily a 701 clip fits on there perfectly.
     
  14. rat-7

    rat-7 Loaded Pockets

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    A Tornado is a great pen and a Parker Jotter w/ the gel insert would be a good choice as well.
     
  15. Blackbeagle
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blackbeagle Loaded Pockets

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    You might want to investigate the Zebra Sarasa pens. They are supposed to be very quick drying - sometimes marketed specifically for left hand writing.
     
  16. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    I know I'm most likely gonna see the price and regret asking but what is the bolt action pen?
     
  17. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    What about a twisty?

    Pentel EnerGel Philography

    Parker Jotter in stainless steel is nice, but I favor EnerGel narrow-tip gel refills better.
     
  18. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Basically a $10 Fellhoelter clone from china, and you'll instantly know why its cheap as soon as you receive it. Depending on luck-of-the-draw quality on those pens will be somewhere between low and terrible. If you want a nicely made pen with good finish get an original fellhoelter, they go for 140-600 dollars new depending on material but they also come up for sale used every now and then. If you don't mind having to deburr, sand, polish and remove machining marks yourself you can also get one from china like i did.

    Also, no matter if you buy the original or a clone keep in mind these pens are bulky and heavy. They are not for everyone, i can write with mine just fine but my wife instantly screams RSI when she sees it!
     
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  19. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, I have a tabletop mill and lathe so I don't mind some finishing work. While I do appreciate a quality pen a $10 is more my style. I manage to loose or mangle a few zebra 701s a year. No way I'm willing to chance the real version. Not a fan of heavy pens but I've been wanting a bolt action one. Maybe I can find an aluminum one to try out.
     
  20. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    I have seen aluminium ones but because they are usually anodised you cannot really refinish em... So you are stuck with what you get. I have also seen some nice titanium versions for around 30 or so bucks.