Ink Pens


Left to right: Parker fountain pen, Zebra F0301 BP, Pilot G-2 07 gel roller.

I wrote previously about my preference for writing with a mechanical pencil, but there are times when you need ink. I have narrowed it down to three types.

Pilot G-2 07 fine point gel roller, black ink.

The Pilot G-2 07 has the smoothest feel and writes with a narrow line. It writes beautifully if you take care.

Parker fountain pen - I can't figure out the model (it may be discontinued) but the closest equivalent available now is the IM Monochrome Blue, except my pen writes in black ink. It has a plastic shaft and I think it cost about $20+ when I bought it perhaps 10 to 15 years ago. The IM is more expensive now, as you might expect.

The Parker feels a little scratchy moving over the paper. Some people don't like that. The ink somewhat soaks the paper, making a slightly wider line than I like, and it is difficult to write in small spaces, but I can create attractive script with it. Arguably the larger writing is more legible if you have enough room to write.

Fountain pens write beautifully but can be troublesome. The ink tends not to flow evenly at all times and the points can dry up, requiring a lengthy soaking to get it working again. You will also have to refill a little more frequently in my experience, and of course you wouldn't think of using a fountain pen as a disposable. Nor is it a pen you would loan to someone.

Zebra F-301 ball point, blue ink

The Zebra F-301 is a bomber, well constructed ball point pen. There is nothing fancy about it but it's still better than cheap disposable ball points. It's good for a quick note or signature. The small shaft is metal and looks great and is strong. Sometimes I think it causes more fatigue in the hand during long writing sessions. I most recently wrote a few pages in my journal and had to stop for rests.

Pro Tip

Always store ballpoint or roller pens upright with the point down. How many times have you been given a pen to sign papers or a credit card receipt that doesn't write? If you store the pen vertically with the point down this will not happen. Gravity solves the problem, though tips can still dry out with long disuse. (Does not necessarily apply to a fountain pen.)


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