a new pen every other day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

check this out, yo.

if you're looking to buy any of the many of the pens that have been featured here, i recommend that you check out bamliz's eBay store. this seller has some great deals, and excellent feedback ratings across the board - all of which are well deserved. please check it out and let me know if you make any purchases and your experiences. i look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

week 19: recap

pen 143: bic ai

today's pen, the bic ai, a lightweight, retractable ball point pen that features a rubberized comfort grip, and a spring loaded pocket clip. i'm not sure what a spring loaded pocket grip would be useful for, but there you have it. i guess "because they can"is as good a reason as any that i could come up with.

i bought this pen from one of those office supply stores, retail, and while i can't remember how much that cost me, i do remember thinking that it was on the bit more expensive side. even considering that the package had two pens, it feels like i spent a little over four dollars a piece.this pen has good glide and poor bite. the flow is fairly consistent, but the pen does seem to build up ink on the tip and can leave messy ink deposits on your fingers or on the paper. the ink doesn't skip or stutter, so that is a plus, but by far the best thing about this pen is that the ink has a excellent range of value. the ink goes on light, especially if you don't press hard, but can be built up to darker tones with either pressure or multiple passes.

but is that worth the extra cost?

honestly, no. when it comes down to it, this pen performs about as well as a bic round stick, soft feel, or cristal.

save your money and buy one of those.


$8.93+s/h (two pens)
$10.38+sh (three pens)
$12.14+s/h (twelve pens)

$6.29+s/h (two pens)
$18/99+s/h (twelve pens)

$17.51+s/h (twelve pens)

www.bicworld.com (not listed)
www.wheresmybic.us (not listed)


what they say:

  • Retractable ball pen
  • Easy Glide ink system enables smoother writing and a more vivid line
  • 1.0mm medium point
  • Binder clip attaches to notebooks, binders and more
  • refillable
  • Medium point, 1.0 mm
  • Black
  • Integrated co-molded grip
  • Semi-translucent barrel with jewel tone accents
  • Binder clip attaches to notebooks, binders and more
  • 12 per pack

The BIC A.I. Ball Pen is great for smooth writing performance. It is ideal for school, home or office use. The BIC A1 Ball Pen offers both quality and reliability for your everyday needs.
BIC A.I. Ball Pen:
  • Black ink
  • Features BIC's exclusive, ink system technology
  • 1.0mm ball point
  • Binder clip attaches to notebooks, binders and more
  • Refillable pen
  • 12pk of pens

Friday, November 15, 2013

pen 142 bic tech 2 in 1

today's pen, the tech 2 in 1, is a hybrid pen that is among an emerging class of pen that bridges the gap between writing on paper, and on a tablet or smartphone. while there are a few tablets out there that are specifically designed to work with a proprietary stylus, such as the samsung notes(s). the majority of touchscreen devices seem to function fairly well with the tip of your finger. so why a stylus?

well you might want slightly better precision, or find your fingers are too broad. you might not like getting fingerprints all over your device or find yourself wearing gloves. these are just a few i came up with off the top of my head. 
since a stylus is basically a pen that doesn't write, it makes perfect sense to sick an ink cartridge inside and add a tip to the other end, making it less of a hassle to go back and forth between the two.

the tech 2 in 1 has a soft pliable rubber tip where an eraser would go, and a retractable tip on the other end. this pen has fair glide, good bite, and great flow, the ink doesn't skip or stutter  or gunk up on the tip, or leave deposits on the paper. it provides a consistent line and the ink has a great range in value, it can be laid on lightly, made darker with multiple passes or pressure.

this pen is a little on the expensive side, stylus pens are for some reason... probably just because the are, and they figure people will just assume there is an actual reason because tablets and phones are expensive... lame. the pen is nice, i personally do not have much use for the stylus, as i use an s pen, but the pen itself is really nice, i like the way it performs, and will be using this pen until i either lose it, use it up, or more likely move on to the next current favorite pen.

i am a bit on the fence about recommending that you buy one though, i doubt that i will ever buy another, but if you have an ipad and feel like you want the extra control a stylus provides, this pen is much less expensive than the ones i've seen and have used from places like bestbuy. overall i would say that it just depends on your needs.


$5.99+s/h (single pen)


what they say:


Get the best of both worlds! The Bic Tech 2 in 1 provides the perfect combination of a ball pen and Stylus all in one.

Use the high precision stylus with your tablet and smartphone apps or take notes on paper with the easy-glide ballpoint pen.

  • Black Ink (Pen)
  • Medium Point (Pen)
  • Lightweight stylus for capacitive touchscreen devices, including tablets and smartphones
  • Glides across screens easily providing fingerprint-free precision and control
  • Retractable ball pen features Easy Glide System ink - Bic's exclusive ink technology for smoother writing
  • Convenient clip
  • Pusher to retract the Ball Pen side
  • Pad is optimized for a variety of screens and usages
  • Low friction rubber pad is among the smoothest in the market
  • Black/Silver barrel
  • 1 per pack


The Bic Tech Stylus 2-in-1 Pen is a stylus and ball pen in one. It acts as a lightweight stylus for capacitive touchscreen devices, gliding across screens easily and providing fingerprint-free precision and control. The retractable ball pen features Bic's Easy-Glide System ink for smooth writing.

Bic Tech Stylus 2-in-1 Pen, 2-Pack:

  • Stylus and ball pen in 1
  • Lightweight stylus for capacitive touchscreen devices including tablets and smartphones
  • Glides across screens easily
  • Provides fingerprint-free precision and control
  • Retractable ball pen features Easy-Glide System ink
  • Smooth writing
  • Black ink

Thursday, November 14, 2013

pen 141: eberhard-faber felt tip pen

while i would like to say that i had an amazing story to go along with today's pen, the truth is that last week i voted, and the pen i was using may or may not have somehow found it's way into my pocket unnoticed, only to be or not to be discovered later that day.

see, i have this problem, i tend to walk off with pens without noticing. it's not that i'm trying to steal, but that i pretty much always have a pen on my person and putting one in my pocket is as second nature as, say, locking the door to one's dwelling or vehicle. it is completely auto pilot.

i also wish i could say that this pen was worthy of the risk the state of California's ire and possibly broke some overreaching law, but it isn't

this pen is a medium, felt tipped pen. it doesn't stand out in any way, i could be used for inking, or writing, it is on the lighter side of black in terms of value, but it is a one value type pen. i am not generally a big fan of felt tipped pens, they seem to wear out rather quickly, they can bleed and, in this case, was not sealed properly for a few hours and dried out completely. i probably could have spent a little time and water, and see if i could get this pen back to drawing shape, but when it is all said and done, i could just as soon used one of the many pen 43 paper-mate flair's that i don't particularly care for but seem to reproduce while i am out of the office. seriously where the hell are those coming from?


$13.00+s/h (twelve pens)


www.eberhardfaber.de (pen not listed)

what they say:
  • Ultra-durable point.
  • Water-based ink.
  • Large ink reservoir.
  • Pack of 12

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

pen 140: papermate flexgrip write for hope

today's pen was intended to be featured last week, while it was breast cancer awareness month, life got in the way and i was sidetracked. while it would have been nice to dovetail this pen with the month, i figure that cancer is one of those things that really seems to be on peoples'minds regardless of the time of year.

this pen is basically a flexgrip elite, but has a pink body and a dime from the sale of each pen is donated to breast cancer research, treatment and awareness.

for a run-down of the performance check out pen 57: papermate flexgrip elite.


cvs (retail):
$2.57 (two pens)

$3.19+s/h (two pens)
$14.29+s/h (twelve pens)
rakuten.com:$3.10+s/h (two pens)

amazon.com:starting at $1.70+s/h (two pens)


what they say:

Feel great knowing that you are writing with a great pen and $.10 of every pen sold is donated to City of Hope for breast cancer research, treatment and education.

Paper Mate FlexGrip Elite Retractable Ballpoint Pens, Medium Point, 1.0 mm,
"Write for Hope" Pink Ribbon Barrels, Black Ink,

Refillable Antimicrobial Pen with Soft Grip and Lubriglide Ink, Pink

Soft full length grip provides comfort for any writing position.
Sleek professional styling with chrome, accented tip.
Smooth writing experience with dark lines.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

pen 139: uni-ball uni roller pen super ink

today' s pen is the older and fatter sibling to the uni-ball roller stick micro and the uni-ball roller stick micro eco. both of those pens count themselves among the few pens that have earned the honor of a 5 on the rating scale at the end of each post. this is a pen that i haven't seen in a long time. in fact, i kinda thought that this pen was discontinued. that might actually be the case, im not entirely sure, but even on the official uni-ball website it doesn't mention this pen specifically, but does have a brief description of a pen that could be today's pen, or one of the two others mentioned above.

as usual, it falls to me to fill in the blanks.

the roller pen is a basic stripped down, no frills pen, the kind that seems to appeal to me, it is considerably thicker than the roller stick, which usually makes pens feel bulky and awkward. this pen has a 0.7 mm metal ballpoint tip, but unlike the micro stick, is not as likely to tear the paper since it has a little more surface area touching the paper. still, i wouldn't press too hard.

the uni roller pen has great flow, a consistent line, fair glide and good bite. am am a huge fan of the rich, velvety nature of the ink on paper. this pen is an extremely clean pen, it dries instantly, it doesn't acquire buildup on the tip, it doesn't pool on the paper, bleed out or though and is great for writing and drawing. the ink is supersaturated, it's an all or nothing pen, that will ink over pencil lines with no problem at all. there are things, like writing over paints or large format pieces that i would use a different type of pen, but this is one of those pens that is so versatile that i tend to carry one around with me at all times, either in my pocket, my bag, and my car. finally, at the end of the day, these pens are so inexpensive, you can lose one and not have it be the end of the world.

i highly recommend this pen, or one of it's siblings to anyone who has ever used a pen.

amazon.com: $8.79+s/h (twelve pens)
staples.com: $10.49+s/h (twelve pens)


what they say:

  • Writes as smooth as a fountain pen, without the mess.
  • Smooth, quick-drying premium liquid ink.
  • Stainless steel point.
  • Sold by the Dozen (12 each)
  • Fine point, 0.7 mm
  • Black
  • Durable stainless steel point with long-lasting tungsten-carbide ball for skip-free writing
  • Black matte barrel with brushed stainless clip
  • Quick-drying, smooth-flowing ink provides neat, accurate lines
  • 12 per pack

Monday, October 28, 2013

pen 138: bic for her

oh bic, the great equalizer... no, wait... huh?

today's pen is the fashionable, sleek, purple... pen for her.

im not really sure what to make of this. does the existence of this pen imply that all other bic pens are for men by default? does this pen somehow ease cramps, turn into chocolate, wear ribbons, or automatically dot "ï's" with hearts?

no, it just has curly q floral designs on its body and has purple or pink ink.

the bic for her is what i have come to think of as "fancy pens" or cosmetic accessory pens. the focus seems to be more on the look than the performance of the tool. this pen is a ballpoint retractable tip pen that is contoured in a sleek shape and has a rubber grip that makes extended use a little more comfortable. the ink is colored purple or pink, dries moderately fast has minimal value range and can be a little messy in that it will occasionally deposit ink blobs as it is used. the for her has fair flow and fair glide, it doesn't seem to have issues with skipping or stuttering and has a fair amount of bite. this pen is pretty good for writing, and it will ink over pencil, but because of the limited color choices it is not a pen that i personally would choose to draw with. maybe if i need to make a few corrections or something and can find a red pen or something like that.


as mentioned this pen is nothing special, especially when you consider that it works as well as a cristal or stic pen and costs a considerable amount more than both those pens added together and multiplied by thirty or so.

amazon.com: $7.15+s/h (two pens)
officesupplyhut.com: $3.78+s/h (two pens)


what they say:


  • Retractable ballpoint pen
  • Medium point: 1.00mm
  • Fun comfort grip
  • Modern design
  • Sleek pen silhouette and jeweled accent add style to her day.
  • Soft-contoured embossed grip for all-day comfort.
office supply hut:
  • Designed for professional women
  • Sleek pen silhouette and jeweled accents add style
  • Soft, contoured grip offers all-day comfort
  • Features Easy-Glide System for smooth writing
  • Refillable

Sunday, October 27, 2013

pen 137: foray gelio

i would like to begin this review for thanking one of my favorite grocery store clerks, beth, for letting me borrow today's pen, so i didn't have to go out and spend money that i don't have on one.

the foray gelio is a medium ballpoint retractable tipped gel ink pen. these pens are available from office depot (internet and retail) as well as online resources like ebay, amazon, or other supply websites.

the gelio is made of a clear,tough plastic, with a rubberized grip and metal clip. it's contoured hour-glass shape makes for a fairly comfortable grip, but still feels a bit thicker than i personally like when it comes to pens. i associate those thick pens with children's art supplies - cheap and made for clumsy fingers. the ink is a light gel ink that dries moderately fast, although if you aren't careful you can smear the ink if you don't let it have a few seconds to dry. the ink is also not extremely dark, it is all or nothing, no real range of value, but it seems to be fairly translucent. this pen has a fair flow, it does skip and spot a bit, has poor glide but good bite. it can be a bit messy as it can pool up a bit on the paper, which, along with the slower drying time can cause problems. this pen is good for things like writing (unless you're a lefty) it can be used for moderate detail work and inking over pencil lines, but if i really had to chose a good fit i would say exercises like gesture drawing come to mind.

as for a recommendation, i am going to say that i would pass on this pen, there are other gel pens out there that are cleaner and have a better quality of ink. this isn't a bad pen or anything, it just isn't all that great.

officedepot.com: $10.99+s/h (dozen)


what they say:

Controlled comfort meets smooth writing
  • Our most popular style for making a bold statement. 
  • Contoured rubber barrel and grip for feel-good performance. 
  • Great choice for extended writing and heavy-duty note taking.