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High-quality writing utensils?

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  • bunchgrass
    replied
    Ahhh the fountain pen - ink - paper addiction. I was addicted to fountain pens before I heard about Tom Bihn. In fact, I learned about Tom Bihn bags from "manbag" discussions on the Fountain Pen Network forum.

    My favorite fountain pens are Parker Frontiers with custom ground italic nibs and Lamy Safaris. My absolute favorite pen is the Bexley BX802 my husband gave me after I passed my orals for my Masters.

    The fountain pen addiction extends to nibs, inks in all the colors of the rainbow from a variety of manufacturers and, of course, the paper you use. And then you need the proper bag to carry it in. And the Tom Bihn addiction begins.

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  • misterN
    replied
    Dear lord, I don't need another expensive thing to spend money on. TB bags, cameras + lenses, now super high end pens?!?! >.<

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  • teresapoet
    replied
    Originally posted by Maria View Post
    Also, when you carry a fountain pen - it should be kept upright when you are out and about for fear of leaking. So my vote: a fountain pen pocket to be added to the Bihn bags!
    I love that the pen pockets in my Cafe bags and Synapse are wide enough for my fountain pens to easily fit in them, though I wish all my TB bags had pen pockets.

    My daily writers are Lamy Al-Stars and Safaris with extra-fine nibs. I'm partial to Noodler's inks (lots of bulletproof/waterproof options), and I recently discovered the ink samples from the Goulet Pen Company that pw1224 mentioned (and I agree it's a great company to order from).

    Originally posted by Katy View Post
    Being out of school really brought my desire for quality pens and paper to an end. I really need to start writing more notes, my hand writing is getting terrible! Maybe a fancy new pen will encourage me to work on my handwriting.
    My handwriting is usually better when writing with fountain pens - I think it's a combination of pen ergonomics, good ink flow, and enjoying/savoring the writing process.
    Last edited by teresapoet; 08-30-2011, 05:43 PM.

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  • Katy
    replied
    Originally posted by Maria View Post
    Oh a warning Katy - once you use a fine pen and quality paper - you'll never go back! (Like quality TB bags!)

    Also, when you carry a fountain pen - it should be kept upright when you are out and about for fear of leaking. So my vote: a fountain pen pocket to be added to the Bihn bags!
    Being out of school really brought my desire for quality pens and paper to an end. I really need to start writing more notes, my hand writing is getting terrible! Maybe a fancy new pen will encourage me to work on my handwriting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Maria
    replied
    Originally posted by Katy View Post
    This is my favorite thread ever! I need to go pen shopping now .
    Oh a warning Katy - once you use a fine pen and quality paper - you'll never go back! (Like quality TB bags!)

    Also, when you carry a fountain pen - it should be kept upright when you are out and about for fear of leaking. So my vote: a fountain pen pocket to be added to the Bihn bags!

    Leave a comment:


  • Katy
    replied
    This is my favorite thread ever! I need to go pen shopping now .

    Leave a comment:


  • Shiva
    replied
    great...I love pens and pencils....
    1. Pencils: try the ones made by Levenger. I have found them to have a good selection of mechanical pencils. Rotrings are very durable, but they are thinner to hold; and have an industrial feel to it. Great if you like that kind of feel. I also have an excellent pencil by Pelikan---really good. Other than that, my every day use favorite ones are Pentels or Staedlter's.

    2. Pens---fountain pens occupy a full range. A good source is Fahrney's pens. Reliable; reasonable.

    3. paper: yes to Rhodia and Clairefontaine. Their paper is 95gsm and far superior to any else. I found a good source that is relatively cheaper than other places: shopwritersbloc.com. Recently, Levenger carries Rhodia in their Circa. I use Circa--and so it is a great match.

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  • Maria
    replied
    I used ballpoint pens in school, and yet my parents always used fountain pens. I liked the different colours of ink that one could get, and my mother has exquisite hand writing - she says it's easier to write with a fountain pen. Once I researched, and found one I liked (obsessed with?) - I too prefer it. I tend to press very hard and have tight hand writing when using a ball point pen, but a fountain pen glides and is so smooth - that is not a problem for me now with such a fountain pen. I also find my hand writing is easier to decipher with a fountain pen. The catch - difficult to transport a fountain pen without having to worry about it. For my Sailor pen, I use bottled ink - better selection of colours. But the cartridge filled fountain pens are so convenient, tend to hold more ink, and less messy to refill obviously. I really like the Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point as it's like a retractable ball point pen, and has cartridge ink. But a fine nib fountain pen! People look curiously at it when I write with it. It's got a "reverse" clip, so if one were to carry it in a shirt pocket, the nib would always be upwards. It's actually very comfortable to hold too.

    I thought I'd try "cheap" disposable fountain pens for starters, to see if I could handle them. You can get nice ones for around $5 at office supply stores. But once I tried the fancy nibs…well there was no going back. I consider myself quite spoiled, and grateful to have such a writing treasure too. (And when I tried the Sailor - I knew within test-writing a few letters that I found the pen for me!)

    I still carry around and use my Caran d'Ache ball point - it too is lovely and smooth. The convenience of a ball point can far out weigh a fountain pen, even the above retractable, when you don't want to worry about smeared ink, or when you have to press hard to write on a carbon type duplicate (cannot recall the name of such right now.)

    Good luck with your search!

    (Apologies if I rambled on…)

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    Interesting selection of fountain pens.

    I have only a little bit of experience with fountain pens, and that dates back to junior high, about 30 years ago.

    Where did you gain experience with these pens, and how long have you been using them?

    Leave a comment:


  • Maria
    replied
    I'm a fountain pen user. Like PW1224 - I appreciate the Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point for the convenience. Not too expensive as well.

    But my real treasure - Sailor Pro-Gear Mosaic fountain pen. So smooth. I too swear by the Japanese nibs. From all the pens and nibs I've tried - Sailor is the smoothest, and a wonderful price point compared to the higher end pens of equal quality.
    THE SAILOR PEN CO., LTD.
    - this one stays safely at home, no one is ever allowed to "borrow" it, and I go through withdrawal when I am away from it!

    For ball point - I use a Caran d'Ache - Ecridor "Chevron" style:
    CARAN d'ACHE > Les Instruments d'Ecriture et Accessoires > Les Instruments d'Ecriture > Ecridor > Chevron > argenté rhodié
    - note the mechanical pencils are high quality too!

    For paper: Clairefontaine is lovely. I use Rhodia note pads as they are high end quality and the paper is exceptional.
    Rhodia Writing Pads | Official U.S. Distributor
    - note that the hardbound books do NOT use the same paper. Nice yes, but not as nice as the regular pads.

    Speaking of paper, I use the Leuchttrum1917 hardback notebooks to carry with me in my bag every day. MUCH nicer than the same Moleskine books, higher quality paper (can handle fountain pens), and cheaper too!
    Startseite | Leuchtturm1917
    _ I believe they are made in Germany vs. made in China (strung together in Italy)…something like that.

    I buy my pens, paper, ink for Laywine's in Toronto. I know some places on the internet can sell pens for less. But for the kind of money I have shelled out on a fountain pen - I really prefer dealing with experts and being able to try out every pen and nib to find the exact match for me. At least for the higher end pieces. I can get a cheap Ball point at the office supply store if need be after all! also, as I live in Canada, buying pricey items on-line can be much worse when Canadian customs gets them, if they happen to be in a bad mood. (Ask me how I know!)

    There are several fountain pen fan websites, with links to on-line stores that such members prefer too. http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/

    For anyone who asks to borrow my fountain pens - I just look / sound rude and say "no". Nibs tend to conform to one writer, and like a manual gear shift on a well engineered car - they tend to like one driver / writer! I do carry a small Bullet Fisher Space Pen in my hand bag for such - better than a cheap ball point, can write at any angle, does tend to glob every once in a while. Although I did get mine engraved…for fear someone walks off with it! I had to order this one from the website actually.

    Fisher Space Pen Co. - Bullet Space Pens

    (I have no connection with any of the above companies, other than being a rather rabid fan of quality pens and paper…)
    Last edited by Maria; 08-27-2011, 04:07 PM. Reason: Customs and duty charges

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  • Sera
    replied
    For non-fountains I like the Uni-ball Signo with a size 0.5 tip. I enjoy the .38 tip also, but it's a bit fine for some tastes. They come in a mind-boggling array of colors, with the brown-black and blue-black being my favorites for writing, and hot pink for editing.

    My Pelican Demonstrator (fine nib) is my favorite of all, though I don't take it on the road. I'm terrible at losing (and accidentally walking off with) pens, so it lives at home.

    Great to know someone who uses the Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point, pw1224. I've been considering asking for one for my birthday. Thanks for the link, too!

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    WOW! Glad I started this thread! Keep 'em coming!

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  • pw1224
    replied
    Over the last year, I've revisited fountain pens. I used them for a bit when I spent a semester in France while in college and decided to go back to them. Frankly, using them prevents folks from borrowing the pen straight out of my hand -- the nib just freezes them and allows me to quickly retrieve my writing utensil.

    I have found that The Goulet Pen Company (The Goulet Pen Company) is an amazingly good resource. I'm not in any way related to the Goulets. I've just had fantastic experiences via mail order -- and Brian & Rachel Goulet are into pens and writing materials much the same way as Tom and Darcy are into good bags.

    My personal preferences are for Japanese-sized nibs (very thin so that one can theoretically write Chinese characters) and Waterman (made in France) pens. I have a Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point pen, which is a clicker fountain pen. You can click the button and the nib appears and disappears. It's very convenient when you jot down notes sporadically.

    Goulet has an amazing selection of inks and they allow you to purchase samples, which means you can see if you like the flow, color, etc. before getting 3+ ounces of it. I've found that Pilot Iroshizuku inks and Noodler's inks are pretty cool.

    As far as pencils, my preference is entirely Japanese. I have several Papermate PhD pencils which are made in Japan.

    Ballpoint pens: Papermate all the way. They have less ink "goop" than other brands.

    Erasers: Japanese plastic erasers. Nothing else. Pentel Clic Erasers are very convenient.

    Paper: If available and practical: Clairefontaine.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff9266
    replied
    I used to use expensive pens when I started working but these days the only somewhat fancy pens/pencils I use are my old Rotring pen/pencil. The 600 series pen and pencil are very durable. +1 on the Pentel Sharp Kerry mentioned above too - I like that capped mechanical pencil design. Jetpens.com has a great selection of pens and pencils, including many from Japan that aren't available in many U.S. stores.

    Leave a comment:


  • AVService
    replied
    Levenger always has a selection of above average choices.

    I prefer and use the Rotring models.
    Simple bulletproof and enduring.
    I have had a few of them for 30 years and they are better than new to me.
    Also if you buy the authentic pen refills they seem to be superior ink as well.

    rotring - home

    Just another obsession? I mean need!

    Ed

    Leave a comment:

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