Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens
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Thread: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

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  1. #1
    Member MisterV's Avatar
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    Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    I must say I have close to zero idea about. Yes, I like Montblanc because of the colours and designs (black/white/silver is my thing). I also like some of the Caran D'Ache and Faber Castell models - since I'm in Switzerland, they're everywhere in shops. I like Faber Castell for their design of the top part, it feels like something I could pleasantly twirl and play around with, see this model for example.
    In general I like carvings/patterns on them (but not too flashy, i.e. no gold, or massive carved elements, or freaking mother-of-pearl dragons or something).

    I like fountain pens a lot, - I've even written with them stubbornly at school, all the way up to 1st year college. I had those that had a small pump and carried around an ink bottle for refill. But in the end, college spoiled me and ruined my writing, and of course made me move to ballpoint/rollerball, they're just more practical on an everyday basis for me.
    Trouble is, I really like finer pens (0.3), and I didn't see any of the higher-end ballpoints like that?.. Can't seem to find anything.

    I have really no idea about how to choose them for comfort etc. What I think I need is:
    - black or blue or gray/silvery colour scheme
    - nice patterns or decor on it
    - comfortable to write, not too heavy or thick (small hands)
    - NOT one with a button mechanism, though I believe the high end ones don't have that anyway? maybe if it's a really really nice button...
    - with ink that doesn't smear (...the gel ones still have that problem or?..)
    - easy to get replacements, doesn't run out too often and doesn't cost 50 bucks.

    Not sure whether refills are something you get with the ballpoint part, or only the ink part? seem a waste if every time you have to throw away a ballpoint...
    Or, in any case, how limited am I with refills when I get one of these more expensive bodies?..

    I.e. something that I would love to write with on a daily basis, like a great high-end dressy watch that I would wear daily (think VC, not Rolex/Hublot). Hell I would love to be able to write always with something like a Rotring 600, one of the nicest writing instruments I've had - but it's a pencil, so yea.

    Is there anything that is usually recommended? You can also just shut me up by pointing to a newbie 101 list.

    P.S. I knew I would come to this... eventually...
    Last edited by MisterV; July 21st, 2017 at 14:24.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    Weird, I came here to post a very similar question and did some searching and found this post.

    I also don't know anything about pens (like a non-watch guy who only knows "Rolex" as a high end watch, I only know Mont Blanc). I was wondering if there was a primer or intro somewhere about it. I don't want to start making purchases uninformed, and there are no good stores nearby where I can try things out...

  3. #3
    Member TreeDog's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    As far as I'm aware, part of how ballpoints write is due to the refills you put in. There's a couple of choices in that regard. However, I'd suggest the fisher space pens. They even have one on exhibit in MoMA (at one time).They make them in a variety of styles (metal, bronze, etc) and the kind of ink refills sold with them were designed to write anywhere, in any condition (NASA designed them for astronauts to take with them when they went into space).
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  4. #4
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    The 3 factors in how a BP or RB write:

    --size
    --weight
    --refill

    The major refill makers like Schmidt pretty much have a refill for any pen made in the last 10 years. Several sites will include cross references; here's one:
    Find the Correct Refill for your Pen - Refill Finder | Pen Heaven - Pen Heaven Blog - Keeping Handwriting Alive

    Google fu will yield others.

    One smart approach...hunt through pen sellers, look for a model you like. It would help to know what you want...light (acrylic) or heavy (metal); thin like a pencil or thick. Try Goulet Pens, Fahrney's, maybe JetPens. Even Levenger, altho their prices aren't great. They'll often list the refill it'll take. And if it's not on that site, try some of the refill chart sites.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    I know that Pilot G2 gel refills can come with 0.38mm tip. I'm pretty sure there are other gel refills that comes in finer tip than 0.5mm. Good news is that there are many pen bodies from nicer brands that can take Pilot G2 refills.

    Waterman rollerball bodies in general can accept G2s without modification. So can Rotring 600 rollerball. I'm also pretty sure older Montblanc rollerball bodies (Noblese or Slimline) can take G2s. Please note that these are rollerball pens, not ballpoint pens.

    By the way, these are all capped pens. If you are looking for click pens, the choices are more limited. For click pens made out of nicer material that takes G2s, I only know of microbrand or Kickstarter pens - Tactile Turn Mover, TiClick (Big Idea Design), and Karas Kustom (which I think has ugly, nonsensical design).
    Last edited by RNHC; August 4th, 2017 at 19:19.
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  6. #6
    Member surfuz's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    I'm a newbie too. I like the Lamy rollerballs, they have click pens too.

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  7. #7
    Member Vioviv's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie recommendations for finer ballpoint/roller pens

    Quote Originally Posted by gangrel View Post
    The 3 factors in how a BP or RB write:

    --size
    --weight
    --refill

    The major refill makers like Schmidt pretty much have a refill for any pen made in the last 10 years. Several sites will include cross references; here's one:
    Find the Correct Refill for your Pen - Refill Finder | Pen Heaven - Pen Heaven Blog - Keeping Handwriting Alive

    Google fu will yield others.

    One smart approach...hunt through pen sellers, look for a model you like. It would help to know what you want...light (acrylic) or heavy (metal); thin like a pencil or thick. Try Goulet Pens, Fahrney's, maybe JetPens. Even Levenger, altho their prices aren't great. They'll often list the refill it'll take. And if it's not on that site, try some of the refill chart sites.
    Good advice, thank you Gangrel! I've spent the better part of the last year trying to settle on an everyday office ballpoint, something nice that can write, but I won't freak if it gets lost. I've randomly grabbed two different Lamys, two models of Fisher, a Caran d'Ache, two Pelikans, two Zebras, two Pilots, a Cross, Sheaffer, two Momos, and and like 3 different Parkers, and now some of them are running out of ink, and of course I can't find refills in our office supply catalogue. Ironically, when I bought the Caran d'Ache, I thought, hey I'll be smart and buy two refills right now, and of course now I've lost the pen.

    For the OP, I'd say the Pelikan Stola K14 (I'm pretty sure that's the model, see pic) has been my favorite "writer," and I'd recommend, but my Parker Jotter has become my daily grab and go pen only because it fits more easily in a notebook. It's the cheapest of the bunch ($5 vs $10-$20), BUT I am a newbie too, so maybe you're looking in an entirely different price point or style, and there's probably better advice here ...

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    Here's what I have in my desk at work ...

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    Ridiculous ... I would recommend a more scientific and organized approached than I took.

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