In Search of the Perfect Writing Instrument

File this in the section of: “I’m journaling this because it interests ME, dagnabit!”

I’ve been using a G2 clicker for a long time. I’ve been ok with it. It writes decent lines (especially finer points), it’s not uncomfortable for normal use. It does…ok. It’s like the Starbucks of pens (without the shilling for political causes that makes me boycott them). You know the quality of product you’re going to get. It will be serviceable and consistent. The price is acceptable.
But there are problems. Using the pen long-term causes ugly brown streaks along that annoying clear barrel. The ink skips more than people want to admit. It takes far too long to dry for a gel pen. The clips are cheap and have a nasty tendency to break. When used for writing books, it feels clunky and quickly leaves those nice divots in your middle finger. And often the refills are more expensive than buying new pens, which I consider an unpardonable bit of market-grubbing. “Hey, save the environment by reusing your pen. And pay MORE for doing it!” :crash:
It’s still a good pen for work. But it’s not the pen I want to use for writing.
So I started looking for a new pen. One that’s more conducive to the Craft of Writing. For the sake of my pocketbook, I’m not considering Fountain Pens (though I soooo want to). So still gel pens, because of the balance of affordability and legibility. Something comfortable, refillable (and I mean PRACTICAL refills), and sturdy enough to carry without exploding.
I tried the Uniball Signo first. I wanted to try the Jetstream. But I never find refills for anything but the 1.0mm, which is absurd. I refuse to do normal writing at anything larger than .7, and I’d prefer .5 or even smaller point. The Signo refills at the minimum acceptable .7. And it was incredibly comfortable to use, with a sturdy clip. Buuut. The ink takes too long for a gel to dry, and smudges egregiously.  It’s a very good work pen, but it’s not ideal for writing.
I discovered the Frixion from Pilot, and started playing with its Clicker model. While not ‘as’ comfortable as the Signo, it’s moreso than the G2. The clip is again, not as sturdy as the Signo, but better than the G2. And the ink…:jawdrop: Erasable ink that WORKS! Awesomesauce. The problem? Weeeelll. I burned through 2 pens in 4 weeks. Refillable or not, that’s pretty fast for a pen to run dry. Also, it refills in .7, BLUE. Which I’m ok with blue ink. But it’s not ideal for everyone.
It’s most certainly not a work pen. But it might be a good writing pen. We’ll see how long this batch of refills lasts. :P
But oh I wish I could afford to use fountain pens….
Update: My Frixion lasted exactly THREE days, and produced 24 pages in a composition notebook before giving up the ghost. YIKES. But then, the Signo looks to only have 5 days, and perhaps 50 pages in it. Gel pens go bad quick. But these seem to go bad a little too fast, IMHO.
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2 thoughts on “In Search of the Perfect Writing Instrument

  1. I use a fountain pen, myself. And in the long term, it might actually be cheaper. Parker is a decent company – and it has some pens in the cheap range.

    Combine with a 100 ink cartridge pack and you’re all set for a year of writing, more or less. Just saying 😛

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