Writing Instrument

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What do you prefer?

Mechanical Pencil
92
36%
Pencil
26
10%
Ballpoint Pen
58
23%
Gel Pen
28
11%
Fountain Pen
37
15%
Other
13
5%
 
Total votes: 254

math1337
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Writing Instrument

Postby math1337 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:05 am UTC

I actually hate writing in pen and I also dislike ballpoint pen. The problem is that I lose erasability. When I actually have to write in pencil, I scribble out mistakes instead of erasing, because I am so used to pen. Cheap ballpoints have to much resistance across the paper and feel gross.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby qbg » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:12 am UTC

Laser printer.

Failing that, mechanical pencil.

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Kaelri
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Kaelri » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:42 am UTC

Mechanical pencil as well. I can erase it and I don't have to sharpen it.

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poxic
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby poxic » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:53 am UTC

I voted pencil. I'd like to qualify that as "pencil, provided there's a lot of them, and arms-reach access to the kind of sharpeners we had in elementary school". Y'know, the kind with gears, not these wimpy little one-inch plastic craps with dodgy razor blades imbedded in them.
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hotaru
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby hotaru » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:55 am UTC

laser. you can't erase it and you can't write on certain types of paper (unless you want it to burst into flames...), but it sure does look cool.

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simcaster
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby simcaster » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:48 am UTC

Kaelri wrote:Mechanical pencil as well. I can erase it and I don't have to sharpen it.

Not having to sharpen a mechanical pencil is huge, as far a notes and other personal writing goes, that's what i use. If i'm doing anything semi official it's going to be typed.

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Woopate
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Woopate » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

I absolutely despise the sensation of pencil against paper. Don't ask me why. I get twitchy if I use a pencil for too long. A nice, smooth action pen for me. The finer the tip, the better. I'm willing to compromise to a mechanical pencil if I must. But I won't like it!

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hintss
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby hintss » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:16 pm UTC

I remember once at officemax or somewheres, they had ballpoing pencils by ticonderoga or a similar company, where they somehow dissolved the graphite, so it works like a pen, but you could erase it.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Meteorswarm » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:48 pm UTC

(Is this really a religious war?) Not really. - phlip

I use a fountain pen except where I need eraseability. The ability to vary the line width with pressure is vital to making my handwriting pretty, and the ink is a LOT cheaper.

Of course, I bought a fancy one, so that nullifies the cost savings, but in principle...
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JoeyJo0
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby JoeyJo0 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:33 am UTC

Fountain pen, or else a fineliner.

It just makes my writing look best.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:18 am UTC

Mechanical Pencil, or if ink is required rollerball, they're so much smoother than conventional ballpoints (I have two, a Parker Vector rollerball and one whittled from wood to fit my hand perfectly.)
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:35 am UTC

Mechanical pencil.

I use 0.5 mm leads, even though I hate them and they always break. I just can't seem to find good 0.7 pencils.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:01 am UTC

Also, my writing preferences might skew things because I'm unable to write properly (I'm registered disabled for that reason, as I can write around 9 WPM legibly; When I'm writing in my lab book or notes to myself I use a scrawling shorthand that only I, one of my ex's and my Dad [who's handwriting is distinctly simmilar] can read).
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby GraphiteGirl » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:31 am UTC

Fineline felt-tip pens, the kind often used for drafting and comic-style art inking (not the professional kind; they often use fountain pens) with about a 0.8mm point. They move smoothly because of the tip kind, and are legible and dark; they tend to dry up sort of expectedly, so that you know they'll soon be useless, rather than developing ink bubbles or clots and becoming unexpectedly useless like some ballpoints and a few gels do. Only downside is some occasional smudging.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby DSenette » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:34 pm UTC

"leadholder" wasn't an option in the list...but it's what i prefer to write with (if i write, which is usually restricted to quick notes, phone numbers, or crossword puzzles). i've got one of These Staedtler MARS Technico lead holders. holds BEEFY 2mm carbon rods, and it's got a built in sharpener on the end. no eraser though.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby hawkmp4 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

Fountain pen. I'm left handed and pressing hard with a ball point pen or pencil really makes it obvious that writing was developed for right handers. Using a fountain pen keeps me from needing to press. It's wonderful!
Besides, I get to pick my ink. Find me a ball point pen the has amazing, dark dark black india ink like I have and I might be inclined to try it.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby RoadieRich » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

There are erasable rollerballs available. The link is to a UK website, but I'm pretty sure it should be available in the US as well.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Coin » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

I'm all for Pilots G-tec pens. They have superior handling to all other pens I've tried when it comes to taking quick notes and it works under all conditions I've cared to try.
For writing letters and the important documents a very smooth pen is required. Fountainpens can be quite nice for their mass, but a regular ballpoint is usuallt faster to write with.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Sasha » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:01 am UTC

My favourite writing implement would have to be my leadholder. I don't really think it's considered a mechanical pencil. It uses 2mm leads.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Vohu Manah » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:07 am UTC

In theory- fountain pen. When I'm not playing the Victrola or fighting Prohibition.

In practice- the least sharp thing in my vicinity.
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Rippy
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Rippy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:11 am UTC

I just just washed out my Lamy fountain pen today for storage over the summer. Fountain pens are work, and they can be a bit finnicky at times, but ohhhh man do they write beautifully. That shit just flows, not like ballpoints where you have to gouge into the paper to make it write.

That said, mechanical pencils for rough (read: maths) work. And I'm happy to see they have the solid majority.

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Eseell
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Eseell » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:17 am UTC

I carry a Lamy Safari (Fine) fountain pen with me all the time, but at work I use a Parker Premier (Medium) or Lamy 2000 (Extra Fine), depending on what suits my mood. The Parker is flashy and extremely smooth, but both Lamys always work without any starting problems. I fill them all with Noodler's Bulletproof Black.
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Chicostick
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Chicostick » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:21 am UTC

I like regular old wooden pencils. My personal favorites are Ticonderogas, they seem to be the most consistently reliable as far as not breaking often and maintaining a point for a long time. I write pretty badly and quickly and most of the time I end up making some small mistake or writing a letter in a way that can't be read so I have to erase and rewrite it. Pens just end up looking messy for me, and the way I hold my writing utensil causes me to drag my hand across the ink anyway.I also tend to be very fidgety with things, so if I use any sort of pen I quickly end up taking it apart for one reason or another. The same goes for mechanical pencils, if I use one I end up taking the lead out and then taking the mechanism apart shortly after. Plus I tend to break the lead a lot for whatever reason. Fountain pens would end up being a disaster of spilled ink.

Good old #2 pencils are where it's at for me! They last for months and a pack of 20 is cheap.

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Josephine
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Josephine » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:37 am UTC

Yeah, for regular pencils, you can't beat ticonderogas. but I like fountain pens. The smoothness of the writing is just impossible to find anywhere else.
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CHR1110
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby CHR1110 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:54 am UTC

I'll go with a nice ballpoint any day. Not the cheap-o kind you can easily steal from banks, etc. but the fancier ones. Can't beat it for both Writing and Drawing. Also, very very hard to break, unlike pencils. But, if I have to use a pencil, it's 99.9% of the time a mechanical pencil, with .9mm lead, as anything under that will be broken under my extremely heavy hand almost immediately...
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MonkeyPilot
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby MonkeyPilot » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:48 pm UTC

Silverpoint pencil (sort of).This one specifically, writes a bit scratchy, but it looks pretty classy and turns a nice colour when you allow it to oxidise for a few days. I've been using one regularly for around a year and I've yet to sharpen it, or file it to a point.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Windowlicker » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

Eseell wrote:I carry a Lamy Safari (Fine)

Pretty jealous of this pen (I guess). I've got the medium Al-Star (wooo aluminium!), which is nice.. I just wish some of the shops around here had smaller nibbed ones. And I don't really have the motivation to buy one online :( I've found my Lamys to be incredibly reliable too. My current one was left (with ink) in a jacket pocket for about 8 weeks; it worked without having to clean it at all. I was fairly surprised by that.
So, yeah, my vote goes to fountain pens. They're all I've written with in the last year or so, with the exception of the occasional bout of crayon use. Looking in a shop today, those Montblancs looked incredibly tempting..

Second choice to fountain pens goes to gel pens. I suddenly discover that I do rather enjoy something laying ink down smooth.

Though those leadholders do look quite nice.

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Cane
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Cane » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:24 pm UTC

I'm pretty restricted by documentation standards at work due to regulator compliance. Pencils, erasable pen, gel ink, and white-out are strictly prohibited. So I like a nice fine-point dark blue ballpoint pen.
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Lidwiz
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Lidwiz » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:22 am UTC

I love fountain pens, but my work precludes using them often. 0.5mm gel pens are a pretty good stand-in (currently I really enjoy using Office Max's Tul gel pens, though refills seem elusive), as are smooth ballpoints like Zebra, Lamy Safari, or Fisher. I use mechanical pencils for drawing and some writing.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby mouseposture » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:39 am UTC

Namiki Falcon. To be polite, I pretend to understand why some people don't use this.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby keeneal » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:24 am UTC

Lidwiz wrote:I love fountain pens, but my work precludes using them often. 0.5mm gel pens are a pretty good stand-in (currently I really enjoy using Office Max's Tul gel pens, though refills seem elusive), as are smooth ballpoints like Zebra, Lamy Safari, or Fisher. I use mechanical pencils for drawing and some writing.
I used to work for OfficeMax about 3 years ago and started using that brand then. I absolutely love them and people that borrow them from me comment on them more regularly than I'm used to. You can't find refills because TUL is a proprietary brand - OfficeMax owns it.
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Kizyr
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Kizyr » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:38 am UTC

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wst
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby wst » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:27 am UTC

I like the Pilot V5. They're quite reliable, any ink feed issues can be solved with a small amount of sucking the tip, while trying to appear philosophical. I'm left handed and don't like writing with a weird cramped up hand position so I don't use fountain pens, because I end up with blue hands and illegible blue streaks of words.... though I miss getting into the flow of writing and adding in some big looly l's and stuff just because I could... the V5 doesn't quite flow so well...
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby EmptySet » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

I generally use ballpoint pens, gel pens or fineliners for writing.

Pencils irritate me because they always need sharpening. Mechanical pencils are okay, I guess, but I've had problems with the lead breaking or not advancing properly. Also, I don't press very hard when I write, so pencil often comes out rather pale and scratchy. I've never used a fountain pen. It seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive, and apparently need cleaning and whatnot. I also suspect that they are prone to smudging, ink spillage, blockages, etc. Basically, they seem like an unnecessary hassle when all I want to do is write stuff down with a minimum of fuss.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby keeneal » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

EmptySet wrote:It seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive
Have you considered things like the Lamy Safari or Vista? Sure, they're subject to the cleaning and refilling ink and whatnot, but the same is true of buying new lead for pencils or replacing worn-out disposable pens (which often aren't empty, btw, but rather need to merely be cleaned).
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby TNorthover » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:31 pm UTC

EmptySet wrote:I've never used a fountain pen. It seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive, and apparently need cleaning and whatnot. I also suspect that they are prone to smudging, ink spillage, blockages, etc.

Ballpoints hate me and I get far more smudging with them than a fountain pen. The ink always seems to build up on one corner until it gets deposited as a ~1mm globe on the paper; it's downhill from there. Perhaps I just hold them strangely.

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Eseell » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:36 pm UTC

keeneal wrote:
EmptySet wrote:It seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive
Have you considered things like the Lamy Safari or Vista? Sure, they're subject to the cleaning and refilling ink and whatnot, but the same is true of buying new lead for pencils or replacing worn-out disposable pens (which often aren't empty, btw, but rather need to merely be cleaned).

I've found that my Lami Safari stands up to a lot more abuse (lack of cleaning, crappy ink, etc) than my more expensive fountain pens. It never fails to write. With an ink converter it's also very inexpensive to write with over the long term. Many modern fountain pen inks dry relatively quickly and are less subject to smearing now than in times past. They're still a poor choice for many southpaws, though.
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Windowlicker » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:11 pm UTC

Eseell wrote:They're still a poor choice for many southpaws, though.

Lamy left-handed pens. Similarly, The Writing Desk (dot com) gives the option to put left-handed nibs on a bunch of the Lamy pens I looked at..
Though, not being left handed, I can't say how they work (and can't imagine what the difference would be anyway).

As to ink spillage and blockages.. they're probably not going to happen so much. If you're writing regularly, then the ink is just going to keep coming. And (mine, at least) have gone weeks without use and returned to proper working order immediately. And ink won't spill anywhere unless you try (or drop the pen).

I do wonder how my pens have managed to make me so.. defensive about them. Do I use fountain pens because I'm pretentious, or am I pretentious because I use fountain pens?

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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby Cloud Walker » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

Woopate wrote:I absolutely despise the sensation of pencil against paper. Don't ask me why. I get twitchy if I use a pencil for too long. A nice, smooth action pen for me. The finer the tip, the better. I'm willing to compromise to a mechanical pencil if I must. But I won't like it!


Exactly that ^

EmptySet wrote:Pencils irritate me because they always need sharpening. Mechanical pencils are okay, I guess, but I've had problems with the lead breaking or not advancing properly. Also, I don't press very hard when I write, so pencil often comes out rather pale and scratchy... [A fountain pen] seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive, and apparently need cleaning and whatnot. I also suspect that they are prone to smudging, ink spillage, blockages, etc. Basically, they seem like an unnecessary hassle when all I want to do is write stuff down with a minimum of fuss.


That as well ^

I use ballpoints. It took me quite a while to find one that I'm completely satisfied with: wrote smoothly, wrote finely, didn't blob ink at the tip, had minimal to no starting problems, lasts a long time... But I found all of it in this pen. I have multiples of each color listed there. I especially like the purple, of course. You get the occasional bad one that writes roughly or writes too lightly, but the vast majority are good. If you like ballpoints, buy those!
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Re: Writing Instrument

Postby EmptySet » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:48 am UTC

keeneal wrote:
EmptySet wrote:It seems somewhat pretentious, since they're less commonly available, more expensive
Have you considered things like the Lamy Safari or Vista? Sure, they're subject to the cleaning and refilling ink and whatnot, but the same is true of buying new lead for pencils or replacing worn-out disposable pens (which often aren't empty, btw, but rather need to merely be cleaned).


I'm already using Vista, thanks, and I prefer Firefox to- oh, wait, you're talking about pens.

I'm not sure what the actual benefit of either of those is supposed to be, or where I would even buy one, especially since the company doesn't seem to ship outside the US. Furthermore they cost US$30 (plus shipping to the opposite side of the planet) while my current pen, which I am quite happy with, cost about AU$2. I don't see how this fountain pen could possibly be so amazing that writing with it justifies spending fifteen times as much and going to the hassle of importing it. I mean, I'm not writing the Magna Carta here; I just want a pen that I find comfortable and which writes reliably and legibly without causing a nuisance.

As for replacing disposable pens, I can literally buy them a dozen at time from the newsagent for less than the price of your fountain pen. Or, you know, buy a couple of nice ones and then buy a whole box of replacement cartridges, which take about ten seconds to change and last for months.

TNorthover wrote:Ballpoints hate me and I get far more smudging with them than a fountain pen. The ink always seems to build up on one corner until it gets deposited as a ~1mm globe on the paper; it's downhill from there. Perhaps I just hold them strangely.


Really? I've rarely had that problem. Could just be a bad pen. Have you tried different types?

keeneal wrote:And ink won't spill anywhere unless you try (or drop the pen).


I am a busy student who travels on overcrowded trains and writes on wobbly fold-out half-desks. My pen maintenance routine consists of "throw pen in bag, get jostled a lot and throw bag around." I would rather not be carrying something prone to destroying all my lecture notes when it gets so much as dropped. I've dropped my ballpoint dozens of times and it has consistently failed to leak at all.


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