CALL US 01268 573949 Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm

ballpoint pens

  • 6 Sexy Budget Ballpoint Pens

    Ballpoint pens are sort of the Plain Janes of the pen world, but that doesn't mean you can't find a ballpoint with some panache. And you don't have to spend a fortune doing it.

    Check out these stylish ballpoint pens that all sell for less than £15.

    Muji Aluminum Hexagonal – A smooth writer, as Muji pens typically are, saved from being ordinary by the hexagonal shape of the slim barrel. The design gives it a slightly industrial look, without being out of place in a classroom or boardroom. Refillable, 0.7 mm point.

    Ohto Slim Line Needle Tip – One of the sleekest pens on the market, this brass-and-aluminum ballpoint pen weighs a mere 8 grams and has a diameter of just 6 cm. With a 0.3 mm writing tip, this is a pen for those who want to project precision in all things. Available with black ink.

    Pentel Sterling Excel – This is a relatively new offering from Pentel, a metal-barrel twist ballpoint pen with three choices of barrel finish (black lacquer, ivory and silver). An engraved band around the barrel adds an extra touch of class to the refillable 0.7 mm pens, which write as smooth as ballpoints get.

    Zebra F701 – Zebra ballpoint pens are exceptionally smooth writers and the F701 is no exception. The difference between this and other Zebra ballpoints is the sexy all-steel design "from tip to clip," as Zebra puts it. The overall appearance says 'polished and professional' while the knurled grip adds a little texture to keep the barrel from being too smooth. Black ink, 0.7 mm tip.

    Pilot MR – A ballpoint pen with gravitas. The cigar-shaped MR has more heft than most of the other ballpoints on the list – nearly 4x the weight of the Slim Line – and one of the simplest designs. Together, they give the twist-open ballpoint a sense of executive importance that makes it a great pen for business. Available in black, gold and silver. Can be refilled with black or blue ink, 1.0 mm tip.

    Tom AirPress – This rugged rubber-body pen might seem a little out of place on the list, but we think it certainly qualifies as sexy. The flat-headed plunger, wire clip and dagger-like barrel all mark this as a pen ready for some serious action. Add in the pressurization system that ensures the pen will write in wet, dirty conditions, extreme temperatures and upside down, and you have a ballpoint that can go anywhere, do anything...and still look good doing it.  (Not to mention, the clear version looks like something out of a Terminator movie, which is very cool.) Refillable, 0.7 mm tip.

    So, what do you think? Any of these budget ballpoints catch your eye? Or, do you know of some other sexy ballpoint pens that you'd rather carry?

  • How Far Will A Ballpoint Pen Write?

    This is awesome: Researchers at the University of Reading are studying a wide assortment of ballpoint pens available in the UK to determine how they perform and why.

    The style of a ball point pen varies from the utilitarian to a fashion or style statement with an accompanying large variation in price. In this work we look beyond the external shape and style to the key elements of the pen. We want to know how these components relate to the writing life of a pen and how they influence the use of a ball point pen.

    Some preliminary results of the study, being conducted by the Centre for Advanced Microscopy and partially funded by Bic, have been posted to the university's website.

    One of the most interesting bits is that the average writing length of a ballpoint pen is 900 meters (the longest was 2,000).

    For some brands the contour length was almost half this length whilst for others the contour length was 50% more than the average. The consistency of contour length was quite varied for some brands and very consistent for others.

    To determine the writing lengths of the pens, researchers used machines that approximated the writing strokes, speed and downward pressure of an average person and wrote until the pens were exhausted.

    The researchers also measured the length of some common writing tasks to help put those numbers in perspective. According to them, a 900 meter ballpoint pen would write:

    • 6207 signatures
    • 5114 phone numbers
    • 971 Christmas cards
    • 169 letters

    Now, what we don't have yet is the specific brands involved in the testing and how long each specific pen lasted, although we have to assume that at least some were Bics. It would be interesting to know because Bic claims its ballpoint pens will write for 2 to 3 kilometers. But others have made even bigger claims, including one from India's Flair Pens that its ballpoint is good for a whopping 10K meters.

    Don't worry, we've contacted the university to see what more we can find out.

  • Review: Pentel Superb RT

    Ballpoint pens usually have little to recommend them over a liquid ink or gel pen – and, unfortunately, that’s the verdict on the Pentel Superb RT.

    It’s your basic ballpoint pen, with all that entails. In other words, the pen is inexpensive and lasts longer than the standard gel, which are pluses, but is nowhere near as comfortable to write with as a gel and the look of the lines has none of the luster of liquid or gel ink, which are not. Continue reading

  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Pens

    Pot of PensThere are thousands of different pens available to buy, made by numerous pen manufacturers and this can be very confusing. When buying a new pen how do you decide which one when they all look very similar?

    Do you know what type of pen that you are currently using? Is it a gel pen, ballpoint pen, biro, liquid ink pen or something else?

    Pens are categorised by the type of tip that they have and this usually determines what type of ink it contains. There are always exceptions but as a general rule pens fall into one of the following five categories:

    Fountain Pens

    Fountain pens have a nib with a thin slit which allows the ink to be applied to the paper. They use a water based liquid ink that is stored in a reservoir within the pen. They are usually refilled by either a mechanism within the pen that is used to draw ink up through the nib, or by replacing an ink cartridge. A good fountain pen should write smoothly using only its own weight to apply the pressure.

    Ballpoint Pens

    Ballpoint pens have a ball bearing which rotates applying ink to the paper as you write. They use an oil based ink that dries almost immediately after contact with paper. A ballpoint pen requires pushing to start the ink flow. They are generally reasonably priced, reliable and the ink lasts a long time. The diameter of the ball bearing determines the line width produced.

    Rollerball Pens

    Rollerball pens use a ball point writing mechanism and were initially designed to combine the convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth "wet ink" effect of a fountain pen. They use either water-based liquid or gel ink, as opposed to the oil-based viscous inks found in a ballpoint pen. Rollerball pens tend to saturate deeply and widely into paper, giving their distinctive writing qualities.

    Marker Pens

    Marker pens have a porous tip that is usually made from either felt or synthetic fibre. The shape of the tip can either be a bullet tip usually found on smaller markers or a chisel tip for the larger markers. Non permanent markers use water based ink but permanent markers and highlighters use a variety of different special ink types.

    Brush Pens

    As the name implies Brush pens have a hard wearing synthetic brush to apply the ink to the paper. The ink is usually from cartridges of fade-resistant and waterproof pigment ink. Artist favour brush pens as a variety of lines from fine detail to broad sweeping strokes can be produced. They are ideal for oriental artwork, cartoons & calligraphy.

    Hopefully reading this will have helped to clarify the different types of pens and inks available. I appreciate that some of our readers already have an in depth knowledge on this subject.

    This was written more as a general guide, if you can think of anything that I have missed as always we really appreciate your comments.

  • How to Keep Your Pens from Drying Out

    If you’re into pens, or use them a lot, it doesn’t take long to build up quite a pen collection. And since you probably don’t write with more than a couple at a time, you’re left to figure out how to keep the rest from drying out between uses.

    Mostly, it’s a matter of the quality of the pen. The better the ink, and the tighter it’s sealed inside, the less likely that just laying around will ruin it. But, there are a few tricks you can use to help preserve your ink pens so they actually work when you pull them out of the drawer. Continue reading

5 Item(s)