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  • 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.

  • The May 2012 Carnival of Pens is Now Open

    Julie over at PENS PAPER INKS...WHATEVER! Is hosting this month’s pen carnival and as usual there is a great collection of links to some first-class blog posts relating to pens, pencils & notebooks.

    One of my favourites from this month’s carnival was How to Journal: Get Ready by Melanie Grant. Having young two young children who are just starting to learn to write at school it really struck a chord with me.


  • Update On March Pen Giveaway

    Readers, we had a small problem with our March pen giveaway. Turns out we had some entries that weren't legit, so we've picked another winner. Marco Venturini-Autieri, your number came up! You will receive a 3-pack of Pilot G2 0.38 mm pens. Please use the 'Contact' link above to submit your mailing info, and congratulations!

  • April Pen Carnival Has Arrived!

    Alex over at Economy Pens is hosting this month's Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper, and he has put together a great list of submissions. Be sure to check it out for everything from reviews of the Tombow Egg to tips on effective time management.

  • Poll: What Do You Use Pens For?

    Please excuse the bad grammar in the headline and jump over to our Facebook page to take a quick poll on ink pens. We'd like to know how our readers put their pens to use, whether it's creative writing, drawing, or office work.

  • Have You Entered The Tiger Pens January Giveaway?

    Time is running out to get your name into the drawing for a chance to win one of 3 sets of Artline drawing materials. If you haven't already, make sure you check out the contest to learn how you can enter.

  • Worther Shorty Pencil Review

    It appears that mechanical pencils have been around a long time.  Apparently an early example was found amongst the wreckage of HMS Pandora.  The Worther Shorty definitely belongs in the 21st century.  This clutch pencil holds a 3.15mm lead & the plastic hexagonal design sits comfortably in my hand.  The lead retracts easily at the push of the button on the top.

    Worther Shorty Pencil

    Founded in 1985 the Worther company aim to stand out from the crowd, they manufacture their products in house & some are even made by hand, design & quality are a priority. Continue reading

  • Tiger Pens Giveaway: Back to School Kit

    Tiger Pens would like to help 3 of our readers get ready for fall with back-to-school kits of pens and pencils.

    This month, we're giving away the Pentel School Essentials Pack.

    The pack includes:

    • 1 Pentel Energel liquid gel ink rollerball pen
    • 2 Pentel ballpoint pens
    • 1 Pentel Fiesta automatic pencil
    • 1 Pentel Highlighter
    • 1 Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser
    • And, 1 ruler

    As usual, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. We'll randomly select three names and announce the winners on August 27.

    Meanwhile, the Pentel School Essentials pack is also on sale at the Tiger Pens store at a special price of £3.99.

    Good luck and thanks for visiting the Tiger Pens Blog.

  • Penthusiam!

    Pencil Talk recommends the walnut pencil box from Kozo Interior Studio.

    Peninkcillin gets down to the nitty gritty of refilling the "disposable" Pilot Varsity fountain pen.

    Julie at Peaceable Writer shares her passion for brown fountain pen inks.

    The Gadgeteer serves up a detailed review of the Monteverde One Touch Stylus/Pen.

    Rants of the Archer dissects the Lamy Safari Aquamarine with exquisitely detailed photos.

    Nifty at Notebook Stories explains why we should buy expensive Moleskine notebooks.

    Dowdy at The Pen Addict makes the case for the Top 5 micro tip gel pens.

    The OfficeSupplyGeek gets to kung-fu fighting with a review of the Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen.

    Heather at A Penchant for Paper explores her new Rhodia Dot Grid Webnotebook.

    Diane at Pocket Blonde shares her impressions of the Paper Mate Profile ballpoint in 1.4 mm.

  • Penthusiasm!

    Looking for some great pen and paper reading? These are some of the recent posts we recommend:

    No Pen Intended gets down to the details with the Pentel EnerGel Euro Needle-Point gel pen.

    Artist Jim Leggitt opens up about his favourite ink pens for drawing, including the Pentel Sign Pen and the Staedtler Lumocolor.

    Seth at Good Pens shows us his newest find, an awesome sterling silver mechanical pencil from 1921.

    The Pen Addict has announced another fantastic giveaway: Uniball Kuru Togas and Doane notebooks.

    Does this Pen Write shares our love of novelty pens, as you can see in this review of a pen with a built-in laser pointer and 1GB flash drive.

    Diane at Pocket Blonde gives us a glimpse of the restoration she’s having done on her sleek Esterbrook Dollar Pen.

    Matt Hickman from Mother Nature Network continues his series on eco-friendly office supplies, this time recommending the Pilot B2P and DBA 98 pen, among others.

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