Writing Instruments

All my friends know I am an office supply junkie.  I have shelves of special paper, file folders, sheet protectors — you name it.  One of my worst faults is writing instruments.  Pens, pencils, markers, highlighters and such.

I have a few favorites, each for a special purpose and I would like to recommend some of them to others who share my same vice.

On the left is a beautiful, hand crafted fountain pen made for me by a friend and master woodworker.  This is a wonderful pen for journaling and for when you just want the silky smooth feeling of putting ink on paper.  There is also a certain nostalgia in using what many consider an ‘Old Fashioned’ pen such as this.

Next on the left is my work-horse, the Pilot G-2 gel pen.  This is my choice for general writing and I have many around the house.  They come in various sizes but I favor the 0.5 mm tip. They write smoothly but on some paper can have a problem with smudging.  One problem is that when I loan one to someone it tends to not return home.

Third from the left is the Uni Ball Vision Exact, essentially a very fine point pen, almost like a Rapidograph technical pen.  If you need precision writing or drawing this is a good choice.  I like it because it works well with templates and lettering guides and because it does not smudge as much with glossy, non-porous paper.

Next is the trusty Pentel automatic pencil.  This has been my standard lead pencil for years and I use it for general notes and always when copying Morse code over ham radio.  No worry about broken or worn down points and it glides smoothly over most paper.  Again I use the fine point but also have a couple of the larger (0.7mm) size which have  different feel but work just as well.

Finally, for completeness, is the classic yellow #2 wooden pencil.  I don’t use them a lot but love the aroma of the cedar when you sharpen one.

3 comments on “Writing Instruments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Tom! Wow. From that beautiful hand-made fountain pen (I used to love writing with them but now don’t even own one), to that familiar yellow #2 pencil. I keep one of those within reach but the eraser is probably rock hard by now.

    Like you, The Pilot G2 is the first thing I reach for when needing to sign something or scribble a bit. I’d like an .05 but I have a large stockpile of .07’s which work well.

    Enjoyed reading each description. A wonderful post that’s a real insight to what you use when not at the keyboard! Just one question. You didn’t mention Sharpie’s but knowing you, it was probably it’s more for marking than for writing and probably not even considered a writing instrument.

  2. I reach for the free ones I have gotten from our local furniture store; ball point with a good grip. A question I have: do you consider the keyboard a writing instrument? Just curious because I use the keyboard alot for letters, etc.

  3. I carry a Uni Ball Vision Elite blue ink in my pants pocket. Once a nerd, always … I have lost the pocket protector though. The Elite ink smears all too easily, especially on glossy paper. But the cap stays on through thick and thin. I’ll have to check out an Exact.