Sunday, July 25, 2010

Worst Five Pens

Although I own some pens that I love and that I reach for again and again, I own other pens that fall into the category of Pens I Never Want to Buy Again, and that I use only to use them up.  The below list does not include the worst pens that I have ever used, but rather my least favourite pens in my current rotation of pens.  These are only my personal opinions and you, of course, may have had entirely different experiences with these pens.


1. Uni-ball Fusion - pink

Not only is this pen pink (my least favourite colour), but also it is very prone to feathering or bleeding through on nearly all papers that I use.  Then there is the floral pattern on the barrel, which I didn't mind that much when I first reviewed it, but that I have now decided is definitely too girly for me.  There's just nothing about this pen that I like.

2. Mystery ballpoint

This pen was a gift that I received several years ago.  It looks very smart, with its sleek stainless steel body, but it is probably the most uncomfortable pen that I have ever written with and the quality of the ballpoint leaves much to be desired.  It is a "mystery" pen since it has no markings on it anywhere and I no longer have the original packaging; it came as part of a set with a mechanical pencil, which I actually broke the first time I used it.  (Don't ask me how; I have no idea.)

3. Sakura Permapaque Paint Marker - white

I know, this is actually a marker, not a pen, but it is so completely useless that it needs to be on this list.  I have enjoyed using the rest of my Sakura Permapaque Paint Markers, but this white one writes with an ink that could probably be best described as "invisible."  I have yet to discover any paper or surface that this marker will write on and do anything more than lighten the colour of the paper very slightly.  (I have recently discovered a new use for this marker, but that will be the subject of a future post.)

4. Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto

I thought I would love this pen, as I really enjoy the standard Hi-Tec-C, but I have been disappointed with it ever since I got it.  The ink cartridges run out very quickly and, especially as they have been running out, are very prone to air bubbles.  They also write erratically: some days they write well, other days they write only after some scribbling on scrap paper, and on a few occasions they have refused to write at all.  I know that Hi-Tec-C's are prone to this sort of thing, but the Coleto cartridges seem even worse than the standard pens.

5. Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.7mm - light green

The only reason this pen is on this list is because of the colour.  The light green (although nice) is just too light for me.  If you never want to read over what you have written, then you might not mind, but if you do, then this colour just doesn't stand out well enough on the page.  Other than that, this is an excellent pen: it writes smoothly and features a great clip.  One day I will try some of the other colours, and hopefully will have better experiences with them.

What about you?  What are the best and worst pens that you're currently using?

13 comments:

  1. Interesting list. Was surprised to see the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto among them , for my initial impression of it was fairly positive. Though since I have yet to use up any of my refills dry, I might not have ran into the same issues described in this post.

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  2. Most reviews of the Coleto that I have read have been positive and I really wanted to like it, but I just haven't been able to. Perhaps I'm just not a multi-pen person. I think I'll stick with the individual Hi-Tec-C's in the future.

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  3. What an original idea for a post! (I might have to steal it.) Here's a trial list of a few pens I don't use for anything but testing out paper and/or inks:

    1. Pentel Tradio/Pulaman "Fountain Pen" - which is really a felt tip that's supposed to allow you to write varying line widths. Hated this the instant I tried it. Thought this might feel different than other felt tips, but no.

    2. Sailor ink-Bar disposable fountain pen. Perhaps one shouldn't expect much for $3, but Pilot and Platinum both make great $3 fountain pens.

    3. Pilot Penmanship XF nib fountain pen. Scratchy even on the smoothest paper.

    4. Ohto Orca rollerball. Absolutely gorgeous pen and smooth writer. But the cap won;t stay posted and the pen comes uncapped on its own in my pencil case.

    I've got more I don't like, and I don't even use them for testing ink or paper!

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  4. Thanks, Note Booker, and feel free to steal my idea! I think that sometimes the lists of the pens (or other things) that we don't like can be even more revealing and interesting than the lists of pens that we do like.

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  5. I think it's a great idea, too, and will have to swipe it as well :D

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  6. Glad you enjoyed it, Plum and Speedmaster!

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  7. I have a couple...

    1.) Pilot V-Ball Grip (bold tip). The writing is extremely inconsistent. It comes out in waves. Some letters are faint, and the next letters will be too runny. I've only had the pen for a week or two and I've hardly used it, and it already acts like it's dying. I checked the refill and it has plenty of ink left with no visible bubbles.

    2.) Sharpie Retractable Pen. I used this pen quite a bit, and liked the way it felt as I wrote. My biggest complaint though is it ALWAYS writes the first letter of whatever I'm writing very faintly, then starts to work. It's annoying if I have to pull it out and write down something quickly, and I can make out the first letter. I love my regular Sharpie Pens though, and the way the ink looks when it's actually warmed-up.

    3.) Pentel RSVP RT pens. I bought a pack of these that came with a nifty promotional recycle bin to store them in, and one of the black pens was leaky right off the bat. When I would store it upright and not use it for a bit, a big glob of ink would come out as soon as I would start to write. The ink on the colored pens is extremely faint and leaves a lot of white spots. The red pen is especially bad, it pales in comparison to even a simple Papermate Write Bros. pen that is a fraction of its cost.

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  8. Thanks, ThirdeYe. I have heard a few negative things about the retractable Sharpie Pen. I've used the regular and grip versions, and really like them, but I think that I'll steer clear of the retractable ones. I haven't used the other pens on your list, but they certainly sound like ones to avoid.

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  9. I have to agree with Heather and Notebooker, Esq. There are some doggie pens--I have a no-name promo pen with a barrel that keeps separating, and a rollerball tip that blobs with ink and, possibly, paper lint, like a bad 1960s ballpoint. I never warmed to the Sailor Ink Bar, but I have a relative who thinks they're just fine. In the sub-$5 market, Platinum Preppys and Pilot Varsitys seem to me as good as you're going to get. Plus, the Varsity is easy to convert to an eyedropper.

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  10. Sorry, that was my post above. Jack/Youngstown

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  11. Thanks for the comment(s), Jack. I think everyone probably has some pens that they hate or at least like less than all of their others. Paper lint - that sounds really bad :)

    The Pilot Varsity is another pen that I have to try one day, but I think that I might skip the Sailor Ink Bar.

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  12. "Paper lint" is my term for the apparently foreign matter that accumulated in the blobbed ink that gathered around the ball of some 1960s ballpoints. We schoolkids would sometimes crimp our writing paper to wipe it. The real solution was to pitch a failed pen, and buy a new one. Jack/Youngstown

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