Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Do You Clip Your Pens?


A recent comment on an old post brought to mind a topic I haven't considered before: pen clips.  Do you use pen clips?  If so, what do you clip your pens to?  As the commenter pointed out, the main purpose of pen clips is probably to attach your pen to your shirt pocket.  I suspect that this may be something that men do more than women; I've certainly never done it at any rate.

While I usually don't use the clips on my pens, in the past I have often clipped pens onto my notebook or clipboard.  This came in handy when I was taking notes and recording data in the field during university.  I needed to have my pen/pencil and clipboard (with the data sheet attached to it) accessible so I could easily and quickly write down observations and measurements, but I also needed to have at least one hand free some of the time to handle the measuring equipment.  So I simply clipped my pen onto my clipboard, held my clipboard under my arm, and I was ready.  I would use a similar method when taking notes in my Rite in the Rain notebook in the field.  I used a binder clip to hold my notebook open to the right page, and clipped my pen onto the book so that it was easily accessible when I wanted to jot down a few notes.

I've also found pen clips useful to hold pens in position in a pencil case, and in pen loops attached to ring binders and planners (such as this planner I was using back in 2010).

Although I don't often use pen clips today, I still like to see sturdy-looking clips (preferably metal) on the pens that I review, just in case I need to clip them to something.

So how do you clip your pens?

10 comments:

  1. I think those clips are one of those things where you may not use it...but when you have a pen that doesn't have it or has a crappy one, you notice it. In Japan, many of their pens actually have pen clips that are literally like a clip with a spring hinge and everything so it's not relying on flexible plastic or a wire that can get deformed.

    When I'm on my business trips to Japan where I'm in a suit (at HQ in the US, it's a casual workplace) I will usually have one of my nicer pens clipped to my shirt pocket. Looks good and it's handy. Though depending on the formality, I may keep it in a small leather pen case. At conferences where I'm in a polo, I'll typically slide the body of the pen through the hole between 2 buttons and then use the clip to hold it in place. You can lose pens too easily in pockets when you sit down...and when clipped on notes, it can also be lost when rushing from one meeting to the next.

    Never really thought about clips... All of what I say above I do unconsciously. But when I buy pens, I do look at the clip...might not be a deal breaker but yeah...it's useful :)

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    1. I know what you mean by how the clip is something that you notice when it's missing or of poor quality. The clip is something that stands out, I think, especially if the manufacturer has really put some effort into creating a clip that is functional (or it stands out for the opposite reason...).

      I've used some of those pens with spring-loaded clips, and I think they're great!

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  2. I like the look of clip but I don't use it. Well, I used clipped the Lamy to the side of my tote but when I tried to get my train pass, the whole pen flew out and dropped on the concrete floor...It was a limited color from 2011 so yeah...There was another time I clipped the uber-tough Sailor Sapporo on my shirt and now...there is a hole on the thin fabric.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your bad experiences with pen clips. That Lamy incident sounds traumatic!

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  3. I think a pen clip is essential -- but not for clipping. It keeps the pen from rolling off the desk!

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    1. A very good point - and something I completely failed to mention in my post. Thanks for pointing that out!

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  4. Interesting question. My two grail pens have no clip, as I ordered them that way. I occasionally clip other pens in a pen case but rarely wear a shirt with a pocket. I do clip the heavy duty clip of the Karas Kustoms product to my front right jeans pocket because I trust the robustness of the clips they make.

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  5. I am a fan of the Fisher Space Pen and find them almost indispensable, but a problem I've had was that initially they didn't come with a clip. Not that I use the a clip, because I always either carried the pen in my bag of in a pants pocket. The problem was I'd lay the pen down and it would start to roll off the table. Several rolled into black holes. Then I saw a Fisher with a clip and ordered one right away. No more rolling. The clip is a savior.

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  6. Indispensable. I clip my pen between the second (from the top) and third buttons of my shirt while working. I've recently taken a shine to wooden pencils. So... how do you clip your pencils?

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    1. Good question! For mechanical pencils, it would be the same as for pens. As for wooden pencils, you can get holders for them that would allow you to clip them as well (the Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil would be an example).

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