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What writing instruments do you use?

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    Here's the problem. Having traveled 15000km to my new college, I've come to realize that I cannot find the beautiful, extra fine tip, navy blue gel ink that I've used for 11 years.

    Now I'm desperately for a new pen, one that can give me the same, smooth, effortless feel with minimal smudge (I'm left handed...) I feel very tempted to try a fountain pen, or a Mont Blanc rollerball... but given that I write a lot, I don't know how sustainable this will be...

    What do you guys use to write math most of the time? Does anyone actually use a fountain pen to do math?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2010 #2
    I mostly use Sanford Uniball Micro for most purposes. inexpensive and writes well for me, wish it came as a retractable.
  4. Sep 16, 2010 #3
    My favorite pen is the Retro Tornado 151. You can use Space Pen refils in it. Though I do not think they make fine points for it. But it has a nice flow.

    I tried using a fountain pen, it is too problematic.

    If you want to go that way, use drafting/ technical drawing pens. You can get very fine points and it is fountain pen. Rapidograph is probably the best. They are not cheap, and they are not designed for regular paper, so it will clog on you. I have them for drawing.

    here is where I shop for pens. http://thewritersedge.com/welcome.cfm [Broken] for interesting pens
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  5. Sep 16, 2010 #4
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  6. Sep 16, 2010 #5
    Hmm, seems like rollerballs are most popular. It's seriously hard to write subscripts/superscripts using a ballpoint, and that's also the same reason why I don't like 0.7mm or thicker tips.

    Insanity - Wow that pen is cheap and pretty. I should get one to test. The pen that I've used all this time is retractable.

    airborne - I've tried technical drawing pens but they seem to offer quite a lot of resistance. Okay, I'll check the site!

    waht - ): 0.7mm. But I should give that a try too.

    Any fountain pen recommendations?
  7. Sep 16, 2010 #6


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    For math, I always use a mechanical pencil with 0.5mm lead, HB or 2B. On an engineer's computation pad.
  8. Sep 16, 2010 #7
    Schaeffer probably has the best selection. That is what I used. They have a cartridge type system, or used to, and the supplies were widely available from the average office supply store. I have not used one in years.
  9. Sep 16, 2010 #8


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    Rapidograph is possibly the best fountain pen for lettering and drafting. The nib is a small tube with a central wire with an inboard weight, so you can shake it if ink flow is inconsistent. Not cheap, not low-maintenance, but I loved them.

    You might want to try visiting your college bookstore and some office-supply places. They all have sample pens and some paper out there so you can see if a pen "calls" to you (dances with drawing instruments). I've got some cheap bulk-pack Pentel pens that do a great job, don't skip, and the ink seems to last a long time. Plus, they are retractable, though the pocket clips seem a bit brittle. I tend to wear flannel or fleece in the winter, and I have broken a couple of clips sticking the pens in my pockets.
  10. Sep 16, 2010 #9
    lisa have you ever tried a 2mm drafting lead holder? You can get a sharp point on them and a wider range of lead. I like harder lead for the longer lasting point. like 3H.
  11. Sep 16, 2010 #10
    Very interesting spread of users here.

    lisab: D: gosh, lead. I don't know why but personally, writing in lead kills off my productivity/inspiration/intuition. I doodle in lead but whenever I'm working on serious, I just have to ink it so that it's bright and gay. The computation pad sounds costly!

    airborne: Got it, thanks!

    turbo-1: Good idea. It's night now, but I'll drop by the bookstore tomorrow morning.

    Okay, so I'll try stuffing that Mont Blanc refill in a G2, the Sanford and Pentel Energel, and look at Schaeffer, rapidograph, and Pilot (the Vanishing Point sounds highly recommended) for their fountain pens. Looks like a pretty good range of pens to try. Thanks guys.
  12. Sep 16, 2010 #11


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    Good luck! Choosing a new pen (if you write a lot, as I did) is a serious enterprise (and fun!).
  13. Sep 16, 2010 #12


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    Yes, years ago I took drafting and I used one of those. Problem is, I like a very dark line, and of course a soft lead dulls quickly. So the very thin lead works OK, I get my dark line without having to sharpen frequently.
  14. Sep 16, 2010 #13


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    Oh those computational pads are ridiculously expensive! They didn't used to be.

    But when I get just the right pencil, just the right pad, and sit in one particular room at the University of Washington library...ah, it's great, I can really get stuff done. I've done it so much my brain is trained to turn off all the silliness and just focus :smile:.
  15. Sep 16, 2010 #14
    turbo-1: Yup, thanks!
  16. Sep 16, 2010 #15


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    Me too - MonAmi D153 mechanical pencil and HB 0.5 mm. I've had it so long that the print has worn off.

    Otherwise, Sanford Uniball Micro for most purposes. I've used Pilot Razor points as well, but I kept ruining the tips.
  17. Sep 16, 2010 #16


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    My favorite pencil is a Caran D'ache Fixpencil 2. It is old and simple, but it is works perfectly with no gimmicks and no jammed leads. I like it for jotting notes and sketching. When sketching, I use a moderate or mildly hard lead, so that I can darken gradually with repetition and layering. Cross-hatch with a harder lead, to get a soft gray....
  18. Sep 16, 2010 #17
    I have been buying up 2mm lead on ebay. Well I did until I got ripped off on something, so I packed up my marbles and went home.
  19. Sep 16, 2010 #18


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    I like black markers and pens, blue just doesn't do my margin doodling justice.

    I buy all my pencils and pens by the box. I lose them at such an astonishing rate that I simply cannot afford to invest in any quality ones.

    Do any other lefties fill their notebooks from back to front?
  20. Sep 16, 2010 #19


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    I should start looking around. My supply is limited and I really want to use this pencil for a LONG time, if possible.
  21. Sep 16, 2010 #20
    They have them in 0.5 mm too.
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