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The Pen Snob: 5 Types of Pens You Need in Your Life

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Some people would probably say that I have too many pens. To them, I would say, “You don’t have enough.” After years of being that person who needed to borrow a writing utensil, one day I said “Enough is enough” and went pen-shopping.

From that day forward, I haven’t been caught without a pen, or more specifically, these five pens.

1. The Reliable, Everyday Black Pen

Step one to pen snobbery is to carefully identify “your” pen. Is it a Pilot G2? A Uniball Signo? A click pen? A stick-style with a lid? The requirements are that you must like the pen, it should be affordable, and it should be something you can pick up at a local office supply store in a pinch.

The Pen Snob: 11 Pens You Should Be Using

My recommendations: Uni-ball Signo 207, Pilot Precise V5, Uni-ball Vision, Pilot G2, Zebra F301

2. The Pen You Lend

This should be a pen that you’re fine never seeing again. Because really, how often do you see your loaned pens a second time? As a former pen and pencil borrower, I know the struggle is real. You mean to give the pen back, but you just forget. Or put it in your purse. Or lose it, like you did your pen in the first place. Cheap but serviceable is the key here.

The Pen Snob: 11 Pens You Should Be Using

My recommendation: You can’t beat Bic’s bang for your buck. 60 pens for $6.85? That’s less than $0.12 a pen.

Pro Tip: Round up the pens that are inevitably hiding in an old backpack or purse somewhere — that’s a free pen to lend.

3. Colored Pens

The Pen Snob: 11 Pens You Should Be Using

Colored pens are fun pens. Taking notes during a meeting or conference call in vivid purple ink honestly just adds some needed pizazz to the page in my opinion, but I don’t endorse that life choice (especially if you sit next to a black-ink only kind of boss).

If you’re looking for a set of pens to use when you color code your planner (and you’re a fellow crazy person), then look for a smaller set of colors that go together. If you’re not worried about color coordinating or you’re looking for a set of colored pens for drawing, a set of 24+ will not disappoint.

My recommendations: Stabilo, Staedtler Fineliner, Papermate Flair

4. A Refillable Rollerball Pen

The Pen Snob: 11 Pens You Should Be Using

If you’re reluctant to accept the class and gravitas that comes with being a fountain pen owner, an acceptable substitute is a nice refillable rollerball pen. Not one that comes in a 10-pack, but a pen that is a PEN (did the emphasis mean anything to you?). Really, the cost difference in a 10-pack pen and a good pen isn’t enough to scare you off and it’ll just feel better in your hand—and look awesome, which is always a perk.

My recommendations: Kaweco Classic Sport Pen, Retro 51 Tornado, any ballpoint that’s more than $5

5. A Fountain Pen

The Pen Snob: 11 Pens You Should Be Using

This isn’t necessarily a need (okay, it isn’t a need at all), but there’s just something to be said for writing with a fountain pen — even if it’s a really cheap fountain pen. First of all, you’re guaranteed to feel 1,000 times fancier. Second of all, it’s honestly my secret to breaking my pen-losing habit. When the pen you’re carrying is worth more than $0.05, you’re a lot more careful not to lay it down somewhere and walk off.

And honestly, once I peeked into the fountain pen world, I learned so much more about pens. There are more inks than I ever would have thought of (literally some that change colors? And glitter?), different types of writing nibs, vintage and new, and a thousand other options.

My recommendations: For beginners, Lamy Safari, Pilot Metropolitan, Kaweco Sport, Platinum Preppy

Follow Meleah on Twitter: @meleahbowles


Last modified on July 21st, 2017

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