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Thoughts on Pens

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I’ve never liked writing with pens. I’ve always preferred pencils, mostly mechanical. My handwriting is fairly attrocious, but I found the friction of the right graphite on paper slowed me down enough to be legible while not so much as to cause me to loose whatever thought I was hoping to preserve.

Recently I’ve found myself trying to find a pen that I can use comfortably. I’m not completely sure what caused me to want to switch to pens after all these years. The fact that pencils have a high tendency to fade over time has something to do with it.

One pen I’ve found I really like is the Paper Mate PhD Multi. Twisting this pen switches it between a pen, a PDA stylus, and a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. It appears that you can replace the stylus with an additional pen refill, but I haven’t been able to find them in any color but black. Having red ink, black ink, and the pencil would be best for me. I wasn’t crazy about the included pencil leads, but I just replace them with some 2B which is simple enough. I really like the way this pen feels in my hand.

Unfortunately, the PhD is a bit large to stick in your pocket all the time, so I’ve also been using a Bullet Pen from Fisher Space Pens. When caped it’s just over half the size of a standard pen, and the cap isn’t just going to fall off in your pocket. The clip on the other hand, fell off when I breathed on it wrong, but a little Krazy Glue fixed that. It should write underwater or in outer space, and in temperatures of -30° to 250° F, which in New England should be pretty useful. It does clump occasionally, but I know it’s always going to write, even in the strangest situations. I find that comforting somehow.