A popular change to make to a pen is to swap out the included ballpoint refill for a smooth-flowing gel one. Gel refills are quite popular these days because they write well, the ink looks great, and they are fun to use. Ballpoints have these uses of course, but if you are predominantly writing paper and don’t need the versatility of a ballpoint, gel can be the way to go.
So what are the best gel refills in the Parker-style G2 shape?
Continue reading “The Best Parker-style Gel Refills For Your Pen”
If you have been in the market for a nicer fountain pen (or at least researching them) then you have almost certainly encountered a material known as ebonite. But what exactly is ebonite, and why are the pens made from it so expensive?
Continue reading “What Is Ebonite (And Why Make Fountain Pens From It)?”
Ranga fountain pens might have been relatively unknown in the United States a few years ago, but this pen brand has been increasingly popular and these, popping up on Reddit and pen review sites with surprisingly regularity.
So who are Ranga Pens, what do they make, and that’s the deal with this company?
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Unsharpen.com has a vast trove of pen and pencil data, which gives the site a unique overview of trending writing instruments. While the archive is non-exhaustive and its reach is limited by the site’s own popularity, there are always some good takeaways from any look into our data.
Continue reading “Pens and Pencils of Note – February 2021”
Pen refills come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of these are standards, shared across pen brands and decades of pen designs, while other are propriety and limited to just a few brands or even a few models. This means that replacing the ink in a pen, especially an older one, may end up being a more difficult task than you’d expect.
The goal of this article is to make buying a new ink refill for your pen as easy as possible. A secondary goal to this guide will be maximizing the number of refill options available for each pen. This is only possible once you have a good understanding of refill shapes and which are interchangeable.
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Many people see fountain pens as occasional writing instruments, maybe for doing some journaling or writing a letter, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The right fountain pen can be a great everyday tool, even if it never approaches the tool-like functionality of a ballpoint pen.
Continue reading “How To Choose An Everyday Fountain Pen (And Some Recommendations)”
New York City is a dream for shoppers of all kinds, but it really isn’t a stationery town. Compared to the cities of Europe or even some smaller college towns New York City’s stationery shops are few and far between, and dedicated pen shops are even rarer. What’s worse is that many of the longstanding places, like Pearl Paint’s iconic Canal Street location, have been closing.
Things aren’t all bad though, NYC still has some of the nation’s top stationery destinations.
Continue reading “The Best Stationery Shops in New York City”
The Sharpie S-Gel is a relatively new gel pen that was first released in early 2020. Sharpie, being known for its permanent markers, has produced pens for some time, but those have mostly been fiber-tipped, marker-like pens. These pens, which are essentially just thin Sharpie markers, developed a solid following, they were simply an extension of the Sharpie marker’s popularity.
And then came the S-Gel.
Continue reading “On The Sharpie S-Gel’s Popularity”
Cleaning a fountain pen is best done with warm water and a few extremely affordable tools, but stubborn inks and vintage pens with dried ink can require a tougher cleaner. In this case you might be tempted to buy a pen flush, like the popular Monteverde Fountain Pen Flush. I’ve certainly bought my share of pen flush liquids, but it’s worth knowing that you can make your own as well.
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Owning many pens means storing many pens, which comes with choices about how and where to put them. The best pen storage furniture comes in a wide range of design though it’s up to you to design if you prefer your pens to rest right side up, upside down, or on their side.
Continue reading “What’s The Best Way To Store Pens? Up, Down, Or On Their Side?”
Every pencil, whether it’s a mechanical pencil or wooden pencil, has a lead and every lead has a grade. But which lead grade should you use? Which is best for a test? Which is best for art? How about note taking?
Continue reading “The Right Pencil Lead Grade and Hardness For Every Scenario”
The Parker-style “G2” refill is one of the the most common pen refills sold today. The long-standing design is not only an internationally accepted standard, but it is a size and shape that is conducive to making great pens.
So with thousands of different pen bodies to choose from, which Parker-style G2 refills should you be buying?
Continue reading “The Best Parker-Style G2 Refill of 2021”
One of the more popular questions in the pen world concerns that weird stuff at the and of a gel pen refill. What is it? It’s clearly not ink — it has no color — so why is it there?
Continue reading “What Is the Transparent Material At The End Of A Gel Pen Refill?”
The German company Schmidt makes some of the world’s best pen refills. Unfortunately it can be difficult to understand which one you need. This guide will help you work through your Schmidt pen refill problems.
Continue reading “Schmidt Pen Refill Buying Guide”
Gel pens and rollerball pens can seem like the same thing and they are, in fact, often confused. What’s the difference between the two?
Continue reading “Gel Pen vs. Rollerball Pen: What’s The Difference?”