If you want a retractable fountain pen, you have to understand that you are diving into a niche within a niche. Only a tiny subset of fountain pens are retractable, so there isn’t as much competition as you’d expect, but this is still a rich and interesting segment.
Let’s run through today’s top retractable fountain pens.
Continue reading “The Best Retractable Fountain Pens of 2021”
It’s rare that you are in the market for a pen refill, rather you are likely trying to buy a refill for a specific pen. Even so, here are some truly exceptional pen refills that are worth keeping an eye out for when you next need a new refill for one of your pens.
These are refills that simply make me happy each time I use them and surprise me with their quality when I revisit them. These are refills that are worth buying a pen so you have somewhere to put them.
Continue reading “5 Truly Exceptional Pen Refills”
If you are shopping for a very affordable — as in sub-$30, sub-$20, or even sub-$5 — fountain pen and you want high-end features like screw-on cap, included converter, or piston-filling mechanism then you will almost certainly want a Chinese fountain pen.
Continue reading “Best Chinese Fountain Pen of 2021”
If you are in the market for a Micarta fountain pen you might be having a hard time finding one.
Continue reading “A List of Micarta Fountain Pens”
One of the odd things about the pen and pencil world is that these are tools people use every day but they often lack the vocabulary to describe what they are using. After all, technical discussion of pens and pencils doesn’t exactly come up very often in normal human interaction.
With the goal of aiding your talk about wooden pencils, here is the anatomy of a wooden pencil explained.
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Fountain pen ink might seem like a some kind of mythical substance that can only be made through some sort of alchemy, but that’s not the case. At the very heart of it, fountain pen ink is simply a loose, watery ink that is compatible with a pen’s nib. And while there is certainly lots of craft and innovation and chemistry involved in professional inks, there are simpler forms that anyone can make.
Continue reading “Can You Make Fountain Pen Ink At Home?”
Mechanical pencil lead might seem like it’s the same from brand to brand, but the graphites are actually quite varied. Some brands use better lead than others and even sell high-end aftermarket lead separately from their pencils.
Think of mechanical pencil lead like a pen refill: the one that is included with your pencil might be fine, but it isn’t the only one you can use and it probably isn’t the best one available!
Continue reading “The Best Mechanical Pencil Leads of 2021”
When buying a pen you will encounter many of the same words each type you buy. The number one thing you should be looking out fo– so you know what to expect from the pen — is the type of ink. Two popular and often confused types are ballpoint and gel ink.
So what’s the difference between ballpoint and gel pens?
Continue reading “Ballpoint vs. Gel Ink – What’s The Difference?”
Lamy’s standarized fountain pen nibs aren’t particularly complex, but there are some basics concepts to know if you want to get the most out of them. Additionally, there are some long lists of details you might want to refer to that aren’t worth memorizing but will help you with your purchase.
This article will help you get your head around Lamy’s steel and gold fountain pen nibs.
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Ever been handed a Tul pen or found one at the office and asked yourself, what kind of pen is this? Who makes Tul pens? Where do I buy Tul pens?
It happened to me and I know other people have had the same questions. So, what’s the deal with Tul pens?
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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”
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)”