Buying a new pen is not always easy, especially as the market is saturated with different styles, which all claim to be the best and longest lasting.
The characteristics of a good pen are quite easy to determine when you know what to look for. There are several things that you should take into account when purchasing new quality pens. We have put these into an easy to follow guide that will help to make the experience more pen-joyable!
What is the pen for?
Firstly you should be clear what the pen is for. Are your looking for an everyday pen for a general tasks such as writing shopping lists and birthday cards? Perhaps you need a pen for work that will be used for writing shorthand notes in meetings, or even for handwriting extensive pages for that novel you are finally creating! If you are bulk buying customised pens to hand out at events and to customers, consider choosing a pen that will be perfect for standard use, with ample room for adding your company branding along the barrel.
Certain types of pen will suit each task differently. A fountain pen for instance, will not work well for jotting down quick notes or for asking people for signatures if you work in the delivery trade. In this case a ballpoint pen may be more appropriate. You can also choose from a rollerball or a gel pen for many different uses. Depending on whether you are using it for business or pleasure, you can find a tailored design of pen in terms of the ink, grip and ease of writing.
What should the pen feel like?
Hold the pen as naturally as you can to see what it feels like. You should be able to tell straight away if the grip will be comfortable against your hands and fingers, as the barrel may feel too big or too small and cause blisters if used for long periods.
Check the exterior of the pen, such as feeling for any rough edges or bumps that may cause you discomfort. Test the weight of the pen in your hand to see if it is too heavy for you. Some fountain pens, for example, are made with a heavier material that can weigh your hand down and become tiring if used for too long. You can also tell if the material of the pen feels comfortable, be it plastic, metal or an eco-friendly wooden pen.
Should I consider the ink and nib?
Absolutely! The ink is very important in the finish of high quality pens, so ask to give it a test in the store to make sure that there is no blotting or excessive smudging. Preferably you will be looking for a quick drying ink that will help to make life easier, something that is crucial if you are a left handed writer and are at risk of moving your hand over what you have written.
The nib should offer you a smooth and gliding stroke, which does not drag or scratch the paper. Consider whether you are having to apply a lot of pressure to the nib in order for it to release ink, as this may be the decider when it comes to choosing. If you are having to change your style of writing in order to accommodate the pen style, perhaps it is not the best pen for you.
Other things to take into account
Make sure that the cap of the pen fits properly and will not be constantly falling off. If the pen has a click button function or a twist mechanism, give it a test in the store to ensure that it is working efficiently.
If the pen you have chosen is particularly expensive, make sure that it is under guarantee for a reasonable amount of time. Pens will inevitably run out of ink and will need to be replaced, but if something happens within the first few weeks of purchase, you will be glad of a way to get a replacement or a refund.