Best ballpoint pen for someone who loves to push hard? Ask the grumpies

Heavyhands asks:

Do you have a favorite kind of pen?  I am tired of using cheap Bic work pens that get blobs of ink all over my fingers and smudge all over the page.  I have some Pilot G2 when I want to write in colors, but I really like ballpoint pens [ed: the kind with tacky ink] better, except they glop all over my hands!  I read some good reviews about the uni jetstream and bought them, but I’m not liking it so far.  Yesterday I suddenly realized, “why am I using these pens that glop ink everywhere?  I can afford to buy pens,” but I don’t want to keep ordering random pens and not like them.  I can’t afford that!

NY Magazine thinks my crappy work Bic pens are good.  (The Bic roundstic)– how can I ever trust anyone?  They get globs of ink everywhere!  But… I do trust your readers.

Does grumpy nation have any advice for me?  I think I prefer ballpoint to rollerball [ed: this is what I would call flowing ink like the G2 or my favorite Tul] because I push really hard with my pens.  I also am ok with gel pens, but I’ve only used them for fancy things like writing cards.  Since I push hard with the pens, there’s less friction with a ballpoint than with a gel pen or a rollerball pen.  I think I wreck the tips on rollerballs.

I would love to hear people’s pen recommendations?  What’s your favorite pen?

Oh gee, we both have light touches with pens.  #1 prefers rollerballs and definitely has a lot less friction with a rollerball or gel pen than with a ballpoint.  #2 prefers marker tip(!)

I think my favorite was the uni jetstream 101 (the kind you get 12 to a box, not the retractable kind), but that advice is probably not at all helpful to you since we have such different writing styles and you didn’t like the uni jetstream that you got!

This article recommends the uni-ball signo 207 premier gel pen and the Pilot Dr. Grip Ballpoint.

DH loves his space pen, though I cannot imagine spending that much ($22) on something I would invariably lose.  (DH has not lost his, though it has gone through the wash a couple of times, since it is always kept in his pocket.)

Grumpy Nation, can you help Heavyhands out?  What are your favorite pens?  Do you press heavily or lightly?

9 Responses to “Best ballpoint pen for someone who loves to push hard? Ask the grumpies”

  1. Darius Marley Says:

    What a great post! My wife is a hard presser, and she likes the stainless Zebra f701 with 0.8mm tip. I’m actually a light presser, and the Sharpie Pen is my favorite combo of permanence, smoothness, price, and rubberized grip. The funny thing is I weigh around 90kg and she’s never made it past 50kg. Haha

    • xykademiqz Says:

      Seconding all by Zebra. Just got big boxes of colored and black ballpoint pens at Costco. *hearts in eyes emoji*
      Also Tul. I love Tul gel pens, but they’re expensive and don’t last very long. I also like felt-tip markers, but, being a hard presser, they’re down to a nub by the time I’m done with them, and that doesn’t take long either.

  2. Alice Says:

    I use black ballpoint Papermates in the 1.0 mm size. I don’t know if I’m a particularly hard presser or not, but I am a lefty and do not have problems with the ink getting on my hands when I write.

    I would steer away from tacky inks if your goal is to not have ink on you. I mostly write using the classic lefty hook so that I can see the words I’ve already written– I remember the sides of my hands constantly being blue from rubbed ink when I was in middle/high school. I also recall the light ink smears across my notes. I don’t think it’s possible for me to use ink that’s noticeably tacky without its getting on me when I write. That kind of ink takes too long to dry before my hand passes over it: if it’s still wet, it’s going to spread.

  3. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    This is a gel pen but I do press hard and this has worked surprisingly well in a 0.3mm, and it’s even holding up to my small kid (JB) writing with it: https://www.zebrapen.com/product/sarasa-clip-gel-retractable-0-5mm/?source=brand

    The uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens with a medium point is good smooth quality too and stands up well to the JB test. I have one more in the back of my mind but I’ll have to come back when the name floats to the top.

  4. Leah Says:

    Pentel RSVP, hands down. Such a nice ballpoint. It’s smooth and dependable.

    https://www.pentel.com/products/r-s-v-p-ballpoint-pen-1

  5. bethh Says:

    Once upon a time, about 13 years ago, I resolved to throw away any crappy and annoying pens as I encountered them. Around the same time I was in an art store and I noticed several nice metal ball-point pens on sale for something like 2.50. I bought all seven or so available Turns out they were pens that ordinarily sell for about $16 apiece, I still have at least 3 of them (the rest having scattered over the years) and I still love them.

    Highly highly recommend Caran d’Ache. Just get at least one!

  6. Debbie M Says:

    I also have switched to the gel pens, though I really love regular ball points for many things, too. I’m commenting to say that if you have a fancy stationary store, they may have pens you can try for yourself. Then you don’t have to trust anyone. Meanwhile, you could keep a tissue on hand to wipe off your disappointing pens periodically.

  7. Ask the grumpies: Alternatives to Amazon | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] you for answering my ballpoint pen question last year!  In case you were wondering, I decided on the Dr. Grip and it has been working out […]


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