How To Choose a New Pen

Pens are easily overlooked when most of us are more familiar with using keypads and touch screens to do a lot of our writing with, but there’s something unique about a pen. Apart from its practical application – a pen will write when and where you need it to - pens come in all shapes and sizes, from the humble ballpoint to the elegant fountain pen.

Pens haven’t been replaced because their practically has never gone away, and there’s probably a greater selection now than ever before. If you haven’t looked at the range of pens available, chances are you haven’t bought a pen for a while. A pen is a sophisticated instrument and your choice of pen will be determined by what you need it for.

Do you need something for everyday use, a ballpoint pen that will stand up to being dropped, sat on or accidentally kicked around? Or do you want a rollerball pen that’s comfortable to hold for longer writing assignments and produces a steady, smooth flow of ink? Perhaps you are looking for an elegant gift, a classic fountain pen, for that special anniversary present?

Ballpoint Pens

When you look at them, pens are beautiful objects, ergonomic and functional, but if you are buying for a young child, a fountain pen may not be the best option. Rollerball pens come in some great designs which can actually promote a good writing posture and help train a youngster to hold a pen in the most efficient way. Writing with a pen should be a pleasure, not a chore, so it pays to choose one that feels comfortable and not too heavy in the hand.

Ballpoint pens

Ballpoint pens use oil-based ink which dries quickly with little chance of smudging. These are great for outdoors, building sites or where the elements are a factor. Inexpensive and traditionally in blue or black ink, although red and green are also widely available, these are usually made from lightweight plastic.

Rollerball pens

Rollerball pens use water-based or gel ink, with a smooth ink flow you’d expect from a fountain pen. Easier to write with because less pressure required but ink is slower to dry, this is a great pen for anyone who does a lot of writing and wants to avoid hand cramping up. As the ink flows more freely, remember to replace cap!

Fountain pen

Fountain pens use water-based ink which is drawn to a nib by capillary action. The ink can be contained in disposable cartridge or refilled from a bottle. These pens promote smooth handwriting and for many, they are the ultimate writing tool. Beautifully balanced, fountain pens can be inexpensive but some can cost many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.


Carl Barton is a director of Office Allsorts who has worked in the office products industry for 15 years.

Please leave a comment

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

Office Supplies UK | Discount Office SuppliesLever Arch Files | Ring Binders | Suspension Files | Polypropylene Suspension Files | ID Badges | ID Badge Holders

© 2009 Office AllSorts | Owned and Operated by Index Office Supplies Registered In England & Wales Company No: 03681023.