“Do you have a pen?”
If you’ve ever been forced to rely on the pen charity of strangers around you, you’ll know the frantic nature of such a request. It’s usually accompanied by a flurry of activity as you rummage through various compartments and bags, fruitlessly pushing the contents around. As the professor starts writing the essay prompt on the board and you see the whole lecture hall bend studiously over their desks, it soon becomes apparent that you are doomed. No pen is going to materialize. Or worse, someone lends you a dried-out husk of a Bic.
For your sake, we’ve compiled this neat guide on portable miniature pens. Use them as stocking stuffers, or keep them all to yourself -- they’re perfect for jotting on business cards, signing checks, recording directions, or writing quick notes.
Pens are often advertised as being ergonomic, but the meaning of the word tends to get lost in a haze of marketing-speak. What makes a pen ergonomic? Are pens advertised as ergonomic genuinely qualified for the job?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, since ergonomics vary from person to person depending on the size and shape of their hands, as well as any pre-existing medical conditions (such as carpal tunnel or arthritis). And if you have the wrong posture and technique, no pen -- no matter how ergonomic -- will help. Remember to check out our Selection Guide for quality ergonomic pens, or share your favorite comfy pens in the comments. Otherwise, click below for tips that will make writing fun again!
Here at JetPens, we carry some excellent examples of Japanese ingenuity. We decided to feature our ballpoint pens that are pressurized, so that they will write almost anywhere! Normal pens utilize gravity to create ink flow onto a paper. These ballpoint pens however, allow internal compressed air pressure to basically push their ink out onto the paper. Listed in order from left to right: 1. Tombow AirPress Apro Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Green 2. Tombow AirPress Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - 2010 New Body Color - Clear Body 3. Pilot Down Force Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Moss Green Body - Black Ink 4. Uni-ball Power Tank Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Black Body - Black Ink All of these pens boast the ability to write in extremely cold conditions, zero-gravity environments, on wet surfaces and at any angle. We put one of those claims to the test, by thoroughly soaking a page of our Rhodia DotPad Notepad with a Pentel Aquash Waterbrush Pen, for a writing test. First we wrote with the Tombow AirPress Ballpoint Pen. Both versions have the exact same internal parts and writing performance, the only difference is the body style. The word "Tombow Airpress" was written with the Apro version (designed with a sturdy clip perfect for your apron) and the three lines underneath were written with the original version, that has a durable body designed for strenuous conditions like constructions sites. Writing on the wet paper was not necessarily ideal, but the ink came out well enough to read perfectly (it looks a little light in the photograph because of our professional grade flash and light box). Next, we wrote with the Pilot Down Force ballpoint pen. This pen performed just as well as the two Tombow pens, with a steady ink flow just as visible. Lastly, we tested out the capabilities of the ever-popular Uni-ball Power Tank pen. This pen wrote just as smoothly on our wet paper, and the ink appeared slightly darker. It did however, seem to feather a bit towards the end, when it hit a particularly saturated part of the paper with standing water on the surface. Over all, these pens are true to their advertising and write very well on a very wet piece of paper. I was also able to write with them at a ninety-degree angle, and even upside down on a post-it stuck under my desk! What would you use these versatile pens for?