I’m kind of weird/perfectionist/obsessed when it comes to pens and handwriting. I think it runs in the family. So I’m super picky about the pens I use for certain projects, because, and you probably know this if you’re a fellow pen freak, the type of pen you use has a huge effect on your handwriting. In case any of you care about which pens I recommend for the most satisfactory writing experience, here are my three favorite tried-and-true models:
The Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151 gel ink pen in 0.28 mm
This pen is my first choice, go-to pen for everything. I’ve found that usually, the thinner the line, the better your handwriting looks, and this pen can’t be beat as far as even ink flow goes. It writes consistently until the very last drop of ink; I know because I’ve gone through quite a few cartridges myself. It’s great for cramming a ton of words into a small space (like the margin of a planner) and feels good in your hand. It’s pretty much the perfect pen.
The Pentel Slicci Gel Ink Pen in 0.4 mm
I suspect I would like the 0.3 mm or the 0.25 mm version better, but I only own the one pictured above, which is a 0.4 mm. I acquired this pen kind of by accident when my mom went to Japan and asked what I wanted, and I told her Uni-ball Signo 0.28 pens, but then she forgot and got me this one instead. Luckily I was pleased with the performance of it (not that I would have complained if I hadn’t been… I know I’m spoiled, but not that spoiled!) and it now resides in my top three. It writes really smoothly, but the ink is a little bit bleedier than the Signos. Also, the pen itself is a little too skinny, and prolonged writing may cause your hand to cramp up.
The Muji Gel Retractable Pen in 0.38 mm
This is another pretty flawless pen. I’m very proud of myself for having thought of getting a bunch of these along with a bunch of refill cartridges when I was in Japan a few years ago. I was originally just attracted to its sweet minimalist design (I also like that it’s retractable) so it was a bonus to find out it writes incredibly well too. I kind of wish it came in a finer point (I probably am crazy) but really, I can’t complain about 0.38 mm.
I actually started reading a blog recommended by my little sister called The Pen Addict which is written by someone who is even more obsessed with pens than I am. He has scrutinized and reviewed pretty much every pen ever and so is a pretty reliable source on the subject. I was pleased to find that my favorite pens happen to be included in the ones he likes a lot too. What do you know, I must really be a full-blown pen nerd! I feel so accomplished.
As you may have deduced from some of the descriptions, the above-mentioned pens are incredibly difficult to find in America. Most stationary stores only carry the Uni-ball Signos in 0.5 mm or larger. Lame, huh? So if you’re really interested in getting your hands on these babies, the best source is probably JetPens or, if you’re interested in the Muji pens, you can visit the online Mujirushi store (it’s kind of like a Japanese IKEA, they have tons of other cool stuff too.)
*Props to Shakespeare for the Hamlet soliloquy.