My Favorite Cheap Pen

March 14, 2007

I suppose a cheap pen is defined as a writing instrument of less than 5 dollars. I have two I enjoy, one is a long time favorite and the other is a newbie (which I have not used long enough to have a firm opinion of yet). The Uniball Signo Micro 207 is a fabulous pen worth at least 4 times its cost of less than two dollars and fifty cents. It’s comfortable, has a great click action, it comes in .5 and 1.0 widths, at least eight colors and the clip holds up for at least 3-4 refills (and I’ve often been able to repair a bent clip). Then I seem to “lose” the pen after that, having a wife and children may contribute to that problem.

One great thing about the Signo is the ink, it’s a water fast type of ink. Once it dries it’s mostly permanent on paper as well as your clothes. I’ve ruined several dress shirts because if the pen is open it will leach out onto the fabric and without dry cleaning or a special ink removal fluid the shirt is ruined. This does not endear my wife to this line of pens. She comments that they are good for her but not safe enough for me. The Signo pens are not as bad as the Zebra SARASA type, they love to leach out onto clothes, although they make good utility pens.

I work in a pop factory and I write on paper which has all type of chemicals, pop and water on the paper and the Signo pen still works. The ball does not hold up well to being dropped directly on the tip but most pens won’t. The ball tip doesn’t seem to be damaged by writing on a very hard surface with a heavy pressure like most Cross refills that I often ruin. My Cross pens (cheap or expensive) never seem to take the abuse of writing on a desktop surface with only one sheet of paper as padding. You know the problem, a line appears within the path of ink on the paper then shortly the pen will skip and quit working altogether.

The Signo pen is by far my all time favorite cheap pen and has thwarted my attempts to find a better expensive pen. It raises the standards for that elusive “expensive” pen. I do love the Retro51 line of pens especially the Tornando both mini and full sized but they are heavy and don’t carry well in my pants pocket (where I carry it because of uniform requirements) or even a shirt pocket because of the weight. I’ve also flirted with buying a pocket fountain pen but have not been able to justify the price or risk of carrying one (for mostly church and social occasions).

If you have any suggestions on good cheap pens or expensive pens I would love to here about them.

Advertisements