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Favourite Pens

March 12, 2015 | 6 comments


When it comes to pens, I don’t think my sister has any specific favourites. She writes with both pens and pencils (usually which ever one is closest at hand) and her collection consists of a bunch of random brands. At home, she has most of her pens in a cup standing on one of the book shelves. She usually have a few pens laying around in random places, like loose in the car and her purse. She can probably count the number of pens she’s bought since finishing college on one hand. She might occasionally splurge on a pen she really likes, but for her pens are just a writing utensil.

I am the total opposite. I am very (very) picky when it comes to pens. Very picky.

First of all: it’s always pens, never pencils. I’m one of those people who only write in ink. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing – in my planner, sticky notes, shopping lists, lecture/meeting notes, crossword puzzles, sudoko – I always use pens. And 99% of the time, I stick to black ink. Maybe blue. I keep my pens in pencil cases (my addictions to pens and pencil cases go hand in hand). I always have at least one pencil case in my purse, often more. And some extra pens. (You know in case all my pens run out of ink between when I leave my apartment in the morning and when I reach the office 30 minutes later.)


For the last few years, the Pilot G-Tec C4 has been my go-to-pen of choice. It is very comfortable to write with, which obviously is important when it comes to pens, but the tip is also quite narrow (0.4 mm) which I really like. I always feel like narrow tips make my handwriting neater. The ink also does not bleed.

The G-Tec pens in red were great for grading labs and homeworks when I was a TA. There might have been an incident once or twice when all my red G-Tec pens ran out of ink and I couldn’t continue grading because no other red pen was good enough. One of those times, I might have been grading while home sick and had to send Em to the store with very specific instructions of which red pen to get me.

I did warn you that I take my pens very seriously.

Other pens I often use are the Pilot G-2 retractable gel pen, Pilot Precise V5 liquid ink rollerball pen, and Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica 0.4 mm extra fine point ballpoint pen. I’m a big fan of Pilot pens in general. Sometimes I also use the Uniball Vision Micro pen, and I really like the Pigma Micron 01 (0.25 mm) pen.


I’m always on the hunt for good colour pens. Considering my obsession with colour coding, no one should be surprised by this. The last couple of years, I have been a fan of Staedtler triplus fineliner pens and of course Stabilo pens. They are similar but I think the rounder shape of the triplus makes them slightly more comfortable to write with (especially when cramming for finals). Both come in a wide variety of colours – very important for colour coding fanatics like myself.

Last year I finally discovered Le Pen from Marvy Uchida. They are absolutely amazing, and they come in 18 different colours. Heaven! They are a bit similar to Paper Mate Flair Pens, which I sometimes think are slightly too thick or dry. The most recent addition to my sets of colour pens is the Foray Stylemark fine 0.5 mm pens. They are pretty awesome with very crisp colours.

In high school, I always used the Sakura Gelly Roll pens. Now I think they are often too runny, but I still use the metallic colours. I prefer Pentel Sunburst gel pens for gold, silver, and white.

One might argue that one set of colour pens would be enough but I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many pens.


Permanent markers are obviously a must for any pen lover, and you can never really go wrong with Sharpies. I mainly use the traditional Sharpie permanent markers (of all thicknesses and colours) when I’m doing field work and in the lab. I have tried the Sharpie Pen, the Sharpie Grip Pen, and the Sharpie Retractable Pen for everyday use, but didn’t quite like them as much as some of the other marker pens I have.


No one should be surprised that I also love (love) highlighters. Any text can be improved by adding a little colour. I mostly use the Sharpie Accent in both the original and pocket size (I especially like the dark yellow colour). The Sharpie Liquid Accent and Sharpie Gel highlighters are also pretty awesome. So are the Paper Mate Intro pen-style highlighters. My favourite brands of highlighters, however, are Stabilo and Staedtler. The Stabilo Boss and the Staedtler Textsurfer are the highlighters I grew up with. Nothing beats those.

So, let’s discuss. What’s your favourite pen?