A Roundtable Review of Pens

David Stanley

I like a good pen. A good pen has to have a certain heft and a particular balance. A good pen offers an effortless flow of ink. A good pen is unyielding; the cheap flexy logo-ed pens given out by political candidates are not useful. Size matters- a good pen is of a noticeable circumference-I have to feel it between my digits. Lastly, a good everyday pen must have a soft grip area.

My current pen of choice is the Uni-Ball Grip 0.7 mm. At twenty dollars a dozen, the Uni-Ball is a good value. These pens meet all my qualifications. Hard to quantify, but they feel good in my hand. They last a long time. I often give them away before the ink runs dry. Best of all, the ink flows as smoothly as a meandering river during the dog days of August.

Then there is my special occasion pen. Mine is a Parker Urban Premium Metallic. It weighs 50 grams- a perfect heft in the hand. The curves of the pen match the curves of my hand. The ink flow feels as friction-free as ice on ice. My Parker, with its matte aluminum finish and shiny stainless trim, is pleasing to the eye. Most importantly, this pen once belonged to my friend and fellow cancer warrior, Professor Eric Freedman. His marvelous wife Donna gave me this pen after Eric died.

So, yes, my Parker is for momentous writing. Like writing this post in longhand.

Jimmy Ettele

I’m a simple guy.  I like my coffee to taste like coffee and not some exotic nut.  I don’t need more than one remote for my television.  This simplicity also applies to my favorite pen.  I draw.  My medium of choice is a napkin (don’t ask).  For that medium, the best pen and my favorite pen is a Bic Round Stic Medium. In blue, only blue.  No uniballs or micro-gels, no nanite infused inks from berries of trees that grew in the Crustaceous Period.  No ergonomically designed finger grip, just a cap and a rounded tip that doesn’t require me to find a co-signor every time I need to buy more.  My Bic may not write upside down underwater but I’m ok with that. I like to keep it simple.

-Jimmy Ettele “The Napkin Guy”



The Sharpie Pen: I am a Sharpie addict. When they started making pens I just had to try them out. I was not disappointed. The fine point tip is firm and durable but doesn’t cut or dig into the paper. It flows smoothly and lays down a solid, sharp line. It’s lightweight and streamline and doesn’t smudge or smear. Like the famous Sharpie marker, it is waterproof, fade resistant, and permanent, but it doesn’t bleed through the paper. Although it comes in a variety of colors, I only use black.



My biggest issue is hand-fatigue.  As much as I enjoy a nice ballpoint pen,  there is nothing that’s helps me jot my thoughts down quicker than an extra-fine rollerball pen…  usually by Pilot.  The writing may or may not be legible to me,  but the thoughts go from my inner brainstorm to the page with lightning quickness.  After 2 pages of vigorous writing,  my hands aren’t throbbing from the work out.  It’s so nice to be able to get the ideas into a written form without having to take a break and shake my arm out.   I go with the rollerball in blue or black ink,  and sometimes both.

~The Roundtable


The Beginning
About ManvDadhood

I am a man, and by my wife’s standards that makes me flawed. My challenge to parents, and to myself, is not to teach my kids about the kind of person I hope them to become one day, but to become that person today.

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