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Ballpoints

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
A dirty word to some pen users :lol1:

There was a time not so long ago, when I thought I might phase them out, but mine still get tons of use, despite the higher ink mileage being laid down by my fountain pens.

On the phone taking occasional notes? Ballpoint. Fountain pens don't like being left uncapped and not writing, waiting for the next noteworthy utterance. Out shopping and ticking off the groceries (or rummaging through the cupboards, putting the list together for that matter)? Ballpoint. Same reason, plus the writing might not be done flat, and ballpoints cope so muck better at awkward orientation. Out and about *anywhere* away from home? Reluctantly, I have to say ballpoint, despite having a couple of great pocket carry fountain pens. Fountain pens being carried nib up on public transport, or walks of a mile and above, gradually jiggles all the ink out of the feed, often leaving me with a dry nib when I want to write something.

Not to mention, some writing surfaces just aren't well suited for fountain pen nibs and ink.

These are my main ballpoint users, but there are a few spares tucked away too. They might look awkwardly grouped, but I have collated them by refill type.

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From the left:

Zebra Telescopic and Troika Tool Pen
Both of these use the little D1 refills. They're really not pens for writing essays with, as those refills really dont hold much ink, but they are great note takers.

Cleo Messograph, Parker Jotter (standard), Parker IM, Helix Oxford (x2)
All these have either a regular Parker Quinkflow G2 refil, or compatible refill. Workhorse pens, all of them. I'll most certainly lose them before I break them. They just do what I need them to, every time.

Parker Jotter (stainless), Rite-In-The-Rain All-Weather, Fisher Stowaway
All these three have pressurised inserts in. The Fisher and Rite-In-The-Rain both have their respected branded inserts, but both are interchangeable. The Jotter currently has a Schmidt P950M insert, which to me, seems just as good as the other two, but the affixed plastic end piece means it won't fit in the two pens designed for the Fisher refill.

Zebra Expands
This is the only pen in the line up that takes a Zebra F-1.0 refill. It is a shame that it doesn't use something more generic, but it's such a good pocketable size, I'll forgive it that minor quirk. This might be grabbed for the shopping trips more than any of the others.

I'm pretty sure I've used them all at least once this month. Reliable, durable, affordable, and the inserts are reasonable easy to source. I love them all, particularly those that take the G2 insert.

However, as soon as I have more than 1/4 of an A4 page to write, I'd still rather have one (or more) of my fountain pens for the job (below). For continuous writing, and extended use, they can't be beat.

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As you say, there are situations where fountain pens are from ideal but where note taking is still required to some extent, car mechanics, airline staff and people taking notes in their cars all spring to mind, I am sure that there are many more, perhaps even general outdoor use.

I like all your suggestions, the Space Pen is a go to and one of the few objects that looks better the older it becomes.

Ball points and gel pens have a place.
 
I don't keep track of my ball points as well as my fountain pens. For instance I have no idea where my Rite-in-Rain pen is. I am not fond of how it writes so it is in a box somewhere. On my desk is a 12 pen case with my fountain pens as well as my Parker 45 Flighter Ballpoint. The 45 does not get carried because it has a janky action. There is always one fountain pen in use. There are also three ballpoints in quick reach. An older Parker Jotter filled with their regular blue ink. I will probably get a stainless jotter at some point, but, this is the ballpoint I reach for most. There are also the rest of a pack of fancy Bic and Sharpie gel disposable in black. One of each sit by the jotter and the other pens.
 

brucered

System Generated
I added a few ballpoints to my rotation and collection last year.

A Retro51 Tornado and a couple Rotring 600 (red and pink). I just put in a ceramic refill, blu/blk (my favorite ink color) in the pink one and love it.

I carry a Fenix tactical in the truck console for scribbling notes when camping or out and about
 
If you make me pick one-

Parker Jotter with Schimdt Easy Flow 9000 refills

Nice enough to keep track of, not the end of the world if lost.

Other gel ball points that perform well IMHO

Pentel Energel
Pilot Acroball
Zebra 701
Zebra 750
Zebra Sarasa

Available on amazon etc. Another ball point pen source I would explore is JetPens.

My only real requirement is that the “ball“ point pen body be made of metal.
 
I don't use a pen that much, so ballpoints seem a practical choice for me. I am retired so I mostly wear pocketless polos and t-shirts these days. I bought a few "tactical" pens which are rugged enough to withstand being clipped into the front pocket of my pants.

Coolhand Micarta,
Hinderer Investigator,
Smith and Wesson SWPEN3BK.

The truth is these are mostly used for jotting notes and signing restaurant chits. I use my other ballpoints to keep my account registers, mostly my Mont Blanc, or one of my Jotters.
 
I don't use a pen that much, so ballpoints seem a practical choice for me. I am retired so I mostly wear pocketless polos and t-shirts these days. I bought a few "tactical" pens which are rugged enough to withstand being clipped into the front pocket of my pants.

Coolhand Micarta,
Hinderer Investigator,
Smith and Wesson SWPEN3BK.

The truth is these are mostly used for jotting notes and signing restaurant chits. I use my other ballpoints to keep my account registers, mostly my Mont Blanc, or one of my Jotters.
The Cool Hand looks like a very nice bolt action pen at a very affordable price. It also use my favorite refills, the Parker format, so it has a great range of customization and choice of inks. Mumble mumble....
 
The Cool Hand looks like a very nice bolt action pen at a very affordable price. It also use my favorite refills, the Parker format, so it has a great range of customization and choice of inks. Mumble mumble....
It's become my favorite, inspite of the fact that the styling is not particularly elegant. It's that stubby little pen that is always there when you need it. It's light, and it doesn't poke me when I sit. I clip it in my left front pocket and it nevers reminds me that it's there.
 
I have a collection of ballpoints, gel and rollerball's in addition to my fountain pens:

Ballograf Epoca P Ball x2
Cross Bailey Light Ballpoint
OHTO Rays Flash Dry Gel Ballpoint
PaperMate 98
PaperMate Vintage
Parker Jotter Ballpoint
Parker Jotter Gel
Parker Vector Rollerball
Pelikan Jazz Classic Ball
Pelikan Stola III Ball
Pentel EnerGel Philography Rollerball
Pentel Energel Sterling Gel Rollerball x2
Pentel Sterling Excel Ballpoint x3
Pilot MR Ballpoint x2
Sheaffer Sentinel Ballpoint
Sheaffer VFM Rollerball
Tombow Zoom 105 City Ballpoint
Tombow Zoom/Havanna
Uniball Jetstream Prime
Waterman Allure Ballpoint
Zebra Fortia 500

I also have the following inexpensive Uniball gel pens in my office drawer:

Uniball Fine Deluxe x3
Uniball UB-155 Micro Deluxe
Uniball Eye UB-157
 
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I have a collection of ballpoints, gel and rollerball's in addition to my fountain pens:

Ballograf Epoca P Ball x2
Cross Bailey Light Ballpoint
OHTO Rays Flash Dry Gel Ballpoint
PaperMate 98
PaperMate Vintage
Parker Jotter Ballpoint
Parker Jotter Gel
Parker Vector Rollerball
Pelikan Jazz Classic Ball
Pelikan Stola III Ball
Pentel EnerGel Philography Rollerball
Pentel Energel Sterling Gel Rollerball x2
Pentel Sterling Excel Ballpoint x3
Pilot MR Ballpoint x2
Sheaffer Sentinel Ballpoint
Sheaffer VFM Rollerball
Tombow Zoom 105 City Ballpoint
Tombow Zoom/Havanna
Uniball Jetstream Prime
Waterman Allure Ballpoint
Zebra Fortia 500

I also have the following inexpensive Uniball gel pens in my office drawer:

Uniball Fine Deluxe x3
Uniball UB-155 Micro Deluxe
Uniball Eye UB-157
I have just added another Parker Jotter and the following:

Parker IM Rollerball
Parker Vector XL Rollerball
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
The Cool Hand looks like a very nice bolt action pen at a very affordable price. It also use my favorite refills, the Parker format, so it has a great range of customization and choice of inks. Mumble mumble....

The Parker G2 is my favourite as well, although I do like the mini D1 refills too. If I ever get parted from my Zebra Expandz, I'd probably replace it with either a Parker G2 or D1 refill pen.

I don't mind rollerballs, but they seem a bit of a minefield with inserts. You have to get just the right one, or else it won't fit. I got rid of one not long ago, because I had tried buying compatible refills, but they didn't fit, despite looking identical. So I had a pen with no refill, refills with no pen, and I lost interest in trying to match either up with something compatible. I'll stick to what I know I can get back up and running quickly and reliably.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
My favorite for extended writing are the fountain pens - but only permanant inks. I have not found a gel or roller ball I like as much as a fountain. I'd take a ballpoint over roller or gel most of the time. As you say there are situations where fountain just doesn't cut it. Reading a book and taking notes where you might have several minutes between writing - fountain, not so suitable.

Ballpoint can do one thing that fountain and roller/gels can't and that is lay down lighter or darker lines. There are some amazing drawings done with ballpoint as @Vacumatic demonstrates. I too am a big fan of the Bic Cristal. I am NOT a fan of their round stick. To slick and hard to hold and I don't like the ones with rubber at all. But the Cristal - built like a tried and true wooden pencil. What's not to like?
 

Fred D

Member of The Illiterati
Parker Jotter with Schimdt Easy Flow 9000 refills
I've purchased these refills twice from different sources, and both times every one of them had problems skipping. When they work, they are fantastic, and then the skipping starts eventually.

I've since switched over to the Schmidt P900 refills, and they are dependable.
I also like the Jetstream SXR-600 refills, but the price is much too high for me.

My new favorite ballpoint type pen is the Uni-Ball 207+ plus.
 
Well, unlike fountain pens, ballpoints are just a gripping mechanism for the cartridge. Personally I'll take any metal "pen" if it's got a Parker gel rollerball cartridge in it.
 
I have a collection of ballpoints, gel and rollerball's in addition to my fountain pens:

Ballograf Epoca P Ball x2
Cross Bailey Light Ballpoint
OHTO Rays Flash Dry Gel Ballpoint
PaperMate 98
PaperMate Vintage
Parker Jotter Ballpoint
Parker Jotter Gel
Parker Vector Rollerball
Pelikan Jazz Classic Ball
Pelikan Stola III Ball
Pentel EnerGel Philography Rollerball
Pentel Energel Sterling Gel Rollerball x2
Pentel Sterling Excel Ballpoint x3
Pilot MR Ballpoint x2
Sheaffer Sentinel Ballpoint
Sheaffer VFM Rollerball
Tombow Zoom 105 City Ballpoint
Tombow Zoom/Havanna
Uniball Jetstream Prime
Waterman Allure Ballpoint
Zebra Fortia 500

I also have the following inexpensive Uniball gel pens in my office drawer:

Uniball Fine Deluxe x3
Uniball UB-155 Micro Deluxe
Uniball Eye UB-157
Apparently I have a Zebra Sharbo Duo too...

I recently moved, so have misplaced a few items. Anyway here are some old pics and a new one...

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Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Ballpoint and gel ink has a place in my rotation for sure. I had a stable of lamy ball pens but lost interest given the cost of the replacement ink and once after stockpiling discovered they were dry. My go to is a bic bold blue. For better pens I use Karas pens with either g2 or space pen ink.
 
I have a Parker 45 Flighter Ballpoint/Pencil set (with the chrome tassie and milled grip) that lives in my work case. If I need to go to the Post Office, I take the ballpoint with me to fill out the various carbon forms. That's the one ocassion that springs to mind where a fountain pen is inadequate... :p

Parker-45s.jpg
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
Ballpoint and gel ink has a place in my rotation for sure. I had a stable of lamy ball pens but lost interest given the cost of the replacement ink and once after stockpiling discovered they were dry. My go to is a bic bold blue. For better pens I use Karas pens with either g2 or space pen ink.
Honestly Bic, be it Crystal or Round stic write very well and I think it's down to the tungsten ball and the fact that they make billions of the things and have more practice than anybody. Now if there blue only looked like it did in the 1980's. Cristal bold is nice. If you ever are in want of a slightly finer than 1.6mm tip go for the Cristal Soft. It's 1.2 I think. Available online but not in store at least in the US. They are French made Bic.
 
My top BP's are my Conklin Brown Stone All American with Kaweco 1.0 soul blue refill and my fisher space pen the AG7 with the fisher refill. I have others for work but they're mainly rollerball types. A couple of lamys, monteverde's and a cross.
 
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