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Recommend me a cheap but hard working pen

As the title says please recommend to me a cheap but hard working pen. I need a replacement for my pocket pen. It'll live in my pants pocket with my keys and pocket knife. It'll be used for taking quick notes, filling out forms, signing papers etc. I don't need fancy. I need durable because it will see rough use and cheap because I'm a miserable bastard as the Scots would say.

I finally ran out of my cheap plastic Papermates. They're the kind that you used to see everywhere---white body with a black press on cap. About 17 years ago WalMart clearanced them out for 15 cents for a package of 20 pens, so I bought all they had. I found that they were the most durable because the plastic flexed instead of breaking.

In college I carried Zebra click pens, but I kept breaking them in my pocket. The stainless Zebra F-701 looks promising. I'm looking for any suggestions, but realize I'm asking about a sow's ear in the silk purse department. :)

Thanks
 
As the title says please recommend to me a cheap but hard working pen. I need a replacement for my pocket pen. It'll live in my pants pocket with my keys and pocket knife. It'll be used for taking quick notes, filling out forms, signing papers etc. I don't need fancy. I need durable because it will see rough use and cheap because I'm a miserable bastard as the Scots would say.

I finally ran out of my cheap plastic Papermates. They're the kind that you used to see everywhere---white body with a black press on cap. About 17 years ago WalMart clearanced them out for 15 cents for a package of 20 pens, so I bought all they had. I found that they were the most durable because the plastic flexed instead of breaking.

In college I carried Zebra click pens, but I kept breaking them in my pocket. The stainless Zebra F-701 looks promising. I'm looking for any suggestions, but realize I'm asking about a sow's ear in the silk purse department. :)

Thanks
When I was in industrial sales years ago, I always carried a nice pen.. but I was forced to move on when the hi tech industry bubble burst in the early 2000s, I no longer needed a high end ball point... I switched to the Zebra F-701 you mentioned... They seem to last forever, at least for me. And they write pretty well. I use the fine points but they come with a medium point so you can try that out for "free" and decide if that works for you.
 
One of the Parker Flighters would be my pick: a 45 or a Jotter: built like tanks, takes a wide range of refills (ink, gel, etc), and they look good enough to pull out in any situation - signing your marriage certificate, or your bail bond!
 
I really like my Cool Hand Micarta pen. It is short enough for pocket carry, light weight and takes a standard Parker refill. I clip it to my left side jeans pocket, since my knife rides the right side. I love the bolt action. You could remove the clip, if you just wanted it to float in your pocket.
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Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
a cheap but hard working pen. I need a replacement for my pocket pen. It'll live in my pants pocket with my keys and pocket knife.

I need durable because it will see rough use and cheap because I'm a miserable bastard as the Scots would say.

In-the-pants-pocket carry is key here.

Far and away the best pen will be the Kaweco Sport. The one downside is the cartridges are smaller due to the pen being smaller.

You can also get the brass model rather than plastic, to greatly increase both the durability and the cost.

Also ... you can get a clip for it as well, to keep it from falling to the bottom of your pockets. As they say, the Scots have deep pockets and short arms. :whistling:
 
the Zebra F-701
I ordered one yesterday. Thanks for the confirmation push.
I ordered one yesterday. Thanks for the idea.
Bic Cristal Pens
I had my wife pick some up, but they are the extra smooth version since I don't need a font that bold. So far I'm not digging them as much as my old Papermates because of the corners instead of a round shaft. They really fit the bill for an inexpensive pen though. They'll definitely get used for the rough stuff and as loaners. You'll be surprised how quickly writing on OSB/wood will destroy a pen. Thanks.
Stainless Parker Jotter

You can put a Fisher space pen insert in if needed.
I ordered a Jotter. If I like I'll get the insert. Thanks.
I really like my Cool Hand Micarta pen.
That's awesome looking, but not my style. It is my brother's though. I'll send him a link. Thanks.
Kaweco Sport.
That brass is a bit out of my desired price range. If I was sitting at a desk it'd be mighty tempting though. Thanks.

I haven't had to buy a pen for about 17 years lol. Thanks everyone. I should be set.
 
The Jotter with the turquois barrel you see in my photo of the Coolhand is nearly fifty years old. I used it to take notes in college back in the seventies. I think I am getting my money's worth from that pen.
 
The black ones marked “Property of US Government” 🥰 best ever and they wrote every time in any position.
(other than cockroaches) the only thing left after a nuclear exchange will be Government Pens; which is why I always carried two in my flight suit pocket (well that, and because they were the only pens thin enough to fit). The other good choice is the yellow Bic pens with the black tops if you can find them (I know, the 70s are calling).
 
Cheap and hard-working, and being able to live in a pants pocket are two entirely different things. Especially when it comes to fountain pens. For something that would survive being in a pant pocket I wouldn't get anything other than one of the Kaweco metal pocket pens: liliput or one of the metal sports. Unfortunately they aren't cheap, and they present other issues the biggest of which is ink capacity - unless you convert to eye-dropper then thread leakage will be a problem. Yes, metal pens can be converted to eye-dropper fill. Go metal body or learn how to remove ink stains would be my advice.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Cheap and hard-working, and being able to live in a pants pocket are two entirely different things. Especially when it comes to fountain pens.

My Ohto Tasche has been an excellent pocket pen so far, but borwish didn't give me the impression he was looking for a fountain pen, so I didn't recommend it.
 
In-the-pants-pocket carry is key here.

Far and away the best pen will be the Kaweco Sport. The one downside is the cartridges are smaller due to the pen being smaller.

You can also get the brass model rather than plastic, to greatly increase both the durability and the cost.

Also ... you can get a clip for it as well, to keep it from falling to the bottom of your pockets. As they say, the Scots have deep pockets and short arms. :whistling:

But if you eyedropper one with just silicone grease on the body and section threads they’ll write heavily for more than a month. And the plastic models are plenty durable enough in my experience.

My issue with them is going from air conditioned to outside ambient temps and back and forth in a hot environment of even 80F/26C indoors to 90+F/30+C, is that while it doesn’t burp ink often, mine will flood the feed and ink will flow much heavier and drip out of the nib when it’s oriented down to write. And that’s keeping it in my pocket, nib up, or maybe some degree of horizontal while sitting. That necessitates keeping a blotting napkin or something similar to clean up/wick away excess ink before writing.

If not for that, it’d be the perfect pocket beater fountain pen.

I carry my TWSBI 530 mini during the warmer months because it’s more durable and a more stable ink flow in those conditions, while not being noticeably or annoyingly bigger in the pocket or clipped to a pocket notebook as is my norm with them.
 
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Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
But if you eyedropper one with just silicone grease on the body and section threads they’ll write heavily for more than a month. And the plastic models are plenty durable enough in my experience.

My issue with them is going from air conditioned to outside ambient temps and back and forth in a hot environment of even 80F/26C indoors to 90+F/30+C, is that while it doesn’t burp ink often, mine will flood the feed and ink will flow much heavier and drip out of the nib when it’s oriented down to write. And that’s keeping it in my pocket, nib up, or maybe some degree of horizontal while sitting. That necessitates keeping a blotting napkin or something similar to clean up/wick away excess ink before writing.

If not for that, it’d be the perfect pocket beater fountain pen.

I carry my TWSBI 530 mini during the warmer months because it’s more durable and a more stable ink flow in those conditions, while not being noticeably or annoyingly bigger in the pocket or clipped to a pocket notebook as is my norm with them.
Yes the plastic Kaweco is great for eyedropper but they do tend to burp or drip when getting empty.
 
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