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Recommend me a cheap but hard working pen

All three contenders have arrived. I've been carrying the Bic for the past few days and it's done well enough. I don't like it as well as the trusty ole Papermates because of it having corners instead of being round, but I can't fault its performance. The Zebra should be close to the older model that I carried and kept breaking all those years ago. The Jotter is definitely the best looking of the bunch. I wanted a Jotter in black ink, but the only versions I could find with black ink where the Indian made ones. I wanted a French made one. I'll keep the Uniball recommendation in mind if one of these don't fit the bill. My wife likes the Pilot G2 with a 1.0 tip, but that pin leaves a much too wide mark for my tiny writing.

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The Bic Cristal is an excellent pen. To me that look of the pen hasn't changed at all, same as when I was a kid (and that was awhile ago.)

Are the following that much different than the ones you used to use:


I didn't know they discontinued the Papermate you mentioned -- to me that was just as ubiquitous as the Bic Cristal. Every office supply cabinet used to be well stocked with one or the other, or sometimes both!
 
The Bic Cristal is an excellent pen. To me that look of the pen hasn't changed at all, same as when I was a kid (and that was awhile ago.)

Are the following that much different than the ones you used to use:


I didn't know they discontinued the Papermate you mentioned -- to me that was just as ubiquitous as the Bic Cristal. Every office supply cabinet used to be well stocked with one or the other, or sometimes both!
They're definitely different. I don't know if there is a large difference though. I remember using something like those before and I wasn't too fond of them. Like you I thought they'd be around forever.

I have found some similar online though. Maybe I should buy them up. These old babies worked perfectly after being stuck away for 17 years.
 
All three contenders have arrived. I've been carrying the Bic for the past few days and it's done well enough. I don't like it as well as the trusty ole Papermates because of it having corners instead of being round, but I can't fault its performance. The Zebra should be close to the older model that I carried and kept breaking all those years ago. The Jotter is definitely the best looking of the bunch. I wanted a Jotter in black ink, but the only versions I could find with black ink where the Indian made ones. I wanted a French made one. I'll keep the Uniball recommendation in mind if one of these don't fit the bill. My wife likes the Pilot G2 with a 1.0 tip, but that pin leaves a much too wide mark for my tiny writing.
I never cared for the Bic Crystal or any Zebras but YMMV. I would still recommend the Uniball Jetstream if you want another option. And I only use retractables as that’s what works for me. But again YMMV.
 
I never cared for the Bic Crystal or any Zebras but YMMV. I would still recommend the Uniball Jetstream if you want another option. And I only use retractables as that’s what works for me. But again YMMV.
I liked the Zebra 301 well enough, but I kept breaking them. This 701 feels like a tough cookie. If these three don't do what I want I'll try the Jetstream you recommended. I had already placed the order. I tried out one of the Uniball Micro pens today. That was a fine point!
 
I liked the Zebra 301 well enough, but I kept breaking them. This 701 feels like a tough cookie. If these three don't do what I want I'll try the Jetstream you recommended. I had already placed the order. I tried out one of the Uniball Micro pens today. That was a fine point!
Did you get a fine point for your Zebra 701?
 
Late to the party-Concur re both the 701 and the Parker Jotter with a nod to the Jotter in that they simply look "nicer" and fit in more places/slots/pockets easier given their smoother outer texture.

Finally, I also like the Pentel Energel with the metal bodies. A bit bigger in diameter than the pens discussed. A very smooth write and can be had with fine point refills (.03) by using the cartridge obtained out of a plastic bodies pen.



.03 "refill"
 
Late to the party-Concur re both the 701 and the Parker Jotter with a nod to the Jotter in that they simply look "nicer" and fit in more places/slots/pockets easier given their smoother outer texture.

Finally, I also like the Pentel Energel with the metal bodies. A bit bigger in diameter than the pens discussed. A very smooth write and can be had with fine point refills (.03) by using the cartridge obtained out of a plastic bodies pen.



.03 "refill"
All late comers are welcome as I'll most likely be revisiting this thread in the future. That's a snazzy looking pen. I'm rough on pens and usually wind up breaking screw together pens in my pocket. Have you tried carrying one? My wife is crazy about the color purple, so I might have to get her the violet one.

I carried the Bic for a few days and am now trying out the jotter. The 701 will go into rotation sometime soon. It feels like it's easily more than twice the weight of the jotter and has a much thicker barrel.
 
I will also say stainless Parker Jotter. When I was a server in college I only used that pen. It lasted years and years.
I used it in geology lab as a harness tester too
 
I too think the Kawecko sport is a great pen. You don’t have to get brass, they come in many color options in plastic. Handy and solid.
 
I think it was in 2005 that I bought a Retro 51 Titanium Tornado. It's my every day ball writer, joined usually by a Namiki Vanishing Point (of which I have three). I've dropped it lots of times. It spent a couple months buried in the manure pile after falling out of my pocket while I was trying to avoid ending up in the manure pile myself. It's been through the wash a couple of times. It's now got a small stress crack in the titanium body, and I have a spare waiting in line, but for some years now it's still soldiering on.

I got it at the instigation of a fellow journalist. His claim was correct: for a pen that gets the literal crud beaten out of it every day and has to keep working it's a winner. It has a good grip feel and sufficient mass to write fast smoothly, which is important when what I'm writing has to be correct under pressure. It's been all over the world with me.

Not "cheap" perhaps but considering the service it's given certainly "inexpensive."

O.H.
 
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