I have an addiction: no, not Pogs. Six weeks in a treatment camp in the late 1990s cleared that up. I’m talking about pens. I love pens. All kinds of pens (well, except for gel pens). I’m always on the look out for the next ‘great pen.’ Be it for writing, drawing, or propping up my smartphone so I can read hockey blogs hands-free (don’t judge).
Allow me to geek out about pens for a bit.
Note: this post originally appeared on my other website, Clattertron.
Pilot is My Co-Pilot
My usual go-to, all-purpose pen is the Pilot Precise V5.
The Pilot Precise is cheap, reliable, and has a nice flow. I prefer extra fine-point pens, so the Precise V5 does the trick. It served me well on our Walt Disney World honeymoon, allowing me to take notes or sketch on the go with ease.¹
I learned the hard way I can’t rely on a pencil with my pocket sketchbooks. Even though I enjoy sketching with pencil, the lead fades or smears. I don’t have that problem with the Pilot Precise V5, and I can read my notes months later without a hint of a smudge, smear, or fade (assuming I can read my writing, of course).
The Great Jet Hope
Never needing much of an excuse to buy new pens, I kept my eyes peeled for this challenger to my preferred pen throne. Months later, I ordered a set from Amazon, as I couldn’t find the Uniball Jetstream locally (at least not the 0.5 or 0.7 size I prefer).
I gotta say, I really like the Uniball Jetstream 0.7, and I can see how it beat out the Pilot Precise. It is retractable, which is handy for an on the go pen—and there’s that satisfying feeling of the ‘click’ and quickly jotting something down.
The Uniball Jetstream flows smooth and fast, as the name suggests. In fact, it might flow a bit too fast for me, and causes me to write a bit sloppier (I tend to write slower with my Pilot Precise V5). But, I don’t fault the pen for this.
Pen vs. Pen
I can’t pick a clear ‘winner’ here. I love the Pilot Precise and the Uniball Jetstream. The two pens are different. The Pilot Precise reminds me more of the inking pens I use for comics. The Jetstream has an ‘everyday’ pen feel. The Pilot Precise has one advantage, for me, over the Uniball Jetstream: I can walk into most stores and buy a pack of V5’s. Finding a 0.5 or 0.7 Jestream is a challenge locally (but, if you don’t mind 1.0 pens, it is much easier).
The Precise is a bit better for field sketching, I think. It comes in handy as a comic inking pen if needed. Yet, the Jetstream won’t stuffer from the busted tip problems of the Precise. (I have bent more than a few Precise tips over the years—and had them leak)
What’s your favorite pen?
¹ Oh yeah. I need to finish blogging about our honeymoon. I blame the holidays. Knocked me off my routine. Sure.