View Full Version : For Anyone Considering the Purchase of a Writing Implement

MSP Aviation
9th Dec 2007, 22:18

Very good if you need to write on paper, 7 Mar 2007
By M. Williams "Matt Williams" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pdp/profile/ABNJT5LXXTQMV/ref=cm_cr_rdp_pdp)
Since taking delivery of my pen I have been very happy with the quality of ink deposition on the various types of paper that I have used. On the first day when I excitedly unwrapped my pen (thanks for the high quality packaging Amazon!) I just couldn't contain my excitement and went around finding things to write on, like the shopping list on the notice board in our kitchen, the Post-it notes next to the phone, and on my favourite lined A4 pad at the side of my desk.

My pen is the transparent type with a blue lid. I selected this one in preference to the orange type because I like to be able to see how much ink I have left so that I can put in another order before I finally run out.

When the initial excitement of taking delivery of my new pen started to wear off I realised that I shouldn't just write for the fun of it, this should be a serious enterprise, so by the second day of ownership I started to take a little more care of what I wrote. I used it to sign three letters, and in each case was perfectly happy with the neatness of handwriting that I was able to achieve.

I have a helpful tip for you that you might not know about - if you let the ink dry for a few seconds you can avoid the smudging that sometimes happens if you rub the ink immediately after writing. Fortunately the ink used in this particular Bic pen seems to dry very quickly.

On the third day of ownership I went on a trip to London and took my pen carefully packed away in my brief case, but I needn't have worried, this isn't some temperamental ink pen that leaks when you store it at the wrong angle. I sat at my meeting and confidently removed the cap from my pen and it wrote flawlessly, almost immediately.

I notice that the barrel of the pen has been crafted very carefully to fit in the pen holder down the edge of my Filofax. It's not so grippy so that it is hard to remove when I want to make a quick note, and yet not so loose that it falls out too easily when I open my Filofax in a hurry. Maybe the choice of surface texture on the pen has some part to play here, because it seems that the inside of the leather grip on the pen holder in my Filofax has just the right level of adhesion that I can be confident when I need to reach in and get my pen it's going to be just where I left it!

Today is the fourth day of ownership of my pen, and I have to say I'm starting to treat it like an old friend. I walk around the office with it clipped in to my shirt pocket and someone in the accounts department actually asked to borrow it while we were both standing at the photocopier. Would you believe it, they actually tried to walk away with my pen! They were very embarrassed when I called after them as they walked down the corridor and asked for it back. You will be happy to know that it is now back, safe and sound in my top pocket, ready and waiting to start writing again.

In summary, I would happily recommend this pen to anyone who is planning on writing on paper. If you are considering a writing implement for some other surface such as writing on a CD, or other non-porous substances then another pen might be better suited, but if it's just plain old paper then I think you will probably be well served by this particular model.

MSP Aviation
9th Dec 2007, 22:20
Don't forget to read the comments:

"I often use pencils to write notes on paper, but have been thinking about changing to a pen. Is this pen a good starting point for a novice?"

9th Dec 2007, 22:45
Long ago and far away at a village school I learned to write. We did this "writing", as we called it, on a slate. Some months ago, when my present system "crashed" and they had to "nuke" it, I investigated the possibilities of buying a slate, but in vain, for they are unknown to modern commerce. Then I tried a new system called e-Bay. Imagine my delight on there finding one of these "slates" for sale, a 1900 or so model, high-mileage but still in good working order, cash snip for mechanic. Against keen competition my bid succeeded and I now have the slate. I was also able in the same market to buy a supply of slate pencil. I can now use slate and slate pencil over and over again without any need for paper. The cost of upkeep is minimal, and I look forward to many years' trouble-free use.

9th Dec 2007, 23:19
A slate?
You were lucky!
We used to have to scratch on the wall using a cinder.
I never had my own eraser either - I had to use the little boy's behind.

(Seriously though we DID have slates and slate pencils when I first went to school - just been reminded by Davaar. Later we progressed to dip-pens, using ink poured into ink-wells from a grey hen . . .
It was a great honour to be the ink monitor - which I achieved.
Tell 'em that today and they wudden believe yer.)

Do you remember the grooves that formed on your finger from the nib and the dark stain that resulted from the ink?

And if you pressed too hard the ends of the nib splayed or crossed.

9th Dec 2007, 23:38
It was also no mean distinction to be the little creep (Yes, it was I) who got to go round the class with the bottle, two holes punched in the top for dispensing water on said slates.

You belonged, I fear, to a pretty slack ship, GPTN. With us, any recourse to the word "nib" sent the placid though unpredictable Miss ******* into mouth-foaming fury. The Okay (Oooops! I mean "correct") word was "pen-point".

10th Dec 2007, 00:57
And the reply to that!

"It is a superb entry-level pen, extremely user friendly. If you feel ready to 'move up' to pens, you will not be disappointed with the Crystal."

It must be a joke.

10th Dec 2007, 01:07
I wonder if László Bíró would be laughing (or crying)?

In 1950 Marcel Bich bought from Bíró the patent for the pen, which soon became the main product of his Bic company.

10th Dec 2007, 01:19
When the "Biros", as they were known generically, came out about 1948 their use was streng verboten by many institutions, banks, and for sure Miss ******* (she was an immensely powerful institution all on her own, although I had passed from her grasp by then). In Scotland and no doubt elsewhere, cheques written in "biro" were "R/D".

10th Dec 2007, 02:21
You just wait until it leaks all over your pristine white shirt which cost you 4 times more than the pen.

Yeah Mr Higgins - just you wait.


Howard Hughes
10th Dec 2007, 02:29
They'll never catch on I tells ya!http://www.augk18.dsl.pipex.com/Smileys/writeangry.gif

10th Dec 2007, 06:58
Could we see a resurgence of the quill? Would the demand for the use of renewable resources result in an upsurge in the cultivation of feathered donors - or would the need to carry a sharp knife for the maintenance of the nib see the adoption of this environmentally-friendly means of communication be damned on grounds of health and safety? How would we carry supplies of ink (and would we be restricted to 100 mls of this essential fluid in case we should create explosions)?
And then there's the impact on the tree population of producing adequate quantities of the medium required to provide a suitable surface on which to base our communications? The demise of the postal courier essential for transport of messages created using this technique probably makes it a non starter . . .
It's funny how times change and what seemed natural a good few years ago can now be considered to be impracticable. How on earth did our ancestors manage?
Perhaps someone like Bill Gates could develop an electronic version whereby the message was transmitted instantaneously from a hand-held device to another portable device (something along the lines of a text message)?

10th Dec 2007, 07:04
Just remember that if paper and pencil had just been invented, they would be the the new miracle storage mechanism, being non-volatile, relatively radiation proof, cheap and easy to use....

Howard Hughes
10th Dec 2007, 07:05

Given the grammatical skills of youngsters today, said message would probably be indecypherable anyway...;)

10th Dec 2007, 10:07
Anybody find it interesting the 474 out of 477 readers found the review helpful???

10th Dec 2007, 10:30
I bet a pound of flesh that the bic wouldn't write on a waxed CASA maintenence release.:suspect:

west lakes
10th Dec 2007, 10:48
All mine keep disappearing through wormholes in space:{

10th Dec 2007, 12:14
Having read Matt Williams other reviews on Amazon, I wonder if he shouldn't get out more.

Hang about, if I actually read those reviews, which I did, it's me that should get out more.........

10th Dec 2007, 12:59
Remember being told that the early ball-point pens were horrendously expensive when they first appeared. A rich Uncle was reputed to have paid fifteen shillings for one, which was a small fortune in those days.

Well remember those dip in pens - ball points were banned all the time I was at school.

10th Dec 2007, 14:02
Those inkwells, useful for dipping a paper pellet in and flicking across the classroom.
Seriously though, I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter in longhand. Does anyone do so any more?

10th Dec 2007, 14:10
Pen? Buy????

Surely some mistake here. Thats what Stationery Cupboards are for.

With possible additional activities this time of year, I have been informed.

10th Dec 2007, 14:48
Proper biros shouldn't cost much. One of my specialities is losing pens. Just recently I went to a local big-box-style office-supply retailer on a mission to purchase such writing instruments. I found the section where they were displayed. The eye-level pens were over a dollar each. As one went to shelves well below eye level they were cheaper. Finally, on the bottom shelf, I found boxes of 50 pens for US$2.00 - four cents per pen. SOLD. They turn out to be fine-line units that write well. They are a product of India.

10th Dec 2007, 16:00
Ah, G-CPTN, you bring back fond memories (well memories at any rate) of the old dip and sctratch pens we had to use at school when I were but a sprog. Boy, did they sctratch. God help you if Sister Mary Magdelain caught you trying to bring a biro into class. The ruler across the nuckles the first time and a visit to the headmaster for the famous six of the best the second. Nobocy found out what would have happened if you were stupid enough to try a third time.

I remember being really happy when I was nine and we were allowed to bring a real fountain pen to school - much better nibs and less blotches.

I still have the parker that my parents bought me when I was eleven and moved to senior school. It works perfectly, I still use it as my preferred writing instrument and the only thing that has been changed in 46 years is the ink.

GOUDIE: The ink soaked paper pellets with a good old fashioned wooden ruler to propel them coul leave a stain on a white school shirt at fifteen feet when used properly (improperly?).

10th Dec 2007, 16:22
Amazing coincidence. This thread starts just as I need a pen thread.

OK, crews in the front, crews in the back, fellow million-miler SLF: Has anyone found a plain honest one-shot rollerball that doesn't leak at altitude?

Pilot V5s do. Uniball Visions I thought were better and then had two crap out on me on my last multi-stop trip.

And what's the killer factor? Is it that NW's old DC-10s seldom made it past FL350 and the A330s get almost to FL400, maxing the cabin altitude? Or is it multiple cycles that do the damage?

green granite
10th Dec 2007, 16:36
Seriously though, I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter in longhand. Does anyone do so any more?

My last employer insisted that all application letters were hand written, and also the employment forms were filled out at the interview, that way at least they knew if the person could read and write, it was said by HR that about 1in7 applicants couldn't. :ooh:

They did allow biros though :)

10th Dec 2007, 19:47
Seems to me the preferred aviator writing utensil is the Pilot G-2 5mm gel. I've been using them for years on the DC-10, 747 and others, never a leak, and a crisp, clean line with a point that meets requirements for multi/carbon copies. They're about $1 each.

Save your MontBlanc for your suit pocket on the ground.