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Sometimes, when we need to find a pen quickly, we may grab the one closest to hand. When this happens, we will probably find ourselves using one of the logo-branded, cheap freebies that are readily on offer today, with their short shelf life and poor reliability. These pens are certainly not examples of a quality writing tool.

However, when it comes to purchasing a pen for our own use, we face the dilemma of deciding which one will be the best for us. Quality may factor in our decision, especially if writing is a regular and repeated part of our everyday routine or job. We may research the range of products on offer carefully before making a purchase. Personal preferences and the circumstances under which the pen will be used will dictate which is the most suitable.

Cheaper pens are often unreliable.  They dry up very quickly or leak, blob and bleed into the paper, all of which can be most inconvenient and annoying.  There is no guarantee that the quality of outcome will be satisfactory. When making a personal purchase, it is far better to be prepared to increase the budget slightly and browse carefully through the different products, types and styles available, in order to find the right pen for the job.

Different types of pen include ballpoint, rollerball, ink jet and fountain pen. Though all meet the general requirements as a writing tool, some are more suitable than others, according to particular functions. In the world of education, a teacher or lecturer needs a reliable pen for marking and writing comments and their students need to be best equipped for the tasks they are required to undertake. An artist or architect may require a needle point for a fine and precise line when drawing and a solicitor needs a pen of quality ink in order to witness wills and other legal documents.

Some people are left handed and need to know that a pen will work well in any direction. Others need to find a pen which can be relied upon to function in a range of special circumstances such as under cabin pressure on board an aircraft or at different temperatures, such as in freezing or tropical conditions and all in between. Under certain circumstances it is necessary to consider the quality of ink in order to ensure that it will not fade, is long-lasting, waterproof or even fraud proof. The different types of pens on offer lend themselves to the best appropriate choices on offer according to requirement.

Personal choice will be dictated by a range of factors. As well deciding which particular type of pen will suit our usage best, from ballpoint to fountain pen or rollerball to inkjet, there are also other matters to consider, such as dimensions of the pen, including weight, point size, retractable nib or detachable cap, pocket clip, comfort of grip and material of manufacture.

When purchasing a pen, though personal preferences are a deciding factor, the functionality and ergonomic design are likely to be of importance.  Availability of a range of colours, whether in terms of pen body or ink colour, may influence which type of pen is chosen, but ease of use and level of quality are likely to be crucial when deciding which pen to buy.

Jetstream Premier

Jetstream Premier

The smart, no-nonsense Jetstream Premier roller-ball offers a slightly weightier pen with a soft, comfortable grip and pocket clip. With retractable nib and a bold point for a thicker line, this pen features an anti-fraud, non-smear, hybrid ink which is quick-drying, fade and water resistant ink. Also suitable for left handers, this pen is the perfect choice for professionals who need a pen of quality they can rely on for excellent performance.

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Pilot G2

Pilot G2

The Pilot G2 retractable roller ball is a lighter weight pen which offers versatility of use. With a conical, fine point tip and a visible ink window, it delivers a clear continuous line which may suit more technical work. Offering a rubber grip for a comfortable hold and a gel ink that lasts twice as long as any rival, this pen is the perfect choice for those who need a pen they can rely on to keep going. With no leaks or ink flow problems to worry about, the Pilot G2 is an easy to use pen which ensures smooth ink flow right to the tip.

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uni-ball AlphaGel Jetstream

Uni Alpha-gel Jetstream Ink Ball Point Pen

A pleasing all-round choice, the uni-ball AlphaGel Jetstream is the most popular of pens, with an easy to hold grip and solid feel. Suitable for a variety of different purposes, this pen is a quality, oil-based, inkjet ballpoint pen with continuous ink flow. With no need to worry about bleeds or smears whatever the paper type, its versatility makes this the preferred writing tool for many people.

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uni-ball Vision Elite

uni-ball Vision Elite

Particularly popular with the frequent flyer, the uni-ball Vision Elite roller ball pen remains unaffected by changes in cabin pressure. With a uni-flow system which ensures a regulated flow to the tip, this lighter weight pen features anti-fraud ink and guarantees a clean, bleed-free line every time.  It is particularly suitable for professional use, whether in the office or on the go.

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Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

For those who prefer a fountain pen, the Lamy Safari smart pen is an affordable, functional writing tool with a reputation for quality.  Featuring a charcoal black, solid and sturdy body, a comfortable grip and fine point, this unpretentious yet stylish pen is recommended for use through school, college and beyond. A firm favourite that can be relied upon in all circumstances, this is a writing tool of fine reputation. Available to purchase separately, there is also the option of a cartridge converter.

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The uni-ball Jetstream

The uni-ball Jetstream

The uni-ball Jetstream is a smear-resistant, retractable rollerball pen of an elegant design, complete with stylish pocket clip. This pen is the perfect choice for those who prefer a slightly heavier weight writing implement with a fine point and quick-drying ink, such as may be required in a more technical working environment. Recommended by many for the smoothness of ink flow and comfort of grip, this pen is both reliable and smart in appearance.

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Zebra F-701 Stainless Steel

Zebra F-701 Stainless Steel

Manufactured from stainless-steel, the Zebra F-701 ballpoint pen is a firm favourite of those who seek a corrosion-free, solid and sturdy writing tool which has been built to last, such as may be beneficial in an industrial environment such as a laboratory. With an easy-to-hold grip and click-free retractable point, this classy pen, with continuous flow and good weight distribution, has proved to be popular with users who prefer a ballpoint pen which delivers a line without skipping or blobbing.

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Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pen

Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pen

The Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball pen combines a comfortable rubber grip and extra fine needle point, especially suitable for those who require precision and reliability, such as perhaps is required by artists, architects and those employed in other technical roles. With aeroplane-friendly, constant ink flow technology, this pen offers guaranteed functionality wherever you go and whatever you do, providing peace of mind for users who need to work in a range of different situations and conditions.

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Fisher Space Bullet Space Pen

Fisher Space Bullet Space Pen

The Fisher Space Bullet is a quality pen that is delivered gift boxed and with a lifetime guarantee. Offering versatility in every way, this is a hard to beat buy in terms of value. Stylishly fashioned in matte black, with a tungsten carbide ball medium point tip. This pen writes at every angle and in all circumstances, even at zero gravity, in any temperature zone from tropical climes to below freezing conditions.

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JinHao 250 Stainless Steel Gold Trim Fountain Pen

JinHao Gold Trim Fountain Pen

The JinHao 250 stainless steel, gold trimmed fountain pen is stylishly impressive. This pen is crafted from quality materials, featuring a medium point nib and a sturdily constructed body. Favourably rivalling other pens which are available at a higher price, this is no ordinary writing tool and is sure to attract admiring glances and compliments. It is a pen with panache that personifies smartness for its user both in terms of intelligence and design.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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