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Thread: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

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    Default OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Back in 1975/1977 give or take, and 1985 to 1988, I had some Zebra brand F301 and F701 ballpoint pens, while in college. I thought they were "good" pens; not the "greatest" (I doubt they could hold a candle or flashlight to a Mont Blanc, based on their reputation, and 3 figure price for a "basic" not precious metal model, for example) but good. Much better than a "BIC CLICK", at any rate.

    Are the Zebra F701 and F301 pens still any good, and worth buying?

    While not often, I do have to fill-out forms in duplicate and triplicate. Obviously, my fountain pen isn't precisely ... ummm ... "suitable" ... for such.

    I detest stick pens, no matter who made them.

    Any other affordable under $7 to $10 each ballpoint pens I should consider?

    Thankee.

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Pilot G2 rollerballs are nice, and refillible. The Schneider slider, Pentel Energel, Uni Jet Stream and Caran D;'ache 888 are rather good.


    I use them when I have a tonne of marking to do, with crappy paper.

    The Parker Jotter or Vector are still a good stalwarts, and there are steel editions out now, which make them more durable than the plastic ones. Bit more than your budget, but will last for years.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    If you haven't checked it out, I would browse over at The Pen Addict site. Brad has takes on fountain pens, but he also has deep info and recommendations on all other writing instruments: ballpoint, gel, roller, pencil, etc. I know he has a few Top 5 (or 10) lists that break down to categories and he is thorough in his testing.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Zebra f701's are still in my leaving the house pen rotation. They can be had for $6 and I just pop in my preferred fisher space pen refills. I live at a particularly high altitude and fisher space pen refills are pressurized and they just work for me (after having a great many total blowouts in my pocket..). They also come with a parker style adapter so they fit in most of my other ball points. Such as my new Rotring and Stilform family I got for Christmas.

    Last edited by digitalsedition; January 4th, 2021 at 10:01 PM.
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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Old Guy View Post
    Back in 1975/1977 give or take, and 1985 to 1988, I had some Zebra brand F301 and F701 ballpoint pens, while in college. I thought they were "good" pens; not the "greatest" (I doubt they could hold a candle or flashlight to a Mont Blanc, based on their reputation, and 3 figure price for a "basic" not precious metal model, for example) but good. Much better than a "BIC CLICK", at any rate.

    Are the Zebra F701 and F301 pens still any good, and worth buying?

    While not often, I do have to fill-out forms in duplicate and triplicate. Obviously, my fountain pen isn't precisely ... ummm ... "suitable" ... for such.

    I detest stick pens, no matter who made them.

    Any other affordable under $7 to $10 each ballpoint pens I should consider?

    Thankee.
    I have enjoyed hunting down old Parker 45 and Jotter (brass threads) using the newer gel refills or more recently OHTO Flash Dry .5mm. THis is the closest vintage alternative to my favorite Pilot Precise V5.

    I do still like Zebra which were always available at truck stops when I bought my diesel fuel for the Peugeot in the mid 1980's.
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; January 5th, 2021 at 06:03 AM.

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    I have two pens for your consideration, Xiaomi Mijia pen is cheap, takes the Parker Jotter style refills and has a good diameter for comfortable writing. Only downsides are its a bit weighty to put in a shirt pocket and the metal body is really smooth in case you prefer something more grippy. You can still pick them up online in places.

    Other than that I would agree on the Caran d'Ache 888

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Just slightly above your price range, I like the Uni Jetstream Alpha Gel. Nonaffiliated link: https://www.jetpens.com/Uni-Jetstrea...k-Body/pd/2775
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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    {{{sigh}}}
    went ahead and ordered the Zebra 701 stainless steel pen and pencil set, (call it "$12") and a click cap(?) ("only" $17 and change) raw brass Fisher Space Pen.
    President Donny sent me some funds without my asking, so why not?

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    For that purpose, I'd look at the Parker Jotter with a gel refill.

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-VIgo View Post
    For that purpose, I'd look at the Parker Jotter with a gel refill.
    That is a possibility, or a Jotter + some (black) gel and ink refills that'll fit.
    Seems Parker Pens is infatuated with blue ink for some odd/strange reason. Difficult to find them with standard business/professional black ink. I haven't used amateur/granny doodling's won't show in a Xerox copy blue ink since at least 4th or 5th grade, back in the infamous turbulent micro mini skirt and thong infested1960's.

    Is the Parker Jotter fountain pen decent, or a "scraping the bottom of the barrel P.O.C."?

    If a fountain pen piston adapter fits a pen that uses full size "international standard" ink cartridges, will that adapter fit any fountain pen that uses the same size ink cartridges?

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    I have a couple of advertising Parker rollerball pens, they are nice, Quink refills. I don't know how much a new Parker rollerball cost, but the refill isn't too bad. I think all the larger brans have a version of these, like the mentioned Pilot Gel-roller, Faber-Castell ceramic rollerball, etc. I have discovered a few of my advertising pens have Schmidt refills, rolleball cartridge with good ink, but I have never seen them sold under their official name. These tend to write well on any paper, give a very even line, last a long time. They all have wetter inks (I assume your Zebra pen has too) than the basic ball point, and I like these brands can recommend them. Ballpoints have stickier inks, are water proof, but can skip on some types of paper. They have their advantages and I guess the better brands have nicer ballpoints with the stickier ink too. Now and then I get one that blots a bit, stop writing, acts up on with cheap notepaper (skip or stop writing all together), etc...

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    I like Parker ballpoint pens with some brand of refill in broad. Broad refills write with less effort. Usually I have only found broad ballpoint refills in blue or black.

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Old Guy View Post
    Back in 1975/1977 give or take, and 1985 to 1988, I had some Zebra brand F301 and F701 ballpoint pens, while in college. I thought they were "good" pens; not the "greatest" (I doubt they could hold a candle or flashlight to a Mont Blanc, based on their reputation, and 3 figure price for a "basic" not precious metal model, for example) but good. Much better than a "BIC CLICK", at any rate.

    Are the Zebra F701 and F301 pens still any good, and worth buying?

    While not often, I do have to fill-out forms in duplicate and triplicate. Obviously, my fountain pen isn't precisely ... ummm ... "suitable" ... for such.

    I detest stick pens, no matter who made them.

    Any other affordable under $7 to $10 each ballpoint pens I should consider?

    Thankee.
    Papermate-Bic...................stick pens in the Sherpa is not that bad to write with- https://sherpapencovers.com/collecti...int-pen-covers. Bic has a 1.6 that inserted in a Sherpa Ballpoint cover is really decent.

    They also have a Parker-Montblanc refill adapter that works real nice in their Sharpie Pen Covers I like as well................https://sherpapencovers.com/collecti...rpa-pen-covers

    Really like Karas Kustom pens as well where in their EDK's, Bolts, Roller Balls you can either use a Pilot G2, etc. or use a Parker refill with their adapters. They are a little pricy, however more affordable when offered with a discount. I really enjoy Monte Verde's extra bold in blue/black as well.

    I have collected ballpoints along with FP's, MP's over the years, but am really enjoying some of the UNI, OHTO, Zebra, Pilot, etc. ballpoints and quick drying gels that come in 0.28 up to 1.6 offered by https://www.jetpens.com. My son bought me a grail MB Ballpoint from Montc Blanc a few years ago that I would have spent on myself and I must say it is quite a grail BP. There is also a reason why their refills are pricy..............smooth, consistent and last forever with a decent palette of colors.

    Jet Pens..........great selection, customer service, shipping, etc. They have the best ballpoint refill selection in my book. If you are unsure of what you exactly want grab one of their Sampler's with various pens in pretty much any color you want?

    For what its worth I never leave the house without a vintage, brass threads..........Parker Jotter usually with one of Schmidt's refills

    I write quite a bit using my FP's (vintage, modern, etc.) ballpoint, gel-rollerball and love my vintage mechanical pencils with soft 1.1 lead

    Hope this helps
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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Old Guy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-VIgo View Post
    For that purpose, I'd look at the Parker Jotter with a gel refill.
    That is a possibility, or a Jotter + some (black) gel and ink refills that'll fit.
    Seems Parker Pens is infatuated with blue ink for some odd/strange reason. Difficult to find them with standard business/professional black ink. I haven't used amateur/granny doodling's won't show in a Xerox copy blue ink since at least 4th or 5th grade, back in the infamous turbulent micro mini skirt and thong infested1960's.

    Is the Parker Jotter fountain pen decent, or a "scraping the bottom of the barrel P.O.C."?

    If a fountain pen piston adapter fits a pen that uses full size "international standard" ink cartridges, will that adapter fit any fountain pen that uses the same size ink cartridges?
    I purchased a few Parker gel refills and I did not like them. Maybe it was the batch but both stopped working really soon after opening the package. I used them in my Ti Arto by BigiDesign and they were very inconsistent. The Alpha Gel refills are much better and I will use those or Schmidt EZ Flow 9000 refils any day over the Parkers.
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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    @wingwiper, Thank you for that link.

    The Zebra 701 Pen and Pencil set and Fisher Space Pen arrived today.
    I wonder how long it gonna take for the "raw brass" Fisher to patina, like on my Buck 110's and Old Timer 6OT and 7OT.

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    Default Re: OFF TOPIC: Ballpoint Pens Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Old Guy View Post
    @wingwiper, Thank you for that link.

    The Zebra 701 Pen and Pencil set and Fisher Space Pen arrived today.
    I wonder how long it gonna take for the "raw brass" Fisher to patina, like on my Buck 110's and Old Timer 6OT and 7OT.
    I snagged a raw brass fisher bullet that amazon says weighs 400g I should get it soon. How long did your raw brass take to patina for you?
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