Posts filed under Top 5

Top 5 Pens, 2018 Edition

Where do I put my beloved Caran d’Ache Fixpencil?

Where do I put my beloved Caran d’Ache Fixpencil?

I think we are there.

The 2017 version of my Top 5 Pens list was telling. It was the least amount of product turnover I have ever had on this list, and I think there is even less this year. While seeing movers and shakers all across the board may be more fun, I’m content in knowing that there are many quality products on the market that have withstood the test of time.

That doesn’t mean there are no changes or new additions on this list - there will always be movement in and out. What it does mean is that my confidence level is high on the products I do recommend. Like I just mentioned, time has a way of sorting these things out.

I’ll never make a change for changes sake. Products on this list are there because they deserve to be, not because I feel like shaking things up.

Keep this in mind while reading this list: It is based on what I would recommend. That may or may not be different than how I would rank them for my personal use. The Micro Gel ink pen category is the perfect example of this. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm is number one for me, but number five on this list due to its particularness.

Two new, highly specific, lists have been added for Blue Black and Orange fountain pen inks. I’ve been asked to do these lists for a while, and since they are my two favorite ink colors, and I have experience with dozens of them, I feel good putting together five excellent ones of each shade.

Finally, before you head over and pick through the list, I have one product that I love that doesn’t have a home: The Caran d’Ache Fixpencil.

If I kept a daily usage log of all of the products I have used over the past year, I would wager that the Fixpencil would top the list. I love the design, the quality, and most importantly, the performance. It’s the portable pencil I need for the way I work. It goes everywhere with me.

But what list should it be on? It’s not a wooden pencil, that’s for sure. It’s sort of a mechanical pencil, but not in the traditional sense. It is a clutch pencil, with a 2.0 mm lead and a built in sharpener under the cap. I find it endlessly useful, and I don’t have a place to put it.

Because of this pencil, I’m looking at reviewing other clutch pencils and leadholders just so I have a list to put this one on. Do you have a favorite? I’m taking recommendations for spots two through five on the list, because nobody is going to top my number one!

As always, let me know your favorites that I am forgetting or that I need to take a further look at. Leave a comment on this post, or drop me a message on Twitter and Instagram.

Posted on November 5, 2018 and filed under Top 5, Pen Reviews.

Top 5 Pens 2017 Edition

The newest list: Top 5 Most Useful Pens

The newest list: Top 5 Most Useful Pens

The latest version of my Top 5 Pens list is now live! The annual cycle seems to be working, as some categories changed drastically, while others saw no change at all. It's a good balance I think.

One thing I think I will change going forward is adding new lists throughout the year, as opposed to waiting a full 12 months to add something new. There is no reason this can’t be a living document for new entires, but I’ll leave the big sweeping update on a yearly schedule.

One list I was asked to add by Pen Addict reader Todd is my Top 5 Most Useful Pens, which I though was a great idea. Yes, each category of pens has its top products, but out of all of those pens, what are actually the most useful that you use on a regular basis? Well Todd, here you go:

Top 5 Most Useful Pens

  1. Fisher Space Pen - This is more about the pressurized refill than the pen barrel, although the standard barrel is perfect for how this pen needs to be used. I use the refill in my Schon DSGN pen, which is the pen I carry the most on a daily basis. (Buy)
  2. Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 - My love for micro-tipped gel ink pens knows no bounds, and the DX is the runaway winner in this category. (Buy)
  3. Sakura Pigma Micron - The Micron is not actually my top pick for best plastic tip pen, but for some reason I find it with me the most because it can take a beating. (Buy)
  4. Uni-ball Jetstream 0.7 mm - Regardless of your opinion on ballpoint pens, there are situations in life where they are the best tool for the job. Make it the Jetstream. (Buy)
  5. Sharpie Permanent Marker - This pen doesn’t fit on any of the other lists, but it belongs in the conversation. When you need it, it is because its the only pen that can do the job. (Buy)

Thanks for giving me the idea for this addition Todd! If anyone else has Top 5 lists they would like to see please get in touch. Enjoy the list!

Posted on September 25, 2017 and filed under Top 5.

Top 5 Pens, Fall 2016

One of each: Pilot Custom 823, Blackwing 602, Apica CD

One of each: Pilot Custom 823, Blackwing 602, Apica CD

My Top 5 Pens list has entered the refinement phase. While it would be nice to have monthly or quarterly updates, the fact remains that many of the top pens remain unchallenged. There is a reason they are the best, and they are standing the test of time.

Most lists remained unchanged, or possibly had one new pen enter the list. Some lists had two, and none had three. I did add one new list for fountain pens between $200-$500 which has been requested for a while and I have enough experience in that area now to plant a flag.

I also changed my personal comments on each section to a “Just Missed” section, which I think is more useful.

Regardless of the amount of change each version of this list has it is fun to put it together. If you have any questions, feel like I overlooked your favorite, or have a request for a new list please let me know.


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Posted on September 12, 2016 and filed under Top 5.