(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
What the heck is a ruling pen? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds: it is a pen for ruling paper. Why the heck would anyone want one of these when you can just buy ruled paper? Because a ruling pen does so much more than make straight lines (though that is actually pretty cool in and of itself). Ruling pens, with their enormous flat surfaces, can be used for really unusual calligraphy.
Handwritmic’s ruling pen was specially created to be used for modern calligraphy. You can order the pen with a nut brown or mahogany handle (mine is mahogany), and the wood is FSC certified. The nib is made of Swedish stainless steel with a thick 24k plate. This thing is built like a tank, so you can use it with virtually any kind of paper and ink.
If you are using the pen for ruling, the screw is for widening or closing the gap between the blades to vary the width of lines.
The grip is textured and also has the Handwritmic branding and Neuenschwander’s autograph. This makes for a comfortable and non-slip surface for your fingers.
The nib offers four writing surfaces that can be used for different effects.
First, you can use it as a ruling pen. Simply choose the width of your line by turning the screw, dip the pen in your chosen ink, and draw a line holding the pen vertically. Lines vary from small (0.5mm) to wide (2.0mm).
Second, you can write thin characters with the pen by using the pointed end and holding the pen perpendicular to your paper. You can vary the thickness by changing the angle of the pen to the paper.
Third, you can use the shorter edge to make intermediate-sized characters.
Fourth, you can use the broadest edge to make huge, dramatic lettering.
What is really cool about this pen is that you can write rough with it. Pushing the pen up on the surface of your paper produces great splatters and unusal effects.
My husband bought my ruling pen from Handwritmic for €52.00 for Mother’s Day. It comes packaged in a cardboard tube. Although it’s made in Italy, they have a distribution center in the US, so you don’t have to pay hefty shipping or customs fees.
I am really pleased with this unusual pen. I’ve seen several ruling pens on the Internet, but this one seemed especially well made and reasonably priced. Although I’m no calligrapher yet, I plan to use this pen for ink testing and practice.
Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!