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!