My Favorite Disposable Pens

Favorite Disposable PensIn the knife community when you pick up a knife that catches your eye at the checkout register (think gas station or rural convenience store) and admit to it that is enough to get you banned for life on the internet knife forums for buying such presumed junk quality. In the pen community when you make a good score with a gel pen that was on sale or overstocked in a funky color you get high fives across the same internet. Funny, and I enjoy the high fives a hundred times more. Usually these finds come at the checkout of the big box office supply chains. $2 seems to be the price point cap so I bite more times than not and I would say my batting average is probably a .500 with those purchases that I keep. The other approach I take is sometimes on pay day Friday I just want a pen fix so I will shop Jet Pens in sort of a game mode to get as close to $25.01 for the free shipping. This usually includes something that writes from the Whats New area. Jet Pens’ excellent service has them in my mailbox, across the country, on Monday. From both approaches the keepers that I have enjoyed are numerous so I’m sharing them with you here to fuel your ideas in case you haven’t tried any of these. Forgive the short reviews of each pen, they are disposables so my review criteria is slim, they write good, they are not uncomfortable to hold and a simple scale of 1-10 with 10 being my highest rating.

Here is what I started with

All of my disposable pens

And here we go with the top choices in no particular order:

Papermate InkJoy Gel .7

This was a big box office supply store checkout counter find. It looked interesting and I always loved the name PaperMate, those two words together just say PEN to me. I was very impressed with how it wrote and liked it so much I found one of those 14 color pen deal and bought it. The whole body is rubberized which is kind of unique.

  • Writing: 10
  • Grip: 9
  • Aesthetics: 5 plain
  • Deployment: 10 clicky

Pilot Juice .7

A new one for me but I quickly fell in love. The clip is the BEST of the bunch if that is something you use frequently.

  • Writing: 10
  • Grip: 7
  • Aesthetics: 8
  • Deployment: 10 clicky

Pentel EnerGel .7

Another drugstore stumble find and I find myself grabbing it often sitting around the house. I don’t own alot of Pentel product and I’m not sure why not.

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 10 fat body
  • Aesthetics: 4 Blah
  • Deployment: 10 knock

And now for the Uniball Signo Run

Uniball Signo 207
Probably my favorite grip and always a consistent writer every time I pick it up.

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 10
  • Aesthetics: 9
  • Deployment:10 clicky

Uniball Signo 307

There are reportedly some differences between the 207 and 307 somewhere but I can’t find them except in the looks department. They both write and grip just the same but I would bump up the 307 by 1 point in the aesthetics category as I think it’s a touch nicer looking.

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 10
  • Aesthetics: 10
  • Deployment: 10 clicky

Uniball Signo UM-100-.7

The longest body shortest cap of the lot with a step body that I’m not sure the purpose of but it’s a solid performer.

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 4 all plastic
  • Aesthetics: 4 the cap to body balance is off to me
  • Deployment: 5 cap

Uniball Signo UM-151-.5

Probably my favorite stick style pen with a cap.

  • Writing: 10
  • Grip: 8 rubber is there but firm
  • Aesthetics: 5 plain clear body
  • Deployment: 5 cap

Uniball Signo DX UM-151-.38

The smallest tip size I will go. I am surprised it writes as smooth as it does but I only use this one occasionally when I have a specific need for a really fine line.

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 8 firm rubber again
  • Aesthetics: 5
  • Deployment: 5 cap

Uniball Signo RT1 .5

  • Writing: 9
  • Grip: 8
  • Aesthetics: 7 kind of sleek for a disposable clicky
  • Deployment: 10 clicky

Plenty of great pens in the $2 price range and if you’re going to have pens in the car, garage and kitchen drawer why not have ones that write good!

What are your favorites?

Remember: Write something nice……

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What Is It About Cheap Disposable Pens?

I went to our kitchen pantry the other day and retrieved the last two tea bags from the box. Customary in our household is everyone helps draft the shopping list for the next grocery store run. This mundane domestic task is completed with a sticky note pad in the drawer next to the silverware. Usually right next to the sticky pad is a disposable pen that is required to complete said task. This particular time I picked up a Papermate ComfortMate Ultra 1.0. An inexpensive, poor writing, rudimentary click disposable pen.

Papermate UltraNow I love my pens but I’m not so in love with them that I need to debate whether I write TEA BAGS with a wet fine nib or go up to a medium. I don’t have any idea how this Papermate pen ended up under my roof so it got me thinking and I set out on a quest to collect all the disposable cheap pens around the house. I gathered this eclectic representation of the disposable gel, ballpoint and rollerball pen industry and a few advertising freebies.

Bunch of DisposablesI often wonder about how non-pen people go about choosing what writing instruments to buy. I realize there a lot of pharmaceutical and other advertising pens going around so those probably reside with a good part of the population. I suspect a lot of the above were collected by trying to reach the $25 free shipping minimum with my friends at JetPens. Even without JetPens there is such a wide variety of brands and models in all the retail outlets. Recently while browsing in Walgreens, a local drugstore chain, I was impressed with the breadth of the writing instruments aisle. Standing there I surmised a couple of drivers that might prompt a trip home for any of these pens.

  • Price
  • End Cap Product Placement
  • Packaging / Marketing (New & Improved, Smoothest Ink on the Planet, etc)
  • Aesthetics (that’s a cool looking pen!)
  • Brand loyalty

I’m sure there are others. I recall as a corporate office supply buyer when I purchased at least a million Papermate stick pens for $.72 a dozen. Granted that was back in the 80s but they worked and they were cheap. During that same period I also recall rummaging through the supply cabinet looking for the cool pens for my desk. You could sometimes even sweet talk / bribe the department administrative assistant in charge of supplies to buy your favorites if they came by the dozen and could pass the test as a cheap disposable.

Most of the disposables I’ve used over the years write well enough to get the task at hand completed. Today’s example, the Papermate was a disappointment with its skips and uneven flow. In contrast a similar looking pen I recall, and actually wrote a review on, was a Staples branded Sonix rollerball. I was very impressed with it and if I had a need for pens in bulk I would not hesitate to try and work a deal on those.

Have you ever bought pens in bulk or for your business? What is your selection criteria?

Remember: Write something nice……

Thanks for stopping by and if you enjoyed this post I would love to send you an email every time I have a new post. Click Here to Subscribe

Click here for some great deals on pens and ink I have for sale

MPNI FTC Disclaimer For Purchased Products