Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Pen Test

I love pens.

I have quite a few pens, though only one really nice one. Someday I'll get a Montblanc, but that's a bit beyond my resources at the moment...

One thing I like to do is what I call the Pen Test. I take an ordinary piece of paper, then write on it with a whole bunch of different writing implements. If I'm writing with my cheap Parker Vector, I write, "Parker Vector" so I will remember which pen I used. I sometimes use pencil and crayon too.

Then I submerge the paper in water. Usually I put it in a cake pan and let it sit overnight. In the morning I pull the paper out and let it dry, then see which pens fared the best. It is always surprising to me how poorly my favorite pen does, and yet it is still the pen I use to write in my journal every night. Maybe I'm secretly hoping that all my journals will be destroyed in a great flood or something, though I normally worry about earthquakes more than floods.

Pentel pens usually work very well. I'd have to find an old pen test or do a new one in order to remember which pens work best. Maybe I'll do that. I don't really know why I enjoy this particular activity, but there you have it.

I also realize this post is not particularly well-written. Ordinarily I would save it and fix it up until I was pleased with it. But I don't want to wait that long, and I'm probably going to be posting some sub-par posts in the next few weeks, considering my impending travels, so I may as well get used to it.


elegyrl said...

I don't know how they would fair in your test, but I love GEL PENS!!! I think they write so nice and smooth and they have the coolest colors too!!

elegyrl said...
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Olive Kite said...

I like the Pilot P-500.

Olive Kite said...

I like the Copic Multiliner pens, because you can replace the tips and refill them. However, I always seem to push too hard and destroy the tips too quickly.

I like my Waterman pen (a gift)a whole lot, especially with the new cartridge. It's nicely weighted. It feels regal.

I like black ink. Not blue or red or purple or pink. Black.

I sometimes like to write in Sharpies. I like the toxic smell, the bold, bleeding lines. Once, I gave my sister personalized Sharpies for Christmas.

I'm not a fan of ballpoint pens. I'm with elegyrl on liking gel pens the most. I like ink. I like fluidity. I like versatility. I don't like to have to dig a ditch while I'm writing (as happens with ballpoint pens).

I think that your water tests sounds fascinating. Perhaps you should expand it to test papers as well. I think the Moleskine notebooks would fair well.

I love good pens. And good paper. I love Post-it notes, too.

Betty Edit said...

I do indeed love gel pens. I like the ones that actually dry, though. Sometimes the gel doesn't dry, and then you have to sit and wait forever before you turn the page.

...to dig a ditch while writing... that's pretty funny.

I am intrigued with the idea of a paper test. Or even a book test. Especially considering the abundance of Moleskine notebooks that I own. In a few months I can start a new journal, and maybe I will use a permanent pen so that I can soak the notebook when it is finished. That will be fun.

Olive Kite said...

You could always soak the conference Moleskine. It had a variety of inks in it. It might be enlightening.

Betty Edit said...

The Conference Moleskine? No way! I used my good pen in there and I have some stuff I actually want to remember. Is your pen waterproof?

Olive Kite said...

If you used your good pen in there, it only makes sense that you would want to test out how good said pen is.