Need suggestions for comfortable-to-write-with pens
November 4, 2004 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for comfortable-to-write-with pens. (MI!)

My first law school exams are coming up and I can't type them because I have a Mac (and no access to a Windows laptop -- I have exhausted all my avenues, alas). I'll be bluebooking it and this means a whole lot of writing. Since I tend to grip my pen as if someone were trying to pry it from my cold, dead fingers, which leads to hand pain, I'm hoping a nice comfy writing instrument will help. Thanks in advance.
posted by jennyb to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
Have you tried a fountain pen ? It improved my handwriting and "grip" a lot, since you're forced to write in a proper way. I always applied way too much pressure and tried to crush the pen. Oh, and if you haven't written a few sheets recently, you might want to practice a bit. I found this out the hard way while taking notes for a day after solely using a keyboard for years. Ouch. Good luck on the exams!
posted by swordfishtrombones at 8:56 PM on November 4, 2004

Informative thread on pens!
posted by rajbot at 9:10 PM on November 4, 2004

Dr Grip. it's designed for comfort and recommended for arthritis patients and others with sore hands, etc. It also rocks.
posted by GaelFC at 9:49 PM on November 4, 2004

Pilot G2's rock my world. Only pen I've used for the past four or so year. Very comfy, widely available (in multiple colors - I favor blue), and inexpensive enough that if you lose one, you won't think twice about it, even on a student's budget.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:37 PM on November 4, 2004

Pilot Precise Rolling Ball Extra Fine.

There was a great deal of writing during my neurology residency. This was the only pen that didn't make my hand feel cramped at the end of the day. The secret is the very watery ink, which makes it not a very good pen if you're left-handed (it smears), but it has almost no rolling resistance on the paper.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:25 AM on November 5, 2004

Dr. Grip is the pen we used when we closed on our house and had to sign our names more than two dozen times.
posted by plinth at 3:19 AM on November 5, 2004

Two ideas.

One a pen I've always wanted to try but haven't (but rates themselves as super ergnomic)

PEN AGAIN: Ergonomic Pens, Writing Instruments, Cool New Gadgets

Second, I'm going to think outside of the box for a moment. this is one day of exams? Go find the cheapest windows laptop, buy it and use it for the day. Or rent one. The buying of the intention to return will likely sock you with a 10-15% restocking fee...but I type much faster than I handwrite, and it would be worth the 'lack' of punishment that my hand would take in a multi-hour exam.
posted by filmgeek at 3:54 AM on November 5, 2004

One more vote for Dr. Grip. Even though I prefer to write with a fountain pen, I don't know if it would be the best choice for the pressure of a written exam.
posted by briank at 5:00 AM on November 5, 2004

I like Dr Grip, too. There's a knock-off which is like Grip PhD or something. While that makes me laugh, they work just as well.
posted by sugarfish at 5:20 AM on November 5, 2004

For drugstore pens, Dr. Grip is awesome. Overall, my Sensa is unbeatable. They're kind of overpriced if you pay retail, but I got mine for cheap on Ebay. The squishy stuff where you grip molds to your fingers, so your hand won't get sore while writing.
posted by gatorae at 6:07 AM on November 5, 2004

Cross Ion
posted by mkultra at 6:39 AM on November 5, 2004

Another Dr. Grip vote, but get the gel ink (note: Dr. Grips that take gel ink are different pens than those that don't -- the ink cartridges aren't interchangeable.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:24 AM on November 5, 2004

After discovering them on mefi, the Pilot G2 has been my pen-of-choice, although I have noticed some smudging.

In your case, I'd recommend bringing both
"regular" pens like the G2 and fat pens like the Dr. Grip, so you could switch off.
posted by callmejay at 9:52 AM on November 5, 2004

Response by poster: filmgeek - I thought about trying to rent a laptop, but at the "How to take your exams on your laptop" meeting I attended, they said we couldn't do that. And I'm not Windows savvy enough to know if I could get around their proscription on rented machines. The buying and returning idea appeals to me, but I don't have the up front capital for such an endeavor. Also it's four days of exams over two weeks. Blech.

I've used fountain pens before, and the idea intrigues me. I might pick on up and try taking notes with it for a day and see how covered in ink I am by the time I go home.

I always squeeze those Sensa pens when I'm in Office Depot. Dr. Grip comes highly recommended and I think they sell them in the campus bookstore, so that will probably be the way I'll go. I also like that they have a big, fat barrel which tends to be more comfortable for me. I will look for the gel ink, which I tend to prefer anyway.

Although that Cross Ion looks really cool...

Thanks for the recommendations!
posted by jennyb at 9:58 AM on November 5, 2004

My miracle pen is the Faber-Castell PITT artist pen, fine point.

Nothing special about the grip or anything, but the ink is such an incrediblly wonderful India Ink black, and it glides out of the felt tip so effortlessly, that I find myself writing more gently and with less stress, just because of the beauty of the line.

It's available at art supply stores - I'm not an artist or anything, but I definitely do my best writing with my Faber-Castell pen on Claire Fontaine paper.
posted by jasper411 at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2004

Rotring Core. The little flare right above the tip forces you to hold the pen by the barrel rather than cramping your fingers around the tip. The fat barrel feels good, too.
posted by joaquim at 10:37 PM on November 5, 2004

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