black and grey pens, current favourites

estimated 2 min read

Last April I discussed my shift to black or grey ink for planning. That is still going well, for the most part. Earlier this week I wrote about how I choose tools with a general eye to knitting needles. For each tool I evaluate both in general and with a few specific questions in mind.

However, over the past couple of months, I’ve found myself asking those questions to new pens with a frequency that outpaced need. The result is that my choice has become a overwhelming.

This is a small selection from the pens available on my desk. I gathered them together into a pile for the sole purpose of a photo. They’ve overrun my standard corrals and I need to rethink some of my storage. Don’t worry, not all of them have been acquired recently! As I tidy my desk and gather similar items together it’s surprising and frustrating to see the collection.

What do I look for in my pens? The answer changes each time I sit to write. Maybe I need to write quickly. Perhaps I need to work around a helpful cat and writing while defying gravity is important. At other times I’m looking for a specific nib style sometimes I like felt or tips, at others a super fine needle. Am I watercoloring or highlighting and need something waterproof or at least highly resistent?

Penny’s list of pen specific questions

  • Is it friendly to a water brush?
  • Does it hold up to my hard writing?
  • Is it comfortable in my hand?
  • Are refills available or is it disposable?
  • Is it the correct nib size or style for what I plan to write?
  • Is there a grey ink option?
  • Can I pick it up at a local store or do I need to make a special trip or place an online order?

All of these factors influence my choice of pen at any moment. Scoring positively on the answers only matters if I decide to purchase refills or a replacement.

This collection includes the pens I’m using almost daily. Most are now available at a range of local stores (Michaels for example, has expanded their pen and paper selections). It’s wonderful that I no longer need to rely on special trips to find pens I like or internet orders. Some I picked up because they were popular and I was curious. Others were purchased to see how well they held up to my hard writing style or for their reaction to a water brush.

Do you have a pen you love writing with?