Pros: Clear barrel, smooth writing, black, hexagonal barrel, ink dries quickly, inexpensive.
Cons: Not very stylish, simple.
I sit in front of my computer typing (coding/designing) most of the day but sometimes I find it convenient to scribble down designs, ideas, notes, or quick facts. Sometimes I have to fill out forms. When doing my quick scribbling I want a pen that is light weight and easy to pick up and hold, and that writes smoothly even when I scribble quickly.
Having an exquisite, nice looking and expensive pen might look nice and it can be nice to use such a pen for signatures or for having it decorate your desk. However, when it comes down to it, the width and weight of nicer pens is not right for intense scribbling. It is not because I am weak in the hand but because I do my quick scribbling best when the pen is light weight and barely noticeable in my hand. My thoughts just flow down to the paper if I don’t need to worry about the physics of the pen.
My favorite light weight simple pen is the black ink BIC Cristal Classic Ballpoint Pen, with a medium ball point. The ball is a 1.0mm Tungsten carbide ball that rolls smoothly and gives just the right resistance for comfortable scribbling. Even when I scribble quickly and furiously I still get nice thin (but not too thin) and smooth even lines. The ink dries quickly and this pen rarely bleeds or makes blobs. The barrel is hexagonal which gives you a sturdier yet fairly comfortable grip. The pen does not have a comfort grip but I find that comfort grips do not improve much over this style. It is a simple and I think it is good enough.
The pen is refillable and the barrel is clear so you can see when it is running out of ink. Another feature of this pen is that the color of the cap and the plug matches the ink color. That way you’ll always know what color ink you have. As mentioned this pen has black ink which happens to be my favorite color for scribbling. Black on white or yellow writing pads gives you a great color contrast. The cap also sits tightly on the pen but not so tight that it is hard to get off. The brass tip and the Tungsten carbide ball are also robust and somewhat stylish looking.
Another thing I like about this pen is that I don’t remember getting any lemons. It is a simple mass produced pen but the quality appears to be even. Since it is inexpensive it does not matter much if you lose it. I typically buy them in packs of ten or twelve for a few bucks and sometimes in bulk. You are welcome to steal my pen. I’ve got another.
There are nicer pens but this is a great inexpensive pen that has everything I need despite being cheap and mass produced. I highly recommend it.