These great pens bring back the joy of writing.

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WhatsApp, iMessage, and email might be the mediums most of us tend to communicate with these days, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need a good writing pen. handy. And whether it’s just jotting down a note during a Zoom call or spending time handwriting a letter to a loved one, a good pen can make a real difference.

In fact, since I use a lot less pens these days, I’ve found that I’d rather have one or two particularly good-looking ones on my desk than a whole pile of cheap ballpoint pens. There’s always something particularly satisfying about sitting down with a nice, well-made pen and feeling inspired to leave your mark on a new piece of paper.

So here are my favorite rollerballs and ballpoint pens for beautiful handwriting.

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This pen is handcrafted from solid brass in the UK giving it a stunning industrial aesthetic unlike any other pen I’ve used. It is minimalist in design, with the body being one cigar-like piece, with just the twist piece at the top sticking out. The raw brass finish will also age over time, giving each pen a distinct patina that will be uniquely yours, so don’t worry about bumping into it – it will all only add to the charm of this pen as it goes. getting old.

Made of brass, it has a heavy weight, weighing almost twice that of the Fisher AG7 pen seen below. Whether you prefer a heavier or lighter pen is a matter of personal taste, but I found it extremely comfortable to hold and write with and loved having that real sense of weight and sturdiness in my hand.

Ajoto’s own rollerball refills provide a smooth and comfortable writing experience, but you can find compatible alternatives from other brands (including Grovemade, see later in this list) if you want to switch things up.

At £150 ($183) it’s not exactly cheap, but this pen is beautiful, handcrafted and with care will last you a lifetime.

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Fisher proudly boasts that the AG7 was the original pen used on the Apollo 7 mission and has been used on every human space flight since. A big reason for this use is the ink cartridge, which is pressurized allowing it to write at any angle, upside down or even weightless.

But even if you’re not heading into a zero-gravity environment anytime soon, the AG7 is still a great pen to write with. It’s comfortable to hold and everything Fisher has done with this ink refill results in a very smooth writing experience that allows the pen to glide across paper with almost zero resistance.

It’s made in the USA and looks classic and professional, with a very satisfying release mechanism with a click on the top and a side button that I sit and happily play with for minutes while I try. to remember what happens on Earth (Earth, get it?) was what I was going to write.

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At just 3.75 inches when closed, the Fisher’s Bullet Pen is a great option if you’re looking for a pen that can stay unnoticed in your jacket pocket. There’s no click or twist mechanism here; Simply remove the cap and place it over the end and it becomes a more regular sized pen at 5.25 inches.

With the same pressurized ink cartridge as the AG7 Space Pen, the Bullet offers a delightfully smooth writing experience, although I don’t find it as comfortable to hold as its sibling. As a result, I think this pen is best suited for quick notes on the go as its size means you never need to leave it behind.

It’s made in the USA, and Fisher offers it in a dazzling array of colors, finishes, and different special editions, including signature astronaut designs or engraved art nouveau designs on the barrel.

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At £440 ($575), Caran d’Ache’s Leman is by far the most expensive pen on this list, but it’s a handsome writing instrument that deserves a spot on your desk. It’s handcrafted in Switzerland with silver-plated metals and a beautiful matte black finish that makes it beautiful to look at and almost begs you to take it to write with.

It has a fairly chunky body which I loved as I found it exceptionally comfortable to hold and write for long periods of time, despite having relatively small hands for a 6ft 2in man (my wife calls them “delicate” ). The rollerball ink cartridge allows for smooth, fluid writing, with the lid screwing down gently but securely when you’re done.

Its price means this pen will only appeal to those looking for a real statement item for their writing, and Caran d’Ache is well known in the luxury market for its pens, many of which cost several thousand dollars. The Leman can then be considered an accessible entry into the high-performance luxury pen market and its stunning build quality and stellar writing make it something to consider.

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If you want the luxury Caran d’Ache name on your desk, but the Leman is a bit over the top of your budget, then the 849 ballpoint pen’s asking price of £53 ($51.75) is the way to go. . Featuring the brand’s name, subtly written under the clip, the pen’s hexagonal shape is comfortable to hold while its roller tip offers a decent flow of writing.

Its light weight gives it a cheaper feel than the Leman (which it is, significantly) but the clicky top is satisfying to play with and I expect to endure a good few years of scrawled notes.

It’s available in a range of colors, but I found the pure white version stood out the best. You don’t want to roller skate? The body of the 849 can be used with a ballpoint cartridge, fountain pen or even a mechanical pencil.

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Parker’s Jotter pen line has been an absolute classic since its launch in 1954. Pens have remained pretty much unchanged since then, because why waste a good thing? The Jotter is comfortable to hold with a clickable top so satisfying it even became a plot point as the armed version in the James Bond film Goldeneye.

More recently, the company released a bigger version, called Jotter XL, which has a longer and bigger body. I found this more comfortable to hold and write for longer periods of time than the standard model, so it’s worth considering if you prefer a larger pen.

Parker’s Jotter ballpoint cartridge offers a smooth writing flow and the refill design has been copied by many companies since, so finding refills isn’t a problem. Priced around $13, the Jotter is a very affordable way to upgrade your writing from cheap pens and I think it will remain a classic for many years to come.

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Each Grovemade pen is hand milled in Vancouver, WA and the attention to detail shows. The triangular body is gorgeous while the top’s gentle twisting action has just the right amount of “snap” to make it enjoyable enough to want to sit and twist it back and forth for longer than is strictly necessary. .

It’s milled from strong aluminum which means it’s naturally quite light, so it will suit those of you who prefer something less bulky when writing. My test model’s matte black looks extremely smooth on my desk, but it wouldn’t look out of place out of a fancy bag, tight-fitting suit, or purse. photo booth, as you rush to take note of a good photo corner. This matte coating has held up to all attempts to scratch it so far and I expect it to continue to look good for some time.

Grovemade also produces a very attractive holder for the matching aluminum pen with a wooden insert. It’s heavy weight so it won’t move too much on your desk and allows the pen to stand upright so it’s always within reach when inspiration strikes. If you primarily use the pen at home, it’s worth considering.


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