New Pen Buying Guide

With our Pen Trunk Show weekend coming up next week (Oct 9th & 10th), we thought it would be helpful for those attending to get a few pointers from the experts when it comes to buying a new pen. Even the connoisseurs might pick up a tip or two when coming in to search for the perfect pen.

We here at Goldspot like for our customers to have the most knowledge up front so they can make an informed decision when it comes to investing in a new writing instrument. I couldn't tell you how many times I've made runs into the stock room to take a specific measurement for a client who wanted to know if the pen would be a good fit for their hand. So, with the selection of writing instruments that we will bring to the show, you can touch, feel and scribble with a number of pens that may be a great fit for you or a loved one.

Here are a few things you should take into consideration when shopping for a new pen:
  • Style - First and foremost, your eyes will experience a pen far before your hand will. If the aesthetic attraction is not there, then most likely, you'll never feel the urge to pursue it any further. If you like the overall shape and model of the pen, but the color doesn't sit well with you, most likely, we'll have that same pen in multiple colors. Ask us if it does come in any other finishes.
  • Pen Type - Ballpoint, Rollerball and Fountain Pen are your typical three choices. Of course, there are mechanical pencils, multi-pens and other variations, but the chief question to ask yourself is, "what am I using this pen for?" If you're out on a job site all-day or going door-to-door with a clipboard, you would want to consider the convenience of not having a cap. If you prefer a more fluid line or a more traditional pen to address invitations, journal or write the great American novel, you can easily consider a rollerball or fountain pen.
  • Weight & Size - Putting the pen in your hand, you need to imagine the scenario that you have a blue exam book in front of you and two hours to complete the Final Essay question. How is your hand going to feel lugging around a heavy metal pen as opposed to a lightweight resin? Increased weight and size are also indications of a more luxurious feel, which may benefit you more if you are giving it to someone whom you want to impress with your gift.
  • Writing Quality - Do you have to press hard to write with the tip? Does the ink flow nicely without skipping or smearing? Do you grip the pen uncomfortably, or feel that your grip is sliding as you write? Writing quality is a big make-or-break and don't be surprised if some less expensive pens write better than their luxury counterparts. By writing about a paragraph's worth of words, you can quickly get a feel for the tip or nib.
  • Refills - Are the refills for this pen going to be easy to get? Well, if you would like to get them through Goldspot they would be. But if you have a Staples close by, you would want to know what you can find easily there. Cross, Parker and Waterman are commonly found there, but their selection is shrinking and they don't tend to carry all the colors. For a fountain pen, you would want to consider your preference in filling system. Do you prefer disposable ink cartridges or would like filling your pen from a bottle?
  • Price - OF COURSE! How could I not mention this earlier. Searching for a new $20 pen offers a much different selection than if you have a $200 budget.  We'll have a large cross-section of pens on display that give you options at nearly every price point (even in the $1,000's!).  We want to make sure you'll get the most "bang for your buck," which is why we sent our invites to the show with a special coupon that you can use on your purchase.
The above guide should give you a good starting point to do your research and come ready to try out a few pens to make your decision. If there are any other pointers that I may have forgotten to mention which may be helpful for shoppers, please feel free to comment!


  1. This is an excellent post! A great primer for all pen enthusiasts. I'm one of those impulse shoppers and I don't take the time to "try before you buy" - mostly because that option is not availble. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Joni! I am very glad that you found it helpful.