Chris' Back to School Pens

Yes, it's that time of year again. Summer is winding down and it's time to start thinking about school supplies. In just a couple of weeks, I'm heading back to more pencils, books and teacher's dirty looks. Choosing which school supplies will be the most useful can be a stressful experience. To help you find reliable pens that can be trusted to survive the wear and tear they will receive during the school year, I will recommend three pens that will perform at a high level when taking notes or writing essays.

3. The Waterford Arcadia Ballpoint Pen : This pen is slim in nature to allow for an easier transport during the day. The weight of the pen is light enough for quick writing and note taking yet heavy enough to provide enough momentum for a smooth and continuous writing process. A minor problem I had with this pen was that it was slightly back heavy but this does not noticeably reduce the quality or ease of writing. The solid brass body wears lacquer that is smooth and pleasant in the hand. Rhodium and chrome plating appointments round off the pen's superb look. This pen uses a smooth twisting back end to push the refill out. Overall, this is a pen that provides quick and quality writing for a retail price of only $27.00 (on sale at goldspot.com). As I sometimes lose pens or never get back a pen that is "borrowed", this low price is particularly appealing.

2. The Pilot Axiom Ballpoint Pen : This is an example of a push-mechanism ballpoint pen that has the satisfying click when you push down the back. I find this technique very convenient to use because this procedure requires only one hand. This pen's sleek appearance includes silver accents and bold barrel finishes. Along with the traction dots at the front, this pen's heft and shape allow for a comfortable grip. The Axiom has a large size that, although it greatly improves the pen's writing ability, may be a problem when trying to carry it in a small space. This pen's writing quality was extremely impressive as it easily glided across the paper. I was able to produce words quickly with little effort. This pen's lighter weight does not cause discomforts for a long writing period and it allows fast, neat writing for a possible timed writing task. For only $20.00 retail price (discounted at goldspot.com), this ballpoint pen is a great value.

1. The Cross Advantage Ballpoint Pen : At slightly under $50, I at first thought this pen might be a little too expensive for my taste in school pens. After testing it out, however, I completely changed my mind. This pen wrote flawlessly. I was able to direct this pen smoothly across the page while enjoying the comfort the shape of the pen provided me. The pen is slightly small and slim, making carrying the pen from one class to another very easy. The pen was on the lighter side, giving me the ability to write quickly, while still giving me a smooth, continuous movement across the page. The pen's appearance is as professional as its writing ability. The cap and barrel are made of lacquered brass with lustrous chrome appointments. You can choose from the pattern of hexagons or two other more classic styles of different colors. Another twist mechanism pen, the Advantage can also conveniently be converted to a .7mm pencil with the Cross switch-it pen to pencil accessory which comes with the pen. A pen with this many benefits is sure to give you an advantage for the new school year.


  1. Interesting choices! I have a Waterford Arcadia in red lacquer and it's a lovely ballpoint and fits in anywhere. For those who require a pen that can *really* handle the wear & tear of a full school year, I would recommend the Lamy Safari line of ballpoints or rollerballs---very durable pens that write well. For those who prefer slimmer, lighter ballpoints, I'd go with the classic Parker 'Jotter' or a Sheaffer 'Sentinel' (the latter is a bit thicker in diameter). Lastly, the Cross Solo ballpoint (which is now discontinued, but you still have some left on clearance, I see) is a great size and writes beautifully; my green lacquered Solo is in my "Top 5" ballpoints. Thanks for the review, Chris!


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