For some reason, I decided to go through my pens, and for every brand where I owned two or more products, decide which product of that brand was my favorite. First, let’s meet the contestants. For brands where I only owned two products, I put both in the picture here, except for Tombow–I forgot to put my Apro Airpress in this picture. IT IS TOO LATE TO FIX THIS NOW.
Disclaimer: I am tired. But I am doing this mini-review anyway.
Here are your contestants. From left to right: Tombow, Kuretake, Platinum, A. G. Spalding, Tachikawa, Sharpie, Zebra, Pilot, Uni-ball, Pentel, and Sailor.
I proceeded to make drawings with the winning favorite of each brand, in an order that is completely incongruent with the picture above.
First up: Kuretake. Your winner:
The waterbrush wins! The waterbrush also is incapable of making art by itself. We are all very saddened by this.
Next, Tombow. Like I said, I forgot the Apro Airpress, but don’t worry; it wouldn’t have won anyway.
The Tombow Fudenosuke twin tip brush pen wins! This is the pen I used for my first hourly comics day. Its performance on that day earns it this coveted winning spot.
Platinum was a category of little contest–between the fountain pen and the sign marker, in spite of a broken cap, the fountain pen takes home the victory.
If only your plastic weren't so brittle, Platinum Preppy, you'd win other contests of my heart, instead of merely beating out a marker pen that I have no use for.
Tachikawa featured a battle between two different colors of the same style of scratchy, paper-fiber clogging and collecting fountain pen, and the far superior comic dip pen nib and holder. Sorry, frustrating fountain pens, crow quill wins every time.
I also enjoy how this reminds me of a baseball bat. (Ink used is Noodler's Bulletproof black)
In spite of being the most thick-writing “fine” nib fountain pen I’ve ever marked a page with, the delightful style of the A. G. Spalding mini fountain pen gives is a leg up over its mini-ballpoint brother. Ink used is a Rotring cartridge, because the one it came with was even worse, even wetter. Dear A. G. Spalding: THIS IS NOT A FINE NIB PEN. Please stop living in denial.
What a suave and adorable little fountain pen! It has some problems, but nothing that sheer adorableness can't overcome. This is also the working principle behind cats.
Sharpie has put a lot of effort into its products, especially in their willingness to innovate in the past few years. What I’m saying is, blah blah blah I like the Sharpie pen, and though I prefer the grip on the retractable pen, it worries me too much that I’m going to accidentally deploy the pen in my bag. So, the Sharpie Pen with Grip takes the Sharpie category.
Around this point, you may notice that my desire for some much-needed rest started to creep into my drawings.
I think we already knew that the Zebra Sarasa Push Clip 0.3mm blue-black gel pen was going to take the Zebra Cup. None of my other Zebra products even made it to the competition picture, because they were not competition.
I'm excusing this poorly drawn nonsense due to having done some decent doodles on the actual review of this pen.
I own three types of Sailor fountain pen, and yet, the cheapest remains my all-time favorite. In fact, it may be my favorite pen out of all pens. Every time I make a JetPens order, I try to remember to throw another one of these pens into the order, because they have allegedly been discontinued, and one day there will be no more. I’ve tried refilling one of my Sailor Ink-Bars so far (with much mess), but the ink I used (Noodler’s Bulletproof black) just isn’t the same and doesn’t dry as fast. :( Sailor, why would you cancel my favorite pen? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?
Sailor Ink-Bar, you are the winningest winner of everything that has ever won my heart.
Now we get to the final three categories–also some of the biggest three sources of pens in America. For each brand, I had trouble deciding which writing utensil within each of these final three categories would be declared my favorite.
The Pilot semi-finals: Pilot Plumix italic nib fountain pen, Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Me 4 component multi pen (3 mechanical pencil components, 1 eraser), and the Pilot Fineliner
It was a tough call, but ultimately this Hi-Tec-C Coleto Me multi pencil won the day with its stylish body, complement of pencils, and onboard eraser.
Not winning: my attention span for this task
Uni-ball also had a trifecta of star products. The decision, again, was quite difficult.
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN MY FAVORITE MECHANICAL PENCIL, MY FAVORITE BALLPOINT PEN, AND ONE OF MY FAVORITE GEL PENS?! AUGH UNI-BALL WHY DO YOU HAVE SUCH NICE THINGS
In the end, my love of the smoothest, butteriest ballpoint pen just edged out the wonderment I hold toward the Kuru Toga. But only just.
So rich and smooth and creamy and delicious.
Good things allegedly come in threes. Three great pen companies, each with three great contenders for favorite product…that makes nine. So that adage is a useless lie.
The Pentel semi-final was dominated by art products: the Tradio Pulaman "fountain" pen, the Jolt (with Pentel's Stein blue lead), and the Pocket Brush Pen for Calligraphy
Due to my continuing lack of mastery of the Pocket Brush Pen (my fault entirely), the win ended up going to the much easier to master (or at least seem competent with) Tradio Pulaman.
Unfortunately, by this point, I could only draw something weird.
And there you have it. Favorites (as of the time of this writing) have been declared! Many pens came very close, and really, just about every one of the pens I own is pretty terrific (except for the Sharpie Liquid Pencil–but that is a review for another day). Let’s have a round of applause for all our contestants, and an extra round of applause for the actual winners. Yay!
Your winners! Also pictured, your losers! And my cold coffee! And my breakfast plate! Hooray!