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Types of Pens Available for Your Writing

Updated on September 19, 2014
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is an experienced writer with nearly a decade of writing experience and degrees in accounting, history and creative writing.

by Guillaume Carels on wikimedia commons
by Guillaume Carels on wikimedia commons

To many, a pen is just a writing instrument we use each day. We don't think much on it until we've lost it or it runs out of ink.  Very rarely do we stop to think of the various kinds of pens that are out there and what they should and can be used for.

There are those to takes notes with.  You can find colorful ones.  How about ones to create pieces of handwriting art?  An office supply store could not possibly hold every option for you to browse.  There are that many.

Another thing about looking at all the pen types is the fact that doing so also takes you through the history of writing instruments.  What once was something only the rich or clergy could have in their hands, we can all over the place.

Calligraphy Felt Tip Pen
Calligraphy Felt Tip Pen

Calligraphy Pen

There is nothing as beautiful as something written in calligraphy. It is the artistic form of writing that can be found on wedding invitations, graduation announcements, and plaques on the wall of your home. It's style is classic and lasts throughout the ages.

Learning to write in this form takes practice. You just can't pick up a pen and start creating such beauty. It also cannot be done with any old pen. A special calligraphy pen should be used to the right look to the final product.

In looks, you might say that the calligraphy pen is the exact same thing as a fountain pen. Yes, you can use a fountain pen as a calligraphy pen. What you will have trouble with are some of the broader strokes needed in calligraphy penmanship. A true calligraphy pen will have a similar look to a fountain pen, but the tip will not be as pointed. It will be more straight to allow broad strokes.

Calligraphy pens used to just be "sawed" off fountain pens, but in today's office supply world, you are able to find colored pens and even felt tip calligraphy pens.

Fountain Pen by Illic.ni on wikimedia commons
Fountain Pen by Illic.ni on wikimedia commons

Fountain Pen

There is something about a fountain pen that reverberates elegance and style. This type of pen is not widely used, but a few people still love the feel and the results of a true fountain pen.

An "old-fashioned" fountain pen was the next step up from a quill. Creative minds thought of a way to hold the ink within the writing instrument instead of dipping the writing instrument continually in the ink. The first fountain pens required carefully pouring the ink into the pen. Today, many fountain pens come with cartridges so that you do not have to mess around with jars of ink.

You can find fountain pens at any office supply store or specialty pen store. In fact, you will be awed by the beautiful selection before you.

Gel Pen by Piccolo Namek on wikimedia commons
Gel Pen by Piccolo Namek on wikimedia commons

Gel Pen

The invention of the gel pen, I believe, was solely for students to have fun while taking notes.

These pens come in a variety of colors that turn writing from something boring to something they all want to do. Use bold colors or neon colors. Write in silver or gold or other glittery shades.

These pens write smoothly, colorfully, and are a lot of fun. You will find more of these being used in the academic world for note taking.

Felt Tip Pen by Amy Yu
Felt Tip Pen by Amy Yu

Felt Tip Pens

The pen that led to the gel was the felt-tip pen. It was soft, flowing, and colorful. You can get such a wide array of colors. This was a huge step in the pen industry to explore the rainbow and bring to the consumer more than black, blue, red, or purple. You could get pink, lavender, orange, and even yellow (though that one tends to be hard to read).


One of the problems that can occur with these pens is that they tend to bleed a little which is why some people do not use them with very thin paper for for formal writing.

Ballpoint Pen by Daniel Schwen
Ballpoint Pen by Daniel Schwen

Ballpoint Pen

It was the ballpoint pen that changed writing. Close to a hundred years ago, a man was looking at this fountain pen and a revelation hit him. Instead of the ink flowing directly onto the paper and leaving areas of messy extra ink, why couldn't the ink be more controlled?

He took a ball and placed it at the end of the pen tip. The ink then landed on the ball and was blocked by it. The ball moved around as writing commenced and the ink would flow controlled from the ball to the paper.

Writing become smoother and easier. Pens became more transportable and let to the well-known pocket holders that could hold these pens over the fountain pens.

Stick Pen by Trounce on wikimedia commons
Stick Pen by Trounce on wikimedia commons

Stick Pen

The stick pen is the student's best friend. These pens are disposable and cheap. The stick pen was the cheaper version of the ballpoint pen. It took the same concept, but put it in plastic which was much cheaper.

The wonder of these pens were their price and the fact that when the ink ran out, all you had to do was pick up another one.

Pens are our main manual writing tool.  We use them for grocery lists, love notes, lecture notes, signatures, and sometimes to write the great American novel.

The love of pens goes so far as to be the enjoyment of many who like to collect the wide variety that are out there.  They love the thin ones, fat ones, red ones, black ones, gel ones, and neon ones.

Themed pens are great gifts.  Even receiving a personalized pen touches a person's heart.

Stop by a pen specialty store and see what all they have to offer.  You might be amazed at what you find and thrilled to discover exactly what you are looking for.

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    • redfive profile image

      Levy Tate 3 years ago from California, USA

      So glad I stumbled upon this hub! I collect all sorts of writing pens -- but my favourite ones would have to be my fountain pens.

      And since we're on the topic of writing, do you have journal/notebook suggestions? :)

      Thanks for writing this hub! Voted up.

    • starlance profile image

      starlance 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

      The stick pen is absolutely and over-looked item in today's society. It's such an important part of everything we do. And to think they are disposable! I'm always amazed that something that was at one point a treasure and a rare item could be something that today is handed out at every store and bank around the world. Nice Hub.

    • profile image

      bic pens  6 years ago

      hello!!!

      I must say, your blog is the best and most detailed ones I have ever seen,it gives complete information about every pens.

    • ghdperfecthair profile image

      ghdperfecthair 6 years ago from China

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    • Ann Lee profile image

      Ann Lee 7 years ago

      Isn't it funny how we get attached to our "favorite" pens. Good information

    • dealrocker profile image

      dealrocker 7 years ago from California

      Nice hub again!

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 7 years ago

      Thank u for answering with detailed usage of pens and types of them.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      well done great hub im looking at buying a fountain pen after an absence of 20 years...

    • Saree Anderson profile image

      Saree Anderson 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Good article! I found my absolutely favorite pen about 5 years back! The RSVP Med. point pen by Pentel! They come in cool colors, and are a ball point pen- but the casing is super thick, and I prefer that, and I love the way the pen feels when writing.

    • jpohl profile image

      jpohl 7 years ago from Rockford, IL

      About 2 years ago I bought a fountain pen. I thought it would be fun. I actually really like it. It's a little clumsy for everyday use or in a rough environment but there is something special about fountain pens. It makes you feel like what you are writing is somehow a little more important. Great post!