My experience with a pen hack

It seems like if you have a favorite pen, people are more likely to want to borrow it. And it’s times like that that you may feel inclined to ask, “How is it that you’re in college, and don’t have a pen on you?”

My favorite pen is a G2 gel pen with a Montblanc ink cartridge. It wasn’t my idea, I had heard about it from CrazyRussianHacker. It’s one of the hacks from this video:

And the result is a pen that’s writes really well, but is relatively inexpensive. I say relatively, because even though it takes an easy-to-find G2 pen, the ink cartridge may probably set someone back about $7 or so.

But it writes great. Gel ink often does write well, but can sometimes skip, often at the beginning of a stroke. And when you want your notes to look fine, you sometimes might feel like going over your notes again to make them more readable. The Montblanc rollerball refills usually don’t have this problem.

There is a trade-off, though. Montblanc rollerball ink is a very thin liquid that can bleed through pages, which can make it difficult to take notes on the other side of a sheet of paper. Still, the ink writes well on contact with the paper, allowing one to write for a while with little fatigue.

If you give it a try, you could end up becoming a bit of a pen snob. Personally, I don’t really want to go back to those cheap grey BIC pens that don’t write that well, and are a bit tiring to write with because you often have to press them against the paper kind of hard to get them to write a nice, solid stroke.

But maybe other people are noticing that my pen writes really well, because they seem to want to borrow it. Which isn’t a bad thing, but with a situation like that, there’s a possibility that you might not get it back, such as when it’s borrowed by a number of people who want to use a sign-in sheet. In such cases, your expensive ink cartridge could end up with a new home.

Out of curiosity, I checked Montblanc’s page to see how much one can spend on one of their rollerball pens. You can too, but I suggest you be sitting down for this. Here’s a link.

If one of those pens can set a person back hundreds of dollars, then those ink cartridges seem much more like a bargain. Even if it’s just one of the cartridges, you feel like taking measures to discourage pen theft. One such tip I’ve heard came from one of those sites that make lists, and this makes me feel a little hesitant to share it because sites that share lists are notorious for stealing from other websites, and I’d rather credit the person who originally came up with the tip.

But I think the most effective tip for discouraging pen theft is to keep your pens safe, and have some decoys for someone to take. This means that those cheap BIC pens can still serve a purpose. If someone wants to borrow a pen, let them borrow the BIC. Wouldn’t it look awkward if they specifically requested your G2 with the Montblanc cartridge? “I thought you were desperate, not picky.”

If it’s a nice pen you want, you can either buy it, or buy the cartridge and put it into a pen it fits into. But if you’re going to mooch other people’s pens, don’t be disappointed when you get the BIC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s