Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Most Wonderful Elusive Pen in the World - Uniball Jetstream

(reposted, slightly updated from my personal blog at http://www.ramancreath.com/anandi)

When I was a kid, I LOVED back-to-school shopping – all those new writing implements, pristine notebooks, folders, planners, yay!

I would start out perfectly organized, using my best handwriting for my notes (this was in the Dark Ages, before laptops were common). In college, I even had a system of using multiple colored pens and highlighters to take lecture notes. And those were some pretty notes. It hurt to put them in the recycle bin after lugging them from house to house for 10 years.

I now have free access to (mediocre) office supplies at work so I don’t have any major occasions to shop for stationery or school supplies. But I crave them.

[caption id="attachment_76" align="alignleft" width="168" caption="photo from www.jetpens.com "]Uniball JetStream Pens[/caption]

I found a pen on my desk the day I returned from maternity leave and it was a Marvelous Pen. It was like the Pen Fairy had left me a present welcoming me back to work – the perfect combination of rollerball/gel pen, with a nice squashy grip and unbelievably smooth writing action. I loved that pen. Until my coworker Michelle saw it one day, and told me it was her lost pen. She knew it was a Marvelous Pen, and she wanted it back, so I grudgingly gave it back to her.

For months I sought that pen: Target, Office Depot, Staples. For some reason I never bought the right one – I knew the brand (Uniball Jet Stream RT), but every pack I bought wasn’t quite right.

The Target pens were too light and plasticky and were more traditional ballpoint than rollerball.

TJ bought one pack for me at Office Depot, but those were too inky and not “gel” enough.

I bought another set at Staples, but the point was far too fine. At that point, I had enough pens that we’d never need to buy more, but the quest still continued.

A few months ago, I bought what I thought was a set of 3 Marvelous Pens. Bold, rollerball, from Office Depot, with a nice weight to them. But sadly, these are not the droids (um, pens) I was looking for either. They are too ball-pointy, and don’t have the nice squishy grip.  They are the closest match, but still not quite right.  I feel like Goldilocks.

I thought I was destined not to ever find these pens, but I have one last place to try.  Another coworker introduced me to JetPens, a site that sells Japanese office supplies.  Their Uniball JetStream selection is different, so I'm hopeful.  I haven't placed the order yet, though, because I'm not ready to face the disappointment if they're not the right ones.  Soon, though.

Do you have a pen story?


  1. Have you tried Office Max? I can look next time I'm there. I have these pens but not sure where I got them. Where did co-worker Michelle get hers?

    And, why do we work at a company with such terrible office supplies!?!?! Someone should be fired over our pitiful selection!!

  2. Is Office Max the one that's only in Kirkland? I don't think I've tried that one so I'd love for you to check!!

  3. The TUL brand at OfficeMax is my favorite for the last few years. The fine point version specifically, they don't smudge nearly as bad as all the Uniball, Pilot, etc.

  4. Also, Michelle doesn't remember where she got hers, and yes, our office supplies are bad, though I love the selection of colored Post-Its.

  5. Cool, good to know. Is it a ballpoint, gel, or other kind of pen? I know I've seen lots of different ones from them.

  6. I think I have that one pen type you had to give away. It is from online Staples store. Sometimes online stores carry more variety of stuff.
    In terms of stories, I feel like I have lots about pen: losing them, asking a friend to give a pen that I liked a lot, finding them and ownership them if I like it... Just can't enough of them with the high speed of losing them.


  7. I should check out Staples online and see if I can find it. I also don't pay much for my pens because I'm too prone to losing them! Thanks for stopping by!


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