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Moleskine Pens?

As unhealthy as many people see my obsession with faux-leather over-priced Italian pocket notebooks, its pens that is my secret addiction. I would love to hear what types of writing instruments people use with their Moleskines.

What pens or pencils do you use when writing in your Moleskine?

I have a variety of pens that I use but the ink is almost always the same. Pilot G2 .7mm archival ink. You can pick up Pilot G2 pens for about $1 each. You can pick up a very nice Pilot Dr. Grip Gel at just about any grocery or drug store. There really isn't a need for a big fancy $20 to $50 pen, but there are some real nice ones out there.

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I've spent more money than I want to admit on fancy pens by Rotring and Waterman but there isn't any real reason to use anything more than a Pilot Dr. Grip Gel.

So, what type of pens, ink, or pencils does the rest of the Moleskine community use?

Image: pilotpen.us

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Comments

Ashlee

I am OBSESSED with finding new fun pens and pencils, I constantly change my writing and drawing utensils. I have to agree though the Pilot G-2 is great for a cheap pen, I prefer the 0.38, I write and draw pretty small and they are great!

Robin Parduez

I tend to use a Waterman Expert fountain pen when I have a flat surface, or a Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint for general use.

Jarrod

I use a standard zebra ball point. Im a lefty, so gel pens tend to smudge and get all over my hand. :(

Renganathan Ramamoorthy

I use a uniBall Kuru Toga with Pentel 2B leads to write on my Moleskine. It's perfect and just dark and smooth enough to continue jotting notes as well any form of sketches that need to be made.

ryan  Theodore

my weapons of choice are the pilot g-tec c4 and pentel sign pen.

Joe Doe

I use a "Autocross" pen from Cross with blue ink (also from Cross), it's pretty small and the shape kinda resembles a cigar...it's also coated with brown leather, which makes it stylish and very comfy to work with and it fits perfectly to my vintage leather messenger bag ;)

Zach

I use Pilot G2 .7 mm. I also tried Pilot EasyTouch, as well as Parker Jotter. Both I found too sticky, not flowing enough for my taste, but I find that with ballpoints in general.

Christy

Uniball Signo 207
Write beautifully, dries fast.

Dave

I Like my Lamy Safaris fine nib with my current collection of 4 Moles.

Guillermo Tussi

I use a Montblanc Starwalker with black ink. Took it to Rome and made all of my notes using this same great pen. Montblanc goes nicely with the Moleskine lined journals. Not sure if I'll ever use anything else...

ACE

I personally use a vintage Cross sterling silver ballpoint pen.I picked it up at a thrift shop for four dollars.

Mhairi M.

I think I have found the best pen for Moleskine's thin pages:

http://www.pilotpen-store.com/product_detail.asp?T1=PIL%20G23%20BLACK

The Pilot G-2 in the Ultra Fine .38 tip...marvelous!

Marcus

my personal favs are Pilot G2 (.5 or .38), Uniball 207 (.5), Zebra F-701, and variosu multi-color ballpoints (tombow reporter 3 atthe moment)

Levenger has a nice Rotring 600 clone that is very nice too (ball point, rollar ball, pencil, fountain pen and multi versions)

Fred Berktin

Ultimate Roller Ball writing instrument and a refill, no need to look elsewhere!
Today I dicovered that the Uniball Sigma Micro 207 refills fit into my Waterman Harmonie Roller Ball pen I just bought. Waterman Fine refill dispenses too much ink and writes very thick. I was about to take it back. Starting tonight I have the best of both worlds. My beautiful Watrman Harmonie Roller Ball pen shell amd Uniball Micro 207 refill.

Philip

The key to fountain pens is the ink. I always use a Lamy Safari Fine or Extra Fine nib. With some inks, bleed through or feathering are a concern. Many modern inks don't have that problem. With a fine nib and Noodler's blue-black ink, you can't go wrong.

Lindsay

Pilot Precise Zing--satisfying scratch sound, no skipping or blotching, refillable (just bought 12 from pencity.com!), and a very consistent-width line.

anon

I absolutely love using the new Sharpie Pens with my moleskines- the ink is smooth and rich, just like a sharpie ultra fine point, but they don't bleed through the paper!

tefflan

Recently, fellow Moleskine enthusiasts, I’ve been exploring the usefulness of the “Pilot Varsity” disposable fountain pen. I’ve thoroughly researched this pen over the last few days (you’d be surprised how little information there is on this pen on the internet), and have been writing with one filled with black ink.

This pen is called the “Varsity” in the United States, and the “V-Pen” throughout the rest of the planet. I know. “A rose by any other name,” and so forth, but the German version of the Varsity is so much more high-tech looking than the American one. Americans get the silver-on-black with black pin stripes. Period. The good people of Deutschland and Sweden get white-on-white. Seriously high-tech appearance, very snazzy, and very cool looking. Looks aside, the pens are the same.

Right up front, let me emphasize that all-in-all the pen is a very nice, smooth little writer and is worth the two dollars or so that one pays for it. In the “pleasure-of-writing-with” department, it can compete with pens that run one hundred or more times the cost (been there, I know what I’m talking about, friends). But there are some quirks inherent with this pen. None of the problems are “showstoppers,” nor should they dissuade a person from trying one of these pens out and discovering that he or she loves them, but some of the quirks can be rather annoying.

Pros: First, you will have the pleasure and joy of writing with a fountain pen every day without fear of losing it, having it stolen, having it co-opted by the “pen communists,” dropping it on the point, lending it to someone “for just a minute” and never having it returned or having it returned with a splayed point, and so forth. The steel nib is tough enough to do multiple copies to a certain extent, and it never needs to be refilled.

Secondly, they can be ordered by means of the internet by the dozen from places like Montgomery Pens. They can also be ordered individually from lots of other vendors, like Amazon and Colorado Pens (I’m not endorsing anyone here, just letting you know where to look for starters).

Cons: First, I have this annoying habit of really, really wanting to know the size of the nib BEFORE I buy a fountain pen, so that I’ll have some idea if the pen is going to write like a brush, a needle, or somewhere in between. Unfortunately, Pilot Pen Company has apparently decided that “United States-type Americans” don’t need to know anything other than the price when they are buying things like disposable fountain pens. It turns out that the pen’s point is a western-type medium. The rest of the world gets a choice of fine or medium.

Secondly, I bond with pens. I’ve known this for quite a while (actually, since I learned how to write), but the bonding process really stands out when one realizes that the Varsity pen has to be thrown away when it runs out of ink. Or does it? Some quick research on the web, and I’ve learned that one can yank out the nib assembly with a pair of pliers and refill the pen like a muzzle-loading rifle. One can also pull off the end cap, shove a drill bit down the barrel and drill out the end of the reservoir, refill the pen with a glass pipette (so those pesky air emboli don’t develop and cause the refill procedure to rather messily abort), then putty up the hole on the end cap, replace the end cap onto the pen, and hope that the reloaded pen doesn’t discharge its contents all over your new Armani suit. One rather clever individual came up with the idea of using a home-canning jar attached to some kind of vacuum-generating motor to lower the pressure atmosphere inside the ink chamber of the Varsity, thereby causing the pen to refill itself by sucking ink up from another bottle inside the contraption. Problematic when one considers that broken glass, covered with ink, and flying around a room with humans in it can result in some rather unexpected, unplanned, unique and bizarre tattoos.

Third, these pens are not easy to find. If one doesn’t order them off of the web (and this is, in fact, the easiest, most certain way to get what one wants these days), one can spend a lot of time riding from Staples to Office Depot, to WalMart, to Walgreens to Target, to wherever else, and then find (as I did) that in order to get one that writes in black, one needs to purchase three of them, two of which are colors that are oddball and can’t be used in the office.

Fourth, and perhaps most critically, the ink has a tendency to “bleed through” certain types of paper. This can be annoying for us Moleskine users, and this is perhaps the biggest problem that I’ve faced in my use of this pen. If it doesn’t bother you, you’re all set. If the paper is thin, watch out.

I hope this has helped some people out there in the decision making process. The Varsity is basically a good, disposable fountain pen that has a satisfying write out with a smooth, wet, line. I’m now in the process of evaluating how long it will last with a reasonable amount of use per day. I’ll let you know. Until then, good luck to all of us in the search for the perfect pen to write with in our Moleskines!

MarcosV

Late comer to Moleskine notebooks. I also use a Lamy Safari with extra-fine nib and Noodler's Black. The results is a thin enough line in the pocket Moleskine for my liking.

Some people might fine the E-F nib to be a little scratchy (depends on how you hold the pen I guess). The fine nib was also very good, but, I found that I can write with a E-F nib and get the slightly thinner lines.

Noodler's also make ink advertised to work at -20 Degrees F. Need to try it and see if it still writes thin enough for a Moleskine.

Simon de Waal

I always use Moleskine, each book or film I write has its own Moleskine book, in which I write everything down, from the first idea, to dialogues, photo's of potential actors, locations, whatever....

Ans always with a blue Parker Reflex with a gel filling. Never anything else. I believe I have 8 of them, now - and about 26 Moleskine's...

Ken

With a fountain pen, the critical factor determining whether it will work well is the ink. I favor the Lamy AL with the 1.1 nib. The semi-italic nature of the nib allows some really nice line variation, great for words and sketching. I use Noodler's bulletproof black which dries permanent. Your mileage may vary, etc. Glad to see that there are so many drawn to the magic of ink on paper.

Lisa

Just got a Uni Pin Fine Line 0.1 pen. It's water and fade proof (or so they say) and uses pigment ink. It glides like BUTTER on Moleskine and I can't stop writing with it! It's just $1. I'm buying an entire box tomorrow.

Kate

So far, my favourite pen to use in my Moleskine is the Pentel EnerGel 0.5 - the line is smooth and continuous, and it doesn't smudge or bleed, despite the thinness of the Moleskine's paper and my terrible handwriting.

I tried the Pilot V5, but found that it feathered in both my Moleskines and my Paperblanks.

Melonie

I got my first Moleskine today at Barnes and Noble in the Arboretum (Charlotte, N.C.) and I was worried because I'm insistent about writing with my fountain pen. I bought a large, plain soft cover black notebook. When I got home and began writing, I was very relieved to see that it did not bleed through with my Waterman Phileas with a medium nib. I am using Waterman black ink.
I am awaiting the arrival of a Pelikan Pelikano with a fine nib. Seeing how well the Waterman is working, I am sure the Pelikano will do quite nicely too.

That said, I am also a big Pilot G2 fan. I've been using those pens in blue and black for a few years now and they are absolutely divine. I can see relaxing my insistence of fountain pennery now and again for a G2.

weapon

I have a Taccia Doric that I use in Moleskines along with Waterman Florida Blue, Private Reserve Midnight Blues or Sheaffer Skript Black with no problems. The nib has been tweaked a little and it is somewhere between a medium and fine nib. There is a drawback to the Private Reserve in that it is slightly slower to dry and it will smudge if you run your hand across it too quickly.

I also have a Sensa Meridian with a fine point that does well with Moleskines. I normally use Sheaffer Skript black with it and I do not have any issues with feathering or the ink bleeding through the pages. I tried Noodler's but it did not flow well in my Meridian. One thing that does annoy me about the Meridian is the cap does not post securely and it will fly off with almost any movement. The pen feels unbalanced to me when the cap is not posted which makes the problem rather irritating. Does anyone else have this problem with the Meridian?

My most recent favorite for Moleskines is a Pilot G2 Limited with a Mont Blanc blue rollerball refill trimmed to fit it. The G2 Limited has a brass barrel so it has a nice weight to it for an inexpensive retractable. I am really not a fan of retractable pens but this one really works for me. The Mont Blanc blue is a nice contrast to the color of the Moleskine's paper -- with no bleed through or feathering and it is amazingly smooth.

Eva Pinheiro

Hi, I'm from Portugal and in my Moleskine notebook I only use the Waterman my dad gave me, but in my twin set planner I have to admit I use any pen only because most of the times I need to make quick appointments, so I grab the pen there is right next to me, even a regular bic or a pencil.

Aen

I usually use RSVP Medium tip pens for home use. When I want to travel, I use BIC Ultra Round Stic Grips.

There isn't really any need for those "le pens"

Bob

For me the moleskine and a fountain pen go together for all but the smallest books. I use the Montblanc Brohm with the retractable nib and place some broad wet strokes down with confidence even being a left handed person. Fountain pens now a days all have very good ink delivery and whether it is a Sailor, Conklin, Shaeffer, Waterman, Parker, Monblanc, they are all great and the gold nibs are considerably more flexible thus more responsive to ones hand and how hard you write to capture a thick or thin line. This is something that a gel pen has no flexibility to accommodate - mood when you write is at times important.

So if you want to capture a mood then the fountain pens are a must. The Faber Castel pencil with the 1.4 mm B style lead also is a personal favourite especially in cold weather if the book needs to be used outside.


ron

this is funny, but i think another word than communism might make more sense, since this is not really like it.

tefflan

Friends and fellow Moleskine enthusiasts, beware of a new threat to all true pen lovers: “pen communism.” It is a new phenomenon and is an unconscionable threat to the community of pen fanatics.

Pen communism occurs when a person thinks other peoples’ pens are for communal use. Example: a person who is a “pen communist” discovers that they are in need of a writing instrument and simply strolls into someone’s office, takes a pen off of the unwitting dupe’s desk without asking, and then keeps the pen after the job is completed.

Don’t confuse “pen communism” with “stealing.” Stealing involves taking something of value that is not yours and then hiding it so that the person it was “jacked” from can’t find it. With “pen communism,” the purloined instrument is used openly around the office and even in front of the person it was taken from. It is almost as if the pen, YOUR pen, somehow became “community property” and is now up for grabs. It has nothing to do with the value of the object. Cheap pens and pencils are just as liable to be abducted as their expensive counterparts. Just recently I lost a mechanical pencil to the weird, parallel universe of the pen communists. I have seen the pencil being used by a now confirmed pen communist. What to do, what to do? I am loathe to confront the pen communist who took my pencil. The person is one of the key personnel in this business, and to confront might be to risk the noose.

I saw another employee walking around with still another employee’s pen in his pocket the other day. Could I have been confused or mistaken? No. This pen is one-of-a-kind, and the employee who owned it was out for the day. I was going to follow up on it, like some kind of private detective sans portfolio, but I lost track. I don’t know what happened to it. It simply went away in the terrible tide of time and pen treachery.

Tinsley

Zebra Pens are the best with moleskins. Theyre thin and smooth and on the other side of the page, not a trace of the writing on the other side.

hah i have an obsession with pens also :-)

Johnny

I'm still partial to ballpoints in my Moleskine, but some of the extra-fine Pilot rollerballs have been pretty good at not making a mess, like the V-5. I don't draw much, but I've had good experiences sketching with them.

BillDonovan

I use a Waterman fountain pen, and a Faber-Castell E-Motion ball point with a wooden body. When I was using Moleskines in Afghanistan I was making drawings with a couple of Rapido Graph Koh-i-nor illustration/technical drawing pens using india ink, and they worked really well, making a very distinct clean dark line.

Sarah

well now ... pen addict, moleskine addict. Let's be honest here .. A tough combo.

I have a beautiful Montegrappa silver fountain pen ... I have a sexy Moleskine ... Happily Ever After? Not a chance. In my experience,this applies to pretty much ANY fountain pen (and lord knows I reckon I've spent more on matchmaking the Moleskine to the perfect pen than I ever have on my OWN love life!!)... save for the Rotring EF Draw Pen, but it just doesn't feel smooooooth, like my Monte ...

However, try as I might, I can't escape the truth: Pilot Hitechpoint 0.5 or the Faber Castell HB grip 2001 wooden pencil, sharpened with a scalpel ..oh heaven.

However, not practical most of the time ... The Pilot is not good for sketching. I have used a traditional rotring for years (it suits my handwriting) but NOT on the moleskine paper. It is just too thin.

But yes, 9 notebooks in, I'm still addicted ... I just want the perfect sketching/writing all in one pen. somebody .. help ......

Heini

I bought a "Pilot G2 ex" but I can't handle it. I have to press it really hard on the paper to get a constant ink stream. So writing with it isn't a pleasure. I have a really small handwriting especially when I use pocket Moleskines but the G2 only works well for fast writing and a lot of movement.

I decided for a "Lamy Safari" fountain pen with a fine nub. It's just perfect. Easy to write, no bleeding and very smooth. They are cheap (about 15€ here in Germany). So you could buy more than one in order to use different colors.

David

I use either a Uni-Ball Vision Elite or a Uni-Ball Vision Exact, both fine 0.5 mm. I wouldn't leave the house without a great pen. I think I've used it more in tight situations than, say, a Leatherman.

Joel

G2/Jetstream Hack

I love the G2 case, but honestly, have gotten frustrated with the G2's smudging and general "blotchiness."

I've found myself drawn to the Uni-ball Jetstream, but have found that the retractable isn't very comfortable for me.

The Jetstream's cartridge WILL fit the G2 case with a slight modification. There's a small cap on the end of the Jetstream cartridge that I'm assuming has to be there. You can cut the cap off right where the clear plastic stops. It leaves the plug in the cartridge and it fits the G2 perfectly!

I have a new favorite pen!

Chris

I use a Montblanc Meisterstuck LeGrand Ballpoint. It's wide and comfortable and writes on the paper nicely. Also, since i do a LOT of writing, I don't get much fatigue as with thinner-barreled BP's or RB's. I too am obsessed with pens (and moleskines).

Carlos

Pilot G2 is not Waterproof, neither is resistant to chemicals. I threw some bleach on a page with black G2 ink and became red in 2 seconds.

Zebra Sarasa?? some ink smudges with water , but is immune to alcohol, and bleach. It is smooth too.
Incredible pen

Uniball Ink .. immune to water alcohol, bleach, but i have trouble with skipping.

The best of all? Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip... i throw it water, alcohol, bleach, and not a particle of ink were off the paper, doesn't skip, and the drying is ok.

JJ Terrasa

For several years now, I have used a Lamy Al-Star Extra-Fine or Pelikan 600 Fine with Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black ink to great results. No bleed-through at all and both are excellent pens, very smooth on Moleskine paper.

Pete Gerdau

I am new to the world of moleskine; however, I purchased one on August 11, 2008 in New Jersey, while my family and I were on vacation. I bought the 18 month soft cover pocket lanner. I tried using the Pilot G-2; however, i also am a pen fanatic with horrible penmanship. I use a Cross Vapor pen in my moleskine. My Moleskine goes with me everywhere I go now and I am running out of room already. Also, just went and bought the XL 18 month planner for my home. These things are great.

Greg

I totally agree with the Zebras, although right now I'm using an F-402 rather than the 301.

Johnny

"My only question is why must ink cartridges cost so much? They aren't made from oil, are they?"
The plastic is made from oil, sure. I always assumed the greater price of cartridges was from the manufacturing. But I rarely ever use my Waterman:)

Donald

The Zebra G-301 gel is my current favorite -- but I have to be careful because the replacement cartridges are getting so hard to find -- and I also enjoy the foldaway 301, which sits well with the smaller, pocket sized Moleskine, especially the hardcover with the hinge on the top. A match made in heaven. I have considered opening a tiny store that sold only Moleskines and Zebras. Can't understand why it hasn't already been done. Cast iron, copper bottomed, gilt edged winner, I would have thought. Financially questionable of course but you'd be assured a good class of customer.

theAntiELVIS

Moleskine squared soft-cover or hard-cover, 8 x 5 inch, with a Waterman Charleston or Carene Deluxe with a fine-point nib.

The best thing about Moleskine, besides the paper quality and the whole cachet of the binding, is the things LAY FLAT! There is nothing worse than a notebook that curves down into the binding.

And Waterman simply rules when it comes to luxurious fountain pens. Their fine point is actually a bit heavier line than most others - I find it to be perfect.

My only question is why must ink cartridges cost so much? They aren't made from oil, are they?

-tAE-

F. Inton

i use unipin fine line waterproof and fade proof pigment ink 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8.

Kate

After reading this entire thread last night, I went out and bought myself a 4 pack of black fine point Pilot G2's. I have to say, I was skeptical, but as I excitedly ripped open the package in the parking lot (of Walmart... like it or not they have the best prices) I found out first hand why the combo of this pen and a Moleskine is heavenly. Even on the pages of my pocket weekly planner (which seem thinner, anyone else notice?) there was no sign of bleed through, smear, or ghosting. What a great pen!!

I also use the ruled cahiers, which seem to have a thicker paper. I've had success with G2's as well as a Pilot Varsity disposable. I haven't made the leap to a "real" fountain yet, and these are great and cheap pens. The point is a bit thick for me, but the ink is smooth and doesn't smear, ghost, or bleed for me. I'm also a huge fan of Pilot Precise V5's and v7's, though they tend to bleed just a bit if left in contact a little too long, and I had one explode on me, but only after i fell asleep with it in my hand ;)
Fans of these, or any fine point, smooth writing pens, should give the new Sharpie pens a try. At $3 for two, they're a steal! The pens are super thin, which is nice for carrying around and attaching to M's. The points are very fine, and I've had no trouble with bleeding, smearing, or ghosting, even on the thin planner pages. I love these pens, though I really wish they came in a retractable. The ink dries almost instantly to a nice matte finish. It isn't the darkest black, but a great pen for the price.

Anywho, I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in my pen and Moleskine obsession! Keep writing, all.

ViOletz

I love my Pilot G-Tec-C4 0.4.
A great black

Laurence Vittes

Any thoughts on which Moleskine-based strategy is best to use for taking notes during concerts or plays and other situations when the lights are low or non-existent? Loud-clicking pens are not good. Pens with lights in their tips are not good. Fountain pens, which are my first choice in all other situations, are not good unless you can be sure that you've got the right side of the tip. Writing over what you've just written is not good.

CPL

I recommend using the Pilot Precise V5. I'm a journalist, so I need to take really quick notes during interviews and events. The ExtraFine point gives me the thinness I need to write quickly and able to undestand the notes I take using the Teeline shorthand system I do use. The ink dries almost immediately with great clarity and none of spilling, so I've never had to wait to use the next page of my Moleskine notebooks. Also these pens are really cheap so I wont regret having losed one at a restaurant, at someone's desk or during a press conference.

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